GODDESS RACHEL- I know how you feel. It is a challenge sometimes with being busy in life and all, however if you hook up with some good quality friends, the sacrifice is well worth it. Some mentioned opening up to people either here on the board, or the internet. I have made some great friends here now- and am enjoying calling them , and getting to know them . I think we all feel a void after leaving the witnesses- it just takes a little courage, taking a deep breath and putting ourselves out there again to trust others. I had a few hurtful things happen to me while in the witnesses, but I learned to overcome my fears- and be a good friend to people again. Take care, Peaceout, Mr. Flipper
I'm terrible at friendships!
Friendship based on JWism... obvious reason why I dont keep up.
Then... I was talking to a current friend about this a few days ago. Some one I hope stays a friend forever.
Friends in work... they were really friends... why I didnt keep up? I dunno? Certainly deserves deeper thought as to why. Its not like the friendship was based on what I could get out of them or they out of me. They were really friends.
Friends after moving away. Same thing. I dunno. I dont email, I dont call, they dont even know where I am or how to reach me.
Somebody analyze me please lol.
Im the same with my family.
I used to be like this, and I just had some really great understanding friends that adored me - but I would cancel at the last minute, double book times to hang out...not return phone calls for days and then I really forced myself to examine why I was doing it and then make some adjustments. I think email messages are great, I don't always like to talk on the phone, but I can always make a connection.
I think Dale Carnegie's book ,"How to win Friends and influence people" is a great book as a resource for not just maintaining friendships but understanding what reinforces good relations with people.
I hate the phone, and I hate talking with groups larger than one person. But I have about five friends I make a point of contacting regularly, so I can keep up the friendships. Fortunately, they are folks who like me and understand about how much I hate telephones and parties. It's an effort, but I don't want to wind up with NO friends, eh?
Part of mine is definitely Jwism hold over.
I think many of us fell for the WTS bullshit, then discovered we didn't need to learn how to be/make friends any longer. The social club was in place anywhere we traveled or moved. Additionally, as 'good Christians' we didn't do the bars, or find ourselves in clubs, or the PTO or any other fraternities that connected us to others outside the organization. So we forgot how. Or at least I did. I am gradually relearning the art of making and keeping friends. On a tangent note - I have also learned to be alone without much pain.
I can certianly relate, but I don't have any answers for you since I am still looking for answers myself. I've always been socially awkward, I don't think I've ever completely shed the 'outcast mode' from being raised as a JW.
I'd like to be more sociable but I just fail in the execution. This is something I've thought about a lot and some of the problems I think I have is fear such as, fear of rejection, fear of being manipulated, fear of being perceived as manipulating. Things that occur that go counter to the fears have a x1 multiplier, but things that confirm these fears have a x1000 multiplier. I wish I could break out of this wall I've built for myself, but lately it just seems to be getting higher and higher.
I'd rather sit at home and read a book too, most of the time. Being around people for long periods of time drains me in most cases and I've had problems finding people similar to me. I'm a good listener, so I tend to be a magnet for 'troubled souls' and energy vampires, so I have to watch that as well.
I can relate to this also.
I hate talking on the phone. I would much rather e-mail or message.
I don't like being around alot of people for any length of time either, it just emotionally drains me. I do it from time to time, but then I get peopled out and need a break.
WOW, I can't believe the responses I've gotten! And to think I'm so self-involved, I thought I was the ONLY one who felt this way!
Thanks for the good thoughts and suggestions. I do make an effort to keep up on email, and I make sure to call my grandmother, who will never own a computer, but as far as my friends are concerned, I will continue to try to keep the agreements I make, and to hope that they truly care for my weird self.
(I used to be EXACTLY like you, Layla, before moving away from my friends, I would not answer the phone or return phone calls, double book, not show up, it was AWFUL! I try really hard to keep agreements I make, and only make agreements I know I can keep. It's a work in progress, I suppose! Thanks for the book suggestion, BTW, another book to sit at home and read instead of going out and playing nice - LOL! Just kidding! I really do appreciate it!)
I used to have a lot of friends before I was a JW. Once I converted to the cult I lost my friends and didn't find any among the JWs. The only time my phone rang was when someone wanted computer help, help moving, or some other free service. It bothered me a lot at first, but eventually I got used to solitude, and eventually learned to prefer it. I invented excuses to avoid the few invitations I'd get. I went 20 years without friends, so when I eventually left the cult I remained a loner. I have one friend that I talk to a lot, and he manages to drag my ass out once in a while. He's been great, and he manages to overlook my social deficiencies.