If I said something awkward to you once just know that I will be thinking about it for years to come, trust me.
As I was getting ready for work this morning, my mind was wondering. Somehow I started thinking about how awkward I was with a friend of mine about 3 years ago. All I could think about was this one thing that I did wrong. Ok, think is the wrong word, obsess is probably better. We had so many good conversations, but just a few were super awkward. All I can think about are the awkward ones.
I think it bothers me a lot because I am no longer friends with this person. I miss her. I wish we were still friends. I wonder what I did that made her not want to be friends anymore. Or if there was something that I could have said that would have fixed it. Is there something I could say now? Should I reach out and try again? Would that be even more weird?
Tell me you’ve been here too, that it’s not just me. Tell me you know what I’m talking about. What did you do in that situation? Did you reach out? Did it go well?
I usually don’t reach out. I usually just leave well enough alone. This isn’t my advice to you, it’s just what I do. Most people would probably tell you to reach out, but I’m leaving that decision to you. It’s different for everyone and every situation.
My Good Friends
There’s a limit to the number of friends I can have. Yep, you read that right. I can only handle so many. I read this quote last night that said “I only need one friend for the rest of my life.” It’s so true.
When I was growing up I was best friends with my older sister. We were inseparable. We did everything together and didn’t really have anyone else. It worked.
Then there was this lady that I mentioned earlier. We weren’t close friends, but we had lunch once or twice a month. She was there for me when I was going through a really rough period in my life. It was nice having someone who understood.
After that, I met a girl that I just instantly clicked with. We were best friends from the start, but our friendship ended just like it started, quickly.
Then I lost my job and ended up back in the midwest. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with my niece for a couple of years. We were super close while I was living in the same house with her. I was surprised how much I had in common with a 13 year old, but I adore her. She’s still on my list, though now we live nearly 3,000 miles apart.
When I moved to Boston I was alone. I had no one at all. I started a new job in the city and met several people. One woman scared the shit out of me on my first day. I felt verbally attacked. I remember calling my boss and telling her I didn’t want to talk to that lady again.
Another lady started about a month after I did. She was intimidating in a different way. Again I had a conversation with my boss about how I didn’t think she was going to work here. My boss said “Really? I thought you would like her. You guys are so much alike.” I remember thinking she was crazy when she said that. Turns out, she was right. I’m now best friends with both of them.
I’m Not Good At Friends
You see, I’m not good at the whole friend thing. It gets in the way of my me time. Every day I go to work and count the hours until I can be at home, alone in my own space. I need that time free from people, free from pressure and judgement and everything else that comes from being around people.
I tend to go into a shell a lot. Any time that something upsets my fragile emotions it gets weird. I’m not outwardly emotional at all, but inwardly it’s a shit show. It doesn’t take a whole lot to send me into a tale spin about something. It takes alone time to process this mess, figure out what I’m feeling, if I’m upset about it, why and what to do to not be upset anymore.
So, even though it doesn’t look like a do a whole lot, I’m really busy. Friends need attention. I’ve noticed that if you don’t give them attention, they disappear. Very few will stick around through the weirdness. Some will, those are the best, but most won’t. Having a whole list of friends is just not going to work for me. I just need one. One good one.
The other problem I have is getting to know people. It’s a whole process. It takes time to really get to know someone where you can feel comfortable with them. Most of that time is awkward.
Trying to find someone that I have things in common with is kinda a mess. Apparently most people don’t obsess about NASCAR and New Kids on the Block and they don’t want to listen to me obsess about it either.
Finding someone that I have things in common with is rare. I usually end up listening to them talk about their kids and husbands. Most of the women my age have those things. I do not, so I just listen quietly and try not to say anything stupid. I fail a lot.
I love Facebook friends. I think thats the best part of Facebook. We can be friends and stay in touch, but I don’t have to make this huge effort. I can just send you a silly cat video every once in a while and we can still feel connected somehow.
I love that. I love that it’s more than an acquaintance, but less than a good friend. I need that middle ground. If Facebook has done one thing right it’s that. It’s provided introverts a place to connect without being exhausted all the time.
One Good Friend
I really just need one good friend. One friend who gets me, who understands me. I’d even settle for one who doesn’t understand, but still lets me be me, who accepts me for who I am without trying to change me.
I imagine this being my husband someday. I like to think we will be cuddled up in bed both watching our own shows on our own iPads and scrolling through our phones, but being together. I imagine us having a favorite restaurant that we go to every week and having that one favorite place to get coffee, doing the same things all of the time and never getting bored with it or with each other. It just sounds like heaven.
As much as I crave change at times, as much as I love to travel and see new places, I love the routine as well. I love knowing what someone is going to say before they say it and feeling that familiarity.
This is the case for all INFJs. We need that connection, but also alone time. I’ve spoken to many INFJs who say they just have one or two people and that is more than enough.
I just need one. That’s it.