I must confess that I am a person who is incredibly skeptical when someone says, “you have to meet so-and-so. You two would make great friends.” I try to stay engaged, but I am internally shutting down, wanting to get up, leave and never continue the conversation. Thankfully, my daughters have never done this to me (yet), but they have brought a few stellar people into my life. Today’s post is dedicated to my daughters, to whom I now say, “thank you for some friends.”
Perhaps you wonder why I would resist someone wanting to help me make friends?
I think it’s mainly the introvert in me that immediately goes on alert. I have learned over the years what will fill my cup and those things that will drain me like a sieve. My introvert alert knows that meeting new people leads to the much-required making of small talk. While I know that I CAN do small talk, as I have had to do this professionally for the last 15 years, I also know that by making small talk my internal battery is slowly
dying draining. A few times, I have pushed through this internal struggle, and I have been pleasantly surprised by the result.
The first time was when my daughter wanted to have a playdate with her friend from preschool. We met up at a park, we moms watched our little girls play, and had great conversations throughout our time together. Soon after we became friends on social media, and have stayed friends since.
The second time, I was waiting for my turn at parent-teacher conferences. I began chit-chatting with another mom in my daughter’s class, and slowly realized that I thought she was pretty awesome. Over the next several weeks, we kept bumping into each other at school events and around the neighborhood. Soon we became friends on social media (noticing a trend?), and now we text and message regularly.
Did this happen again?
Yep, in my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop a few years ago. Girl Scout cookie season was approaching, and my daughter was DESPERATE to be a Girl Scout and sell those
addicting beloved cookies. I reluctantly volunteered to be an assistant leader in the troop so kindergarten Daisies could be added. Little did I know, a pandemic would hit within two months, our troop would shift to virtual for several months, and I would later have to take over as the troop leader. Perhaps I was right to be reluctant to volunteer?
I did learn rather quickly, that this arrangement would allow some girls to join the troop, and that my daughter (and later my youngest too) to get to know some great kids. The addition of these new girls brought their mothers to the troop, and now they’re irreplaceable parts of my village. We help one another when life gets tough, we look out for each other’s children, and they now help me lead the Girl Scout troop.
Have I changed my mind?
I’m not so sure about that. I am still an introvert who needs to protect my energy, choose wisely which things I agree to do, and prioritize some time alone each week. I am still skeptical of the phrase “you have to meet so-and-so, you two would make great friends.” I love the people in my life, and I’m flattered they think enough to introduce me to others in their life, and I want to invest my time in these treasured friendships. So, I won’t say no to meeting someone new, but I may continue being careful to protect my time for the ones already near and dear to my heart.