I keep being told by my therapist that I need friends. People I can spend time with, not just friends I text, email, message, blog with….. She wants me to have local friends. We’ve lived in this area for over 2 years and I don’t really know anyone.
My question for all of you is, How do I make friends?
I’m chronically ill, I can’t drive, I don’t go anywhere without my husband, I have a very hard time hearing in public places….
Where do I meet people who are willing to get to know me through all of those obstacles?
I don’t go to church. I did look for a Buddhist temple in the area and there are a couple of places, but they do not practice the type of Buddhism I do. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable there. It’d be like a Fundamentalist trying to go to a Catholic church, they are both Christians, but they are very different. (well it might not be that different)
I don’t work, so I won’t meet people there.
I don’t have kids so I won’t be meeting people through my kids.
I looked for a support group where I’d fit in, I can’t find anything. Before you suggest it, no I’m not going to start one, I would not be able to be reliable enough to do so.
I really think it would be best if I met people who have chronic illnesses, I think they would be more understanding of my “eccentricities” 🙂
My husband works in a small office where there isn’t anyone to really become friendly with.
I’ve met the neighbors on each side of me, one is an elderly couple who prefer to keep to themselves, the other is a family who are always busy. We don’t really fit in with either.
So, any ideas? I’m not adverse to meeting people, I just don’t know how.
My biggest problems are: I can’t go out alone, can’t drive, and my hearing issues.
Really, I’m looking for suggestions. Any body got any??
18 thoughts on “Making friends?”
Would your husband be willing to go with you someplace where the two of you can make connections? Sometimes it’s easier with someone next to you. Maybe instead of a Buddhist temple, is there a mindfulness meditation gathering someplace?
He is willing to a certain point. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get him to move after he gets home from work. 😛 But he will try. He’s not the most sociable guy.
I thought of mindfulness meditation gatherings, but people get together and meditate at those , you don’t really talk to people. It may be worth a try. Thank you for the suggestion!!
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Good luck, I think its awesome that you are in a space to explore options. ❤️
so do I Alexis. I’m from a very rural area so living in a city is amazing to me on that front. The traffic and all the people is overwhelming to me. I lived in a different city before this one and the traffic wasn’t nearly as bad as it is here. It makes you not want to go out. 😦
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I sure don’t have any. I’ve been basically housebound for 11 years. The few people I had met previous to that were from college classes–and the few people I had met previous to that kind of faded away over the years. I’d met them trying to go to college and they graduated, moved away, or were decades younger than I am. I have no car, only go to doctor appointments (and can barely make those), and the people I’ve met at my new senior building haven’t been the types of people (so far) that I would invite home for coffee, you know? Luckily I keep very busy by myself at home when I feel decent and am basically positive and happy on my own. Maybe going to places with the hubby, yes–that might be a good way to put some feelers out there. My question is why do they think you need to make friends? Is it because of the depression? Are you feeling lonely? Hey–some friends I’ve had have been worse than enemies over time–ROFL! 😉
I agree some friends I’ve had have been worse than enemies and I told my therapist I really don’t want to get sucked into the drama right now. We’ll see how it goes.
I don’t feel the need to have a ton of friends. I am happy with my friends that I have now, even if I don’t see them in person. I’m not adverse to having more friends but don’t see the need to worry about it. If it happens it happens.
The problem with me is that I don’t have anyone local but Stuart. I don’t have family like you do. If something happened to Stuart I would be alone.
I don’t have a daughter in law to do crafts with, or a grand son to play with. I have my husband who comes home from work exhausted and often has to take care of me. We are lucky if we get to go anywhere even one day a week. The weekends are for household chores.
Having fun with someone else is hard to come by. I have to find ways to occupy my time alone and as much as I’m filled with alone time activities, being with people is something I would like.
I just wish it was easier.
and I still feel like….what’s the big deal with having friends?
I’ve been able to meet people at rec centers, nature centers, libraries, botanic gardens, even some plant nurseries by attending classes or exhibits that interest me. I don’t know what you have around you but maybe a community college has an exhibit coming up. Museums? A local theater production?
How about volunteering for 2 hrs a week at the elementary school, you wouldn’t have to be in a classroom. A music or art teacher would love your help, perhaps even a special needs student who is deaf could use your assistance one on one.
When I had to quit work I had too much time on my hands. That’s the kind of stuff I did to get busy. I found friends at art classes and a sense of purpose (and friends) volunteering for just a few short hours.
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Louise, some great ideas. Some of it I guess I just need to get out there. It’s hard when I can’t hear well to just pick up conversations with people like I used to. I need to find a way that I can go to museums and such, things I love to do that hubby could care less about. Since he is my ride it’s difficult, and since I’m afraid to go out without him, it’s difficult. I shouldn’t say I’m afraid to go out without him, I’m just afraid to go out alone. I’m afraid of having a vertigo attack without someone with me.
Volunteering is something I don’t think I could do. It takes commitment and that is something I can’t give. I have to cancel doctor appointments often because of vertigo I don’t want to do that to some place I’m volunteering at. I used to volunteer before the vertigo got so bad, I love working with children, but if I had a vertigo attack with them it would be terrifying for both of us.
However, just getting out to places like nature centures, botanic gardens, even libraries…those are places I can go, with a little help.
Those are good ideas, I really appreciate the suggestions. I have been kind of lost and sitting around just thinking of things I can’t do. I’m really trying not to do that. It’s hard though, you know?
Hi Wendy, Yes I think I do understand.
I get wicked migraines out of the blue and was afraid of going out and doing things in case I got one. But I had to stop limiting myself. Yes, I had migraines come on hard like a hammer when I’m doing something. And I’ve had to leave, even needed someone to drive me home.
But Wendy, that is our reality. People will help you, and they’ll be very kind about it. They might even offer before you can ask. Let them help you, it’s the way the world works, and it’s good.
Ok, can you go to a quick thing like a class at the rec center while your husband runs an errand? Don’t worry about your hearing, sit up close, or ask the person next to you. I bet $5 they’ll help you. 😊
I think your therapist doesn’t understand the types of connections one can make on the internet, especially as a blogger. And it’s a lot safer to meet people on the internet instead of in person. Face-to-face contact is nice, but it’s not always achievable. Still, no harm in trying. 🙂
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She says she doesn’t discount those relationships but I don’t think she really understands the real connections people can make from a distance.
I really don’t think I need a bosom buddy. I had a few of those before I got sick and most just disappeared. The good ones that stuck around we still text a lot, I just don’t live close any more. And when I did, it’s way too hard for me to go out often.
I can’t see making a new friend when being able to socialize really needs to be done at home. As you said, it’s not as safe. Do I really want to meet someone and immediately invite them to my home?
We’ll see how it goes.
I’m glad to have gotten so much support for reasons why I don’t need face-to-face friends.
I may try, but I’m not going to stress about it. 🙂
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Since I’m all alone, I realize it would be nice to have a friend I can count on who lives close to me. It’s hard enough to make friends as an introvert, but being disabled and isolated makes it even harder. And I can’t make people be friends with me. I’m as friendly as I know how to be, but it takes two. Anyway, you’re right, it’s certainly not something to get stressed about. On the other hand, letting other people into your life can be stressful. 🙂
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I’m sorry…..I don’t want more friends. I talk to 2 or 3 friends on the phone, read my friend’s blogs and I never answer the phone or the door. I am too crabby most of the time. I do talk to my son eveyday and go out with my sister every once in a blue moon. I couldn’t handle much more than that . It’s just too hard Wendy!
mo, I agree, it’s hard. I don’t think I want many friends. One or two might be okay but they would have to be special. She said she thinks I’d be picky. Well yeah. Why shouldn’t I be. I’m pretty special. 🙂
I think she wants me to have friends because I don’t have family near me. I only have Stuart, and our roommate. It’s different when they live with you.
I think she may also be trying to have me be less dependent on Stuart. Less afraid to go out without him.
She also wants me to have distractions from my thoughts. I have a lot going on that she says I think too much about. I guess people would be a distraction. shrug
For right now, I’m fine the way I am. umph.
mo, I do wonder if she would be better about this if I could talk on the phone? If I had friends I literally talked to a lot. We text, that doesn’t seem to be enough. Yes I’d love to be able to talk with some of my friends, but that just isn’t possible.
Google “MEETUP groups” in your area – a LOT of possibilities
Attend a Unitarian Universalist Service – they are open to ALL denominations, including Buddhists, agnostics & atheists!
Attend a Baha’i fireside – they meet in people’s homes, are welcoming and very service minded
These are 3 that come to mind that you wouldn’t have to make a firm commitment regarding your time and circumstances.
I agree with your therapist. The internet is fabulous but it is limited and limiting.
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