Making real friends

by choosing life 31 Replies latest jw friends

  • troubled mind
    troubled mind

    Today at work I was invited to a Bible study group at the home of the woman I work with . She explained it as more of a social gathering than anything else . She said they get in her hot tub after wards ! Hahahaa I am tempted .

  • daystar

    It's still sometimes tough for me. I'm a friendly enough guy and I know a lot of people I may loosely call my friends. But real intimate friends are hard to come by... and I mean the sort of people whose absence would really effect my life.

    I used to think that that was a problem. But I began to realize that the most important friendships are precisely the ones that are most rare.

  • frozen one
    frozen one

    A while back I was confronted with a laundry list of health issues (blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc)...a real wake up call. Instead of immediatley going on a bunch of drugs I thought I would give my body a chance to fix itself by changing my diet and exercising (I promise I'm not off topic). The main exercise I chose was walking eventually getting up to 10,000 steps most days. I do most of my walking in my neighborhood and an unexpected benefit of walking was the number of people I met. I've chatted with dozens of people around here and a few of them are now pretty good friends. Admittedly a couple of people I've met were people I would have preferred not to encounter, but for the most part it has been a positive experience. Now when I go into shops, resturants, and bars around here, I always run into people I know from my walks. The best friend you could ever have might be living just down the street.

  • lisavegas420

    I don't have any problems meeting people and making friends, but the minute I think they are getting too close I find myself making excuses and trying to avoid them. I feel bad about it...but the anxiety gets overwhelming and start to worry that I'll do something wrong, or I'll be hurt in the end.


  • xJ-HO
    I used to think that that was a problem. But I began to realize that the most important friendships are precisely the ones that are most rare.

    I agree with this comment. I think a lot of us beat ourselves up, because we are under the impression that there is something "wrong" with us if we don't have hundreds of friends. In reality, we may have a lot of acquaintances, or people that we know, but only one or two "true" friends.

    I think when you first leave the organisation, you have to find your own identity first before worrying too much about forming friendships. Once you have found your own identity, one that is truly separate from your old identity as a jw, the friendships will just happen. I know that since I have left, I have met some great people at university, at work, and through my son's school. Focus on finding your feet and exploring new interests first - this is exciting in itself, and you will meet some great people along the way!

  • charli33

    Hi. This will be my first post. Although I have read many topics on the forums, this post hit home. I removed myself from the JW organization about four years ago. And moved to anouther state other than where I grew up, for other reasons than the JW organization. It just worked out that way. This has made things that much harder. I have also tried to fit in and make new friends. I have been unable to this on my own. I also feel like I have no true place in the world. I had felt that there was no one who could relate to what I was going through, I joined an internet group, after many friendless days, in hopes of meeting others like me. I was very pleased to find others who have stories very much the same. I can't begin to express how comforting this has been for me. To just know that there are othersjust like me. I have yet to cry for the loss of my JW friends, until this past week when a co-worker felt the need to point out that I have no friends ( no shit I had not noticed). It had not really hit until then. At that moment I felt like a worthless person. This went on for three days. Even though I know that I am a wonderful person and that I had always been a good friend to many who I thought were my true friends. She was right, but had no clue why this was, nor would she even be able to grasp such an explanation if I should choose to give one. And, I being a well trained (ex) JW, I kept my lips shut, as I have about so much in the past. I cried on and off for three days. I let my online friends know what was going on with me, to be able to let go of some anger that was building up inside. They shared their understanding and thoughts. It was so nice to feel the loving hugs. Even if over the internet. So, true friends can be a just the push of a few keys on your key board away. A true friend doesn't need to live next door at all. It is the people who understand you and are there for you when things seem bad, or at the best of times. I talked to my mother about this, who also an ex JW. She sugested that I volunteer for some community group in my area. And in this way I should be able to meet others my age, and others who care about people the way that I do. It is hard once you have grown up to make the kind of friends that you should have made as a child. If you have any extra time you may want to go back to school a good way to build a good strong friendship. But don't forget we are all here for you!! Just a few hits on a key board.

  • serendipity

    HI charli and welcome!

  • serendipity

    Hi choosing life,

    I have a similar problem as well, although I don't have a strong need for socializing. I'd be content to find one or two friends who I can count on.

    There is one woman at work who is trying to be friends with me, but she is quite a gossip. I'm chosing to socialize with her on a very limited basis, carefully watching what I say. As you make acquaintances, be careful who you choose as your friends. Sometimes friends can bring on a lot of trouble.

  • thecarpenter

    Those of us who post here need to see one another once in a while.

    I agree. I noticed that many attend apostafest which is pretty cool and something I plan to attend next year... but in the meantime, it would be cool to meet some of the posters in our local area. I personally met stevenyc, elsewhere and truthsetonefree at a restaurant. (the truth about the truth) with them (I think I can count that as field service time... I'll send my report to Simon or Scully)

    Besides that, I think it is also important to branch out and just meet people. Volunteering is a great way, going back to school, join clubs (bowling, dancing, fishing, etc...). Doing things with your coworkers, neighbors, attend a non-denomination church (if inclined) and attend their social events, and a million other things. But you need to take the initiative, no one can do it for you.

    On a personal note, I have a real war that goes on in my head from time to time. One part of me is afraid and socially anxious, and the other part of me tells me to get out and rejoin society, that it is healthy for me socially and emotionally. Sometimes the first part wins and sometimes the second part wins. But it is a struggle that is getting easier over time.

  • silversurfer1

    when we were in the JW org. we thought we had so many friends. 3 times a week at the KH for meetings and once or twice with your group for FS. It seemed to fill the need for friendship, companionship, association. I'd like to think I did make a few close friends during all those years. But once you're not a part of their group you come to realise the conditional aspect of these friendships. That can be somewhat disconcerting. For the most part many of these people where nothing more than associates in a company. It still may hurt and for sure there are adjustments to be made as a new circle of associates and hopefully friends developes in our new world (pardon the pun). I recall the "Insight" volume under friendship saying that even Jesus had only a few close intimate friends amongst all the people he came in contact with and that a lot of variables go into a potentially close friendship. Use the time we have to discover who we are, the person we've suppressed all these years to fit in with a group and become acceptable friends. I am sure we are all wonderful people with a lot to give in a frienship, a real and fulfilling relationship or two will develope probably in the most unexpected way. So keep your eyes open.

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