For Those Lurking, Thinkiing of Leaving, Just Leaving, How Do You....

by AllTimeJeff 12 Replies latest jw friends

  • AllTimeJeff

    ... start over with friends?

    I would like to suggest that we leave finding another church out of this, not because it isn't a good idea for our theistically minded friends. For those that choose to do so, it seems like they do alright, and that seems the easiest suggestion to make.

    So if thats for you, consider me taking care of that as suggestion #1.

    But what if you need a break from the whole church scene? Where else can you go, what else can you do, to make friends? Hang out with new groups?

    We need the collective experience of what you have done, to help others who are just leaving.

    And I include myself as one who would like some good suggestions too. :)


  • yknot

    Becoming more active in the community always exposes you to new people (PTO, City Politics, Beautification Leagues etc)

    Volunteering (Library, Elder- visitations, coaching, 4H etc)

    Join a group that specializes in a hobby you find appealing (sports, model airplanes,book club, gardening, painting, dancing, wine-tasting)

    Start accepting those invites you declined..... if the invites have dried up, initiate yourself by dropping by the inviters cubicle and tell them how sorry you are for missing all the swell meet-ups and you would like to make up for it if given another chance.

    Join a singles meet-up.

    Look in your community newspaper's lifestyle section to find more opportunities. Attend and don't be shy about introducing yourself as 'new' to the activity.

    Take a class and organize study groups or celebrations after exams!

    Just get involved, stay busy but make yourself available......

    ((( What can I say I was always an ideas person......just call me Claytonella)))

  • dinah

    My outgoing nature helped me alot (that and having an unbelieving Dad). My best friend was df'd about a week after I was. Would you believe we didn't communicate for 6-8 months afterwards? I guess neither of us knew if the other would try to get reinstated. We've been best friends since we were 12 years old---that's a LONG time! They day we finally reunited felt like coming home.

    I made friends at work. I mean, hell, you spend more time with them than you do at home, right?

    I think alot of the problems ex-Witnesses have with making friends is that they've never had one without having conditions attached. To make friends, be one. I know that sounds corny, but it's true.

    I was lucky enough to get out while I was young.

  • Saoirse

    You could try getting involved in some charity work - soup kitchen, neighborhood clean-up, volunteer at a hospital. You could take a night class at a local community college or learn a new hobby like cake decorating or take a cooking class. One of the first things I did was volunteer to teach computer skills to at-risk teens. Any of the above will help you meet new people and help you build your confidence in yourself.

    I would like to suggest that we leave finding another church out of this, not because it isn't a good idea for our theistically minded friends.

    I think that's good advice for anyone, not just for the atheists & agnostics. Even though I am a devout christ-follower & attend church now, I wouldn't recommend anyone jumping into a new church right away. I think it's important to heal first and when you are newly exiting a cult you are still vulnerable and in danger of being taken advantage of by another false religion group. Joining a church should only take place AFTER you are on your way to healing and after much prayer, careful consideration and research.

  • Heaven

    One suggestion I have seen here quite a bit that I agree with is to look at an area you're interested in and join a group/club/organization that is involved in this same interest. If one doesn't exist, maybe start your own.

    If you enjoy creating, take a course in something you've always wanted to learn about doing (like woodworking, or photography as examples). If you enjoy helping others, volunteer to help out at your local food bank, homeless shelter, retirement home, or hospital.

    I took up horseback riding lessons the year I turned 41. As a teen, I had my own horses but was never allowed to take lessons. Yeah... I was allowed to do one of the most dangerous activities ever and my parents wouldn't let me get educated on how to do it properly (cult). Back then, we never had to wear helmets either so I didn't (because they cost money).

    Well, I loved taking the lessons! Good Lord did I ever re-discover muscles I hadn't used in years! But I had a blast. Unfortunately, due to elder care issues, I haven't been able to continue. I would love to one day own a horse and ride whenever I want to. This is one of my goals.

  • Saoirse
    To make friends, be one. I know that sounds corny, but it's true.

    Bingo. You can't always expect people to approach you. You could try something simple like inviting a neighbor over for coffee. If a neighbor is sick, take them some herbal tea. If someone new moves in, bake a pie for them and introduce yourself.

    If you meet someone that you'd like to be friends with, ask for their email address. People are usually willing to give you that. You could email a handful of people and suggest getting together for a girls movie night or a couples movie night. Ask your neighbors. You'd be surprised how many wives & moms are just dying for a night out with the girls. Ex-JWs aren't the only lonely ones in the world. If someone declines, don't take it personally. they may just be busy or too tired.

  • cantleave

    I have just signed up to help on a local nature reserve, recreating a wild flower meadow and building a wildlife pond.

  • shopaholic

    All really great ideas but the most important of all: To make friends, be one. I know that sounds corny, but it's true.

    Remember it takes time. Friendships do not develop overnight and are not by default as they are in the JW world. Also, you have to start trusting people which can be VERY difficult at first because you are taught all non-JWs are basically tools of Satan waiting to devour you which is so not true.

  • no more kool aid
    no more kool aid

    It does become an issue, because even though I am not DF'ed, I only have a few friends "in" that will still talk to us, even less family and it is very strained. I worried about my kids the most (not that they had any social life as a JW) so we got them involved in sports, music and etc. This was good for us too, we made some new friends that way. The last few years (before we left)I was conscious about making friends at work and doing things with them outside of work, so I would have a back up system. They have been so valuable in my departure. I started having the neighbors over for drinks, they in turn had us over for our first Thanksgiving. I also kept in touch with a few people from college (graduated in 2005). I have tried to reconnect with family members that are already out, they were very nice, but they already have their own families and are a little biter themselves over past Jw injustice, so not a whole lot of luck there. Shopaholic is right, be a good friend, which is so much easier now without the JW crap colored glasses I used to have on. Instead of being afraid of "worldly' people I try to show an interest in everyone I come across, "can I see a picture of your new grandchild?""How long have you been in this business?" "Where did you go to school?" Most people love to talk about themselves and a good way to at least have some new acquaintance that can lead to friendship. NMKA

  • wavvy

    One good thing about being raised a Witness, is that we know how to talk to people! We are usually well trained and adept at making small talk in situations where most people would be uncomfortable. And are pretty used to introducing ourselves to complete strangers. That helps! (How to do it without sounding like a car salesman is another thing though )

    I agree with many of the ideas above... just get into anything and everything that you are interested in! Join groups, do voluntary work, take courses. You are going to meet interesting people.

    One thing that I've found hard though, is that while its easy to meet people, its harder to make close friends. Most people have not had the sudden disruption of their entire social system in the way that we have when leaving the borg. Therefore many of them have good friendships already established. As shopaholic says, it takes time.

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