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    I was never good at making friends. When I was a kid my mom used to say that friends come and go so there’s no reason to pursue friendships, to avoid disappointment. Therefore I was more into books and solo activities and I was very rarely given any money to go out and hang out with my school colleagues. So there’s the reason I don’t have any old friends.

    Now I’m in my thirties, I moved across the world and have happy life with my husband and many “friends” to go out or hike with. For the most part I feel lonely tho. I get easily overwhelmed with people, so I cherish my alone time but I have absolutely noone that would listen. We hang out in a bigger group quite often but drinks and weed(it’s legal here) is always involved so everybody is focused on “having good times”, not actual conversations. People tend to talk about themselves all the time and I’m always trying to be nice and considerate and ask “how are you?” and for me it’s a conversation starter, not just a convenance. I listen and pick up their train of thoughts yet I don’t feel like I’m getting the same in return. Mostly after trying to be social I’m just exhausted and disappointed. I’m in the same community for the last three years and can’t name one person I’d call to vent to.


    How to make friends? Real friends?


    Dear hatata:

    I was never good at making friends“- it’s understandable that you were never good (so far) at making friends because (1) Your mother discouraged you from making friends by telling you that “friends come and go so there’s no reason to pursue friendships, to avoid disappointment“, and by rarely giving you “any money to go out and hang out with.. school colleagues“,

    (2) You got into the habit, from an early age, to be “into books and solo activities“, meaning spending time alone. Habituated to spend time alone, you feel  “overwhelmed with people“.

    (3) The current friends you spend time with in a bigger group setting use weed, and  “everybody is focused on ‘having good times’, not actual conversations“- people using weed are not likely to be focused and clear-minded enough to have conversations. and you are interested in conversations.

    You ended your short original post with: “Mostly after trying to be social I’m just exhausted and disappointed. I’m in the same community for the last three years and can’t name one person I’d call to vent to“- it is interesting that your mother’s prediction that pursuing friendships will lead to disappointments came true.. only it came true because she habituated you to a life without friends (#1 and 2 above).

    How to make friends? Real friends?“- Seems to me that to make friends, you will need to start not in a big group, but in a small group, or better, in a 1- to- 1 context, not when smoking weed, and not spending too much time per visit with others, because you’ll need your alone-time to come down from the heightened stress involved in socializing.

    Over time, the intensity of the stress will lessen and you will become more comfortable conversing and socializing. What do you think about my suggestions?



    You grew up in an environment that did not have close friendship. and you think the grass is greener on the other side. So, you long for a friend that you imagine will be he perfect listener. Sorry, life isn’t fair and you are disappointed. Go read a book. “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie. You can get some understanding of the structure of some friendships. Now, you can expand your understanding by using what you have learned. Meet someone and talk. The toughest part may be finding someone who has similar interest or lives nearby.

    Personally, I have had friends. Close friends which have disappointed me. In high school, my best friend was gay. Although in those days it was not cool and everyone made it a miserable thing to be. Anyway, I go out to visit my girlfriend. My best friend at the time gets drunk and follows me to my girlfriend. He then proceeds to rip out the phone from the wall. I get in trouble and lose my girlfriend. Yeah, so it may have been nice to have a friend but …. Anyway, now 65 years old, I just do not wish to have close friends. I just hang with the wife and daughter. They have their friends and that is enough for me. I keep busy with my hobbies.

    How to make real friends? Well, that depends on the person you are trying to be friends with. It may be a person who gets close to you and helps you. Or it could turn out to be someone close who can ruin you. So, I wish you good luck and happiness.


    Dear Hatata

    I get that large social groups can be unfulfilling especially if they involve alcohol & weed.

    What are your hobbies & interests? That is the place where you will find people who you at least have one thing in common.

    Doing voluntary work is a good way to make deeper connections, do something for others or the environment can be very satisfying.

    I have casual acquaintances & casual friends  & a couple of friends with whom I have a strong heart connection most if not all do not come from my childhood.

    I wish you all the best in your search for good companions


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