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OT: Making new friends

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Old 04-26-2009, 05:43 PM   #1
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I was just wondering, how do you gals go about making new friends? I'm at a point in my life where a lot of my old friends either don't live nearby any more or have small children & so can't really hang out much - and I'm lonely!

I work from home, which doesn't help, and am a bit shy/socially awkward, which also makes it hard. I haven't really hit it off with the wives of any of my husband's friends (they're nice enough, we just don't seem to share common interests).

I've tried joining a gym, volunteering, etc., & have met people who I say hello to & chat with at those places, but somehow these connections never seem to progress beyond acquaintanceship - I get the feeling that these folks already have plenty of friends, & so don't feel compelled to really invest a lot of energy into getting to know someone new.

I wish there was something like an online dating site, but to just find friends!
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:03 PM   #2
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i am the exact same way. i can never seem to push an aquantace pass that point into friendship. my brain goes along the thinking that i dont want to bug them cause they probably already have plans and friends to attend too without adding more to it. plus theres the effort factor, you dont want to end up seeming to pushy but you dont want to be aloof. making friends is just like dating, and it gets harder once you arent around people your same age. jobs can help but not always.
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:18 PM   #3
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Why don't you see if there are any MeetUp groups in your area.
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:19 PM   #4
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i have the same dilemma! i'm single and all my old friends are now mostly married or have kids, or like you said, like far away.

I think the best thing to do is just invite someone out in a casual way. Just say "hey, if you're not busy sunday afternoon, theres this thing i wanted to go to (insert name of event). Would you be at all interested in going along?"

You'd kinda be surprised that it actually works. i'm incredibly shy and introverted, but i went out on a limb and just invited a few coworkers that i was friendly with to go places and even though we didn't become close, close friends, we would hang out every few weeks.
One of the girls i'm still pretty good friends with even though we're now in different departments and the other girl, well, that friendship soured, but, she was sort of on the manic-depressive-paranoid side to begin with...

Any way, that worked for me in the past, and even with keeping in touch with people i no longer see on a regular basis. you just have to be the one to reach out and ask i think.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:17 AM   #5
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I am an extreme extrovert. I've never had a hard time talking to people anywhere BUT it is hard for anyone to push that toward a friendship. Making a connection is easy but it's a little more uncertain making friends. And if *I* feel this way as a very extroverted person, rest assured that nearly every single person feels this way whether they are shy or outgoing.

That's great news because it means if you are the one willing to break the ice, the other party will probably be receptive. Although I am a natural extrovert, I have lacked social confidence in the past. When I got out of college and moved back to my hometown I was overwhelmed with the idea of making friends again. My Mom told me that EVERYONE wants to be invited to do something fun, go to a party etc. but few people are willing to be the one to get the ball rolling. She told me if I'd be willing to be that one, I'd never lack for friends and fun things to do because I'd be planning them for everyone else.

If you find someone you're interested in being friends with, chat with them about it. Let them know flat out you're trying to make new friends because of factor, x,y,z. When you make a new friend you're usually invited into their circle of friends too so you get lots of bonus friends out of the deal. That means for one effort, you might get a bunch of friends. I've found that VERY FEW people are so clickish they don't want/need another friend.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:55 PM   #6
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I'm in the same boat, I've never been good at making friends. I'm just shy. I've tried to get friendly with some of the moms at school, but none to the point of being "friends" with, just a fellow mom. I can't say I've made too many friends in my adult life. The few I have made have been through work. Hopefully once we're "in school" for a couple years, I'lll get to know the other moms better. There are a couple that are really nice and I think I'd like to be friends with. I think at this point in my life though, that's what people do, they're just aquaintences with their kid's friend's parents.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:28 PM   #7
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I'm kinda shy myself. But for some strange reason, people are drawn to me. lol...I don't know how or why! I say just smile, introduce yourself to people at work or church or something like that. All of my friends are married, but we hang out all of the time. I'm trying to find single friends myself that I can do things with like shopping and stuff like that. I'll let you know how that goes...lol
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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Im with ya I had a couple great long time friends then I married and had kids and they kept pushing to go out but not to do good things but try and get me in trouble I know they didnt do it on purpose but they missed the old party me, hey I do to sometimes. So now for like 5 years I dont have any friends but my hubby. I have tried some people out here and there but it seems most of the people my age are so involved with their kids they dont have any kind of life without their kids and thats so not me. I have found the people I am more drawn to are in there early 20s but then we dont have much in common I already went through what they are going through. I need someone my age that is family oriented but jeez break free from it every once in awhile and party like its 1999.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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I think it's the late 20's early 30's transformation so to speak. I lost all my friends in my mid to late 20's and here I am, 31, with absolutely nobody, not even so much as husband's friend's wives. I mean NOBODY!

My boyfriend has two friends that visit maybe twice a year. I've never met their girlfriends and frankly I don't care to for reasons that will go unexplained.

My broken friendships didn't even involve having children. I and many of my ex-friends still don't have any yet. It's more along the lines of that they were never "true" friends to me to begin with. I've looked my whole life to have at least one friend that was genuine but they always screw me at some point. I have given up on people, especially given my new living location.

I would still love to have a friend or friends but I'm at a point in my life where I realize that's never going to happen.

Actually I've found that the elderly are the most genuine. I've made two online "friends" well over 60. But given their lack of computer expertise and limited ability to stare at the screen, out talk time is very limited.
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:21 PM   #10
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Wow! I thought I was the only one. I am pretty shy, and have been hurt by people I thought were my friends, and so for the last 4 years, I haven't really had any friends. I have some online friends (I own a mommy message board) but that's not the same as having irl friends that you can hang out with every once in a while, or pick up the phone and just talk to.

I've been trying for the last few months, but I guess I'm way out of practice making friends. I see other moms at my boys' school, and they're all chatty and friendly with each other, and they get together for lunch, and I just can't figure out how to be included. I say hi, I chat as we're waiting for the kids to be dismissed.... but I don't seem to fit in. I feel so awkward.
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:23 PM   #11
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Whenever I meet anyone new, I always ask if this person is here for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Don't get seasonal and reasonal people mixed up with lifetime people. If you look hard and listen harder to what people say without having your own expectations for them, then you can see people for who they truly are. The people around me are essential to me, each one plays a different role in my life, but I love them the same. I'm lucky to have wonderful friends. So listen baby phat don't give up on people, give them a chance, but see them for who they are. And if that doesn't work this does....."If you can't change the people around you, then change the people around you."
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:09 PM   #12
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Thank you Devsmama but I've been out of work for over two years now, no savings, no way out! My life has been on this declining slope for over 15 years now. I'd love to pack up and find a place where there are like-minded people but I'm not sure there is such a place.
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:32 AM   #13
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I really wish I had some great advice for you but I'm drifting in the same boat. I think I want close friends but I'm too introverted to make them. I exist in "the Matrix", as I refer to the internet bubble, because I can instantly detach if somebody gets close, makes me uncomfortable or otherwise encroaches on my hermit-ness (new word?).
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:46 AM   #14
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Here is another vote for Meetup. If you are not familiar with this website - it's a social networking site, similar to Facebook, except people actually meet in person! Groups are organized by interests and vary a great deal from simply hanging out with new people, to very specific niche interests. There is no cost to join this site, but some groups may charge a small attendance fee to cover their costs (usually $1 or $2).
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:55 PM   #15
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I'm a single gal with no kids as well. I find the best thing is really to involve yourself in something. I'm a singer, so nine years ago I auditioned and joined the symphony chorus. I've made some fantastic friends there. People I would never have met otherwise.

I third or fourth the meetup.com idea. One of my best friends (who now lives on the other side of the country from me) has made some great friends through meetup. It's all about finding people with similar interests. You'll find that gets the ball rolling, then you'll develop the friendship more deeply on other levels.

Friendships are harder work in your 30's. Many people are wrapped up in their families, their own situations... and there's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you just have to be the one to pursue and keep the friendship going. I can't tell you how many times I'm the one to call people and chat or ask them to do something. When you're in your teens and 20's, you've got situations that enable ready-made friendships: high school, college, roommates. You just have to work harder at it in your 30's.
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