One of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn is that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making friends. It’s an art, not a science. When you’re trying to befriend someone, there aren’t any clear objectives to accomplish. And obviously there are no guaranteed outcomes. For me, trying to build friendships often felt like trying to play dodgeball with my eyes closed. You go in blind and fire off the basic greeting, the basic small talk, the basic generic introductory template that everyone is used to. Ideally, something hits. If not, you have another go while trying to stay “in.”
I think many people will agree when I say that it’s not enough to sit back and brainstorm about how to connect to people. The best way to learn what works with people and what doesn’t is first-hand experience. In other words, you need to actually talk to people in order to get better at talking to people.
Real life situations always carry the risk of things not going your way. Risk is something that we are all aware of and failure is often painful. But if you’re able to get past the introductions in this blind game, the blindfold starts to become looser and looser and you can sort of peek at the other side.
Getting to know people always carries risks. But as the saying goes, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” It’s worth trying to build those human connections, even with a risk of failure.
My name is Kyle. I was diagnosed with NVLD shortly after my freshman year in high school. For me, dealing with NVLD has had its highs and lows, particularly regarding friendships.