Why I’ve Stopped Trying Introduce Myself And Make New Friends

 I’ve oddly been thinking about this idea for a while, and I’ve even expressed it to my B3 Advanced Theater class. Finally, I can say at this moment, the majority of the voices in my head have come to a consensus on an opinion. 


To backtrack, even before I formulated this opinion it was probably around the end of summer in 2021. In just a couple of weeks, I was ready to enter the corridors of Hunterdon Central to start off my sophomore year. 


Now mind you, during the 2020-2021 school year, I was a fully virtual student, and I hadn’t had any social interaction since early March of 2020 (before that March 13th date), you know, when the world felt like it wasn’t fully collapsing!!


My mom felt like without me having any social interaction for a significant amount of time, I had changed for the worst. She told me I’d become more of a negative person without having positive people to be surrounded with. 


I completely disagree with my mother’s argument, and I actually thought the complete opposite. I felt as if I changed for the better, as I started taking initiative in my diet by creating my own vegetarian meals and limiting my time on social media by not feeling obligated to go on my phone every minute. 


But, I knew my mother was partially right. Her argument was something I thoroughly disagreed with, but I knew having some social interaction was good for me. So, I took most of what she said and applied it during the first couple of days of school. 


During the first week of my sophomore year, I reconnected and reunited with my friend from fifth grade. From what I can recall from fifth grade, he and I were both the two new kids new to the Flemington area, and that’s a commonality that drove our friendship. 


It was nice catching up with him and talking about our quarantine experience. I enjoyed the social interaction, and I got more exposure to talking to people after a prolonged time. He’s one of the few people that I can actually call a “real friend.”


The thing is though, I had to be the one to reintroduce myself to him and start the conversation. It really didn’t feel like anyone was interested in wanting to encounter me and start a conversation, and I hated this idea. 


You know, if there’s one thing I know, it takes a lot of guts to come up to someone you barely know or haven’t seen often. I hadn’t seen this guy since 5th grade, and I felt like it was a bit of a stretch reintroducing myself after not seeing each other for so long, but regardless, I made it work. 


People fail to recognize the emotional bravery it takes to actually start up a conversation with someone you have a desire to associate with. There’s a lot of feeling that comes before actually doing the action, and most of it is over contemplation. 


Here was my over contemplating thought process: I assumed that since me and this guy hadn’t seen each other since 5th grade, he might have made acquaintances of his own, and it would be a burden for him to re-associate with me again, so thought it’d be best to just ignore him. 


Of course, I didn’t know that this was true, but this pessimistic thinking was restraining me from accomplishing the goal that I and my mother wanted, which was to make new friends. I knew that if he didn’t reconnect with me, it was still good practice for me to increase my repertoire in socializing. In short, I knew it was necessary for my social health to get out there, which is why I made the move and came up to him.


Now, here comes the part where I contradict myself: Why I’ve Stopped Trying To Introduce Myself and Make New Friends. 


From September to May of sophomore year, I amassed a large number of friends (including the guy I mentioned above), acquaintances, and social interaction experiences. I’ve learned to get out there more for the sake of my social well-being, and all of this has benefited me immensely. 


But, to amass most of these “social things” I had to work for it. Most of the people I wanted to associate with were out of my interest. It seemed as if nobody truly had any interest in getting anything out of me. 


A lot of the social experiences I experience feel like the feeling isn’t mutual. Usually, there’s an evident reason as to why I want to associate with a person. Some reasons include that I like their demeanor, or how they present themselves. I may enjoy their personality or their sense of humor. The list can go on and on- there are a lot of things you can like about a human being.


What I’ve realized though is just because I like this person, it doesn’t mean they’re going to like me back as a person. Obviously, when I have the confidence to come up to this desirable person, ignoring me isn’t the most courteous thing to do. So when I introduce myself, they’re most likely going to talk back as that’s the conventional thing to do, and it’s how a conversation works.


But, most of the people I want to associate with don’t mirror the same energy after making this grand introduction. When I try to put in the energy to make the friendship more intimate, the effort is not reciprocated by them. This automatically rings a bell in my head, that they clearly have other things to spend their energy on, and “me” is not one of those things. 


Through introspection, I’ve become closer to myself, and I have an idea of what kind of person I am. I’m definitely not worthless, and I don’t think it’s fair that I get treated in such a way where I’m spending my energy on someone that isn’t going anywhere at the end of the day. 


It’s an honor to be my friend, and if you have an interest in associating with me, show that interest, and I’ll 100% most likely reciprocate that same energy- unlike some people. It’d make me happy knowing you had the nerve to come up to me and introduce yourself because through experiences of mine, I could indubitably guess that you’ve wanted this action to go to fruition, and you had the emotional bravery to make that action occur, plus you fought over contemplation- which is a difficult thing to do. Truly, you put an enormous amount of effort just trying to get my attention, and of course, I’d recognize that. 


To conclude, now that I’ve finally had the experience of what high school friendships are like, it seems more rational that test my patience and let other people that have an interest in me come to me, rather than wasting my energy on people who don’t contain any more shareable energy and make me feel worthless. There are better things to spend my energy on than those people, like writing these Lamp Articles! This is a lovely pastime for me.