when the rules of interaction change…

One of my new years resolutions was to put myself out there. I don’t know if anyone else noticed (yeah right) but I am a bit of a shy introvert prone to second-guessing myself… a lot.

So usually my social life is a little bit of a struggle. It’s an Asocial life.

But this year, I reckon I’ve at least made a step closer to calling people “friends” and actually meaning it, not just saying the word because it sounds better than “acquaintance” or “Yeah, I met them like three times IRL and now we’re Facebook friends”

So, my biggest problem is something that you’re “supposed” to outgrow in primary school (apparently… news to me). I have trouble cultivating friendships of convenience to last, I’m great when I’m in a specific situation, I have people I consider close friends, we have inside jokes in person. Outside of that…. not so much. I have in the past followed an admittedly ridiculous set of lists that I used to follow about maintaining friendships.

Honestly, these “rules” I followed because I’ve been burned by friendships, I’ve had falling-outs that were worse than break-ups. I’ve ghosted and been the ghostee. I’ve had toxic friends, and I’ve also been the toxic friend who lashes out at everyone. I’ve kind of… drifted away and became uncertain how to approach rekindling a friendship’s potential.

But that’s not to complain, baby steps. That was how I was. Now I’m improving. Got myself a solid set of friends init.

My rules have changed. Or rather, my attitude to socialising has changed and my anxiety has decreased.

  • I’m a stickler for keeping my Facebook friend list… actually full of my friends, but  that doesn’t mean I can’t interact with them on different platforms. Twitter & Snapchat are becoming my go-to for casual friendly interactions.
  • Everyone is surprisingly chill when asking for numbers, then I’m getting added to WhatsApp or DM group chats and welcomed into [situation] squad chats.
  • It’s completely fine to bring up something I’ve seen online.  THAT ICEBREAKER THOOO. Most people like when you put them onto things that remind you of them… like duh.
  • Just because I’m friends with a certain person in one situation, doesn’t mean I have to have them integrated into my central friend system. I think that’s the thing that used to make me the most anxious- wondering how all of my friends (with their varying interests and the differing environments where our friendships grew) would interact and if their perception of me would change based on meeting each other. I’ve learned to not worry, and to be wavy about it. Not every day every situation friends must meet.

It has been really nice to see myself grow and interact with people. Even though this term I stretched myself thin, I’m slightly grateful that I was forced to socialise with so many people and so often. I’ve really gained and understanding some of the things that really help me solidify positive notions of friendship.

 

It’s a bit of alright actually, this socialising thing.