I hear it all the time from patients. I try to live it. “Friendly.” It’s a great thing to be called, right? Friendly. Who wouldn’t want to be known as friendly?
Except how can such a “friendly” person have no friends?
Okay, okay, I have friends. Mostly out-of-town/out-of-state/international friends (most of whom I’ve never met) but I have friends. So, I guess at least my Internet presence is friend-worthy? It’s not really something I’ve ever fully understood.
How else am I supposed to make friends if being friendly isn’t enough? People smile when they see me, they say they enjoy working with me or hanging out with me, but that’s it. Once I’m out of their presence, I’m a nonentity. I exist, perhaps, as “that nice girl at work” or something, but that’s it. Once the clock is punched, I return home and recede back into the Web. I become an avatar, a profile photo, a smiling face next to the funny post that’s just funny enough to like but not funny enough to engage.
Maybe it’s a wrong place, wrong time kind of deal. I’m never the type of person that other people want to hang out with now, as I am and as they are, but if I was my younger self or if they were their older it would work out? I don’t know. It’s just so damn frustrating.
I want to hang out with people. But other people have lives. They have kids, families, other friends. Their puzzle pieces are already all put together and mine are strewn about, still searching for matches. I’ve got the corners all sorted and I’ve found the edges, but it seems the middle is just a jumble. I’m not even sure all these pieces are from the same puzzle. I want friends to hang out with but I’m too shy to ask if anyone wants to hang out with me? What are those two pieces even doing in the same box?
I just don’t know anymore. Being friendly clearly isn’t enough. Nice isn’t enough.
But what is?