I thought it was terrifying to make friends as a kid. When I moved to London I wasn’t worried about making friends; I was just worried about going back to school. But it turned out that as much as J and I like each other, we also like to have other people to hang out with.
The whole “making new friends” thing is really difficult. First you have to find people you like. Or think you’ll like if you actually spend time with them. Then you basically have to date them. Work up the courage to ask for their number. Ask for their number. Work up the courage to text. Make ~cool~ plans. Try not to embarrass yourself. Then hope they like you and want to hang out again. Then you go through the whole cycle until you’re FINALLY actual, real-life, wanna-grab-a-bite-to-eat friends. I have anxiety just writing about it. I need a cuppa tea. With a shot of whiskey.
I know, there are articles. There are so many articles. How to Make New Friends in Four Easy Steps. The first step in that article is “Start By Getting to Know Yourself.” Okay, Huff Post, step off. I know myself and what I KNOW is that I’m not good at making friends and I haven’t been since that first day of kindergarten when I didn’t talk to anyone. Or that first day of second grade in a new school when the teacher had to physically put another student’s desk next to mine so that I would talk to someone. #neverforget
Let’s move to a more reliable source of articles: Thought Catalog. Okay, maybe not more reliable, but I still read them like I eat popcorn. (BY THE HANDFUL.) One TC article in particular is helpful because it ends with “Nobody wants to hear about how you sit around and watch the Harry Potter movies on repeat every weekend. Trust me, I know this.” which I feel is directed pointedly at me. *turns off HP soundtrack*
But let me stop before I get sucked into the black hole of internet quizzes that will end with me having read every Buzzfeed article posted this week. There’s this really terrible movie called The Duff which I originally thought was only redeemed by Allison Janney’s brief cameos of hilarity (xoxo Allison) but it turns out I’m thinking about it as I’m writing this. There’s a scene where the main character is practicing asking guys out on a date and she just asks every guy in the mall. They all reject her. But she tried! It’s okay to fail. That’s the point. She eventually dates the coolest guy in her high school, who drives one of those totally-open Jeeps, which I love. Okay, wait, I’ve gotten away from the point.
Moving to a new city didn’t alleviate my fears of making friends; if anything, it amplified them. But I think I’ve made a couple friends (knock on wood and also pray they don’t ever read this), but it’s still tricky. I still get nervous when I text new friends. I still worry they won’t show up. I overcompensate with jokes. Then I get worry that I’m obnoxious. I consider bribing them to be my friends, but I don’t own any cupcake tins so I can’t go that route.
The bottom line is that friendship is difficult, and making new friends as an adult isn’t any easier than making friends as an eight year old. I have no mind-blowing conclusions. All I’ve learned is that I have to take a sip of tea, send the damn text, and then remember to exhale.