Ideas For Making New Friends

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
I am looking for ideas on how to meet new people so I can make new friends.

Right now I don’t really have any friends and I haven’t really had any in years. One woman was interesting being my friend but she wanted daily contact and that was just too much for me to handle, not just because of PTSD, but because sometimes I’m just too busy.

I broke things off with my ex in September so I haven’t had his company (even though it was a bad situation, it was still human contact).

I have my mom, but I’m somewhat estranged from the rest of my family.

I have regular contact with others in the community and through my work, but they are just acquaintances I’m friendly with. I mention this as to say I’m not completely isolated from all human contact, rather I just don’t have anyone whom is consider a friend.

And no I don’t want to date, lol. My therapist has suggested I try online dating but with the advent of the app, that activity has taken a nosedive in terms of being able to meet a quality someone, well not like it was awesomely to begin with, but you get my point. At least before, more people read profiles. Now it’s just look at a picture and swipe. But, I digress.

So yeah, I need to make new friends.
 
I hear the same thing from my daughter about dating apps and how frustrating it can be. She's given up and has met her close friends through a Unitarian Universalist spirituality group.

Speaking for myself, it's on my list to try Meetup to meet some new people and see if anyone really clicks. I find that it's hard for me to make friends at work. I'm a supervisor and don't really seem to match well with a lot of my peers. I get along best with some of the people that I manage, but it's not a good idea for me to be too close to people I manage!
 
total empathy, eve. just before the global shutdown, i started my second parenting career in an area where i had never lived before. nearly three years later i often find myself wondering if real time friendship is still legal. does "virtual" still mean, "almost?"

the demands of that second parenting career sure are taking a toll on my 68 year old bones. finding the time and/or energy for adult social events is somewhere between difficult and impossible. friendly seems to be the best i can do and i am beginning to wonder if just being friendly is plenty.

itsy bitsy baby steps.
 
I'm in the same boat, @EveHarrington. My mom is the only real friend I had until recently. I used to have friends, but they all died (young...I'm 61, and most died more than 10 years ago). I'm also estranged, for the most part, from my famifly. I started thinking I really needed to find a community--my mom is 88, and when she's gone, I'll have no one. That terrifies me.

I don't do friends very well. I ended up joining a local Unitarian Universalist church, and I'm now the leader of their pagan group. I HATE churches, but what I like about the UU is that you can believe (or don't believe) whatever you want, and you are welcome. You can also *be* however you are. That was important to me. It has issues like any other church, but it's been the only community I've fit in so far. And friends? I've made two very good ones just over the last several months. I thought we were just acquaintences (I have many in the church), but just in the last month I've come to realize (because they told me!) that I was important to them.

I signed up for meetup, but even thinking about going and meeting a bunch of people I didn't know freaked me out. I realized, I think, I needed people in community more than I needed a friend here and there. I didn't understand the difference until just now (so thanks for bringing this up!)--and what I discovered was that it was possible to make real friends in this community. Does that make sense? This is all *very* new to me, but I wanted to share my own experience.

I hope you can find a community and/or people that you can grow in friendship with. It's so important!
 
My single best trick… above and beyond anything else… is having somewhere to invite people TO in my back pocket. So that when I do meet someone interesting, I have a relaxed & easy way to get to know someone better.

It doesn’t really matter where/what.

It could be the classic tells you little to nothing about me ‘Wanna grab a drink…’ (coffee shop, bar/pub), ‘meet for lunch’

… or an activity

- that I participate in regularly enough it doesn’t matter what their schedule is as I’m giving them a window into my schedule (Hey! I do the loop around the lake most mornings, take an XYZ class on ABC days, go to this daily/weekly/monthly thing… wanna come with?),
- or am open to going on their schedule (Do you _______? Wanna go today/this week/sometime soon?)
- or a special event (So&So is playing at the wheresit / whosit is having an exhibition at location / I’ve been meaning to do this seasonal thing -rent kayaks to pick blackberries, go to a glass studio to blow a Christmas ornament,

I didn’t even realize how much of a trick that was until staying at my parents during Covid. There was simply nowhere to GO. I kept meeting interesting people, but didn’t have any way to connect with them. Drove me crazy. Even when I was homeless I had fun things to go do / invite others along with. Vexing.

***

My second best trick, which before Covid I’d have placed at #1? Is do fun stuff. 😁 Both because that’s an immediate point of commonality right then & there, and it’s a win/win. Because even if I don’t meet anyone I’d like to know better? I’m still doing something fun!

^^^Which takes making new friends OFF the front burner, and moves it to the back. So any sub current of desperation? That pushes people away faster than being on fire, or not bathing? Nixed.

It also lets me really take people where they’re at / see who they are a helluva lot clearer, by taking the pressure off. As these people may be people I never see anywhere but XYZ (fun thing/place we both do). And that’s okay! I can enjoy them, for who they are, rather than be upset by them not being more. Most people? Will be exactly that. Some people? I may start doing other things with, outside of that point of commonality… and those are the people who MAY eventually become friends I see in all kinds of circumstance.
 
I am looking for ideas on how to meet new people so I can make new friends.

Right now I don’t really have any friends and I haven’t really had any in years. One woman was interesting being my friend but she wanted daily contact and that was just too much for me to handle, not just because of PTSD, but because sometimes I’m just too busy.

I broke things off with my ex in September so I haven’t had his company (even though it was a bad situation, it was still human contact).

I have my mom, but I’m somewhat estranged from the rest of my family.

I have regular contact with others in the community and through my work, but they are just acquaintances I’m friendly with. I mention this as to say I’m not completely isolated from all human contact, rather I just don’t have anyone whom is consider a friend.

And no I don’t want to date, lol. My therapist has suggested I try online dating but with the advent of the app, that activity has taken a nosedive in terms of being able to meet a quality someone, well not like it was awesomely to begin with, but you get my point. At least before, more people read profiles. Now it’s just look at a picture and swipe. But, I digress.

So yeah, I need to make new friends.
Could you think about interests you have or something you'd like to do and start there? Go into a larger group for a shared activity where there's no pressure to make friends straight away but gradually get to know people? E.g a walking group, choir, art group, music of some kind, photography, a sport? You get the gist!
 
I think you've mentioned doing volunteering before (it might have been helping with meals at xmas?). I love volunteering for making friends, because people are generally in a good frame of mind when they're doing volunteering. My hot tip is that animal-based volunteering tends to attract the younger crowds, because there can be a lot of retirees in certain volunteering roles!

I like it because the nature of the activity is that you always have plenty of common ground to talk about, and nature of it tends to bring a less-judgmental social environment.

Not all volunteering roles are created equal in terms of making social connections, but it's worth hunting around. For me, it helps with my self concept to be doing volunteer work, which is one of the reasons I'll probably be doing volunteer work in some capacity for my entire life.

I really loved volunteering at a nearby animal shelter, and when I lower my work hours, I'm going to do a course on looking after native wildlife so that I can do that. By far the best volunteer gig I ever did though was working at a koala hospital. I volunteered at a disability horse riding school which came a close second, but that was too social for me!
 
I think you've mentioned doing volunteering before (it might have been helping with meals at xmas?). I love volunteering for making friends, because people are generally in a good frame of mind when they're doing volunteering. My hot tip is that animal-based volunteering tends to attract the younger crowds, because there can be a lot of retirees in certain volunteering roles!

I like it because the nature of the activity is that you always have plenty of common ground to talk about, and nature of it tends to bring a less-judgmental social environment.

Not all volunteering roles are created equal in terms of making social connections, but it's worth hunting around. For me, it helps with my self concept to be doing volunteer work, which is one of the reasons I'll probably be doing volunteer work in some capacity for my entire life.

I really loved volunteering at a nearby animal shelter, and when I lower my work hours, I'm going to do a course on looking after native wildlife so that I can do that. By far the best volunteer gig I ever did though was working at a koala hospital. I volunteered at a disability horse riding school which came a close second, but that was too social for me!


So many of the volunteer positions require applications and references. I don’t have references so it’s difficult for me to volunteer. Delivering meals was just a show up kind of thing that anyone could do. The regular stuff requires that you have qualifications, so that’s why I gave up on trying to volunteer. I don’t have the necessary requirements.
 
i Second groups.
is there a sport you like that has a group? Running is always friendly, and all levels Of ability.
book club?
evening classes in something?
I take lots of dance / workout classes and it's a great place to meet good people. Even if I only see them at the studio. Although some have branched out beyond into regular outings. It's saved my life.
 
It was suggested that I try Meetup for access to do things with like-minded people. It might be good advice, it might work for you. I don't see anything useful for me on there, but there are a wide range of opportunities and maybe the advice I paid for will land on someone able to get benefit from it if I pass it on. Good luck.
 
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