Dear Uncle Mat,
Just looking for a little advice. I feel like I’ve outgrown my social circle. Whenever I’m with my so-called “friends” I feel like I’m surrounded by idiots. ... Sorry to be harsh. They only call me when they want something, and the majority of these people are rarely there for me when I need them. I have a great career that I’m trying to build up. I’m 23, and most of these people are in their later 20s. They are either unemployed or college dropouts. What really frustrates me is that they have parents and families that will pay for their school, give them a place to live, and everything they need for a great start. Maybe I’m just bitter because I worked two jobs to put myself through night classes. It was exhausting and hard, but a hell of a lot better than waiting tables. ... I’ve been out of school for over a year, love my job as a hairstylist, and these people are still in the same place they were before I met them years ago. They are more than happy to go to the same crappy bars with the same asshole people. I think I’m over it. Any advice on where I can meet people with some ambition? Some people who don’t expect me to buy their drinks or smoke all my cigs? People who like me for more than my weed? People who don’t throw my dinner at me? (Yeah, this guy really grabbed my food out of my hand and threw it at me when I was in the middle of eating. Then he took my other taco and took a bite. ... Time to grow up! Let a girl eat!) I know I should just start distancing myself, and more often than not I’m fine with going out alone, but where can I find some decent company? Going out to dinner by myself gets boring and pathetic after a while. ... Hell, I think I’m closer to the workers at my favorite pizza place than anyone else. LOL. Any suggestions would be great.
BTW, I’m in San Antonio, if that helps.
Much love to you,
Dear Over It,
Do your “so-called friends” read the column, too? If so, I think you found away to chase a few, if not more, away. I addressed a similar topic just a few weeks ago; it’s totally normal to feel like you are outgrowing your friends. It often happens when you make a big change in your life like graduating from school or getting married or having a baby. Life happens and not everyone changes. Being an adult can suck.
I have recently made some major lifestyle changes in the name of self-improvement. All of my old friends are supportive, but I also needed to make new friends who share the same goals and interests. It has meant asking people I barely know to hang out. It’s like dating, awkward but less traumatic, and it can be done in groups. (You can date in groups, too, but that can be anywhere from awkward to socially unacceptable to possibly illegal in some Bible-belt states.)
Stop judging your friends. They were acceptable when you wanted them to be. If they are perfectly happy doing the same old shit, then let them be happy. Maybe they are losers, but sitting around counting the ways won’t fix them or make you new friends.
You have a career, now go get a life. It’s awesome that you put yourself through school. As you are learning, not everyone has the same ambition or life skills. It’s easy to see our differences, learn to accept them and look for the similarities in other people. Do the stuff you enjoy, and talk to strangers when you’re doing it. That’s how you make friends.
Be patient with yourself and others in the meantime. You’re 23. You feel very grown up and complete, but it’s just the beginning. In five years you won’t recognize or understand the person you are now. It’s really cool.
Much love and friendship,
Your Uncle Mat
Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets and art. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, myspace.com/yourunclemat, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.