What It’s Like to be the Friendly Girl

Whenever I meet knew people, there’s a reasonable amount of eye contact. I shake their hand and introduce myself with a smile, making sure they know that it really is a pleasure to meet them. I’m here to be a new friend, and if you’d let me, I would like us to eventually trust each other.

“Girls don’t usually introduce themselves.”

I was told this once, and I honestly wondered if it was really that weird that I introduced myself.

“It’s not weird. It makes you stand out.”

But I’m not trying to. I want to be friendly; I want to make a good impression. I don’t want someone new to think that I’m stand-off-ish or cold.

“You friendzoned him.”

How… How can I friendzone someone when no romantic advance was ever assumed or hinted at? I didn’t do anything. I treat him like everyone else.

“That’s how you friendzoned him. You made him feel special, then he saw that was how you act with every guy you know.”

PAUSE.

See? This is what it is to be the friendly girl. I can’t shake one guy’s hand without him thinking I’m interested, and in addition to that, I can’t shake a second guy’s hand without the first one thinking that, no, I’m interested in the latter. Are manners that uncommon nowadays that this is the kind of thinking that most people adapt? Wow, she’s talking to me and seems genuinely interested in what I have to say, so maybe she likes me.

There’s fault on both sides of thinking. Just because I want to hear what you have to say doesn’t mean that I look at you romantically. I have my own opinions, and I want to hear yours because maybe I’m talking to a kindred spirit who prefers dogs to cats. And on the other side, what makes you so sure I’m not interested after seeing me equally engaged in a conversation with someone else?

It seems like it’s so rare to find the common courtesy society used to have. It used to be normal for anyone to shake someone else’s hand and not get the wrong idea. Be classy, be confident, be welcoming to the world – but now that means the same thing as being flirtatious.

What’s your opinion on being the nice girl/guy?