Do you even really like people?

Do you? I mean do you REALLY?!?!

I ask this question because I think we are so limited by our first impressions and by our unwillingness to let new people in…

I started reading “Eating the Dinosaur” by Chuck Klosterman and he makes the statement that he would much rather interview people then try to manage the social situations that come with relationships-he doesn’t say it in those words, but his reasoning is as follows:

“I don’t like having social limitations of tact imposed upon my day to day interactions and I don’t enjoy talking to most people more than once or twice in my lifetime.”

I laughed out loud, because Chuck likes the idea of asking people whatever he wants to, and he likes not having to see these people ever again. I seriously laughed, but then it got me thinking…Chuck also said that he believes that he’s lucky if someone REALLY listens to him for 10 minutes a day–how true is this in your own life? Today I caught myself completely red handed-I was sitting at Starbucks, drinking my coffee, reading this book, and giving out the National signal for “Don’t bother me” by wearing my headphones. What does this say to people? Because when I see someone like that I think “They probably have enough friends.” And sometimes, when I meet someone new and they put in zero effort to get to know me, I write them off–because really, their constant decline on coffee outings and dinner parties says to me “I have enough friends.” I end up feeling bitter, and today I caught myself doing this to the world. Who knows who could have walked into Starbucks today looking for a friend.

So I changed my situation. I took out my headphones and I started to make small talk with the older man who was sitting near me analyzing numbers in this mornings Wall Street Journal and you know what?! He made me laugh. He not only made me laugh, but he made me feel happy.

I am a person that generally likes her limits. I like meeting new people, if I am in control of it. I don’t like girl circles, and I don’t like being forced to make conversation. If it happens then great, and if not, don’t make me sit here and try harder. And sometimes when people want to get to know me that don’t meet my imaginary checklist of coolness I think “I have a best friend, and you can not replace her.” I know I’m a jerk. But I’m being honest. Intense social situations scare me, but what scares me more is rejection…though I think I am just as guilty of rejecting people myself.

Are we putting limits on our relationships with other people? Have we already decided on our ‘max limit’ for people? What do y’all think about this? Do you have a social admission you’d like to own up to?



  1. Denise says:

    I have been wanting to post something like this since That Saturday.

    You’re an inspiration.

    I tend to meet people the same way I find new authors: word of mouth. I usually give them a try, but after two or three times of not maintaining my interest, I’m done. Life is too short to waste time trying to maintain one-sided relationships with uninteresting, inauthentic people.

    And bad books.

  2. I do the same thing. And I justify it by saying, life is too short…but then sometimes I think, I am so mean and everyone deserves a 2nd chance.

    I’m really intense when it comes to friendships too. I tend to be very “high standards” about it, and I feel like I’ve given a lot of people the elementary school TALK TO THE HAND BECAUSE THE FACE DON’T UNDERSTAND…you know what I mean?

    I think yes, it should be ok to cut ties with people, and theres no reason to feel obligated to be friends with someone if the vibe is bad. But I also think we all could make a little room too…to let just one more person in because what does it say about us when we are unwilling to create relationship when God puts a deep desire in us to be in a community?

    • Denise says:

      You’re right, and I agree. I have come across very few people I cut out of my life intentionally. Just because I am not friends With someone doesn’t mean I’m unfriendly or not civil. I’m more guarded, I think.

  3. Great thoughts girl. Challenging, for sure.

    I’ve struggled with limits for years. Like you, I don’t do girl circles, generally. I’m not into womens meetings and groups. But I like a group of trusted chick friends.

    It’s been a hard balance for me being in the ministry and out front in church and wanting to be private at home. I used to feel guilty for not opening my home at all hours to everyone in town. Then I realized…we, as a family, need that space.

    Now…when I’m out in town, I chat with everyone. Kass observed this one afternoon and commented how no ones safe in the checkout if I’m in line with them. Made me laugh. BUT…are those moments building lasting relationships or are they just safe for me.


    • This is EXACTLY what I mean. I think my heart loves people and wants to know them, but there’s all this other stuff that gets in the way.

      Bryant told me once that when we were just friends I was the only person that continually made the effort and really cared. He said it was genuine, and while he pulled back I kept calling him. I sensed that he really needed a friend, and my honest intentions were to get to know him.

      Looking back at this, I realize that back then I wasn’t as afraid. I didn’t set so many limits and social situations didn’t scare me as much…I wonder what has happened? How much of my lack of effort is selfish and how much is valid?


  4. Yep! My favorite line, “I hate small talk.”

    The real deal is I’m impatient and insecure. Small talk happens before people trust you enough to say anything important. The longer I wait for important things to be said measures my unspoken “value” with others.

    So I think I like people too much. Maybe?!?

    • I get that. Like your the one who’s the open book and ready to dig in, and your sitting there like really, you want to ask me where I was born?

      Its in these social interactions that I panic! What are they thinking? I’m trusting, why aren’t they trusting?!

      And maybe its the lack of trust cloud that kills my girl circles. I just can’t handle the eye rolling judgement.

      But I think somehow I have to find a way to INVEST in people anyway and find my mojo! Because am I really effective if I don’t make time to really know people?! I’m not so sure.

  5. I hope your hesitance / resistance for meeting new folks is not based on what you may have heard about the stereotype of people in the valley (Jville in particular) before you moved here. We got the “lowdown” on the town and it has proven to be a sweeping generalization at best.

    Maybe I am just incredibly lucky, but 90% of the people in whom I have invested here are interesting, funny, smart and totally worthy. The other 10% jackasses either reveal some kind of useful lesson (what Not to do) or make me appreciate the good ones that much more.

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