What Makes A Good Friend?

by krejames 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • krejames

    I just came back from vacation with my sister who is in her mid 40s and is an active JW, regular pioneer of many years. While away, during one of our conversations, it bacame clear to me that my sister is lonely and doesn't have a social life. She's too old to be included in the plans of the younger generation and, as she is not married, doesn't get included in the "marrieds" set. She has become one of those "spinsters" every congregation had - even though she's far from old.

    This struck me as sad because she used to have a big circle of friends and a very active social life. Now those friends have either, as I mentioned, got married so they move in different circles or quite a few of them are no longer witnesses (so my sister, in keeping with JWs generally, never kept in touch apart from the usual "thinking about you" text etc). Others have moved away or moved on in some way. I would say that my sister, being so involved with "kingdom interests" doesn't really have time to keep in touch with people. She has many, what I would call "associates" - the very occasional catch up with old friends, but no consistent social circle.

    I remember myself this feeling of loneliness in my final years as a witness. I felt totally isolated. People come on the scene, were friends and social for a while, and then moved off the scene for whatever reason - only to be seen at assemblies, with the obligatory "oh you must come around for dinner" invitation.

    I found that it was really only my non-witness friends that seemed to stick around. I had also kept in touch with my friends who had "fallen away", (obviously when I eventually left JWs, they were there for me).

    So it struck me is brilliantly ironic that when I got home, what did I see in my post box? Someone had shoved the June 2014 Awake into it, entitled "What Makes A Good Friend"? It actually made me angry. What a complete insult - unintended though it may be.

  • Laika

    James, before I left my social life was slowly dying because of JW marriages and I was 25 for goodness sake!

  • stuckinarut2

    I hear ya krejames!

    We used to have what we thought was a really great circle of friends...until we "slowed down spiritually" to use the witness jargon.

    Now those friends have all but dried up!

    Im talking about very close ones...including ones we saw have their children, and babysat for etc!

    Yes, unless one "listens obeys and gets blessed" by being a complete WT drone, doing more and more and "advancing spiritually", one gets cast aside pretty quickly!

    It is called "CONDITIONAL FRIENDSHIP" conditional on a person being a GB worshipper!

  • KateWild
    . Widen Your Circle of Friends-Awake June 2014

    Total hypocrisy. JWs are actually told to restrict their circle of friends to only JWs.

    I have to admit, I was very sociable when I was in. I had a big circle of friends and always had visitors, and always got invited to others. I was friends with others all over the circuit and district and I was prepared to travel long distances for social activities. I suppose being married with kids helped.

    Though there were a few JWs that would never socialise with me, and always made excuses. I didn't take it personally as I had plenty of friends.

    Since leaving in Nov 2013, I have met up with a few from JWN and reunited with my students.

    Krejames, I feel for your sister, we had sisters that were in their 30s, 40s and 50s in our circuit that were the same. I was really close to one single sister that always came round once a week for her dinner. we weren't close because I felt sorry for her. She was genuine and nice. Now she has no one and is too indoctrinated to talk to me. I hope both your sister and others like her, come to their senses and experience the friendships of a wider circle of friends.

    Kate xx

  • krejames

    Laika - yes you are so right. I think JWs must be some of the most age-ist people out there. now I am out of there I've got friends of all age groups! Lol

    stuck in a rut - yes I get ya. But don't you know true friendship is conditional friendship? Our spiritual family, unlike a real family, isn't always there for us? I'm sure I read that in a WT somewhere so it must be true ;)

    Kate: one of my best friends in my old cong was a sister who sounds just like you. We had some great laughs. She always had her house full of different people from the cong. Very hospitable. But when she went through her crisis and eventually left the witnesses it's amazing how judgmental everyone became - including me to an extent. Thankfully we have reconnected and even though she now lives on the other side of the world our friendship has survived. I hope something similar might happen with your friend.

  • NVR2L8


    I am sorry for your sister, but this is happening in most congregations. The JW friendships are defined (like the territory) by congregation....close friends move to another congregation and in time you no longer hear from them regardless of how close you were. It is not only true with friends but also with family. So imagine how quickly you are forgotten when you "abandon" them and become inactive. I was active for 50 years and I was very hospitable and yet when I left not one of the friends even called...worse, they surely must think of me when they see my wife at the meeting! Nope...just the less and less frequent salutations through my wife. Who needs that kind of extended circle of friends! On the other hand I'm still in touch with people I worked with 40 years ago at my first job.

  • LoisLane looking for Superman
    LoisLane looking for Superman

    krejames ... WT is all about do what I say, not what I do.

    They told JW children 75 years ago, not to get married or to have children.

    They were to slave for the WT instead.

    I know an 80 year old sister you would never guess was 80. She has never even kissed a guy.

    She is waiting until after Armageddon to proceed.

    She was a good girl. My heart could break for her, it is so sad.

    She has always given quality gifts at wedding showers and baby showers and is very hospitable. Always green hand shakes to the CO, DO and pioneers.

    How is she thought of in her congo and circuit?

    Don't ask me, okay. It is too sad and not nice.

    I feel for your sister.


  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    My friends are here on JWN and then I have two other good friends - my tv and my bed. I also love my cat, my granddaughter and my husband but they really all need me to be nice all the time, even if I don't feel good.

    Seriously, since leaving the jw, many people have treated me kindly and I'm grateful and happy. But there are no girlfriends, so far. The ones in the Cult were just conditional upon me conforming and carrying on the rituals. It took awhile but I don't miss them anymore. I'm envious of that Oprah/Gail friendship - someone to trust and believe that they are honest.


  • villagegirl

    Your sister is in her mid 40's ????

    If only she could get out, and find another group, another life.

    She has probably never spent any time figuring out her own

    basic talents and interests or been with people who just let her BE.

    Is there any hope of releasing her from this cult ?

    Can you encourage her to involve herself in some non-witness

    activities ? Take a pottery class ? A photoography class ?

    This is what the WT does, it isolates us from OUR OWN LIFE

    and from other people. Can you break the "spell " and free her ?

  • designs

    It became increasing rare to have an honest open discussion with my JW friends after 1975 and expecially after 1980. I remembr Wt. studies in the 1960s where you could openly question something in the Wt. and the conductor would ask for volunteers to do homework and at the next week's meeting come back with some research. That all died off. By 1980, after Ray and Ed were DF'd, the Wt. had become a robo-speak session. You say the party line and that's it. Same for the Book Study, you just phoned in your answeres straight from the paragraph. All of that repression transitioned to our personal friendships.

    Everyone was just so damn scared of being turned in.

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