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Having a hard time making friends

Discussion in 'MILLENNIALS (1981 to 1998)' started by JBH, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. JBH

    JBH New Member

    9
    +18
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    Hey all. Figured I'd post in here about a struggle I am facing.

    At some point, I decided that I really wanted to improve my life. I became aware of the idea of proximity, or as Jim Rohn puts it: "You are the average of the people you spend the most time with." Well, I decided that I wanted to cut out all of my toxic relationships. But it turns out that pretty much all of my friendships were toxic and detrimental to my growth as a person.

    So now I am in a position where I pretty much have no friends. I can't think of anyone I can go to or that I desire to spend time with, and this feeling is killing me.

    As an introvert, I really am not interested in superficial/shallow friendships. I want something deep, meaningful, someone I can grow with, and therefore, I am not particularly interested in investing in friendships with non-Christians. But what I have found is that just about every Christian I meet is really extroverted, and so I feel drained when I am around them because there is endless small talk. If I have common interests that allow me to connect on a shallower level, I become more extroverted. But Christians I meet tend to not have the same interests as me (video games, anime, and other nerdy things).

    I recognize that I have an easier time making friends when I am able to connect on a shallower level that is about common interests rather than common values. But not only are the people who like the same interests as me non-Christian, many of them actively HATE Christians because they have had bad experiences in the past.

    I have tried to find young adult groups at churches near me, but because of my work schedule, I cannot attend any of them.

    I don't know... I'm just in a spot where I am feeling overwhelmingly lonely, and unable to find anyone who I connect with in terms of both interests and values.

    Any suggestions?
     
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  2. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother? Supporter

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    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
  3. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

    +880
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    Dear one,
    Have you considered when you are suffering that you are being tested ?

    Are you suffering for what is wrong or what is right when in your relationship? If you are suffering for what is right, you are suffering for Christ’s sake.
    So bear all things in union with Christ.
    Trust the Lord in His leading you to develop new friends. Go, seek new friends and pray that the Holy Spirit leads you in this new relationship. And whatever may come, seek His guidance.

    Don’t concern yourself with yourself but concern yourself with the love of Christ that fills your heart through His Holy Spirit.

    When you are filled with His abundant love, you know well that you are not alone but the Lord is the best friend a man can ask.

    Dear one, desire the Lord’s promises, that He prepared for you, then you will live in His values. Trust in the values that the Lord labor to form in you and just believe that His values will attract many friends to you. How? Just believe the Lord helps you. Just as through many generations, many develop personal friendships with the Lord, so we can.

    For we heard:
    Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! -Psalms 31:19

    May His grace be with your spirit. To God be the glory. Amen
     
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  4. ☦Andreana☦

    ☦Andreana☦ New Member

    17
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    I feel you also I've been with a long time without friends.
    Maybe It's more of a self-discovery where you will learn to grow more in your own skin.
    Well at least that's what I've noticed in myself.
    better to leave the toxic people behind in my opinion. I also get what you mean by surface level and it's a hard thing to find also what I've noticed.
     
  5. Cormack

    Cormack “I bet you're a real hulk on the internet...”

    +1,187
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    That’s so funny. I know it’s no laughing matter and struggling with meaningful friendships is hard, maybe I find it funny because it’s something I’ve experienced too. Taking stock is an enlightening experience.

    I think the best advice is the same advice I give to men who are looking to date, just put yourself out there more.

    Not all the time, because you’re an introvert, but when you’re out of a low cycle, when you’re more up for people, just put yourself out there.

    Be it online or in person or whatever feels easiest.

    Also you’d be surprised how many people actually share your interest in anime, video games, crafts, movies, especially everyone under 40.

    Maybe people in the church keep it to themselves until someone else breaks the ice.

    I mean, I loved reading Berserk, would still be reading it if the releases were more frequent, but if I insisted on writing about that on a message board like CF, I wouldn’t have to wait long for someone to condemn my taste in drawings as satanic or evil or pagan or whatever (add infinity.)

    People who geek out tend to hate believers because they hear a lot of who shot John around us, lots of gossip. :tearsofjoy: Christians tend to dislike geek culture because we are high minded and a bit snobbish.

    Still, I’m rambling. Just try and be more visible to certain people you meet, people who are patient and thoughtful and who enjoy your hobbies, or at least people who won’t trash your hobbies.
     
  6. Cormack

    Cormack “I bet you're a real hulk on the internet...”

    +1,187
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    You seem kind of trapped between two worlds. One is of values and meaning (Christianity,) the other is a world of passion and joy (your hobbies.)

    They both contain very different people. Most groups will try and tell you to bump the other group out of your life, the geeks will want you to dump your “hateful” Christianity, and the Christians will want you to focus more on the big things of God, to drop the silly little games and things.

    I think the games and play enliven our lives, while the faith helps us to connect with something deeper and special. They help people express their whole personality.
     
  7. Sodafox

    Sodafox Member

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    I know it's been awhile since you posted this so I hope you're still around. Even if you're not then hopefully this helps others, too.

    I'm not Christian anymore so I probably don't understand the scope of what you're going through, but didn't Jesus tell us to love our neighbors as ourselves? In that sense, I don't think you should write off non-Christians right off the bat. Or, that is to say, I never delve into religion or politics until I REALLY know someone, so you could be writing off perfectly awesome people based on an unknown factor. For example, just because I'm not a Christian doesn't mean I don't hold those values and aren't willing to discuss them in a civilized manner. That said, if you asked me casually, I would tell you I'm just agnostic.

    All that said, do you crave in-person relationships? Personally, I'm happy with the few online friendships that I've made. That said, I think I got married early for our generation (24) so I've always had my best friend by my side through everything, and that can make the difference too.
     
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  8. Cormack

    Cormack “I bet you're a real hulk on the internet...”

    +1,187
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    Our ability to empathise is very strong, it’s cool and useful and is like a vacation from who you are. I think you could understand the scope of what they’re going through, since everyone craves a type of relationship at some point in their life.

    It might not be romantic or friendly or Christian or metal or urban or whatever, it’ll be human though.

    Slightly off topic but yesterday I watched a documentary on a silent movie titled “the birth of a nation.” The original movie was a romanticisation of the KKK and their purpose in the early years of their formation, so yeah, mainstream stuff, I’m sure everybody watched it. :tearsofjoy:

    Point being that lots of people today might chide others for not being able to identify with their “lived experience,” still, I’m not sure anyone has to identify with their specific lives or struggles in order to have fellow feeling and sympathise in a broad way.

    So I think you as a non Christian can have a strong sense of fellow feeling towards the Christian TC, just so long as you’ve felt any kind of frustration at trying to find friends or a good relationship in the past. It’s a broad thing, that frustration. Same goes for being torn between groups that refuse to understand each other.

    The black characters who were parodied and painted so negatively in the birth of a nation are no less the villains of the piece than Christians were the villain in the Panos Cosmatos‘ film Mandy, yet one group was mocked based upon their race while another was insulted based upon their worldview.

    In Mandy “Christian” hippies are the murderers and the cultists, it’s no matter to the hurt our hearts feel that this representation doesn’t ring true or isn’t reflective of 99% of Christians who have ever lived. The damage was done and the negative association is now out there.

    In the same way, when the newly elected black congressman are eating fried chicken and resting their bare feet on tables in the birth of a nation, that’s a knife to the heart of everyone of gentle sensibilities who’s watching, not necessarily because it’s an insult against blackness, but rather because it’s an insult and a slander based upon race used against good men and women who never acted in that boorish way.

    Their race was weaponised against them and we see that as wrong, it’s an arrow to our souls in some abstract way. In the same way that Christian symbols like the cross are trotted out for every horror movie (as though it’s a thing to fear,) and anime fans are touted as being all male figurine collectors. It’s not true and even without the shared hobby we feel for the hurt that’s being caused due to the lie.

    Same, but the real reason we don’t feel safe to jump straight into the topic is because many people have been socialised in a way that religion and politics triggers them. There’s nothing innately scary about the subject and when we know people are cool we can discuss literally anything with them.

    As a result of social trauma (more likely endless negative media,) many people don’t have a gentle spirit towards two topics that are so relevant to being human, namely politics and religion, none of us can talk long to people who aren’t charitable or gentle or willing to yield.

    @JBH really just needs to find those gentle souls and never let go. :tearsofjoy: Good friends are friends for life, you only need to find them once.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2021
  9. Cormack

    Cormack “I bet you're a real hulk on the internet...”

    +1,187
    United Kingdom
    Baptist
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    Our brains are still forming until around 25 years old, even 30 by some reckonings, so I think that says it all! :eyes: Still, maybe getting marriage younger helps maturity, it’s probably a great idea for some couples.
     
  10. Sodafox

    Sodafox Member

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    I'm not sure it helps maturity but I've always been considered "mature" for my age which might be why I wanted to get married young.

    This is probably to your point but I'm noticing a lot, from the female perspective anyway, that women these days want "Mr. Perfect" or the finished product rather than finding someone whose flaws compliment their own and growing together with that person. (Ex: I'm a fast track workaholic so I get things done quickly, where my husband is more relaxed and "work smarter not harder" mentality. I light the fire and he keeps me grounded)

    I'm curious how the two mentalities will shake out in the coming decades (growing yourself first and marrying the "finished product" later in life vs marrying young and growing together)
     
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  11. Cormack

    Cormack “I bet you're a real hulk on the internet...”

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    Why ran a marathon when she can wait at the finish line eh?

    Of course that leads into terrible things like poaching another woman’s man or being unprepared to put in the hours needed to grow ourselves and become a more eligible prospect for the opposite sex.

    It accounts for a lot of animosity between women. I think the saying goes “single women keep women single.” There’s a lot of social sabotage going on when two people have similar desires.

    Oh brain storm! :thoughtballoon: We could even turn the burden on ourselves and ask (in terms of friendship) how eligible am I? Maybe in a perfect world friendship would be unconditional, innocent and based off the simple joy of the other person, but that rarely happens.

    What it really takes is good humour, intelligence, confidence, and a whole host of other social skills we’d bore people to tears listing. It takes strength and bravery for lots of people to break through.

    I like the saying that goes something like “you’re the whole of the 5 people you send the most time with.” I’m wrecking that quote, but everybody gets the point.

    Seeking friendship really involves cultivating qualities you admire from people who have them, becoming a better person by way of those 5 people we spend the most time with. It explains a lot of Christianity really, wanting to be more Christlike.

    See in my experience that only drives people crazy. :tongue: Like the odd couple movies. You get one clean person with a messy person, and the messy one isn’t like a caricature, you do wash up the dishes and fold the laundry or whatever, they just do it an hour or two slower than their partner would like. That seems like no big deal, until we notice that he does everything slightly slower and their partner is having to accept this style in a million new ways everyday.

    So you’ve got Mr. Messy who thinks he’s being pressured by an uptight (say no more, :tearsofjoy:) and you’ve got the newly crowned misses uptight wondering when her lazy bob of a husband is going to pick up his dirty socks from the floor!

    You’re defo on the more romantic side of things. High school sweetheart, first love, name the cliche it’s something people really do want more of. I mean women say they desperately want that kind of story.

    Just from my own friendship circle I know that situation comes with all new challenges and private downsides I don’t need to bang on about here, but it’s definitely worth pursuing to the fullest.
     
  12. Sodafox

    Sodafox Member

    204
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    Agnostic
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    While stuff like this still does sometimes cause minor arguments (ex: I've been working all day and he had the whole day off and the kitchen is a mess so I need to also clean it before I can start dinner) it's a rare occurrence. We dated and lived together for several years before getting married so I knew this was his lifestyle. The nice thing is, if I don't feel like cleaning on a weekend or something, he doesn't complain about the state of the house either. I have known people who don't want to clean themselves but also demand a cleaned space and that's completely unacceptable to me.
     
  13. ReflectionsByTheWater

    ReflectionsByTheWater New Member

    16
    +25
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Single
    I feel you man. I've struggled with having friends my entire life. The only words of comfort I would have would be to remember that the tides ebb and flow. Things change over time and if you have faith in the Lord and let Him be the Lord of your life He will bless you exceedingly, abundantly and beyond all you could ask or think. But even still there is a lot of inward growth to be had if you can learn to become more comfortable and at peace with being alone.
     
  14. Joined2krist

    Joined2krist Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

    +1,626
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    If you like animals, having one as a pet could help fill that void you feel.
     
  15. Petrichor92

    Petrichor92 New Member

    4
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    United States
    Christian
    Married
    This may not be of much comfort, but you are not alone in this. I've always struggled with making friends. I'm an introvert as well, and tend to have more obscure interests. I made a few really wonderful, deep friendships in college and at my college church, but have since moved. I keep in touch with those friends, but it isn't the same as it was back in "the good old days." I often see a lot of people around me with large friend groups, getting together regularly and having a good time. I feel like I'm missing out. I also tend to have low self-esteem and look at groups like that and assume there's something wrong with me for not being a part of it...

    The truth? I prefer quieter nights of board games or long conversation to nights out at the club. It's often harder to find those people, because they tend to be quieter anyway. I also generally think I was not well-prepared for the reality of adulthood, that you often have fewer friends and don't see them as often. I am trying to see it as an opportunity to grow in my self-esteem and identity. While it is great to distance yourself from toxic people and try to surround yourself with very like-minded individuals, I want to challenge you to not count people out if they are not exactly like you. There is still so much to learn from people who are different from us! I say this because I struggle with it as well; it is ok to have different kinds of friendships. My instinct is just to try and find people I can be very deep with and only befriend people like that. We need all kinds of friends!

    If I could sum it up for you in two ways: take this time to grow in yourself and be comfortable with who you are (that will attract like-minded people), and also keep your expectations in check and leave the door open for people who are not 100% like you. You never know what will come of it.

    I'll be praying for you!
     
  16. obscura

    obscura New Member

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    Well, if you're ever around, or if you're even interested in having an online friend, I'm available to talk. I'm into many nerdy things, and I won't judge. I'm also an introvert, myself.
     
  17. Veteran1990

    Veteran1990 Member

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    If you are overly critical of people you won't have any friends and be overly critical of yourself.

    My suggestion would be to, stop trying to think people are the key to your success or failure. Find people who care about you and are not money obsessed and you might live a different life than 100% of people in america.
     
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