FriendshipsDecca -- Monday, August 12, 2002 -- 04:40:57 PM
A general topic to discuss making and keeping friends.This thread is tagged:
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I have always thought the key to the emotional spark for relationships for many people is that they like how being with the other makes them feel about themselves. Someone who somehow makes you like yourself more for whatever reason is someone who lights the spark.
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. I have several friends I consider really hardcore (as in, would step up if they had a crisis, would rely on them for a favor, would invite myself to stay at their house and expect them to do the same), but almost all of them live in other cities, regions, and/or countries. One is local, another just moved home from Europe and is a substantial but feasible commute away, everyone else is on the see them every one to five years plan.
I actually have trouble keeping up with more than a few local friends properly -- really how do you see more than, say 4 people, tops, more than once every six weeks each and still get anything else done plus see your romantic partner a couple of times a week plus work late a few times plus maybe get an evening alone occasionally? Introvert R us.
The BF, who is extroverted, knows reams and reams of people both locally and elsewhere, but OTOH very few of them seem to be close-close by my standards. Different modes, I think.
Introversion is a real problem. The amount of time we need alone puts us at a disadvantage to extraverts- I find they tend to have friendship schedules which involve lots more face time, and the introvert often ends up out of the running because we can't put that time in.
The Internet has helped me hugely- it helped me renew several of my oldest childhood friendships, because it's easier than writing a letter and cheaper than a long distance call. And I've made online friends with whom I have in common the desire to catch up frequently without the face time problem. IMing doesn't invade my space the way gossiping on the stoop does, so I can fit far more of it into a week.
I am a huge introvert and have recently realized through the Miracle of Therapy that I let my now ex take over all social interactions, so I never had to put myself forward.
Now that I'm single again, I'm wondering how to
1. Navigate friendships without being the Poor Singleton the Smug Marrieds invite to dinner every once and awhile
2. Make f2f friends outside of graduate school. I know you all are going to say "join a club!" but that makes the I in me quake.
I wouldn't say "Join a club". Certainly not with an exclamation point.
I think the idea is to accept the fact that most of the time you'd rather have someone around, you won't. On the up side, the millions of times you can't stand to be around people, you'll be in good shape.
Why do you think it is necessary to make friends outside gradschool?
I'm basically the big introvert, and kind of a freak too. I have a hard time making friends, and it takes me a long time. I have one best friend - she's dead. She was my first best friend, and we were best friends since 4, so she just has the permanent best friend title.
My other friends from Sweden i have lost contact with. And, I have two ex-friends (female) who I had to break up with when they started getting on my nerves to a point I could not be around them. (Couldn't put my finger on it. I think they were just overly dramatic and needy, and we fit at one point, and then things changed). And, my best male friend i got involved with - this is long ago, but it hurt badly at the time, when we ended the relationship.
Mostly what I did was to ensure I had room-mates, or I would have always been alone. I just don't do the going out and meeting people thing.
I don't really have anything but pals these days. Because it is easy for me to have people get on my nerves if they are too needy or getting too involved.
But, I'm hopelessy addicted to discussion forums, because I'm not an entire hermit, and I like to at least chat with people. And, there are situations where I do better if I have one person to banter with about stuff.
But, I really have stopped even sweating the idea that I ought to go out and make Real Friends that don't share my interests. It's not going to happen. Not in any intense closeness.
For example, there's one woman I met thru TT that is up in Indy. Yesterday I went up and hung out with her. It's a year since last time. I quite like her, but neither one of us kind of can make the time and effort for the 1 hour drive.
I met Jamie R last december, and I'm quite fond of him. But, we both know who we are, and, if sometime in the future we are in the same place we might meet, and I'd like to do so, but, well, we are who we are.
IT can be a good thing to have someone that is more social than you are to hang out with/be involved with. But... Well...
I am really introverted, and what I find is that amount of engagement, of just sheer human contact, that my job requires, seems to be such a huge energy suck that I wind up without a whole lot of energy to bustle around befriending folks.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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>