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Thread: For adults: I can't make friends

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    For adults: I can't make friends

    I have been meaning to write this for some time now but haven't gotten around to it. I hope it isn’t childish but I just wanted to share. Please don’t misunderstand the descriptions of myself. The sole purpose is to give you some background and not come accross as someone who is ‘arrogant’
    so here goes...

    I'm a 26 year old happily married wife. I'm a first year Ph.D. student. I am very happy with the life God has given me and I am thankful most day (should be all days though). I have had a chance to travel to many different countries in the last few years and I am more than thankful and wish it upon everyone. So I am pretty open minded. I come from a Christian family but we are not very religious and weren't avid church go-ers. My parents were strict I think because I was the only girl in the family. so partying and drinking wasn’t part of my upbringing. I'm European. I’ve been told that I’m a ‘very attractive’ woman (comparisons to paulina porizkova ) (I have dark brown hair). I moved to the US during my first year of high school. Since then I have had the hardest time making friend. It is so difficult for me to meet people to the point where I wonder if something is seriously wrong with me. I knew several people in high school but had one ‘best friend’ who I’m still friends with but the rest of the ‘friendships’ ended when high school ended.

    In high school I heard some people say that I was very intimating and that is why people didn’t approach to talk to me…etc… I a bit shy but can be quite funny  I have always felt somehow different than the rest of the people my age so I couldn’t really relate to girls in high school. So high school ended, we moved out of the state, I started college. It got worse.

    Note that I don’t drink or party so that excluded me from many college ‘invitations’. I think people used to wonder why I was so ‘weird’ and why I wouldn’t go out ‘clubbing’. There were some semesters where I can say that I was quite depressed. Everyone around me had ‘friends’ and here I was a young, beautiful 22 year old walking around campus by myself with no one to talk to. I probably ‘know’ 3-4 girls from my undergrad years of which only 1 who I’d consider a friend. (I also met my husband during that time which was the best thing that had happened to me!!!! ). Other than this small detail of not being able to make friends, everything else in my life has been great and I am thankful.

    The ‘best friend’ I had since high school started changing a couple years ago…(by this time I have already moved out of the state). She also doesn’t drink or party either but she always had a large group of friends. They used to go out to eat, to the movies, sleep overs, birthday parties, travel etc… And she knew that I didn’t have many friends, but she kept telling me how busy she was with this friend, that friend, this person called her the other one call her …When I graduated with my bachelors she used to say that she doesn’t want to ‘walk in the ceremony’ of her graduation because ‘’ it’s not a big deal’’ not until she has a “higher degree”. So then she started a professional program and became extremely arrogant about what she was doing. She kept saying how busy she was with ‘her program’ and doesn’t have time to answer her phone…that ‘it’s not just any other graduate program (hint I was doing a graduate program at the same time)” Weeks would pass without her calling or returning my calls. After a while it became ridiculous...she used to make some silly excuse about why she didn’t return my call from 3 weeks ago when she said she would. She started lying to me and keeping things from me. I thought we were great friends and we used to share everything with each other. Even though we were in different states, I made sure she was involved in every part of my wedding planning but she almost excluded me from her recent wedding planning. She lied to me about applying to ‘her professional program’ telling me she still didn’t know what she wanted to do when the application deadline for that program was 4 months prior. She told me that had gotten accepted when she went to look for an apartment near that school.
    1 hour ago - 4 days left to answer.
    Additional Details
    When I was finishing my masters degree, I mentioned that I was thinking of a Ph.D. program and her comment to me was “oh don’t worry about that now. Just relax, take time off, enjoy your husband and aren’t’ you having children”? you should have children. I want to see your babies etc… “ I think she always had to this sense of being superior and wanting to be a ‘doctor’ (which is the title ‘her professional program’ will give her and she told me before that that’s the title she wants). So she was suggesting that I don’t do the Ph.D. program and just start a family and be content with what I have. But I am not doing this program for the title, I truly enjoy the area that I am in. So because she has been keeping things, from me and lying to me. I have just kept a very neutral relationship by not sharing new information which I know will be taken with jealousy and without encouragement.

    So its safe to say that this ‘friend’ also isn’t a friend and so I am down to 0 friends whom

    I’ve known for many years and have shared life events with.
    What am I doing wrong?
    I was very supportive of her when she was deciding on a ‘professional program’. I used to send her cards out of the blue just to say I’m glad we are friends, send her flowers for her birthday. But little by little she started distancing herself, keeping things from me and I don’t know what I have done wrong. I am not the kind of person who changes or acts different around different people. I am the same at home as I would be outside. But she can be a one person to one friend a different person to another, given their different personalities.

    I apologize for this long novel..but what am I doing wrong?

    I understand why one might think that I am conceited based on my descriptions. But i did make note not to be misunderstood and it was just for 'background' purposes. Whenever I start the semester, I try to introduce myself to the people around me. Give some topic of conversation but that's how far it goes. I NEVER talk about how well i'm doing in school or 'look how far i've come etc..." the opposite is actually true... sometimes I downgrade what I do so that I don't make someone else feel bad. so I don't think I'm conceited.

    But i think i have tried to be a good friend to this girl. I truly have. I remember spending hours crying and wondering what was happening, why she wouldn’t return my calls, tell me that she received my postcard, share her photos with me. She got engaged and it took her exactly

    1 year to send me 7 photos because she was soo ‘busy’. But I guess these things are standing out to me because I don’t have many friends and was desperately trying to hold on to this one.
    Thank you again
    Last edited by Queenbee26; 09-10-2010 at 07:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    I think its time to widen your horizons and make new friends. I know its not easy for folks who are the type to have a couple close friends versus 100 friends, but it is doable. Sometimes the person who is my closest friend changes, but I always have 2-3 close friends, and I lost some and gained some. Some get closer, some move on. But by reaching out, you fixate less on the behaviors of one friend.

    I would just expect christmas cards, and the occasional correspondance but dont "expect" anything. Expectations only disappoint. I think it is easier to just respond when she gets around to contacting you or sending you something rather than giving any sort of ultimatum or "breaking up" as friends. But don't "jump" for her. It seems that feeling superior is just something she does. You can either say "oh that's the way nancy is" and take it with a grain of salt or you can tell her how she makes you feel. I don't know her, so don't know if she would respond to such information or it would put her on the defensive.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Crazyaboutdogs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Friendships come and go. As you get older it is harder to make friends. Sometimes you just have to settle for acquaintances who you see from time to time. In fact, sometimes the acquaintances turn out to be better friends than the people you thought were your good friends!

  4. #4
    Lamour detruit
    Platinum Member Lamour detruit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    North Virginia
    Doesn't seem like you're doing much wrong to me. Your kind of mindset is definitely lacking in most college students, since many embrace the party life style and seem to thrive on it. This might have been part of it, since most go for people who want the same thing in terms of interaction.

    Accomplishments are things to be proud of, and I could understand people being apprehensive if you were stand off-ish about it, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Hard to judge because one could tell much more from witnessing it in person, but you don't seem to be doing anything wrong to me as far as I can tell. Some people tend to have trouble connecting to others, and finding like-minded people. This can turn into a long process of trying to make friends, but not having much luck. I have no doubt there are people out there you'll be able to be good friends with however, you just have to get yourself out there and keep on trying.

    Definitely get rid of your former best friend. It is obvious she doesn't have your best interest in mind.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member uncomfynumb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    someplace between Venus and Uranus
    I don't think the issue is that you can't make friends, I think the issue is that you just haven't met a friend yet. This girl was never a "true" friend because those kind of friends share the joys of your life and are never envious. However on the flipside if you have an idea about people that they will be envious of you, then that can create that perception of yourself in others.

    You sound like you have a lot going for you and that is wonderful. If you walk with an air of graciousness and humility, that is attractive. Trying to downplay your life in effect gives off the impression that you are trying to downplay because you pity others. Just be a happy and blessed person. You don't have to brag about your accomplishments to that, not that you are. And be opptomistic about the abilities of others. I don't have a degree nor do I look like a model but I'm one of the happiest people I know and I have a ton of friends and at least five of them, I've known for 30 years (I met them when I was 12 and I'm 42.)

    You tend to your friends like you tend to a garden. But when all that is done, you have to have trust and faith in them. That is what makes them thrive.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    thank you everyone for taking the time to give me your input. I really appreciate it. i think perhaps i gave too many specific detail and I'm affraid that if she reads this, she will know about it. I looked to see if there is a way to edit the question or perhaps take out some parts. But it is not giving me an edit option. Is it possible to do so?


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