How to Not Make Friends

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I am not a particularly trusting person. Cynical by nature, and inherently wary of other people and their intentions, I struggle to make friends. I often feel like I would like to have new people in my life, but I don’t know how to meet people, and get hesitant when others initiate conversation. It’s a vicious cycle, and it means I’ll probably only know the same three people for the rest of my life.

The other day, I got a message on Facebook from a guy I went to high school with. It struck me as strange, because this guy and I spoke maybe a handful of times in the entire six years we were at school together, and they weren’t exactly in depth conversations. I was fairly certain I wasn’t even a blip on his radar. And in the five years since school ended, I honestly haven’t even thought about him, or most of the other people from high school. So when, even more unexpectedly, he told me he had had a crush on me at school, I actually walked away from my phone in disbelief. It’s the cynic in me. It’s not that I think it’s impossible that someone could be attracted to me, more just that I found it difficult to believe that someone who never deigned to speak to me in high school harboured a secret crush on me.

My female best friend told me I was weird. She said if someone had told her they had a crush on her, she would be flattered, and that my instant reaction was disbelief indicated that there was something amusingly wrong with me. My male best friend seemed to agree with me that it was unusual, and told me that my gut instinct was probably the right one.

It’s not the first time this has happened. A few years ago I had a similar experience, where a guy I had literally never spoken to messaged me and asked if I wanted to ‘catch up’. I told him, politely, that since we had never spoken at all, we wouldn’t have anything to catch up on. I just didn’t see the point. Maybe I’m being too cold. Maybe this latest guy really did have a crush on me, and I’m just letting my mistrusting nature get in the way of making a new friend. The thing is, I might even have considered getting a coffee or something with him, had it not been for the last thing he said to me. He asked if I was still in my home town, and when I said yes he replied with ‘good, when are we hanging out?’.

Now, that kind of presumptuous arrogance/confidence might work with some girls, but it doesn’t work with me. Just the notion that he had assumed I would agree to hang out with him, without even offering me an opportunity to politely decline kind of irked me. If he had have just asked, I would have been less irritated by it. Though rationally I know he probably didn’t mean anything by it, I couldn’t help but feel like he thought he was doing me a favour by asking…or rather telling me that we should hang out. And I know this is going to sound really bad, but I can’t help but automatically be wary of his intentions. Is he genuinely interested in getting to know me, or has he just realised I was hiding boobs beneath my school uniform and now wants in my pants?

Suffice to say, I didn’t respond. Initially I was too baffled and then I just couldn’t be bothered. I’ve had too many bad experiences with guys not handling rejection well to bother with the prospect of another one. There is a part of me that feels bad; was I too quick to judge? Did I just turn away a potential new pal because of my possibly unfounded misgivings? But the larger part of me is ok with the decision to not respond. I went with my gut.

So I guess the rumours about me being a cold bitch are true, but what can you do? Maybe I’m not giving these guys enough credit. Maybe I could do with a few new friends. Then again, maybe there’s a reason my blog is called madnessandmisanthropy, and I’m just destined to become a cranky old lady; living alone, yelling at kids to get off my lawn and spending time with my multiple dogs because I was forever shunning the possibility of romance and/or friendship. But dogs are cool so…I’m ok with that.

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