In an effort to expand her social circle beyond her pet cats and long-distance family members, local woman Jennifer Wallace reported that she is planning on attending a speed-friending event for the first time Thursday night. Wallace, who is 28 and new to the area, discussed some of the qualms she has before the event.
“I’m a little worried because I don’t want anyone to think I’m too desperate, you know?” said Wallace. “I’ve totally had friends in the past, but that was back when I was in college and would get in trouble with my RA if I didn’t go to dorm events. Once you get to a certain age, it becomes harder to make that type of connection out in the real world all by yourself.”
Wallace’s concerns arose out of a personality trait that many around her have considered to be a flaw: her introversion.
“Having friends is great, but meeting new people in order to make those friends is a terrible, frightening, often horrific experience,” she explained. “I’ve always been the type of person to enjoy staying at home with a good book, maybe some Netflix, and the wide world of online interactions at my fingertips. It’s not that I mind having people over, it’s just that in order to do that I need to first meet people. And that’s painful and awful,” she reiterated.
The event Wallace plans on attending, which is scheduled to take place at a local bar, allows 20-somethings to mingle with other friendless individuals their own age in a structured environment. Organizers Luann Temple and Erick Gonzalez insist that their motivation in creating such an event came not from their own personal experience but from their sadness at watching their introverted friends attempt to navigate the social scene.
“I had a few friends who I was pretty sure didn’t have any friends other than me,” Temple stated. “That’s sad. I had to do something to help them in what I have determined to be their time of need.”
In order to accommodate both extroverts and introverts, Temple and Gonzalez have developed a series of questions for each participant to ask each potential friend.
Questions range from “What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?” to “What type of party is the best party?” to “Oh my gosh, I love your nail polish. You have to tell me where you got it so we can go there together as energetic new friends!”
After responding to the initial questions, extroverts would then continue chatting while introverts generally scattered to the far corners of the room to, as several unidentified persons muttered, “deal with something important for a minute.”
“I think the problem with introverted people is that they just don’t understand how boring they can be sometimes,” Gonzalez said. “What better way to fix this problem than to force them to interact with a large number of people under the guise of bettering themselves as individuals who are otherwise less worthy as humans?
“It’s genius,” Gonzalez finished under his breath.
Wallace, who was present for Temple’s and Gonzalez’s comments, declined to respond after hearing their vision for the event. Instead, she relocated to a corner of the room where she studied her phone intently and focused very hard on drinking water any time someone approached her.