Fear Not: How To Make Friends Part II

Jump in with both feet first!

Cliff Diving courtesy JohnONolan, Creative Commons License

OK, so last week got away from me – I know this early on into a series and I’m already flaking out – it doesn’t bode well…

Fear not. Because that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Not fearing.

I know for me, and I’m sure some of you out there, too, that there are those days when you just irrationally despise everyone around you. Especially those who care about you. I know, I know, Midol can cure this – or it could be that we’re just a bunch of scaredy-cats.

See, when I feel this way, it’s not just that everyone is irritating me, and making my life more difficult, it’s often that I feel so d*mned alone, and all those happy, popular, together people just seem so d*mned happy and together and popular and everything seems so easy for them that I just want to scream, and cry, and lash out because I’m jealous and can’t they see how awful and lonely they’re making me feel???

Umm, no, they can’t, crazy Miss Happ… Uh, remember how you work so hard to keep it together and not let them see how much you’re hurting and just want to be included? Yeah, that. That’s what they see, because that’s all you allow them to see.

Also, people are incredibly self-centred. (Seriously, look at this blog.)

So while I’m all upset and worried about how I’ve offended someone and they’ll never forgive me, or how maybe I smell because no one calls me, or how I wish they would invite me for lunch, just once… They are worried about that zit on their forehead, or how they wish I (or someone) would just call them, or how they might get fired from all their extended group lunches and why can’t they just have a work ethic like Miss Happ’s….

It’s rough all over, kids.

So in the spirit of growth and development, and making friends, and conquering those fears one voice at a time… Try something new.

Something you’ve never done before, something you’ve never dared. Go cliff diving (and tell me about it!), take a ballroom dance class – without a partner – and meet some new people, take voice lessons and stop being afraid of impromptu sing-a-longs (they happen more often than you know), learn how to rewire or build something with your hands from those tutorials at your local hardware store, join a gym and learn how to do yoga or 15 chin ups or run 5km…

Better yet do something you thought you would hate – maybe that’s just your fear talking. Maybe it’s something you tried when you were young but it didn’t come easily so you gave up, or someone made fun of you before you’d figured it out, or someone for whom it came naturally made you (inadvertantly or on-purpose) feel inadequate…

For me that used to be just about any kind of land sport, singing, and driving.

And you know what?

I had to figure out driving, and while I used to cry EVERY TIME I drove – to the point of nausea and hyperventilating – now, I love it. I take scenic  routes, and Sunday drives (even with the cost of gas). I love driving. But it took me years (and a few now ex-boyfriends) to get there.

I started singing lessons in August. I go once a week, and my instructor is fabulous. I can firmly say I have made a friend in her, and even if I were to quit, we would each want to stay in touch.

Alright, I haven’t really begun to conquer the land sport thing yet… But maybe I will. In fact, Dashing is a huge land athlete, maybe that is something he can teach me to enjoy.

The point is, when you try something new, when you face your fears, when you get over it and sit amongst all those whom you envied, you learn, you grow, and often, you come into contact with new potential friends. And after all that learning and growing, you become a new potential friend to yourself and those around you. Because each time you knock a fear out, you become more confident.

And there’s nothing more attractive than confidence.

So go ahead – Fear Not.

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