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Old 06-22-2011, 09:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
 
how does one make friends?

I moved to a new town just before Christmas for my job.

Now, 6/7 months later - Im really starting to feel down.

The thing is I have ZERO social life now. I get on fine with people at work, but everyone has their own friends and social circle and I feel like I dont want to intrude. I dont do anything outside of work. I literally play Warcraft, play mindless Facebook levelling games, watch the same DVDs over and over, read the same books.... thats my social life.

I dont have much spare money but that isnt really the issue... I just dont know how to make friends from scratch. I have been to a local pub a couple of times but just end up having a few drinks and leaving without speaking to anyone. Im too fat to play any sports these days.

I dont have any hobbies, I dont know how to get involved in anything.

A girl I work with recommended I did some voluntary work, but I just dont feel confident enough to put myself in that situation.

I know it is my own personality that makes me lonely and at the same time I bemoan the fact that I am, but I dont know how to break the cycle.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First and foremost, you'll have to put yourself outside of your comfort zone and do something different than you are doing now.

If you aren't willing to do that basic thing, you'll not be able to break the cycle.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
still, wondering.
 
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Location: South Minneapolis, somewhere near the gorgeous gorge
Strange Famous, I suspect you know how to make friends but don't really want to. Don't stay outside the circle at work. Next time you go to the pub, TALK TO SOMEBODY. Inter-personals seem to me to be something everyBODY craves. Give 'em a little & you'll get something back.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have the same problem. My old way of making friends was to show up at the bar regularly. I sing karaoke, and am addicted to feeding dollars to the jukebox when there isn't karaoke, so that was a good jumping-off point.

Since I don't have a "home bar" anymore, and don't feel like hanging out at one every night anyway, I've hit a wall.

I can tell you what doesn't work-- waiting for people to invite you places. I have this innate fear of inviting myself and therefore annoying everyone else (I worked with a girl like that, just assumed we wanted to hang out with her all the time...and we didn't.) Unfortunately, my coworkers (I think) took it as me not being interested.

I finally got some skates, so I'd like to try roller derby (I've been talking about it forever, but now I'm almost to the point where I can make this a reality.) There's a local camera club with open meetings I want to check out. Hopefully, this will help get me moving towards FriendVille,

I'm rambling a bit, aren't I? Basically, I don't have any room to give advice, since I'm in the same boat. But the things I DO want to try, I learned about from reading one of the local free event papers-- a rundown of entertainment stuff happening in the area; and skulking around the library bulletin boards.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange Famous View Post
I know it is my own personality that makes me lonely and at the same time I bemoan the fact that I am, but I dont know how to break the cycle.
I know this probably isn't what you want to hear, but I'm going to say it anyway. A lot of the way you describe your problems in life sounds like depression. You've admitted that you have a family history of depression and probably suffer from it yourself.

You need to step up to the plate (or whatever the equivalent cricket metaphor is ) and admit it to yourself. Talk to your doctor and see what he/she says, and take a referral to a psychiatrist if necessary. It's not easy to talk to a doctor about depression, western culture as a whole sees it as a personality flaw rather than a real illness and stigmatizes it heavily; people who see it that way don't understand what it really is and just make it harder to get necessary help.

Treatment may be as simple as getting a prescription and checking in with a doctor every few months to make sure everything is going well. Combine that with the understanding that depression isn't your fault and it doesn't make you any less of a whole person if you need medication or therapy and your life can be a whole lot better.
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was in a similar situation before, in a new city and with barely anyone I knew. The few I did know did not invite me out frequently so I ended up hanging out like once every 3 weeks or less.

I'll be in a similar situation too; I'm not looking forward to it. I ended up not meeting many people after 5-6 months, like you. However, I am not depressed so while other posters here who know you better may have good advice, my own opinion is that you should start from the point of view that you are not depressed. Isn't depression one of those things that's like a self fulfilling prophecy, and the more you think about it, the more you get wrapped up in it.


I think volunteering is a great idea. I plan to do just that, at the local SPCA/Humane Society since I love cats. You mentioned you are not confident enough because you are fat; have you considered taking up a work-out routine?

When I was by myself, the one thing I did steadily and that made me feel *great* was to hit up the gym regularly and do as much as I could. You don't have to run 2 miles or even 1 mile, just do enough that you get into the habit and slowly you'll get better and better. I think starting with just the gym is the best way to get started on the path to gaining your self confidence back in full.

*EDit*: once you get your self confidence back, and you feel GREAT just from being in better shape, I think the rest will follow. You will put out a much better vibe, and people will gravitate more towards you. Of course, like others mentioned, you have to get out of your comfort zone too. But that's easier when you are confident about yourself.


Cheers

Last edited by match000; 06-22-2011 at 06:28 PM..
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Everyone has hobbies, and there's nothing stopping you from pursuing a new hobby. Maybe it's cars or sports or martial arts or cooking, but there are social venues for people with shared interests to interact and socialize. I know some of my friends are left over from school, but others are either through mutual friends or through social venues, particularly those which center around a shared interest.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Voluntary work is a good idea. How about dog walking for housebound or infirm owners? Dog walkers always stop to chat to each other, walking is good gentle exercise, so will be good for you - so is tossing the ball. Build up to jogging between walking perhaps, dependent on canines health. A local council dog kennels that take in strays near here is always happy to see volunteer walkers, it stops the doge going stir crazy, and it gives the walkers a chance to assess them, which helps in re-homing - but I think the first would suit you more. You will make two friends - dog and owner will value you highly - you and the owner will have a good mutual interest - and if you take an attractive or sad looking dog down the pub, people will come talk to you both. We had two mastiff pups dumped here - son had never seen so much cleavage - young women everywhere he went were bending down and flashing him, oohing and aaahing.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Take a class at the local community college in something like swimming, photography, etc.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinese crested View Post
We had two mastiff pups dumped here - son had never seen so much cleavage - young women everywhere he went were bending down and flashing him, oohing and aaahing.
roflcopters
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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You already have a series of strong interests that you might use as avenues to a new social life. Your interest in things historical is worth following up on. You need to find out where discussion groups and tour groups and such form. The local library/museum/historical site ought to have some start-up information in the form of pamphlets or even volunteers manning a desk/phone who answer questions.

Check out websites. Write your own little synopsis of what you think about things (such as your expressed admiration of William the Conqueror) and submit it to said organizations for either posting to their sites or publishing in their newsletters. Come to think of it you could at the same time start your own blog with such writings as a part of it.

Another interest and strength of yours is your poetry. A separate blog? More submissions to local/area gatherings of writers?

You like sports even though you feel physically incapacitated for the time being. Look up more groups to discuss boxing, soccer, cricket, american football . . . these groups and discussions don't all happen in pubs, which could help you cut down on your calories, save money, and find a way to socialize without alcohol.

Depression is a real deal. It can cripple peoples drive to take a step forward. Seriously look for a professional to help you put this one in perspective. Depression is often the result of a minor inherited tendency to manufacture more or less of certain chemicals in your own body. A professional would work with you and use straightforward medication to help your body align itself into the less stressful state of dynamic emotional/physical balance that the general run of folk are lucky enough to live in. It is not a demeaning or unmanly thing to ask for help in any medical situation including the more hidden ones of emotional or psychological stress. It is exactly like finding the right person to tweak your back from time to time when it goes out, or to prescribe something such as insulin because your own body just doesn't provide that particular chemical in the right ratios for you.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm not having a lot of friends, but that's because I chosen so.

Why don't you find friends in somewhere you are active. You mentioned facebook and world of warcraft ? Facebook has nice feature that you can find new events where people come together and do something. Join it, but be carefull - you must like it, or you wont have much in common with others.

Warcraft ? Join some guild with huge amount of people and see if you can find someone from wherever you are.

Dating sites? It's not always about marrying or having sex. There is a lot of people who is alone and would like to have some friends as you do , but they don't try. Just make a post, be active in Forums (this topic would be great example).

Compliments on the street. If you see some female on the street you would like to have a conversation or just some cup of coffee , just try your luck. You don't need to come over and try to make her blush, saying "It's nice shoes/bag/dress you have" would be enough to get her attention. And after a while you could just say that you are going for some coffee, if she wants to join. This way I found some really nice person I'm still almost the best friends with for last 6 years. And there has been nothing more than great friendship

Last choice - cooking class or something similar with classroom full of people.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: hampshire
Strange - you could try taking borage or starflower daily. It increases the seratonin levels in your brain - the happy herb, as the romans called it, does just that. Dont expect instant - its a couple of weeks for herbs to kick in - and of course, if you are on medication, check first. My own doctor is now growing it.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willravel View Post
Everyone has hobbies, and there's nothing stopping you from pursuing a new hobby. Maybe it's cars or sports or martial arts or cooking, but there are social venues for people with shared interests to interact and socialize. I know some of my friends are left over from school, but others are either through mutual friends or through social venues, particularly those which center around a shared interest.
Ditto. You're more likely to spend time with & get close to people who share common interests with you. You'd also probably feel confident enough to talk to them, be a little more outgoing than you are right niow.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Community college classes are a great way to make friends, as was suggested. Especially a creative writing class, as your love of poetry was mentioned. Or, in that vein, join a writing group. Definite socialization there.

I know there are city-based guilds for WoW, why don't you go hunt one down that has monthly meet-ups in your area, migrate your character or build a new one?

Meetup.com for hobbist groups is easy.

As for dating sites, OKC is amazing just for the socialization, especially if you blog there regularly. I know I gained several new social groups from there that, years later, I still hang out with.

I haven't been paying too much attention, but depending on your area, you could easily get involved in an SCA group or other re-enactment group that you might feel comfortable in (re: your weight) because a chunk of the men there are similar and not regarded as less for it.

Also, yes, as others have said, exercising, eating right, can do wonders for your self-esteem and that would impact your social life positively.

Personally, I like checking out the local convention centers and college campuses for various events and just tooling down there to see and meet like-minded people. Try a TED event.

There really is so much stuff out there to do, so many ways to meet people. You just need to be friendly and welcoming, as much as you can be, and you will make friends. Hell, get a dog and take him to a nearby leash-free dog park and let him make friends for you.

I know it's hard when you're feeling low about yourself. I hit those spots, too, when I wonder if I'm imposing on someone, why anyone would want to talk to me, spend time with me, because I'm not good enough or I don't compare to them on some level (or levels). You need to feel good about yourself, somehow. Get your feet under you. It'll work out.
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:55 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I moved to a new city last year and have had great success with meetup.com and okcupid. From sales, I look at socialization as a numbers game. All of networking is that way. You invest time in filtering out all of the prospective friends until you find 3-5 solid ones. It does take time to do it, but don't feel too much pressure. One thing that got me out of paying attention to my lack of confidence was to focus on the process and staying consistent with it. The more I focused on the process, the less each individual rejection (or crazy person) mattered.

Your process could be go to 1 meetup per week and meet 1 person from okc per week. Start slow, and get in the habit of chit chatting with people wherever you go. You likely won't make friends with them, but it's nice to pass the time and it helps you practice. Keep a log of your progress. It helps to see the activity you are doing to meet your goals.

Once you have found your friends, remember that they are like gardens and need to be fed--with communication. Texts, calls, facebook messages, whatever you like. But try to touch base with them on a weekly basis or so (if you don't see them every day or every week). You may need to keep track of your communications at first, if you are like I am and often drop off the planet for days to weeks at a time.

I've met many people, and only have about 3 solid friends, but several acquaintances. One of my acquaintances gave me a referral to a good mechanic, and got me a discount on some auto repairs. Another one sends me invites to her weekly group activities (it helps to make friends with people who are naturally planners and extroverted, they do a lot of the work of assembling people so you don't have to). I just moved in with 1 of the friends and she has many, many friends and she hosts and goes to contra dances where she is consistently interacting with a community of people. I go along sometimes, and reap the benefits of all of her socializing.

Good luck!
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:28 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Go back up to read the Kramus posting...
then, make a few historical architectural rubbings in your new town and post them here,
if you would, if you want. Thanks.

Isolating is a bitch. Be careful of too much self medicating so as not to compound the problem,
and read comedies. Really...Im doing it myself.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
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There's an old saying, "If you want to be interesting, be interested."

Ask people about themselves. They'll talk, you can listen and you'll get a reputation as a scintillating conversationalist.

Seriously. It works.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
still, wondering.
 
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Location: South Minneapolis, somewhere near the gorgeous gorge
Talk back to people. We like that, too.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
Upright
 
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Friends don't come to you. You get them.

I'm pretty sure you'll find a friend in time. You just have to be PATIENT. Most importantly be yourself. Don't even TRY to be "someone" else you aren't just to get friends. Basically, you really have to start from scratch. I had that experience too when I moved into a different college. Focus on making one friend at a time my dear..
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:15 AM   #21 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
 
I would admit that I do suffer from periods of depression, but it isnt all the time. I am not sure that there is any other way. Certainly when I look at my mother, on anti depressants, it doesnt seem to make her happy, just unable to cope without them. I dont want to be on some medication to change my mood or alter my feelings. I think I just accept sometime I get negative and angry and disengaged with everything.

On the weight thing, I think it is true that it knocks my self confidence a lot. Sometimes I dont care about how I look, other times I feel ashamed to walk into a room or for people to look at me. I guess that is something that is easier to do something about, but Ive been complaining about it for years.

I decided to do something about that side of things anyway. I wrote out a meal plan for a whole month and have just sort of told myself "just stick to this for one month, see if it makes a difference and if it does make a difference see if its worth it"... so far four days but if I go a month and lose 20 lbs or something, maybe I will start to feel better in myself, or at least have the motivation to lose enough weight to not feel like a fat vicious pig. Obvously I cant help having a big scar in the middle of my head. But maybe that isnt so bad. Harry Potter had one and it didnt hold him back.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:16 AM   #22 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
 
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Meal plans are awesome. I started doing that in college to save money and I've been doing it ever since. It's a great way to avoid eating junk when you get a craving.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:25 PM   #23 (permalink)
still, wondering.
 
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Location: South Minneapolis, somewhere near the gorgeous gorge
What is the "very big scar in the middle of (your) head" from? ...people refrain from innocent concern, sometimes, fearing the risk of sounding rude. Are you speaking figuratively? If not, don't you realise projected hostility from the gaze earns the same sort-of-profit as surely as a...lack of fear...of acceptance does? It seems to me, Strange, you live in an insular space. To make friends, you should leave it.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:21 PM   #24 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
 
A couple of years ago I was out drinking with some friends and a girl jumped on my back without me expecting it... end result was a night in hospital, a broken nose, one less tooth, and a big scar in the middle of my forehead.

In fairness to her she was pretty apologetic.
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hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain
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