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#1 of 14 Old 10-02-2012, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This has been an issue for me for pretty much as long as I can remember.  My parents were in the Air Force when I was growing up, so I often went to a new school every year.  Right when I would find out that we were moving again, I would systematically start picking off my relationships.  I'd just stop talking to my friends, stop hanging out with them, argue with them over silly stuff, etc.  The problem is that I'm still doing this!  I know it is a defense mechanism that I've built up, but I really want some meaningful and lasting relationships in my life.

 

DH grew up in a very similar way.  His family wasn't military, but they moved constantly.  He does the same thing with his friendships as well, but not quite as bad as I do.  He still has relationships with some childhood friends, where I have none. 

 

DH and I also both have ADHD, so that adds another level of difficulty to our relationship making skills.  We can both make friends pretty easily and quickly actually, it's just getting past the "friendly acquaintance" level that's hard.  Often times I'll make a friend and things will seem to be going great, then they meet my dh, and the friendship fizzles...or vice versa.  Making couple friends is nearly impossible for us too!  We both just say and do inappropriate things without meaning to, and it freaks people out lol.

 

Obviously this is a complicated problem for me, and I plan on seeking counseling, but I thought I'd look for a little insight here first.  I'm really feeling quite unlikable and lonely lately.  I think back on past friendships and cringe knowing that I screwed every single one up in some way.  I also have a lot of hesitation making new friends because I feel like I'll just inevitably destroy it.  I'm really in a friendship rut!  It also doesn't help that we know we're moving next summer.  We don't know where yet, but we know it's coming. 

 

Anyone else have this problem?  How have you moved past it and been able to build relationships that last for more than a few months?


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#2 of 14 Old 10-02-2012, 12:38 PM
 
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hug.gif

 

A few thoughts off the top of my head...

 

  • Facebook is a great tool nowadays to stay in touch with friends after a move. Consider making some friends now and use a resource like FB or email to stay in touch. Let go of some of your old associations with moving = saying goodbye to friends. 
  • I think couple friends are overrated. Of course you want to do things with your partner but that shouldn't be a requirement to making friends. 
  • Focus on how frequently you reach out to new friends vs. how frequently they reach out to you. I have a rule that I always say "yes" to a first request from a new friend - figuring it's hard to reach out. I also then have kind of a one on, one off kind of tally where I try to at least say yes every other time. If I can't I explain and let them know it isn't them. 
  • Try to vary your get togethers between scheduled visits to impromptu ones, formal, relaxed and etc. 

 

What do you think goes wrong when friends don't seem to want to hang out anymore? 

 

  • Also, don't forget that many of us parents are just busy. It's rarely personal, I would guess. 

 

Take it easy, mama. I hope you make some new friends soon! 

 

  • Oh and maybe reach out to some old friends who you miss and would like to see more. You never know, they may be super happy to hear from you! 

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#3 of 14 Old 10-02-2012, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your reply!  I really appreciate it!

 

Facebook is a good place to stay connected, I agree.  I feel like I've lost some friends due to facebook too though.  A few times I've "friended" someone who I'm in the early stages of a friendship with, and they start to be a lot more stand-off-ish after reading my posts.  I really don't post anything on there anymore and use it mostly for sharing pictures.

 

I'm not really sure if it's that the other person doesn't want to hang out with me, but more that I think they probably won't after something I've said or done.  I'm my worst critic. I'll often go weeks or months without contacting people too.  One friend called asking me to watch her son, and I just never called her back.  The last three times I saw her was because I was watching her son, so I just didn't want to do it.  Another friend recently had surgery, so I offered to make her dinner and bring it over.  She never replied to my email asking when a good time for me to bring the food would be, so I went to her house to drop it off.  No one answered.  I lost her phone number, and was embarrassed about that, so I haven't emailed or anything and I haven't heard anything from her.  I feel like it would take a lot of explaining on my part to get those relationships back on track. 


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#4 of 14 Old 10-02-2012, 02:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Oliver'sMom View Post

Facebook is a good place to stay connected, I agree.  I feel like I've lost some friends due to facebook too though.  A few times I've "friended" someone who I'm in the early stages of a friendship with, and they start to be a lot more stand-off-ish after reading my posts.  I really don't post anything on there anymore and use it mostly for sharing pictures.

 

I think maybe you really are your worst critic, unless you're posting really offensive things on FB. I keep FB basically for being friendly, a bit of sharing info and a tiny bit of political/opinion things. Used in this way, it's a great way to maintain some friendships. A friendly thing to do is to like folks's pictures and etc. It makes them know you're thinking of them. 

 

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I'm not really sure if it's that the other person doesn't want to hang out with me, but more that I think they probably won't after something I've said or done.  

 
 

You probably won't want to share but unless you're really unusual or like to do offensive things, I wouldn't worry so much. I think people have pretty good radar for what kinds of people they like. The ones that make friends with you are probably more aware of your quirks than you realize. 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver'sMom View Post. I'll often go weeks or months without contacting people too.  One friend called asking me to watch her son, and I just never called her back.  The last three times I saw her was because I was watching her son, so I just didn't want to do it.  Another friend recently had surgery, so I offered to make her dinner and bring it over.  She never replied to my email asking when a good time for me to bring the food would be, so I went to her house to drop it off.  No one answered.  I lost her phone number, and was embarrassed about that, so I haven't emailed or anything and I haven't heard anything from her.  I feel like it would take a lot of explaining on my part to get those relationships back on track. 

I think there's a lot going on there. One thing I'm picking up on is that you seem to have some embarrassment over asserting your own boundaries. That is a skill that you can learn. Trust me, I know because I learned it myself.  It's better to be confident in your boundaries than to avoid friends because you feel uncomfortable. 

 

Interestingly, I do think a way to make fast friends is to rely on each other as mothers. Do you ever reach out and ask a favor of a mother? That's a nice way for new friends to feel important and trusted.  


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#5 of 14 Old 10-03-2012, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again for the thoughtful reply.

 

I never posted super offensive things on facebook, just stuff like extended breastfeeding, anti-circ, etc.  Things like that that I think made some people feel generally uncomfortable.  I don't know.

 

 

I do have this overwhelming feeling that I'm unlikable in general.  I've been feeling this way since I had a pretty harsh "break up" with a friend.  I was super close with her, and helped her out a ton with her family when she had her baby.  When I became pregnant with my second, I had major pregnant brain.  Was super flaky and generally out of it.  Our extended family was also going through crisis, and it looked like we would possibly have to take in our 2 year old niece at the time.  Luckily everything worked out, but it was high stress at the time.  This friend I had was not understanding at all, and actually lashed out at me...called me a liar, crazy, etc.  She even said awful things about me to our circle of friends.  So I went from having about 5 really good friends (at least I thought so at the time) to having none.  I helped all of them with their new babies, but when my baby came, none of them helped me.  I haven't asked for favors from people since then. 

 

I'm still healing from all that.  That friend has actually apologized to me since then and has tried to be friends again, but I just don't trust her anymore.  I don't feel able to let her get close to me again.  Whenever I meet someone new, and find out that they're friends with this person, things just generally stop there for me.  I figure if they're friends with her, they could never be friends with me.  It's a small town, and she knows a ton of people.  I know this is illogical, but that's kind of my thought process lately.  She really hit me when I was down, and I'm still not totally over it.  This was 3 years ago!
 


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#6 of 14 Old 10-03-2012, 10:13 AM
 
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I think if I were you I would practice some forgiveness for both your friend and for yourself. That kind of thing can be really healing. I find that I have friends that are all different "levels" of friendships. Maybe you can let this person back in on a casual level. It sounds like that experience is really still creeping in when it comes to making new friends and letting her back in may be just the thing to get you past it. What do you think? 


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#7 of 14 Old 10-03-2012, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I kind of have let her back in on a casual level.  We occasionally hang out at the park with our kids, talk a bit when we see each other around town, etc.  We've swapped a couple of play dates at our homes too.  It's hard for me to see her though.  She's super nice when we're one on one, but if any of her friends are present she acts completely different.  Pretty much ignores me.  I usually feel worse after spending time with her, not better.  I probably should try to completely forgive her, I just don't know if it's worth it.
 


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#8 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 01:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Oliver'sMom View Post

This has been an issue for me for pretty much as long as I can remember.  My parents were in the Air Force when I was growing up, so I often went to a new school every year.  Right when I would find out that we were moving again, I would systematically start picking off my relationships.  I'd just stop talking to my friends, stop hanging out with them, argue with them over silly stuff, etc.  The problem is that I'm still doing this!  I know it is a defense mechanism that I've built up, but I really want some meaningful and lasting relationships in my life.

 

DH grew up in a very similar way.  His family wasn't military, but they moved constantly.  He does the same thing with his friendships as well, but not quite as bad as I do.  He still has relationships with some childhood friends, where I have none. 

 

DH and I also both have ADHD, so that adds another level of difficulty to our relationship making skills.  We can both make friends pretty easily and quickly actually, it's just getting past the "friendly acquaintance" level that's hard.  Often times I'll make a friend and things will seem to be going great, then they meet my dh, and the friendship fizzles...or vice versa.  Making couple friends is nearly impossible for us too!  We both just say and do inappropriate things without meaning to, and it freaks people out lol.

 

Obviously this is a complicated problem for me, and I plan on seeking counseling, but I thought I'd look for a little insight here first.  I'm really feeling quite unlikable and lonely lately.  I think back on past friendships and cringe knowing that I screwed every single one up in some way.  I also have a lot of hesitation making new friends because I feel like I'll just inevitably destroy it.  I'm really in a friendship rut!  It also doesn't help that we know we're moving next summer.  We don't know where yet, but we know it's coming. 

 

Anyone else have this problem?  How have you moved past it and been able to build relationships that last for more than a few months?

I've screwed up a few friendshps in my lifetime and I've moved more times than I'd have liked but probaly a lot less than you. Is the problem always exclusive to when you are about to move?


When the thoughts we think are the same as the words we speak, others will feel our integrity ~ Unknown
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#9 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've screwed up a few friendshps in my lifetime and I've moved more times than I'd have liked but probaly a lot less than you. Is the problem always exclusive to when you are about to move?

 



It's definitely exacerbated by upcoming moves.  I usually have this feeling that a move is always on the horizon though....because it usually is.  Even as an adult, after a couple of years, I just get this strong itch to move on, uproot and start over.  I'd really like to change this about myself.  Especially for the sake of my kids.  I want them to have a place they consider home, and a network of friends that they've grown up with. 


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#10 of 14 Old 10-12-2012, 01:13 PM
 
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I'm sorry that you must move and feel compelled to do so too. I Hate moving but I will say this I Hate staying. The neighbors are getting on my nerves here. In the previous place it was my inlaws. And so it goes... but the benefits of staying are far greater than constantly being on the move. When I got married it was the first time in years I lived in one place. Dh was living with his parents when we got married. That's how stable a life he had. I know. He seemed like a sort of a mama's boy. But in reality he isin't. I see from him all the wonderful advantages of having lived in one place. Is good friends with the neighbors. There is always trust among them. He knows the streets in his town and several neigboring towns. I am still not sure about them. He doesn't have any or too many sad memories like I had, of leaving and the loss that comes with it. You probably know all this but to me I've made this list in my mind for reasons to not move. The huge ones are the financial burden and the physical with a small child. It's just tooo much. As I am writing this I am picturing never seeing this horrible neighbor of mine again. :)) Haha. The irony. But, we will be staying. Let them move.

 

If just that part is taken care of since that seems to be the problem your stability and familiarity will help people put more trust in you and possibly help you make and keep the friends. Even though now I am more stable I haven't made any good friend(s). I know parents from parks, the school but it seems like we talk only in the moment. We live in a small 2 bedroom apt and there's not enough room for a playdate. We've never been invited to a playdate either. One of the mom's from dd's last year's class did say a few times that she was going to organize a playdate but I guess it never happened. However, I'll be honest I am not looking to make friends. I have too much on my plate as it is.


When the thoughts we think are the same as the words we speak, others will feel our integrity ~ Unknown
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#11 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your thoughtful response, Neera.  I'm happy for you that you've found your place to call home and have started to settle in!  I really really want that.  I know a lot of my issues would improve if I just stayed put and told myself, "you're not leaving!".  DH and I both have this problem, and we're both working towards creating a place of permanence.  However, it looks like we're going to have to move at least one more time before we can do this since dh is finishing school, and there aren't really any jobs in his field here. 


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#12 of 14 Old 10-21-2012, 09:52 PM
 
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I kind of have let her back in on a casual level.  We occasionally hang out at the park with our kids, talk a bit when we see each other around town, etc.  We've swapped a couple of play dates at our homes too.  It's hard for me to see her though.  She's super nice when we're one on one, but if any of her friends are present she acts completely different.  Pretty much ignores me.  I usually feel worse after spending time with her, not better.  I probably should try to completely forgive her, I just don't know if it's worth it.
 

 

She does not sound like she was a good friend to you :(  I would let this one go if I were in your position.  I have cut loose friends before and it was difficult but the peace after wards was worth it.  

 

I think a lot of people struggle socially; in that, you are not the only one.  You can keep different levels of friendship with people and widen your cast.  It is fun to have a fun park friend, a reading friend, a cooking friend etc.  You can partner up in your hobbies with different people, KWIM?  Leave all the heart to heart stuff for when you really find someone you feel like you can trust.  That may or may not happen but in the mean time you are out there having fun with people and exploring instead of being socially isolated.  

 

As for the facebook posts, well, you could tone it down if you choose to.  Not sure what you are posting but you have control over what you post and who can see it.  Use it.

 

In the mean time, hug2.gif Figuring out how to manage dealing with people can be really difficult.

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#13 of 14 Old 10-28-2012, 05:59 PM
 
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Sending hugs from another military brat. My dad was in army n I have ADHD n no friends either.

Mom to K(7)M(4)and baby J(2)cold.gifhh2.gif
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#14 of 14 Old 10-29-2012, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sending hugs from another military brat. My dad was in army n I have ADHD n no friends either.

 

Sending hugs back!  ADHD Military brats unite! :)


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