On Learning How To Make Friends

I’ve worked on a phone, whether it be customer service or sales, for almost 25 years now. In that time, I’ve learned something important – I deal with men a lot easier than with women. Which is interesting, because I tend to as well have more male friends than female.

IMG_20131019_000039I don’t deal as well with most females, and I don’t have very many close girlfriends. My sister and I are close, and at various times I’ve had close girlfriends, but right now I’m kind of re-establishing a new friend network. I have been here before, and it can be a lonely time. Yet this time around I feel more comfortable with myself, and therefore being alone isn’t such a bad thing.

Even now, as I ply through the turbulent waters of customer service for a large telecom, I find myself better equipped to deal with irate men, then with women. I’m sorry if this sounds horrible, but women can be downright unreasonable.

Now, lets just put aside the competitive nature to many female relationships for a moment, and concentrate instead on the fact that I guess I just don’t “get” many women. I’m not particularly domestic, I don’t have, nor have really wanted children. I have been married, but my relationship with my husband was cerebral, not sexual. We probably would have made better friends. Many of the men I call friends actually have effeminate characteristics, yet are heterosexual by nature. With women on the other hand, my closest girlfriends have always had masculine characteristics, and I guess I have always been attracted to dichotomy.

I have experimented with the nature of sexuality, and have firmly established my own heterosexual nature. I am a man with woman kind of gal…no third wheel, or female presence can engage my senses in quite the same way as a man can.

Yet, oddly enough, outside of friendship, I failed in respect to my successful man to woman track record relationship-wise. Somehow I always manage to either attract, or stumble into, one broken relationship after another. I’m better at the friendship part, and rather suck at the long-term, sexual part. No idea why yet, but I’m aware of it atleast. Can’t change something you’re not even aware of.

IMG_20131019_013129That said, men can be annoying pests, selfish turds, and aggressive and controlling sacks of shite. I tend to throw most of those sorts aside rather quickly, but not necessarily all the time, I attract my share. Which is why I prefer a pub, to a regular bar, as you tend to meet more interesting men, less turds and pests, and the women are intelligent and different.

On the phone, I can turn down the volume on a male irate caller easy-peesy. Women on the other hand? Not so much. I often have to bite my tongue, and try to wipe the derisive vocabulary swirling around in my mind. I know, I know…bad Paula…but it’s true. I’ve very rarely over the years really had long-term friends…period. I have friends I’ve known for years and years, but currently my only interaction with them has been via Facebook. Fact is, I’ve been incommunicado for almost a decade now with many of my older friends.

I’m completely certain there is some kind of psychological explanation, quite certain some therapist could easily rub or robe me of this affliction. However, I don’t take advice well, and generally need to come to the conclusion at my own pace, and by my own means. I realized at some point or other that I just am one who is often to be found off the beaten track.

I suppose the other thing I’ve found, is that many women don’t get me either. Which I can certainly understand. I am not attracted to the same trappings that populate a more domesticated lifestyle. As much as I LOVE to be grounded, and need my root planted, I find myself eventually ripping it out again sometime later and having to start over. Oh, I do sometimes crave a quiet, domesticated existence. Yet, again, I just as much crave the adventure, the unknown, and the discovery of new places and new people. Diversity is the spice of life, for me.

More than women not getting me, women also tend to believe I’m out to steal their guy. Which is ridiculous, as I have no use for them in the same way they do. I as well have no use for someone who is with another…I want my own, thank you very much.

Re-establishing a friendship circle is difficult work. It requires one to actually begin to not merely investigate what it is one wants in a friend, but to embody those qualities, and find a variety of places in which to find the sort of friends you desire around you. I know this city, but yet I don’t know it that well anymore. I also have a limited timeframe for which to socialize. I am currently reduced to either late evening hours, weekends or mornings. Unfortunately there are not many groups that fall into those timeframes…thus to a degree I do have to think outside the box.

Another wrinkle, is that Men can be just as unwieldy as any irate female, let me tell you. And of course I first have to usually establish the ground rules with male friends. Friends only. I am not teasing, nor am I thinking about anything else, I do in fact MEAN….just friends.For some, it just seems beyond the comprehension, and eventually they fade away. Little by little though, bit by bit, I will build back a good network of friends. It has never been my forte. But I’m trying, and learning, and perhaps maturity has softened those bitter edges left from high school girlfriends, and disappointing boyfriends, spouses, and otherwise foolish men.

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3 thoughts on “On Learning How To Make Friends

  1. So many things in this article ring true with me to. Firstly, the listening to advice but then having to slowly come around to it in my own time, my female friends actually get offended by ‘ignoring’ there constant advice. Secondly, I find men are easier to be honest and forthright with rather than women who can get upset and take it as a criticism or a bitchy remark by mistake. Lastly, I paint my nails and like cute things but I also drink pints, love console games and I have a blokey sense of humour so yes, we may share interests and we might swap a bit of quick witted banter but no, I’m not trying to steel him 😄

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    • 🙂 “ignoring there constant advice”…I know eh? pfffttt…I’d rather stumble along with my own dreams. I love your mind girlfriend …so true though….I can paint my toenails, dress like a girly girl, then hop onto a barstool and just be one of the guys as well. And many women just do not get that…never have…and therefore most tend to think I’m either a beitch or a slut…which I find rather amusing. But, eh, Whatever

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