This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com
Now, on to my blog:
We all need good friends to hang out with. There’s a comfort level about being around people we like, we’ve known for a while, and with whom we share common interests. Humans are not solitary beings. We are social beings who enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded folks. They are our support system, our cheering squad, our comforters.
Some people, however, refuse to open themselves up to making new friends. They stick to those they know to the exclusion of anyone who tries to break into their tight clique. Sometimes, it’s to the point of being rude.
I remember a situation where I was sitting in a huge, noisy room at a large, round banquet table. It was my first time attending that organization, and I didn’t know anyone there. The person seated on my right physically turned her back in my direction as she chatted up the person on the other side of her. There was a bookend effect from my left. Together, they served to isolate me. Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience. Why do people behave like that?
Rather than thinking it is a fault in yourself, maybe it’s a fault in the back turner. Perhaps they are so uncomfortable with new situations that they have to form a blockade to keep intruders out. How sad for them. They might miss an opportunity for a new point of view, of learning something they didn’t know, or of interacting with a charming personality.
I have a group of friends who are very open and agreeable with any in the group inviting newcomers to our outings. We never give it a second thought. So, I did the same thing with a different group of friends without asking if it was okay with everyone. It just didn’t dawn on me that it would be a problem. Wrong!
Another in that group became very huffy and cold to both me and my invited guest. I noticed how visibly upset she seemed. I couldn’t figure out why she was acting that way, so I asked her when we were alone for a moment.
“I thought it was just going to be the four of us. I didn’t know that there was going to be a stranger here, too. It just changes the character of the get-together.”
In truth, she’s right; it does. To me, it was just a few friends joining each other for lunch. However, I had spoiled it for her. I should have asked permission of the others before inviting an outsider.
We are not all alike. I enjoy meeting and getting to know new people. I find it interesting and stimulating. However, not everyone feels that way, and I must remember that.
Old relationships are precious. Treat them accordingly. But, try to open yourself up to new ones. It might just expand you.
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