How do you convince someone that you’re worthy of their circle of friends?

More specifically: someone has spent twenty to thirty years of their life building up a repertoire of friends within their urban environment. Why do I now allow you into such a sphere?

That’s the argument I feel in meeting people in Toronto. Some people jested how people grow up in the city and never leave, grow up with their friends and never quite outgrow them. I took that as facetiousness at first. I discovered that to be a presumptuous judgment.

I went to a grad student’s defense and met friends of hers: from graduate school, from undergraduate school, from high school, and from grade school. I was flummoxed by this predicament; I had never really seen such a situation. But it makes all the more sense, when you consider the fact that someone can spend their entire schooling — from grade school all the way through doctorate — to permanent hire, all within the greater Toronto area.

Grade school? Sure; those friends are pretty much still all around.

High school? Ditto that!

Undergraduate/university? Hell, the GTA has some amazing schools in the area!

Graduate school? Now we’re seeing where U of T and other universities in the area shine. Why leave now?

Postdoctoral work? Research hospitals looking to pump out novel & translational science! (likely only applicable to biological sciences & engineering)

University hire? Of course! They’re looking to expand, because all of the new undergrads still pouring in, sure, we don’t care you’re from the area; that’s probably all the better!

So how does one new to the demographics & sociological atmosphere that is Toronto really adopt & adapt into social circles?

How does one penetrate into the existence of others and demonstrate their self–worth without forcing their self upon others?

Or do we simply wander alone, an amalgamation of everything that makes us unique & amazing, only to hope others stumble upon & appreciate the amazing package we are? Or do we instead shove our ego of personality upon others, instilling dejectedness and the occasional admiration & praise upon others?

I know I bury myself in my research/work to escape the trails & tribulations of social drama. But seriously; it’s been four months. A month’s worth I had the beginnings of a solid friendship before she left for another country. Now I’m back to square one.

Alcohol polarizes my self–confidence; it either raises me up & above my day–to–day state to where I should be (or better), or it buries me with self–doubt & criticism that others aren’t so genuine & kind to me as they appear. Tonight was the latter. It is nights like tonight that my brain can be really crippling.

Analytical criticism is great for considering data & not jumping to conclusions. But goddamnit, it’s terrible if it gets applied to social functions! Won’t someone teach me how to turn this masochistic portion of my brain off and let me function like a normal human being? Or is this what it means to be human?

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