Do you have trouble making friends? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-19-2010, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I must not have gotten that gene I truly stink at making friends.

I am pretty socially awkward. I tend to get nervous and talk really fast. Or I stutter sometimes I don't know if it is because I am obese, or if it is because my STBX trashed my self esteem, but I always feel inferior to everyone. Everyone is better than me and his voice is always in my head "No on likes you, they can't stand you."

So it gives me serious friendship hangups.

I have to admit that at times I wish I had some friends. I am lonely a lot and I would like to have someone to exercise with or just to talk to on the phone.

Ironically enough, I have a crap load of online friends. If only I were so popular in real life

So how do you do it? How do you all make friends? Or make them and keep them? Help!

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Old 03-19-2010, 12:55 AM
 
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I think I must not have gotten that gene I truly stink at making friends.


, or if it is because my STBX trashed my self esteem, but I always feel inferior to everyone. Everyone is better than me and his voice is always in my head "No on likes you, they can't stand you."

So it gives me serious friendship hangups.

I have to admit that at times I wish I had some friends. I am lonely a lot and I would like to have someone to exercise with or just to talk to on the phone.

Ironically enough, I have a crap load of online friends. If only I were so popular in real life

So how do you do it? How do you all make friends? Or make them and keep them? Help!
I have a few very dear friends....but I am very socially awkward when talking to people I don't know well....and even those I do. I start doing as you mention....talking too quickly, stuttering and stumbling over my words. I remember when I was the class valedictorian in college and I wrote quite an eloquent speech but as I was doing it I found myself racing through it. I could hear myself do it and thinking "idiot, slow down". LOL

I too am overweight and often find myself thinking that people are just looking at my size etc....When I had lost a pile of weight I was much more confident.

My closest friends I have had since highschool....and others I have made at work. I find I am best one on one I can chat with people....and if I click it happens fast. In a room full of people I am the one kicking back and listening to the conversations.

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Old 03-19-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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i don't make friends easily, but i have lots of acquaintances. wish you were closer, bf! we could exercise together~ but i'm kinda lame right now. i think my pelvis is wrecked. i would most definitely slow you down!
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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I have way more acquaintances than friends. I can come across as very outgoing and talkative -- but inside I am thinking "They don't like me. I talked to much. Why did I say that?" and so on. Then it gets all akward. We have moved a lot (five times in 10 years) which makes it hard too.

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Old 03-19-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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I definitely have a hard time making and keeping friends. I feel like often, we just drift apart.

I know part of it is because I'm very insecure, and so feel like I need constant reassurance that yes, they do want to be my friend.
Part of it is that when I get depressed, I tend to withdraw from people, so I might not talk to them for a couple of months, because I'm off in my depressed world.
And part of it is that I think I never really learned how.

I'm working on it. A big thing for me right now is that I have one friend who I try to remind her regularly that I'm here, and I care about her, even if she or I are too busy to get together (which because of both of our work, has been the case lately. we only see eachother at shul). I text her or call her about once a week, at the least to wish her shabbat shalom, at the most, to leave a message or something. Since I need so much reassurance that people want to be friends with me, I figured others might too! It seems to be working pretty well.

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Old 03-19-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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No advice, I suck at friend making. I'm socially awkward as well, I think I come off very aloof but I'm just shy.

I also have a hard time keeping friends. I'm the type of person that will regretfully bend over backwards for everyone. I end up a doormat. Too often when I finally ask for help I end up being brushed off, or ignored. Even recently (SUNDAY!) told my "closest" friend that the baby came and asked when she'd want to come visit "well the kids just started school and that chops my day" uh.....

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Old 03-19-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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........... I'm socially awkward as well, I think I come off very aloof but I'm just shy. .........
Me too. I've been told that people think I'm stuck up or whatever when they first meet me. I'm not, I'm just shy and afraid of not fitting in.

I always feel like I won't fit in and like people don't really like me. It takes me a very long time to warm up to someone - which makes making friends really really hard.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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No advice, I suck at friend making. I'm socially awkward as well, I think I come off very aloof but I'm just shy.
Me too. I have a lot of acquaintances but not too many people I would consider close friends. But, once I have a close friend, they stay a close friend for life.

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Old 03-19-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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I completely suck at friend making. I always feel like my desperation is written all over my face. Then I feel like I'm infringing on their time, being boring, being stupid. Then I completely back off which probably looks like I don't want to be friends.

I think I would be a good friend to have, but that's as far as I get.

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Old 03-19-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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I usually think people are just being polite when they say they want to meet up, so I rarely initiate phone calls. I remember being surprised when an officemate called and followed through on her mention of getting together for lunch one weekend -- I totally thought she was just being polite and wouldn't really want to hang out with me. But we actually became pretty good friends!

Other than that, I have 3 very dear friends who I devote a lot of time and energy to, and I don't really enjoy spreading myself thin by having lots of more casual friends, so while I'm friendly toward DS's classmates' parents and my coworkers, I usually don't put a lot of effort into developing a closer friendship with them. I'm not sure if it's because I'm "bad" at making friends or just because I feel like it's already hard enough to give adequate time to my nuclear family, extended family, and close friends so I keep everyone else at a distance.

How about joining a local book club or taking a class at a community college or something? That would put you in a setting where you were having discussions with people with similar interests (kind of like MDC! )

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Old 03-19-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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I usually think people are just being polite when they say they want to meet up, so I rarely initiate phone calls.

You.are.me. I am such awkward dork. I think that if I call someone it will be at the most inconvenient time for them but they won't want to hurt my feelings so they won't say anything so I'll end up holding them hostage on the phone. That's why I start every phone conversation with the phrase. "This is a bad time, isn't it? I'm sorry, I'll let you go...." Pathetic. My hands get sweaty if I see someone I know out at the store or something and I'll go to great lengths to hide so they won't see me. It's because I'm convinced that no one ever remembers me so I also start conversations by saying, "You probably don't remember me.." It's strange because my identical twin (LotusBirthMama) is the complete opposite. Whereas I see myself as an imposition on the world, she sees herself as #1 Cool Girl.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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Me too. I've been told that people think I'm stuck up or whatever when they first meet me. I'm not, I'm just shy and afraid of not fitting in.

I always feel like I won't fit in and like people don't really like me. It takes me a very long time to warm up to someone - which makes making friends really really hard.

This! I have a lot of social anxiety, and I suck at small talk, and I think I have some kind of inferiority complex . . . so yeah, I have an insanely hard time making friends.

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Old 03-19-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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I have a hard time too. I also talk fast and get my words all jumbled up (recently--meant to say "brown rice", but what did I say? "brine rowse" Then I just sound like an idiot!), plus I tend not to have a whole lot to say (unless I'm talking to my husband or parents, then I don't shut up!) so I guess people don't think I'm interested in what they are saying. I like to knkit, cook, and ride my bike. Do I like to talk about those? Not really. There's not much to say about any of those, other than, for example, with my knitting, telling someone what materials I used if they asked. I'm also not very interested in what most other people like. I don't like watching movies, I'm not into Harry Potter, LotR, Twilight, or American Idol. I don't watch tv. I'm not into sports, shooting (my husband likes to go shooting. Not animals, but at targets), or girly things like hair/nails. So, not much to say plus nothing in common with most people = loner Jessica. Having a baby also limits what I can do. No bike-riding for me!

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Old 03-19-2010, 09:12 PM
 
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My hands get sweaty if I see someone I know out at the store or something and I'll go to great lengths to hide so they won't see me.
Me too!!! I also won't answer the door if someone comes by unannounced. If my car is in the driveway I'll just tell the person when I see them later that I was on a walk or something.

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Old 03-20-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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Oh man, this thread describes me to a T! (Is it tee or T? I never know.) I have such a hard time and am very, very socially awkward. I've got about three friends that I would consider close but still have a hard time relating to them at times. I get nervous around them even, sometimes, although it's getting much better. It can take me years to be totally comfortable.

I have horrible self esteem, too, and have the same inner monologue going on most of time. I was an only child and rarely socialized (other than school) with other kids until I was a teenager. I'm overweight too. I got TON of flack growing up about my looks. I'm socially awkward. I suffer from depression and withdraw at times. You name it. Sometimes it seems like everything is stacked against me. It's like after so long of people bagging on you, it becomes impossible to believe anyone really means what they are saying or to trust them.

Things have improved a lot as I've been learning SLOWLY how to love and accept myself. Things have really been on an upswing in the last few years. I was treated for depression with therapy starting when my ds was 3. I discovered and began to learn techniques to deal with the fact that I have ADD. (This is a HUGE factor for me.) I left a HIGH stress job and landed a job that I LOVE. I reconnected with the best friend I've ever had in late 2008 and that has helped immensely. I've slowly built friendships with two or three people over the last several years here and those have been strengthened by the changes in my sense of self worth.

I'm still horrible, socially, but I'm trying to keep taking care of ME and that's helping.

So I hear you. If we were close to each other, I'd suggest we hang out. I could use someone to exercise with, too.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:54 AM
 
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When I was a kid I had this irrational fear that if someone was nice to me they were doing it on a bet or a dare. For some reason that carried over to adulthood. I always have this feeling that most people dont really like me, they're talking about me behind my back the second I step out the door. I'm often right.

For that reason, I don't let anyone get close. Even in intimate relationships, I keep a lot of my true feelings to myself.

Body, I've been more than patient. Please make a baby. Please?
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:20 AM
 
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Like many said, I have tons of acquaintances from all walks of life...work, old work, school, mom's groups, etc. etc. But I find it hard to 'go deep' with people. A) I'm not great at small talk. In fact, I detest it. I'm bad at it. I don't watch shows like the Bachelor or obsess about clothes or strollers or whatnot, so sometimes I have nothing to contribute (OTOH if anyone wants to talk books or politics or art or current events, I'm all ears and mouths!) B) I find that I criticize myself because everyone here is so well put together and I really couldn't be bothered sometimes. Yeah, old jeans are great for me, and you won't find me wearing heels to pick the kids up from school.

I've been finding lately the I have trouble keeping the few people that I have 'gone deep' with. My DH once said that people are so great and interesting until you really get to know them Personality traits or political views rubbing me the wrong way...dunno.

So :sigh I'm there too.
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:24 AM
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Ah, friend dating. I hate it even more than regular dating.

My problem is that I don't want to do all the "get to know you stuff". That part is so awkward for me. I want to skip right to the "tell me your deepest, darkest secrets" stuff. And I don't want a lot of friends, just one good friend. That's it. Unfortunately, it's been too much to ask for in this life, I guess....

I think a lot of it has to do with insecurity. My insecurity presents itself as being a know-it-all nerdy type. My DH is very charismatic and a people-person, so lucky for me I've met some of his friends by association. I have very little luck making any on my own.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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I think that if I call someone it will be at the most inconvenient time for them but they won't want to hurt my feelings so they won't say anything so I'll end up holding them hostage on the phone.
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This! I have a lot of social anxiety, and I suck at small talk, and I think I have some kind of inferiority complex . . . so yeah, I have an insanely hard time making friends.
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I have a hard time too. I also talk fast and get my words all jumbled up (recently--meant to say "brown rice", but what did I say? "brine rowse" Then I just sound like an idiot!), plus I tend not to have a whole lot to say (unless I'm talking to my husband or parents, then I don't shut up!) so I guess people don't think I'm interested in what they are saying.
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Me too!!! I also won't answer the door if someone comes by unannounced. If my car is in the driveway I'll just tell the person when I see them later that I was on a walk or something.
Another ME TOO to all of the above!

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Old 03-20-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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I think a lot of it has to do with insecurity. My insecurity presents itself as being a know-it-all nerdy type. My DH is very charismatic and a people-person, so lucky for me I've met some of his friends by association. I have very little luck making any on my own.
Again me too. I bite my tongue a lot but find myself correcting people or knowing "everything" about something.

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Old 03-20-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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Oh man this post makes me sad. I'm friendless now and it is depressing. I am sure I do tons of stuff wrong, but obviously I can't seem to control myself LOL. I feel like I try to make friends, but maybe I come off sounding needy (bc I am- hahaha) I tend to think that most people don't have time for another friend. Most people I know here have lived their whole lives here and have friends from when they were in dipes. Now they have kids and just don't have "time".

Me though I have nothing but time. Oh well. In school it was much easier to find a close friend, now.. not so much. I wish I lived close to some MDC mamas again. I tend to talk about a lot of unusual stuff - so I think I come off as weird. I don't know I kinda wish someone would tell me what I do wrong so I could try to fix it.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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I don't have a hard time making friends, but I have a hard time keeping friends. I always know tons of ppl. But I am picky about who I keep close to me b/c when I decide to embark upon a true friendship, then I dedicate time and effort and love to that relationship. I don't have a lot of time and effort right now, so I don't try to have meaningful girlfriends too often. However when I do, I believe that I get very gung ho and put in a lot of the above mentioned (time love etc.). I often find that it is not reciprocated and I get burned. Well being a very forth right person, I bring it up and let the person know how I feel and that is usually the beginning of the end that comes quickly after that.
My MIL also told me that needy ppl seem to be my specialty and I go into relationships helping ppl. Then comes a point where I'm wanting it to turn into a more even keeled relationship, but it's just not viable b/c of where the other person is at. So it never works out.
I think she's spot on.
All around it's pretty lame.

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Old 03-20-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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I'm painfully shy with new people. I've even been diagnosed with social anxiety/agoraphobia and in the worst of times, had to take a anti-anxiety med just to go out in public.
I know it's going to be a lifelong struggle for me, and it's something I have to consistently work on if I want friends...which I do.

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Old 03-20-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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Again me too. I bite my tongue a lot but find myself correcting people or knowing "everything" about something.
I realized a few years ago that I did this, and have consciously tried to squash the urge. I admit I haven't been totally successful, but at least it's on my radar and I have more self-awareness about it. It's funny, because a trait I dislike in others is being a know-it-all.

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Old 03-20-2010, 07:02 PM
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Oh man this post makes me sad. I'm friendless now and it is depressing. I am sure I do tons of stuff wrong, but obviously I can't seem to control myself LOL. I feel like I try to make friends, but maybe I come off sounding needy (bc I am- hahaha) I tend to think that most people don't have time for another friend. Most people I know here have lived their whole lives here and have friends from when they were in dipes. Now they have kids and just don't have "time".

Me though I have nothing but time. Oh well. In school it was much easier to find a close friend, now.. not so much. I wish I lived close to some MDC mamas again. I tend to talk about a lot of unusual stuff - so I think I come off as weird. I don't know I kinda wish someone would tell me what I do wrong so I could try to fix it.
Hey, are you in the SD area by any chance? Nerds unite!

I've been working on being better on making friends for years, and it's certainly gotten easier with a kid, b/c AP mom's groups = friend-making opportunities. But I still find it hard to go from hanging at playgroup to just doing things together. I think part if it is b/c I suck at chatting on the phone. I have great business phone skills, but I have NEVER been the type of girl to just chat on the phone... I get that same thing, where I figure I'm bugging the other person. And being back at work for one year isn't helping (I feel like I'm biding my time to get back to my circle of moms). I know I talk too much and I'll tell myself over and over to be a good listener and beat myself up about it, go over conversations in my head afterward... but I REALLY want to get to that point where you can hang out and just talk and share, so I keep working on it.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:25 PM
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I push people away if they get too close. I pushed dh away several times. He just kept coming back.

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Old 03-20-2010, 07:26 PM
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I realized a few years ago that I did this, and have consciously tried to squash the urge. I admit I haven't been totally successful, but at least it's on my radar and I have more self-awareness about it. It's funny, because a trait I dislike in others is being a know-it-all.
And this is me, too.

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Old 03-20-2010, 07:46 PM
 
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I used to have a really hard time making friends, but now I feel like to have a whole bunch of close friends. What changed? It certainly wasn't me. I'm still shy with new people and hate making phone calls. I still have a tendency to turn conversations around to myself and my own stories. But we moved to a different place with lots of people that we have lots in common with. I didn't even have to try to make new friends here; we just fell right into a great network of like-minded people. I know finding the perfect town for you socially and moving there isn't the best option for everyone, though, so that's probably not much help!
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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I have one friend. And she goes & does stuff with other friends of hers but never with me. So I question if she's really my friend.

The really sad/weird/strange/upsetting part is that I'm 27, and when I was 17, just 10 years ago, I was homecoming queen, prom queen, head cheerleader (seriously). So why can't I make friends now? I can't figure it out. Did I peak at 17?

I know it's got to be my own issues, like I'm annoying, or too pushy, or too bossy, or something? But what? I try to be a really good friend, considerate, thoughtful, always returning calls, always on time. I'd just love for someone to tell me very bluntly what I can change about my personality that will attract friends.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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I'm not good at making friends; I'm not particularly adept socially (not good at reading/remembering faces (I tend to recognize people by height, hair color, & where I usually see them)), tend to stutter when nervous, am generally introverted anyhow (being around groups of people really tires me out), & I have rather focused & obscure interests. Amazingly enough, I actually do have 4 pretty good friends (only 2 live locally, ie w/in an hour's drive), & 3 of the 4 I met though owning the same rare dog breed (one I met at the fair, & we'd bought the same breed of sheep from a local person (who I found on the internet), then discovered we'd the same king of dog, one I met on an internet list for chicken keepers, & sold her a dog, one was a neighbor who bought a puppy from me, & one I went to high school & college with, & rented a room from her parents while we were in college (which I attended with one of my dogs..) A definite theme .

So the people I meet & stay in touch with, tend to be those involved with dogs, poultry, spinning, sheep, education, & certain kinds of crafts. At least I can socialize by discussing exact things like pedigrees, feed components, training techniques, fleece weights, yarn & such, without having to deal with messy social stuff.

: : SAHM to : (5/06), : (7/07) Plus : & a few
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