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How Do I make Friends

(16 Posts)
PostmanPatsBlackandWhiteCat Thu 14-Feb-13 12:47:46

This is so hard for me to write. Please bear with me if I ramble.
I don't know how to make friends. I am quiet and shy and never know what to talk about. I secretly think that everyone thinks I am stupid and horrible and have no redeeming qualities.
I think a lot of my distrust of people is that I was builled from 7 years old until I left school at 16.I was also sexually abused from about 14-16 by a family friend nothing serious just touching not sex.
Please help me to make friends I just don't know what to talk about or how?
Sometimes the only person I talk to is DH the children or a friend of DH who lives with us.
Any ideas

OverlyYappy Thu 14-Feb-13 12:55:02

Do you have any confidence classes running where you live? Another option would be some type of class or group.

How old are your Dc I found I made a few friends through mine.

I am much the same btw, I only have the DC though grin

drizzlecake Thu 14-Feb-13 13:01:03

Well having DH, his friend and the DCs to talk to it could be worse, OP.

My view, as an old bat with lots of life behind me, is that you must, rather than look for a friend, look for some interests and hobbies or volunteer work or studying that you would enjoy and would make you feel fulfilled and then, once you are a happier more fulfilled person with an interest, people are more like to gravitate to you. Then you will find your new friends.

Of course, there's the activities like volunteering to help with stuff at the DCs school which will allow you to mix more but if you're v shy that's easier said than done.

You might have to try a number of things to find your true interests but that will you get you out and about.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Thu 14-Feb-13 13:03:21

Yes what the old bat....I mean drizzle said grin

Could you join a class or group where you're doing something so there's something obvious to talk about? I go to a sewing group and there's lots of chat about fabric, what we're making, craft magazines/books, what to make for presents, etc.

Tintingal Thu 14-Feb-13 13:04:40

Hi Postman, I think you'd be surprised how many of us feel the same. Due to recent circumstances, I've become a bit lonely and have had to think about making new friends. I've tried being friendly to new mums at school and have started regular dog walking with one new Mum. We'll probably never be best friends, but we have the dogs in common and we both want to make an effort. Having a dog is a great way of meeting people - if you haven't got one, try offering to take a dog from a local dogs home for a walk. You'd be amazed by how many people come up to chat when you have a four footed pal with you....I've met loads just through going to the park every day. I've also started helping out with a local charity for old people. I've found the more I meet new people, the less shy I've become. It's made me remember what my Mum used to say about asking people questions if you're shy - folk love to chat about themselves. keep it light, keep it casual, and don't expect to meet a best friend every time you meet someone new, sometimes, friends for now are almost as good as friends for life. Good luck.

PostmanPatsBlackandWhiteCat Thu 14-Feb-13 13:05:54

My Dc's are 9,4,and 2 I find even to DCs friends parents hard. I might look in to a confidence class at some point.

buildingmycorestrength Thu 14-Feb-13 13:06:26

My husband has recently had CBT for social anxiety, and found it very very helpful.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 13:33:37

Would you consider having counselling? It would be worthwhile dealing with your self esteem issues and the abuse. Hopefully with time your confidence will increase and you will naturally find it easier to talk to people.

Laura0806 Thu 14-Feb-13 13:35:50

yes as others have said youd be surprised at how many other mothers at the school gate or just women in general feel the same way. It is your past experiences that are leading you to feel like you are stupid and horrid, and I agree CBT would def help. However, try and tell yourself that , this is in your head because of the way you were treated in your past, it is not correct. Think of a few stock things you can ask people about next time you pick your children up; some people may not reciprocate but others will. Next time you ask your chidrlens friends round suggest the mother comes in for a cup of tea /cake etc too aswell and take it from there......

Lueji Thu 14-Feb-13 13:54:19

I'm not that good at making friends, as such, and I'm very happy being by myself, and so on.

However, I have made some friends, in different places.

At the school gate, it took some time, but looking friendly and approachable is the first step. Have a smile on your face.
Then, people like other people who are interested in them. At the school gate, in their children. Ask questions, if you don't know what to talk about. Particularly with the mothers of children who are also friends with yours.
Invite the children in for playdates, and offer to have the parents as well.
The same if you take your children to the park or the library.

And I have found that being involved in different things: PTA, church, self defence classes, children's activities, etc, has helped meeting new people.

TheOwlService Thu 14-Feb-13 21:41:21

Hiya Postman
A lot of people make friends through work, because there you get to build up friendships as you see people regularly and find connections and shared interests with some of them that you can build on.
All four of my "best" friends I have made through places I have worked and they are friendships that have endured and bring me lots of joy. I know your children are very young but is there any way you could get a small part time job, just so you could mix with some different people?

Another idea is to join a group who do something you enjoy, for example walking or a book group. There you would meet like-minded people and again you would meet up regularly enabling you to build up friendships.

Like another poster said just smile and look friendly and approachable and people will be encouraged to talk to you. Having a laugh with friends is the best medicine for most things smile

PostmanPatsBlackandWhiteCat Fri 15-Feb-13 10:34:35

I work part time in the evening cleaning and rarely seen anyone there. If I do see anyone they are really busy with their work.
I have tried joining classes but everyone seems to have come with a friend.

thimblena Fri 15-Feb-13 22:29:58

I'm not at all good at making new friends, but being more sociable has got easier as I've got older. I've found:
- older people are more responsive to someone new talking to them - maybe there's some grandparents collecting their DGC from school -try out your social skills on them. "Who are you collecting today? What class are they in? Are they settling in well?" etc.
- its best not to expect to make friends with anyone; just settle for a few pleasant interactions.
- reading Susan Jeffers "Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway" useful.
- there's a need to smile and act relaxed (even if you're not) or you may appear needy and desperate which will repel people.

Best of luck OP.

drizzlecake Sat 16-Feb-13 20:35:16

Oh, that's a shame, working evenings on your own is not much help with your problem.
Perhaps have a look for a more sociable job?
Try to find a hobby you are interested in, visit the local library because they often have info on local groups, or go on a course, cookery, icing cakes, or volunteer at your local animal rescue centre? Try different things to see what you enjoy.
Counselling to help you come to terms with your childhood would help your confidence I'm sure. Ask your GP to refer you -though there will prob be a long wait. Just having someone you can speak to honestly and openly about these things would be a great relief I think.

Angelico Sat 16-Feb-13 22:56:19

Agree with going to a hobby class that you enjoy. I moved to a totally different area and made friends through an evening class. I also have met a few potential friends through baby groups etc.

You do need to make the effort and I think the horrible experiences you've had have understandably knocked your confidence. So counselling would be a great idea if you can manage it or maybe CBT to teach you strategies to ignore the voice putting yourself down. Good luck thanks

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