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Thread: Anyone Struggle To Have Female Friendships? Anyone Have None?

  1. #71
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    OP In reading some of your posts I get your frustration; its a bit like Where are my people?

    I don't know when people learn of your many stripes, but I do know that I used to throw my many stripes out in front. I thought I was being open or something but what I was also doing was making it easy for people to back away. It was an intimacy avoidance technique, a defense mechanism. It was a way of highlighting how different I am. Assessing myself as different is dependent on me making assumptions about other people, and those assumptions are wrong. Other people may also be different but you don't know because they are more private, and because they define themselves according to their values and not their personal behaviors.

    Find ways you are similar to others. Keep your more personal information close, until you know you are sharing it with someone who respects you. That kind of discretion is a boundary you draw in an act of self respect. Why would you throw yourself to the wolves? Unless you are interested in trying to make people acknowledge that strippers (if you will, or dancers, etc) are respectable people just like the rest of us, there is no reason to hide it nor to share it. It isn't relevant, it doesn't define who you are.

    And if you are, perhaps subconsciously, trying to reduce bias about people who perform lap dances, then see that your goal isn't about making friends. It is about (1) assuming your acquaintances are biased against you, and (2) proving a point, changing people's minds, and (3) getting validation. Those are selfish goals, reflect an assumption that others will reject you because of your past and your behavior at home, and your behavior leads to a self fulfilling pattern.

    Learn to define yourself according to your values, and not according to your degree of similarity or difference to others.

    Try a different paradigm. Assume your friends will accept you. Understand that your behavior at home works for you; it may not work for others; who cares. Accept that others make different choices, and don't want to have to judge yours. If you ask them to judge your choices, they will. So don't ask, directly or by inference of putting it out front. You don't need their approval.

  2. #72
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    From where I sit this sounds more about you and the leap you made from where you were to where you are now and the divide in between. No doubt a friend you had 16 years ago couldn't relate to your lifestyle now.

    But I am awfully suspect seeing that in order to paint the picture for us, you let on repeatedly to your current lifestyle, yet you feel it's the very thing that separates you from other women? Could this be more about you and the attitude you have about it?

    I don't want to go back and reread other posts, but I had previously gotten the overall picture of your lifestyle from other posts you started.

    I feel like I am being prompted to give you the `women are just jealous of you' answer.

    I've met very wealthy people who are the most unassuming, regular sort of folks. The are very unimpressed with themselves and that's part of what makes them appealing. They would never let on to having had just had lunch in their friends castle, for that matter.

    It sounds like you are still adjusting to your own changes in your lifestyle and not sure where you factor in with people you were once accustomed to. That could be expected.

    But it is telling that your best friend told you off about a supposed elitist attitude, yet you deny it wholeheartedly. Hmmmm.

    It's those people closest to us that we should listen to. Even if we don't like what they have to say.

    Maybe it's true and you only mentioned it once. But she got the vibe from somewhere. So either she is just jealous, you two no longer have anything in common or there is some truth there somewhere.

    I don't know. I am not you. I am just going off what I just read.
    Last edited by reinventmyself; 03-05-2019 at 03:11 PM.

  3. #73
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    When we level jump in life, or change environments, social circles, professional paths, etc. it is important to let go of our prior identity and assume the current one in full. I am using shorthand : it is more important to find an identity that is rooted more deeply than any of these details. Along our journey, though, we often build our identity on external events. Being a survivor of something, a recovering addict, a slim person who is now heavy or a heay person who is now slim... any number of ways we tend to carry our past with us.

    All that does is give us an excuse to be less than we hope to be. It is baggage and we have to let it go.

    Your past, OP, is interesting to people who want to invest in you. Otherwise, its irrelevant.

  4. #74
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    Capricorn you couldn't be more right - it sounds bad to say it but this is why I avoid people coming to the house a lot. People treat me differently when they don't know all these things but then, how can I form a close friendship without them

    1. Knowing anything about my past and
    2. Never being in my house, ever?!


    I have a very close friend who has never been to my house! Can you believe that. We met as regional coordinators of a group and have continued the friendship for over 10 years. She is one of my greatest friends. We talk on the phone at least 3 times a week, confide in eachother, etc. We have seen eachother in person and spent time - but she has never been to my home (we live in different states). I have never actually been to hers, either. We both consider eachother besties.

    I think you are emphasizing your past too much as well. People who meet me get me where I am in life. I don't hide my past, but i also don't make sure to educated them about all my mistakes or missteps or all phases of my life. Stuff gets talked about when its relevant to come up naturally.

    Be open to having friendships with women of various ages - older and younger. One of my best friends was 7 years older than me - we both went to the same college, but she was returning for a second degree - 7 years is no big deal, but when you are that age - the things you are interested in is different. I related to her more because the girls in my class were more interested in going to the bar, meeting guys (i mean, sure, i wanted to meet someone, too, but not like that), and I was more interested in talking about other things, so that was the common ground for us to become good friends. There could be young woman who is 23 that reminds you of yourself at that age - there could be a woman in her 40s that has more in common with you, etc.

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  6. #75
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    I have and have had many friends who have never been to my house and vice versa. i don't see the connection. My home now is small and cluttered and I avoid having people over like the plague but I'm happy to have them come to my building and use the pool or hang out in the lounge, outside, etc.

  7. #76
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    Like Batya, some friends have been in my home and many more haven't. OP you seem to think of intimate friends or none at all; think instead of friends as readers and think of yourself as a library. Some people flip through magazines, and others want to read whole novels in an afternoon. Your friends include a range of reading styles; not everyone is up for a deep dive into a book.

  8. #77
    Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I'm a married mother and I guess I'm old-fashioned but I don't have any male friends. The only male whom I'm nice to is my younger brother. All other males are married or have significant others and out of respect for their wives and girlfriends, while I'm nice to them, we're only casual acquaintances. We don't get together 1:1 and it's a given.

    When I was younger I craved having a lot of friends just like my younger sister who was always extremely popular ever since kindergarten. Currently, she has over 1,000 FB friends! I was always envious of her until I dug deeper. She's very narcissistic and needs to be the center of attention while blasting her life with pics on social media daily. She constantly seeks other people's approval. She has a very active social life at her kids' school and there's more.

    Her husband is a jerk and there is no fixing him. If she were happily married and secure, she wouldn't be so needy of life outside the home so much. Since I know the dirt, something doesn't ring true about this picture of her being "Miss Popular."

    I only have a few friends. My very best friend is a childhood friend whom I've known since I was 9 years old. Fortunately, we remained local, kept in touch, our children are the same age, she was my maid-of-honor, I too was in her bridal party and we go way back. It also helps that we think alike, write alike, our mannerisms are similar so it stands to reason when you're similar to someone you have a lot in common with them. This was years in the making though and didn't happen overnight. We've been very close ever since childhood which is extremely rare nowadays as most friends eventually drift apart once school life is over. However, I must point out that when life was busier with full time jobs and during the thick of the frenetic pace of child rearing, we had less time for each other. Now that our kids are a little older, we have more time to get together once a month for lunch and a walk whereas years ago, our schedules were simply too crammed and tight to do so. It took awhile to come full circle because years ago, we were just too darn busy.

    As others have mentioned, think of your age bracket and how busy most people are. There are only so many hours in the day for anyone outside their hectic work and family lives. Even then people generally don't wish to get involved in someone else's drama or become immersed into a friend's personal life. Even with many friends, most people have their limits, don't wish to get too personal, some people are conservative and prefer to keep their associations with you light and polite. Most people enforce healthy boundaries with others. This is realistic.

    I wouldn't lump all women as catty and gossipy. It really depends on the individual. Perhaps try joining a church, charity or sports group. Many times, instead of focusing on each other, it's better to have a good cause, serve in a ministry, do good for others (even strangers - work in a soup kitchen or the like), exercise, get fit and do something good for yourself. Don't rely on others to define you. Be your own person.

    That's what I did. I started concentrating on my health, exercise, diet, hobbies, cooked, took care of my family and after that, there wasn't much time left because I was exhausted in a healthy way. Also, unlike my unhappily married sister, I don't need to prove anything to anybody. I'm perfectly content doing my own thing with only a few outsiders whom I meet only once a month.

    I'm on peaceful terms with my relatives and in-laws but we're not old chums and I prefer to keep it this way. No one bothers nor imposes upon one another. We all reside locally but only get together a few random times a year and celebrate traditional holidays. That's it. We don't bother each other but if there are emergencies, they are the first to come to our aid.

    You also have to remember that if you keep to yourself more, you lessen your chances of becoming the victim of loose lips (some gossip) and strong opinions which causes fights. You stay out of the fray by lying low. Be low key and you'll stay out of trouble. Learn to play it safe by changing your behavior. Don't give reason for others to criticize and judge you so behave properly. There are different personas we give people, the real you and the polite you for the sake of social survival. You need to be careful and not be naive when it comes to people. Be careful what you wish for because if you put yourself out there too much, it will come back to haunt you. You can't be so trusting of others otherwise you'll end up as the joke at your expense. You will not be amused.

    Even though I'm sure you're a very generous, hospitable person as I once was, dial it down. I was once 'Martha Stewart.' Not anymore. The more you do, the more you'll expect from others to reciprocate, they won't and you'll be disappointed because they won't meet your expectations. Therefore, it's better to keep your associations light, have acquaintances and know "friends" can many times be overrated because they'll either betray you, lose interest in you eventually or you'll both burn out or worse yet, end up in a argument. Neither of those scenarios end well. Too much familiarity breeds contempt.

    Be careful what you wish for. Friends require too much time to cultivate, nurture and maintain relationships. Concentrate on being a good wife, mother and take care of your health, hobbies and do what you enjoy. Instead of quantity of friends, focus on one or a few friends and the rest should be just mere, nice acquaintances. Be more family oriented since you're at a different stage in your life. Or, focus on your relatives and in-laws if they're compatible.

    Or, join groups where all of you enjoy doing the same thing and can relate. Hobbies, excursions, outings, sports, church, volunteering in the community, enroll in classes, etc.

    And be careful socially. I'm sure you're a lovely lady but not everyone appreciates a boisterous, loud, weird, strange personality. A lot of people are comfortable being with those who are poised, possess aplomb, grace, not loud nor obnoxious. If you wish to attract certain lady friends, then act like one. This has been my experience. Alike people are with alike people which stands to reason.

    Also, I always remember my sister. Her so-called popularity is way overrated. She's too busy socially, always tries to keep up with the Joneses, should concentrate on being a great mother instead of focusing on popularity as if she's still back in high school. She never grew up, needs to calm down and mellow. Always maintaining too many associations screams INSECURITY. A secure person doesn't chase and crave attention. A secure person is settled with their own life.

    Be your own person, be happy with yourself and your life. Then you'll attract others without even trying. This will boost your self-esteem, self-confidence and security. Be comfortable within your skin without having to prove anything to anybody including yourself.

  9. #78
    Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Also, in the future when you're with people, always try your best to be very humble and low key because people love that. I know a friend who lives in a 7100 sq ft house, she's affluent yet so humble with her appearance and behavior. Why? Because she's extremely secure, doesn't flaunt nor has the need to impress people. I know several very affluent people but you would never know it if you stood next to them at the grocery store. They don't talk about themselves, they're very modest, low key and they don't call attention to themselves. They're very well liked because of it. The more money people have, the quieter they become. They're secure, self confident and quietly content. They've already arrived and made it so they don't have to say anything.

    I agree with others. Meet at a park for a walk, a restaurant for a meal, for tea or coffee and socializing doesn't have to revolve around home entertaining. A change of scenery is refreshing.

  10. #79
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    "Be careful what you wish for. Friends require too much time to cultivate, nurture and maintain relationships. Concentrate on being a good wife, mother and take care of your health, hobbies and do what you enjoy. Instead of quantity of friends, focus on one or a few friends and the rest should be just mere, nice acquaintances. Be more family oriented since you're at a different stage in your life. Or, focus on your relatives and in-laws if they're compatible. "

    I realize that not everyone values friendships or prioritizes them but it makes me sad when I see the mindset that friends are basically disposable once a person is a married mother (I am - came to it later in life at age 42 and for both my husband and me friendships are a top priority - not necessarily quantity at all and not just collecting acquaintances -but cultivating and maintaining and developing good friendships -up there with marriage, parenthood, professional responsibilities. Sure, some women especially call "friends" the women they partied with in their teens and 20s before becoming an adult which to them means marriage but I think that's an very narrow and inaccurate mindset. I had professional and family responsibilities for many years before marriage and motherhood. When I married and became a mother I had less time in a way for friends -meaning I rarely go out at night anymore and went out at night regularly for 25 years (or worked till late at night at my job instead of parenting/keeping house - I now work part time) - but it doesn't mean I saw friends as a sort of luxury way down on the list.

    Again I think it's fine not to value or prioritize friendships as I do- we're all different -just tired of the "well now I'm a married mother, no time for friends (or only time for "mom friends")" excuse. Just makes me sad that's all.

  11. #80
    Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I was referring to quality vs. quantity regarding friendships. It's better to have a few select friends than a sea of acquaintance type friends. It helps to have similar characteristic traits so you can mesh and relate better. Opposites don't always attract.

    If you're seeking friends, they won't come to you. You have to go where they are based upon your interests or whatever you're involved in. Join organizations, groups and whittle down your search from there.

    I have mom and couples friends but not a lot but it's ok because my time and energy are limited when it comes to friends. My friends are at the same stage in life so we can only meet for walks and meals several times a month at best. For couples, we meet at restaurants for occasional dinners.

    Since home entertaining was a negative experience for you (OP), then meet elsewhere for a change of scenery.

    As I've gotten older, I've since become very picky and choosy regarding the company I keep. I'm only with friends who will put forth the same time and energy I give and if they don't, it gets tiresome to do all the giving while they do all the taking. Sooner or later friendships fizzle and drift apart. Friendships require concerted, sincere effort in order to endure. I hope it works out for you OP.

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