How To Be Our Friend

It has come to my attention this weekend that I have very few good friends, either in Real Life or online.  I’d like to change this.  I figure the best way to cultivate new friendships is by giving easy-to-follow instructions on how to get to know us, as this is a somewhat tricky task.  These guidelines apply to both Real Life as well as online.

NOTE: You will probably have to approach us and initiate the conversation.  We have Social Anxiety Disorder and are most of the time very shy.  Once that is understood, here are the basics.

1. BE PATIENT WITH US
     It takes me a really long time to learn people’s names in real life; I literally have to be introduced over and over again before I can recall someone’s name.  Online, it’s even harder because I often don’t have a face to put with the name. If I only interact with you once in a while, chances are I won’t remember you very well, or will have forgotten our past conversations. There’s also a chance that you can catch me during a period of time in which I’m somewhere/someone else and I’ll be clueless.  It’s not that I don’t try to pay attention, it’s just that I lose memories every instance in which I lose time, and that is often.  Please don’t take it personally!

2. HAVE AN OPEN MIND
     I am liable to say anything. I’m brutally honest and moody as hell.  And some of us speak or tweet without thinking.  Sometimes I ramble on and on about crazy meaningless shit.  Sometimes I get up on a soapbox. Sometimes I wallow in self-pity.  Different moods, different me’s, different conversations.  Sometimes I curse like a sailor.  Sometimes I’m terribly insecure and/or paranoid.  Please don’t judge me. Just because I say something that offends you one moment, doesn’t mean that the next moment I won’t be a different person with a different attitude.  Stick around-you might find one of us that you like.

3. HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR
     I have to make fun of my mental illness, or else I would lose my freaking mind. See that? Humor.  It’s what gets me through life.  Well, humor and pills. Now in Real Life, I try to play off the mental illness jokes as just jokes; only a handful of people know that when I make those jokes, I’m really being serious. Online, I don’t hide my crazy thoughts, just my identity. Don’t be offended by my jokes-I only joke about different disorders because chances are, I’ve been diagnosed with those disorders, and so I feel entitled to poke fun at myself.

4. BE PREPARED FOR REPETITION
     This goes back to my poor memory and also losing time and switching.  I can’t remember what stories I’ve told, so I’ll sometimes tell the same ones over and over. I know how annoying that is.  Just tell me to shut the hell up. I’m used to it in Real Life. Also, be prepared to repeat your own stories, as I will forget them and the details of your life, such as your job or your pet’s name, and ask you questions. 

5. DON’T EXPECT ME TO BE ON TIME
   I have my own sense of time, and unfortunately it’s about a half hour behind the rest of the world.  So if you want me somewhere at 8:00, you best tell me to be there at 7:30.  I’m not exaggerating.  You also can’t expect me to keep track of time, such as how long a phone conversation is; sometimes I can talk for hours, sometimes five minutes seems too long. 

6. BE PREPARED FOR SUDDEN DISAPPEARANCES
     I can be in the middle of an online chat, and lose time, and vanish for an hour or an afternoon.  Or I can go to a party and stay five minutes and have a freakout and slip out the back door without saying goodbye to anyone.  I can appear without warning-at bizarre times or bursting into the middle of a conversation-and I can disappear without warning, leaving you hanging, waiting for an answer perhaps.  This just comes with the territory.

7. BE FORGIVING
     Sometimes, I’m an evil bitch.  Part of us is quite mean and says horrible, hateful things. This is not the real me, it’s just an unfortunate part of me. I don’t know where she comes from or what triggers her, but she’s cost me countless friendships and relationships even some family.  I don’t like to talk about her. If you meet her,  it’s best to keep your mouth shut and run.

I’m sure there are probably a few other tips I could give you, but my brain is exhausted and I’m ready to do some serious drinking now.  Hopefully, this post will be read by someone who’s looking for a new, perhaps unconventional friend who’s trustworthy and a good listener.  I figure the best way to acquire new friends is to make it as easy as possible for people to approach me.  Someone in Real Life once told me that I was “unapproachable”.  Fast forward several years. That person is now my husband.  I think that says something.

Advertisements