How to make FRIENDS – part one.

13 Nov

For some reason, when I was ages 0-19, I was terribly lonely.  As a kid, my parents were constantly trying to find the “better” education (really the problem was me) and so I was in and out of schools all through my childhood.

4 schools in elementary, 3 schools for middle school, and 2 schools for high school.  Needless to say, I was pretty lonely.  Not quite “imaginary friend” lonely, but close. I invented imaginary lives so if anyone did approach me, I would have this cool life to wow them into being my BFF.  I know, I know.  I’ll cover that stuff in therapy as soon as we get closure on my shopping issues.  🙂

Then I joined the military. (GO NAVY!) Something about ACTUALLY getting through boot camp gave me so much confidence, that I ACTUALLY started to believe that people would WANT to be my friend. I became determined to never be lonely again.  I still moved around a bunch, that didn’t change.  The thing I changed the most about being able to make friends, was my actions.

Now, wherever I go, I ACTIVELY seek out groups with similar interests.

Example #1: When I was stationed in Jacksonville, I joined the “Multi-Cultural” committee.  I am not sure WHY we need a committee dedicated to promoting other cultures, the military is a culture in itself, race was hardly an issue. However, I wasn’t in touch with my “culture” and I figured SOMEONE must know what it’s like to be a lonely Mexican-Italian woman in a strange world. NOPE!!! I was wrong.  Turns out, there aren’t that many people out there with my special “cultural blend” that genetically and historically causes me to be addicted to carbs. BUT!!! I made two friends!   Suddenly the challenge of finding a friend in 4000 people – YIKES – became easier when I chose a group of 10.

Example #2: When I was stationed in Norfolk, VA, I joined a command led beach running group.  Again, the command size was about 500, but the running group had 12 members.  I sucked at running, still do, but it was a great way to meet people who cared about being outside, being healthy and having fun!

Example #3: When I was stationed in Oak Harbor, WA, I went religiously to the dog park. Dog park people love the outdoors and taking care of their animals similar to children!  (Caution: Sometimes it can be a teensy bit weird to see people making out with their dogs.) Think “play dates” for pets!  The people I met there turned me on to a local dinning and wine club and poof!  I had friends!!!!!!

See the pattern?  Gosh, I hope so because I am running the risk of losing you at this point…

Narrow your focus wherever you are!  Don’t move to a new city or new job and spend time feeling lonely. Feeling lonely is a WASTE of time!

YOU ARE COOL ENOUGH TO BE SOMEONE’S FRIEND!!!

I currently live in Stuart, FL.  It’s a smallish city,  CHOCK-full of people who have grown up here.  That was REALLY intimidating to me at first.  Doubt started to creep in…… I began to ask myself why in a city full of people who had the same friends since high school, would they want to get to know little ‘ole me?!  But because I had an infant son and became a SAHM, (stay-at-home-mom) I was going to go crazy without some adult interaction!!!!! So I joined a little group known as Stroller Strides, and that lead me to another little group called MOPS and that led to me joining Junior League of Martin County! Before long, I discovered that I had a CORE group of friends that I could trust with the REAL ME!!!

So, think about what you’re into and google a group in your city.  Reading? Search for book clubs. Excercise? Search for groups like Stroller Strides. Food and Wine? Search for a local wine shop and start going to tastings! Volunteering? Seek out a Junior League! Love Jesus? Find a church and join a small group!

BE BRAVE!

BELIEVE THAT GOD MADE YOU AWESOME… JUST AS YOU ARE!! 

THERE IS SOMEONE OUT THERE WAITING TO MEET YOU!

In part two we’ll cover the dreaded, “Saying Hi.” 🙂

Good luck!

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