Confidence issues & Making friends
June 2, 2016 1:55 PM   Subscribe

As long as I can remember, I've always felt unlikeable, insecure and lonely. Even as young as 8 years old and in my home country, I remember feeling like I wasn’t fitting in, peers didn't like me or didn't think I was cool, and constantly feeling hurt by others' words and actions.

I attribute a lot of this to my grandparents, especially my grandmother, who was really judgmental and downright mean to me. I got compared a ton to my cousins and I was always the inferior one. I also think I’m very sensitive in general, which does not help the situation at all. Neither does my anxiety.

I’m very extroverted, energetic and I think naturally plain exhausting to a lot of people. Even my facial expressions are a ‘lot’. This isn’t necessarily bad, but I find a lot of people can take me in smallish doses but find me exhausting. I do talk a lot, laugh a lot, but I’ve become a lot more careful about when and where to do this. Either way though, my ‘gregarious’ personality has its downs.

I didn’t have the best coping strategies of how to deal with any of this. I remember moving to Canada and I wanted to change my whole identity with the intention of finally feeling cool and accepted. With all the turmoil, fighting, insanity at home I desperately dreamed of having friends, girls surrounding me like ‘The babysitters’ club’. I even changed my NAME to something that I thought sounded cooler. However, my attempts were futile and I was instantly caught out as being actually insecure. I was a complete loner all through elementary school. People made fun of and bullied me, and a lot of it was perpetuated by me as well.

High school was even worse. I got to be kind of attractive, but that didn’t really help. I put all my thoughts and energies into trying to be attractive/sexually appealing to boys, some even men and I made some stupid mistakes that I regret. I got rejected. A LOT. All the while I felt lonely, hated, incredibly anxious and depressed.

University wasn’t much better. I had a lot of agonizing times. And my first job was somewhat of a nightmare. My appeals for attention didn’t win me too many friends, though I did get a few, and my anxiety was dealt with through drugs and alcohol. Not the best way to deal.

At 24, things are much better. I work in a job I love helping the elderly in the community, my relationship with my mother is incredible and supportive, and I am involved in things like improv / acting and am succeeding with them. I *do* have more friends and am just more I’m much more positive and much less depressed. I’m going back to school for a practice I’m extremely passionate about. I am putting efforts into being healthy. And pretty much everywhere I go, people tell me I’m personable, likeable. It's weird, people seem to like me at first, commenting on my energy and kindness. I definitely have a 'unique' way about me, which seems to charm people at first.

Even my new job, they’ve given me fantastic reviews. So it seems I’ve done a decent, if too-late, job toning myself MOSTLY down. I’m confident to speak my mind, I try new things, I’m open to criticism, and overall I think I’m a pretty good person…at least on the surface, I’m a completely changed person.

However, deep down I feel like I’m still that girl who feels lonely and insecure. What’s worse, people notice it too: I *always* have people liking me when they first meet me, and then after a few months they let go of me. It’s often quoted that I am too insecure, needing too much reassurance so it’s exhausting. It’s devastating to hear this. I feel like I’m blind to some intricate social cues. No matter how much I guard against them finding out how deeply insecure and unlikable I am, for some reason they seem to find out. People seem to have a 6TH SENSE FOR THIS! It’s hurtful when I’m always the one reaching out to try and make plans. Or people who don’t respond to me.

What I really want is a gaggle / gang of girlfriends who are there to support me. Unfortunately, that will never be the case. However, what would be great is to feel confident with having only a few friends. Everyone seems so established with their gang of girlfriends and I don’t have many. I have a few, but it’s not a ton. And I’m not as close with them as I’d like to be. Sometimes I think I push people away with my reassurance seeking behavior, subconsciously on purpose.

Tell me – do you think it’s lame when you meet people who seem to have a lot going for them, but not too many friends and often have weekends barren of plans? What can I do to improve my situation, other than therapy? Do you ever feel, when waiting in line for coffee or going to the gym or doing things, that in that moment you can't enjoy yourself because you don't have friends, and you're not normal? (Weird I know.) I do use CBT techniques which help a LOT, but if any of you can relate that would be great. Not too many people seem to relate to the “Energetic Exhausting Extrovert + BAD childhood problems leading to severe insecurities + on-the-surface highly confident + super sensitive” concoction, but hope you guys can parse through my question and help me. Anecdotal advice on this topic would be great.
posted by rhythm_queen to Human Relations (12 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Honestly, most people in post-college life don't have a gaggle of girlfriends to pal around with. Or rather, the kind of Babysitter's Club girl gang you are looking for does not usually exist outside of books.

I'm almost ten years older than you. I have a group of friends I've been buddies with since college, we even rent a house together every summer. It's awesome. But on a day to day level, we don't really see each other that much. Even the ones of us who live in the same city don't run around getting drinks and going dancing together every week. We can go weeks or even months without hanging out. As people get older they develop other things that take up a lot of their attention, like work and partners and all that stuff. I'm just telling you this to help you see that the tight-knit group of old friends you long for doesn't necessarily keep you from having lonely times or weekends with no plans.

Also? Trust me on this. The hands down best part about getting older is that people truly don't give a hoot if you are a social butterfly with a lot of weekend plans. If a coworker asks you what you're up to this weekend, they are mostly asking out of social convention and maybe hoping it will yield more conversation fodder ("Oh cool, I've saw that movie last weekend and blah blah blah blah.") I PROMISE that if you respond "Not much, I'll probably take it easy" they aren't judging you or thinking you are boring.

I think that one of the worst things about being an anxious person is that we can become a little self-involved. Not in a "the world revolves around me" kind of way...more like how you constantly worry if people like you and think you're cool. A really great way to make friends is to become a good listener.
posted by cakelite at 2:13 PM on June 2, 2016 [10 favorites]

What I really want is a gaggle / gang of girlfriends who are there to support me.

First, I understand the desire for this, but you must know that the reason these kinds of books (and movies) are so popular with teenagers is that they resonate with teenage girls who DON'T have that, because this (generally) doesn't exist in the real world. Some people have close-knit groups of non-abusive teenage friends in our youth, but this isn't the norm. Having a few good friends (even friends who don't necessarily know or like one another) is much more the norm. I have five or six close friends. Two are guys, the rest girls. None have interacted with one another more than one or two occasions in 30 years. They're my peeps, but they aren't one another's peeps.

Second, and I *know* how hard this is to believe, but you are so, so young. I'm more than twice your age, and changing countries aside, my story is very much like yours. I was a loud, cheerful extrovert, had weird family stuff, was completely uncool when I was young, and was bullied. Now, I'm only slightly less loud, and entirely as extroverted, and I'm completely uncool, but 100% authentic, and the people who like and/or love me are disparate, and generally don't know one another, but they know me, and are good to me. It may take therapy (which I'm sure others will suggest), but honestly, being entirely, authentically YOU and not worrying about what others think (as long as you are baseline kind and polite, as it sounds like you are) will resonate with other authentic people.

Third, far more people have "bad childhood problems" than you know. Recently, a friend and I discussed people we knew from high school, all but one of whom (the exception who proves the rule) whom we assumed had idyllic childhoods but who were as (or more) miserable as (than) us.

Fourth, OMG, your last paragraph! Nobody except the TV/novel stereotypical teenage cheerleader/prom queen (by which, I don't mean the real cheerleaders in grownupland), care about what other people are doing on the weekends. 98% of the weekends, I'm on the web or reading and not hanging with other people, and my friends with kids or busy lives all seem a) incredibly envious that I'm not doing anything social (even though I, myself, often wish I were) and b) assume that my life is more glamorous/exciting than theirs. People don't judge except to think about their own lives and see where they feel they are lacking. Nobody cares what you're doing, and that's good! They're thinking about themselves, which is because the vast majority of the time, that's who people ARE thinking of.

So, there's nothing wrong with your life, per se, with the exception that it's not exactly the way you want it to be. But you're SUPERyoung, so you can slowly craft it to be the way you want. I'd definitely encourage therapy to find tools for being satisfied with yourself and not concerning yourself with other people. But constantly seeking reassurance is exhausting -- you can't keep asking for proof that other people like/love you, not because they don't, but because spending time with you isn't necessarily proof of their love, but of their priorities and availability. (And maybe your friends are introverts who are stressing because they think they're failing at friendship because THEY aren't social like you.) Insecurity exists within all of us, whether you see it or not. I'm proof (and many of us, I'm sure, are) that the combination you describe:

Not too many people seem to relate to the “Energetic Exhausting Extrovert + BAD childhood problems leading to severe insecurities + on-the-surface highly confident + super sensitive” concoction

exists. The only thing you may have to learn to do is not show the "super sensitive" part because nobody wants to feel guilty that they're not tending to their friend's supersensitivity when they're busy nurturing their own. Therapy + time will ease your tensions over all of this, but please trust this stranger on the internet that you're making up all sorts of rules for the way life "should" be rather than embracing ways to live the way life is. You'll get it...just give it time and learn some coping mechanisms for dealing with the real (non-Baby Sitter's Club) world. You'll get there, and eventually, you'll be happy with yourself, and you'll be able to recognize the people who are happy with you, too.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 2:39 PM on June 2, 2016 [4 favorites]

It’s hurtful when I’m always the one reaching out to try and make plans.

That's the part that's tripping you up. People don't need a sixth sense to see neediness. They can see you initiating all the time even when they show less interest.
The number one rule of how not to be needy is "don't initiate more than the other person."
If you were the last one to text/call/email, don't do it again until they've texted/called/emailed you. Don't offer more than they offer you. Don't talk more than they do. Obviously we don't live by a strict rule book but you should, at least for a while, because your instincts are off. Needy = needing aknowledgement so badly you ignore the rule of reciprocity.
posted by Omnomnom at 2:40 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm much lower on the energy scale than you are, but I can relate to wanting to belong somewhere (background about that and how I've dealt with it here).

I think it will help to work on reframing your expectations around friendship. The ideal group of girlfriends - not everyone has that, for sure. (For all kinds of reasons, e.g., they didn't go away for school/stay in a res, whatever). For me, it's usually worked out that I've had a few close friends - who usually don't know each other - and then a few different groups of acquaintances. Try not to compare yourself and your social life to other people and their social arrangements; it's just that things unfolded in different ways for them.

It's good that you're recognizing that you do have friends, now. You've been making changes, and it seems they're working :) Try to let go of that ideal, and appreciate the people who are in your life.

Look for ways to make the times you find yourself alone and not wanting to be more bearable. If you need to be around people, do more of that in the form of participating in more structured group activities (rec sports, that kind of thing). It's a cliche, but also pick up a solo hobby that genuinely engages you, to keep distracted - something that feels like a thing you're choosing to do.

As far as negotiating closeness, boundaries, intimacy, reassurance-seeking - it may be that you're right, that you are still asking for more than people feel comfortable giving, or that you're unaware of rules people are using. There are a lot of rules, it's true!

Are you asking people to give you feedback on your behaviour, or on other people's responses to you (e.g. "how did i __, there" or "do you think that person ____s me?", "does so and so like me?")? If so, yes, that is probably asking for too much, and may come across as self-involved or sort of "needy".

How soon after meeting people do you extend an invitation to meet? Do you ask more than once? How long do you wait before asking again? There's definitely a rhythm and pace to that sort of thing.

And there definitely is a cultural element to that. If you're in Canada - ime, the pace can be slooooow. And the rules can be confusing, maybe more so than in other places. The thing about us being polite, but not always actively friendly, about invitations being as clear as mud ("we should X sometime" or "sure, let's hang out") - I hear that from a lot of people who come here later in life, but I think Canadian etiquette can be difficult for people born here to parse, too. I'm not even sure I could fully describe our rules - I sort of just feel my way through them :/. (I mean, it's not like that in lots of other places. Some places, people meet you in the afternoon and invite you to their home for dinner that evening.) All that's to say it's not necessarily just you, things are a little more opaque here than elsewhere, and it may be that more clarity on the rules will help. Maybe people will be able to be more helpful with some examples of what you're talking about.

(An attempt (hopefully others will improve it) - "we should hang out sometime" = positive feeling, but not an actual invitation, don't necessarily wait for an invitation, or offer one at that point. Wait until you meet again in another context and build knowledge of each other that way. Specific invitations to specific events = real invitation. If you extend one invitation and it's not met with a response, it's their turn - hold back until the other person contacts you, either out of the blue, or in the context of them happening to run into you, and mentioning a thing that's going on. I think that's close to right? Not even sure.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 2:58 PM on June 2, 2016

Sorry for the rambling answer...

I'm an introvert and very different from you. I have only a few friends I see on a regular basis. And my favorite weekend plans are staying home and reading books. So no, I don't think that's lame. (I'm 28, so not so much older than you. But I'm married. I have a career I work hard at during the week and some weekends. I'm going to probably start grad school part time in a few months. I have a house/yard to maintain and keep up. I'm more than happy to stay in on the weekends and just be.)

I definitely had a "gaggle" of friends in high school, but after that, not so much. People move away. They have work. They date. They have their own schedules and you just sort of hang out with the friends you have when you have time to hang out with them. Or you just get to different parts of your life: I got married before a bunch of my friends, and so I stopped doing the singles thing. (It's OK, we've made some couple friends.) Or your friends start making more money and want to go to more expensive places than you, so you stop hanging out...

We have friends we have dinner with. We have friends we hang out with 1:1. We have friends where we only go to their parties. We have friends I play poker/D&D/board games with, etc. There's some overlap, but not a lot.

I have a very dear friend who is an extrovert and who has her insecurities (e.g. she gets sad and needs reassurances if her friends don't actively reach out to her). (But also, honestly, *everybody* has childhood problems.) As an introvert, I know I'm unable to give her as much time/energy as she would like. So we have to compromise or I get burnt out. This means mostly several things:

1. She has to have other friends and rotate between them to get the attention she needs.
2. She had to learn effective (e.g. not whiny and not passive aggressive/insecure) ways to state her needs. It's okay to text someone and say, "Hey, we haven't hung out in a while. Want to do something soon?" But obviously don't do this too much. For example, I'm (almost) always up for a phone conversation. But I limit my general hang-out-with-people events to 1 to 2 a week. (Not just for this friend, but total.) So seeing my friend once a week or once every week is actually a lot of time for me.

But quite honestly, a huge part of the reason that I'm friends with her is because we have a long shared history and she has helped me a lot in the past (in terms of personal growth). So I know that she is a good person, even if our personalities are not always the best matched. (I guess it's more like a sibling relationship.) In fact, every one of my friends bring something to the table. The extroverts usually: introduce me to new friends, connect me with cool activities I wouldn't do on my own, or generally have so much social grace that I just feel good in their presence. (I'm not really sure what I bring to the relationship, other than that I think they're awesome people and am willing to hang out with them.)

I think if you want to be friends with a bunch of people, you'd be better off throwing parties and inviting a bunch of people, rather than trying to spend time 1:1 with people. I have a friend who hosts a once-a-month thing where she invites 20-50 people. Not all of them show up. Sometimes only 1 or 2 people show up. And sometimes 50 people show up. But she is always in a good humor, her house is well decorated, and she makes really delicious food. Then, when some of those people invite you back, you can make your friendship closer.
posted by ethidda at 3:01 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Your story is so similar to mine, wuth difficulty connecting to people in childhood being a hard thing to get over. I could have written this myself. And I did, anonymously awhile back. I got the same type of "honestly nobody has friends, even me, and I have 8 best friends, stop trying too hard, try harder, nobody cares about anything or anyone" weird non-answers. Of course people have friends and it's not weird to want friends or to try to cultivate friendships. I don't have any actual advice except to say that you're not alone. And it's not weird, needy, delusional, or wrong to want to connect with people. Friendship isn't a marketing product.
posted by bleep at 3:06 PM on June 2, 2016 [4 favorites]

Hi rhythm_queen, I'm another mefite almost ten years older than you. I can relate to what you're describing in your post as always feeling unlikeable, insecure and lonely (especially the unlikable part, coming from childhood bullying and a dysfunctional homelife).

What I can say is (especially if you were systematically treated as though you were unlikable growing up by family and peers) is by now, a lot of those feelings are internalized -- which means they perpetuate themselves on their own. Ask me how I know. Sitting alone at home? I feel crappy because I'm alone and no one must like me. Completing a challenging project? I feel doubtful that it's not crap, and it doesn't matter because no one would ever like me for it anyway. Get a great promotion at work? "If only they knew me, they're never like me enough to give me this..." and on and on it goes. I strongly agree with John Bradshaw who suggests that our brains record 1000's of hours of these messages, which automatically fire on their own (from even the most vague but familiar stimuli), essentially replaying and replaying long after the sources of the abusive messages are gone. It was a really difficult shift for me to realize *I* was actually wasting hours of my adult life, feeling the crappy feelings of crappy people who hated themselves (and it was not a life sentence the universe had unilaterally imposed on me to never know the happiness of self-acceptance).

My advice: do not feel ashamed about your lack of happiness or neediness of others to cultivate it. Instead, cultivate mindfulness, be observant of these feelings, and adjust the reins accordingly by speaking back to yourself what you genuinely need to hear (irregardless of what others might think). If you're putting in 110% when you can see the other person is only giving 90%, scale it back. Don't let yourself (or your inner child) settle for someone who will not prioritize windows of 100% to spend with you. That's the sign of someone who isn't enjoying (or available to enjoy, no blame needed) the full presence of your company. If that's easier said than done, I strongly suggest learning to re-parent those feelings so that you don't have to continue experiencing happiness as depending on the intervention of others. If you can learn to treat yourself like your own company is 100% for you, you'll feel less 'needy' for others -- because, in part, you'll learn to meet your own needs for approval.

You say people are telling you you're likeable -- yay! Hear me when I say the piece that's missing for you is where internally you go "yes, I know" from all the years of positive reinforcement you deserved to have growing up (I get this, I really do, I'm very pretty and talented but was never treated that way by family, in childhood and well into adulthood. I know the 'loser' part in me is the part that was simply not celebrated enough for being someone special, so I work with a severely limited database for how to respond when someone sees and appreciates my gifts -- THAT's the missing gap in my emotional interplay with others. Once upon a time I cared greatly about this, but now if someone wants to reject me because they felt the inner child energy of my childhood deficit for loving approval and attention, I really could. not. give. a. f*ck anymore). Even though you have gifts that people can see, you don't behave with the experience of someone who has lived their life enjoying those gifts -- and that is truly the result of the systematic emotional deficit of your childhood, which you had no control over.

The good news is you can re-parent these developmental gaps yourself, through the energy of your own 'gregarious' personality. Your personality suits you for a reason, and next to that there's isn't any good reason why you shouldn't enjoy it. You're so relatively young compared to me and some of the other commenters here -- I strongly encourage you to learn to enjoy your personality, free from what others think. Consider it an investment in your own happiness where, if in ~5-10 years you wind up attracting a well-balancing, well-matching, equally gregarious personality into your life, it will have been well worth it. Good luck!
posted by human ecologist at 3:32 PM on June 2, 2016 [9 favorites]

Reading your question I was so impressed by the things you have accomplished, the friendships you've established, the cool and interesting things you are doing (improv, acting, etc). So to start off, I think you should have great faith in yourself that you are on the right track, going the right direction, and doing very positive things.

Acting and similar pursuits sound great. A therapist talked to me a long time ago about positive ways to get attention, and performance has turned out to be one of those things for me. Despite being rather shy, it feels great to do a good job and to feel appreciated by the audience. So I say keep after that. You might also look into volunteer opportunities that require a lot of face-to-face interaction and energy.

It sounds like you understand your personality pretty well, but you may find that if you can address your anxiety and insecurity your need for interaction may change to some degree. You'll probably always be an extrovert, but it might not always feel so uncomfortable to be quiet or even a bit lonely.

Another thing you might think about is self-soothing. This is something that helps me: in my 20s I used to call all my friends when I was feeling sad, insecure, or lonely. Now I *might* complain to my friends, but I also have the experience now to know that 1) it's just a shitty mood, it will pass 2) I can do things to alter my mood. Meditate, exercise, watch something funny or comforting.

Be patient with yourself. We are all works in progress, and learning how to live in a way that best suits one's personality and interests is something that everyone has to figure out. Good luck to you!
posted by bunderful at 4:02 PM on June 2, 2016 [4 favorites]

I want to address what bleep said about the "nobody has friends" answers. The phenomenon of having lots of friends isn't some Facebook-fuelled fallacy, especially for younger people. Many people have close, enduring friendships with a handful of people, even well after they leave school. You're 24, so lots of your peers will be only a couple years out of undergrad and not enough time has passed for their undergrad social circles to have disintegrated. And yes, if you live in a hipster playground city, there is a fair bit of social value attached to having interesting weekend outing stories to tell at the water cooler. I'm not saying this to discourage you - please keep reading.

What you're missing is that these groups of friends don't and can't meet each other's social and emotional needs 100% on-demand, all the time, forever and ever. In a lot of cases, people who do have lots of friends can feel as lonely as you do. And that deeper. darker stuff you're dealing with? It's not always stuff that you should work through in even the closest friendships. The best case scenario from a group of friends is that you get a nice warm fuzzy feeling of belonging - not that you get a group of free therapists. It's not wrong for you to want friends, but it is kind of wrong to want a situation where you're taking more than you're in a position to give.

I'm 30, I've been where you are. One of the things I remember about being 24 is that it's around the time that a lot of the people around me started expecting a bit more emotional health from the people they befriended. The bottom line is that as your peer group ages, you'll find people who are more comfortable with vulnerability, but everyone gets way less tolerant about perceived neediness or anxiety-masquerading-as-self-involvement. While everyone finds it more difficult to make friends as they age, it's that post-grad uptick in maturity and discrimination that makes it especially difficult for people with social anxiety to make and maintain friendships as they enter their mid-20s. Us anxious people aren't bad people, but we're more than most people want to deal with, TBH. Getting a handle on that anxiety is really important for developing healthy relationships with people who aren't going to be constantly worried that you'll drop a Feelings Bomb on them at an inopportune moment.

As difficult as an answer this is, people will want to make room in their lives for fun, interesting people who come across as though they have a handle on their own stuff. A big part of this is not seeking reassurance from people, which frankly, is a sure-fire way to make people distance themselves from you. It also means finding ways to fulfil your life that you can share with people. It sounds like you're making great strides towards building the life you want, you just need to learn to self-soothe so that you can share all that awesomeness with awesome people.
posted by blerghamot at 4:11 PM on June 2, 2016 [7 favorites]

First I want to say that I already think you are doing an amazing job. I recognized your username right away, because I've read your previous questions and really identified with that late-adolescent/early twenties sense of neediness and wanting to be validated by the people around you. That is a really, really, really common thing to experience, especially if you didn't get it socially as a kid. But you seem to have made a lot of progress in just the last year, so please do recognize this as the victory and progress it is.

I have been somewhat where you are. Well into my twenties, I looked to friends for validation and banked my sense of self-worth on whether or not I had plans on a given weekend. I also had some trouble holding onto certain friendships because of this. In my case, it's always been easy for me to make friends, but keeping them was a bit harder.

What helped? I probably should have gone to a therapist much earlier than I did (I waited until my thirties) but in the meantime, what helped the most was a few things:

1. I started focusing less on whether or not people liked me but how I felt about them and the friendship. Did I genuinely enjoy their company? Did I have fun with them? Did I like how they treated me? I started focusing more on the friendships where the answer was an emphatic yes and less on those where it was more like "ehhhh."

2. I started feeling more competent and accomplished in other areas of my life, which made me feel less reliant on friends to make me feel good about myself. For me, finding a career that I loved helped a lot with that. I know other people who have gotten this from yoga, or hobbies, or whatever. Basically, finding things you can accomplish yourself.

3. I faked confidence a lot. This is a tricky one - you don't want to build up such a wall of bravado that you prevent intimacy with friends. BUT it was really useful for me to realize that my friends could not actually make me feel better about myself, or quell my anxiety, or whatever. Having strong friendships can help with those things, but it's not my friends' responsibility to manage my self-esteem.

I think this last bit is where you have to kind of feel people out. If you tell them about some anxiety you're feeling, do they respond sympathetically, or do they address it and then try to move on? If it's the latter, then that might be more of a "good times" friend. Are you always the one texting to make plans? Then they might not be into being your new BFF (which might just be because they are overstretched or an introvert who only needs one or two close friends or whatever).

I think friendships are all about energy, and finding people whose energy matches or complements yours, and being able to adjust your energy to blend with other people's. Sometimes you meet someone and you're on the exact same wavelength, or your wavelengths work together naturally, and it's great. But more often, you have to adjust to the other person. Is this something you do?

Finally, I just want to say that it's not unrealistic to have a group of friends. It's definitely something that can happen, and 24 is certainly not too old! But it's also not the only way to have a satisfying social life. If you are a high-energy, extroverted person, such a group might actually be stifling for you. So don't stake your happiness on it.
posted by the essence of class and fanciness at 8:29 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have not actually read this, but I've seen it recommended a bunch specifically for women seeking meaningful friendships with other women/groups of women: Friendships Don't Just Happen!: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriends Maybe it will help!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:14 AM on June 3, 2016

I was thinking more about your question today. I think I know some very successful and interesting people who might identify to some degree with your personality as you describe it. I think one way they make this work for them is by showering others with the warmth and attention they want for themselves. They kind of create a karmic circle of support and appreciation that keeps giving back. I'm sure not everyone responds to it, but many do. And it may be trickier than it looks from my quiet, introverted vantage point.
posted by bunderful at 6:15 PM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

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