I have been trying to encourage my husband to come out of his shell a bit.
I feel like a lot of us forget how to make friends as we age. Sadly. And it’s even harder for introverts.
I would love to do a meet up some day for people who need help making friends, starting conversations, maintaining friends, and so on. Or maybe just a meet up on how to “meeting up”
Having online friendships is fine, and they definitely add o your life. Much like pen pals did back when I was a kid, but even on a deeper level. I feel as though having in person friendships have ceased though. Not that online friends don’t fill in the gaps, but nothing feels better then sitting face to face catching up with a friend. Or group of friends. It feeds you somehow! Not to mention, it’s fun!
Last night my husband and I were in a group setting. (Under twelve)
At first everyone in the room was quiet.
That always makes me nervous, if I’m being honest.
I know it’s not actually possible, but if I’m in a room full of quiet people, I feel as if I can feel their anxiety and feels.
It becomes burdensome and heavy.
I don’t know how else to explain it.
In this small group setting there was this one man who started up a conversation with a lady. It seemed as if she was a nurse.
She started talking about how she had wrist surgery this past week. She then added that her knees were next on the list. That was my cue. Similarities. I feel like if we really listen to people speak, we can find common similarities. Listen to people speak, not just talk.
That same man then asked me and my husband how we were doing.
My husband said fine. And knowing that’s never the right answer for any conversation, other then a cashier or waitress when they ask, I replied with more. I told him that I just had the remaining gel shots in my knees this past Friday, and was happy that they were finally over. And that I pray they work. Short and to the point.
What do you think happened next?
The nurse asked what did I have done, exactly. She also added that she use to be over 300lbs and she had weight loss surgery and had dropped 160lbs in the past two years. But, her knees still hurt just as bad as they did being heavier. But her diabetes was gone.
So we started talking among ourselves. Her husband was an older fellow that she had to also care for, and she seems tired and stressed.
Older then me I think, but sociable and nice. The kind of gal you can be friends with.
There was only one other “couple” who looked our age in the group. The man of this other couple started talking about his job, and how he worked for a bank.
I noticed his wife had several cans (4) of Diet Coke in her open handbag and kept pouring them into her adult sippy cup. She seemed very relaxed, having her legs swung up over the chair in front of her.
One man commented to her about her soda stash, and she said she realizes that we all pick our poison. The man laughed and told her that everything is okay in moderation. Small chat.
Being a former Diet Coke drinker, I felt like I could start and maintain a conversation with her though.
After our group was over, my husband told me he was going to try to start up a conversation with the other bank guy. Seeing as he also works for a bank.
I was happy that he was going to make the effort, so I figured I’d jump on ship and talk about Diet Coke with the lady, and how the struggle is real. Many time small chat leads to conversation.
But things went down hill real quick.
The moment the gathering, which was a lesson was over, the couple start to dash for the door.
We notice that this happens all the time.
No matter where you are.
It’s as if everyone is punching a clock.
Or.. maybe they all hate people.
Doesn’t matter the day or time. If you are in a group setting. Once it’s over, people want to go back to recluse mode.
Each year is getting worse. It really is.
My husband and I were about six feet away, when my husband says to the man.. “Hey, which bank do you you work at, I work for (………..).
The Man, with his back still towards us, turns only his head slightly to tell my husband the name of the bank, and then continues to walk and says, work in computers.
My husband then says that he works with computers too, and that maybe….
And with that, the man and his wife were out the door and down the stairs.
During all of that I tried introducing myself to the wife, but she didn’t turn her head, motion to me, or knowledge that someone was speaking to her.
She just stayed silent pretending not to hear me speaking to her while sipping her soda and walking.
I felt so bad for my husband. He wants us to have couple friends. Currently, we only have one couple who we are very tight with, but they travel several time a year, for a month at a time, so it would be nice to have a couple more to dine and hang with. We are not ready to throw in the towel and give up. We are married, not buried! We like to have dinner with friends, have people over, and share life with. I swear this is how, and why cults start up.
So after that, my introverted husband looked at me, head down, and said, “See? I tried. You saw all that right?” Yes. Yes I did. I replied.
People are so self absorbed and in their own bubble. I thought people would have come together more this past year, but nope! Quarantine changed nothing! Nothing long term.
People never want to have conversations. Or maybe they forgot how? Seriously.
Maybe with our online worlds, even the older generations are forgetting how to have meaningful conversations off line. I also wonder if it is like this in other counties. France? Italy? India? Australia? How is it like in other countries? Are people standoffish everywhere now?
Or is it just here in the states.
I have spoken to my daughter about it and she says she experiences this too. It’s all age groups.
No one wants to get together outside of mutual gatherings. There is no hospitality anymore. I thought it was bad a decade ago, but it’s 10x worse nowadays.
And it’s not because of Covid, because all of these people are still going on vacations.
I would say that is the number one thing I hear people talk about in passing lately.
So they are talking, but maybe it’s with another family member or with an already established friend. Whose to say.
I’m not so focused on the talking part, as I am on the meaningful conversations part.
You know, getting together on a double date and sharing life with one another. Past and present.
Telling stories and laughing with one another. Making memories.
I have such fond memories of these types of get togethers, that I’d really hate to think that they are forever no more.
We need each other.
We need people in our lives to cheer us on. We need people to comfort us when we are down and lift us up. Celebrate and count it all joy! Regardless!
I have sadness in my life, but it does not define me. There is still beauty everywhere.
Gosh, scripture backs all of this up in neon. Why are so little practicing it?
And I still feel bad that I encouraged my husband to make the effort and it did not end well. But I will continue to encourage him to not give up.