Making real friends

by choosing life 31 Replies latest jw friends

  • choosing life
    choosing life

    I have been away from the meetings for about a year now. I recently attended a funeral and the witnesses mostly avoided me even though I am not disfellowshipped. My problem is I need to replace my old friends because they look at me with such suspicion now.

    I never had trouble making friends before I was a witness,but that was 30 years ago. Now I just don't feel like I fit in anywhere. Any suggesstions on how to make the adjustment? My mate is still a witness,but knows I don't believe it anymore.

  • JWdaughter

    I have a horrible time being close to people or even maintaining casual friendships. I directly attribute it to my JW upbringing along with my family style. I am totally socially retarded. I have a friend I see movies with, I get along well with my mom(all kinds of mines we must avoid as she is JW and I faded before being baptised)my sister and my daughter. My sis has friends all over, but I am bad at it and not a good person to be friends with, I guess.

  • Effervescent

    I totally relate to what you guys are saying! As if coming out of Witnessdom isn't hard enough with the shunning etc, now you get to try to live out in the "darkness" with all the evil ones. I still feel more like a social MOTH than a butterfly... banging again the glass of social opportunity.... but it gets better!

    The best thing I could have done was volunteer. I joined a local volunteer fire department and ambulance, but the list of places you could volunteer at are endless. What this did for me in my healing process was multi-leveled. It helped me develop friendships and a social circle, it filled the need I had to help others (in a real TRUE way, not the psuedo-charity Witnesses like to say they do) and it bolstered my self-esteem immensely. Plus it taught me valuable skills that I could use in my REAL LIFE.

    My suggestion to people is always to find a charity and start offering your time and efforts to it. It's the best way to find out what "worldly" people are really like.

  • Arthur

    This is something that you will need to exercise great patience in. It's going to take some time. A good starting point might be to get involved in some kind of charity group or function that meets regularly. ( Your local city hall or chamber of commerce should have some information along these lines. ) The reason why I bring up a charity or humanitarian organization is that you will probably find more kind hearted and compassionate people in a setting like that.

    You need to take into consideration what kind of personality you have. If you are an introvert, you might want to start off by building one or two close friendships first, and then slowly branch out from there. I think that it's critical to have at least one close friend who knows all about you so that they can regularly give you feed-back, advice, and someone who is willing to give you honest appraisal. Sometimes, trying to quickly build a large network of friends can be taxing and discouraging if you are introverted.

    The most important thing is to be compassionate to yourself. Instead of focussing on your social deficiencies, regularly give yourself credit for the progress that you are making. Remember to be patient. Building new social networks and friendships takes time. It will seem discouraging at times, but just keep at it.

  • looking_glass

    Choosing Life - I think some people regardless of their upbringing or religion have a hard time making friends. Don't be hard on yourself. If and foremost, if you put yourself out there, most people will respond.

    Do you work w/ any people at your office that you enjoy their convos? If so, ask them to go to lunch, or have a general convo with them a little more regularly. Also, the volunteering idea is great. There are book clubs and meet and greets all over the place. Take a class if possible in something you enjoy that will allow you to meet new people.

    JW Daughter, I am sure that you are not how you perceive yourself. Sometimes we are much harder on ourselves then we need to be, it is a throw back to the whole self hatred that was drilled in our heads. You know the whole ... it is only with god's great kindness that any of us blah, blah, blah .... Also, "retarded" is a rather harsh word to use. All of use at times are socially awkward, that is only natural, it is the ability to step outside our comfort zone that some times seems so hard to do. But it gets easier with time.

    Mr. Happy, I think you and I Like Jews might be related, because he/she mentioned the whole "there might be sexual predators that post here and their names are ...." and look you appear out of no where. Really, give us a little more credit then that.

  • anewme

    I think it takes time to relax around other people when you have been sequestered in an exclusive cult for so long. I think the idea of joining some volunteer program is an excellent way to break with the idea of "us v.s. them" that the Watchtower fosters. We need to feel we belong. When we feel we belong with others then we relax and our true happy self emerges.

    The key is to relax around people and not be so uptight. People like to talk about upbeat things and so try to stay upbeat and positive. And give it time. Your old self will come back to you.

  • cyberdyne systems 101
    cyberdyne systems 101

    I'm in a similar boat, finding it hard to make new 'real' friends. The advice given already is great - dont be too hard on yourself, dont expect it all at once, put yourself in places where you meet people and be proactive. I attended an apostafest and found lots of people I can get to know better, even if they dont live nearby once you know someone similar you can mail/write/message etc. I still want someone nearby but it does take time, on the journey goes...

    Good luck in your efforts, and dont give up

    CS 101

  • Crumpet

    what should you do about what Mr Happy? Are you gay as well - is that what you are asking?

  • troubled mind
    troubled mind

    Making friends has always been the hardest thing for me also . It has really helped talking to someone on here everyday , but it is not the same as having a face to face friend . I've tried making friends with people at work , and have gone out a few times to the local bar with them to sing karaokee. Which was fun, but the bar scene is not really what I am looking for . I would love to have a friend that just pops over for coffee and a chat , or calls and wants some company shopping . I'm thinking of the hobby or volunteer route myself . My husband has found friends by getting more involved in his hobby Archery , he also started refereeing High School football and has made friends that way .

  • mama1119

    My Brother has that problem...I think he still has it in his head that "wordly" people are "bad" and he looks at people so critically to the point oif rudeness. Needless to say he doesnt have alot of friends, but he is a great guy, he is just so stuck in his mind. I am pretty good at making friends but now I am a Wife and Mom and don't have alot of time to make friends. My best friend is really stuck in party mode and we really have nothing in common anymore so I mostly hang out with my Husband or Mom...

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