Conditioned to fail
Just want to say hi and a big thank you to all that post in this site. It has been extremely tough waking up as a born. But in slowly removing any doubts about leaving this man made religion. How do I though go about making friends or a support group outside the religion. I've always prayed for good friends and it has never really worked out and yes I still believe in God just not the organisation ironic I know. But one thing I have notice that the JW religion even before you leave sets you up for failure, it's ever so subtle but it's so obvious at the same time and you really do believe, it's like being mentally chained to a invisible wall. I've got so much to say but I don't want to reveal myself it's far to risky at the moment.
Welcome Darth Jordan.
It's definitely difficult to make normal friends after leaving. The way we made friends as born-in JWs is not really normal, at least in my experience. Most of my friends growing up were practically assigned to me because they were from strong spiritual families. Making normal friends seems (to me) to be a much slower process and it's hard to get used to. If you're still in school, that will probably make things easier, though since a lot of people around you are in the same boat. The key seems to be just to force yourself to try. If something doesn't work don't get discouraged and keep putting yourself out there.
If you still have some lingering phobia of "worldly" people that can make things difficult too, but the only real solution is to sort of throw yourself in and you'll probably find that not all worldly people are bad people. Some are, but so are some JWs as I'm sure you realize. If you find yourself thinking that someone hurting you in some way is because they're worldly, remember that that's almost certainly confirmation bias. Look for examples of good "worldly" (aka normal) people and you'll definitely find some.
Good luck to you! Hang in there...I won't lie and say it's easy, but it can be done.
This is likely the number #1 problem for former JWs.
I find that the older one is, the more difficult it is to make new friends, real friends. Other people already have established social circles and have no room for newcomers. They are at capacity.
As a JW, all you had to do is show up. You are automatically trusted and "good association". Of course, this sort of 'friendship' is the equivalent of Monopoly money...once the game ends, it ceases to have value.
Honestly, I never had any issue making friends. I guess I've always been naturally extroverted - that I had 'worldly' friends since I got out of high school. I refused to separate myself 100% from coworkers and all, and that is how I built relationships with people. But I admit to being socially 'naieve' in a sense, because I had NO idea how the other side lived!
Yes, if you are shy, have social anxiety, this is very difficult. For an extrovert, it would likely seem easy to start over.
I sent my reply too quick!!! My point was - keep TRYING. It is a serious adjustment, one that people who were not raised like us will never ever understand. I always felt like I was crazy...trying to explain my upbringing. But you are right, the conditioning is an epic F.A.I.L...
We had no 'real' clue what we were facing when we left the Khall behind.
Welcome JD. Being born in is awful because it means you have family in...likely...and that makes you more captive. I have arrested development because of my total reliance upon the WBT$ to do my thinking for me. I am out but it ain't easy for me. My life is shot to pieces.
Yes. My life has been forced to fail since leaving.
I agree with what OneEyedJoe said ; Making normal friends seems (to me) to be a much slower process
I started making friends about 2 years ago and after some attempts where I had some good short term friends but had to move away, I have found 2 'very precious' friends... and though I don't see them as much as I wish, they continually baffle me with their kindness and openess and genuinness (the watchtower lies about wordly people)... it is definitely a slower process but very worth the effort...
Also I think that the way friends are made in the org can MASK personality traits that might be an obstacle to making friends. I mean, the org brought us 'automatic' friends so in some cases there wasn't much long-term effort involved, so you may not have noticed, for example, if you have minor quirks that are tripping you up... I only realised one or two of these myself after an honest look in the mirror... I found that once you start getting to know yourself, what YOU like and don't like (not what the WT tells you to like or dislike), you can start attracting the kind of person who, well, is attracted to you as a person...
DITTO to One Eyed Joe.
You have to get involved in something and with others that share similar interests. Work or school are obvious places. Otherwise, clubs or groups, or even volunteering your time somewhere. You have to meet people and you have to learn that real friends don't come "automatically" like they do at the KHall. But then, "real" friends are not "conditional" friends as is everyone at the KHall that have likely dropped you like a hot potato.