The Quarter-Life Crisis of Making Friends

BUILD ON IT

I took a Myers-Briggs personality test once three times and got the same result each time; INFP, or in other words, the Mediator. It sounds like some astral being of greater importance or the off-off-off Broadway version of some highly underrated X-Men character. But really, it basically means you’re socially fucked in the friendship department. To do a quick review of INFP’s…

Naturally, we are more reserved and private personalities that keep the friendship circle small and just as exclusive. We keep to ourselves and fall in the middle of the world’s singular line; we are the meridian of the personalities and, therefore, want to selflessly please the people we choose to be close to.

Sooo. I don’t completely disagree with this, but I will say that my socially awkwardness and quietness dangerously borderlines along Clay Jensen (13 Reasons Why) levels. Along with our more reserved levels of social presence comes with the pensive, creative brains that most INFP’s are equipped with. *hair toss* Check √.

Oh! We’re supposed to be super modest, too, and really hate compliments. I totally vibe with this. But I feel like my *hair toss* kind of contradicts this statement. A N Y W A Y S.

Being thoroughly enlightened on why I am the way I am and the crazy friend to the few I am close with, and believe me, if you’ve never taken a Myers-Briggs personality test, I highly recommend, I did my own little experiment on them! Nervous yet, friends?

I shared the same website I used so those friends could take the same test and we’d compare answers. Both that I experimented (P.S. you ladies are both lovely, thank you) received the SAME RESULT. All being a part of this “4%” of the population, this felt like a rarity. But does it really surprise you? It didn’t me, once I thought on it for a solid three minutes.

INFP’s heard together. And I will forever continue to not make friends by introducing my heard to potential friends by dropping the hottest new opening line since Jason DeRulo singing “Jason DeRulo” before every track of his. My new fire? “These my sheeps.”

But on actually making friends. This is fucking hard, rolling up on my mid-twenties here. Rarely do we keep friends from high school. Most find new friends in college. I have, like, one person I still talk to from high school and I sure as hell didn’t get the Fully Monty of college experiences at community college. I didn’t even finish community college.

So how do you make friends? For me, it was work since I’m a bona fide workaholic and don’t stalk the bars or multitude of “Thirsty Thursdays” around here in the ‘burgh.

Usually, and dangerously so, I used to make friends by befriending whoever my current boyfriend’s friends were. Try saying that sentence four times fast. Woof.

But they choose their obvious loyalties when things fallout in the end. No one’s sticking around the newcomer, duh, and I don’t blame them for that either! I would totally question their loyalty if they followed the break-ee rather than the breaker. And then you’re at square one searching “how to perform basic social functions” on Google.

A few things I learned while growing into my own socially awkward self and the social stress of making new friends. It takes me back to high school musical theater class where I discovered something necessary to acquire during initial friendliness and that I am equally trash at doing well; Improvisation. 

Improvising is important to new friendships because, really, how are you supposed to casually strike a conversation with a total stranger?

Being a mediator, I overthink until my teeth start to itch. Or either that’s the copious amounts of coffee I drink everyday. Either way, I stress hardcore over kindling conversations with new people. There’s an intensely conflicting side of me, though, that puts me in a weird position in these situations.

I LOVE MEETING NEW PEOPLE.

I love listening, really, to their stories and getting to know them. Instead of people watching and making up possible stories and scenarios of their lives from afar, I can actually do myself a solid and physically hear, from their own mouth, what they’re about. However, people watching actually helps me achieve this initial improvisation of beginning friendships. It makes me sound like a stalker, but I swear it’s not in that way at all.

True to the INFP personality type, I observe everything and everyone, without judgement. That last part is my own personal flare I use as a necessary moral standard in today’s messy society.

It’s a little silent icebreaker that I do for myself in order to break down hesitation from the simple concept of social engagement. If their actions seem open enough, I will try to make a funny or interject with light conversation until we can start talking about the weather (ugh), more funnies (preferable, except I’m barely funny), politics (which I generally try to avoid like the plague because I don’t need more anxiety than I already have), or basic interests (this is super safe and the easiest way to break the ice, for me at least).

What has helped me most during this initial state of friendliness? Simply being kind.

Do you know how far kindness goes in today’s world? It’s phenomenal. Even though, sometimes I feel we lack it, there is kindness everywhere. Especially in today’s social distress, if we lead into new and unknown things, people, and places, we can achieve a lot more than just your basic “Hi” passing in the streets.

Also, grow some balls and break out of your comfortable Netflix cocoon you spent all winter building into the social butterfly your lil heart wants so desperately.

Improvise, be open, be honest, be kind, and grow some damn balls. 

Figure out what works for you. Not everyone can follow the same “diet” plan. Find your own and work out the kinks till it works for you.

P.S. Make sure to check out the songs  at the end of each blog! They’re handpicked and tailored for each post. Who doesn’t want to feed their feels, anyways? 😉

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