I talk a lot on this blog about my friend-making successes. I dish about a waitress, or a girl sitting next to me on a plane, or an improv class full of new friends.
I’ve written less about the BFFs that never were. Ladies who never called back or stopped responding to emails or who flat out told me they didn’t think we should be friends.
I do this because I want to encourage people to go out there, introduce themselves, and invite a new acquaintance for coffee.
But the truth is that for every three-to-five people who happily accept my invitations to brunch and the like, there is usually one who brushes me off. And I get that, because there was a time not so long ago when I would have thought it was plenty odd that some random girl was trying to platonically pick me up.
Commenters on this blog are often discouraged because they did what they were supposed to do—the asking out, the following up, the saying yes—but then the potential friend disappeared. So I’m here to say that this has happened to everyone. Or at least, this has happened to me.
A girl I genuinely thought I’d bonded with stopped acknowledging my emails. To this day I still don’t understand why. Another one told me outright that our friendship wasn’t going to work out. And there’s yet another who I think may currently be passive aggressively trying to end things.
I generally take this kind of brush-off personally. Who doesn’t? But these days, when a PBFF gives me the old heave ho, I’m usually able to laugh about it. Since so many people have been receptive to my friendship advances, I don’t get too bent out of shape about those who haven’t.
You know what your grandma said about kissing a lot of frogs? It’s true. But with friendship it’s even better, because you don’t have to limit yourself to one frog at a time. You can kiss all the frogs you want at once.
Ok, this metaphor is getting weird.
What I’m saying is, if you’ve tried to pursue a friendship with one or two people and it hasn’t worked out, you can’t just bail on the effort entirely. Remember, it’s not personal. As Jon Stewart says, we’re the busy majority. Some people don’t have time for new friends.
But other people do.
So take solace in my failures. We’ve all had the not-so-great friendship adventures. But I’ll guarantee that if you continue to introduce yourself and do the work, you’ll end up with more potential friends than rejections.
And then, when the inexplicable “We can’t be friends because I don’t like people who wear purple” happens, you’ll be able to laugh. If you’re me, you’ll just plan to write about it some day.
Have you had any less-than-stellar reactions from would-be friends? If you’re on a similar search, have you had discouraging moments? How did you get back on track?