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    Kahlil Gibran, posted by David Baxter

Retired

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Some people have difficulty making or keeping friends.

What are some ways to make new friends and to keep from losing them?

What difficulties have you encountered in forming new frienships?
 

Danny Boy

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For me,I find making friends is as easy as finding "common ground" What ever it may be: we work in the same industry, share a hobby, like the same type of girls, etc, etc.

It can really be anything. The biggest thing about making friends is the other party has to be receptive. If they already have their plate full or have plenty of other friends your chances are a lot less.
 

HA

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I think living in a large city centre makes it more difficult to make new friends. There is something very cold about cities compared to small towns. In small towns people say hello to you and talk to you in passing at the grocery store. In the city they look at you strange or ignore you if you say hello or start a conversation in a line up.

In the city you need to connect with smaller communities through areas of interest such as meditation groups, art classes, hiking or sking groups etc. or through volunteer work.
 

Danny Boy

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I think living in a large city centre makes it more difficult to make new friends. There is something very cold about cities compared to small towns. In small towns people say hello to you and talk to you in passing at the grocery store. In the city they look at you strange or ignore you if you say hello or start a conversation in a line up.

In the city you need to connect with smaller communities through areas of interest such as meditation groups, art classes, hiking or sking groups etc. or through volunteer work.

I can definetly agree with you there. :) I live in upstate NY and when ever I travel to the city it amazed me how individuals when in a crowd of people are in their own little world oblivious to what's going on around them.

I currently live in a small town, and walk around a lot for exercise. My walking route is on a heavily trafficked road, I always wave to passer bys. On the odd occasion I meet someone walking, I stop and have a brief chat with them. If they seem like a decent person, I exchange email addresses with them or what ever. Chances are, I'll meet them at a local store in the near future, we'll hook up and BS.

My theory is in cities people are so worried about meeting the wrong type of people they just close themselves off to everyone. It's sad but that's how things are in todays day in age.

To make friends, you have to prove that you're worthy of friendship, everyone's standards are different. Just be a decent person and you'll make plenty of friends. :)
 

sister-ray

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I find it hard making friends, online its easy, but in reality I find it impossible, obviously with me theres the practical side having agoraphobia, and not having the money to get taxis to get places I might be able to make friends, theres nothing in my area, unfortunately the area I live is very well to do and I really dont fit it with what is about, I would be happy to accept the people round here but they dont accept me they tend to hang about with people of there own social standing,, and that isolates me. Alot of times I just dont fit in, not only my illness, I dont work, work is a status thing here and I have been put down in social groups about this many times, I am also very indivdual in my ways, beliefs etc outspoken and know what I want and dont want, I also have a sense of humour people dont understand sometimes. I use to have lots of friends but they met partners, got married, had kids, and I didnt fit into that being single and not wanting kids and marriage, then some moved away. Because Im 48 years of age people think I should be settled now with a house, car and four kids etc and that sort of has stopped me getting on in social groups, it something Im finding hard at the moment to make some friends and fit in somewhere. I have one friend here and we get along great because we are so much a like could do with finding more like him!!!
 

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My theory is in cities people are so worried about meeting the wrong type of people they just close themselves off to everyone

What is it about life in smaller communities that makes it easier to reach out?
 
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the hardest part for me is to find the energy and get motivated to pursue a friendship with someone. there are people that i seem to click with that i could become friends with, but i have no motivation to pursue it.

friendship takes time too, you need to get to know each other, and over time you trust one another a bit more with things.
 

Halo

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there are people that i seem to click with that i could become friends with, but i have no motivation to pursue it.

I feel the exact same way....no motivation at all and therefore hybernate by myself and feel lonely.
 

just mary

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Good question TSOW, I've been thinking about the same thing these days. Like LB and Halo, I tend to hibernate too since making and keeping friends takes a lot of energy. I need a lot of down time, I'm not the type to go out every weekend. I go out once in awhile, usually a work function for my spouses, and halfway through the night, I need to come home, I'm tired.

But back to the question, making friends is one thing, maintaining a friendship is another. Maintenance is hard because sometimes you grow apart from a friend and the friendship becomes strained. But before you reach that point, as long as you have something in common or something you can do together and you still feel comfortable and safe talking with them, I think they can last a long time. But it's a two way street, you need to call them sometimes and they need to call you. It takes work.

That's why I think "work" friendships occur, you have to see these people everyday so you're not forced to call them. The contact is a byproduct of going to work. Of course friendships at work can backfire and then it's really difficult.

As for smaller communities, they tend to be more homogenous so you're likely to find someone similar to you. They're also generally isolated and maybe humans get a little nervous being out in the wild alone (bears, lions). There is safety in numbers. In big cities though, the only enemy you're likely to encounter is another human so you need to be wary.

Take care,

jm
 

ladylore

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It has become more difficult as I get older, probably because I am more on guard. Keeping friends I don't find that difficult however. Just by showing a bit of interest in the mundane is a great way to let someone know you care. Picking up the phone on a Saturday morning while drinking my coffee, just to say "hi, whatcha up to?" is great.

When my brain has had a good day I don't have many expectations and everything is fairly easy. My petpeave is when my calls are not returned, at all. But through my recovery my phone is a strong link to my friends (I only have 2 that I would call confidants) and we see each other in person when we can.

I treat others they way I want to be treated. :)
 

begonia

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The biggest problem for me is that I compare my friendships to other people's and think that mine don't count or aren't as good as other people's. I sit next to women at work who get numerous phone calls every day from many friends. I maybe e-mail one or two people a week (at most). I wish I could stop comparing. I know that this is a form of "twisted thinking" in that I'm discounting the positive, but it still is a major contributor to my depression.
 

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(I only have 2 that I would call confidants)

I wonder how many people we should hope to have, on an individual basis, that we could call true confidants...a person with whom we can share our deepest darkest secrets and know we won't be judged.

In my own experience there are not many, and I wonder what might be the experience of others.
 

Peanut

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Hey everyone! These are all interesting insights and points of view. It seems like the biggest thing I've noticed that helps me make friends is to let people know that I like them...I think there is something is psychology (I'm drawing a blank about what they call it) where ppl tend to like people who like them. I think sometimes if you go out on a limb and show someone you think they're cool or you want to be friends, etc, it's often reciprocated.

For the other part of the question, I whole heartedly agree that maintaining friendships takes a LOT of effort! I went through a period where I didn't put a lot of effort into friendships and they just kind of...I guess you could say they didn't grow. Eventually I realized that nurturing friendships meant doing things that I didn't feel like doing sometimes just for the sake of nurturing the relationship (I guess this would be like any relationship). Now I do things I don't want to do all the time (how fun, right:rolleyes::D) but my relationships are much richer for it.

I also think what you said about work friends is right on Mary. I totally agree with you analysis of that.

Anyway, I would venture to say the people who get the most calls and emails are the ppl who give the most calls and send the most emails!!
 

stargazer

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I think living in a large city centre makes it more difficult to make new friends. There is something very cold about cities compared to small towns. In small towns people say hello to you and talk to you in passing at the grocery store. In the city they look at you strange or ignore you if you say hello or start a conversation in a line up.

Having lived both in the large city and a smaller town, I must agree that this is true. In fact, I think that this is the key factor that keeps drawing me back to the small town in which I live, even though it's harder for me to find work here. There's something about the friendliness of people in the small town that is nourishing to my soul.

In fact, almost all of my lifelong friends have been made in this general area. I went to high school in a town a few miles south of here, and still have 3 good male friends from that town, 30 years worth of friendship. I also have a good female friend from college, which was in a small town a few mile north.

So maybe I have four friends, or maybe I'll make some new ones. It's an interesting subject. I'm pretty much of a loner, and so I don't really know how to make friends either. I can barely remember how I made these 4 friends, because it was so long ago. The point is, we stuck with each other, even though I have VERY little in common with 3 of them.

About confidantes, I think we have to be very careful. I can say anything to my three male friends, but there's another guy whom I feel COMFORTABLE saying very personal stuff toward, but then he goes and tells everybody down at the cafe. I don't hang out in the cafe and don't mind too much, but that's not a confidante, and I ought not to share so much with someone if they can't be trusted to keep shut about it.
 

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