Accepting I don't have friends - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 48 Old 02-19-2013, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a 32 year old SAHM. I have 3 kids and another on the way. I have not had any close friends since before I became pregnant with my first child 9 years ago. I've never had tons of friends but I always had a few very close ones at different stages in my life. I had a bff from the age of 7 until after high school. We went in separate directions, and she is unable to have children. The differences in our lives ended the friendship.

For the first three years of being a mom I was involved with my baby not much else mattered to me. I did not meet any other like minded parents either, so I preferred to keep my distance. Before the birth of my second, we went through financial stresses and had to sell our second vehicle. Which left me stranded at home for about another 3 years. I think it was during this time I lost all hope and faith in people. It was a extremely tough time in my life and I had no friends or family to turn to. When my oldest was ready to start school we joined a homeschooling group and for the first time ever I met some like minded parents. I was so thrilled! My hopes were so high, but no friendships beyond casual ones ever developed.

I have other moms that say they are my friends but it's not the way it was when I was younger. The mom who pushes me to be her friend and always wants to help me is just not the right friend for me. We have drastic parenting differences and frankly her kids are a bad influence on mine. We don't have that connection either. That is the way it is with most other moms I meet. No connection. There are a few moms I like and do feel a connection with however so does everyone else. They have tons of friends and are always busy. After great play dates they fade back into their lives or move away. It's never lasting or consistent.

So after 9 years of no friends how do I accept that my life will be like this? I will forever be the odd mother out.

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#2 of 48 Old 02-19-2013, 12:39 PM
 
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I feel exactly the same! Wish I had something better to say, but I don't. Hopefully other mamas will give us good advice...

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#3 of 48 Old 02-19-2013, 12:45 PM
 
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I completely feel the same way. I'm not very good at making friends. Add in that I'm only 20 and I don't have very many people my age in that same situation. Not that I'm saying more teens/young women should have children, I just with I had a few "Mommy friends" I could talk to.

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#4 of 48 Old 02-19-2013, 12:49 PM
 
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I'm in the same boat. hug2.gif

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#5 of 48 Old 02-19-2013, 01:06 PM
 
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In all reality, it's what lead me here. I needed some outside opinions and Mommy support.

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#6 of 48 Old 02-19-2013, 05:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyxxmcfly View Post

In all reality, it's what lead me here. I needed some outside opinions and Mommy support.

 

saddly MDC is not it once was and many people have left...some I might have called "friends"greensad.gif

 

It's funny how having a baby really changes things. I don't understand why.

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#7 of 48 Old 02-19-2013, 05:25 PM
 
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I'm in the same boat too.


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#8 of 48 Old 02-19-2013, 05:51 PM
 
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It was the same for me. Now that my son is a teen, the differences are smoothing out.

It is possible to have friends that parent and educate differently. Not that you want the kids hanging out with each other, but will help you get to the farmer's market when she's going, or something like that. I've had moms who parented differently give me their children's outgrown clothes when my husband was unemployed, and sent Christmas cards when family members didn't.

They are friends, in their own way. And on MDC you can hopefully find those with similar parenting.

I guess what I'm saying is I've learned to take what I can from who I can, and be grateful for what each one has to offer me. On good days. On bad days, I feel alone, so I understand that feeling, too.
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#9 of 48 Old 02-20-2013, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the comfort of knowing I'm not alone. :-)

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#10 of 48 Old 02-21-2013, 04:19 AM
 
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Friends--contrary to popular belief, you don't need them.  #bitter


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#11 of 48 Old 02-21-2013, 08:15 AM
 
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^ no you may not "need" them, but they really do help sometimes :/

I'll be a friend to every single one of you guys, if you like smile.gif Like I said, I love having friends I just don't have many IRL haha.

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#12 of 48 Old 02-21-2013, 09:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyxxmcfly View Post

^ no you may not "need" them, but they really do help sometimes :/

I'll be a friend to every single one of you guys, if you like smile.gif Like I said, I love having friends I just don't have many IRL haha.

I will be your friend here...But it is getting hard to stay here...

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#13 of 48 Old 02-21-2013, 03:43 PM
 
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I feel the same way. I don't have much in common with most of the parents around here. Mostly everyone is very religious and conservative. I get along better with the ones who aren't as religious...or at least don't talk about their religion all the time and are more laid back and like to have a drink and aren't too critical of others...My neighbors across the street are like that. They are so nice...but we haven't been invited to one of their parties in months. They used to invite us over all the time. I wonder if we did anything to offend them. I can be quiet sometimes and we never reciprocate...but as far as I can tell, no one else does either. The last time they had people over it was right before the elections and someone asked me who I voted for and I was honest...perhaps they didn't like my answer? I like most of my neighbors though and can usually find some common ground through our kids, etc...I wouldn't bring up religion or politics...that's for sure. Also, I don't see my husband hanging out with the neighborhood husbands either. He probably feels he doesn't have much in common with them either. He has a nice group of friends and some of the wives are nice too...but many of them are younger and don't have kids...or they all work and I am a stay at home mom...so not much in common there either. I'm pretty much a shut-in during the week because my husband works crazy hours and when he's not working, he takes martial arts during the week. He also does it Sunday afternoons, so that leaves little time for a social life when I'm always with the kids. 

 

In a way, I would rather not be too social with neighbors either. We have had that turn out bad before...our old neighbors were always inviting us over for every event when we didn't really like them or have anything in common with them (unstable home life, starting a business and hinting that they wanted us to invest all the time, questionable parenting style with possible caseworkers involved, always sending their kid over to play when he wasn't very nice to my son). When things go wrong, they are still neighbors..and it will get awkward.

 

I am trying to get back out into the workforce and I am hoping to meet a friend or two through that. We'll see. 

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#14 of 48 Old 02-21-2013, 04:41 PM
 
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^ Good luck! I know how akward it is with neighbors.
Where I used to live, our neighbors directly across the street were empty nest parents. Both kids were grown and they LOVED to party, almost as much as people my age. But the down side to all that was the wife acted like she was my age, including all the high school drama of "he said. She said." It got quite horrible. Before my son, I couldn't do anything without them telling everyone that I had done this or done that, or "I saw you out with so&so! Is that a good choice."
I'm grown enough to decide who my friends are, thank you very much.

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#15 of 48 Old 02-23-2013, 05:32 AM
 
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#16 of 48 Old 02-24-2013, 11:02 AM
 
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#17 of 48 Old 02-24-2013, 12:01 PM
 
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I think that is very common. I feel the same way. Hubby complains about his lack of friends yet with 3 kids, full time jobs, etc we hardly have any time or desire to actively search out friends. I think to some degree is a reality of the grown up life. greensad.gif
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#18 of 48 Old 02-25-2013, 12:42 AM
 
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 After 5 years as a SAHM with 3 children, I resorted to a "mommy and me" play group at a local Gym. It took a whole year of Wednesdays (sometimes I went home and cried because I knew I would have another friendless week ahead of me) before I finally made a connection with another mom. We joke now about how awkward it was for me to ask for her phone number. But it was all worth it. Having just one friend inspired me with enough confidence to reach out to other people. SO many woman feel the way that you do. And 2 years later (and one more baby later) I finally feel like I have a village of friends. AND the secret ingredient to maintaining mother- friendships is allowing yourself to love THEIR kids (flaws included!) It's challenging but rewarding, just like being a mom. My husband is still the only person I feel 100% at ease with, but I hope with time my friendships will grow. Good luck mommies, and don't give up.

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#19 of 48 Old 02-25-2013, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I always though the same thing. That maybe it's just grown up life. Grown ups don't have friendships the same way as you had them as a kid or teenager. Becoming a mom changes everything. If my husband is working 80 hours a week and I'm homeschooling, running a household and careing for 3 kids under the age of 8, I'm lucky I have enough time to take a shower. When in the world will I find the time to build and nurture any friendships?

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#20 of 48 Old 02-27-2013, 11:01 AM
 
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I feel like I don't have any friends either, and I really want some!  I recently moved from NYC to southwest virginia for my husband's job.  I joined a mom's group, but I think I'm way more intellectual and weird than the other moms there and that I don't fit in.  I'm a pretty religious Catholic, but also a convert, and I've never before been around people who are so outwardly religious!  For me it's more of a private thing, but all the moms there talk about how they ask Jesus what to make for dinner and things like that.  It's so strange for me.  I feel like an alien observer.  I wish there was a way to meet other moms who are more interested in the things I like.
 


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#21 of 48 Old 03-01-2013, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sadly it's been another long friendless week. All you mommies feeling the same...it's funny to think how many of us out there feel this. There are probably lots of mommies close to us that we will never meet feeling the same that could be our friends. I told my DH it is an almost impossible wish to find a friend. It is hard enough to find someone I really like. Now add in the kids. Do they have kids the same age? Do they parent like me? Are our kids a good match up? Then add in life. My husband works so much I consider myself a single mom. I'm busy. I don't have time to nurture a friendship. There will be no one on one mom time. Ever. Any time I would spend with this friend I would be neglecting work that needs to be done. Last the chances of me finding a mom like me is slim to none. Every other mom I know has family in their lives. Every other mom I know has a husband that only works half as much as mine. Every other mom I know has some type of friendships and support. I feel like unless I meet a mom like me, alone I won't be able to build a friendship. They don't know what it feels like to take care of 3 kids from 9am to 11pm everyday ALONE. They has husbands that come home have dinner with them, talk to them, help with the house and kids (maybe). They have family to call, to help, to talk to. They have friends that have been a part of their lives for some time. It breaks my heart to hear the mom I really like talking how she emailed these moms about a field trip and did this or that with this mom or that mom. No one emailed me! :-( It's painful for me to see their lives, and hear about them. I don't want to know they have dinner every night with their husbands and have the whole weekend every weekend to be together as a family. I don't want to hear about their amazing mothers who come over clean their house, watch their kids and take them shopping. I don't want to hear about all the things they are doing with all their friends all the time. I really wish I could switch off these feelings and focus on my kids. That is want I've always done, but it's hard. I'm trying to accept that this is my life. I try not to blame myself. I know that I would make an awesome friend. I'm funny, honest, kind, giving, loyal. I just need another mommy who is all alone looking for a friend like me.

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#22 of 48 Old 03-01-2013, 08:27 AM
 
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I PM-ed you FLmom. I know exactly how you feel. I'm in almost exactly the same spot as you, just younger with very very little income, and zero people around my age with children that actually take care of their children.

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#23 of 48 Old 03-04-2013, 10:32 PM
 
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I read this thread bc it's true; I really don't have "friends" anymore... but I have been through some of the same things some of you are going thru right now (ie, I was a very young single mama who "parented" her dc; I have been a home-bound married-single mama dt no car; I have had dear friends earlier in life, only to be lonely later), so maybe I can encourage you a bit? I hope...

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 After 5 years as a SAHM with 3 children, I resorted to a "mommy and me" play group at a local Gym. It took a whole year of Wednesdays (sometimes I went home and cried because I knew I would have another friendless week ahead of me) before I finally made a connection with another mom. We joke now about how awkward it was for me to ask for her phone number. But it was all worth it. Having just one friend inspired me with enough confidence to reach out to other people. SO many woman feel the way that you do. And 2 years later (and one more baby later) I finally feel like I have a village of friends. AND the secret ingredient to maintaining mother- friendships is allowing yourself to love THEIR kids (flaws included!) It's challenging but rewarding, just like being a mom. My husband is still the only person I feel 100% at ease with, but I hope with time my friendships will grow. Good luck mommies, and don't give up.

 

ITA with you! I try to see other's children the way I see my students when I teach or tutor-- there is no way I'll agree w all those other parenting styles, but it isn't the dc's fault-- maybe if the other mama's parenting needs work, you can be an example to her? I have learned so much from other mamas over the years, so apparently -I- was one who needed some positive examples at times. Clearly some healthy boundaries are important if the other children seem to be a negative influence (& I have cut friendships short when it went too far), but it's possible to have friends who do not parent like I do.

 

I also wanted to encourage the married mamas to nurture the friendship w your dh; I know, I am working on it, too-- DH & I used to be much better friends... & that means we can be again if we give it the same attention we did before (hm, maybe I need to tt my dh re this thread; he'd be sad to hear I really don't feel I have friends, but it's true...)

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I always though the same thing. That maybe it's just grown up life. Grown ups don't have friendships the same way as you had them as a kid or teenager. Becoming a mom changes everything. If my husband is working 80 hours a week and I'm homeschooling, running a household and careing for 3 kids under the age of 8, I'm lucky I have enough time to take a shower. When in the world will I find the time to build and nurture any friendships?

 

TY FLmom-- this is what I thought, too, but I discovered that the reason I don't have (m/any) friends isn't bc I've outgrown friendship or that I don't care for ppl... it's bc I am not caring for -myself- enough to allow myself the "luxury" of time to nurture friendships. Maybe not true for everyone, but it's worth asking yourself...

 

I've lost friends to death, moves, growing apart, etc. Now I'm in a rural place, few like-minded ppl, etc. I had a like-minded mama friend I love whom I've moved away from-- we are just starting to reconnect, now that our technology is able (I now have net at home- she now has txt). My oldest friend is just. so. busy (not as an excuse to ditch me, but really, she's single, working, raising 2 dc & a "foster" baby, too w very little help) we rarely talk & are growing apart. An old male friend from work just feels more cool, standoffish & uncomfortable since I re-married (I guess he doesn't want to make DH feel threatened) plus we freelance together & the work relationship has grown while the friendship has cooled.

 

I feel your pain. There are other ppl at church, etc, but so very unlike me at all. I'm the family kook, no matter the family! C: (It struck me when our congregation was asked to each invite someone next week, & I thought WHO could I possibly invite? Will I realistically tt ANYONE this week? No, I don't ask Jesus what to make for dinner, LOL, no offense to those who do, but that really was the moment it struck me-- I don't have a friend to even invite!)

 

The thing is, I'm more ok with this than I used to be. I've accepted, like a PP said, that not all friends are my bff-- it's ok to have acquaintances that really only relate on one or two levels. That friendship may grow; it may not; but it still has value-- you may be that person's only friend, or maybe the only authentic person in her life! In time, she may be yours...

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#24 of 48 Old 03-05-2013, 06:35 AM
 
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I have been there too.  I have had close friends who suddenly get to busy to connect or friends who move away and just lose touch.  I feel like I am "picky" by nature in terms of who I decide to establish close friendships with, but I am fairly good at making friends so I have a circle (mostly moms from my church or work).  I feel that upon reflecting on myself, I have been part of the problem.  Sometimes I judge to quickly and I am working on developing more compassion and trying to find things I have in common with people rather than focusing on our differences.  Sometimes lifestyle choices can be so divisive, but they don't have to be if both people can just let it go and talk about something else, realizing that we all have a right to live our lives in different ways.  I now have two friends who are close enough for my comfort (I just don't like people in my house all the time because I hate trying to make it look like my expectation of presentable) and we joined a small group at church (we go to a very love-focused, progressive church, they are out there even in small podunk towns!) and I use facebook to chat.  I come here if I want to talk mommy stuff instead of even trying to talk about natural lifestyle choices with my mainstream friends.  I feel we are social creatures by nature (at least most of us) and having some sort of support network is a good thing but we don't have to be all up in each others business all the time.  Good luck, I bet you will find someone of like mind in your area on here :)

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#25 of 48 Old 03-06-2013, 10:35 AM
 
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I feel the same way. I also feel like I try so hard to make connections and friendships but nothing ever comes of it. It seems so easy for other people to make friends but not for me. It's hard to not take it personally and internalize it like there's something wrong with me, but I'm trying not to do that. 

About a year ago I complained to my husband I don't have any friends and he replied "we're each others friends." I bursted out laughing but it's true. I don't have many friends, but I always have him. 

That helps me feel better most of the time. 

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#26 of 48 Old 03-08-2013, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband says the same thing. I will always have him.  It's true he is a great husband, but he is never here when I need him.  I try not to take it personally also, but I do.  My husband constantly reminds me our lives are just different.  

 

After bawling my eyes out last week I though maybe a life of solitude would be better for me.  I don't have to hear what other mamas are doing together. I don't have to have unanswered emails, and I certainly don't have to see everyone soooo happy on FB. Or see that my posts get no likes.  What's the point of having friends who can never possible understand how hard life if for you? What's the point of friends if you don't really like the people? What's the point of friends who don't have time to be your friends? 

 

So after a week of avoiding everyone I don't feel any better.  My birthday came and went.  No one but my husband and children remembered.  I want to be OK and focus on my kids.  I want to accept that this is the way life is, has been, and will be. 


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#27 of 48 Old 03-08-2013, 12:04 PM
 
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Starting friendships in adulthood is difficult and the hardest thing to feel is uncomfortable. Especially when motherhood can be so challenging.   Not branching out is safe and often times leaves us feeling lonely.  I found going to your local book store and joining the book discussions or sign up for a group of something that interests (Like crafting, knitting or learning something new) it will help you find friends that you have things in common with. It will not feel ok at first but hang in there and be yourself. Relationships form over time and from shared interests. Sit in a coffee shop with your kids and make eye contact and smile at other moms. Set these small goals for yourself.  Just by your original post you sound like someone who would be a great listener and isnt that what a good friend is.   Good luck! 

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#28 of 48 Old 03-08-2013, 12:09 PM
 
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What can we do? Lets do something....Lets come up with a few things to try and then DO THEM...Also can we start a "Friends Tribe"?

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#29 of 48 Old 03-08-2013, 06:14 PM
 
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One thing I have found that when I want something it can work. It is to say the thing you want in the present tense as if you already have it. So if you want one really good woman friend, for example- say- write, and think to yourself the statement something like: "I have a new really good woman friend who likes me just as I am and who I like just as she is- and I am so happy we finally met and connect so easily and support and love eachother" or whatever specifics you want. Somehow saying the things we want in the present tense as if we already have them can help tune your mind like an antenna to then attract that into your life. I have been practicing this kind of thing in my life, and have found many wise spiritual teachers and books who teach this type of thing. (one example is a book calle dyou can create your own miracles by napolean hill if anyone is interested, but lots of people- louise hay, etc, practice this). So the idea is that- it is great to first acknowledge any problems,. That is actually a great first step as many people live in denial. OP it sounds like you have come to a good place of really acknowledging your issue at hand. So that is the first step. Then, if it appeals to you try to then- it is almost like a fake it till you make it idea- then try practicing your statemenet of what you want as if you already have it. Say it a few times a day and see if anything changes! Just one idea, if it appeals to you. I have seen it work well for people and for myself too. It is like our minds are antennas and we are capable of tuning into different vibrations and tuning our antennas.

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#30 of 48 Old 03-09-2013, 03:42 AM
 
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Positive affirmations! They can work. Usually in unexpected ways.

I have been in your place, and it is recently that I am feeling better. I'm wondering if you are getting a lot of criticism or judgment, which would naturally increase your desire for someone like minded so as to feel supported and less alone. I had to cut the critics out of my life, in order to feel better. That also made room in my life for others who have similar views. Nature abhors a vacuum. Make room, first, then be choosey about how to fill it.
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