For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved having a varied group of people around me. In fact, I’ve been called a “social butterfly” on more than one occasion since I was a little girl and, while this quality has been an asset in so many situations over the past couple of decades, I have realized since moving to New Jersey that it’s not as easy to make friends as an adult when you have to begin anew.
I was moving to a place where I knew not one soul (other than my parents), so, before I even arrived in the Garden State, I researched mom groups and other groups of interest where I might be able to regularly take part and meet other women. After a time, I convinced myself that it wouldn’t hurt to meet a few men along the way, too. It wouldn’t have to be anything serious, right? So, I took to a couple of dating sites with nothing to be expected. Just “getting out and meeting people.”
What I found was this: it is so much harder to make friends as an adult than you might think. Sure, I’d heard about the complexities before, but never thought that I would have any trouble. After all, making friends was second nature to me! I don’t know if it’s my personality or the culture I’ve come to live in, but I do believe I’ve lost my friend-making mojo. In a state where people value the unwritten rule of “mind your business”, how does ANYONE meet ANYBODY here?
In her article 21 Ways to Make Friends, author Susan Miller offers a sort of checklist to stay on cue, which include:
- Be approachable. CHECK. I am most DEFINITELY approachable.
- Take the opportunities given to you. Hmmm… I had a younger co-worker ask me to go out to a club with her, but I’m too old, and it’s not my thing. Does this mean I didn’t take the opportunity given to me? I told her I’d do karaoke with her anytime, though.
- Be yourself. CHECK. I strive to be myself in everything I do, but also stay open.
- Be a good listener. CHECK. I think there are days where I can be completely overwhelmed with my drama, but I do my best 99% of the time to be a good listener.
- Put on a happy face and smile. CHECK.
- Find a church. CHECK. If only I wasn’t one of the youngest adults in the congregation, I’d be all set!
If I can sign-off on all these things that people normally do, where are all the like-minded people in my age-bracket? I don’t feel like I fit in with my neighbors, who are mostly married, and I don’t feel like I fit in with my church family, who I see as pious for the most part. I guess the only place I feel comfortable at this point is with my blogger friends… and I’ve never really had any interaction with them except online.
That’s it… I think it’s this whole “digital age” thing that’s messing with my friend-making mojo. Okay, fine.. it could be because I’m too country for these parts. Whatever it is, I’m stuck. Do you have any ideas on what else I can do to resolve my issue? I’d be glad to hear them. After all, I’m completely lost without my friend-making mojo.
This is an original post to JerseyMomsBlog by Desiree Allen.