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jimloveslips 5th October 2017 1:10 PM

Need a friend
I have some issues I'm trying to resolve and my therapist recommended finding a friend to chat with about nonsense and other trivia.
I am NOT a gregarious person, I like my own company.
I am pathetic at small talk - I think I do all the right things by directing questions to the person so that they can rattle on about themselves, but inevitably there's a break and I don't know how to fill that void. (I'm guessing they don't because they find it boring...?)
I can talk about film/tv/music but frankly they are such overused back-ups that I bore myself.
She says, join a club, well a few months ago I did, a walking group. The first meet was a short walk of eight miles of so (nine people) - I said hello when I arrived, and goodbye when I left, everyone else were in there little cliques the whole time, even when we stopped for a snack break I got in difference, or short monosyllabic answers.
My wife thinks I'm very funny, she's always cracking up over my comments and the rest of my family, when they have a question that needs resolving, they always come to me.
So why the hell can't I interact with other humans?

d0nnivain 5th October 2017 1:26 PM

Part of it is practice. Part of it is showing up a few more times. If you managed to find a wife, you must have some ability to talk to others. Consider joining a service organization like the Elks, the Moose, the Lions or the Kiwanis. Volunteer somewhere doing something you enjoy. Then you will have that activity in common.

snowboy91 5th October 2017 11:05 PM

Despite having similar interests with people, I've found there are just some people that you will just always be out of sync with no matter what you do (in your case, your walking group). And there are people that you just click with right away that completely get you and your sense of humour (in your case, your wife). And the only way to find that out is to meet more people so find more clubs/organisations and give them a go!

iVisa 7th October 2017 3:46 PM

Try. It's only practice. It's easier when you have something in common with this person, but you could learn make a small talk with everybody. Say something about weather, job, events in town and new shops.

preraph 8th October 2017 1:32 PM

Find an active physical hobby. Doesn't have to be sports but something where you're out amongst people doing it, golf, walking the dog, hiking, going to music gigs, anything that you enjoy that puts you around people and especially ones you might see over and over again to become friends with. People friend up with people they have interests in common with. Join a meetup specific to that activity. I joined a paranormal group once, for instance, that had monthly meetings and went out on investigations. The goal is to see the same people often enough to have a chance at forming a friendship. Likewise, church works for some if they will volunteer and help out and put themselves in a leadership position. Volunteering at anything can be fulfilling even if you don't make a lifelong friend from it, which you might. People appreciate you.

Go to community meetings and functions. It can be awkward, even for me, but usually there are some designated neighborhood leaders who will make a point of talking to everyone who comes for a few minutes and introduce them around a little. Be visible in your community by attending those type things. Get on which is a forum for your neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods and post something friendly once in a while. Participate. This week my police had a fundraiser cookout at the substation for 3 wounded. I went to that and it was my second time seeing one female officer I'd met prior at a retail place, so she is a potential friend in progress. If you live in an apartment, it's especially good to attend the meetings the police have for the apartments. You meet other good people who live right where you do and they do those regularly because crime is higher in apartments. You get the idea. Get involved and volunteer. I guess everyone is different but I was shy if I didn't have a reason to be somewhere, but once I was doing it for my job or in a volunteer capacity, that gave me a reason to approach people because I had a reason to. Hope you see what I mean.

BaileyB 8th October 2017 3:49 PM

You are a classic introvert - you enjoy your own company, would rather have meaningful interactions with a small number of people, and you find "small talk" to be difficult and pointless. You are exactly like my boyfriend.

He belongs to a lodge group. They have meetings once a month and they focus on education (there is a different speaker every month) and service. Just a thought... Perhaps, you would find it easier to connect with other men in a similar setting.

I have no difficulty talking with people but I find it hard to walk up to someone I don't know at a class or sporting activity and start a conversation. I too, so much better in a more structured setting with a purpose.

You are not alone... It is difficult to make friends as an adult, particularly meaningful friendships. Good for you for trying...

ayoung73 9th October 2017 6:57 PM

Feign interest, smile as you’re doing it, fake it and connect with another person. Find the least objectionable topic, feature, attribute, or characteristic and compliment the person or elaborate upon the subject, ask a question etc. Make it about them, but you have to appear interested, it may be boring or whatever, but the vibe you’re probably giving off is ‘leave me alone or I could care less.’ Has your therapist suggested any type of group therapy? It might be beneficial, what about when you interact with your wife in a group setting, party etc.? What about work, same type of response?

Some of the other posters have some great ideas as well! It takes practice, hang in there, obviously it isn’t easy but if you continue to practice connecting it will become second nature and you might lessen the ‘vibe.’

darkmoon 9th October 2017 7:31 PM

you have a happy family life - do you know some ppl wish they had that? why fret when you have a happy home?

mortensorchid 16th October 2017 9:14 PM

Friendship is a hard thing to have with others. I realize this more as I get older because we all change and go through so much, and others do not go at the same rates or have the same things to relate to.

That being said, if you want to make good friends, you have to keep trying different avenues and venues in order to do so. Be happy with what you have and don't take others for granted. You don't always click with all the people around you. I think today people are very critical of others. Contrary to popular believe, we are not being taught tolerance rather we are being taught intolerance. If it's not perfect it will change, it's all about me, etc. This is key to any long term relationship - be it dating, family, friends, marriage, sibling, parent/child, even working relationships. You will make mistakes. And sometimes you will make a bad friend, and you have to just let it be with them. Maybe they will see the error of their ways someday, and if not understand that this will be a pattern they go through all their lives with people.

The key to success with people in general is that you have to keep trying. There are a lot of little things about people that can bug you, I'm sure there are things about you that bother them that they aren't telling you. You have to want to stay together (as friends, as husband/wife, as a family, etc.), and laugh as much as you can with and at each other.

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