Meeting New People

With my usual lack of grace at thinking up blog post titles, I realize this one might be a bit ambiguous. So to clarify, I’m talking about the ways people might meet other people. I’m not giving advice; I’m definitely not qualified for that, seeing how difficult it is for me to meet people.

Actually, that’s kind of what this post is about. I realized over the weekend, as I settled in for two days of not seeing anyone besides my family, that I don’t actually know many people. I don’t have an outside-the-house job, so I have no coworkers to interact with. Hubby’s parents only live a couple of blocks away, but I don’t see them much. I’ve lived in this town for over six years, and still don’t know many people because…

I don’t know how to meet them. That’s my confession for the day. I have no clue how people meet other people and move from “Hi” to hanging out and having coffee and chatting on the phone.

I have less grace with social skills than with blog post titles.

I’ve never really had an easy time with meeting people and making friends. When I was growing up, it was easier because I was in school, so I had plenty of other people around. But even then, sometimes I would find a friend who after a week or two decided friendship wasn’t going to work out with me. Once I was out of college, I had jobs, but socializing with my coworkers didn’t happen. At my last teaching job, it was particularly painful; the other two women who worked in the classroom I worked in often made plans right in front of me, knowing I was listening. It was junior high and high school all over again.

Obviously I do meet people occasionally, but it’s rare and they don’t usually stick around in my life very long.

I know how whiny this post sounds, and I don’t mean it that way. I’m an introvert, I have social anxiety, and I seriously don’t have good social skills. Social stuff is like a foreign language to me. But at the same time, sitting at home all day knowing that even if I wanted to have coffee with a friend, I don’t have a friend to have coffee with… it’s kind of lonely. And the last time I tried asking a professional for solutions, her answer was, “Just meet people. It isn’t that hard.”

Um… maybe not for her…

So how do you meet people and make friends?