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Making friends - how?(19 Posts)
I am in my mid thirties and 5 months pregnant with my 3rd.
My family moved around a lot when i was young and then I went to boarding school from 11 to 18 which i hated.
I fled from there after my last 'a' level exam and haven't really kept in touch with anyone.
Since 18 I once again moved about a bit and went from job to job, university, other qualifications etc but once you move especially to a different country most relationships seem to wane.
I am now married - we have been together since 2004 - and aside from chatting to the other mums at school and nursery I am finding it very had to make friends.
Seems most people have childhood friends they are still in touch with and are now godmothers etc and I of course don't have any of that.
Both my husband and I are quite introverted and I don't want loads of friends of to go out to the pub etc I would just like to learn how to trust someone enough to tell them things and believe they won't use to against me or they aren't judging me.
When I think people are my friends I realise after a while it is always me doing all the calling and suggesting meet ups etc so I stop to see if they will reciprocate and 9 times out of 10 they don't.....
Any advice or similar experiences?
I don't think there's anything wrong with you doing all the running with some friendships, if they're not cancelling a lot or anything like that and you get on. I'm aware that quite often it's others getting in touch with me but it's just because they get round to it sooner than me. Doesn't mean I don't want to see them.
It doesn't sound like you work at the moment which is an obvious place to make friends, so joining in something could help you meet like minded people: PTA or a course or a hobby or church or something.
I work from home so am isolated in that way and i have my own business but again the nature of that is that I don't really see people.
I was in the PTA but I gotta admit I don't enjoy small talk and I think you know quite early on who are the people you get on with from a group.
I don't think that one sided friendships where you do all the running and then it take the other person months and months to contact you is on or fair.
Then when you think people are good friends and the don't bother to make an effort to see of contact you after the know you have had a bad experience or something (this has happened) then that would say to me that they don't value your friendship.
I think it all needs to be pretty equal in the 'running'....
Another way to see the running thing is that your friends who contact you after months are only inclined to that often, whereas you want to see them more often. Why should they adhere to your timescale?
Friendships shouldn't be an obligation where it's all evenly done, you call a friend when you feel like it. If these friends have long established close friends they'll be their first go to for social things.
You maybe just have to accept it's that way rather than dump them after arbitrarily deciding they haven't contacted you frequently enough.
If they have been unkind or upset you then that's a different matter.
I have a lot of friends going back years, probably like those you describe. I'd happily make more but if I wouldn't appreciate someone being needy or off with me because they felt I hadn't contacted them enough. We're adults with our own lives.
On a practical note can you do a course relating to your business?
I dont 'dump' them I am mainly asking how to learn to trust people enough to be 'real' friends with them.
Also I know how and where to meet people my issue to trusting and getting close to people.
No I can't do any courses.
I have two other children and no family nearby to have them so I can go so anything much.
One is in school but the other is only in nursery 2 days a week and i am expecting my 3rd n in a few months so....
It sounds as though you are 'trying' too hard and perhaps expecting 'acquaintances' to become good friends too quickly. We move around a lot due to DH's work and I am constantly making new friends - I join clubs/organisations/do voluntary work - I keep busy and meet lots of people, some will become 'good friends' but some will remain acquaintances.
But to be honest I can now spot 'needy' people very easily and I find I have to be quite ruthless sometimes - like Peacocklady says, I don't want to be endlessly contacted to make arrangements.
I think I am very self conscious around people and if i do ever 'expose' any of my 'real' self to people i then worry later about what they think or if they are judging or will use it against.
I am aware this is unlikely as people are too busy with their own lives to give a shit about me and my life but i still get anxious none the less.
I am not a 'joiner' and like i said - when would i have time anyway?
I am quite a quiet person and mostly keep myself to myself but i would like some very close friends but i have no idea where to start....
I've always done voluntary work - with or without a child in tow . There is always something you can do if you really want to.
You say you are not a 'joiner' but what would you discuss with a friend - surely when you meet someone the first time you are going to have to just make social chit chat and see how the relationship develops rather than talking about your 'real self' - that could be a bit overwhelming in a new friendship. I really think you need to have an 'interest' to be able to start chatting.
Close friendships rarely just happen over-night.
No i get you have to do the whole chit chat bit to start with.
So someone is only interesting if they join stuff?
Yeah i know they don't happen over night that wouldnt be at all natural or real but i dunno how to get there as i doubt everything so i never believe it is going that way or every could go that way...
I think maybe this is out of everyones 'expertise. but thank you for your replies.
Are you ending the thread ?
I am not saying that people are only interesting if they join stuff but you have to have interests ........... to be interesting. .
I moved to my current home a couple of years ago and met someone at the gym who suggested going for a coffee - we did but she literally had nothing to talk about
except her children. It was really quite painful, and she kept contacting me to meet up again, I did meet a couple more times but it was clear that we had nothing in common - and there is only so much conversation you can have about the gym. . I am not sure why she wanted to be friends with me.
I am not saying you are like this but I am sure you get what I mean. .
No you don't have to join stuff to be interesting.
But if you want to meet like minded people you will need to.
You've already said that you are not a pub-goer, that you run a business from home and are quite introverted.
So the comments about volunteering/joining a club are to get you out of your shell.
You can't make new friends if you don't put yourself out there. Close friends are not that easy to find at any age.
Putting all that aside, if you 5 months pregnant, you could consider some kind of pregnancy yoga class, aqua natal classes?
Once baby here, go to one of the classes geared for mother/baby?
As for trusting people, that's something perhaps you need to look at, what's stopping you from trusting someone? You trust your DH, why him and no one else?
Why do think someone is going to judge you before you've even met them? (We all have histories remember, do you need to make peace with your own?)
(All rhetorical questions btw)
The thing is, friendships don't require 'expertise'. Humans are naturally extremely sociable.
But it's simple logistics, the more people you meet and speak to, the more likely you are to click with someone. I know what you mean about not being a joiner, I'm not either but at the same time people don't tend to just come along that much.
As for having a close friend, i have several and I think it's from going through experiences together. Also the more you reveal of yourself to others, that can take things to a deeper level, or discuss things you're not sure about, showing you're not afraid to be vulnerable. People respond to that and feel comfortable knowing they're with someone who isn't trying to outdo them.
Thank you Peacock - very helpful.
That is kinda what i wanted to hear.
Proud! Everyone loves a compliment!
I've been trying to think what else draws me to people. I love being with people who make me laugh (it's not hard to make me laugh). If someone says something funny and you laugh they feel great too. It does often involve booze though I have to admit.
yeah i don't drink and wouldnt risk if even if wasn't pregnant as have a medical condition.
fyi - was reading back through the posts and introverted does not mean i am shy or 'in a shell' just means i don't really like crowds or super loud 'events'.
I prefer just 2 or 3 people to have a chat. be somewhere a little more quiet and calm than a club or pub etc.
Sheesh, was me that said about in a shell. I probably meant more "in a rut" as in order to meet new people, changing your routine/social activities might help. Offence was not intended
Was just trying to give you advice like you asked for, based on the information you gave initially.
No offence taken on meant back on my part....was just saying what i meant cos many people often take it as meaning shy etc.
just wondered are you still online? I haven't read all the messages within this thread but just felt like it was reading something i could have said! I hate feeling like im always the friend being caring or making sure someone's ok and arranging meet ups etc... Just thought maybe we could talk?
People have very different expectations of what is meant by "friend". It sounds as if what you mean is a close, intimate friendship of like-minded equals. This is hugely valuable and something I think everyone should have.
But only a tiny proportion of the people you meet are going to go on to be friends like this. A lot of people are understandably not willing to bother having acquaintances as they think its shallow or a waste of time or they don't have the energy for it. Which is fair enough...
But the problem is if you are looking for all friends to fall into the first category you are going to reject almost everyone out of hand.
I am fairly sociable but I've been through periods of feeling I lacked very close friends. I now have a base of about four or five super close friends and then a much wider circle of people ranging from not so super close friends up to casual acquaintances. I think the wider your range of acquaintances is the more likely you are for some of them to end up sticking as friends. Most of them won't be, but you never know who will.
And as Ragwort says, don't invest too much expectation in people when you first meet. Go with it, try people out, dump them or let them drift if you don't gel. Some of them will stick, some won't.
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