I love texting first! I used to be terrified to reach out to people first via text to initiate plans. I hated being the one who was always texting people and was constantly worried I was being “needy” or a bother to my friends. Not anymore!
Post college life has taught me so much, and two of the most important lessons I have learned is how to not give a damn what other people think and to let go of the fear of rejection. Looking back, I missed out on so many social events because I was worried about what people would think if I invited myself somewhere or tried to initiate plans first. I would never text people first or try to plan things from scratch simply because I felt like it was uncool to text my friends first. It wasn’t until I was thrust into the adult world that I realized that I would never see my friends if I didn’t start exerting more effort into planning social gatherings.
As friends moved away post-graduation, I also had to confront a whole new fear – making new friends without the safety net of college. Making friends as an adult was hard work! Meeting new people and expanding my social circle demanded more effort from me as well as more confidence. One of the closer friendships I have made post college actually came from my first office job and had I not started forcing conversations and inviting myself to hang out with this person I never would have ended up joining her kickball league and making even more social connections! Much to my surprise, the more I got comfortable with putting myself out there socially the easier it became for me to do and less uncomfortable it felt.
Now I am the self-proclaimed “social chair” of my friend group because I am constantly sending the first text or trying to rally the crew to make moves on a Friday night. I have learned that none really cares if you send the first text, what they care about is the fact that you were thinking of them enough to reach out and make the first move.
So often I find that when I am a busy bee, I am on hyperdrive, constantly cranking and hustling while completely forgetting to water my friendships with love and attention. I can go for months without touching base with some of my friends, others a few days, however I have made it my business to no longer feel shame or guilt sending that first “Hey, I know it’s been a while since we spoke….” text or call. Taking that step forward can be scary and putting yourself out there vulnerable to the judgement of others is nerve-wracking, but if you want to grow stronger relationships someone has to make that move.
Relationships are a two-way street. They take both parties coming to the table to make memories and magic happen. For me, I cannot sleep knowing I did not hold up my end of friendship. That lingering fear of friendship disappointment is what drives me to show up and reach out to my connections first! Maybe your college bestie feels bad you have lost touch, or maybe that friend from work is secretly hoping you invite them to happy hour next week. You never know who in your network is just waiting for you to make their day with a text or call!
So, I challenge you…be bold! Text first and text often, you may be shocked to find out how quickly your social anxiety melts away the more you put yourself out there to shine.