Saturday, 13 September 2008

Making Friends

I was watching an old programme on Sky a while back where a couple of mature singles were being ‘taught’ how to meet new people. Basically, they taught them how to be more approachable themselves, how to approach others, how to hold an interesting conversation and a bit about body language. They also taught them how to improve their social lives to give them a better chance of actually meeting new people. It was, of course, aimed at singles looking for love.

Now I’m not looking for love but the programme got the old thinking cogs whirling. I’ve lived here for about seven years now and still know relatively few people in the area. I’m not entirely friendless but it would be nice to have a few more people in my social circle but while it was easy to meet and get to know others when I was younger - most of the close friends I've had have been met through either my children or work etc - it isn’t so easy anymore. I don’t go out to work and I don’t have young children.

So what’s a girl to do?

I’ve already met one good friend though a writers' group that I was once a member of and as this person also teaches new age philosophy at his home, I’ve got to know some of the others on a “see you at the next meeting” basis. There’s at least one woman there who I’d like to get to know better, possibly two, but unless one of us makes the first move, it isn’t going to happen.

There’s really only one way to go and that’s for me to invite her to meet up for coffee, lunch or something.

I’ve decided that from now on I’m going to be bolder. If I feel I get along with somebody, I’m going to extend some kind of invitation. I know there’s a chance that some will say yes but then never contact me (although I imagine that would be a bit embarrassing for them if they plan to continue going to whatever group we’ve met through), and some may well turn me down point blank but that’s a chance I’m going to have to take. In the big scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. And it can’t be anywhere near as bad as having to approach a member of the opposite sex in what one could call a ‘flirty manner’ and, believe me, I’ve done that enough times in the past [gulp!]. In fact, thinking back on it, I only got to know one of the closest friends I've ever made because we'd hit it off at a nightclub where we'd met through a mutual friend and, on her suggestion, had exchanged phone numbers and later met up to get slaughtered for a drink.

I’m definitely going to be more aware of the people I meet and, if they share any of my core values and seem approachable, I’ll make my move (hmmm….sounds a bit predatory, doesn‘t it?)

Friends aren’t going to come knocking on my door but people are everywhere. It's just a matter of finding the right ones.

Sharon J


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Debi said...

Maybe you should think about starting a local writers' group. I never expected to make lasting relationships from mine, but I have - and with people I would never have met under other circumstances.

Richard said...

Maybe you should think about starting up a website for women to meet and form mutual friendhips through :)

Sharon J said...

@ Debi. I've thought about starting up different types of groups but I really can't do it because I wouldn't be able to attend regularly (depends on my energy levels on the day). Glad you met some nice people through you're group though :)

@ Richard. Now you're just being silly. You know I've tried that one.

Chris said...

Hi Sharon,

Really hope there will be lots of people to meet soon! I know it is very hard and I fully understand why and what can be an issue with chronic conditions and so on! However, I have far more friends not I am not well than I ever did when working! Those whom I thought were friends turned out to be some of the most cruel and nasty people when I was off sick and when I had to retire eary on health grounds! One of them saw me in the post office in my wheelchair and ran out the door saying oh ugghh and everybody was staring at her! I just said weird woman as if I didn't know her and put it down to her ignorance! Until that day we had always appeared to be friends! LOL!!

Many of my friends now were made when I was able to do some voluntary work or througyh craft courses and the craft group I coordinate. Things don't have to be on a huge scale and most people make up for the few ignorant ones and accept the limitations as they often have some of their own!

Is there a readers group at the library? Perhaps that might be an option? I went to one as and when I could and got to know people there.

Free short Courses even for a half day?

some voluntary work that you could do when you feel up to it?

Is there somebody you could start a group with? That way you could go along as and when you can?

Hope you feel the support of your cyber pals and know we are around to chat online when we can.

Take care and when I come up that way perhaps we can meet for coffee and compare pumps!! LOL!


Chris said...

sorry about the typing errors- very tired and being rebellious and not resting!! Chris

Sharon J said...

Chris. I'm glad you've been able to sort the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Luckily, the friends I had before I became ill have all been supportive and as understanding as they're able of my limitations. I expect that's because I've always been pretty fussy about friends, though, preferring just a few good ones to a crowd of casual ones.

Where to meet new people isn't an issue for me. I've already looked into what's available that I could join in with but I don't want to join too much because I know I'll just end up either pushing myself too far, or not bothering. For me it's better to just have a couple of groups to belong to. If I push myself too far I'll just land up in hospital again.

Voluntary work's out of the question. I've looked into all sorts but they all need somebody they can depend on regularly and I can't commit myself. I just never know from one day to the next what my energy levels are going to be like, how often I'll be sick or need to run to the loo etc. Still being able to eat does have it's problems too ;)

Thanks for your support, though. It's good to know there are understanding people out there :)

Sharon J said...

PS: Don't worry about your typos. Looking back - I have plenty of my own. Glaring ones!

emmani said...

Hi Sharon,
It's really hard these days to cross the fine line of chit chat to 'Do you want to come over for coffee?'
It's as if we have all built a wall of 'things to do and more important people to see' around us, because our lives are so full of trying to be successful, beautiful, rich...blah blah.
I found it incredibly difficult to fit in with the local mums and toddlers, because I wasn't on maternity leave, didn't have an expensive buggy and still lived with my parents... People have different values and standards for friends these days!
But after ranting away...when you do find that 'one' you get to spend quality time together because everyone else is too busy!!

Sharon J said...

I think you just struck the nail right on the noddle, Emmani. It seems that people think that showing a need for more friends is synonymous with showing you're unsuccessful and most can't be dealing with that. Luckily I'm in no hurry so I'm sure the right people will come into my life eventually. Expensive buggies certainly aren't a symbol of a person's qualities :)