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Trying to make friends in a world full of zombie parents - Page 2

post #21 of 38

Also I used to be so anti-Facebook but I have found it's a good way to keep a low level of contact with a variety of people. There is crap to sift through--boring updates from people you barely know, Facebook urging you to share more and more information about yourself--but that's manageable. 

post #22 of 38
Thread Starter 

I know it sounds paranoid, but I believe the flaws of facebook will ultimately outdo any conveniences it serves people right now, so I'm trying to avoid dependence on it. It hasn't been easy.

post #23 of 38
Finding good friends is made difficult, too often, by narcissistic people who take over a group and make it so uncomfortable for the non-narcissistic that they drift away. And usually wonder what's wrong with them. Usually, they are the healthy ones, because they prefer not to be made to feel small, which is what narcissists frequently do, to boost their narcissistic egos. It even happens here, sometimes.

Sorry. Venting. I will drift to the background, again.
post #24 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Finding good friends is made difficult, too often, by narcissistic people who take over a group and make it so uncomfortable for the non-narcissistic that they drift away. And usually wonder what's wrong with them. Usually, they are the healthy ones, because they prefer not to be made to feel small, which is what narcissists frequently do, to boost their narcissistic egos. It even happens here, sometimes.

Sorry. Venting. I will drift to the background, again.

LOL.  I kind of started the thread venting, and I know exactly what you mean about narcissists. They tend to attract people because they often have more confidence than others.  But I am equally annoyed by spineless sheeple who follow them around.

post #25 of 38

I think an important part of making and retaining friendships is to be open to not doing it one's own way.

 

So, I follow Erogeron's practice. If the bulk of people that I come into contact with and perhaps wish to befriend use Facebook, then I'll  grit my teeth and make an account and use it in a simple and utilitarian way.

 

Also, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they don't talk because they are shy, so I try to think of things to say.

 

"Are you new here too?"

Really, when did you move here?" [if before you, ask her for advice on something local, if after her, offer to help her find things or settle in]. 

Or, "Wow, you grew up here, has it changed much since you were a kid?"

 

Or, "What do you like to do for fun?" or "What are your interests?"  - maybe one of them knits or weaves or does genealogy or likes to read historical novels? 

 

Another tactic is to find something you care about doing - is there a local food co-op to join? A bird watchers group? Maybe something outside of "being a mom" that can give you a network. My mother used to do a lot of political volunteering.

 

I also try to see what I have in common with people, rather than how I am different, look for similarities, and where there are differences,see them as opportunities to come to know and enjoy someone else's interests. I don't want to sound harsh, but I think if I looked at other human beings and saw "zombies" or "sheeple" rather than my fellows, journeying through life, doing the best they can, I would find it harder to care for them and want to befriend them; and perhaps they would sense it, and not want to befriend me.

post #26 of 38

I dont make friends that easily. Seems like I do ok at making them but the effort involved afterwards never seems to fit into my day to day life. I stay busy. Children, my garden, all the animals. I also very much enjoy the company of my SO and so I dont mind just hanging out with him alot. Not to mention we live mainly off grid and so just getting through each day is an enormous labor of love. I also hate when I make a friend ( usually someones wife or girlfriend) they tend to break up and then im torn about hanging out with someone because I dont want to get involved in someone elses drama. All that combined with preparing for a baby again at 36 just gives me an excuse to stick to myself. You all are doing better than me for sure! Maybe Ill see about a mom meetup. I did find another mom on here who lives very close to me but it doesnt seem like we are very similar. I hope all of you make some new friends!
 

post #27 of 38

I met my close friends through a homeschool group. It wasn't a co-op or anything, we just met for "socialization". It was specifically created a long time ago to be an alternative to all the religious groups (we are in SC...at the time most homeschoolers were very religious) and most of the moms who drifted into our group tended to love it and we all were friends. We were also very friendly to new moms. I miss it SO MUCH...most of the kids grew up or went to public school, or moved away. I am still close friends with a couple of them and the rest we talk on facebook.

 

I did try one of those famous MomsOfPreschoolers in the late 90's or whatever that was called, it was awful and no one talked to me either. I found it in the paper. But a relative found it very nice when she joined her area's group.

post #28 of 38
I'm so sorry. I totally understand how you feel. I am very introverted and struggle with making new friends. I have been in FL for just over a year as well. I am in Orlando. I have met a few friends, but I haven't been able to establish a "real" bond simply bc I don't see them enough and it is hard with two little ones.
post #29 of 38

Do keep trying - at meetups or just chatting in the playground - sometimes it takes a really long time to find the person/people you feel comfortable with and hit it off with but they are out there.

 

The scenario you described sounds very familiar - I've joined loads of meetups over the years and some work out, some don't.  I too am always amazed at an organized meetup where people really don't make the effort to include new members and make them feel welcome.  Surely that's the whole point?  I've found different meetup groups even in the same area often have very different vibes and sometimes the ones I thought I would fit in better with didn't turn out to be right for me - it's all down to the individuals.  I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially in the playground situation; assume that they're shy/preoccupied/busy rather than cliquey/trying to exclude me, but there are certainly some situations where there's no excuse other than downright rudeness.  Don't take it personally though - it's not you it's them.  Keep trying; even try again after a bad experience, you may find the vibe of the next meet is better.  See if there's a "new to the area" group, or even maybe start one up yourself?  If everyone is new, then you are all in the same boat and the others are more likely to be open to being friendly.

post #30 of 38

OP-as someone not actually especially introverted (although to be honest, I never get these definitions anyway), but married to an extreme (lovely) introvert, can I gently make a suggestion? Is it possible that the other mothers at the groups are also feeling shy, introverted, uncertain and that their behaviour, which seems to you as zombie-like, is actually just that-shyness, introversion, maybe tiredness? New motherhood-before kids are around five or so, actually, I'd say- does that to everyone really. Everyone feels very uncertain, everyone's identity has gone out of the window, no one is sure who they are. We're all struggling with little sleep, stress, often money or job worries, and it can be easier to retreat into our shells. And it does all change pretty fast too, friendship wise, anyway. You know, new parenthood is pretty like fresher's week or high school in some ways, no one is sure who they are and its easy to think people are way more confident than they are when all that is really going on is that some of us are way better actors than others. 

 

Also, having volunteered/worked with women with youngish kids, I'd say that a surprising number of these women who seem very confident-especially the group leaders, IME-will actually often be people who are very shy and need a role to "function". Maybe they even have some PND or similar. I think its pretty usual for people who feel unconfident and out of place to volunteer to run a group or an event, and that's not a criticism at all-its a good tactic IMO for integrating, and I know I've done it in situations where it would otherwise be much harder for me to be part of a group and get to know people. I guess, we're all human, is all I'm saying. I was going to say that none of us are really zombie parents, deep down but then I thought about how I probably was, once upon a time, three kids under 5 none of whom slept more than a few hours and with no car...I am sure I was spaced out and quite possibly a bit unfriendly quite often, even though, basically, I really like chatting to people I don't know. 

 

Its hard to be rebuffed by someone you thought liked you and knew you and I'm not trying to take away from that.

post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post

 I think its pretty usual for people who feel unconfident and out of place to volunteer to run a group or an event, and that's not a criticism at all-its a good tactic IMO for integrating, and I know I've done it in situations where it would otherwise be much harder for me to be part of a group and get to know people. I guess, we're all human, is all I'm saying. 

 

This is a good point.  I volunteer a lot because it seems like that is the way to get into groups, and also because I feel like I should "do my duty" and put in some hours with the group to be nice.  That's probably not the best reason to volunteer, but I try to find it enjoyable.

post #32 of 38

I always felt like I had a hard time making friends too.  I would try groups or go to events hoping desperately to make a friend, and it never worked out.  What changed everything for me was when I decided that when I went to a social event I would just be present at the event rather than trying to make a lifelong bond.  Those happen so infrequently and it's discouraging to be constantly hoping or looking for it.  Now I feel totally comfortable in any social setting and I think I project more confidence than before.  I chat with people and ask questions and try to learn something about them, but if I never see them again I'm still grateful for the experience.  Lo and behold, I've made more friends with this attitude than with the old one!  I have friends in my neighborhood, friends at DD's school, friends from work and one friend from an old baby group that I reconnected with at a birthday party. 

 

Another thing I've learned is that I'm naturally drawn to other introverts as friends, and they are harder to make friends with!  You have to be persistent even if the other person seems uninterested at first.  Of course, you have to use your judgment and not annoy if the person is truly uninterested, but a lot of times the other person is just thinking that you're not interested!  One friend from DD's school is very reserved, but I started by texting her a couple times a week with random things in between setting up playdates for our girls, and now we're friends. 

post #33 of 38
Thread Starter 

mnj,

 

I see what you are saying.  I definitely should find a balance between trying too hard and giving up altogether.  But it's kind of weird how women seem much more friendly when I blow them off. It happened at the mall a few days ago and now we are texting each other. It's just a matter of getting out there and feeling ok as I am (basically friendless). 

post #34 of 38

It's totally weird - I agree.

post #35 of 38

I understand all these issues. I have a 1 month old, and am debating what to use my limited energy on. Meetup groups? The classes that you pay for, in the backroom at those overpriced baby boutique stores? Going to churches, even if I am not necessarily "ultra" religious, just "kinda"? Or just trying to "pick up" moms at the park or a coffee shop? That is what I call it to my husband, trying to pick up friends.

 

Sometimes I feel like the people I see out and about, look like people I'd have nothing in common with, and I wouldn't even know where to begin a conversation. I am somewhat young, and most of the moms around here seem much older and more established in life. I am not sure if I should work really hard to find commonalities, or hold out and save the energy when I meet someone that seems to have things in common with me (uh, anything in common!). But then part of the problem, is....do I even know who I am? What am I even looking for in a friend? I guess someone young. And the fact that I stay home is uncommon in Los Angeles, so that makes me an odd ball. I feel like most women here have REAL problems, like trying to balance work and family, and my problem is sitting at home and being bored. :( No one can relate to that. I feel blessed, but it also makes me the weird one.

 

When I went to the baby prep classes at a local hospital, some of those people seemed like people I would have things in common with (not too rich, not too this or that, down to earth).....but in a classroom setting, it is tough to make friendships, I thought. People tend to just disperse when class is over.

 

I think I am going to need to put more effort into this. Hubby and I both feel isolated. I think he would like some "daddy" friends too. Not just all these single guys he currently knows!

post #36 of 38

mnj....I like your advice above.

 

I guess the hard part is, deciding how to ask someone to actually hang out again. That is the thing I struggle with. Will I sound creepy? But again, it's all about just being grateful for the exeperience of meeting someone even briefly.

post #37 of 38

Well I will chime in...I have a crappy support system. Divorced for less than a year, no parents, an extended family that cares superficially and now I have had relatives stealing money from my own purse this past weekend. I was really ready to throw in the towel and give up on everyone! I have one person I would call a good friend I see every couple months, super christian. Fine, but I am not, and that has been hard for me to deal with. When I try to be friends with xdh he takes it as I want to get back together so that usually blows up in my face. So a year ago I started going to meetups, not very often and the first ones I went to were social groups as i was going through a divorce. Then the divorce happened and I dated someone for a couple months and it ended badly and i realized i really needed to work on getting some good friends. That was in January...July and still I cannot say that I have made and real friendships from meetups. I started going to more mom/parent meetups and go less to the social meetups for grownups. And it is HARD to make friends chasing 1 or 2 kids around at an event! A couple months ago one of the leaders of the single parents group asked to help and be an assistant organizer. I had my first 'meetup' that I led and it was ok, but could have been much better...At the zoo and people kept showing up later and later, that was the worse part. And I was taking care of two kids...I did get to talk to a few of the moms I thought I may click with but you know part of me doesn't want to seem to eager or desperate to make friends kwim? LOL. There was another event the next weekend and I saw a lot of the same parents again and talked to them and their kids.THere were some new people that showed up and yes I talked less to them, a couple that trickled in later i never even introduced myself to (this was at a drive in movie theatre) I have a 2 year old and a 7 year old, so far I have been the parent with a toddler at these meetups and well, she takes a lot of my attention....I am not trying to be cliquish at all, just that the new people seemed to show up later or have much older kids and gravitated to the opposite side of the group (our group was pretty large) and I just talked to people that were sitting next to me. I would say I am on the shy side but my main issue at these types of things is the fact that i am taking care of my kids.
 

 

I go to a spiritual meetup group on occasion and so far that has been the best for potential friends. One lady we ended up hanging out after the event and another one I invited out for my friends birthday party and that was great.

 

For me it is so hard to find friends because I am single, now a student parent and i am now working. I live off of cs/and alimony and still sahm with my kiddos. It's like I am this rare type of parent really there are not many out there that are doing this, most single moms are working 3 jobs and have no time to socialize. I have time to socialize but not often without my kids.

 

 

Another thing I had set out to do is make friends in my new neighborhood, so far nada. I talk some to the next door neighbor but mostly to the husband and 10 year old dd, I try not to talk too much to a married man because i feel it is not appropriate, but all my other neighbors I have no clue about. I take the kids on walks pretty much hoping to catch a neighbor to chat and have yet been able to, lately though i have made a point to say hi to anyone i see.

post #38 of 38

I live in Tampa, which isn't but a hop skip and a jump from Pinellas Co. I'd love to hangout and chat sometime. :) You can PM me on here. How old are your kids? Mine are home for the summer - ages 4 and 8 so maybe our kids can have a play date too?

 

I'm having a "girls night out" at my house on July 16th too where there will be other mama's for you to hang out with too.


Edited by swilliams771 - 7/4/13 at 10:19am
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