I have a confession to make.
I don't have many friends.
I'm friendly with many people but when it comes to intimate interaction and genuine trust, well, that's where my walls go up.
See, for reasons that I haven't quite figured out yet, I have a really hard time building and maintaining meaningful friendships.
I mean, I have friends.
If you take Facebook into account I have 335 friends.
But I'm talking about the kind of friends you have actual interaction with. The ones you call to chat with and talk about each other's day.
And the kind you...oh, who am I kidding? I don't know what friends do. I listen to people talk about what they did with their friends and what they're going to do with their friends so I guess those are the kinds of things that friends do.
I'll receive a card in the mail from a friend, which is awesome, but I would never think to do that myself. The thought would never cross my mind. A card for no reason? But why not?
I'm also terrible at remembering my friends birthdays.
(another one of Facebook's great uses)
When life gets too busy I stop calling my friends. I will sometimes go a few weeks without talking to some of them. Maybe even longer.
I think one of the causes of my inability to friend stems from the fact that all of my life, I've felt isolated and alone even in a room full of friendly, outgoing people...even among my friends. It's hard to explain but I think it has a lot to do with me having low self-esteem amd thinking that no one likes me.
See, I would play this game, except I didn't know it was a game at the time. I would be somewhere, let's say I would go to church. I would go in and quickly sit down in the back somewhere. Somewhere I wouldn't draw too much attention to myself and I would sit quietly with my best "I-want-to-be-your-friend-love-me-love-me-love-me" smile on my face waiting for people to approach me instead of taking the first frightening step myself of approaching them. I would sit there and think that if they wanted to be my friend then they would come over and talk to me. When they didn't come over to me I believed that they must not want to be my friend.
Now that I'm older I can see how this "game" stopped me from making friends.
The people around me were probably sitting there waiting for me to come over to them. Maybe they thought that I didn't want to be their friend because I never talked to them or if I did I only did so occasionally when I had worked up enough nerve or was too caffeinated to remain in my seat.
But let me clear something up. I don't want those few friends that I have in my life to think I don't consider them friends because I do. I love each and every one of them and I appreciate their friendship so much. I've been friends with one of them for 25 years. But most of my friends are either new friends or have only been friends with me for a few years.
Which indicates to me that my inability to be a good friend pushes people away.
So, if you are one of those friends that have become my friend within the last few years or so, please be patient with me.
I appreciate you.
I need you.
I think you're amazing!
I'm just not as good at expressing friendship as you might be used to and I'm sorry.
I am slowly learning to friend.