Things They Can’t Say: Gfunkified.com

I’m not that great at making friends.

Scratch that. I can make friends, when I put myself out there. I’m just not great at putting myself out there. I’m shy, I get overwhelmed around strangers, and people think I’m a bitch because I don’t talk much to new people. I look like a snob, but really, I’m taking it all in.

I have always been one to surround myself with a small group of good friends. I’ve never been “popular” but I’ve never lacked those relationships.

I’m still in touch with close friends from every stage in my life, but as I get older (and the responsibilities of motherhood exponentially increase with each child), I find it harder and harder to not only connect with people, but pencil in time to spend time with them.

There are too many exclamations of “we need to get together!” and “I haven’t seen you in so long, we have to catch up!” I’m as much to blame as my friends are.  And with social media, it’s even more complicated. We feel like we know what is going on in the other person’s life, but we don’t actually “talk” about it, face to face.

There is just something about virtual communication that is seriously lacking. The tone of a simple note can be taken in a completely different way than it was intended, and the lack of a simple note (or comment on a status) is too easily taken as disinterest. I, personally, am entirely too sensitive about things that I see or read online (real or imagined). I won’t hear from someone for a while, or there will be a notable absence of a “like” on good news that I’ve posted, or whatever, and I let my feelings get hurt. It’s pathetic, I know. But it’s true. Without that verbal communication, what else do I have to go on?

Of course, I have some friends that, when we finally do get together to catch up, it’s just like it was the last time, five months ago. But that in between time is hard. And it’s lonely. I would kill for a chance to meet up with my girls for dinner and drinks and boy talk.

But I don’t have a “group of girls” anymore. I have friends scattered all over the country, whom I rarely get to see.

I do have a friend that I make a serious effort to make time for (and vice versa). It’s easy when we get together, but what’s more important is that we DO get together. We met through this crazy blogging world but live close enough to hang out in person every couple of weeks. We “get” each other, and I’m incredibly sad to think that we may end up solely as “virtual” friends again.  I don’t want to lose her to the online world, like so many others. It’s just not the same as sitting across from each other and Instragramming our lunches simultaneously.

My BFF is the one that let's me be a total dork and only laughs a little bit.

Greta Funk writes at Gfunkified.com, about her glamorous life on the Kansas prairie as the stay at home mom of her four little tornadoes and wife to her noble protector. She also writes about the Celiac Disease that her preschooler was recently diagnosed with, and her household’s resulting Gluten Free lifestyle. She co-hosts a fun camera photo link-up called iPhone Photo Phun (#iPPP for short) every Wednesday. She works hard every day to record the moments, keep the crazy contained, and maintain herself as a Person and not just a Mom. Follow @gfunkified on twitter and “like” her Facebook page.

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Comments

  1. says

    Very nice post.  I have fallen victim to a “tone” in an email…based off my insecurities too. Blah…..it stinks.
    :)  “Real” friendships are  the best.
    AnnOnandOn recently posted..LemonadeMy Profile

    • says

      It does stink! I think it’s especially hard because I am so shy, so I have a tendency to hide behind social media instead of reaching out.

      Real friendships rock. :) And we’d better hug them close!
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

    • says

      It’s really not, but for someone like me (who’s shy and busy with kids) it’s so much easier to hide behind the online world. And then you’ve disconnected yourself. Sigh.
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

  2. says

    I LOVE that photo of you!  There is nothing dorky about it . . . so there!  

    I am so happy that you and Julie have connected both on-line and in real life!  Friends are so important . . . they make life so much brighter.  Oh and never worry if I haven’t commented or “liked” something as I am just completely lazy at times!
    Jenn@Fox in the City recently posted..It’s Okay I’m Not A-Okay Right NowMy Profile

  3. says

    I could’ve written this, Greta. I relate entirely too well. Thanks for putting into words what a lot of us are feeling.

    ;-)

    did we ever establish how far away you are from me? I just had surgery, but would love to meet you! Kansas Prairie girls unite!
    erin margolin recently posted..And Your TRUTH Shall Set You Free.My Profile

  4. says

    I still haven’t made up my mind yet whether Social Media is a blessing or a curse. It’s fascinating and fun, but how do you keep up with all of it? You can’t possibly interact with everyone in your Twitter circle all the time ?!? (At least I can’t, not until they invent longer days).
    I totally get the feelings you’re talking about – not “hearing” from somebody or having some kind of interaction makes you wonder. But life is crazy and I don’t even know how you do it with four kids!

    In the end it’s all about balance and we all have to find our comfort zone – you’re definitely in mine ;)
    Kerstin recently posted..How it feelsMy Profile

    • says

      I know, right? There’s no way in hell I could keep up with Twitter. I finally made my list so I could keep up with people I actually WANT to keep up with and chat with regularly. I felt like otherwise, I was missing absolutely everything. 

      I don’t do any of it very well with four kids. But I try? Or I get my feelings hurt. Ha! I’m so glad we’ve connected recently, Kerstin!
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

  5. says

    For me, finding the time to really enjoy going out is the difficult part.  There just seems to be so many things to do in life.  Finding that balance is difficult.  When I finally do go out, though, I have a great time.  I really need to work on building those relationships and taking that time for me.
    Karen recently posted..Dislocated TailboneMy Profile

    • says

      I know, that’s exactly it. It so…rejuvenating to get out and enjoy yourself, doing something YOU want to do for once. Then you ca come home and be mom again. But yeah…finding time for that is so, so hard.
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

  6. says

    Im so glad to get to know you better through these words, and you’re brave to speak them.  I can identify with what youve said, and Im reading in the comments that many others can as well.  <3
    Frelle recently posted..Bleed It OutMy Profile

  7. says

    I totally love this post because I am in the same situation, except I don’t have a friend close by to get together with every couple of weeks. I am working on it though because I realized how important girl time can be.

    I’m going to check out gfunkified now! As a newly diagnosed celiac, I’m always interested in learning more from others.
    Mom On A Line recently posted..Slumber Parties & ParksMy Profile

    • says

      That’s why I’m scared of her leaving. It’s just so hard to find that connection with someone, especially as an adult, and ESPECIALLY as a SAHM!

      I hope you find some useful information. And you ca always contact me if you have questions. :)
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

    • says

      Stephanie, it’s so hard. I do love social media because I can connect with people hours away, but it’s not the same. I always think I need to organize a girls’ weekend to meet in the middle somewhere…maybe someday I will!
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

  8. says

    Making friends as I get older is just as difficult as blind dating was. I’ve made great friends through the online world, but you’re right, it’s just not the same as sitting across from someone and having a glass of wine or, um, coffee. Thanks for putting this out there… it’s always nice to know that I’m not alone with things like this!
    Cheryl recently posted..Oh, what a week! (Friday Fragments)My Profile

  9. says

    You are so right about our online “relationships”! Over the past few years that I’ve been using social media quite a bit, I’ve gotten better at not reading into everything. Also, being very careful about what I post. I think I’m the same as you when IRL social situations. I’m quietly taking things in until I have something to contribute. Also like you, I have a small group of close friends.
    Just Jennifer recently posted..TGIF: Wine Tasting & Guest PostingMy Profile

    • says

      That’s exactly what I do, Jen, “taking things in until I have something to contribute”. Exactly. But I need to get better and not reading into everything, too, and remember that everybody else has a life just like I do!
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

    • says

      Well, thank you! I’m a fan of it myself. And I’m glad that you can relate. I feel like an outsider a lot of times, so it’s nice to know there are other outsiders, too. :D
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

  10. says

    What kind of jackass am I that I am just now reading this? Sorry, we had a busy morning! But I know you get that, and I think that’s why we mesh so well. (Assuming you’re talking about me? Cause really, if you’re out there trying on hipster glassas for some other woman, well, we’re gonna need counseling or something.)

    Just to put your mind at ease, I’m not moving any time soon. God obviously wants me in Kansas City, so here I shall stay and here I shall bloom. (With your help, of course.) I’m so thankful for your friendship and for the effort you put into getting together! 

    As for the online world, well, it’s a great jumping off point for relationships. You and the other person decide how far you’ll take your friendships from there, and not everyone has to be your BFF. I’m happy to have lots of acquaintances and a few close friends because of social media. (Even if certain people who will remain nameless but know who they are described you all as not having a pulse. Harumph.)

    • says

      No, MM, I do not wear hipster glasses for anybody else. :)

      I’ll try to push that fear back, but I know that this isn’t where you truly *want* to be, so it’ll always be there, I think. I just have to quiet it and enjoy the time you ARE here.

      I most certainly have a pulse. Maybe a slow one after a martini or glass or sangria, but it’s still there.

      Social media is great for meeting people, and reconnecting with old friends, but that in between? It’s like a friendship wasteland sometimes. You know?
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

  11. says

    Oh how I get this, Greta.

    I, too, am slow to warm and way, way sensitive. Le sigh. It’s the way we’re wired, yes?

    I’m so glad that you found a BFF through social media. maybe {just maybe} once the habit of friendship forming is instilled, it hangs tight?

    IE: Maybe there’s more BFF’s just waiting to see those glasses! :)

    {Absolutely love the honesty in this post!}
    Galit Breen recently posted..Magnum OpusMy Profile

    • says

      It must be the way we’re wired, Galit. And maybe why we’re so comfortable behind the computer. :)

      I don’t know if it gets easier, but it will never hurt to meet more people in the area through social media!

      Thanks for the support, always!
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

  12. says

    How did you know what was in my head? I never realized how much harder it was to make friends once I became a stay at home mom. I always had an easy time in school or at work, but at home, the loneliness has increased so much. The web has been a great support, but I do miss the face to face time–hearing a voice, sharing a laugh. I’m so glad that you and Julie have made an effort to truly connect both off and online.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted..My Summer Plans & Where I’ve BeenMy Profile

    • says

      I think it’s so easier when we’re younger, because we’re sort of forced together into classes, or projects, or teams. Work is sort of the same way. But when you have kids and schedules, it’s just so hard. Even going to the park, that one-time meeting another mom isn’t enough for me to have the courage to speak up! It really would be easier if we all lived close. :)
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

  13. says

    This topic has been on my mind a lot lately. I have been depending a lot on my friends that I have met through blogging. I have never met any of them in person but thanks to Twitter, Facebook and our blogs, they have been more real than the people in RL. The amount of support and understanding makes me feel less alone. It makes me happy that through your blog and Twitter, I am getting to know you. I think you are beautiful (love the pic) and it comes through in your writing. :)
    AnnMarie recently posted..Summer Blogging and Writer’s BlockMy Profile

    • says

      Oh, thank you so much, AnnMarie! There is such a great support system out there if we look. Much more than trying to find people to relate to where we live sometimes. It is also nice that no matter what time of day it is, we can find somebody to talk to online. If only that would translate to “real life” sometimes.
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

  14. says

    I am the same way.  I am shy and do not put myself out there.  It’s not easy.  And we get very comfortable in this world here.  And our lives are busy.  So it’s hard to get together with our friends that are close to us.  That’s why when we do, we take pictures and blog about it.  :)
    Lourie recently posted..First Beach Trip 2012My Profile

    • says

      It is so easy to get comfortable, and to hide behind the screen. I think that makes it even easier to be shy and hold back in real life!  It’s kind of a vicious cycle, isn’t it?

  15. says

    Oh Greta, I could have written a very similar version. I often feel like I come off sooo much better on paper or via computer screen. Because of exactly what you just said. I’m the type to hang back, and take it all in. It’s not that I’m being a bitch. It’s just. Well. I’m getting better. But my good good friends are scattered around the country. I have a few local friends, but with kids…a lot of kids….it’s hard to maintain those friendships. And it’s all about making the time. I heard you loud and clear on this post. Thank you for it :)

    • says

      Exactly. I’m so glad I’m not the only one. It is so easy to hide behind an online “persona” but I think that makes it even harder to put yourself out there in real life. Don’t you? Ugh.
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

  16. says

    What a lovely, honest post. I so relate to feeling hurt after using a friend’s comments/lack of comments as a way to measure their feelings for me. Guilty of that big time! I’m grateful I have “in person” friendships and most of my friends are local, but it’s still hard to carve out the time and make it a priority to get together. I visited a dear friend today whom I haven’t seen in months and am so happy I made the effort. I usually am happy I did, but I forget that every time! Great post and conversation in the comments.
    Mary @ A Teachable Mom recently posted..Anger Looks Good On MeMy Profile

    • says

      Mary, I’m glad that I’m not the only what takes those kinds of things (comments, or lack thereof) as that measurement. It’s so hard not to sometimes. I need to remember that blogging or posting on facebook isn’t sufficient for letting people know what’s going on in my life (or vice versa). It doesn’t do a very good job of taking the place of real communication, but I try to make it sometimes.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!
      Greta recently posted..Things *I* Can’t SayMy Profile

  17. says

    OMG! I swear, it’s like I wrote this post! I related to and felt every word Greta wrote and I TOTALLY understand. I’m definitely going through a slump myself and I definitely needed to read this! Oh, if nly there were more time and energy to spend with friends, make & keep those connections, and just feel a little less lonely! Awesome post Greta!

    • says

      Oh, thank you for that, Vivian. It’s so hard to be in this position, but the online world really can be a great comfort and support system.

  18. says

    I am so much the same way – not entirely at ease with new people, never “popular” but with a group of good friends. With me, once you are in, you are in. But then everyone moves away and I’m not so great at keeping in touch…
    Amanda recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: ThreeMy Profile

  19. says

    We just had a recent power outage and the internet took even longer to come back. It was nice to just be offline and chat with people as we were all outside trying to deal with cleaning up our yards from the storm. I always say I want to chat with my nearest neighbors more often but it just doesn’t happen. Sometimes, the only thing I have to blame is my time on the computer. I need to remind myself every day that there are limits so I can enjoy my life with my family and friends. I don’t want to let it all slip away and it is very easy to do it when there are so many awesome people to connect with online. Yet another place we need to find balance ;-)
    Kristen recently posted..Misery Loves CompanyMy Profile

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