• Vulnerability in Making New Friends

    Vulnerability and Friendship
    A few months ago, I consciously decided to be more vulnerable in making new friends and connections. To not think about coming on too strong or what’s socially “appropriate” and especially side stepping the fear that they wouldn’t reciprocate the feelings.
    What did this mean for me?In a nutshell, it meant if I met someone cool or interesting, that I wanted to get to know better, then I would make contact in a way that feels most authentic to me. This might mean friend requesting a new acquaintance on Facebook, checking out their website or blog, liking their business page, or inviting them to an event I’m hosting. In some cases, it meant reaching out to grab coffee or attend a yoga class together.I’m an incredibly social and outgoing person, so this wasn’t a test in my personality or stepping out of my comfort zone, but it was a test in letting go of expectations.

    My goal has never been to find new best friends or create business partnerships. My goal — if I really have a “goal” at all — is to simply meet new people and connect in a more authentic, aligned way that feels right to me. I’m tired of surface level conversations with the same old people, and I’m also tired of meeting someone incredibly interesting but never reaching out to meet back up or stay connected out of fear that they might not feel the same way.

    I want to surround myself with people who inspire me, challenge me, and boost me up in my journey, and allow me to do the same for them. 

    I want to meet people who are excited about life, adventure, community, and making shit happen.

    I want to meet people who want to meet other people! 

    I want to learn from everyone. I want to be encouraged and inspired by other people’s struggles and achievements.

    I want to be influenced by creative people, helping me further my own creative endeavors and projects. 

    It hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes I feel silly – or question that I just weirded someone out because I met them for 20 minutes then friend requested them and now they think I’m a stalker. I start to get in my own head questioning why they haven’t responded to my email about grabbing coffee.

    But so far, almost everyone has not only responded and reciprocated the feelings, but I’ve actually been hearing that they were excited to hear from me or glad I connected when and how I did. The simple gesture of making an effort to stay connected, even if in the smallest of ways, seems to be going over really well with most people.

    The few people that maybe weren’t as responsive — well that’s where the lesson in no expectations comes in. With no expectations of how they’ll respond but just being grounded in the fact that I put myself out there and I did what felt right to me (what I wish more people would do too)… then it’s okay. Not everyone is in a place to meet new people or expand their circle of connections, or hey – maybe they didn’t feel quite the same pull I felt to learn more – but that’s okay! Maybe they are just really busy, or going through some shit.

    It’s all okay. 

    The less I care what other people think, and realize their reaction or feelings are almost entirely unrelated to me… then the more I can focus on following my truth and letting people into my world that are open to being there.

    And the moral of the story… the more authentic and real I am, the more this is projected into the world and brought back to me in return (yes, I’ve seen it happen). Some people will respond positively to this energy, while others don’t know what to do with it. Yet either way, I’m feeling more and more aligned with my healthiest self and new opportunities and connections are forming that could never have formed without this perspective and approach. And for that, I am grateful.

    I certainly am not saying that this is necessary for every interaction, that would be exhausting. But I am saying that maybe, just maybe, when we feel a pull or attraction toward someone we don’t hesitate to ask for their phone number or invite them to coffee. Yes, even in Seattle with the infamous “Seattle Freeze” this can be done. Just remember, no expectations… and you’re golden.


    Learn more about my Authentic Relating Workshops here.


     

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