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mcw
Jul 28, 2005


My situation seems like it would be pretty common, so I figured I'd ask for advice over here.

I moved across the country a year ago, and in the process, lost all of the friends that I had at the time. Because I have no self-esteem, it's never been easy for me to make friends, but I've been able to manage in the past. Now that I'm 32 and trying to make friends again, I'm finding that it's much, much harder than ever before. This New York Times article matches up well with the experience I've had thus far.

Later this year, I'm thinking of attending PAX, a popular convention in Seattle. Could be a great way to make friends, right? But if I were to go, I know that I'd see thousands of people younger than myself, all there with their own friends; and my response would be to assume that any attempt on my part to make new friends would only make other people feel uncomfortable. The result would be that I'd spend three days surrounded by people who share my interests, and I'd feel intensely lonely the entire time.

I imagine that many of you folks have dealt with something like this in your own lives. How did you overcome it?

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chedemefedeme
May 25, 2007

Until then I need your help
figuring out the logistics!

Just do it? Seriously. Just talk to people. Talk naturally with them. Don't be nervous. Even a slightly odd conversation is probably worth more than no chat at all. Be a good listener. People will remember you as being friend kind of material if you listen.

People LOVE to talk about things that are important to them. Ask about where they went to school, about their pet, about their kids, etc. Don't make it feel like an interview but just casually bring these things up over the course of the conversation. Provide opportunities for them to talk about what they care about. Once you've struck a great conversation with someone it's easy to be like "hey wanna come over for some beers and the game on saturday?" or "man i'm starving want to grab a bite over there?".

Making friends does require a bit more effort the older you get. When you're younger you have situations in which it's pretty easy. School, sports, etc. In adult life there's often work, kids, etc that get in the way. Something good, if you desire it, is worth fighting for..so make the time and make some friends.

Final tip is to not overlook the people right around you. My most lasting adulthood friends have ended up being the folks I work around who I've gradually had the chance to establish bonds with.

ifuckedjesus
Sep 5, 2002
filez filez filez filez filez filez filez filez filez

Why not join a club or sports league?

mcw
Jul 28, 2005


chedemefedeme posted:

Just do it? Seriously. Just talk to people. Talk naturally with them. Don't be nervous. Even a slightly odd conversation is probably worth more than no chat at all. Be a good listener. People will remember you as being friend kind of material if you listen.

People LOVE to talk about things that are important to them. Ask about where they went to school, about their pet, about their kids, etc. Don't make it feel like an interview but just casually bring these things up over the course of the conversation. Provide opportunities for them to talk about what they care about. Once you've struck a great conversation with someone it's easy to be like "hey wanna come over for some beers and the game on saturday?" or "man i'm starving want to grab a bite over there?".

I do all this, but it's very one-sided. I ask questions, I take interest in their opinions and their lives, but none of that can make them any more interested in my life, my interests, or me. Ultimately I guess it comes down to: In order to have friends, you need to be someone that other people would want to be friends with, and I'm just not.

Thanks for the advice, folks; sorry to have wasted your time.

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