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Difficulty making new friends


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I go to meetups, coffee shops and try to strike up conversations with strangers.  At work I go to co workers desks to chit chat sometimes and develop a repoir.  I even attempt light conversations on the bus but sadly most of them prefer to keep their noses directed straight at their phones. 

Most of my attempts simply stay at the casual stage.  I do all of the initiating, hardly anyone approaches me!  I'm getting frustrated and sometimes feel I will die alone.

One married guy at work tries to chat me up but he has a bad reputation for chasing anything in a skirt.  I steer clear there.

Does anyone have any wisdom to share?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You try making new friends or to find a boyfriend? There is a slight difference there.

Also, have you tried joining some club(maybe hiking or some other you express interest) or enrolling into some course? It way more likely will get you to meet people with the same interest then just striking a conversation with random strangers.

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5 hours ago, Superstickyone said:

One married guy at work tries to chat me up but he has a bad reputation for chasing anything in a skirt.

You seem to want friends as well as want to find a BF.

Chatting up strangers and co-workers isn't the way to go about it.

Join some groups and clubs, volunteer, get involved in sports and fitness, take classes and courses. Have places to go where you see people regularly and have something in common.

As far as dating, get a fresh new profile and pics on quality (including perhaps one paid app) dating apps.

Start talking to and meeting men for a brief drink/coffee.

 

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Posted (edited)

Volunteer work and specifically volunteering backstage at community or church theater.  Swing dancing lessons.  HIking group.  Chatting up strangers is kind of creepy especially since most of us have headphones on/looking at phones.  Meetups where you're supposed to mingle is fine of course! Ask trusted friends to set you up with available single men. Good luck!

Edited by Batya33
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Yeah, confused.... you looking for a bf?

A few yrs ago I joined our 'local singles group' on FB.

I's go meet them at coffee shops and hang out for a bit.. They'd also do little trips.. dinners, movies, etc.  I did end up getting along with at least 3 new peeps 🙂 .

Try to avoid much re: your workplace.  That's your profession, not your 'personal' life.

If it's a bf you're after, join dating sites eg. POF.  Go scan some dudes, see if there's an interest for you there...

As mentioned, look at joining some 'volunteer' places eg. Animal shelters, food banks,etc.

 

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Making friends generally happens naturally over time. So you go to one meetup, for example, and you chat with whoever is there casually. Then you go again, repeat the cycle. The more you hang out with people repeatedly over a period of time, the more acquainted you get. The more you bond. That's when you ask for someone's mobile phone to grab a coffee or go see an exhibition you both like. 🙂

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All the above plus oodles of solidarity, it’s hard starting from a place of need but it’s just a numbers game, finding friends is just as hard (if not harder) than finding a partner

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Are you listening to people or just chatty in general? It’s an admirable quality to be able to feel comfortable and yourself to speak with strangers. Be mindful that however that not everyone is prepared or may be going through their own struggles. It may be difficult for others to make small talk or carry on a conversation. 

It’s much easier if you’re meeting to discuss a shared topic. In my experience making friends that way seems to stick and you have shared interests. I’m not a person who keeps in touch too often so some friendships do fade for me as I genuinely have nothing to say on a regular daily or weekly basis. You’ll find friends who will want to meet and do things at a pace that you like also. Enjoy and have fun anyway going out.

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I agree with others.  You have to put yourself out there with volunteerism such as local charities, community service, community events,  classes, clubs, organizations, sports groups if you're into fitness, hobby groups based upon your preference or church which has subset groups (if you're faith based). You have to start somewhere which takes time.  People won't come to you.  You have to go to them.

Being a new acquaintance is still just a mere acquaintance.  You have to nurture, cultivate and maintain friendships which takes months and years to establish.  Keep in mind, for close friends, some of them are maintenance with remembering their birthdays, some people want gifts or celebrations for their birthdays, would like to celebrate your birthday or get together with you on a regular basis socially and if you're local, all the better.  Sometimes there are other special events which you'll be invited to.  Friendships are an investment and you have to be an active participant with your friends, their and your comfort levels.  You can't do all the taking either.  You have to give of yourself and initiate as well.  Don't expect the other party to do all the work.  There needs to be a mutual understanding otherwise it won't thrive.  If it doesn't thrive to stay afloat, people drift apart very easily. 

Do you have family members who can introduce you to their extension of friends? 

I only have several friends yet I have a lot of acquaintances in my life. 

For the 4th of July, we're attending a suburban neighborhood potluck block party.  At the end of our street, we have a park so we'll meet there.  The host is grilling hamburgers / cheeseburgers and hot dogs and everyone was asked to bring a side dish to share.  Some people bring desserts.  My previous neighborhood had a potluck block party which was enjoyable.  This is a first for my current neighborhood.  I don't know everyone so it's a good opportunity to make new friends for my husband and me.  I only know several neighbors.  I look forward to meeting everyone else.  It's from 11AM to 2PM and fireworks display show for the entire city can be viewed after sundown.  It will be fun.  However, I'm not going to make new friends while sitting at home and watching fireworks on TV.  

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On 7/1/2022 at 3:25 PM, Andrina said:

Others can sense you're probably too thirsty and desperate for friendship, and that's not appealing.

Yes, this is where people can sense that involvement with you may come with too many expectations from you.

It's important to grasp the difference between adult acquaintances versus the kind of best friendships we could form as kids or during college. Those are 'stage of life' friends, and they're usually formed around the forced socialization of school, sports or clubs.

Adults form different degrees of acquaintances to meet different needs. Close, primary friendships are NOT instant, but rather they might evolve over a long period of acquaintance where there's a limited overlap of interests that might start to expand.

As adults, we need to respect the limits of others. We will NOT be their primary focus, but we can certainly enjoy occasional activities with them.

So a tennis friend might not be great at conversation, a movie friend might focus on pop culture with you, a shopping friend might not match your politics but has great humor, and a confidant may not like crowds or want to go to clubs with you.

If you can avoid trying to find one special friend to be your 'everything,' you won't come off as too intense, and you'll learn over t.i.m.e. which acquaintances might evolve into a closer friend.

Head high, and write more if it helps.

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Catfeeder makes a good point.

I've known my closest friends forever.  One of them is a childhood friend from when we were only 9 years old.  She was my maid-of-honor, hosted my bridal and baby showers, I too was in her bridal party and fortunately, we remained local.  We get together every month for all day shopping trips, meals, walks and catching up.  She's always there for moral support throughout the year.  She brought homemade dinners to my house when my sons were newborns and after my FIL (father-in-law) passed away recently along with very generous cash gifts.  We celebrate birthdays.

My other local close friend was my former colleague.  She's been amazing as well, very morally supportive and generous just like my other close friend.  She attended my late FIL's funeral recently.  I'm very close to my dear friends.  

My other friends are casual friends and acquaintances.  We get together 1:1 or in group settings. 

These friendships took time to develop and maintain.  My friends are 'in-person' friends.  I have a lot of social media friends and while they're nice to have, I place more importance on 'in-person' local friends whom I share a camaraderie with which is refreshing and more appealing than just social media friends.

I've met a lot of nice friends at church and subset groups at church.  We feed the homeless together.

Friendships take work.  If you're willing to invest a lot of time, energy and resources into friendships, then it's worthwhile.  If there isn't much effort put forth into cultivating, nurturing and maintaining new friends, they will eventually fizzle into acquaintances or less.  Those types of people are typical and not incredibly special.  Friendships require sincere commitment otherwise it is a lonely world. 

If you want to make friends, you need to strike a balance in your life.  Be independently content and secure.  Be successful with your career, health, have your own hobbies, intellect and special interests to make yourself interesting and fascinating to yourself and others.  People are attracted to independent, non-clingy people.  You need to exude security.  Remain humble.  Then you will attract friends without having to try so hard.  It's like bees to honey.  This was me long ago. 

I was never popular in school so I gave up trying to be well liked.  Therefore, I concentrated on myself, became a go-getter, succeeded and prospered.  Then suddenly, I garnered attention galore.  Everyone wanted to be my friend because I was the IT girl.  It was wonderful.  I also elevated myself by climbing both the corporate and social ladder.  It's a whole new world out there to explore.  When you focus on yourself, you become a magnet because success attracts success.  My mother gave me this advice when I complained to her how unpopular I was.  Then I listened to her and she was right.  I had more friends than I knew what to do with.  I also attracted a lot of very high quality, very moral men as well. 

Focus on yourself.  Everything and everyone will follow.

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6 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

Friendships take work.  If you're willing to invest a lot of time, energy and resources into friendships, then it's worthwhile.  If there isn't much effort put forth into cultivating, nurturing and maintaining new friends, they will eventually fizzle into acquaintances or less.  Those types of people are typical and not incredibly special.  Friendships require sincere commitment otherwise it is a lonely world. 

If you want to make friends, you need to strike a balance in your life.  Be independently content and secure.  Be successful with your career, health, have your own hobbies, intellect and special interests to make yourself interesting and fascinating to yourself and others.  People are attracted to independent, non-clingy people.  You need to exude security.  Remain humble.  Then you will attract friends without having to try so hard.  It's like bees to honey.  This was me long ago. 

Great advice and I didn't quote her other paragraph about friends you've known forever.  Now those friendships can fade too -but that history -it is often family-like.  I find.  My close friend from high school days (we met in 1981 when we were 14 -through a mutual friend) - - we texted yesterday -she lives across the country and I haven't seen her in many years - but our conversations, whether text or phone - I mean there's a foundation there -we're not just activity partners and it's not about talking about the past -not at all -but it's contextual. 

She knows me so well so if I tell her what's going on -it's oontextual -and I don't mean bad stuff I mean anything - whether travel plans, an annoying family member, a book I'm reading - that it's this unspoken getting each other and it's cool to take that for granted just like if you were talking to a parent or sibling. 

Sometimes of course you want to move on from the past and an old friend might harp too much on how you were then even if you have legitimately changed.  But true close friends avoid that or apologize if that happens.   

There's also something really special about new friends who click later in life.  And the limitations of "we didn't know each other when" simply means that how  you interact might be a bit different than the old friend.  

And completely yes to the work - it's not like "oh when I was single I had "friends" and now that I'm married I'm not going to put in the effort because I'm not going to singles events anymore to snare a husband" - that's just a phase-based "friend" - it's work and it's not worth it to everyone and not worth it for specific people which can hurt -so if you are the recipient of the slow fade accept that that person doesn't wish to put in the effort.

Honestly what I like to do is cut the cord first if I see a slow fade with no real excuse (like a close friend who has a lot going on and your history is so long and deep that you realize that you'll pick up where you left off when your friend has the time) - I step aside because yes I have pride.  I don't chase.  Why should I?

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7 hours ago, Willowgirl55 said:

Volunteering is the BEST way to meet people with the same interests as yours. Plus you are giving back to the community, which in turn will make you feel better AND possibly produce a new friend! . 

I could not agree more and I've been volunteering on and off since 1981.

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On 6/30/2022 at 10:39 PM, Superstickyone said:

I go to meetups, coffee shops and try to strike up conversations with strangers.  At work I go to co workers desks to chit chat sometimes and develop a repoir.  I even attempt light conversations on the bus but sadly most of them prefer to keep their noses directed straight at their phones. 

Most of my attempts simply stay at the casual stage.  I do all of the initiating, hardly anyone approaches me!  I'm getting frustrated and sometimes feel I will die alone.

One married guy at work tries to chat me up but he has a bad reputation for chasing anything in a skirt.  I steer clear there.

Does anyone have any wisdom to share?

 

Making friends is like trying to get a frightened dog to take food . You hold out your hand, speak in a soothing voice. But you don't approach or try to force or he'll run away.

Have a warm smile and something pleasant to say for everyone you meet. But don't try to force conversation. Never enter an existing conversation uninvited. People might label you as pushy.

Friendships, like love, can only be real if they come about organically.

Most importantly, take care of you. What do you like and not like about yourself? Make a list. Enhance one. Try to fix the other. Places that exist soley for people to meet are not conducive to the organic.

What are your interests,? Like to read, join a book club. Work out? A gym. If you are a person of faith, go to church. Being surrounded by like minded people will make it easier 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Willowgirl55 said:

Volunteering is the BEST way to meet people with the same interests as yours. Plus you are giving back to the community, which in turn will make you feel better AND possibly produce a new friend! . 

Yes! Excellent idea! Ashamed I didn't think of it!

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Hey Super!

 

Coming at this from a different perspective!

 

I often think there is absolutely nothing wrong with striking up conversations with anyone who happens to take your whim on a fancy! For friendship potentially, to say hey; what’s with this weather?! Or even for a potential date. 90% of anyone I know, see, talk with, meet up with, or got involved with (including my husband!) was real life just, striking up, either them or me.

 

I’m the type of person who will be at the park with my kids and in 15 minutes I’m chatting to three people and by the end of it all our numbers are exchanged and there is a WhatsApp group and home coffee dates the week after. It really depends what your personality is, how easy and comfortable you are with people. If you are easy and most of all, absolutely enjoy people and conversation and getting to know anyone and everyone in general, it’s infectious; and it rubs off on people.

 

I’m not really even a massive fan of the dating website. Sitting at home with your profile there as if you are on a wine list to be picked with the fish or the pasta. I get why people use them but, what about the old fashioned way? Where you go the the library; are at a coffee shop; a bar, a supermarket! And you just say, hi?! We have been doing it that way for hundreds of years - if it ain’t broken, why fix it, right?

 

I get the impression maybe you are unsure or uneasy doing this. It will come across. As others have suggested, groups and volunteer are just awesome places to get a common ground, especially if conversation doesn’t seem to flow as naturally straight off the bat.

 

Some people are people people - you throw them into a room of strangers and they are mingling in five seconds flat, and everyone is laughing forming a circle round them. Others are more reserved, and need an excuse or common ground. Most people are a mixture of both.

 

I would find your groove and hone your confidence at simply approaching! There is nothing wrong with being shy or reserved, it is often and underrated and endearing quality. It really is a fab life skill, to be able to embrace your own personality and not worry about what the other person is thinking, or if they will like you. That I think is the goal to easy first conversation. The pressure is off and you know it doesn’t have to mean anything much.
 

Whatever your interests are - maybe find a group and go from there. The more you talk to people, and put yourself in different situations, you see patterns to everything, and it doesn’t become so scary anymore. Remember, the other person might be just as lonely, or having a bad day, or feeling shy too. The premise is that they will know something you don’t, and everyone is interesting in their own niche. It’s exciting to talk to new people! 
 

The volunteering suggestions as others have said seem wise. And the groups. Whatever you are into, there will be a group for it!

 

There is nothing wrong with you! Friendships are hard and rare to find, acquaintances, ten a penny. Everyone is open to someone new, if they really click with that person. You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and everyone won’t be yours, and that’s okay. Your time is precious and you deserve to spend time finding quality friendships and potentially a partner, if that is what you are after!

 

Best of luck OP!

 

x

 

 

Edited by mylolita
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