Tuesday, April 2, 2024

It's very hard to make friends in adulthood

A blogger friend posted something that intrigued me.  Her blog is private so I cannot simply link to it.  I'd like to screenshot or quote because I was taught to give credit where credit is due, but I also understand her desire for privacy.  

(I also have noticed that when I VagueBook and come back to read something years later, I don't remember who I was speaking about).  Therefore I will link on the off chance she ever reverts her blog back to public.  [Ironically, when I started blogging, she told me that most people don't care about your little corner of the internet.]

So Alex wrote that she tried to make friends by joining a book club but it was unsuccessful for various reasons.  In no particular order, it wasn't the drink wine and forget about the book after 5 minutes type of B-club; She missed a few meetings because of work; She doesn't like Fiction and the members already have their Friends Slots filled and only want to discuss the book.

As someone who has both organized and participated in Adult Playground Activities, I can relate.  Sometimes no matter how friendly, engaging, and/or open you are, people just aren't receptive.  They have their TopFive Friends and don't have any slots left for anyone new.

Other times it's some minor criteria like you just weren't attractive enough.  Or you didn't show up consistently.  people don't want to invest in someone who isn't gonna show up next meeting.  

Sometimes the problem is more nuanced.  If you don't have that friend to tell you that you have no sense of humor or a stick up your butt, you're not gonna figure it out on your own.  Of course some friends don't see that side of you.  Or some friends do but they are friends for other reasons and that side isn't a liability.  Finally, people take the path of least resistance and it's easier just reducing your time with someone then telling them, "Why yes, you do have a stick up your butt".

I've been told on more than one occasion that I'm so negative. My defensive self wants to argue that I'm just realistic and pragmatic, but that is self-defeating.  The truth is I'm negative but not always negative.  But once you get a reputation for being negative, people look at everything in a negative lens.

A friend posted something about a neighbor giving her a free meal.  I joked that now she has to listen to her speech about essential oils.  Is this negative?  everyone makes Essential oil jokes.  But said friend was working off years of other darker comments.  If we are being fair said friend is also a bag of crazy kittens herself.

It got me thinking about the P10s and other running groups I've been part of.  it didn't occur to Nirodivergent me at the time but there was definitely a hierarchy/caste system.   When certain people had parties, members would skip their parent's funeral to join.  But when I had one, I'd get some very ungracious responses.

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