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The Perfect World >> Domestic Sphere >> Friendships


Decca -- Monday, August 12, 2002 -- 04:40:57 PM

A general topic to discuss making and keeping friends.

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Cathy Georges -- Monday, August 12, 2002 -- 10:11:04 PM -- 16 of 1382
so, if im that much yr elder u shld have more respect 4 me

I come out right in the middle on introversion tests -- a marker, I guess, for the fact that I dread social occasions, but then usually have a good time when I get there and don't want to leave.

I'm shy and uncomfortable interacting with big groups or people I don't know well, but I do really need human contact and intimacy. I have a handful of great, close friends and a slightly wider circle of acquaintances whom I really like but don't see/contact that often. Almost all of my friendships have come from jobs, mostly in my late 20s.

It's very hard for me to get from "I enjoy talking to you" to a genuine close friendship. I somehow missed learning how you make that transition from acquaintance to friend.

Decca -- Monday, August 12, 2002 -- 10:26:59 PM -- 17 of 1382
"Lack of the faculty for success in homemaking, while biologically abnormal, is no disgrace."

Why do you think it is necessary to make friends outside gradschool?

Because my friends in the program and I are all at that same stressed out place. We run the risk of getting hysterical, and I would like to do things with different people and try to create some kind of life for myself outside of school.

Tammy F. -- Monday, August 12, 2002 -- 10:50:42 PM -- 18 of 1382
Long time no post....

I find it incredibly difficult not only to make friends but to sustain friendships.

I met my best friend when we were 12. We went through most of school together, but my parents divorced my freshman year of HS and I went to live with my Dad. I had to change schools but we were able to sustain our friendship. She was my maid of honor. We're now turning 30. We're starting to lose touch and it's breaking my heart.

Not only has life interfered but it's taking us in some different directions. She's married with 3 kids under the age of 6. So she's really busy! I am divorced and my son is 6. I work full time, she waitresses for pocket $. We have been there in each other's lives going on 18 years. We've had ups and downs. But as our kids get older and our lives our so busy, it's not easy to find time to just chill out and reconnect.

Add to the mix that she is having a hard time dealing with my current relationship. She doesn't approve, which I can respect. However, I truly needed her this past November and she was not there for me.

While it hurts me, I am coming to grips (some days better than others) with the fact that we are just not as close as what I'd like to be anymore.

Sad, but true. I can't think of anything she could do (well, short of murder) that would make me turn away from her. But she has her own feelings and I am adult enough to respect them.

Tammy F. -- Monday, August 12, 2002 -- 10:54:52 PM -- 19 of 1382
Long time no post....

That was a heavy example.

My other examples: a girlfriend I met 10 years ago when she replaced me when I got promoted. Before I had my son I was a little more footloose and fancy free :-) We fit into each others social lives pretty well. Now, not so well! We talk about every 3 or 4 weeks. I truly think, though, that in a pinch, she'd come bail me out of jail or rescue me when I had a flat tire at 2 a.m.

Another girlfriend I met at work, as well, about 2 years ago. We are great friends at work. And evn talk outside of work. But only when her husband isn't around. He hates her spending time on the phone and sulks whenever she wants to go out and shop or have dinner with me. To her, it just isn't worth the argument at home. So in 2 years, we've only been out 3 times. Twice for my birthday and once during a traumatic emotional episode for me -- where she just wanted to be there for me so I wouldn't lose my mind.

Friendships seem to take so much balancing -- between juggling work and family responsibilities, I'm just too tired.

I must be getting old!

Sadie -- Tuesday, August 13, 2002 -- 12:27:56 AM -- 20 of 1382
There is not enough WTF in all the land. -Alissa

I have a hard time being friends with people I don't respect, and have no desire to be friends with people whose company I don't enjoy. So I don't have too many friends.

This is me. I couldn't care less if my friends have things in common with me (like what? I'm never even sure what that means).

An awful lot of my friends here were my husband's friends for a while. I met him not long after moving back here, and he's lived here his whole life, so he had lots of friends. We don't see most of them much now. One moved a while back, but she had flipped out in her personal life, causing me to lose every bit of respect I ever had for her. So much for that. Hub actually contacted her a while back. I'm glad she's moved, because he's far more forgiving than I am (he's such an optimist) and it could be awkward if she still lived here.

I've made a few friends at work. I'd say three, in seven years there. Heh. And all of those in the last 3-4, actually. So my rate is improving. But I'm so annoyed by my job lately, I probably exude crappy personality vibes really strongly.

nein09 -- Tuesday, August 13, 2002 -- 01:08:13 AM -- 21 of 1382

It takes me about 2 years to make good friends anywhere I go, I find. I think this is just because I'm socially retarded.

I do keep up with the ones I've made, though, which is nice.

aussiegirl -- Tuesday, August 13, 2002 -- 04:57:07 AM -- 22 of 1382

I have 4 friends (1 is male, 1 is my sister). Friends as described above, people you can totally depend on, regardless of the situation. I would move heaven and earth for these people, as they would for me. Pity only 1 of them lives in the same city. Rest are scattered across Australia. It really doesn't matter if it is 6 weeks or 6 months between conversations, we all just pick up were we left off.

Everyone else is just an aquaintance.

bessy -- Tuesday, August 13, 2002 -- 02:12:13 PM -- 23 of 1382
You were chained to a girl who would kill you with a look/It's a nice way to die, she's so easy on the eyes/She said "Let's get away" but you played it by the book/You're a warden's pet, she's a screaming suffragette

I've had a lack of friends where we can just pick up where we left off with no "You didn't call me enough" or whatever. I find myself distancing myself from my core group of friends from high school. I've moved away and am finding myself, when I do see them, repressing parts of my personality around them. They were a year ahead of me in school and in some ways I am still seen as 15 years old to them. Obviously, I've changed a great deal in the last 7 years but in some ways, I'm not allowed to around them. We don't have a lot to talk about and conversations become more and more a rehashing of old high school in-jokes.

In a lot of ways, I feel they don't know me very well. I guess it's partly my fault for not being myself around them. But it's coming to a point where I don't really care anymore. I've made some wonderful friends in my new town, people I feel as close to after 6 months as I feel to people I've known for years. I've always been the one who had another group of close friends outside the core group, whereas the others pretty much had only distant acquaintances. And they always gave me grief for it.

Hmmm. This post makes it seem like they are just awful people but they are wonderful and funny and kind. I just don't have a lot in common with them any more.

Tammy F. -- Tuesday, August 13, 2002 -- 02:59:30 PM -- 24 of 1382
Long time no post....

bessy, no, I know what you are saying. Sometimes when I talk about how I just don't have the close friendships that I once did with my girlfriends I wonder if I'm making it sound like I'm whining or making it out that they are horrible people.

Not the truth at all. I think I need to "cut myself some slack" w/r/t the fact that sometimes people change, life circumstances change, things just plain change. It's a rare friend that one is able to keep through everything.

I thought I'd found that with my girlfriend from grade school. I think in a pinch she'd be there for me if she could......but because she has some definite feelings about some of the decisions I'm making in my life, we're just not able to talk like we used to. Sad, but true.

cj griffin -- Tuesday, August 13, 2002 -- 03:25:22 PM -- 25 of 1382
There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie.

Friendship takes work, and there are times in one's life when it is incredibly hard to do that work.

"Join a club!" does sound inane, but if you feel short of friends, a good place to start is to think about the things you enjoy, and whether you can enjoy them in a way that involves getting out with other people -- an outing club instead of solitary bike rides, a volunteer organization instead of just writing a check to your favorite charity.

Most of my friendships these days come through my religion, which of course isn't a good choice for everyone.

Jenni S. -- Tuesday, August 13, 2002 -- 03:30:48 PM -- 26 of 1382
One raises the eyebrow

how difficult it is to make friends as an adult. How do you go about making adult friends?

I haven't, really, not since we moved to the US six years ago. I'm hugely shy, but fine once I get going. My husband and daughters and I are very very close knit, and I have a large, loving, functional, happy circle of family and friends in Australia. While I see the oz contingent rarely, that's pretty much enough to sustain me. (That and seeing debby every so often)

When I have to fill in forms that ask for a "relative/friend not living with you", it's embarrassing to have to either use husband's employer or refer to Australia. But I can cope <g>

cj griffin -- Tuesday, August 13, 2002 -- 03:50:55 PM -- 27 of 1382
There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie.

You came out and met me, Jenni! And now that I know you're shy, I'm extra honored.

Jenni S. -- Tuesday, August 13, 2002 -- 04:08:06 PM -- 28 of 1382
One raises the eyebrow

I did, CJ, and had a lovely time! It took a concerted effort, and you had (I hope) no idea how my stomach was a-fluttering. I'd love to do it again any time you're here or I'm there.

Scarface Claw -- Wednesday, August 14, 2002 -- 01:36:30 AM -- 29 of 1382
Loads of class and all of it third.

Well I think F2Fs can be tough the first time around. Just because you chat to a person a lot on a forum or even by email doesn't mean it's not still awkward and scary. I've met a couple of people but not pursued it. I also had a wonderful phone friendship with a guy many years ago, but meeting killed it.

Subconsciously, I think I grade friends. That's not really the right term, but anyhoo. There are the ones you can call in the middle of the night and who will drop everything for you and you for them. There are confidants, friends you don't see forever but who don't hassle you for not ringing, and then fun people to hang out with but who you wouldn't bare your soul too. I find there are even people I get on with pretty well, even if I don't actually like them. But if I really don't like someone I find it very hard to be pleasant and sociable.

But it doesn't bother me that I don't have a huge circle of very social friends. I have never been someone who absolutely has to be out on a Saturday night, and I learned pretty young that it's easier to accept it than to go out and hate it.

aussiegirl -- Wednesday, August 14, 2002 -- 04:38:41 AM -- 30 of 1382

But it doesn't bother me that I don't have a huge circle of very social friends. I have never been someone who absolutely has to be out on a Saturday night, and I learned pretty young that it's easier to accept it than to go out and hate it.

Scarface Claw (heheheh at your moniker), once again we are in perfect agreement.

IsaAnne -- Friday, August 16, 2002 -- 01:30:15 PM -- 31 of 1382

Great thread BTW!

My experience echoes what many have already written. I grade my friends as well. I am just realistic that way.

I have grown away from many of my friends because folks have moved away - and because I tended to make friends at my work, and I have changed jobs a few times.

DH and I have friends that are separate - and friends that are mutual. We are spending more and more time with the mutal type. I must say that the folks that appeal to me most are the ones who remained interested in talking to me through miscarriages, pregancy and new motherhood. Some of the most surprising people stuck with me and some of the most surprising disappeared (meaning they are still around, but did not consider calling).

Some of the people that I really want to hang out with are just as busy as I am and it is forever difficult to see each other - especially if they fall into the non-mutual with DH category.

I have met several great folks online - and have started meeting up with them, but I agree it takes time for real friendship to blossom.

I have one really good friend who is really growing away from me and I am not doing much about it. Too hard.

I have become much closer to my sister, for which I am very grateful.

Lila Jones -- Friday, August 16, 2002 -- 01:56:58 PM -- 32 of 1382

Have any of you gone through friend fads?

I don't, myself, being too much of a curmudgeon/introvert and sort of slow to trust, but I can think of two people I know who have this tendency to get friend-crushes. They acquire a new friend who is fabulous! wonderful! source of endless amusement and solace! and suddenly do everything with them and bond extremely tightly and quickly, and share intimate details shamelessly, and then poof, about four months later the thrill is gone and they are back to their usual circle. And sometimes the friend crush is incorporated into the circle, but sometimes not.

This was a lot more common in highschool, of course.

cj griffin -- Friday, August 16, 2002 -- 02:15:29 PM -- 33 of 1382
There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie.

I have one friend who takes up most of my friend time, and I worry about not being sufficiently diversified.

Brigit M -- Friday, August 16, 2002 -- 02:39:10 PM -- 34 of 1382

I can think of two people I know who have this tendency to get friend-crushes. They acquire a new friend who is fabulous! wonderful! source of endless amusement and solace....

Oh, yeah, a number of my longterm extravert friends do this. More so when we were younger, but sometimes still. It used to bother me back then, when I socialized more myself and had to spend all this time with the friend-crush who might not inspire my trust so much, but absent that problem I can just look at it as one of the quirks of being wildly outgoing.

Blondie -- Friday, August 16, 2002 -- 08:04:32 PM -- 35 of 1382
If you take care of the present the future will take care of itself - Thich Nhat Hanh

I make friends pretty easily, but I'm very cautious about getting too close to people, and am uncomfortable with those intense kinds of friendships. It makes me feel shallow sometimes, but there you have it. I had a friendship with an extremely needy, unstable woman when I was in my mid-twenties that has made me really skeptical of people, so much so, in fact, that another kind-of-friend told me that I only like people who are "fully healed" whatever that means.

I have probably 5 or 6 close friends right now, not including my sister. It took a long time to get to this point, though. I agree with CJ about finding friends in your religion. I met three of my current close friends while we were all attending a UU church. It was easy to be with them because of the common bond, it was like we started out on a higher level, just having a similar faith (well, not that we are very faithful, exactly, since we're all quite agnostic, but you know what I mean...)

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