Aug 17, 2015

Friendship For Sale - Going Once, Twice...

Making friends is hard.  You know it's bad when you're reading some article or self help book and nodding in fascination at such enlightening suggestions as "make eye contact" and "smile at people."  Because it should all be common sense!  If I'm nice to people, they'll be nice to me.

But it's all starting to seem like so much work.  The Meetup groups, the friend dating website, agonizing over the best way to get in touch with that friendly seeming person from that party without coming across like a weirdo.

And when you do start to make friends with someone, what then?!  You have to keep hanging out with them until you know each other well enough that your friendship can make it through a quiet month or two.  And that just takes too long.

My ideal friend would love the "getting to know you" phase.  We'd sit and talk for hours over what was supposed to be a happy hour or an art night and discuss our hopes and dreams and know everything about each other after hanging out once or twice.

My ideal friend would come up with alternate suggestions when she had to turn down my activity suggestions.  And she'd be ok with only talking a couple times a week and only seeing each other a couple times a month.

But it really doesn't work that way.  You don't get to know someone immediately, and in those tentative first stages you can't just call them up to vent about your dad or talk about that crazy thing that happened at work.  It takes time to build up to that level and, frankly, I'm tired of trying to find someone who's willing to put up with me for that long.

So, at least partially inspired by Kristen's post Why I'd be the best bridesmaid ever, I'm now going to put the somewhat dubious gift of my friendship up for auction.

In Kristen's post, she argues (very compellingly, I might add) that she'd be a fantastic bridesmaid and we'd all be foolish not to invite her into our bridal parties.

And I thought I'd do something similar with the evidence of my awesomeness at friendship.  But I'm honest, so I'm also listing the areas in which I'm lacking.

Why I'd Be the Best Friend Ever

1. So Many Event Ideas

New York trips, theater, the beach, the zoo, frisbee golf, canoeing, dog park dates, hiking, mini road trips, renaissance faires, and SO. MANY. THEMED. PARTIES.  I find myself wanting to host things all the time, and then realizing I don't know anyone who'd be interested.

2. I Pack Snacks

You cannot go to the movie theater without smuggling in at least one beverage per attendee, along with snacks to share.  It is known.  I'll admit, my new healthy (er) lifestyle is putting a bit of a damper in my snack-packing, but I'll get over this slump once I figure out how to sneak things in that need a cooler.

3. I Understand the Talking/Listening Ratio

I don't necessarily think every silence needs to be filled, but in general it's nice if the conversation keeps moving.  Sometimes the other person has that covered, and I'll lean back and enjoy the flow of their words.  Sometimes the other person is more of a listener and I take up the slack and provide a direction for our chatter.  I'm flexible like that.

4. Graphic Design Resources

You need some ideas on where to get something printed, how to choose a color scheme for your wedding, or a small design thrown together?  I am your man (er, woman).  Of course, if you need a logo or website for your business, I might charge you, but it'll be the friend rate.

5. I Like to Be Educated

Got something I don't know much about?  Fantastic!  Tell me all about it.

Where I Might Let You Down

1. Sometimes I Need Space

I fully believe that I flipflop back and forth over the boundary line of extrovert and introvert.  Sometimes I'll be delighted to be on your beck and call, ready for whatever new adventure we dream up.  And sometimes I'll need to be alone for a week or 2.  It's not about not liking people, it's about needing solitude to recover.

2. I Don't Know When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up

Sometimes you just want to vent and I should just let you.  But for some reason I feel the need to chime in and say, "Well maybe if you handled it this way..."  Not always, just when a solution seems clear to me.  And then there's the times when you have spinach in your teeth or your dress is tucked into your underwear and I think, "Should I tell her?  Nah... she'll be happier not knowing."  Determining which situation is which is something I haven't figured out yet.

3. I'm Oblivious

Of course, if I haven't told you about tooth spinach or panty lines, it's entirely possible I didn't notice.  Ryan has frequently chided me for not informing him of "bats hanging out of the cave" and you know?  I really didn't see it.  Sometimes I'm so unobservant, it's hard to believe I'm a graphic designer.

4. Specialized Interests

You might get tired of hearing about color schemes, blogging (unless you're a blogger), and my latest client projects.  SEO, fluid layouts, meta tags, what?!  (Speaking of which, I really need to get this parallax scrolling thing figured out.  Frustrating!)

5. I Like to Educate Others

The flip side to learning is passing that on to others.  Of course, you might not welcome my discourse on my latest nutrition knowledge or the random facts I learned on Reddit, but unless you make that abundantly clear, there's a good chance I'll happily fill you in on EVERYTHING.

So there you have it, my good friendship qualities and my less than stellar moments.  What about you?

What makes you a good friend?  What are your friendship flaws?  What is the most bizarre thing you've done to try and make friends?

Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design


  1. hahahaha you are hilarious! i am all about snacks (who goes to the movies without snacks?! my husband, he is such a weirdo) and all your event ideas sound so fun. I often think of fun things to do, but don't really have a lot of people to do them with. I have 3 good friends, but they have lives and don't always want to be at my beck and call, lol. I am so bad about not knowing when to shut up, I am trying to be better about it as I get older but I can seriously talk and talk and talk and talk and interrupt and give advice you didn't ask for.
    I don't know what makes me a good friend - I think I'm quite loyal, and I never bail on people, even when I don't want to do whatever I said I would. I am never late and I will do anything a friend asks (besides murder someone, unless they had a good reason). But my flaws definitely outweigh the good - I talk a lot, I'm quite needy and then sometimes very distant, I like to be alone. I'm loud, annoying and blunt most of the time. I am far too sensitive and I take everything personally. I haven't really done anything in the last few years to make new friends, I kind of gave up to be honest. It's so hard as an adult and I love the few I have, even if it's not that many.
    We can be virtual friends :) Lol.

  2. We could be friends simply because you bring snacks!

    I'm horrible at small talk and I feel awkward around new people, if you could get past the first couple of awkward meetings we would have fun!

  3. I hate the awkwardness of meeting new people and deciding if you want to be friends. I think that's why I suck at dating. I just want to skip all of that nonsense and go right to being besties. I already think we're friends because you offered to bring snacks. Usually I'm the snack packer so it will be nice to have someone else take over.

  4. The fact that you bring snacks has friend written all over this for me! Haha! I hate making friends as an adult. It is so hard!!! Way harder than I think it should be? I mean...don't we all need good friends?? I think that I make a good friend because I am loyal, I am game for whatever and let's be honest...I am funny as shit. Right?!?!??! Haha! But in all seriousness, I just want to be friends with someone that is real and honest and a decent human. Apparently, that is asking a lot these days!

  5. hahaha I laughed my way through it, because the way you wrote it was hilarious! I love all the qualities that make you a good friends and some of the ones that you say you suck at, well I have some of the qualities too - speak up or shut up is my biggest weakness I should thing - or Im just blunt. Either way I'd totally www-bff you based on this post alone because it is fabulous!

    Also - snacks are a must.

  6. Making adult friends is so hard. I could not agree more about skipping to the point where it's okay if you don't talk for a bit. And I'm right there with you on needing space. Given what you've written, I think we'd be pretty good real life friends! :D

  7. New York trips mean passing through my area (or at least being within 20 minutes of me) so GIRL I AM IN. Beach trip not withstanding, I pretty much always bring snacks too, am all about mutual education, and also enjoy a nice bit of space. A lot of people don't get that, and I've been accused of being stand-offish and rude for turning down plans. Truth is though, sorry, I need to be in a quiet space and no, most of the time, you wanting to chit-chat is not more important than that. So what I'm saying is, I feel ya and we're obviously buddies now that we've bonded at the beach.

  8. Umm, we'd be excellent friends! You being oblivious is perfectly fine because I'm super-observant. And as for needing space? Helllo, Sagittarius! I live for personal space. Also, I love to learn new things, regardless of their topic. I typically have some form of snack with me at all times and I'm not exactly shy when it comes to speaking up. NJ/DE isn't a far trip but, ugh! Why aren't we closer?!


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