Gransnet forums


How to find friendship

(34 Posts)
maurenmargret Thu 13-Sep-18 15:05:28

Hi I feel now family all grown up even grandchildren lead their own lives, I’m finipding it very difficult to make new friends even though I’m so friendly no one want to know, every one seem to get on with their lives, tyhere must be lots of people like me

DoraMarr Thu 13-Sep-18 15:26:14

Join U3A. You may not make friends at first, but you will meet people and have interesting things to do.

JudyJudy12 Thu 13-Sep-18 16:17:40

Never heard of U3A but now know there is one in my area that looks interesting.

Maurenmargret, I have found the only way to make new friends is to join something. Even if you do not have a great interest in the subject, craft groups are good as they are often just a group that get together for a natter and coffee as are some book groups. Volunteering in a residential home to chat to people that do not get visitors is another good one. Are you on Facebook? look for meetup in your area or start your own.

BlueBelle Thu 13-Sep-18 16:46:51

Judyjudy just a word of warning not all groups are like that I joined a craft group and stayed for quite some months but it was very cliquey lots of injokes and changing of chairs to be next to friends and after about four or five months even though they had been put out to have us sitting near different people I just left Don’t have too high expectations

crazyH Thu 13-Sep-18 17:30:29

Agree with Bluebelle......join a group, by all means, but don't expect lasting friendships. I belong to a Seniors group. Most of them join because they have friends in the group. They then form cliques. I have been in this group for 5 years. They are all lovely people and will pass the time of day with you, but that's as far as it goes. I have not made one "friend". But it's nice to go and have a general chit chat. Oh yes, we talk about our families etc and for those few hours each week, it's great ! Fortunately, I have a few friends outside of this group.
Mauren, what about your neighbours ? Can you not ask a few of them over for coffee?
All the best !!!

bluebirdwsm Thu 13-Sep-18 22:25:26

I have no idea. I have tried clubs...scrabble, badminton, support groups etc. and U3A for a few years and not made any friends despite me being friendly and people welcoming me into the groups. It's been civil and friendly, until time to go home when they disperse in their couples/groups.
Everyone seemed to know everyone and be in their cliques, fully content with the people and family already in their lives...and have friends they grew up with or worked with for years a lot of the time.
The friend I have had for years I met on an internet chat room and she moved to be in the same town 16 years ago so we can support each other.

annep Thu 13-Sep-18 22:42:50

I agree its difficult and I hate cliques.
I joined U3A but they are cliquey. People should more considerate and welcoming.
Classes are good for chats including groups in local library.
I find my art groups ( I'm a learner still after 3 years) are the best place to make friends. We often have cuppas and lunch together. But even so, making proper close friends who will come to your home and chat over coffee in the kitchen? Haven't managed it yet.
I think many people have a lot of commitments already in their lives.

Melanieeastanglia Fri 14-Sep-18 00:33:36

How about joining a Book Group?

Diana54 Fri 14-Sep-18 07:58:09

I know exactly what you mean "friends" are very difficult to come by and most of mine go back to school or college days. I also have a large extended family that mostly live closeby although we get on well enough and respect all the family sensitivities, they are relatives not "friends".

Acquaintances, that's different, people you meet regularly at the activities you go to, you chat, have a coffee but there is no real connection, they have their existing lives and an outsider finds it difficult to become close. Cliques at clubs or even work are difficult to break into, as a newcomer you just have to start your own group with other newcomers, it needs a proactive approach and of course an open mind because others don't have the same likes and dislikes as you.
I do have one good friend that I made maybe 15 years ago we are quite different, we disagree on politics, she is hard right, I'm soft left and have quite animated discussions but a good friend she remains.
Tip, avoid groups of 3 there is always a gooseberry and it might be you!.

My sister is a good example of no friends, she married (badly) and moved to Australia had a 2 nasty divorces, she now lives with a guy and has a part time job with meals on wheels. She has no friends at all that I can see, no relatives, her children dont speak to her, it's just the people she works with. A miserable life.

annep Fri 14-Sep-18 08:58:50

I do feel sorry for your sister Diana54.

Diana54 Fri 14-Sep-18 09:09:59

We all do, we asked her to come home but her response is "if you're broke and miserable at least youre warm"

annep Fri 14-Sep-18 10:04:31

Oh well..I'd rather be living here and happy. She must not be as unhappy as she seems.

lemongrove Fri 14-Sep-18 11:05:39

book groups are great, not too large a group works best, meet in each others houses and talk about the book [ then other things] and coffee and biscuits, it's very social.

WI is another good source to meet people, I have made quite a few friends that way over the years.

Also neighbours can become friends with a little effort on your part.

I have made a lovely circle of friends from Gransnet, a group of us meet up every month for a meal out, and I have met others less frequently [they are from more far flung places] but still a pleasure to meet, and many online GN friends as well. Good luck. smile

annep Fri 14-Sep-18 20:42:58

Thats so nice lemongrove - that you meet up with Gransnetters. You're obviously quite good at making friends. Some folk are better at it than others.

notanan2 Fri 14-Sep-18 21:01:40

Volunteering and clubs/hobbies are great for "company", for the duration of the session. I don't find they lead to actual friendships outside of said activity though.

Actually groups are problematic, I find it easier to progress friendships 1:1. In a friendship group you don't necessarily have true friends, you are valued for your role in the group dynamics and if that role changes (e.g. if you go from coupled to single or single to coupled, lose a lot of weight, get sick, get better, go tee-total etc) you can be resented for the knock on effect your life change has on the dynamics and meet-up habits of the group.

I find that I only really make "friends" when I spend time with people away from whatever group threw us together. Doing that is scary, its a bit like dating.

You probably already have plenty of acquaintances. Perhaps rather than following the usual advice (volunteering & hobbies) which puts you on square 1 with new acquaintances, see if you can deepen your friendship with the acquaintances you already have maybe?

annep Fri 14-Sep-18 21:43:30

It is scary Notanan. Some people are really shy. (me)

notanan2 Fri 14-Sep-18 21:48:30

Agree annep, that's why the usual online advice ("put yourself out there by taking a class, volunteering or joining a club") can be at best simplistic and at worst disheartening because you gotta start from zero, make NEW acquaintances and then try to progress them on to friendships.

Looking again at the people you already know, and taking steps to get to know them better, can sometimes be less daunting.

Often we don't see what's under our nose. Most of us know lots of people we just don't consider them friends (yet). It may seem more exciting to seek NEW people to make friends with but you can rekindle and deepen existing relationships too

annep Fri 14-Sep-18 23:33:51

I think you've got something there Notanan I already know some very nice people and I'm going to make more of an effort . thanks.

Bluegal Sat 15-Sep-18 18:36:39

maurenmargret You mention NEW friends? Do you have any long standing friends? Sometimes, like finding partners, it is just better to go about your days being 'interesting' not looking for anything in particular and friends/boyfriends graviate towards you.

It also depends on what you term as 'friends'. I know possibly hundreds of people but have only a few true friends.

When I moved to the area I moved to I knew nobody. My 'friends' lived miles away. Then I got my amazing dog. I started walking him and speaking to lots and lots of like minded people. Not saying they ALL became friends but they have become people I walk with, enjoy the day with etc.

All really depends what you want in a 'friend'.... true friendship to me is far and few between.

M0nica Sun 16-Sep-18 15:38:39

There is a really good article on this subject on p19 of the Observer supplement today. It is a nice analytical one with good hard advice. I am going to put it aside to read carefully later and then have a good think.

notanan2 Sun 16-Sep-18 16:22:14

What were the main points mOnica?

Telly Sun 16-Sep-18 16:26:41

A good way to meet new people is to get a dog! Alternatively the Cinnamon Trust organises dog walkers for people who can't walk theirs, because of health or age etc. Most people will stop and chat if you have one and I have met lots of people over the years with mine. Although there is the added advantage in that my dog loves people! When she was younger she would bounce along on two legs when someone approached! Even dog haters had to laugh!
If that's not your thing, then there are some excellent options to try here. I met a good and lasting friend through a forum who had a walking group page. The walking group became just us two in the end. But we have been friends for 10 years now.
Be open to new ideas, and has been said, keep your expectations on the low side. Good luck

notanan2 Sun 16-Sep-18 17:23:22

Meeting people and making "friends" is not at all the same thing.

Your life can be full of people you make small talk with and you can still be lonely and "friendless".

You can have lots of "company" and still lack friends.

Doggy acquaintances etc are nice. But IMO completely unrelated to making friends. Unless you somehow transition/progress them from doggy "hellos, how are yous" to something more, which is the part that most people find hard.

notanan2 Sun 16-Sep-18 17:31:26

In fact, sometimes the more acquaintances you have the lonelier you feel!

There's nothing quite like being surrounded by people to make you feel lonely sometimes. Especially if you have a lot of people around who may be pleasant to you but wouldnt be much bothered if you, say, changed your dog walking route and never saw them ever again, but nobody around who really cares.

Not that I don't value pleasant acquaintances, I really do, they make day to day life that little bit nicer. But you also need friends

Patsy70 Sun 16-Sep-18 18:07:11

I don't have lots of friends, but the few I have are very important to me, even though some of us only meet a couple of times a year. I met a lady about two years ago, just walking around my local garden centre, and we got into conversation. We found we had similar interests and exchanged phone numbers, and since then have met up regularly. I also started volunteering at a Barnardo's shop 3 years ago, and thoroughly enjoy my few hours there. The other volunteers, and many of the customers, are great fun and it's good to do something to help others. I'm also lucky enough to have a son and daughter, who live close by, so I see them and their families each week. I have 2 sisters, who I consider to be my best friends too, who live in Devon and Spain (I'm in Kent), but we speak on the phone each week and text one another in between, visiting for a few days at various times during the year. The U3A is something I might look into. There are lots of opportunities out there, it's just finding ones that are of interest to you. Good luck, and let us know how you get on.