Her: "The other kids don't want to play with me."
Us: "How do you know? Did you try playing with them?"
Her: "They don't want to play what I want to play."
Us: "Why don't you play whatever they're playing?"
Her: "I triiiied. They won't let me play with them. :( :( :("
Now, considering one of the kids that she's talking about is one of my nieces, who will play with just about anybody, I kind of doubt the accuracy of this little girl's story. My niece is still human, and little kids can be mean, but I'm doubting the story because this conversation occurs every. single. time. It even happened when there was a babysitter for the kids during the party, and this babysitter was literally having them all play in a group: she was either telling a story to all of them at once, or she was saying "let's all play this," etc. I'm saying absolutely no kid was left out, but this little girl left herself out.
The adults try the best they can to encourage her to go play with the other kids, but nothing ever seems to suit her. So what ends up happening is she plays by herself with a pouty face on, the other kids do their thang in a group together, and now the adults have to keep an eye on both her and the kid-group in different places because the little girl asks the adults to play with her instead. And the adults don't want to play with her. The adults want to drink.
Over the last several days, I have realized that I am that little girl. A whiny, pouty 28-year-old that complains about no one ever inviting her out, no one sitting with her at lunch, no one ever doing what she wants to do; when that's not happening, she's shitting all over everyone else's plans and acts better than everybody. I used to think that it's because I don't have anything in common with people my age. But now I just think that I'm not trying hard enough. I actually haven't been trying at all -- my attitude was like, "Why should I have to try to make friends? I'm awesome. They're just dumb. I wouldn't want to be friends with them anyway. We're nothing alike."
Plus, I'm kind of a misanthropic bitch while I'm at work. So even if they were like me, I wouldn't want to be around them anyway.
So I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm going to put more effort into making friends. I'm going to be.../cringe...nicer. More outgoing.
I'd start by going to my co-workers' weekly Happy Hour tonight for the first time, but I don't think they're having one this week. Kate's going away party is tomorrow night, so I'll have to begin there.
I'm still a little stuck, though. I haven't tried to make friends in 20 years -- you know, when the prerequisite for friendship was, "Do you like vanilla pudding? I like vanilla pudding!" What is your advice for making friends as an adult?