Asking a semi-stranger, someone you just met or someone you don’t know that well, to hang out used to be SO HARD for me. In fact, I just didn’t do it. Instead, I would find myself in those situations where I would talk about hanging out ‘sometime’ and we would never end up committing. And the tragedy? I would always miss the opportunity to be friends with someone I know I could’ve gotten along with!
I’ve been lucky and have a couple of people in my life (Sweetie Pie Sister and Cutie Pie Boyfriend) who are great at reaching out and connecting with people. It feels like it’s part of their personalities, but after many conversations with Sweetie Pie Sister, I found out that she thinks it was more of a conscious decision for her. One day, she made the choice to be more social. To be the one reaching out. To plan and invite and make as many friends as she could.
Now, I’ve been working on this for awhile. Last year, when I moved to Seattle I took a small, but formative step forward. Whenever I was asked to hang out, go on a date, or show up somewhere… I said yes. I stopped making excuses when I felt too nervous. Was I ever outside of my comfort zone? Of course. But the thing is, I made real friends.
However, Friday night was the first time that I really felt like I have finally leveled up to connector. I reached out to a stranger with a mutual friend who just moved to my city and I invited a girl from my class that I had just met (who happened to be celebrating her birthday!). Said stranger is definitely going to be around again. Said girl was introduced to another girl from my program (who I also invited), they hit it off and hung out together the next day!
At some point, I just stopped being afraid. It was like, the worst that can happen is they say no. I remembered how hard it was moving to a place where I didn’t know anyone. I remembered how grateful I was for the opportunity to hang out with literally any other human being. I felt like the potential for getting a no was suddenly worth the risk of making something great happen.
The beautiful part about Friday was that it was so dang easy. There was minimal planning, we just picked location (an awesome inside beer garden) and time (8pm). Now my friend group is growing, I’ve checked one more local Baltimore hangout off of my list, and I felt great knowing that I did something to make a few people’s days a little bit better.