Where Are All The People Like Me? (Ask Matthew)
Question From Reader:
“My question isn’t about a “love” relationship, but about platonic relationships. I’m so confused on how to make friends that are worth it – and by worth it I feel like I put my effort and time into getting to know people, only to discover I meant nothing to them when I need them.
I have a great personality, I’m spontaneous, funny, and I think I have a great sense of humor. But I’m not “down” to do everything like smoke, drink and party. It’s just not for me. With that said, I’m not nerdy either. I like being outdoors, going to nice places, and all that stuff rather than just watching a movie or smoking.
But I feel like I meet really weird people. I’ve tried so hard to broaden my horizon in making friends. In college classes I try to sit next to people I’ve never sat next to before. I’m always smiling and welcoming, and I’m unsure of what I’m doing wrong.
Why can’t I make trustworthy friends or meet people who are like me? I’m easy going and friendly. I’m just not into the whole college party scene or the academic scene. I just want balance. I feel like I don’t belong; like there is no one in this world that understands me. I don’t understand how friends can be friends one second, then talk badly about eachother the next. I don’t get why there are no nice people in this world.
ANYWAY! My question is just this: how can I make trustworthy, outgoing, yet studious friends in college who are worth it? Is there a way to know if someone you meet actually cares about getting to know you rather than just looking for company? And what’s the best way of making *lifelong* friends if you don’t live in the dorms?
Firstly, people will not always live up to your expectations of them. Friends will sometimes let you down, or fall short of what you expect, and that’s okay. People screw up. Part of friendship is allowing for those moments, or deciding enough is enough when someone continually lets you down. But I can assure you, there are great people out there!
It sounds like right now you are looking for balance, but perhaps are unwilling to compromise yourself in order to get it. You say you are not into the party scene or the academic scene. Those are two very broad things. Some parties can be fun, and some subjects can be fun if you give them a chance. You reference smoking and drinking a lot but they needn’t be part of your life even if you do go out with friends. Not all of the people in your university are smokers are they?!
Besides, I’m not a smoker or a big drinker, but I will still go out to places where people do those things, because there are plenty of fun things about going out and socialising: the conversations, the dancing, the jokes…it’s all part of the fun if you let go and enjoy it.
Friendships are born out of bonding experiences, but you have to be spending time with people to have those experiences. Try not to focus on where you are or what you are doing the whole time, instead focus on just having great conversations with the people you are with. Truly get to know them. Don’t judge them, just get curious about them, and tell them about yourself at the same time.
What people want more than anything are people around them that understand them, are interested in them, and have fun with them. If you cover those three bases you’re going to have great friends who want to be around you and look out for you.
If you do have friends that consistently let you down, then it is your choice to keep them in your life or not. But remember that very few people will ever become life long friends we can really trust, so don’t think you’re doing badly if you’re not finding it easy to meet people you think are great friends. Instead focus on having a great time with the people around you and let them see the value you bring to the table. If at the end of the day you end up making a bunch of casual acquaintances and one or two great friends, you’ll have done a great job!
Keep your head up and keep going!
Hope this was helpful, and be sure to leave your comments letting me what you think!