Unlearning the Wrong Lesson

I’ve never been one to have a ton of friends, and I’m comfortable with that. I am a textbook introvert, and socializing tires me out. I’d probably be an introvert by nature, but having a sociopathic mother compounded my shyness.

At the moment, my small cache of friends live all over, but none nearby. I have a tendency to “click” with outsiders rather than those who are local to where we live. I’m not from here; I’m not from anywhere, really. Northeast US is more or less accurate, but I’ve also lived in the south and Italy. Because my friends are slightly more cosmopolitan, they also tend to move away again. Or I move away.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I need a female friend to hang out with. I am close to my husband’s cousin and he comes over about once a week. However, as much as I gravitate towards male friends, I do like finding women I can connect with.

Part of the “click” issue is that my mother’s influence makes me mistrust women. It’s an unfair prejudice that I work against, but it is work. And a lot of women are untrustworthy backstabbers. I’ve got a few wounds to prove it.

Word, Diddy

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More recently, the Boone debacle has me mistrusting my instincts. Usually they have served me well, but that friendship/business relationship went so awry and I feel I willfully missed the signs. I’m angry with myself, still.

Over the last few months, I’ve really enjoyed my sessions with my personal trainer. She’s a cool lady who kicks my ass, but we also have great conversations while working out. A few times, she’s dropped hints about getting together outside of our training sessions, but I’ve been non-committal. I’m totally gun-shy. I really like her and she even mentioned today that she too has more guy friends than girl friends.

Today she gave me a perennial plant for me and my family along with a sympathy card for my father-in-law. She also mentioned any time I was near her house, I should grab her for a run or that my husband is welcome to use her pool.

So, what am I so scared of?

Awareness of my problem will help, but I really would like to extend this into a real friendship. I don’t want to be second guessing myself and thinking I am somehow going to mess it up (I seriously doubt she’ll use me like Boone did, so my concern is that she’ll just flat out reject me for me).

I’m trying to look back at the Boone incident with wiser, but kinder to me, eyes. I got burned, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t leap again. I could really use a friend and I’d like to be one too.

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2 thoughts on “Unlearning the Wrong Lesson

  1. I’ve been in a similar place as your Boone debacle. I hired someone who wasn’t the person they claimed to be. It worked out because I got them transferred to another department, but now in short a person on my team. I had warning signs and tried to stop them getting hired, but in the end I was overridden. Anyway, good luck moving on and finding some good friends!!! Trust your instincts. Use that incident to sharpen them, not to stop trusting them.
    Just my 2 cents. I hope it helps.

  2. No one said you had to leap. Start small. I’ve tended to acquire friends like my NM. (Attempting to “fix” the relationship I’ve been told.) After 9/11, I started a whole lot of things over. I discovered the LOTR community. I created my LOTR persona and started making friends online. Automatic boundaries. One of those friends reached out to me. I was honest about how nervous I was and why, admitting I made some punishing relationship mistakes. They were patient. Mary didn’t push. She let me set the pace of our friendship. I took it slow, emailing short notes, interacting online. Then I had to put my horse down. She offered to call. I was afraid to give her my phone number. I asked if I could call her. She let me control everything. I called her and we talked for two hours. She taught me I didn’t have to defend my boundaries because she respected boundaries, including her own. We’ve become BFFs. We talk on the phone or email almost every day, even though we live on opposite sides of the country. I was blessed with more and more healthy friendships because Mary taught me what they look and act like. A few years ago, one of my online friends suggested I should meet one of her friends who happened to live in a neighboring city. It took us three years for both of us to work up the courage to put our toe in the water. We decided to meet at a local eatery for breakfast. It was quick, easy, and either of us could leave whenever we wanted. We met at 10 am and finally went home at 6 pm. Unfortunately, she found a new job (fortunate for her money wise but unfortunate since we don’t see each other nearly as often). We still made the effort to meet once a month… I need to go email her and find out when we’re getting together again. I miss her. You’ve had your automatic boundaries at the gym. You don’t have to bust out of them, just push them a little. Nothing says you have to be all in. Start with running together if you both share the same pace. It has automatic boundaries. Or meet for breakfast, an automatic boundary… usually. 🙂 Have fun!

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