View Full Version : Finding it hard to make friends
13th February 2007, 10:51 PM
I'm a gay guy who had a lot of trouble in his 20's coming to terms with being Gay. I spent many years in a religious cult trying to be straight, all (quite naturally) to no avail.
My problem now is that I find it very hard to make new friends. I freek out in social situations when I'm alone. If I've got my camera or I'm working I'm fine but otherwise I'm just going to sit in the corner trying not to look desperate before going home and feeling wreched.
What I woudl love to know is how other people manage to meet people, what gets you over the hurdle of going up to someone and saying hello??
Thanks in advance - Adrian
14th February 2007, 06:27 AM
I totally understand where you're coming from here, im totally shoking at meeting new people or making friends at clubs and other social events.
I found the best way to meet people on "my" terms was online, in fact, even though im pretty embarrased to admit it, I met my fiance online. I found it to be a easy and open way to lay all your cards on the table and the whole "meeting process" have nothing to do with looks, what you're wearing and how good your small talk is... oh god my small talk is SHOCKING!
These days it's a little different, I find it much easier to just walk up and say hi to anyone in any environment, but I guess that all comes down to self confidence.
If I were in that situation again, i'd look at setting myself little goals/challenges. Go out and say "tonight, I will buy someone a drink or have a conversation with someone about X topic" and do it a few times in a row untill its not as much of an issue, once thats not a challenge anymore, up the difficulty and practice at that, before you know it, you'd be so rehersed that you'd be ready to go chat up that perfect guy :D
14th February 2007, 03:18 PM
hmmm... not an easy one at all. i think it's hard to go to a place like a bar, or somewhere overly social and put such pressure on yourself. sure you could probably get over your anxiety if you slammed 10 standard drinks in the first hour and then attempted to slur to the person nearest to you, but that may not be the healthiest of options.
one thing you might want to try is a course, or some sort of activity that opens up the potential for socialising but it's dressed up as something else. go and learn a language. do a massage course. try meditation. pretend you have a substance abuse problem and go to AA and see if there are any cool, vulnerable people in the group? volunteer. learn pottery.
one thing that got me over all sorts of fears in this department was international travel. i just got on the plane and left the country. it was HUGE. it was one of the most amazing and the most difficult things i've ever done, but when i returned i felt like a new man. (perhaps it had something to do with the random affair i had with the hungarian celebrity in budapest?) but that's the best thing about travel. it forces you to do things you wouldn't normally do. i remember being so lonely in paris that i ended up saying hello to a random stranger on the metro... i did it because the need to talk to someone was greater than the fear.
there are many avenues... and we all have our insecurities. but try to remember the great things about you. if you can't see them then it's hard for other people to.
be kind to yourself and remember - friends are a bi-product of a life well lived - so get out there and do some things for yourself and i reckon the friends thing will happen all on it's own...
22nd February 2007, 09:26 AM
I know how you feel. I had to move to Sydney with two weeks notice and I knew no-one there. My workplace was full of straight people who were much older than me and either married or in committed relationships. It was a nightmare! But before I left Brisbane I got onto gaydar girls and started chatting to girls in sydney - I even put on my profile I was moving there - and I asked these girls where to go, where was safe, made some friends and when I got to Sydney I eventually worked up the courage to go meet some of those girls. I don't speak to some of them now - we were too different - but they introduced me to others who are now life long friends! This is the 00's - meeting people online is the new black! Who doesn't have a samesame/gaydar/myspace profile?
I agree with Christian too that travel is an awesome way to learn how to make friends! I moved to a developing country 8 months ago and had to start from scratch with the friends thing. The one piece of advice that I can give you is that sometimes you need to push yourself a little bit. If you're headed for another lonely night in take a chance and go down to a local cafe or bar and buy someone a drink or ask to share a table and start a simple conversation. One of my closest friends here I met on a bus two days after I arrived. We didn't see each other for months and when we eventually met again we both said 'it's the bus girl!!'. Push your comfort zone a little. Much as you mightn't want to sometimes you need to make a bit of an effort and it all pays off. Good luck!
22nd February 2007, 03:26 PM
Another thing you can do is join one or more of the Groups here or even create one of your own!
We're about to have our first Same Same Culture Event this weekend which unfortunately for you, is in Sydney but hey, there's nothing stopping you doing something like that!
If thats a little too out there for you, just do as the others have suggested and start out small and use each time as practise and to develop your conversation skills etc... before long you'll be making friends with randoms all over the place!!
24th February 2007, 01:16 AM
I'm actually pretty bad myself with going up to someone and saying 'Hi', so I'm glad you asked for advice cos it's been good to read other people's ideas and stuff.
Anyway I do have a point to this entry :) One of my friends has a trick. I am TRYING to put it into practice but even that is kinda scary for me, but I guess it works for some and not for others.
That trick is the 'What If?' scenario. What if, that person you think is cute, could be an awesome friend of yours? What if he/she is your next partner? What would happen if you didn't go up and say 'hi'?
Me, usually it takes a few drinks to even get me the confidence to dance, let alone talk to a cute guy, but the 'what if' idea really makes ya think of the possibilities that could be missed if you don't take a chance.
Good luck, and I hope you've got some helpful advice :)
20th March 2007, 12:46 PM
Hi Adrian, I know the problem faced by us that are gay as to my comming out in the 90's and meeting up with a partner in 95. I'm about to address these issues in the media in the comming months. Look at my web page on same same and links and this will give you all an insite on what is going on
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