Anxiety, Friends and The Odd Girl Out......

>> Monday, September 19, 2011

I don't make friends easily.  There, I said it.

It's hard for me to make friends.  Inside, I'm a very shy, insecure person and the thought of walking into a room full of people I don't know -- or don't know well -- sends me into a major anxiety attack.  Not sure where this all comes from, but I've been this way for as long as I could remember.  But because of that -- it's very hard for me to approach people -- to try to put myself out there and make new friends.

Oh sure, I've got "friends" -- I've made a lot of friends through college, through work, through the military.  But the one thing I've been missing is the "Friend" know the one.....the Friend you can call any time to share any thing.  The Friend who knows you better than you know yourself.  The Friend who knows your deepest darkest fears and secrets and loves you just the same.  The Friend who knows exactly what you need when you need it.

Even within my group of "friends" - I've always felt like the odd one out -- the third wheel so to speak.  You can sense the closeness that the others have....but I feel like an afterthought.  Oh yeah.....let's include her too and I feel like the tagalong.

And when those feelings come up - I tend to pull back....pull away.....withdraw.....back into my shell, back into the safety and comfort of my kids, my dog, My Marine.  That's safe.  In my comfort zone, I don't have to put myself out there and risk getting hurt or exposing myself.  Because exposing myself means that I won't be liked.

I want to have deeper friendships....but doing that means I have to open up.....and to open up means I have to expose all my quirks and imperfections.....but I can't do that because I need to keep up with the facade that I am perfect wife and perfect mom......and because I'm not the perfect wife and perfect mom, then I can't be the perfect friend if I'm not the perfect friend, why would anyone want to be in a friendship with let's just withdraw.....if I don't expose myself, then you can't hurt me.

What a vicious circle of thinking, don't you think?

Kind of feels pretty silly to be worried about something like this so late in my life.  Most women, by this point, are incredibly secure with themselves and their thinking and their friendships.  I suppose that's why I love blogging so just gives me the chance to express, vent, share something that I probably wouldn't even DARE talk about with an "in-real-life" friend. 

I guess you could say my blog is my friend.  :-)

So....pardon my random thought process this morning.  I think I'll go schedule another appointment with my therapist now!  Ha! Ha!


Anonymous September 19, 2011 at 7:17 AM  

I feel like I could have written this about me today. I know how hard it is being this type of person, I'll be praying we can both open up more!

StephieD September 19, 2011 at 8:14 AM  

I'll admit.. I used to be that way. But when the Hubby joined the Army and I realized that I might be moving alot, I decided to change myself and the way I thought. And through the website, Christian Military Wives, I found that "Friend" her name is Kim and I feel like I've known her my whole life. :)
I'm here for you if you need anything too! :D

MaryAnne September 19, 2011 at 10:12 AM  

I've always wondered what percentage of women actually HAVE "that" friend. I don't think I do. I have a couple friends who I am close to, but no one who really knows me. I attribute it largely to moving so much, but when I think of my close friends I don't know who they are closer too - like me (and, it sounds like, you) they are very family-centric. I am extremely fortunate to have five sisters who largely fill the gap for me - and that was why I am SO glad for Emma and Lily to have one another.

Stephanie September 19, 2011 at 11:57 AM  

That's me too. I have a son with autism and I have noticed that we get left out of play dates a lot. I'm about ready to throw in the towel with the whole "friendship" thing.

The New "Normal" September 20, 2011 at 12:03 PM  

You said what I think so many on. I have always wished for that one true friend who wanted to hang out me and I could tell anything to. I've not had that since I was a little girl. I always feel like that person in the background. I have friends, but not a deep freindship. I worry too much about if I've offended someone by what I've said/done, worried that they won't like me for me, etc... I have those same fears even with my blog, but not as much. Wish I was more confident - and I agree, this doesn't seem like something I should be worrying about at this point in life. Feel free to email me if you ever need a friend to talk to - I'm a pretty good listener!

Becca September 20, 2011 at 12:39 PM  

What a wonderful post! So glad I read it :)

"Kind of feels pretty silly to be worried about something like this so late in my life. Most women, by this point, are incredibly secure with themselves and their thinking and their friendships." NOT true! Everyone is insecure about something. I am a really open and outgoing person, but I find that the closer to 40 I get, the more my once minor insecurities become magnified.

You're a great writer.

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