BLOG: Happy 4th! I’m So Independent, I Don’t Need Friends…

I posted this on my personal website this morning and I’ve received quite a few comments and several private messages from people who can relate, so I figured I would share it here too… Maybe you feel the same? Or maybe you’ll have some advice?

I wrote it because once again we’re kicking off a holiday weekend away from old friends and family and we don’t really have any plans… and it’s bumming me out!

***

I have been wanting to write about this for a while but I always feel like it’s going to come off like a sob story, or it’s going to make people who know me think “there’s a reason why she doesn’t have any friends,” or it’s going to offend the friends I do have, but it’s bothering me so I’m going to say it.

We moved here nearly 2 years ago and I haven’t really made any friends.

I know some people that I am friendly with, nice people, some I chat with on Facebook or see occasionally, but when it comes to long weekends, we never have anything to do. Nobody to play with. We don’t get invited anywhere, and I really don’t feel like we have anyone to invite our place.

When I lived in Florida we spent a lot of time with my fiance’s family, his friends, and friends I made through Kyla’s school and in our neighborhood. I went to play dates, the occasional girls night out (even though some of them did not go well), we were involved in our community development meetings, I helped start a Neighborhood Watch, we did stuff. We had people. Some people didn’t like me, but some did and we had “a life” outside of our jobs. For a while, I didn’t even have a job, but I still had plenty to do every day.

I love my job here. I love the people I work with. If I didn’t, and it wasn’t going well, we would have packed up and moved back to Florida when the first year of my contract was up. Work is awesome.

Socially though, my life is lacking and it is starting to bring me down.

When I was working nights I took Rocco to a few play dates. I feel like I kind of clicked with some people, but it’s been quite some time since I’ve seen them or been invited anywhere. It makes me wonder – is it me? Did I say something wrong? Do I rub people the wrong way? Am I just weird? Am I not saying the right things?

Back to the playgroup/mom nights in the old ‘hood… There was a Facebook group just for our development and I joined it when Rocco was a baby. I met some awesome moms, some I am still friends with, but the first event I went to was a girls night at someone’s house…

I thought it went well. We all introduced ourselves, there were some people that already knew each other but for the most part people were meeting for the first time. I hit it off with a few of them…

Later I found out that the hostess of the party said that I was “cold” and “rude” and “arrogant” and a bunch of other things… I have no idea where this came from because I think, if anything, I’m shy and insecure and I don’t say much. She even trash-talked me for not being married and for having 2 kids with different fathers, it was just mean and uncalled for.

As it turns out, she had problems with several people, but apparently she thought she could judge me because I wasn’t “warm” enough to people I had just met?

She later picked a fight with me over a play date I planned in the Facebook group for kids my son’s age (hers were older) and I stood up to her, which ended up making me look bad… But why are some people so nasty? And why do I let them bother me so much?

Even though I know she was just a hater in general, I think maybe the things she said still bother me because I wonder if they are true.

Things like this have happened to me out of nowhere numerous times and it makes me feel like maybe there is something wrong with me…

When I was a junior in high school this random senior girl I had seriously never even noticed before came up to me and wanted to fight me. For months she tormented me and waited by the stairs and threatened to push me. She would tell me how much she hated me. To this day I have no idea why she decided to attack me because I’d never had a single interaction with her, but this has happened to me throughout my life. People I don’t even know develop this fierce hatred… maybe over time it’s made me insecure and guarded and I put out that vibe?

The people who do know me and like me say “they’re just jealous” but I have a hard time believing that. People who are more successful, prettier, and just plain cooler than me manage to have tons of friends. If it was a jealously thing, I wouldn’t be the one singled out.

I will fully admit that some of my friendships ended or we grew apart because there have been times in my life where I was not the nicest person… I also know I have strong opinions and sometimes people don’t like that. I’ve toned it down and I keep things to myself a lot because I don’t want to offend people or lose friendships. But I also know there are tons of women who are a lot bitchier than I am and they all seem to have friends.

I also know that over the years I got tired of trying to maintain one-sided friendships. Moving a lot is tough, but I would always want to see people when I was in town and I got sick of being turned down when I’d reach out to people. I’ve also had friends I didn’t talk to for a long time reach out to me to ask for concert tickets. Not “I miss you, how are you?” Just “hey we haven’t talked in ages but I was wondering if you could hook me up with…” I’ve also had “friends” that were totally right there when I was taking them to shows and getting them back stage, but when I wanted to go to the movies just us, they were too busy.

I have a hard time figuring out what the hell my problem is because I feel like I go into situations where I am excited to meet new people and I end up disappointed. I don’t mean I’m disappointed with the people I meet, I mean it seems to go well and then I feel like I must have done something wrong. I do my best to make conversation, compliment people, ask about their lives and their kids, and things seem to go well… And then I’m either blindsided by “she was talking trash about you” or I just never hear from people again.

I’m 38. I have one BFF who I’ve known for quite a while, I can call her or text her with anything and she is there for me. We don’t see each other much especially now that I live up here, but I love her to pieces and I know she loves me. I have a few friends from high school and college that I don’t see much but I will always consider them good friends. I have a few friends I made in FL that I still enjoy seeing once in a while. I have the women in my family who are awesome and I can’t wait to see them in a few weeks…

But here, I have no social life. And it sucks.

I know I’m not the only one with this issue because I met up with one of my friends who was in town recently, she moved last year, and she’s had some of the same problems. Meet people, things seem to go well, and then you don’t get invited again. We are both funny, nice, smart, and awesome, so we don’t get it!

So I guess my question is, how do you make new friends as a middle-aged woman? What do you talk about? What do you say? What do you NOT say? How do you get a “second date”?

What is wrong with me? Am I just not trying hard enough? Does anyone else have a hard time making friends?

 
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