Saturday, October 1, 2011

How Many Times?

I know many of my five loyal readers (or is it six now?) will think these are theoretical questions, so I will just tell you they aren't. Feel free to chime in. You can email me directly or comment here so more of us can have a conversation that includes more people.

How many times do you try to make friends with someone before you quit?

How many times to you try to get included in an activity or conversation before you stop?

How many times do you let someone excuse themselves because they just HAVE to do something (and possibly even name what it is) to find them talking to somebody else for quite some time after that? So you know they haven't made time for you, but they have made time for this other person... and you even come back over two hours later and they are just chatting...

When you are in close proximity to people that won't let you in but keep posting on their blogs to "come join our community", what do you do?

Yes, I know it is highly possible that they don't know they are being exclusive, but I don't know if that ever makes it feel any better to the person (or people, really) who has been excluded...

Can you just put a sign on your head that says, "Hi, I'm socially awkward and I could really use your help"? In our smart-a** society, would anyone take it seriously?

These are just some of the things a person can ask herself (or his-self) after getting stood up for an appointment to go canoeing or getting brushed off a few too many times in one day.

I am of the firm opinion that one should try, and often, but I also believe that enough is enough.

How many times do you let someone suggest that maybe you should just go spend some "alone time" (wouldn't you know if you needed time alone?) so that they can go give their attention to somebody else?

Emily Post and Miss Manners have covered how to be polite. But I would like someone (who actually knows the answers) to tell all of those of us who are Socially Awkward how much to try before we can say that it wasn't our fault if we didn't make friends. I want it for me. I want it for the girl I know is hiding in her room right now because her social anxiety has maxed her out (that is not me). I want to know for the admittedly shy lady who is sitting a few feet away from me, wistfully watching the little group of ladies who have been out on the porch laughing for quite some time now.

Tell us how many times we need to have somebody refuse to put their name on our dance card before we can go hide in the bathroom for the next activity.

Tell us how to react to the people who did not offer us the dignity of listening to our piece of writing after we had listened to theirs. Scary things deserve support, I think. But I could be wrong. But the very night after our speaker says to give grace with our listening...

These are the things that can weigh heavy on the mind as the shadows of a day are getting long and another "art project" has gone wrong.

How many times?

I have to go find somebody to sit next to me at dinner now, but I would love to have some of your answers when I come back.


  1. I never try to make friends. I hate people. The answers to the rest of the questions can be surmised.

  2. @BD Thanks, dearie. That surely helps. ;)

  3. I think it's as many times as you can make yourself try. For me, that would be an extremely low number as the trying can be just as painful as the rejection. Other people don't seem to have that issue -it's like they don't even notice if they're wanted or not. Oh how I envy them. I'd love to stay and chat but I need to google "socially awkward clothing". Oh, and C, if they can't realize what you have to offer then they are deaf and blind.

  4. LOL, Carolyn...did you come up for air? Don't know if i have any real answers as i consider myself pretty socially awkward. I consider myself shy and push myself all the time to step out and remember my value as a daughter of Christ. The funny thing is that most people wouldn't consider me shy in the least. I'm pretty comfortable with one or two people, but get a roomful and i'm the one against the wall looking around with my inside voice asking "why are you here?" Sure, i know a couple of people, but i look around and see little clicks of people already engaged. Who am i to interrupt? What's so ironic is that my job not only has me in a large group all the time, but i am seen as a leader and i pray with them. I think sometimes that God got it wrong...I'm still learning how to be a leader. I don't have self confidence...and then i remember- He equips the called (he doesn't always call the equipped) and i don't need self confidence. I have God's confidence... so, sometimes i'm heard, sometimes i'm not, sometimes i'm invited, sometimes i'm not. Neither defines me. I'm actually quite the adrenaline junkie too..another oxymoron. I love to drive fast cars, shoot guns, and do new things. So my advice to anyone that thinks of themselves as "socially awkward", start remembering yourself as the daughter/ son of the KING and put yourself out there for someone else who's struggling. It goes a long way into relieving the awkwardness for both of you. Oh, and believe it or not, most people are so self-absorbed they don't even know that they're being dismissive...and it's their loss. Love you, friend

  5. Friends have usually come easily for me, but I can think of one time when I was truly in need of a friend, and I had my radar set.

    I invited, she stood me up.
    I invited again, she couldn't.
    I invited again, she made an excuse.
    I invited again, nope.

    Hello? I should have probably gotten the hint, but no. And you know what? It turns out this girl is now one of my best friends. Life was truly crazy for her at that time in her life, and she said she was glad I pursued her.

    Hmmm, but usually this isn't me. I'd say usually a give it about two tries and I am done!

  6. It depends a lot on the person and whether or not we seem to have anything in common right off the bat. Basically, I don't force friendships at all. Maybe I should, but I've been walked away from too dang many times, and I have no interest in furthering the damage to my emotional state by allowing someone who doesn't think I'm worthy of their time to cut me with a knife.

    I deal with this a LOT in my son's sports "world". I'm kind of a nuisance, it appears, because none of the coaches really want to talk to me about what's going on, because they don't respect my opinion at all. So, I'm an outsider no matter what I do. I feel your pain.

  7. Thank you all for your comments. It is hard, isn't it? Knowing when to persevere and when to let up. People are just so people-ish sometimes. No situation will ever be perfect and if we take expectations into it, we might get let down. But out of my hurt that night, something wonderful happened. Some people made space for my tears and I made some new friends in a place that was completely unexpected. God even uses my hurt to do great things.


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