Haven't posted here in a while, but I"ve been out now almost three years. Just looking to hear from others who have had trouble making friends due to a childhood of JW antisocialism toward the real world. It's really starting to piss me off that I still keep people at a distance and do things to nip any new friendships at the bud when it gets that far. Has anyone had any success in getting past this stage? Or you can just sound off about your own difficulty in this area!
Who else has trouble making friends?
I don't think an upbringing as a JW needs to be a hinderance to making friends in the long term. The first few years can be difficult to get to know yourself. And when you can finally know your own mind and relax and be yourself without fear, the friends will come.
Wow. That's reassuring. Thanks man.
Having trouble making friends is not just a problem of JWs or ex-JWs. I have participated in 2 support groups for other issues. Basically, this difficulty is a product of being in an abusive environment where you have learned that the people close to you cannot be trusted or relied upon. The WTS definitely fits that description but is not the only group that does.
Making friends takes time, time to know yourself, have good feelings about yourself, time to get to know other people, learning who and how to trust.
Try checking some books on friendship and try out some practical ways, such as joining an interest group that matches your own. Realize that have one or two good friends is better than 20 superficial associations.
Hey, new light. I was in Arizona recently. I visited your great country in all it's entirety from East to West. I did some driving through Arizona. Amazing place. Sometimes I just wanted to get out of the car and walk places, but it was so damn hot! My journey through America will stay with me forever, one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
When I first left I had the hardest time making friends. Then one day, I realized I had a whole new set of friends that had no relationship to the JW's at all. It was a very cool realization. I am not exactly sure what got me to that point, but I guess it was being available and reciprocating invitations. Sure, I may not be "close" with each and every one of them, but at least I know there are people out there I could call to do things with.
It's really starting to piss me off that I still keep people at a distance and do things to nip any new friendships at the bud when it gets that far.
New light, that's me in a nutshell! I keep them all at a distance. I can't handle the burden of having a friend. I'm too tired. People will call me and ask me out or something, and I'm like no thank you. I try to get off the phone as fast as possible. I hate talking on the phone. My best friend is my bed.
Ooh, ooh! me, me! *raises hand*
I still keep people at a comfortable arms length. I'm working on letting down the wall a little at a time...One thing I've started doing is forcing myself to accept at least one invitation a month. I'm always glad I did afterwards.....
I also have a friend. I know she would drop anything in a second to do what ever I wanted to do. I don't take advantage of this, but it's comforting to have her.
She has told me...that if she could have our friendship the way she wanted it...we would go out at least one day every other weekend..if not every weekend. I gave her this look---> She said, "I'll take what I get..I know how you are."
We went hiking together last weekend. This weekend I turned down her invite to go to a bar. I know she'll still love me on Monday.
Thank you everyone for your replies so far. It seems like the comfort zone is a friendly acquaintance, even though I wish I had close friends. When the chemistry starts to happen, I get nervous and say awkward things (subconsciously motivated maybe?) and soon things follow the familiar path back to friendly acquaintance.
Anyway, this whole no friends deal is right in my face this week as my girl and I are getting married Friday and my side of the chapel will be just a tad empty. OK, really empty, as my parents are it. Pretty embarrassing, actually, as my JW sister turned down her invite and my JW brother never RSVP'ed, so 95% of the guests will be from Jen's side. Man, I just hope she can deal with the visual of only 2 people there for her future husband. Reminds me of when Marge Simpson's mother marries Mr. Burns and the only guest on his side is a WWII Nazi with a spiked helmet, while her side of the church is full, but, I digress...