Ask Kat: Where's My BFF?
I am a girl who has never had close girl friends. I have always wanted to be close to another girl, like desperately wanted a BFF, but throughout school (I'm in college now), girls have never warmed up to me. I've tried, but in classes girls usually act like I'm not there, I only get attention from guys (as friendly acquaintances/boyfriends). I feel like there's something wrong with me.
I've been told that I am fun to be around, easy to talk to, hilarious, smart, pretty, interesting, etc. But I still have this intense insecurity because I know there must be something wrong with me, because other girls don't like me, I just don't know what it is; I don't know how to fix myself. I know having a close friend isn't something that happens overnight, but I feel like I've met enough girls to meet one at least. It's kinda like the movie I Love You, Man, where I'd be Peter Klaven, I guess. Where is my Sydney Fife? Or, why doesn't anyone want to be my Sydney Fife?
Ah, the eternal question. Where is your Sydney Fife? For that matter, where are ALL of our Sydney Fifes? Everyone should have a Sydney Fife!
But all kidding aside, let's see this little analogy through to its logical conclusion... by remembering that, even in the less-than-realistic world of Hollywood bromance, it still took multiple false starts and a whole lot of effort for Peter Klaven to meet the Fife of his dreams. Which is to say: best friendships take time, effort, and a certain amount of luck. So while it sucks that you don't have a best ladyfriend, please note: it doesn't mean that there's something wrong with you.
What is wrong, however, is this: the part where you approach your friendships by looking for attention, instead of connection. Because dude, making friends isn't about attention! It's about intimacy, which is a very different (and much more difficult) thing. And it's also the reason why, if you're less-than-confident about your likeability, it's so easy to end up with nothing but opposite-sex friendships—where you can fall back on your sex appeal, get validation of your attractiveness, and generally avoid the vulnerability that real friendships require.
Which, as you've found, can work out okay on a superficial level... but can also get kinda lonely when you just want someone to, like, really really talk to.
Meanwhile, the girls who act like you're not there may be aloof bitchez, but they also may just be picking up what you're putting down. I mean, look at your letter: you're convinced that you have some serious defect which makes you inherently unfriendable! And while I can assure you that you don't, the noxious stench of insecurity is one of nature's most effective means of driving away any potential friends.
But don't worry, because there's a foolproof way to turn off the insecurity and start forging the sort of connection you're looking for: quit thinking about making yourself interesting, and start thinking about what interests you.
Because being interested in other people is how friendships start. And in the meantime, every minute you spend peering into your navel and wondering why you don't have girlfriends is a minute you could have spent making friends—whether it's by asking a classmate where she got her awesome shoes, or joining an activity where you'll meet people with common interests, or bonding with your dorm neighbor over your mutual love of classic film. (See also: the male version of your problem, right here on this very site!)
Of course, like you said, these things still take time. And even after you've gotten in the friend-making habit, you may still find that you end up with a handful of very close friends rather than one Uber Bestie In Whom You Confide All Things. But if that happens, it's okay. The important thing is that you let yourself be drawn to people on their own merits, and let them be drawn to you on yours. No B.S., no insecurity, no worrying that you're not good enough. Keep at it, keep your head up, and you, too, will find your Sydney Fife... or several of them.
Do you have a Sydney Fife? How did you find him/her?
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