Ali's Adventures

August 29, 2012

From acquaintances to friends

Filed under: Move — by Alison @ 5:37 pm

I like to think of myself as a friendly person. I’m happy to strike up conversations with people and am interested in what’s going on with people. I try to remember things about them and follow-up, but not in a stalkerish way. But I’ve noticed lately that I have a lot of acquaintances. People who are happy to see me when I’m around but who wouldn’t think to call on me to do something with them or if they needed something.

Like at playgroup, a mom told me she was happy to have us back after our vacation, and we chat about things when we’re there. Still, she was making lunch plans with another woman and she does a babysitting swap with a different family. We all met at the same time, what am I missing?

And another example. On Facebook with a few derby friends and we were joking about a movie night. Next thing, I notice in someone’s else status update that the movie night had actually been planned. I invited myself along, and it was a fun night. Nevertheless, they would have had just as fun a time if I hadn’t made the effort to join them, and it might not have crossed their minds that I was missing.

Neither of these scenarios hurt my feelings, but I do wonder if there’s something off-putting about me? Do I give off a “do not include” me vibe? How do I make the leap from acquaintance to friend?

I want to have the type of friends that can call each other up and make plans for that day. I want people to feel comfortable coming into my house. I like being there for people, if they need help or just want to talk.

I have these friends, but they’re far away. Some of those friendships took time to develop, but others seemed to happen rapidly. One person, who after our first meeting was pretty sure didn’t like me, now is my favourite person to have bizarre conversations with about consumption or old-time gravol. Another started as a co-worker and is now practically family.

Am I not meeting the right people? Should I make more of an effort to invite myself along or to plan things?

We’re settling in to Seattle pretty well, and I have enough going on that I’m not sitting around being bored and feeling sorry for myself. However, it would be nice to have more true friends.

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13 Comments »

  1. I had a similar playgroup experience. They were all super nice, but it seemed they had been close friends for years and I was never quite able to break into that circle. I think a lot of people just aren’t really considerate. They aren’t purposely MEAN or don’t like you, they just don’t think sometimes.

    Comment by Donna — August 29, 2012 @ 5:41 pm |Reply

    • You’re right. I don’t feel that I’m being excluded specifically, more that they don’t think to include. This playgroup has a lot of moms new to Seattle, so I thought it would be easier to break in.

      Comment by Alison — August 29, 2012 @ 5:47 pm |Reply

      • It can be hard and weird to break into a new group…. I wish I knew the answer. I didn’t make new friends other than at work for a long time until twitter.
        Also – I thought I didn’t like you?

        Comment by Lara — August 29, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

      • True story. But only after our first meeting. By the end of the second meeting, it was all good 🙂

        Comment by Alison — August 29, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

      • I guess I blocked this from my mind. 0 recollection of such a thing. Might be memory loss due to plague.

        Comment by Lara — August 29, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

  2. That’s a tough one. I think you took a step in the right direction by inviting yourself along to movie night. And maybe that’s what you need to do those first few times to get the ball rolling.

    Comment by Sharon — August 29, 2012 @ 5:43 pm |Reply

  3. I have often wondered about the ‘do not include me vibe’, I believe it started in high school for me, now years later, it is still there. Luckily I have a wonderful best friend of over twenty years, who would be there in a sec every time.

    Comment by AlwaysARedhead — August 29, 2012 @ 5:48 pm |Reply

  4. At times we project what we’re thinking or feeling onto other’s motivations. Clearly, in this case, inviting yourself along was the right thing to do.
    I get this though, sometimes we’re concerned about overstepping boundaries with new people. Some of the friendships that I’ve developed, or am developing, as an adult take a long time. I think we all feel similar and have to figure out what is appropriate for each person.

    Comment by Kat — August 29, 2012 @ 6:06 pm |Reply

  5. I think most friendships take time to develop. Some are instant, but I am often wary of those now because they don’t seem to last.

    No answers from me. But I’d totally hang with you.

    Comment by Brie — August 29, 2012 @ 7:19 pm |Reply

  6. I think breaking into a group of friends that already was is way harder than putting together a group of new friends. I’m a big fan of the more the merrier so I’d just keep tagging along. They probably have no idea how you feel or may even be afraid of you rejecting their advances…I wish I had a more helpful answer. You could always invite them for cupcakes 😉

    Comment by Sara — August 31, 2012 @ 9:55 pm |Reply

  7. I’ve been thinking about your post the last week. Actually, I’ve been thinking about it a lot because I have a lot of the same feelings and experiences as you. I think after I had kids I MAY have put up a “don’t include me” vibe to other parents in my neighbourhood. I’m not sure if I did put up a barrier or not, but it sure feels like it sometimes. I don’t have answers, I wish I did. All I know is if you lived in my neighbourhood, I’d probably be knocking on your door looking for a coffee date.

    Comment by Krista - The Tech Mom — September 6, 2012 @ 1:35 pm |Reply

  8. This post also resonated with me – it often seems to me that people in my circle of friends are doing things together, and I’m not invited. But I also question if it’s me, not them – that I am too reserved, or maybe say no too often, or maybe just don’t seem interested in different activities. I think you did a great thing by inviting yourself to movie night – it often only takes seeing you in a new light like that to get things rolling.

    Comment by Lynn — September 10, 2012 @ 9:57 am |Reply


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