I have a problem.
I don’t see myself as a very social person- not because I don’t like talking to people, but because I generally somehow manage to put people off before they even get talking to me. I have few friends, and even then I’m not so sure they really consider me a friend.
I used to think that I had a different way of living, and that I didn’t need to have my friends wish me elaborately on Instagram on my birthday, or go out with me every weekend and take tons of pictures, or just stay in contact every now then. I didn’t think any of that was necessary to maintain a friendship, until I started getting on more social media.
When I really started paying attention to social media- especially Facebook and Instagram, I had this sinking feeling post the realisation that I might be living in a world of my own, and that my friends don’t actually care about me.
Let me tell you a little story.
All through my school life, I struggled to belong to a group of friends. In India, there’s no real classification of kids as “jocks”, “nerds” and other groups that are so brazenly spoken about on television, but rather just groups of people who could tolerate each other’s company and genuinely liked spending time together. I generally found myself being the runt of these groups. I was quiet, awkward, and not very confident of myself in terms of my looks. I, however, was pretty bossy and loud in my younger years, and while I still feel a little lost in certain social situations, I feel like I’ve largely left that behind over the years.
When I got to middle school, I completely gave up on finding a gang because no matter what I did, I always ended up the unwanted one and I couldn’t understand what was going on. I was always eager to give a friendship my all but nobody seemed interested in what I had to offer. I had a good friend from 8th grade through to 10th grade and at that point, this was the only friend I ever hung out with.
Once we went to separate classes in high school, I found myself alone all over again. I’d been nice enough that people wouldn’t spurn me right off the bat when I went to go talk to them, but not so much that they’d actually let me sit with them for lunch. I had many lunches alone in my two years of high school and honestly, it was not the best period of my life mentally.
I kept waiting to get out of high school, hopeful I’d move to a new city for college and start afresh, because people generally enter college alone when they’re moving out, and that along with crazy hostel nights or exploration would help me forge new friendship.
Alas, nothing fell through and the two or three people I had considered close friends up until then ended up going to college out of the state, or out of the country. They have had amazing experiences this year and have made great friends. I’ve stayed in touch with one, mildly in touch with another and have had major differences with the third.
I’m stuck here in local college where hoards of people enter along with their high school friends and stick to the same group, where it’s super awkward to enter. I made a couple of friends who turned out to be more hostile than friendly, so I ended my first year at college feeling completely dejected and lonely.
Adding salt to that injury is all of social media. I see people who’ve been friends since their young age tagging each other on Facebook, people who’ve been friends for two years having become so close knit you couldn’t separate them with wild horses, I’ve seen my own friends having formed strong bonds with people I don’t even know and having the time of their lives while I come back home after college each day and just…sit.
I don’t know how often I need to talk to someone in order to feel like they’re my friend. I’m worried that at this point, never mind having someone to sit with at lunch, I probably won’t even have someone to turn to when I really need help.
I’m scared shitless and I’m afraid I’ll just stay alone. I’ve tried really hard to make friends with new people but I always have this anticipation that it won’t end up being anything. I don’t know whether the standards are improper or whether I’m just a weed in a garden.
Everyone who I would’ve considered a friend has left the city and I’m here alone. I have texted the ones I’m closer to but they never bother to initiate contact. I don’t know what I’ve done wrong. I don’t mind making the first move when I need to speak to someone, but it gets really lonely and hurtful when none of my friends bother to text me first. Am I being nitpicky or am I missing out on life?
I know the solution is just to keep trying until I succeed but is it too much to ask for that I find one friend whom I connect with instantly? Everyone around me seems to be making friends easily, but I keep finding myself having to put so much effort, and I swear I’ve never been rude. I don’t know what it is but I feel like I put people off. I’ve ruminated about this over and over and over again.
One of my friends’ other friends literally tore us apart on purpose, and later confessed to me that she was afraid I’d steal her friend away.
I feel like that awkward character in a sitcom that everyone makes fun of but nobody really considers a friend, or really cares for. That’s a subject I want to talk about another day though.
Maybe throwing open my problems to the internet will help me find a new perspective. I know that everybody has issues, but I’m just confused. I’m worried and really insecure. I’ve had so many of my friends tell me that when they first met me, they didn’t like me at all and that they feel differently now.
I guess I just needed to rant. I guess I needed a little advice. I guess I needed a little perspective. I guess I need to stop whining. I don’t want to die as somebody who nobody cared about, that’s all.