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DoctorDizzy
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« on: April 19, 2023 @178.43 »

So...

I don't have any real life friends. It's been like this for years, and, well, I'm kinda really tired of it?? I want to actually have friends... It's just so hard to talk to people and maintain communication...

How do you make friends in real life? How long have your long-lasting real-life friendships been?
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2023 @275.21 »

Working in a (preferably) larger company helps after getting out of school. Lots of people around. Maybe someone with shared interests is there. Although, now that I think about it, my best colleague was in a small company with only 8 people, where we were the IT guys driving around the city.

For non-social freaks like us (just assuming), we have to turn a freaky hobby into some kind of meet-up! Worked for me to set up a Yu-Gi-Oh card match, looking for some chaps on the internet, who'd like to play the game the old way. Only old cards up until 2008 allowed. Yu-Gi-Oh got a little bit too much out of control to be a fun game in my opinion.

So it depends on your hobbies. Computers as a hobby? Any computer clubs in your city then? All freaks are over there. What about setting up a LAN party? However the most freaky gathering I've seen was an RC Cars race meeting, so "mechanical" freaks in a way. They had tire warmers for their tiny race machines, can you believe that?

I've left all the people from school times behind me. Except my best childhood friend from those days, despite our lifes having gone different paths long time ago, I still like to visit him once a year and hear, how it's going. That should be enough "legacy" to have to care about.
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Y2KStardust
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2023 @383.30 »

To be honest, I apply a lot of what I've learned about social stuff online to real life too! So like, looking out for commonalities, or what I also like to do is avoid small talk that feels pointless by mentioning things I'm actively doing or interested in! Like, instead of just 'ugh this weather amirite', talk about how the weather stops you from doing xyz activity, or how the traffic meant you got to catch a REALLY good part of the podcast you listen to, or something like that-
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2023 @558.07 »

I've heard that it's generally easier to make friends if you both frequent the same place.

That's why people make a lot of friends in school, because of that "mandatory proximity". Same with work friends to an extent. (I find making friends via work or school means that the friendships can wane once you have left that context/"mandatory proximity", so they require more active effort to maintain the friendship. Other friends require that effort from the start so it feels like less of a shift.)

I think it kind of ties into the concept of the "third place" (a place to go for leisure that isn't work/school or home), where socialization can happen more freely. Thus, if you can become a regular people might come to talk to you in your "third place", especially if you've got some sort of common interest to relate over that brought you there. This can be anything, like a library or a bar or a dance club... And, finding a place you like to visit often can be fulfilling even outside of the idea of finding more friends there. And once you have friends, make sure you invite them to things and find lots of excuses to hang out.

I'm glad this topic was made since I have few IRL friends myself (working on it though!) and I find it interesting researching the factors behind it/how people socialize in general...

EDIT: I also thinks it helps treating conversations like improv- the whole "Yes, and..." thing. So, you have to keep it flowing by adding onto the things that were said. So rather than just saying "Thanks" when someone compliments your jacket or whatever, you could say "Thanks, I got it at (blank), have you ever been there?" or "Thanks, I love wearing it even though it's so hot outside" and that's going to help keep a conversation out of any dead ends, presuming the other person is open to continuing the conversation
« Last Edit: April 19, 2023 @759.57 by wygolvillage » Logged


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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2023 @847.63 »

Me trying to talk to other people in real life is like a cave man discovering fire for the first time.

Some of the things I say are kinda like a word salad ("would you like some dressing for that salad" -my BFF lol)

Honestly, I'm the opposite of you. I would rather have 0 friends IRL.
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devils
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2023 @884.17 »

Here's a few tips that helped me:

- Get yourself in an environment where there are other people that you have to communicate with. This should ideally be a group of like-minded people, such as a support group or even group therapy, but school or a job can also work.
-Don't see everyone you meet as a potential friend, because if that friendship doesn't happen you'll feel like you failed. For me, I started seeing most people I meet as someone I could learn from.
- Realize that not all friendships that ended were a failure. Let's say you drifted apart from a good friend. It's sad, but you also have to understand that the good times were worth it and celebrate what you learned from them. Obviously, this doesn't apply if a friendship was toxic.
- If the opportunity ever arrives, join a D&D or other TTRPG campaign. I'm serious. That alone got me so much closer to some of my pals!

It's hard to socialize for a lot of people, I used to have a single friend that I couldn't hang out with very often back when I was at my lowest point (from a mental health perspective), and because of my disorder I isolated myself silly (medication helped in my case too). It hurt a lot to be so lonely, so I completely understand what it's like.

Credentials:
- I hang around many people I'm at least friendly with daily.
- Been in 2 D&D campaigns with IRL friends for years.
- My IRL bestie and I met in 2nd grade, started arguing over Sonic characters and we've been best pals ever since.
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2023 @19.92 »

if it's because you have trouble socialising, try getting a therapist!!
i have really bad social anxiety and having a therapist is really helping me. my one, was doing all the talking at first and i only had to talk if i wanted to - she never "put me on the spot" so i never embarrassed myself by being awkward, she just made sure i was comfortable first then it was really easy to talk. then we talk about unrelated things until i really feel like talking to her about the things we need to talk about!!
it's a great way of getting better from social anxiety. therapists never tell anyone about what you say cos then they'll lose their job. and with a therapist, you realise people aren't judging you all the time (most people with social anxiety have a lingering thought that they're being judged and its hard to step out of this mindset.). i highly recommend getting one.
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starbreaker
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2023 @286.96 »

I've made acquaintances, but not actual friends, by going to a local gym and lifting weights. Thing is, I never had friends growing up so I'm in my mid-forties and the only real friend I've had is my wife of twenty years. My brother had to be best man at my wedding.
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brisray
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2023 @824.88 »

Making good long-term friendships is never easy but sometimes you meet people who you just click with. I'm never very good when meeting groups of people, I feel overwhelmed, but even in a group of strangers you'll meet someone who is interesting to talk to and want to know more about.

There are friends from school I still enjoy seeing. @wygolvillage mentioned the "mandatory proximity" thing and that's true. I still keep in contact with my army buddies from 30 years ago and it's always a laugh when we meet even though we're all getting older. We chat about what we're doing now and of course old "war stories."

Shared interests are great way to meet new people. When I was about 13 or 14 I went along with a friend from school to an Astronomical Society meeting. A few of us younger people sort of gravitated together and one of those became my best friend. We were friends for over 40 years before he died.

I moved from the UK to the US 22 years ago and started all over again. Acquaintences would introduce me to their friends and some of those became my friends and have been nearly all the time I've been here. That "clicking" thing again, as well as respect. A bit stange because most of my new friends are younger than me. A really good friend, I think, comes down to trust. I trusted someone driving an old off-road car I had. He got worried I'd be upset 'cos he rolled it down a hill. I just thought it was hilarious. Neither of us got hurt and the car wasn't too badly damaged. Another of my "new" friends trusted me do to some backyard surgery on his hand! He's the cleverest person I know and certainly has a greater tolerance to pain than most.

I'm not the most gregarious of people and the meet & greet and networking events I get dragged to are still a nightmare for me. I get so nervous. But you have to remember almost everyone is in the same boat. Once the initial "hello's" are over with I much prefer to listen to their stories. They sometimes remind me of something I'd like to share with them and so the conversation goes. Most times they don't go anywhere and you end up thinking "I just want to go home." but sometimes you'll meet someone really interesting and rarer still, you think they could be friends.


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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2023 @41.02 »

Ohhh now this is something I'm actively struggling with. I live in a small town, just got out from the never ending educational system, and all of my previous friends either ghosted me once I graduated or are too busy to keep up with me. I would consider myself to have functionally no friends.
A piece of advice I don't really follow is doing stuff: going to the gym, to the library, to the same café every week at the same time, to take a walk in the park, to some art classes etc etc and meeting people through there. I must say I did some volunteer work in february and the people I met there are the highlight of my year, and some would've become really really close friends if we didn't live SO far apart. The combination of shared interests + having nothing else to do but talk to each other really helped. And I think it's fun meeting new people as an adult, because you weren't part of each other's lives for allll this time, so there's lots to talk about!! Different from people you've known for a large part of your life, where you just talk to catch up and that's it.
Something I've asked myself lately is if I want friends, or things to do. I don't have a solid answer, I'd even say it varies each time I ask it, but sometimes I just want to get out of the house and talk to someone that isn't the same three people I talk with all day. For times like those, it's fine if you manage to go out with an acquaitance, or a family member, or even your dog. Your brain will make the happy chemichals either way  :unite:
*ignores the existential dread about not being important enough to anyone, being unlovable, disposable, always the last option etc*
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2023 @123.95 »

I think that I see a lot of people asking questions like this, and not a lot of people talking about how they are just soo good at talking to people and they always know what to say and they make friends soo easily, and I will say that part of that is that those people aren't going to be talking about it on the internet as much because they don't have a problem with making friends, but I think definitely another part of it is that almost noone is like that. people look like they are good at talking to people and know what they are doing an stuff, but in reality they know just as little as you do.

this probably really depends on a lot of things, and I still do struggle a lot with making friends, but right now my strategy is based on this idea that deep down everyone is a little bit weird and awkward and don't know what they are doing. everyone's a little bit squishy on the inside. idk.

and so I just. try to let myself openly be that slightly weird awkward person? I am honest about my feelings (which is mostly that I am a little bit scared of everything and I don't know how to do things I feel like i probably should have learned by now, but also I love a lot of things and I love people and animals and a lot of parts of the world) and I dress (to the best of my ability) the way that I want to, even if it's weird (mostly for me that is lots of glitter and fake elf ears + fairy wings) and I talk a lot about the things I like a lot, etc

and I feel like this has a few benefits.

1. it naturally filters out the people that Just Don't Get It and you would not want to be friends with anyways because they kind of suck and you would never feel comfortable around them anyways
2. people are just generally more likely to come and talk to you. especially if you dress cool.
3. the people, that like you, are a little scared and a little awkward and don't know what to do ever, will feel a lot more comfortable around you, because you are very obviously the same kind of person that they are and so you can't really judge them for things like that, if i am explaining this in a way that makes sense.
4. I think you kind of help create a space where other people feel more comfortable to do things like this too. like there's people I didn't become friends with, but who told me that I encouraged them to wear a cape sometimes, or to feel more confident about how they cosplay. and that in itself is rewarding? and I feel like you kind of help to normalize stuff like this a little bit if you do it enough. it doesn't have a big impact, but it does have an impact.

but yeah. I helped one of my friends use a vending machine for the first time in their life. one of my friends helped me use an elevator when I kind of forgot how to use one. I had a friend for a while who I exclusively communicated with using google translate because we did not speak any of the same languages, but we were both confused and a little weird and a little scared, so we worked quite well together. we are on the same team. the world might be a scary place, but we can be scared together now. and I think thats a really beautiful part of being human.

I make a lot of jokes about how being autistic is like everyone else was given an instruction manual to life but I wasn't. but i had to realize eventually that the truth is that no one has the instruction manual and some people are just better at hiding it. everyone is weird and confused and probably a little bit traumatized tbh considering the state of the world. we do not know the rules and we are all trying to survive and not hurt too much, and realizing that has made talking to people a lot easier, because it went from "everyone is soo good and smart and I am soo bad at everything and they must think I am so ridiculous and stupid" to realising that probably almost everyone is thinking that. we are all the imposters.

and I feel like part of this for me comes from being queer in a lot of ways and disabled in a lot of ways and not really ever fully getting a chance to pretend to be normal, so like, why bother? even when I try my hardest something slips out eventually and I am deeply, painfully miserable the entire time. and I am still learning how to do this too, and to kill that little voice in my head saying everyone probably hates me, and to let myself be vulnerable in front of people, and to let myself really feel joy, without apologizing for it, and I am still very socially anxious at times. but I am trying. i am trying very hard. and I am being very brave. and you can be brave too.

and this will vary from person to person. some people are more or less safe to be Weird, in all the nebulous meanings of that word, so like, be careful, and do what you feel comfortable doing, and don't do things you don't want to do and such. but this in combination with other things like spending time in one place or doing one activity with people, at least helps you learn to be more confident, and at best might help you make more friends more easily? sorry this is long and probably repeats itself more than it needs to.
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shevek
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2023 @348.10 »

doing stuff: going to the gym, to the library, to the same café every week at the same time, to take a walk in the park, to some art classes etc etc and meeting people through there. I must say I did some volunteer work in february and the people I met there are the highlight of my year

This is great, and something I have to add to this is that even if you get no friends from doing this, I think it helps you socialize differently anyway. While sitting at the café, walking through the city or taking classes, it gives you a good shot at just sitting back silently, doing nothing (or your own thing), and just taking it all in. There is no pressure to interact, and you can just observe, and what you will observe can really help you lose the fear of talking to people, being the odd one out, the only person to be making mistakes or feeling ugly; because what you will see and hear is stuff like:
  • Other people messing up and making mistakes. Turns out, you aren't the only one making them. Relief.
  • How basically no one in real life meets the beauty standards of online and there are plenty of people living a happy life that are not conventionally attractive. You aren't too ugly to go out or make friends.
  • Other people being really rude and annoying; helps set into perspective those situations you were overthinking if you were being annoying or rude. Probably not! And even then, nothing bad happens and people move on.
  • Other people being kind to you in small ways. Laughing, making a little joke, offering you to go first, holding the door open for you, making space for you, saying hello to you. They are acknowledging your presence.
  • Other people talking about the same interests or the same worries you have. You realize you have so much in common with the strangers all around you.
  • Other people asking you for help, like asking you for directions, or the time, the street name, and things like that. You looked approachable and kind to someone and now you get to be helpful.

I've been holed up for far longer due to the pandemic than everyone else I know and have only started to go out to cafés and restaurants this month really, and it has helped bust some stuff that manifested in my mind when just being at home most of the time. Stuff that really hinders my ability to accurately judge myself and my behavior around people.
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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2023 @779.34 »

and so I just. try to let myself openly be that slightly weird awkward person? I am honest about my feelings (which is mostly that I am a little bit scared of everything and I don't know how to do things I feel like i probably should have learned by now, but also I love a lot of things and I love people and animals and a lot of parts of the world)

I feel this so much. One of my friends from my volunteer work told me that she didn't really try lots of different kinds of food growing up, so now (in her mid-20s) she's branching out. And I took it as no big deal, on one hand because I'm kind of the same, but on the other hand because I felt that telling that was something that made her very anxious, like she was expecting me to laugh at her for it or something. And I made it my mission for the whole month to make her try new stuff, and we took notes on whether she liked them or not. We did plums, apricots, boiled carrots, zucchini, lots of different cookies, olive oil, parsley etc etc etc.

So when we were cooking mashed potatoes, she passed me a potato peeler and I said "oh, we never had potato peelers in my house, I don't know how to use them, I just do it with a knife". And it was no big deal and she didn't laugh at me for it or anything. I peeled all the potatoes with a knife except the last one, which she taught me how to use the peeler for (I sucked at it lol).

At some other point in my life I would've probably thrown the potato peeler on the floor and said "oh noooo, it's dirty!!! My mistake!!! I'll just use a knife now oh nooo!!!". And probably she would've eaten everything I cooked, keeping her mouth shut about the things she didn't like and saying "ah yes, plums!! My favorite fruit!!! That I definitely eat fifteen times per day!!!!". Because anxiety is silly like that, it makes us think everyone is staring at us all the time and judging us and laughing at us when we do something wrong. Most of the time it isn't true!! And it opens us up to new experiences we wouldn't have had otherwise, as small as they are :)
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2023 @1.88 »

And it opens us up to new experiences we wouldn't have had otherwise, as small as they are :)

and the times you get to experience these possibly unexpected firsts are some of the most beautiful forms of human connection, I think
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