I recently read something about conversations leading to friendship that really resonated with me, I apologise to the author, I will mention him/her when I can find it again!
I have always had problems knowing what to talk about when I meet someone. But I have worked hard at it, and learned to ask questions, try to prompt people to talk about themselves and their interests, even make some small talk. All this makes the first conversation with someone a lot easier. My problem is that with most people I meet, every conversation feels like the first one, I just cannot manage to follow up on the first time we met. Thus every time I meet that person, I feel more awkward and have less to say. For this reason I feel more at ease among strangers than people I have already met.
Other people seem to just have conversations and this eventually leads to friendship or at least feeling somewhat comfortable with each other. I wish I understood this process. I am very grateful for the few people in my life who persevere and somehow ignore this awkwardness. I am glad to say that I do have friends. Not that I ever call them to chat, or drop in for coffee or share much - even thinking about that makes me feel anxious - but they are people who accept me and my aloofness and keep talking to me and inviting me to visit them.
I believe I can be a very loyal friend, I can be very accepting, forgiving and not judging, and will never gossip or intentionally hurt a friend. I just have a difficult time with friendship 'maintenance' - the calls, chats, gifts, visits and the intimacy that I imagine friends usually experience.