Alone

I quit another moms’ group.

Everyone was perfectly pleasant there. Each time I went, lovely, stylish, cheerfully made-up women welcomed me by name and included me in their conversations. I felt frumpy, flabby, woefully plain in comparison.

Greeted by their perfection, I felt like a fraud.

Nothing those women said or did made me feel this way. Really. Everyone I talked to was nice, smiling.

I felt like I was passing for something that I’m not, and that was exhausting. It was almost like I’d been invited to sit with the cool kids at lunch, and I was just waiting for them to realize that I didn’t belong and ask me to leave.

So I left.

I quit before they could realize that I’m unlikable, broken, disheveled.

That painful truth was etched permanently onto my heart in the sixth grade by Marsha and Becky and then in the seventh grade when I ate lunch alone because not even the dorky, unpopular kids would allow me to join their lunch table.

There has got to be something seriously wrong with you if you aren’t even good enough to sit with the unpopular kids.

I’ve become hardened over the last twenty years. I’m an introvert by nature and by circumstance. Being alone doesn’t bother me, and I’d almost convinced myself a few years ago that I didn’t need friends.

But I do need friends.

Friends are a soothing balm to my wounded heart, and I cherish the friendships I have developed over the last couple of years.

I vacillated between quitting the moms’ group and not quitting.

On one hand, it was just so hard to dress up and be pretty and make small talk. On the other hand, I thought there may have been a couple of blossoms with potential to bloom into friendships.

In the end, the hard won out and I quit. I just didn’t want to find out that no one liked me.

© 2012, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. says

    If you feel like you have to pretend to be something you’re not, then that isn’t the right place for you. Be unapologetically you. Because you are fearfully & wonderfully made. (I’d let you sit at my table :-) )

  2. Valerie C. says

    Please don’t feel bad. When my two children were babies/pre-school age I quit 2 groups :) I think these groups are not for everyone. The women were not really friendly in the two I joined and I just didn’t feel a connection. I smiled and really tried, but, felt awkward too. I met more people at community events and through relatives to talk to, than from any group. Your daughters are beautiful by the way :)

  3. Tara says

    I am so sorry. I have joined every Mom type group I could in the past 9 years. I have yet to make any lasting friendships. It would be so nice to have a couple friends to call or just do things with. I dont’ mind being alone either but friends are nice. I have childhood friends and college friends but noone local. I’ll be your friend. :)

  4. Natalie says

    In school I was the one sitting in the popular cliques and probably wouldn’t have let you sit with us but I got to tell you that I feel awful about it now as an adult!!! I wish I would have been different but thankfully now I can be and I try to go out of my way to make those who seem uncomfortable feel like they are my friends and belong!!!! I hope you find at least one special friend or two or three!!!!

  5. Amy says

    O.M.G. Tara I never would have guessed you ever felt this way. Every time I’ve ever seen you, you’ve been the most popular, smartest woman in the room!

    I have zero IRL friends and, like you, I have tried for so long to convince myself that I don’t need them. But the truth is I long for the day when I have a girlfriend to call when I’ve had a good day or a bad day or weird day. And it won’t be a bother or a bad time for her. And she’ll actually call me sometimes, too.

    I’ve quit many playgroups for the exact same reason as you! I always feel like a square peg trying to fit into a roud hole. We can have our own playgroup :).

    • says

      Isn’t that amazing? I read your comment and almost fell out of my chair. I see myself as shy and awkward, and I’m convinced that everyone sees me the same. To be called the most popular woman in the room makes me think you have me confused with someone else! ;)

      We are IRL friends. I’m not much of a phone talker, but you can call me if you want to. And we can have a playgroup any time! I actually go to a group at my church one morning a week. We’re winding down for the year, but you’d be welcome to join us next year. Seriously, you should.

  6. Kathleen says

    You really have a beautiful writing style! This piece moved me greatly. As far as kids are concerned–they truly can be quite cruel sometimes. Kids generally won’t stand up for what they believe in–like asking a nice girl to sit with them–for fear of being the outcast. Sad really, but they’re just kids in the end.

    Seems to me like it is possible that the ladies do like you–but that it’s you who is making the judgments (they can’t like me b/c they’re dressed better/nicer/thinner/etc than me). Although I’m not fortunate to know you IRL, I can’t imagine why anyone would *not* like you. You have many hobbies and interests and bring a lot to the table. Keep putting yourself out there–just like anything else, the more you do something the better/more confident you become. :)

  7. says

    Tara, we’re so much alike. I get into these situations and I just know there’s no good reason anyone would really like me. But it’s not true! Not of you, and not of me. It can’t be, right? I think you’re just wonderful. (((hugs)))

  8. Andrea @ No Doubt Learning says

    Loved reading this – I’m such an introvert too…and hate making small talk at gatherings! :)
    ~Andrea

  9. says

    Wow. A lot of this hit home with me.. I fake like I don’t need friends as well but it kills me that I don’t have that interaction or someone I really trust to turn to. Thank you for this post.

  10. says

    Maybe there are more of us out there than we realize? I HATE social situations and never feel wanted or happy with other people. I always feel like an outsider no matter where i am. Once the conversation ventures off the task at hand I am so uncomfortable! Thanks for sharing and letting me know I am not alone!

  11. Deb says

    I feel your pain, Tara, I’ve always felt like I’d better keep watch over my shoulder because someone’s got to be talking about me behind my back about how I don’t belong. You mentioned in your post about Marsha and Becky. My girl was Jaime and the pain and embarrassment she caused has stayed with me since the day it occurred. Bullying is so ugly…and I pray my daughters never experience that pain. Even more so, I pray that they never cause that pain for someone else.
    Take it from someone who knew you…You are easy to like, you are smart and I am so glad that I’ve had the privilege to know you!

  12. Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says

    On one hand it makes me so incredibly sad to read this and on the other I can completely relate to how you were feeling. I don’t know if it’s about thinking that the others won’t like you so much as the discomfort at feeling like a fraud. You are so likable that it’s hard to imagine but if it is not authentic then it’s time to move on.

    • says

      You are not the first person to say something like “you are so likable,” and I just don’t see it. Why do we, as women, convince ourselves that we aren’t? It’s sad that we do it collectively, but I think our humanity lies in that insecurity.

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