December 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm #48063
Hi , I have a very difficult problem which pains me to no end and it is how do I meet healthy people and foster healthy relationships ? In the past few years I have been ridding myself of reams of toxic relationships , friendships and family some that I’ve had for decades . I have a job I love , few close friends and a furry family I hold very dear however I still feel alone a lot of the time . Even though I have many aquaintainces and loosely described friends what I am missing is those real close bonds that best friends share. I crave it. And I have tried everything : interest clubs , classes , online dating , meetup , book clubs, work . . . and much more . It couldn’t be harder . I have met many nut cases and that is the last thing I want . It seems they flock to me, especially the types with personality disorders that enjoy manipulating, controlling and reeking havoc in my simple , honest and quiet life.
Another thing I think that makes it hard for me to find decent friends is that I am a female in my 30’s , without children and single, an anomoly if you ask me. It’s difficult to bond with people you are different from.
Does anybody have any suggestions . It’s not really a matter of how to meet people , that is easy . But how do you meet quality people ??
Also how do I keep manipulators at bay ??December 31, 2013 at 4:56 pm #48082Lyla McLeanParticipant
It takes time to develop close bonds with anyone. Lots of time spent together sharing life experiences and finding out if yours and their values mesh in enough ways for your friendship to become closer. I’m a single woman without children in my late 60s and it isn’t any easier than it was earlier in life. I live to high standards myself and find that I expect too much of others. I’m trying to keep my standards high for myself but lowering them for other people. That being said, I have allowed a lot of toxicity in my life because that was my comfort zone. That’s what home was for me. I’ve only lived where i do for 5 years now and have pleasant acquaintances with some of my nieghbours.
I belong to a 12 Step group and have friendly relationships there too but nobody here that I truly love or who loves me. My closest friends all live far away and there isn’t any family either. I’ve had to be my own best friend, try out friendship with others but, frankly, I’m just not that good at it. I just ended a three year ” friendship” which went on too long. My friend was always putting me down, arguing with me over the dumbest things and showing jealousy at my successes. Who needs that? I’m a passionate activist for animals and another women I had been getting close to decided to treat herself to a lobster and cook it live. That was the end of that. Knowing she was capable of such cruelty I just don’t want to know her. That’s what I meant about having similar values.
I met a nice group of women when I was volunteering for the SPCA. Out of the three there are two that I feel could be good friends. One is caring and supportive, the other is a busy single mother back at school but there’s enough there to build on I feel. I’ve met my share of bad people, some very, very bad and I had to come to realize that I just don’t see the red flags. Another old friend told me it’s not that I don’t see them but I run right past them. I intend to be very cautious in the future. As for the manipulators, as soon as you recognize the behavior, just walk away. I’ve found that I don’t have to say anything. I’m just too busy to see anyone I don’t want to see..
I hope this has been of some use to you. It’s clarified things for myself. Let me know how you feel about what I’ve said.
All the very best in 2014, LylaDecember 31, 2013 at 9:01 pm #48087babylaughterParticipant
I’m 30, childless and single. I also find that some of my closest friends are VERY different from me: different religions, ages, locations, sexuality, generations, etc, etc…. It was hard to build these friendships because I had to make time for it. It is also hard to maintain these relationships because I have to make time for it. How do you know if someone will manipulate and use you? You don’t, for the most part. You trust each other and give it time. Time will tell. I wish there was an easier answer all of the time. I wish I had friends who shared more things in common with me sometimes… who lived closer to me, but I have who I have and I am thankful for each moment I get to spend to connect to whoever I can. I wish I had an easier answer, but perhaps it isn’t supposed to be easy because it makes us appreciate who we have in our lives more when we have to work to build a relationship.December 31, 2013 at 11:26 pm #48096
I think there are three kinds of “friends”.
1) The friends that aren’t really friend per se, more like close acquaintances, this is where I think most people are these days, they need constant taking care of, making time for etc… the kind of people that will forget you if you don’t talk to them for long enough. Unfortunately I think today this is what is considered a “friend” in general. They’ll also be fine with manipulating you because they don’t really feel like they have any special connection, just someone you go out drinking with is every Sunday is NOT friendship.
2) Real friends that are always happy to go out and do something with you because they actually like you as a person, not because of the amount of time spent together, it’s based more on how open you are with each other. Friends that you have an intimacy with because they know they can talk to you about anything and you can talk to them about anything, it’s a friendship with mutual trust and openness. If you’re afraid of opening up, or the other person isn’t particularly open or doesn’t feel like they particularly connect with you then it’s just not going to happen. On the other hand you can make these kinds of friends in 10 minutes or 10 months (some people simply take longer) but the point is some people you just “click” with. If you both hear the click in the first 5 minutes of a conversation then you’re already friends, sometimes you just know.
and finally 3) True friendship that’s closer to brother/sister feelings or love, they’re the people who you have gone through a lot with together, you’ve adventured together into the unknown and came out of it together. This is that person you meet on an uninhabited island and survived through trust and teamwork, or you’ve just had to walk home for 6 hours and both your legs are sore and they’re the only other person to talk to. Point is these are the people you’ve shared experiences and struggles with. It doesn’t matter if you talk to them every day or you don’t see them for 30 years, next time you see them you’ll still be the best kinds of friends. This is also I suppose the hardest bond to form because you have to actually go have an adventure of some kind.
So how to make an amazing friend? Find someone you click with and then go on an adventure together. =]December 31, 2013 at 11:40 pm #48097
PS: True friendship can be as difficult to find as true love. It’s quality over quantity and it’s a two way street. Real friendship doesn’t mean that you can just put goodness into somebody and they’ll give back friendship. It’s about having an intimate connection.January 1, 2014 at 7:14 pm #48145
Thanks for the input , interesting yet doesn’t really answer my question . I know precisely what a friend is and isn’t . I meant more like where ??? Unconventional places because I’ve tried a lot of places .
I am slowly making new friends , that is the good thing . And learning so much about myself in the process – tough stuff .
I don’t want crap friends , I want real connections with people that are like-minded . I don’t want to travel the globe to do this lol . I would if I had the money though 😉January 2, 2014 at 10:01 am #48181
Recently I have been reconnecting with people that were there all along and making stronger connections with them, this seems to be working . I guess through patience and time things will happen . These past holidays were actually pretty good but I had to work at it and overcome some limiting beliefs .
I have also had to stand up to a controlling person which was not easy but a positive outcome was achieved .
No matter how open-minded we think we are a lot of us (I suspect) have some ruts in the way we think . I know I do. I am also learning some very valuable lessons relationship and business-wise (I was having a problem mixing the 2).
Thank-you for all your input , I liked what you said . It’s not an easy road for sure and no there are no easy answers !!!! 🙂 🙂January 3, 2014 at 3:32 am #48227
Sounds like you’re having fun. =]
I don’t think it’s necessarily patience and time (although that plays into it) as much as being okay with taking chances. Like I said before some things just happen in 5 minutes, some things in 5 years. Neither is necessarily better or worse in my opinion.
Also consider giving people a go that you might not have even realised are there, or just wouldn’t normally. Like that one quiet person in the background everyone ignores, you might find out they’re actually very interesting, just not as socially dominating as others or if you keep hanging around business types why not go talk to some artists, or vice versa.
You might also find certain groups of people have similar ideas to friendship as you, that makes it easier to click with them. For example business people might be good socially but cold to the notion of actually being friends with anyone whereas creative types like forming stronger bonds. Just stereotyping here but you know what I mean. 😉January 3, 2014 at 10:17 am #48267
My business is a creative one and since I am an artist myself I’ve had more than my fair share of artist friends. I’ve been betrayed by these close , long standing artist friends so if anything I am weary of ‘creative types’. That is why I am in this situation to begin with !!
However I get what you are saying about the quiet ones in the background . I think they may also be the less controlling ones too. I am sick of dominance . No one should be dominating anyone . Furthermore a friend should be someone you can relax with and be open with . And a friend , especially a good one , should be accessible . There is no excuse why an unemployed supposed good friend of yours can’t return your phone calls, emails etc or be there for you . It is truly about accessibility .
And to go further , real friends are NOT jealous of your successes hence why I am in this situation in the first place.
Real friends support you and are simply there for you and are not hiding from you because they are seething with jealousy .
That is why I am in a situation of trying to find ‘healthy’ people for friendship. I use to have a ton of friends.
And lastly , it’s about life changes . You need to find people in one way or another you mesh with . My old friends were trying desperately to hold me back . And they didn’t succeed !!!January 4, 2014 at 10:29 pm #48398
Well sometimes people just don’t feel like talking but yeah I agree with all of this. Creative careers can also be very competitive and stressful so jealousy is kind of understandable, but even then it shouldn’t stop you from being a decent human being, shouldn’t control you. Maybe they’ll understand that later on.January 4, 2014 at 10:48 pm #48400
PS: Can always chat with me, I’m happy to make new friends. 😉January 10, 2014 at 2:08 am #48849David BedermanParticipant
B.Bells, you sound like a kind and caring person. It’s not uncommon though to fall pray to manipulators, you certainly aren’t alone.
the most useful advice i can give is based on what I discovered personally; it’s that when I’m unsure of myself, i tend to look for security in the clarity of others. If I’m not sure what to do, well, it’s safe to be around someone who is.
What i’ve discovered though is that this behavior usually comes from a lack of beleif in myself. Working on building unshakable confidence and self-esteem will change the entire energy you radiate to the world. you won’t need to “keep” anyone at bay because you’ll stop “attracting” those kind of people into your life.
A great first step to building more self-esteem is to accept when you’ve made a mistake and not get angry at yourself for doing it. Instead, give yourself the freedom to be human and let go of your mistakes accept yourself wholeheartedly.
Next, spend some time imagining yourself doing things that are outside of your comfort zone, things you might be afraid or self-conscious of doing. Even just imagining yourself doing them builds self-esteem, but actually starting to do new some of them in real life will change how you see yourself.
I beelvie that everything starts with self-esteem and I think you’ll be amazed at the new people you meet once you discover a little more of how awesome and how amazing you are.
Tremendous success to you! You deserve to be surrounded by amazing people!!