How to Make Friends and Not Terrify People

I’ve been in my new job for 6 months now, I’m not sure when it will stop being classified as a ‘new’ job – but until someone newer arrives, I certainly feel like a new girl (girl – hah – get me!).  I had a lot of friends in my old job, who formed an orderly queue to give me a big hug when I left and lots of whom I’m still in touch with.  Starting over feels a bit strange, and it’s made me question how you actually go about making friends.  Let’s start with some statistical analysis.

I have 160 Facebook friends.  Although, that’s just gone down slightly, as while I was looking at it, I unfriended a few people on the basis that we have nothing to say to each other and/or they keep posting pictures involving the words ‘Keep Calm and…’.  Those people need to go.

Of the 160ish:

3 are people I used to be neighbours with – note the words ‘used to’.  I should never be Facebook friends with people that I am currently living next door to, since they tend not to like it when you start a discussion about what they could possibly be blending at 10pm, or writing out samples of dialogue from the time that they used the word ‘darkie’ to describe their doctor or whatever.

1 person is from college – I can’t believe that I was at Blackburn College for 3 years and I only have one FB friend from that time.  Perhaps I was a bit annoying while I was ‘finding myself’ or something?

1 friend is the company who catsits for us (always good to check that they don’t post statuses like ‘I love killing cats’ or ‘Man, this cat fur coat is super warm’.)

13 people are from my time at Burnley Youth Theatre.  Always good to see how all that acting experience is coming in handy in the office.

14 people are family – either mine or Chris’.  To be honest I prefer a lot of Chris’ cousins to my own – I have been trying to swap, but he’s not having it.

15 people are from uni – initially doesn’t look bad, but then bear in mind that I was at uni pretty much solidly from 1994 to 2011 and it doesn’t look so good.

18 people are from school – I’m hoping this means that we won’t bother having an actual reunion, because I cannot face the sort of diet regime that I would have to go on.  I suspect however that about 90% of the people from Towneley would be attending in KKK robes, given the quality of casual racism that peppers their status updates.  Whilst KKK robes don’t naturally suggest partay, they are incredibly flattering to a large tum.

27 people are purely from the internet, otherwise known as teh internetz.  Mostly from the Benrik blogging site, with a few renegades from my old FB group I Live in Bramley But I’m Not Chav Scum (most people who joined were, in fact, chav scum, and the admin of filtering these reprobates out became too time consuming).  I love my internet friends because I chose to be their friends not because they sat near me, or lived near me, or were friends with my friends, or were related to me, but because they made me laugh.  Also, I am lazy and like to have friends that I don’t have to see or speak to.

30 people are friends from work.  This is always a scary prospect – are they suddenly going to become incredibly offended by something and report you to your boss?  I would hate to have to sit in the boss’ office and answer the question ‘So who is the fucking idiot who made your face hurt?’.  I do have a few friends from my new job, which I’m hoping is a good sign that my true, annoying personality has not been unleashed.

34 friends come under the title ‘friends of friends’.  I’ve worked this out, and about 75% of them can be credited to Alison McQuail – since she introduced me to her housemates, who included Penny, who was sort of seeing Matt, who ended up marrying Holly, who worked with Smooth, whose friends all like poker and weed.

I also seem to be friends with someone called Judas Iscariot – and I have NO idea who this is!

So, work people do actually constitute a significant proportion of my friends, so how do I keep this up in the new job?  It’s tricky.  The first thing I ever said to Chris was ‘Oi You! Want a shag?’, which was mockingly shouted at him while I was drunk on Thunderbird.  The first time I met the Benrik people I got drunk on half a cider and kept putting words in finger-quotes. Like a twat.  I don’t have any natural grace or dignity.  Plus I know what it’s like when people have tried to make friends with me in the past – the people who invite themselves along to anything and everything, the people who come over to join in a whispered conversation, and the people who go straight in for the ‘Hey guys, party at mine!’.  It’s a little bit like being in some kind of animal pack, you sort of have to let people sniff you a bit, then you back off and offer yourself for sniffing again at a later stage.  And you bring cake in.


One response »

  1. I remember when Judas Iscariot joined Benrik. After a number of blog posts it turned out that he blogged under a different alias for ages (something about a raven?) and the overlords had kicked him off the site, for being disobedient, I presume.
    It’s been a long time since I was particularly active within Benrik but I still like having people from that time as Facebook friends – whether I’ve met them or not.

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