Originally Posted by mommahhh
I'm feeling really bad right now.
I have always been introverted. I was very shy and quiet as a child. Meek (yuck). Low self esteem. I always
have one (maybe two) friends at most...never a group of friends. I don't know why! I don't get it. I imagine a lot of people from highschool wouldn't even remember my name, even though I totally know who they are. This is how I grew up.
I tried hard to break out of that mold in college and at work. Well, I've never been able to really get away from it. I'm introverted. I feel awkward around people I don't know well. It is SO hard for me to make friends. I know my true personality....I am kind, I am smart, I have a dry sense of humor, I regularly make friends laugh, etc. But I don't know how I appear to other people who don't know me. Aloof? Snotty? Bored? Boring? No clue. But whatever it is, it isn't working.
For the most part, I'm able to just ignore it all. I work from home. I avoid putting myself in positions where I'll feel uncomfortable (or be ignored....I'm always ignored). But now that my DD is in a school that fosters community and events, I am trying to get out there more. It is not going well. AT ALL. I've attended a few events with the other moms. I force myself to go talk to them, try to get to know them. Some of them have even been to my house. But it always ends up like yesterday.......
They had a garden party at the school. I get dressed up and go. There are moms wandering around the yard. I try to be friendly and open. I'm smiling. I smile and say hi to various moms. Ask how they are doing. They say hi
, and move on. So now what?! I'm basically left standing there feeling awkward, while moms are in little groups of 2 or 3 chatting happily together. They all know each other I suppose. I don't know how to break into these groups. I've tried (at the last party). I forced myself to walk up to a group and smile and be outgoing. They said hi, but I felt really
weird and awkward. Nobody included me in the conversation (and I wasn't sure how to become involved....I've tried that before and I usually am talked over). So I just listened, but I felt totally stupid, like I was eavesdropping on friends.
Anyway, at the party, I felt so sad suddenly. Watching all these happy, normal
mothers. And I'm standing there like I'm in grade 8 all over again without a single friend. I have a friend who can make friends with anyone -- I've watched her make friends with a stranger at the park and those people go on to be good friends with her! I have tried learning her technique, but I don't understand what she's doing that is different....people just seem to respond to her differently. They basically ignore me. And I feel "less than". So I can imagine my DD will eventually wonder why all the other moms at school are friends, and her mommy has no friends.
AHHHH I'm feeling so sad today.
I haven't read the other replies yet.
I don't think there is anything wrong with being introverted. But I do understand how it can make socializing difficult.
Two of my very best friends in the world are introverts...they are smart, funny and I cannot imagine NOT having them in my inner circle, which by the way consists of the two of them. I'd rather have two, real genuine friends than a bunch of acquaintances...and I HAVE had a bunch of acquaintances as friends before.
Some people just have charisma. Your friend may be one of those people.
Have you talked to your friend about this? Could she help you? Does she have any tips?
The best advice I can give you is to get that book by Dale Carnegie, How to Make Friends and Influence People. My dh had to take a course on this ( the company made all their engineers take this course) and I flipped through the book when he brought it home. It was all stuff I had figured out by 9th grade...and yes, if you "do" these things, it works. And at first it is uncomfortable, but gradually will become less uncomfortable. But...I am a talker and a bit impulsive, so even though talking to new people makes me nervous, I will still do it...someone who is more introverted might feel much more uncomfortable or not know what to say. ( I tend to ramble, spout nonsense and ask lots of questions...
) I am not really introverted, but I guess I am a kind of a shy extrovert who talks too much.
My husband and both of my sons are introverts, too. I annoy all three of them when I talk to strangers wherever we go.
I dearly, dearly love all the introverts in my life...and honestly, they talk more than I do when they are around people they are comfortable with.
This post may not be terribly helpful, but I just wanted to let you know that you are okay...and yes, you can work on your social skills and improve them, but that being introverted is not a bad thing. There are people who will love you the way you are.
P.S. My two best friends who are introverts...the first one seemed INTIMIDATING to me and I have no idea what possesed me to invite her to our playgroup! We just happened to be leaving a party at the same time, I had heard her say she had children and even though I had been watching her all night, I had not approached her...I was sure she was waaay too smart and cool to talk to someone like me. But there at the door while we were putting on our coats to leave I blurted out that she was welcome to come to our playgroup, told her where and when and I am soooo happy she came! She was nervous about coming to the playgroup...she didn't know me at all...didn't know any of the other moms either. But she decided to take a chance and come. Turns out that even though personality-wise we are very different, we have tons in commen! We have both moved numerous times since then, but we stay in close, close touch with each other.
My other friend...she didn't like me at first.
She really, really didn't like me. I had decided I wanted to be friends with her because we had kids the same age and her son was in my son's class. She gave me some seriously withering looks and did not want to be my friend! (She told me later she had felt like she already HAD a friend and did not want me horning in! ) I was shocked she was so cold towards me, cuz at that time people usually liked me...I was friendly and nonthreatening. The more stand-offish she became, the more determined I was to make her like me! I finally invited her and her friend, all of their kids over to my apartment for my world famous hot dog and boxed mac and cheese lunch and eventually won her over. I don't think she is even still in touch with the other woman, but now 15 years later she and I are BFFs. And I don't even live in her town anymore...I've moved twice since then, but we keep in touch very regularly.
P.S. I am not normally THAT persisitant. I KNOW there are people who do not like me and usually I am mostly okay with that. I am not everyone's cup of tea.
Off to see if I am the only sort of extrovert who has commented.