Why I have a Hard Time Opening My Doors to Friendship

It's good to have closest friends in the workplace to chill with at meal time. It makes life so much easier and harsh days softer. And I am very grateful to have met individuals whom I feel extra comfortable with. Something that rarely happens because I have a hard time opening my doors of friendship to all the people I met.

With Reyn and Sahara, two of my closest colleagues whom I feel ultra-comfortable going out with

I have a very tight circle of friends because I often have difficulty getting myself at ease with people. Perhaps due to the way I brought up. I was not exposed to the crowd while growing up. I lived in a secluded environment nestled between ocean and mountains with almost no chance to interact with folks from different culture. So I grew up terribly shy and just keeping things to myself.

Until I developed this odd personality of being a conscientious- introvert. This is a type of personality where an individual shows interest to the outside world through concerns on issues but does not feel at ease right away with everyone in the surroundings. It takes time before easiness sets in.

A conscientious-introvert is always mindful with what is going on, acts accordingly and hates being in the crowd. A cautious, self-disciplined type where being highly-reserved is the highlight of the behavior. At the same time very homebody, rarely go out and does not easily fit to people with contrasting personality.

I was inferior while still in school and in early part of my working career. I totally lacked self-confidence. I was always scared to everything. Scared to try. Scared to fail. Scared to disappoint everyone. I would not initiate a conversation nor expressed opinion for fear of being rejected. Meeting people and talking to boys also scared me to death.

But when I turned 30 I tried hard to get out of my cocoon and started facing my fears. I built self-confidence out of my desire to become an independent, empowered woman who knows my right to individuality.

I was able to get rid of my inferiority complex when I obtained my masters degree. I slowly building life goals and exploring possibility of getting out of my comfort zone. So I decided to leave Davao and sought job in a corporate world in Metro Manila to taste life in a more complex environment to learn a lot from life. It was then that I felt I am living an existence free from fears.

With this, people in my circle have often mistaken me as hostile, aloof, timid, selfish and indifferent. Some of them dismissed me as stubborn, ruthless and hard to please. But unknown to them I have a long struggle building my self-confidence, getting rid of my shyness and fortifying my strength. I am a typical country girl who does not easily gel with people in the city.

I am used to a quiet environment so I always seek comfort in a small group and with modest people. Most of the time, I don't like to be surrounded with noisy and show-off people. It is the way I brought up and already entrenched in my behavior.

I am just being myself and I do not pretend somebody I am not. Though in recent years I made some adjustment on how I interact with people, and tried hard to fit in, there are instances that I prefer to stick to the basic. And just remain quiet in the corner.

I get easily bored with nonsense conversation. And I am not comfortable dealing with people with loud and tactless personality, especially women who bounced on boys like hungry labradors. I go with girls who are prim and proper and with people who understand me and fully accept me and appreciate my value as a person.

They are some of my fewest colleagues whom I feel comfortable with
Food trip with them is always the happiest

That's why I have fewest friends. I only go with the people whom I can relate with and who personify the same lifestyle as mine. I am very transparent and I wear my emotions under my sleeves everyday. I cannot pretend to be somebody else. I find it difficult to be with everyone who manifests a contrasting behavior. And I hope people will respect my way of life.

But even though I am very used to a solitary life and been dining alone for the most part of my adult life, it is still a welcome respite to have friends around when I go out for lunch. It makes things lighter.

With Bechay during our Hongkong and Macau trip. She is another colleague in the university I got to close with.

I love long conversation with the people I like to go with. It's the only time that I can let my hair down and talk endlessly and laugh wholeheartedly without any pretensions. I find meal time as a serious business and a sacred ritual so I want to spend it with friends whom I feel at ease with. It makes the food tastier and flavorful and satisfying.

With Juvy and Joice at Pearl Farm beach

Meal time is also a chance to have some breather and catching up with friends, so I prefer to spend it with folks whom I can relax in a conversation, who see the real me and appreciate and understand the deepest core of my personality. As you see, I have a hard time dealing with people who are loud and tactless and who talk pointless things and I do not want to spoil my appetite with pretensions.

Two of my closest friends in the workplace are Reyn and Sahara. We have the same personality. Cautious and reserved. Modest and proper. Not loud and rough.  I can relate to their personality. They are quiet and highly disciplined. And we can easily agree to almost everything.

So last week, we had some fun going out, spending brunch at The Marketplace by Rustan's along the Citywalk 2 in Eastwood and had good conversation over food. It was a cool day though literally cold due to gloomy weather. But I had a great time with them. Check my food blog about The Marketplace, click The Gourmand Travel Guide.

On the following day, we agreed to spend lunch at Bonchon in Cubao. Actually it was my first time to grab a bite of value meal at Bonchon. The first time I dined at Bonchon was with Gerard and I chose the Bibimbowl set. Chicken meal at Bonchon is not something I want to take when I am hungry. It is not tasty, nor juicy. Just crispy but not flavorful. But I like the french fries, a lot tastier than those in Mcdonalds, Jollibee and KFC.

If I would go back to Bonchon, perhaps I would stick with Bibimbowl sets, it tastes better and I like the spicy tad in soup and on the meal itself. Though my taste is very oriental, I am not impressed with Korean dishes. Flavor is not really savory. I still prefer Japanese cuisine.

Sumptuous dinner at Kenny Rogers in Boni with Rowie Tagaan 😘

Last Saturday, I met my long-time friend and former colleague in the university, Rowie. We have been friends for more than a decade and she is one of my closest friends in life (with Helen) whom I have not lost contact despite working now in different companies. Helen is now based in Dubai but we always find time to communicate. She has just celebrated her birthday last August 1. Belated happy birthday lenski!!! 😘💖

With Rowie and Helen during our annual retreat in Baguio City while still working in a Catholic university in Davao

During our 2017 reunion

Just like Aya and Reyn, Helen and Rowie are also quiet and highly proper in their manners. Our favorite bonding when we were still working in the university was a weekend trip to the monastery of Pink Sisters in Davao City. Because none of us was involved with men, we usually spent valentine's dinner together.

With Rowie during our Angkor Wat adventure in Cambodia
Food trip at Paul in SM aura

Rowie has been my travel buddy for the past years. Our love for traveling already brought us to different places, here and abroad. Beach trip in Batangas, adventure in Vietnam and Cambodia and on countless food trips. We gone to Tagaytay for a couple of times because we both love Bag of Beans.

Enjoying the timeless beauty of Saigon in Vietnam

In the future, I hope I could meet more people who will become my friends and share my litte world. I love long conversation. I love to travel. I love to eat. And it is nice to share each moment of this passion with friends whom I feel at ease with. And who will appreciate me unconditionally.

Until then. 😊🤗

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