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Monday, July 13, 2020

Connections by Bea Tifton

During the course of the Covid pandemic, many people have felt disconnected. I’ve been thinking about the concept of feeling connected, and of the many connections people make. Obviously, romantic chemistry can spark an instant connection, but I’m talking about platonic friendships we form. 

 I have always felt a bit out of step with the rest of the world. When I was growing up, I was painfully shy. Painfully. I did always have friends, but just a few, and I’m told I can be a difficult person to get to know. When I became a teacher, I discovered that I needed to be able to string a few intelligent sentences together when I met someone, a parent for instance, and I learned to, well, fake it. Not that I’m a fake person. I merely learned to make conversation with people I
just met. I also volunteer for a homeless program and I can chat with our homeless guests easily now.

As for friends, I still only have a few I consider close friends, and I'm very private. I appear to be more comfortable around people, but I am still very shy and I feel out of step in a world to which I dance to my own tune. 

Every now and then, I meet someone with whom I just click. Some believe that these are people we knew in past lives or even in Heaven before we came to live on Earth, and it's just a case of one soul recognizing the other one. I have a friend who is a therapist, and she maintains that it just means the person reminds us of someone we already know and like or with whom we've had some positive experience. 

Whatever it is, it’s funny how we feel that connection. I met someone who advertised on Nextdoor that her husband was thinning plants and that anyone who came by could have some. I’d admired this yard since I moved into the neighborhood , so I showed up. I discovered they are both delightful, generous people. And the woman, my friend now, loves mysteries as much as I do, so I’ve been invited to join her mystery book club as soon as they start meeting again. We discovered we had a lot in common. Funny how we connected. 

Some of my best friendships have started out that way. Some random meeting. I met a woman who is now a  dear friend of mine when she came to speak to my Sunday school class. We started chatting via email and went out to lunch a couple of times before Covid shut us down. We text regularly and she’s been a source of laughter and support to me these past few months.

I’ll always be shy, I think. I just can’t help it. But I hope I continue these friendships I’ve formed for many years to come. Even during the stay at home I’ve felt our connection and it’s kept me from feeling isolated.

Have you ever made a friend easily and quickly from some random circumstances? Leave an answer in the comments below.


  1. I am not particularly shy (or so I think) but I have two qualities that have made making friends uneven for how well it goes. I am an introvert and I am reserved where I don't feel comfortable pushing myself or my life onto others. I need more alone time than many might. With this coronavirus, I have learned I want more time with friends than I had thought as not being with them at all has been hard on me.

    When we came to Tucson this time, we didn't plan it'd be more than a few months, as it generally had been. Then came the virus and we are going to be here much longer than expected as our son has moved into our farm home and is managing the livestock. So, I'd like to make friends down here but the opportunities disappeared with the need to isolate. I do belong to a writing group that for now meets by Zoom but that doesn't make actual friends, the kind you can go to lunch with once in a while. When this all straightens out, as it someday will (not soon for Arizona), I am going to put myself out there more and see if I can't find friends like I have in Oregon. I do best with introvert friends who like me don't want something all the time but once in a while. I'd love them to be writers so we'd have that in common.

    Your way of meeting friends and finding real connections sounds great to me. I'll try to be more open to that way in the future.

    Covid has taught me that even introverts need friends with real connections. As to why we connect with some people, sometimes it's mutual interests but some do seem to be soul connections. Who can know.

    1. I love your comments, Rain. I, too, am reserved and introverted as I said in the blog, but like you, I've realized with the stay at home a new normal that I need to see my friends more than I thought. Zoom doesn't really replace face to face. I hope you make some connections in Tucson. Thanks for commenting!

  2. When that "instant" connection happens, it's a wonderful feeling. I was terribly shy as a child and still am. As you said, now I can "fake" being outgoing but inside I'm still shy.

    1. Yes, shyness is now believed to be the result of a gene, so it doesn't go away. We just learn to cope with it. Hope you make some instant connections, Caroline. Thanks for commenting.

  3. I feel your pain of being an introvert. Growing up on a farm, I didn't have access to other kids and self entertained. I did have pets though. Now that I am an adult, I am still a loner. I do find a few people I feel a connection to. Usually ones with a good heart that I feel like I can trust and who also aren't too needy. They are a rare gift.

  4. Yes, those friends are a rare gift, Sherri. Treasure them when you find them. Thanks for commenting.

  5. I think a lot of writers are introverts. That's why they enjoy solitude, which is conducive to writing. I would rather have a few good trusted friends, than a group of associates who may not make you feel comfortable.

    1. I completely agree with you, Judy. And I'm so glad I have a few trusted friends in my life. Thanks for commenting.

  6. I've made several close friends from strangers, on Facebook. Some are authors who I've since met in person. When we met, it was as if we'd known each other most of our lives. I can be in Walmart and someone, or I, will start up a conversation in the makeup or viatmin department.


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