Why is making friends as an adult so hard? Growing up I could make a friend just about anywhere. All I would have to say is hi – wanna be my friend? I have always been so involved in extracurricular activities, so friendships came with the territory. But, now as an adult, I am not as involved so making friends is harder. I also see people differently than I did as a child. I pick up on people’s energy and I am more aware of who I want to be around or who I should let in my world.
But where do you find friends, especially moving to a new city and not knowing anyone? Do I go to Target and Costco and walk up to people and say hey, let’s be friends? I mean that’s what worked as a kid. I know it sounds silly, something as simple as that is my biggest struggle since moving. I have tried joining interest groups on Facebook but can never seem to make the meetups. Between working and taking care of my son (being his personal Uber) it makes it very difficult to make the events. I have gone to a few events and really enjoyed myself, however, I did not make a connection with anyone that stuck after we left. I have tried talking to parents on my son’s baseball team, but “friend” groups have already been established and I just don’t fit in. I always feel like the “nerd” in high school who wants to be friends with the “popular” kids, but they just don’t see me. I get it, most of the kids have been playing little league for years with each other so that connection is already formed. Man, I miss my baseball mom friends from Cali. We were like family. I still talk to them but it’s different now that I am here in Maryland and our boys are not playing together anymore. Trying to make friends at work is the hardest of all. I have not had the best luck with opening up and being vulnerable with co-workers. I have been burned too many times in the past by co-workers which has caused me to put up a “friendship” wall. Previous co-workers would use my personal life against me. When we would have a disagreement at work – my personal business would be told around the office. They took me for granted. They used me. So, thinking of opening up to new co-workers scares me. I feel so lost. I just feel like I don’t belong, so I find myself staying home and living in this uncomfortable bubble. I moved to a city with no friends and only one family member. My cousin invites me to places with her, however, it’s always hard to say yes to her. I feel out of my league when I am around her and her friends. They are educated, financially sound, world travelers and living the life I could only dream to have. What would I bring to the conversation? I am just a working wife and baseball mom (yes that’s how I see myself). So, why would they want me to hang with them? Why would they want to be my friend? These are all questions I ask myself, especially when my cousin asks me to join her. I have always looked up to her and wish I could live the life she does. I don’t want to feel like I am bringing her down when I am around, so I choose the option to just stay home. No, she has never done anything to make me feel this way. These are personal feelings that I need to get out of my head but they’re the only thing that makes sense to me. I just want to fit in.
The real questions become: Why do I feel like I don’t belong? Why do I feel out of my league? Why is this so HARD? Is this really that deep?
To me, yes, it is. I have always wanted to belong or fit in. I get along with just about everyone. I am such a people person. I love hard. So not having friends and feeling like I don’t belong just doesn’t make sense. My friendships make me feel whole. They give me meaning. They give me hope. I feel so happy and free. All these things I am missing out on. So, what can I do to get this whole feeling back?
I got it!
Aisha, you must stop feeling like you don’t belong. You can always learn from others that have experienced things you have not. Guess what, your cousin is a rockstar and knows so many people. Why not surround yourself with greatness so that you too will be a rockstar. Also, make time for you again and get out and make some new friends. Find stuff you are interested in and just go. Learn to open your heart and trust again. Even if you get hurt again, just pick yourself back up. YOU GOT THIS! Those girls trip, those connections, that companionship is there – just go get it!
Making friends as an adult may not be easy but have FUN trying.