Letting My Guard Down—In A Good Way

I’ve always been my worst critic, and I’ve struggled with my self-esteem. It seemed like once I found my pack and was happy that I didn’t seem to worry about it as much. Like when I managed the baseball team in high school and my junior year of college. Those were both great times.

I struggled a lot those first six months after graduation when I was thrown into the adult world. I thought I’d stay close with my roommates, and to be honest, I didn’t. If anything, I wish one or two of them a happy birthday and that’s it. We all went our separate ways. I had coworkers I could talk to at work, and they were really nice, but I’m not sure if I’d consider them close friends. And of course people came and went a lot, so it was hard to become close with people. I did find a good friend, though, in an intern that I supervised two summers ago who is now the friend who runs 5Ks and goes to wineries and ice skating with me. Even though I left that job, we still keep in touch and see each other about once a month.

When I started my current job, it was nice that people who were there when I was a student were still there, so I was familiar with people on campus. But my department were entirely new people to me. It took a few months—I’ll be there eight months in June—but I feel comfortable around them. I mean, I also see them all every day, so you’re bound to become friendly with them. Some I’ve bonded with over baseball and beer, others it’s been our pets and love of dogs.

I’m trying to make friends with other people on campus, like outside of committee meetings or emails. Making friends as an adult is hard. It was easier in school or even in college because you saw roughly the same people every day in your classes or in clubs you joined. Or friends of friends.

There are two people I’m attempting to make plans with, schedule permitting, and for some reason, getting to know those people seem different to me. As I’ve been writing this post, I think I figured it out. I knew them when I was a student, and I’ve obviously changed in the last three to four years. So I don’t know if they have some idea of me and hanging out with me would change that idea. When it came to my department, they didn’t know me prior to coming back to campus as an employee, so it was a fresh start.

You ever just know people and you’re like, “I want to be friends with them”? Can you just tell someone you want to be friends with them? Or do you just do friend-like things together and then you become friends?

This is when I start to be hard on myself, because I keep thinking, “Well, I’ve met me. I’m weird. They’re going to think I’m weird.”

But I also have a better understanding of myself than I did when I was graduating as an undergrad. I’ll yell about sports. I’ll judge whatever kind of beer you order (#SorryNotSorry). And I’ll probably end up showing you pictures of my pets at some point. But I’m also a good listener. And I’m interested in learning more about other people. And I try my best to give somewhat decent life advice.

For all I know, those same people could have changed since I last really spent time with them/talked with them three years ago. I just need to be open to getting to know them and spending time with them. Because you’re allowed to get to know your coworkers, or in my case, other people on campus.

I know that I just need to go with the flow, and these people are just people. I can’t overthink it, because I’m just going to stress myself out even more, even before we do anything.

How do you overcome how you see yourself?

10 comments

  1. You’re right! Making new friends as an adult IS hard! We’re all just so much more set in our ways and opinions as we age. It takes a great and open attitude to get out there and try to make new ones, good on you for trying!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re also right! It can be great that we come from different backgrounds and experiences, but sometimes it’s hard to be open minded with others. You have to be willing to get to know someone and find out things you have in common with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I find it best to under think situations, like if I’m sharing something on social media, I might go back and forth about it for hours thinking about what others would think of it. So I just skip that step and post it and then immediately go do something else so I’m not thinking about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post, but especially the part about how making friends as an adult is hard. My parents were at our house over the weekend, and my mother was stunned that in the last few places we’ve lived, we’ve never gotten to know our neighbors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s like by the time you’re an adult, you already have your friend group and it’s hard to find yourself in another one. We only know a few of our neighbors; if anything, we’ll wave to them. But we don’t hang out with them, like you think people would with their neighbors.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lots of people walk on our street, so we always wave when we go by, but pretty much the only person we stop and talk to is the woman who walks Buster, who is basically the neighborhood dog.

        Liked by 1 person

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