Making real friends
Hello KindEyes and welcome. I like your name. My husband Still Totally ADD told me about your post and suggested I share my thoughts with you. Like you I am a very introverted person. Still Totally ADD and I are in our sixties now and have been in the cult most of our lives, he a born-in, me a convert. Though I hated it I learned to be more outgoing by going in field service and giving regular talks on the ministry school. So when I left the cult at least I could approach people. My husband though is the outgoing one and I rely on him a great deal to take the first step to forming friendships. You say you have an amazing boyfriend. I'm sure you will find him a great source of support.
Look around at work and at school. Is there anyone you would like to get to know better? Say "hello", give a sincere compliment, ask a question, show interest in the person. Pretty soon you will have a conversation going. Don't be afraid of your JW past. I find many people are intrigued by someone who lived through an unusual experience. Know that not everyone is going to be your friend. You are free to choose who you are comfortable with. Most of all be sincere and be true to yourself.
As for your toxic JW girlfriends, surely you can see they are using you. You don't need them in your life.
Best of luck on your journey into the real world.
Reopened Mind has made some very good points.
I would add....... your already adept at making friends, obviously your non total believing JW friends still want to stay in touch to some degree, others can no longer offer their friendship as that is the way of the Jw's.
Going forward you will develop friendships.
Here's how; First you start by making acquaintances:
Step one find some form of meeting or activities that allow you to met as a group once a week. Something you agree with that allows for discussions....... followed up with activities. Starting to sound familiar?
The club, volunteer group, comes together because there is an issue and or subject they are pretty much in agreement on. You name it there's a group out there especially in small communities, especially neighborhoods, in schools, companies etc.
We are social animals and most of us drift together or join something we care about.
When you meet once a week.... relationships even friendships happen organically..... it becomes natural to go out for coffee or partner up in the 'field' to do some good for the community at large.
Volunteers are special people who want to make a small difference in this world of ours....often they are the best people because no one forced them to volunteer, they do so because it matters to them.
Work side by side even with a stranger...... and in a few hours you will have a friendly acquaintance that could become a friendship.
Thank you for joining in. Believe it or not you will make friends here as we are real people behind our cartoon images.
Think of us as your lost tribe.
Welcome. I totally understand. Years ago, my wife basically gave me an ultimatum. Either I let my worldly friends go or I let her and the “truth” go. I chose the former. I sent everyone a farewell text and then changed my number. Now that I’m “inactive” and my wife and I are having issues, I really have no one. It’s really been tough on me. I let these friends go for what? Some of them I’ve had since elementary school. I often wonder how they’re doing and if they still remember the fun we had. But, at least I have this forum.
What Giordano said is good advice.But I know if you are very shy and introverted as I am you will probably be terrified to take that first step of seeking out a club or a volunteer group. As I said my husband was the more outgoing one. He was the one who took the initiative to visit a new group. When I went with him I could rely on him to carry the conversation. Perhaps your boyfriend will step into that role for you. Yes, it is hard for people with our personality type to make new friends but in the end we tend to make deeper friendships.
This may be an old cliche, but to make a friend you have to be a friend.
Hi, KindEyes. Welcome to the Forum.
I found that The Learning Annex has various classes with a variety of subjects (such as: real estate, home/interior design, music, arts and crafts, culinary, how to build your own business, tips on traveling domestically/internationally, etc.) can be a great way to meet other people. Some people I know (both ex-jw and jw) have had success via this. You can check them out at: http://www2.learningannex.com/ or http://www2.learningannex.com/default.taf?cat=about_us&aboutsect=contact
Thank you everyone! Your advice has been really helpful.