topics:
Friendship

Our closest couple friends just drove away from our house.  For the last time.

Greg and Caroline have only been here two years and are already moving states away.  Lucky for me we have the internet. But, Caroline left me with much more than funny memories of battery operated toothbrushes for a science fair and plans to hang out with our husbands at the cottage.  Caroline, my introverted friend taught me how to be intentional about friendship.

I thought about it the other day and it’s kind of embarrassing but about 90% of my friends here in town came about somehow from knowing both Caroline and Greg. These two are like epoxy for people.  You can read more about how Greg thinks about friends here it’s worth the click.  But right now I want to tell you about a few things I learned from Caroline…also known as::

Lessons I learned about friendship from a fellow introvert.

Within weeks of moving here Caroline sent an email out to all of the women who were student leaders {her husband was the new student pastor at our church} and all of the wives of the men who were student leaders {that would be me}.  I remember thinking “Wow, what a go-getter, proactive, thing to do, I bet this girl is a major extrovert, she’s gonna think I’m weird and quiet.” Much to my surprise, Caroline turned out to be a mellow, laid back, use-her-words-sparingly-and-wisely kind of person.  I was instantly drawn to her because she didn’t try to pretend she had a big personality, she was perfectly comfortable with who she was.

As time passed she initiated more get togethers.  She sent out emails to the group about dinner and movies, hay rides and a cookie exchange. I assumed she must love planning things and going to get togethers–I’m always amazed that people like that exist.  Which brings me to my first lesson in friend making.

If you want friends you have to spend time with people you don’t know, in order to get to know them so that they can be your friends.

I know what you are thinking–that’s obvious.  It is obvious.  But it’s really hard to do for some of us.  Ok, for me.

Just the other day I found out how much Caroline dreaded going to that cookie exchange–the one she planned– two years ago. I remember dreading going too.  But I went and I was glad I did. However, I was shocked and also oddly thrilled to find out that the planner of the event was dreading it as well.  I’ve always assumed that the people who plan stuff like cookie exchanges are all hopped up on how fun it is to be surrounded by a group of women that don’t necessarily know each other that well.  Hmmm, maybe people put the effort to plan something not because that thing is their idea of fun, but because they know the outcome will be worth it. It was worth it for Caroline to plan something because she knew that the risk and awkwardness would one day pay off with friends.

The fact is for some of us it seems like to risky a chore to initiate but, I’m learning that if I want friends, it’s worth the risk.

I snagged all these square photos from Caroline’s instagram stream. lovely. aren’t they?

I noticed one other thing about Caroline that I thought I’d share::

Say yes

Caroline said “yes” to pretty much everything I asked her to do with me.  Dinner? Sure. I’m having a Blessings Unlimited Gathering at my house want to come? Yep. Wanna go to I heart Thirfting Day with me? and by the way we are all gonna wear this same T-shirt?  Sure. Wanna go to the pool with our kids? Ok. How about we both go to the Relevant Conference and we have to take a plane which we both hate? M’kay.  Want to go to the cottage for the weekend with us right after you were gone away from your four children the weekend before?  We’re in.

Relevant Conference with Nester, Tiny Twig, Melissa, Caroline, Melissa and Ellen

Caroline reminded me that sometimes all it takes to make time for friends is to say Yes.  I never say yes to something I really don’t want to do but, I won’t say “no” just because it’s uncomfortable for me.  Especially if I’m in a season of needing to make friends.

Even though I’m an introvert, I still love people, I just hate the small talk it can sometimes take that leads to the big talk that leads to real friendship.  I’m really grateful to Caroline for showing me how to be true to my introverted self while making friends.

***

For this year one of my goals is to set up some “automatic ways” to put myself in friendship building situations, I’ll be glad to tell you more than you want to know about that in my next post here at (in)courage.  What about you? Am I the only sorry person who makes friendship goals?

comments:
share:
  • http://godsgracefulness.com Godsgracefulness.com

    I love this article.
    I love making friends. I am intentional about making friends too! “hey, want to go shopping? Want to hang out? Coffee date?” These are things girls love to do and always say yes to!! It’s how I made friends! And getting invited to events and attending them even if I feel like I don’t belong, but as soon as I am there I have tons of fun and meet all kinds of people only to come home with more people requesting to be friends on facebook!
    “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

    My 2012 goal is to find “quality” friends and KEEP them! Being more intentional with dates.

  • Felicity

    Ooooo. I’m very interested to know how to deliberately make friends. We moved over the summer away from my family and where I grew up, and with a little one I have struggled to make friends.

    So I am very intrigued for your next post! And relieved to know that it is not just me.

  • http://www.fullersquotidian.blogspot.com/ Jamie

    I also struggle with saying “yes” to things and dreading going to events, even if I know I”ll have a good time once I get there. It takes a lot of energy to be out and among people if you’re an introvert!

    Thanks for posting this timely reminder as we head into a new year and a perfect time for a fresh start and new focus!

  • http://ajoyrenewed.blogspot.com/ Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)

    I love this post. I am naturally an introvert but like you said I LOVE people and so enjoy my close friendships. I agree – I just don’t care for all the small talk it takes to get to the real talk that leads to lasting friendships. But all that small talk is SO worth it. My husband is much more of an extrovert and he really pushes me (in a good way) to get outside my box, say YES to invites, etc. We are a great balance. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://thenester.com the nester

      Oh Brittnie, my husband is a major MAJOR extrovert too. Sometimes, I just let him make friends, then I stalk his friend’s wives–it’s never steered me wrong. And, that’s another reason why Caroline was such an easy friend, our husbands were close first so it was a no brainer! Glad to know there are more introvert girls married to extrovert men!

  • Pingback: Friendship()

  • Christie

    I am an introvert. I am afraid my girls will be introverts. I always say yes to going places and immediately regret it. I often wonder if maybe I was just meant to be a loner.

    • http://thenester.com the nester

      I always immediately dread the fact that I said yes too. In the same way that I dread taking a shower and having to dry my hair. But I’ve yet to regret taking a shower and I’ve yet to regret putting in the effort to make friends. Even though it’s a pain at times.

      • Dwan

        Thanks so much for the posting…as an introvert this resonates with me. Making friends does not come easy and I so appreciate the wise words and encouragement and look forward to 2012 and new friends!

        Dwan

        • http://brokenandspilled.blogspot.com Tanya Swartzentruber

          Feeling it with ya ladies. Especially because the people around me are introverts too. And with such a busy schedule…it’s so hard to not regret making time for something “fun.”

  • ~VA~

    This post was a great reminder to put myself out there! You’re definitely not the only one making friendship goals…My biggest goal right now is to say hi to the friends I do have when I see them…(I’m a bit socially anxious, so on a good day I can parrot back my “conversation script” (hi, how are you…) but on a bad day even just commenting on a blog post is a challenge)

  • http://www.candacemercyisnew.blogspot.com Candace

    Oh I needed this post. In fact I even think it might have been part of the answer to my prayers. I have struggled so in this area…and sometimes I haven’t even been sure why…but I think a huge part of it is that I am introvert and feel so BAD at the small talk thing. But I have been praying about my friendships and I think I need to do more of what you have outlined in this post. Thank you for the encouragement…I have no doubt that Gid wanted me to read this today.

  • http://www.candacemercyisnew.blogspot.com Candace

    God wanted me to read it, not Gid whoever that is. :)

  • Greta

    This is perfect. You described my feelings exactly, and people are so drawn to you it makes me laugh a bit that you feel like this too.

    I plan plan plan but do not like it. In the end it is always worth the friendships and time spent together. Love you Nester! And love Caroline as well… :( hopefully they’ll move back sooner than later.

    • http://thenester.com the nester

      Greta, you are SUCH a good planner. And you are glue to. Friendship glue. I love you, friend.

  • http://anestinthemaking.wordpress Kristi G

    Friendship goals? Ha! Of course, the 2 people I consider true friends were both roommates in college (All forced and sometimes uncomfortable social situations)… I can’t wait for your next post!

  • Heather

    I loved this post. I am an extrovert who loves doing pretty much anything and I will talk to anyone, anywhere, including the wall if no one responds. It’s just who I am. However much like an introvert, I find it difficult to meet people, make friends. I don’t know if people are put off by me (I’m not over the top) or what they think, but it is rare that I ever walk away from a gathering with a possible friendship to work on. I don’t overly try to gain people’s attention, but I’m at a loss as to what to do. I am who I am and I don’t want to be someone I’m not. Because of this I hesitate contacting anyone because I fear I’ll just put them off even more. I’m so desperate for some women friends. . . I have maybe 2 or 3 at most and none live in the same state. Makes it very difficult when you have babies and no support system, too. . . not to mention the nonexistent social life and no one to go to for advice. What I wouldn’t give to have a group of friends like yours! You are truly blessed!

    • http://thenester.com the nester

      Heather, last year one of my 3 or 4 goals was to make friends. It took a year. It took me going out when I’d rather stay home and taking a shower when I wanted to stay in my pj’s and bake cookies. I still struggle with initiating but it’s been so worth it to get to know these girls that were right under my nose for the last few years.

    • Ann

      Heather – I feel the exact same way. It’s really difficult. The extrovert in me wants friends so bad it hurts, but it has been really, really hard to make new ones in the last year. I think feeling rejected from some people who I tried to become friends with has made me timid about reaching out to new people. I have to remind myself that it is worth the risk.

  • http://www.recipestorunon.com/ Kim ~ Recipes To Run On

    I love this post because I SO get it. Yes I need to push myself to develop more and deeper friendships. When you move, or when life is busy {isn’t it always}… it can definitely feel like a chore. But oh the payback is so rewarding. Looking forward to your future posts on how you are doing this.

  • http://www.remodelingthislife.com emily@remodelingthislife

    I am such an introvert so i loved this. I love bring invited to things, even planning things because i know that’s the only way to get past the small talk that i so dread. Seriously despise. But when friendships get past that and really get good, i am reminded why i say yes and go out of my comfort zone. I love this, nester. It made me smile.

  • http://www.tarahlowry.blogspot.com tara

    love this post, Nester!
    I needed it.
    We just moved back to Georgia, and I NEED to be intentional about making new friends.
    Most people would say I’m an extrovert, but the older I’ve gotten, the more introverted I feel.

    You’ve inspired me to get off my can and make new friends!!!!

  • http://Ap2ch.blogspot.com Jen @ a place 2 call home

    What a great post nester! I’m totally in this weird place. I have a one year old daughter and I’m a stay at home mom. I joined a moms group with 171 moms online that live in the area. I post at least one meetup once a month at my house, and ill attend others if they are in the right age group. Even though it’s awkward I’ve learned I totally love hosting, and I’m waiting for those special friendships. Because I’d like to be friends with someone based on a real connection, not just our children’s ages. What I’ve noticed is if the group is too big like 10-8 women it becomes several small conversations, it’s best to keep it to 4-6 women so everyone can be apart of the same conversation. That way there’s less awkwardness, it feels more natural and I feel it’s easier to connect. But that’s just when you all don’t know each other that well. And I’m like some weird hybrid, I’m a total homebody but when I go to something I’m very social. I need to say yes more like Caroline, lesson learned!

    • http://thenester.com the nester

      Such great observations Jen with the number for a group~good stuff.

  • http://www.holleygerth.com Holley

    Oh, girl, I could relate to this post. Every. Word. Sighing with relief to myself (because that’s what introverts do). Thanks and love you and auto correct just tried to change “because” in the last sentence into “bra abuse.” Ah, the mysteries of life and friendship.

    • http://thenester.com the nester

      bra abuse. enough said.

  • Lisa~A Cottage To Me

    You so just described ME! I have friends….I just choose not to make time for them. Always something else I could do, too much work to make the effort. Do I need them, sure, but do I want to make the effort to something with them…NO! Easier to just chat on occasion on the phone, then to meet up somewhere and actually have to make conversation face to face! Hmmm…..maybe I need to get out of my introverted schlump I’m in.

  • http://michelle-starling@ymail.com Michelle Starling

    Thanks for sharing this. I am not an extrovert either and usually am very uncomfortable in new surroundings. As always you encourage and your friend definitely sounds like a precious jewel.

  • http://itwasbroughtonbylove.blogspot.com Southern Gal

    My husband is an introvert so it makes it hard to do the couple thing with his work schedule. I think a goal to develop friendships in the coming year is a great and wise one. I loved reading this. So many great ideas. Just say yes!

    • Heather

      My husband is an introvert, I am the extrovert. He has absolutely no friends at all and like you, I too would lo e to do a couples night out but I fear that it wouldn’t work for many reasons. Something I need to work on for sure.

  • Amy E.

    OK, here’s my two cents. I am an introvert, but I love people. I will clam up in a crowd, but feel much more comfortable one-on-one because I just love to get to know people. I have found that I have a few REALLY good friends that really know me, and lots of friends who only really know a bit of me. And that’s ok. When I just let God handle things, He has put awesome, deep people in my life. When I stress and fret about friendships, I get nowhere and feel lonely. Also, doesn’t this topic about being intentional and moving toward friendships mirror our walk with the Lord? The word for me lately has been “seek”…I must move and seek Him. What keeps us from moving? fear? I want to risk it and not let fear control me. I want to say yes and move, to friends and to the Lord.

  • Karen

    Wow, this one really hit home. I am also an introvert who loves to plan parties but not so big on socializing.. Sometimes I wish I could just do all the prep and planning and then sit in a corner and watch everyone enjoy themselves! I’m really looking forward to reading your future posts on building friendships. Thanks, Nester!

    • Andy

      Wow, this sounds like me, but I’ve never heard anyone else express this sentiment out loud!! I too love the idea of having gatherings at my house, but sometimes wish I could simply serve everyone and observe them enjoying themselves. I think most people would say I’m fairly social, but it’s not always comfortable for me. It depends on the particular situation and season of my life.

  • http://www.blazonproductions.com AnnieO

    Introvert here as well. Having kids has helped me come out of my comfort zone – with 2 boys, you *have* to go to the park or for a bike ride at least once a day – and there are people outside! People who aren’t afraid to talk. And after much practice, I’ve actually initiated the conversations and been very happy that I took that leap.

    So I clicked over to Greg’s site to read what he had to say about friendships (a man’s perspective is sometimes so different from a woman’s – not in this case though!). And the similarities made me smile….. we too live just one road away from Huntersville, and have an 11-yr old son named Gunnar. At least that would have been a conversation-starter!

    I’m sorry that you’ll be missing your friends. But it’s always nice to have people to visit, even if you have to ride on a plane…..

  • Hope

    Love all the thoughts here. This piece is so well timed. My biggest comfort in life is finding that “it’s not just me.”

    • Megan

      Ditto.

    • http://www.abstractsmixedwithextracts.com amy

      I could not agree more.

  • http://www.fieldstonehilldesign.com Darlene

    I needed every word of this. Thank you, sweet Nester.

    I cannot explain how I resonated with the comment that you made: “I just hate the small talk it can sometimes take that leads to the big talk that leads to real friendship.” I am filled with fear over saying the wrong thing during the small talk… that sometimes I never make it past that, and I don’t take risks in the small talk. Hmmm. I will be thinking on that one.

    Say yes. Take the risk. I will be stewing on this……..

    Hugs! and Thank you!

  • http://madreminutes.blogspot.com Barbara Collins

    I would have to say you are not “a sorry person” for making friendship goals. My husband and I make them all the time knowing we need to reach out to people we want to be friends with, we are friends with and even people who have rubbed us wrong knowing that it’s all part of His plan for us to Love one another. I am saying Yes more often these days as I walk through breast cancer treatment cause saying Yes say’s “I’m in”.
    Thanks for the post.
    Kindest regards,
    Barbara†
    @madreminutes

  • Angie

    Thanks for the reminder to be intentional. We desperately need friends! But I do dread every social thing that we go to or plan. Thanks for sharing that it’s okay to dread it. I’m an extroverted introvert. It’s all a stretch for me!!

  • Terry

    This was a great story, as I am a MAJOR introvert. I’ve had to pretend not to be because of my job. I’ve found I really don’t like or even trust most people. When I tend to make friends (maybe I make them too quickly because I don’t have many), they usually end up betraying me somehow or for some reason, even if its just a joke I’ve tried to make. Everyone we know are just co-workers and we have no family within 3 hours of where we live. Both my husband and I being supervisors at work, you can’t be ‘friends’ with your co-workers. I learned that the hard way. Thanks for the story, maybe it’ll help some day.

    • http://thenester.com the nester

      Oh yes, PRETENDING!!! That is actually something I do too~especially at conferences, blogging conferences are hard but also easy because I get to be “The Nester” and she seems to be more of an introvert that me and my weird named self.

      Does that make any sense? That sounds so weird.

      • Leigh

        I’m an intorvert, and I have a “weird” name too. I feel like people have a hard time getting to know me partly because they can’t even remember my name! (Leigh is just a “screen name” I’ve adopted for online use.) I do love my name, but often I think that if I had a more common name, I might be a little more open and easier to get to know.

  • http://www.mommakristi.com Kristi

    I’m really looking forward to your next post!! Thank you for sharing this!!

  • Sarah

    Thank you so much, Nester, for this post. I am an introvert too, and I have a terrible time making small talk that is involved in getting to know people/building relationships. Sometimes it comes to the point that is scares me to death to go up and talk to a person (I know they don’t bite!). Thanks for reminding me that building friendships is a skill I must learn. I think I’m gonna bookmark this post. :)

  • http://cindergo.blogspot.com cindy goga

    Wow…CONVICTED! I am an extrovert and have been saying no to almost every invitation for about a year now. I’ve been holding on to “me” all year – guess it’s because I’m a fundraiser by trade and my entire day is spent “on” with people. I give to my marriage and that’s all I thought I had space for. Guess I should depend upon our God a little bit more to fill me up when I feel that I have no “me” to give.

    Thank you for speaking His breath and wisdom into my life this morning. As we speak I am making my “100 Things to Do for 2012″ list and saying yes will be added in some poignant way.

  • http://www.walkingwithangels.co.uk Sara

    Wow is it horrid to say I read this and thought yes it’s not just me. Friendship is a great thing but it scares the pants of me. I have written how I struggle with friendship. I’m a hater of small talk which doesn’t do me any favours.

    One of my resolutions for next year is to work on friendships. God has placed some incredible people in my life, I just need to step out of myself and embrace friendship. X

    • http://thenester.com the nester

      I think that’s such a good first step, just realizing that most of us are already surrounded by really wonderful people who would make great friends if we just made the effort. You are gonna do great Sara!

  • Cheryl

    I too am an introvert. This was a great reminder to step past the fear of the unknown, and jump in. Thank you for your honesty. I really needed to hear this today. My goal is to say yes more this coming year:-)

  • http://www.fourgenerationsoneroof.com jessica@fourgenerationsoneroof

    What great post Nester! :) I am glad I am not the only one who sometimes feel like that! It is so easy to “not” do something but I always am glad I did after. Strange how that works! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Julie

    This introvert thanks you greatly for writing this article. What a great reminder to set myself a goal for the new year. Thank you!

  • Debby

    Great post…I so agree and can totally relate. Friendship is like everything
    else that is worth while, it takes effort. I am not so good at it, but this inspires
    me to get out of my comfort zone and try.

  • Jen

    I am most definitely an introvert and find it hard to make friends. Although, I will say “yes” to most everything – I am uncomfortable once I get to those events because I’m horrible at small talk! Can’t wait to read your next post and thankful to know I’m not the only one! :)

  • Sheila

    Love this post! Thank you!!!

  • PC

    So what do you do if your church is super small and everyone is 60+??? I do absolutely love this post and will press in and on to make this my life mission. Thank you for sharing your heart with your readers!

    • Karen Cadle

      we over 60s can be way fun to hang out with sister LOL :)

  • http://www.danielleweathersphotography.com/blog Danielle

    What you said totally resignated with me. I find myself feeling the same way about social gatherings. I don’t plan them or even usually attend them. I need to take your advice and say yes and just live with the awkwardness that will follow and keep reminding myself that it will be worth it in the end. Thank you for your advice and insight. I have been feeling llike there was something wrong with me but now I know I’m not alone and these feelings are normal. Thank you!!!!

  • Colleen G.

    Well said!
    Thank you and Happy New Year : )
    -Colleen G.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t know I was an introvert until reading this post – and realized I can identify with all the things you described. I used to be the opposite .. then I had kids and got lost in my own little word. I almost always say “no” – thanks for making me stop and think about it! I guess you wouldn’t think that us adults need to be told how to make friends – but it is so much more difficult to find true meaningful friendships at this stage in life. This post is awesome :)

  • Dawn B.

    Oh how this spoke to me! Our best friends moved three years ago half way across the country. I hadn’t realized how much I missed a truly BEST friend until we met. We still struggle as to why God only allowed us three short years to live near each other. We usually talk a few times a week and visit them for 10 days each summer (they live 1/2 mile from the ocean north of Boston — great vacation destination!) We are intentional about keeping our friendship strong. However, we both feel a loss in our daily lives of having someone nearby. We are praying that God would fill that need for each of us. There are soooo many people who are lonely and yet surrounded by so many people. Busy-ness of life prevents so many from investing in friendship. As for me, I’m forever grateful to having great phone conversations and 2 1/2 hour flights to Massachussetts! Thank you for this great article!

  • Lyndsey

    I didn’t know I was an introvert until reading this post – and realized I can identify with all the things you described. I used to be the opposite .. then I had kids and got lost in my own little word. I almost always say “no” – thanks for making me stop and think about it! I guess you wouldn’t think that us adults need to be told how to make friends – but it is so much more difficult to find true meaningful friendships at this stage in life. This post is awesome :)

  • http://www.givinguponperfect.com Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

    What a lovely tribute to your friend!! And what a great friendship that you have learned so much from it, too.

    I’m in a really hard stage of friendships right now, and I’ve felt so frustrated by it all. Making friends – good friends, real friends – as an adult is just so darned HARD! But this post is convicting me something fierce because all I’ve done about my own situation is complain. I have not been intentional about fixing the situation at all. *sigh* Guess I’d better make some friendship goals of my own, huh? :)

    • http://thenester.com the nester

      wish we lived closer, I’d totally want to be in your crowd

      • http://chasingblueskies.net/ Kristen Strong

        Me too! Me too!

  • http://www.thepaperbagprincesses.blogspot.com Christy

    What a beautiful post! There is nothing quite like great girlfriends to fill your life with joy.

  • Kate

    Wow

    After spending Christmas day alone and feeling like a total loser about it. I decided I had to put my thinking cap on and figure out how to avoid that happening again next year. I live 1000 miles from my family and 1200 miles away from my best friend and my (2) local friends were busy with their families. I’m self employed in a profession in which I’m not allowed to befriend my clients. My best friend pushes me to go out and do things that sound horrible to me and I tell her: “Why are you trying to make me do things other that what I want to do which is to stay home in my pajamas with my dog?”

    I am looking forward to getting great ideas here. And careful what you say about the over 60 crowd – I just turned 60 this year!

  • Linda

    Thanks for the article. It is great to see your happy pictures. I want real friends too. I don’t have but a couple. I don’t know how to make friends. I don’t know where to find them. And I don’t know how to trust any more. One minute I think I have a friend the next minute I find out this hard working Christian woman is having an affair with my husband. Hard to recover from that. Anyone out there with real friends, thank the Lord for your friends. You are so blessed to have true friends.

    • http://thenester.com the nester

      oh, Linda, I am so sorry. I have no words.

      Relationships are risky and at times hurtful and this is such an extreme example. I hope some true friends will seek you out and convince you that the risk can be worth it again.

    • http://www.holleygerth.com Holley Gerth

      Linda, girl, I’m amazed you’re even here writing those words. It means your heart isn’t totally shut down–which would be the most natural thing in the world to do. You are a brave, brave woman. Praying just the right friends who can appreciate the true gift of you come along and love you back into trust. Wish we lived in the same town!

    • http://chasingblueskies.net/ Kristen Strong

      I’m with Holley ~ wish I was in your town, Linda.

      I too am so sorry for what you lost. Please don’t give up seeking friendship ~ you are darling and brave and *so* worth being friends with. Praying now that true-blue friendships find you soon. Much love!

  • Marilee

    I feel like this too. Thank you for allowing me to know that I am not alone. My husband is a major extrovert also and maybe that is why I was drawn to me. As I have gotten older, I find that it is very difficult to make woman friends. My husband and I are considering starting to go to church, which should be very helpful to me. I work from home, kids are grown, so I dont get out much. It was funny about taking a shower and drying your hair…I feel that sometimes too. Thank you for sharing this with everyone.

  • http://myblessedlife.net Myra @ My Blessed Life

    Oh Nester, How I needed this post! Thank you, thank you for saying it like it is. I’m an introvert/extrovert {maybe I’m confused, I thrive on being alone and being with people…at different times} and my hubs is definitely an extrovert. Those awkward moments that come before deep friendships scare me and sometimes hinder me from “going for it.”

    I’m definitely thinking on this especially looking at the new year with new goals.

    Love and hugs!! :)

  • http://Hopetofind.blogspot.com Colleen

    This was a wonderful confirmation of who I am. I am an introvert and I dread get-togethers and small talk. I hide from social engagements. And yet, when I make myself get out there, I have a wonderful time! The conversations aren’t shallow but deep, love is shared and hope is given. Life is meant to be shared with other people, and I have to crawl out of myself to remember the joy of sharing life with my sweet sisters (and brothers) in Christ!

  • Gina in S FL

    As my son began elementary school, i prayed for friendships with moms as passionate about motherhood as I was. I was blessed. Now, as he is moving on from elementary school, I prayed for new friendships with smart women. God answered by showing me the world of bloggers like you, Nester. Sometimes friends are affirmations that we are on the right track with our beliefs. Thanks for that!

  • http://antiquechase.blogspot.com antiquechase

    Great article. I didn’t got to a cookie exchange this year and blamed it on not having the perfect recipe… when in fact, I think I was uncomfortable being around a bunch of women I didn’t know. I should have gone. Hope she will invite me again next year

  • http://www.upsidedownkate.com Kate

    NO! You aren’t. I actually wrote a three part series on my blog about making friends because four years ago I NEEDED to. In fact, saying “yes” was one of my big goals that year. I said yes to EVERYTHING that I possibly could. So it made me smile that it was one of the first things you commented on. Good luck with your friend making goals! I’m looking forward to hearing about them!

  • http://www.glasspeacock.com Stephanie

    What a wonderful and timely (at least for me) post. I am recently looking inward to myself & discovering a great journey of self-discovery that is long overdue & needs to be taken now. Thank you for sharing with us the lessons you have learned!

  • http://amcneely.blogspot.com Andrea

    I love this post. I included it in my blog so others could enjoy too. It is one of the topics I have been delving into for a bit, and much of it resonates with me. I am an extrovert and get much of my energy from people and external happenings; however, I am shy, dislike mingling and small-talk, and reluctant in initiating with potential friends. I have had plenty of rejection and disappointment that makes me more reluctant in making friends. But I don’t want to feed into that! I know that I love people and getting to know them and what makes them tick and enjoying time spent together. So I have decided to be much more intentional about friend-making than I am inclined to be, and I think it’s a great way that I’m stretching. I recently asked a friend who is great at this some questions and included our little interview on my blog: http://amcneely.blogspot.com/2011/12/strangers-are-just-friends-waiting-to.html. Such similarities to lessons learned by your friend. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on friendship!

  • http://www.cberryonline.com Christina {Chrissy} Berry

    Sometimes I feel like I’M the only one who has trouble making friends. I mean, all around me I see people who have paired off – or even “grouped off” – with someone else and formed a friendship. But me? Not so much. It’s really comforting for me to hear that you, and so many others, feel the way I do. It’s too bad we can’t wear a sign or something, so those who are like us out there can automatically recognize us! It’d sure make forming new friendships a whole lot easier! :)

    • http://chasingblueskies.net/ Kristen Strong

      Christina, do you know I’ve been *this* close to putting a sign in my yard saying, “Desperate woman seeks friends!”? Eventually I did make some, but it took time, time, time. Like you said, going with the sign might have made things easier! Ha!

  • http://lovingsimpleliving.com/ Lorilee @ Loving Simple Living.com

    I totally agree. My husband and I are both introverts. I hate being at big gatherings and meeting new people but I love friends and we love having people over. People will always talk about themselves, so as long as I can ask questions things go over well :)

  • http://ncsuz.blogspot.com Suz

    This is one of the best articles on friendship I have ever read! I agree with everything. Especially as we get older and more involved in our own families, we have to be intentional about nurturing and sustaining friendships!

  • Beth Williams

    Great post! I, too, hate small talk. Don’t really know where to start, but once you get me started–in small groups, boy can I go.

    My hubby is an introvert as well. He has a hard time making friends. He has unusual hobbies, and works early shift at hospital. I’m working on getting us both into more friendships that we can enjoy!

    Great post girl!

  • http://chocolatecovereddaydreams.blogspot.com Simone

    This spoke so much to me because I moved here to Oregon without knowing anyone. Even though my husband and I attend church, I’m the newbie and all the ladies have formed lasting friendships. I often feel left out and very lonely. I won’t lie…I sometimes wish I was in California, only because all the friends I left there.

    I decided to host an (in)RL by choosing to be bold. I’m hoping that through this, there will be connections of lasting friendships.

    Thank you for sharing your heart about friendship. I needed to read this.

  • http://www.justlaine.com Laine

    This was great Nester! I totally, totally understand! I am so much of an introvert myself that I make all those same assumptions. But you have challenged me! I love being a pastors wife except for the organizing of people functions. Hate it. And talking on the phone but that’s another subject! It’s so difficult. But yet it’s so simple…the Bible says that if we want friends we have to be friendly! Thanks for the awesome reminder! =)

  • jLaib

    Thanks, Nester. Great writing as always, and wonderful insights.

  • Karen Cadle

    I’m an introvert who was set free by Jesus…He placed me in a church setting as the office administrator and i “HAD” to be outgoing to serve the needs of the people. He also placed me into friendship with a woman who is the glue to 95% of my friendships. She always says YES…and we are included…she is the most people encompassing person I have ever met and that is such a blessing for anyone who is around her. I met her in 1980 and to this day, she is still the glue that holds so many friendships together. God bless Norma!

    • http://thenester.com the nester

      EVERYone needs a friend like that!

  • Megan

    This is my first time visiting the (In)Courage site and know it was a God-thing that led me here. I am quite an introvert, bordering on the hermit-like, given the right circumstances. You know you are a true introvert when those stories of wilderness survival almost sound like a great vacation and you totally get the cloistered nun thing, except you fell in love and married and had two great kids. My husband has lots of friends, some of whom I really like, I really do, but have in moments of mild social anxiety, referred to as “side people”, as in, “I didn’t realize when I married you, that I signed up for all these “side people”! He laughs, I laugh and we continue on. I’ve been sensing the nudge of the Holy Spirit to open my life to more, that He has more for me, and that I think means gathering up my courage, and taking the proverbial leap of faith, before I start measuring the distance and analyzing the danger and calculating the risk and talk myself out of whatever or whoever it is He puts in my path. Thank you, I have much to ponder and pray about.

    • http://thenester.com the nester

      So glad you stopped by Megan and such an insightful comment. And I got a good laugh out of the wilderness survival. Because I relate.

  • Kristi

    Thank you so much for this! I have been going through a ‘drought’ season in my life and I thought I was the only woman in my 30’s with no friends. We had three kids and were blessed with twins two years ago. It has turned my life upside down. Now only with raising 5 young children, but with making friends. It felt like I didn’t have time anymore for friends or also that other women with less children aren’t interested in being friends with me anymore. It’s incredibly lonely trying to find that balance. I’m an introvert too so I think that makes it worse! Thank you for writing this, I plan to be much more intentional this year as well. :) God will give us the companionship we desire.

  • Libby

    I really relate to this right now. Introverted, all that…Gathering the courage to move forward and wondering just how God wants me to be friends now and with whom. Thanks for sharing.

  • Angel

    Wow! I could have written this! I too am an introvert who hates small talk. I would love to read about your friendship goals in the coming year.

    I need to be more deliberate about making friends and to start saying yes to opportunities instead of making excuses. There were plenty of opportunities I said no to in the past year. The ones I said yes to lead to new or strengthened friendships.

  • Ann

    Nester – in your next post, any words of wisdom you have on making couple friends would be so, so appreciated. My hubby and I have been married for 10 years and we would both love to have a couple that we BOTH enjoy hanging out with equally, but sadly that hasn’t really happened yet. He’s more introverted, I’m more extroverted, we have a lot of different interests….I don’t know what it is or how to move past all that and make some couple/family friends. :(

  • http://rhondisrosecoloredglasses.blogspot.com/ Rhondi

    You have challenged me to be more intentinal about making friends because I really need some!

  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

    A million times over did I ever need to hear this. I almost always say “no” to friend invites because they’re uncomfortable. I seriously do–and I wonder why I’ve struggled with making friends, and friendships that are lasting and solid.

    I don’t know why but I seem to always have my guard up. I’m afraid of being vulnerable; I’m afraid they’ll move away (had that happen numerous times). I’m afraid I’ll fail them. I’m afraid I won’t know what to do. What to say.

    I’ve seriously been pondering these things over the past few weeks when a friend of 10+ years decided to remove me from her Facebook and not answer my emails–and for a reason I don’t even know. I’m trying really hard not to put that guard up against the friends that I have now.

    On the one hand I feel like God is telling me to just let that relationship go–but it still hurts. Ten years. And even today, I don’t believe I was the friend I could have been to her.

    It’s a tough truth to swallow, but if I’m not honest with myself, I won’t be able to deal with the issue so I can move forward.

    *Thank you* for this. I look forward to reading more and am making it appoint to be more intentional about hanging with friends and deepening that relationship.

    I forced myself to host an (in)RL gathering, even though I don’t really want to—only because it will majorly pull me out of my comfort zone. But I know I gotta do it. So I am. :)
    {Pssst…introvert here, too–though I LOVE people, too :)}

  • http://closingtimeblog.com Erin @ Closing Time

    I love this post! As a fellow introvert, I really have to make an effort to meet people. It’s an acquired skill…one I am continually working on!

  • http://www.frugallysustainable.com Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable

    It is so sad to see dear friends leave! This article is so moving!

  • http://craftythriftydecoratingwifemom.wordpress.net Janet

    I have very few friends, one of my best friends is 30 and I’m 56! I’ve had phsical health issues that have kept me mostly home for a few years. Friends from church haven’t come by or called, but for a rare exception. Chronic illness seems to be way outside most people’s comfort zones, I haven’t had the energy to get past my fears of rejeciton, phone phobia (I’m so afraid to call others because I always call at a bad time, etc. and calls aren’t returned, very discouraging). But I SO need girlfriends. I read all your posts and look forward to the next installation. Thanks, Nester.

  • Shelly

    This is exactly where I am at right now. Just recently, I had a conversation with my step-mother on how, if you want friends, you have to be a friend. I have spent so many years cooped up in my home after work and not “putting myself out there.” In the past few weeks I have hosted my first Thanksgiving meal for 10 people, hosted a Christmas party for both kids’ preschool classes, and volunteered to co-head a social group at church. This is so unlike me. I am not a social person, but I am realizing that I am actually enjoying being around other people and doing things for them.

    I haven’t had any friends outside of those that my husband and I have together. My goal this year is to build up friendships and to do more things that I have never done before. I am even going to start my own blog and it is blogs like this that help to inspire me.

  • http://www.northdixiedesigns.com Dixie Redmond

    I used to be a lot more intentional, and that changed. I need to change it back! Time to plan an art party. Thanks for writing this, it’s a good reminder to me not to lose touch with people.

    Dixie

  • Lauren

    Thank you for this post. I just read it, dreading something that I’m doing this evening that my extroverted husband planned. I would have much rather sat right here and read my Kindle… but you’ve shown me that maybe I should give it a chance. =)

  • http://www.thegypsymama.com Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama

    Just popping in to say two things:

    1. Love me some Nester :)

    2. Hoping some of you introvert gals will be brave and sign up for our (in)RL meetup day – we’re trying to help connect women in real life and kick start some new friendships!!

    http://www.inrl.us

  • http://chasingblueskies.net/ Kristen Strong

    As if I didn’t already love you to pieces!

    Raising my hand here cuz I set friendship goals, too! Since God has yet to just drop them from the sky on my front doorstep, I gotta be proactive and take steps to find them. I also like what you say about not being a fan of small talk. I’m the same way. However, it is a stepping stone to big talk which leads to friendships!

    *So* love this, Nester. And love you. LOTS.

  • Lindsey

    I struggle so much with making friends. In fact, I haven’t had a close female friend in about 10 years. I enjoy doing things with others and have a core group of friends I have known for between 2-4 years, but I’m still not really close to any of them. Our kids play together, we have dinner, hang out, etc., but I don’t know how to get past the small talk and the everyday stuff to a deeper level of friendship. I recently prayed that God would send me a friend. I often feel Him speaking to me through posts here, so I know the timing is no accident, and it’s so exciting to feel Him move! Right now, I say “yes” to hanging out and attending events when I can (having young children sometimes interferes), but I’m still wondering, how do I get past the surface friendships? I mean, I am no closer to the women I’ve known 4 years than I am to those I’ve knows only about 2 years.

    Anyway, it is definitely a blessing to hear from you and the other women who commented about this topic — knowing I am not only not alone, but one of many who struggle with this is such a comfort!

    • Arian

      I totally understand what you are saying, I feel the same way alot of the time.

      • Mary Elizabeth

        I know what you mean, too…how do you get past surface friendships? Just tonight I had dinner with a former acquaintance from playdates who made me her friend by not only chit-chatting, but by sharing about herself and asking me really interested questions, over and over again: how was my job going? Did I have x-y-z feeling about so-and-so, because she did…As an introvert with some more extroverted acquaintances, I have noticed that the people I have become deeper friends with have been 1) willing to risk sharing about their own lives and struggles and 2) willing to ask kind, concerned questions about how I felt/did things, etc. and 3) most important: they gave the impression that they *already liked me* and were not going to judge me based on my response. I think a lot of our shyness of others because we fear being judged. My mom once told me the nice thing about being shy is that is makes you really understanding of how other people feel…so if we can show that understanding and love of them, and make that first move of being more revealing of our real selves, they may be more likely to respond and become deeper friends.

  • Angela

    I love this post! I’m also an introvert and related 100% to the dread. I vow to do better.

  • Arian

    Thanks for this!! I tend to be an introvert myself and have a hard time making new friends because I am afraid of rejection when I stick my neck out and get out of my comfort zone. I am going to try to be more intentional about making friends. Hopefully setting some friendship goals will help me to broaden my horizons and my circle of friends.

  • Kat

    I was writing my goals last night and “make friends” was at the top. It was also last year and I did nothing. I’m an introvert and have such a hard time putting myself out there. I’m afraid of being judged or being rejected or being hurt. Sometimes its just easier being alone. But I’m so LONELY! I moved a few years ago and never made friends. I’m looking forward to more posts on friendships.

  • http://www.highheelsandscuffedsneakers.blogspot.com Heather

    I love this post! I am also a little bit of an introvert and love making friends at small gatherings— but that limits the pool! I am inspired by this post to be more intentional about my friendships and pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone more often!
    Thanks for sharing your friendship lessons with us!

  • Donna

    I love people, but have few true friends. I appear to be an extrovert,because I want to please everyone, but I would rather be in my kitchen making cookies or dinner for my family……….or………..taking a nap! Anxiety and dread come from living a life where reality and expectations, we self-impose, clash. In this new year, I aim to be truer to who I am, but still say “yes” without the dread of having to be the funny one or worried that everyone is having a good time. It’s exhausting. Thanks Nester.

  • Nicki

    Thank you for this! I am an introvert too. The last couple of years I have been really longing for close friendships with other women, but I always stay in my comfort zone of my family, who all live nearby, attend the same church, etc… Well, last week my husband accepted a new position with a company 200 miles away. In a town where we know no one. The introvert in me is extremely nervous. But, I’m also kind of excited. I believe the Lord is using this move to grow me in this area of making friends and investing more into those friendships. This post, and I’m sure the next one, will be helpful as I embark on this new adventure. Thank you.

    Also, it is always nice to see that I’m not the inky one who struggles in this way.

  • Trudi

    This was an awesome topic. I read your site all the time and see great get togethers. I’d have assumed you were in extrovert. I am even having trouble leaving comments on blogs for fear of regection. Yikes, thats sad. I am not intentional in my friendship making skills right now… Not sure when I stopped, well yes I do but that a sad sorted story. I just realized I have lost that skill and need to rebuild it. I thought I was the only one that dreaded get togethers. I always have fun, but more than often I cancel. Not the way to make friends. Funny I just watched the big gang theory and Sheldon was trying to figure out how to make friends. Thank you Nester. Can you please contiue this topic.

  • http://tracyscoffeecafe.wordpress.com/ Tracy Stoffell

    This was an awesome post. I love the phrase “intentional about friendship”. It seems that for so many there are no real friendships you know the ones that count. The people that you know will be ther and love you even if you are not loveable at the moment. It seems that so many have an agenda when it comes to friendship. What I mean by that is “the what is in it for me” attitude. I feel that being an “intentional friend” is not what do I get but what can I give, how can I love, how can I show Jesus.

    Thanks Nester this was a great post. I pray that I can be an “intentional friend”

  • Irene

    Hi Nester …..

    I really loved your post. I moved half way across the world five years ago from South Africa to the UK and have so struggled to make friends. I am not an introvert once I get to know you but it is until I get to that stage that is the struggle. I always worry that I’m not good enough, not clever enough, not witty enough. I miss all my friends who now live so far away :-( So, as I told my sister half a world away, I feel I have now found friends by reading your email that comes through every day :-) Can’t wait for your next post!

  • jess

    ohmigosh. i thought i was the only one in the world that dreads taking showers because i then have to dry/fix my hair.

  • eileen marie

    Great post -I credit my little circle of college friends to one great organizer *thank you, Nicole!* I don’t think any of us would have reached out otherwise! And you have such a big “blog personality” that I never realized you were an introvert -you remind me of myself. So many think my big personality means I am an extrovert, but au contraire, mon frère! (or soeur as it were)

  • Pam

    I am an introvert and I am so terrible at making the small talk. I am an unemployed- stay- at- home -only- go- to- church- on- Sunday- person and really feel I have nothing in common with other women, no job, hobbies or interests to share that would carry a conversation into a friendship. Looking forward to your next blog. Blessings!

    • joanna

      pam, i think you must be my twin! =) although i have a few hobbies, it seems like i never am able to do them, ’cause i’m doing work around the house or on our farm (seriously, are there any other young farmwives out there?) anyway, i am blessed to have 4 sisters & an awesome mother, but they all are 45 min. -8 hrs. away; i call them (sometimes), but i find myself not making time to do that either. my introverted, perfectionistic self would rather keep working to try to have my external life be perfect than put myself out there & face awkwardness & rejection. *sigh* so, nester, i thank you for this post, & i so look forward to your next!

  • http://crystalsordinarydays.blogspot.com Crystal

    This post resonated with me. Is that how you spell that? :) Making new friends and attending events without my extrovert husband is about enough to make me break out in hives just by thinking about it. I, too love people. I am slow to make friends but when I get them, I keep them. I generally end up with a few close friends verses many friends. Anyway, I noticed a comment you said to someone else. Love how you compared it to taking a shower and drying your hair. Sometimes just the thought of doing those tasks overwhelm me as well! What is up with that!? Thanks for talking about all this stuff that is sometimes unchartered waters!

  • Rebekah

    I’m shocked to hear you are so introverted. I never would have guessed that from you.
    I am too.
    It is almost painful to make myself go to the social stuff I need too. I learned the “say yes to everything” lesson from one of my closest friends. She moved away to Australia almost 2 years ago and I miss her so much. She too is introverted, just like your Caroline, and like your Caroline, my friend Margo taught me that if you want friends you have to put yourself out there and just say yes to everything. The interesting thing about this friend of mine, is that when you ask other people about Margo, everyone else thinks she is one of their closest, dearest friends as well. I try to remember her lesson on friendship as I have struggled to find my social way in our new home (of 2 years). It is so hard to put myself out there and say yes when I want to say no, but I’m trying to be better at it. Funny thing is that as a child and all through college I was an extrovert. Somewhere along the way of marriage, kids, and establishing my new roles as a mother, wife and homemaker, I lost my way as a socialite and friend. Thanks for your post.

  • HeatherB

    You’re not alone! I prayed for uplifting and inspiring women to enter my life…and soon realized that I can’t just sit back and wait for that type of blessing. This fall I resolved to say “yes” to all social invites that my introverted self would typically avoid. I am building friendships with some of the most amazing and genuine people I have ever met. Women who aren’t afraid to say “I’m excited we’ve become friends”…who aren’t afraid to be real and admit we’re all flawed. Getting out of my comfort zone was so worth it! Thanks for your post. I too am learning to be comfortable with the real me. Isn’t trying to act more outgoing than we actually are part of why social activities can be so exhausting?

  • Michelle

    I used to be shy and awkward in High school and I decided when I went to college that I would try harder to make friends. I found an inspiring quote: “You can make more friends in 10 days by caring about others than you can make in 10 years by waiting for people to care about you.” So I took that and started asking others about themselves b/c who doesn’t love talking about themselves and it worked. Now people are astonished to know that I used to be a shy, turn beet red when strangers talked to me girl.

  • http://www.buttonbirddeisgns.blogspot.com Angela

    Oh I love this! Thank you so much for sharing! You are one amazing person, and I feel very blessed to call you a friend.
    love you!
    Angela

  • http://relevantbrokenness.com Marni Arnold

    I love this article…I so relate!

  • kate

    i love this article so much. several weeks ago you wrote a blog post about being “intentional” about making friends and it has really changed my way of thinking. i realized i wasn’t going to make any friends by sitting at home in my jammies all the time, hoping someone would reach out to me first. relationships take time and effort and plenty of risks. you are an inspired woman! i can’t wait to hear more on this subject.

    and i know what you mean about showering and dreading the fact that you have to dry your hair. haha! too funny!

  • Erin

    Hey Nester – thanks so much for this. I am very introverted and so far have managed to get by with few friends, but lately, I have hit a phase where I am a little lonely and didn’t know what to do about it. Your simple observations of the very obvious from someone who is like me turned on the proverbial light bulb for me. I’ll definitely be looking out for your future posts. Thanks again!

  • Pingback: Friendship on ice — A Familiar Path()

  • Cheryl

    Thanks for writing this, looking forward to the next.

  • http://BreeLoverly.blogspot.com Breena

    I’m an extrovert, married to an introvert and trying to be a good extrovert friend to my introverted ones…this.really.helped and the timing was truly, well, God-breathed :) Thanks for sharing…can’t wait to continue reading your blog.

  • Pingback: 2012 « Simplyaddcoffee()

  • Jen

    Hi! I love your pictures here! And you’re right, we have to be more intentional about friendship. If we can make work goals, career goals and financial goals, then we should do as much for something that’s worth much more that work, career or money. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.16ballsintheair.com Liberty

    AH-men, sister. I am okay at making friends – inituially, but talk myself out of the nurturing part. I figure peeps are “just being nice” in person, but wouldn’t want to hear from about my minutae later….like once we’ve resumed regular life.
    so there. not sure if that’s a goal, but at least I’ve identified my weak-friendship-point.
    blessings!

  • Pingback: selfless | knit me a new one()

  • Carolyn Maves

    Love this posting…..my hubbie and I used to do a lot of hospitality, then we both started having health problems and it became too complicated…..and seemed to fall by the wayside. I am missing those close friendships, so I have decided to be more intentional this year, think outside the box, to find times and ways that work for us, in spite of our health limitations. Your great post was a confirmation for me…..go for it!

  • Bethany

    Thanks for this post! It seems every year I make a goal to make new friends, but never follow through. I’m an introvert, though I’m much more outgoing than I used to be. I’d really like to make some more “mom” friends. My husband and I were just getting to know a new group friends, but then we had a baby and none of them do, so it’s been tough. I know I need to put the effort in, but I just feel like maybe I’m not interesting or cool enough and fear the rejection. Knowing other people feel this way really helps though!

  • http://www.homeandfaith.blogspot.com Jessica

    Oh my goodness! This couldn’t come at a better time in my life! I don’t have many friends because I am VERY shy and introverted. I am a Youth Pastor’s wife and my son has started preschool this year, and I often feel like I am gonna go into a panic attack at school functions because I don’t know the other moms! I am looking forward to reading all your posts on this topic! Thanks so much!!

  • http://COTTAGEROMANCE.BLOGSPOT.COM deanna cowherd

    thanks for this article! i read the 2nd part first and immediately posted on fb to all my friends that we should do this! we used to get 2gether every other fri for lunch at one of our homes, but then summer came and kids were home and everyone got busy. so here we are in jan and still not doing anything abt it! so thank-you! i’m holding the first fri lunch @ my house, which also gives me a great reason to clean and get a few projects done that i’ve been putting off. then i went back and read this first part of the article and almost cried! i’m an introvert and although i do love to plan things for me and my friends, all it takes is one “NO” from a friend and i climb back in my shell! so thanks for the reminder that it’s WORTH the risk!

  • http://www.leanngunterjohns.wordpress.com LeAnn

    I read this when you originally posted it but went and re-read it today. I’m so glad I did. I’m an extrovert and have moved twice in the last three years. It’s so hard to meet and have great friends. I’m still mourning the loss of living in the same city as my best friends three years ago. I’ve particularly had the experience of thinking folks wanted to be friends but then just to have them be flaky and not show up when I needed them. Making friends is such a hard thing as an adult!

  • http://breebrasil.blogspot.com/ Bree

    Nope – you are not the only one with friendship goals. For years my husband and I have said we need to have more “couple friends”. Then we had a child and said we need to have more “friends with kids”. At the end of 2011, we finally realized that in order to have these types of friends, we have to make plans with them!! So we are actually purposing this year to make these plans at least once a month.

  • Pingback: Something I needed to read | Butterscotch Sundae()

  • Megan

    Thank you so much for writing this. I moved to a new city almost 3 years ago when I married my husband. We attend a very small church (about 30 people on Sunday – most of whom are kids! :) ) and I don’t work outside the home so I have had a very difficult time finding friends. Thanks for the ideas and encouragement to get out there and plan ways to meet people!

  • http://www.waytenmom.blogspot.com Paula Kiger

    I love this article too! Found it via Mama Kat. One thing that works well for me is TweetUps (although since you’re anonymous don’t know how that factors in!). You get to satisfy your curiosity, have the fabulous sensation of meeting people in the flesh, and you already know a lot about them from their streams. I love tweetups!

  • Pingback: 2012 : My Year of Together | Making This Home()

  • http://fruitsaladplease.blogspot.com/ Heather from CT

    Late comer, here! A year ago, i heard someone say “We’re all full of good intentions, but we’re not intentional.” It’s so true. Anything worth doing takes practice and work. You don’t hear an athlete say, “playing in the NFL should be effortless. It’s just taking too much work.”

    As an introvert who moved from the friendly neighborly south to stoic, lonely New England, I had to be intentional about finding friends. You can’t just say yes here, because nobody even makes the offer. I joined a women’s Bible study immediately and started opening my home to gatherings – they stress me out and make me feel like a mediocre hostess, but there are beginnings now. I didn’t know that my decade in the south was training. It was the place where God taught me about true friendship and it’s importance in my faith journey. In the south, He also taught me to be nice – which is immensely helpful :)

    Thank you for posting this. Off 2 read Part 2

  • http://www.suburbanlifejournal.com Joanne

    This is a wonderful post! I am a fellow introvert. It takes me a long time to make meaningful connections with people. I am amazed when someone comes along who puts up with my insistance on being standoffish, quiet and very careful to share. But when they do give me a chance, I open up and it is usually worth it. I always hope people don’t think I’m stuck up. I am just careful and a bit shy.

  • http://www.suburbanlifejournal.com Joanne

    BTW, found you through Mama Kat.

  • Pingback: The Power of the Imperfect()

  • http://www.blestnest.blogspot.com Vicki V

    I can’t tell you the number of women who have said something like, “I’m not interested in making new friends because I’m comfortable in my group and it’s too much effort.” It always makes me sad because when you move somewhere new, you’re looking for friends! Maybe it’s the stage in life, because my kids are teens now and it’s so much harder to meet people. I think most of us crave deep friendships, but I think they’re very rare in this day and age.

  • joanna

    how do you “say yes” when you’re not being invited, & because other women your age have young children, you feel like it’s more of an inconvenience to them to invite than to not?

  • Pingback: How Do We Love Our Community? | Gospel Girls()