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To actually, genuinely not know how to make friends

(22 Posts)
Extrovertedintrovert Thu 23-Feb-17 09:41:30

I'm a bubbly, confident, friendly, warm person. I have a lot of people who like me. I have always got on very well with people and been well
Liked and popular.

At my last place of work everyone was in tears when I left and told me to stay in touch.

My new place of work is a lovely team of people. I get on with everyone great.

But, I don't actually have any friends. I have one brother but he has disabilities so cannot communicate.

At school I 'made friends' with a girl in year 3 of primary school and just kept her until secondary school. She's my best friend. We speak all the time but live far away from each other so aren't really in each other's life.

At uni for my undergrad I had a great time partying with my flat mates. But when the first year was over I had no one to share a flat with so I just stayed where I was.
Second year again everyone liked me and I was out every night having fun. I stayed with those flat mates until third year.

I moved on to do a masters and was put together in a group. I had two practice placements too and during that time I met loads of lovely people. Was regularly invited out to social events and I had a wonderful social life with this group.

One guy from the group invited me to his house for a BBQ and he 'persued' a friendship with me so I now consider him my other close friend and we do meet up regularly and I was the maid of honour at his wedding to his husband.

But I only became his friend because he made an effort to make friends with me.

Since then I've met many work colleagues, got on with many people and seem to be genuinely liked but at the age of almost 30 I have only two people I could remotely call a friend.

I could never have a group of friends. I'd never even know how to go about having that and can't imagine liking all those people enough for me to consider them a good friend 😂

I've always been popular with me. In that I get asked out constantly but I've yet to meet anyone to fall in love with.

I don't come Cross as a social outcast. I'm quite fashionable and normal to look at!

AIBU to say I don't actually know how to make friends? Anyone else like me?

Extrovertedintrovert Thu 23-Feb-17 09:45:28

The reason I say I don't really have any friends is because deep down. Although I do really love and care for my two friends. I don't feel I truly have that much in common with them and I'd never feel able to ask them to help me out in an emergency or for a favour.

ExitStage Thu 23-Feb-17 10:12:22

I'm 46 and don't have any friends! It doesn't really bother me anymore, and to be honest I'm glad I don't have the dramas you see on here.

Do you actually want any close friends?

Schwifty Thu 23-Feb-17 10:18:23

It sounds like you have plenty of opportunities to make friends, but can't really be arsed don't seem to be emotionally invested, or even particularly respectful with those you have.

Edit: just refreshed and seen your second post, your final comment is a bit sad. Why do you feel like this? And how would you feel if they asked you?

Karmaisabitch Thu 23-Feb-17 10:22:39

I've only a few friends in my life....I struggle to make new lasting friendships & im 26.

However, I am one to make an effort with new people in an attempt to make them a "friend"

gandalf456 Thu 23-Feb-17 10:25:23

I think it's harder when you get older because you just don't have the time you had when you were younger. I find myself often turning down invitations because of work, tiredness, kids sick etc.I'm actually looking forward to them getting older so I can nurture friendships a bit more.

Extrovertedintrovert Thu 23-Feb-17 10:34:49

It's not that I'm not bothered to make friends. I wouldn't know how to make someone a friend.

There's many people in my life I've thought that I've really enjoyed their company and would love to spend more time with them and see them out of the context of where we met.

But I don't know how!

So unless they persue a friendship with me, I don't make friends.

fuckoffdailysnail Thu 23-Feb-17 10:41:29

They may get fed up being the ones who have to make an effort OP.
Suggest meeting for coffee/dinner/a drink
Swap numbers and don't be afraid to send the first text and initiate conversation
I've had friends I have to make all the effort with and I found it really disheartening and distanced myself

SugarMiceInTheRain Thu 23-Feb-17 10:42:59

I somehow really struggle to make friends too, and don't know why. I enjoy socialising. I don't really have any friends I could call on in an emergency. Certainly no friends I could ask to babysit, for example. One friend would help out if she could, but her life is extremely chaotic and full of drama and problems, so is far from a reliable friend. I would love friends I could go out with for the occasional evening - not expecting to be able to go out clubbing every weekend or anything! I am sometimes involved in local am dram, which I thoroughly enjoyed - the social side almost as much as the acting, but when they went for post-rehearsal drinks, I wasn't invited along :-( I have my DH, and he's my best friend, but I miss female friendships. My best friend who was my maid of honour ditched me totally unexpectedly when I moved a bit further away (only half an hour away from her). Still hurts that I didn't even get an explanation.

PoisonousSmurf Thu 23-Feb-17 10:43:15

Adults don't really have 'friends'. They are too busy networking and dealing with work/family. The ONLY time you know who your true friends are is when you are in trouble!
Everyone is an 'aquaintance' they only need you when you are useful to them. I'm not far off 50, so have had lots of experiences.
I much prefer my own company if I'm honest.

emsyj37 Thu 23-Feb-17 10:49:30

Well what have those two friends done to pursue a friendship with you? Ask for your number? Invite you to go for drinks/to an activity/come over to their house? It's not rocket science. To have friends you have to BE a friend - sounds as though you are very closed off and dont make any effort to forge friendships. Possibly if you are perceived as outgoing and popular people assume you already have lots of friends and dont need any more. If you want more friends you will probably have to make the first move and put some effort in to show the person you like them and want to be friends rather than just colleagues/associates. You may need to be warmer towards orher people and show some vulnerability and let them into your confidence. This is what separates associates/social buddies from real friends.

CorporalNobbyNobbs Thu 23-Feb-17 10:56:20

Adults don't really have friends

Eh??? I have loads of friends and at 37 definitely an adult...

CorporalNobbyNobbs Thu 23-Feb-17 11:00:40

Anyway OP the reason I have lots of friends is because I actively decide I like someone and then ask them to go for a drink or something. Then I keep in touch with them and continue to meet up.

When you say you don't know how, what do you mean? why wouldn't you text someone to meet up? (Not being dismissive, I just don't understand)

spaghettithrower Thu 23-Feb-17 11:27:49

If you want friends then you have to cultivate the friendship and ask for their number/invite them for coffee etc. Talk to them and find out if they have similar interests and suggest doing something based on that.

Having said that, it is difficult. I don't have any close friends of my own age but I do have some very good friends who are quite a bit older than me, though they live a long way away. My life has taken me all over the place so my friends have been quite transient and although I am in touch with some of best friends from my younger years we haven't been able to meet up for years.

I have a "hobby" and this involves attending several different groups. At each of these I get on well with the people there and have a good group of friends to have a laugh with and go to the pub afterwards. However none of these friendships has gone into the hanging around each others' houses/going for coffee several times a week/chatting on the phone for hours/going out clubbing in a big group territory.
That isn't really me - I am quite a private person and like my own space. I just feel a bit uncomfortable with people getting too close (trust issues on my part) so I do keep people at arm's length.

I think you need to decide what kind of friendships you do want - perhaps you might strike up a good friendship with someone older or younger than yourself or maybe you decide you don't really want close friends.

I always used to think there was something wrong with me because I didn't have one of these classic close friendships that spring up between women but actually we are all different so if that's not you and as long as you do have enough social contacts so that you aren't lonely, it isn't a problem.

OptimisticSix Thu 23-Feb-17 11:35:56

I have friends but it took me a long time to make them. I have moved around a lot and found I'd meet people I thought were great but didn't seem to have time to be friends, which I get now. I did eventually make frinds, some of whom I have a lot in common with, some of whom I don't. That said I don't see them that much because I really need my own space... anyway you do sound nice OP perhaps you should pursue friendships more. If you've been invited to something why not invite those people to do something with you xxx

pinkdelight Thu 23-Feb-17 11:58:26

I agree it doesn't sound like you want friends that much. This stands out to me:

"can't imagine liking all those people enough"

And there's other things - this idea that people pursue you and therefore 'make' you their friend. If you wanted friends more, it wouldn't be pursuit, it'd just be friendship building. You may think you want it in a way, but from everything you've said it sounds like you're fine as you are but just questioning yourself because of this curious phenomenon of friendship around you. If you're not really that bothered, there's no problem. This is very different to the many posts on here from people who are lonely and struggling to find or build friendships. If you like people enough, it's just a matter of wanting their company and investing time and effort in making that happen.

pinkdelight Thu 23-Feb-17 12:02:20

btw - am not saying there's anything wrong with how you are, nor that it's that unusual. in particular (albeit anecdotally) quite a lot of husbands, once married, don't seem to be fussed for friendships in the same way as women can be. And some people much prefer the company of dogs to humans, and so on. There's a whole spectrum and you sound to be in a happy enough place.

kimann Thu 23-Feb-17 12:07:55

Me too confused I'm a mum of 2 and I desperately want to try and make friends with the mums of my daughters school but I just don't know how to! Feel bad for my girl as all of them have meet ups and their kids play together at various parks. Urghh. I'm so weird.

SpookyPotato Thu 23-Feb-17 14:39:25

God I could have written this. Always been liked and popular but other people have led the way, now I'm a mum spending all my time with DP who is my best friend and don't really have anyone else.. Once I'm out of the baby/toddler phase I will make more effort... blush I lack confidence in taking things to the next step.. like why would they want to spend time with me!? But going from past friendships I think people really like my company. It's really silly!

user1483981877 Thu 23-Feb-17 16:02:14

How would you describe a friend OP? Because your post to me reads like you have tons of friends, but that you don't want to let any of them in close enough to acknowledge that you like them. It seems to all be about how much they like you. Maybe you just don't want friends. But people seem to like you so you must be throwing out the right signals. Perhaps your bar is raised too high though as you perhaps think that no one is good enough?

Miserylovescompany2 Fri 24-Feb-17 12:53:56

Do you count your neighbours with a disabled daughter as friends? The people you visit once a week.

Does your bother have the same diagnosis as your neighbours child?

bluesbaby Fri 24-Feb-17 14:14:00

Your expectations are too high. There are different kinds of friendships, none any less worthy than the other.

If you value the people you know more, you will get more in return. It does sound like you don't really like the people you surround yourself with - and that's why you don't consider them friends. You don't need to have anything in common with someone to be a friend.

My closest friend (who I consider a sister) is very different to me. It doesn't matter - what matters is that we have each others backs and we're there for each other when the chips are down. AND we manage to fit in fun in between regular life. If you have fun, you respect and care for each other, that's what matters - you don't have to like the same music or TV or other hobbies!

Re-evaluate your measurements for friendship - does someone really need to see you once a week for you to be close to them? Isn't the depth of your friendship more important than just time? Do you put the effort in to make them feel special? Whether that's helping them someway, gift giving, inviting them out, making them feel part of your life etc.

IDK. I used to feel so lonely. But then I looked around me and realised that I just needed to work on the friendships I already had, and build on those. I didn't need to meet new people. There were plenty of lovely people in my life I could talk to, for different reasons, if I opened my eyes.

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