General Question

wundayatta's avatar

How do you find people to talk to?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) December 3rd, 2010

When I say, “talk to,” I don’t mean chit-chat. I mean talking to someone about everything; about the truth in your life, including the things you hide from everyone else, for whatever reason.

I do it by hiding in plain sight. Like I’m here on fluther, and yet no one knows who I am. I try to tell the truth here, but there are still things I am uncomfortable talking about except in private with someone I trust more than anyone else.

Yet I can never hold onto these people. It’s gotten to the point where I tell people up front that there’s really no point in getting to know me because I’ll only push them away in the end. Maybe that’s what I’m telling myself—there’s no point in being known because I can’t take it in the end. I can’t hold onto my relationships. I don’t trust anyone, perhaps myself least of all.

Maybe my question is really, “how do you keep people you build relationships with?” Probably I can’t even write the question right because I have no clue what I am talking about.

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34 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I don’t have an answer. I’m just going to lurk to read the real answers, because I need to know, too.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

By not making it all about yourself is one way to keep friends.One has to be a friend to have a friend.

josie's avatar

ditto @lucillelucillelucille
In order to have meaningful relationships, you have to invest yourself in them.
I suppose it is not unlike investing money. You shouldn ‘t do it frivolously or thoughtlessly, but some people are worth the risk. And in any event, what is the big downside?
Disappointment?
Shit, show me a normal life without disappointment.
You have to give of yourself before you are worthy to receive.

BoBo1946's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille ditto a thousand times. We must give to receive.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@josie you deserve quite a few GAs for that one. Also @lucillelucillelucille.

I don’t know how I did it. My absolute best friend, the one person I can talk to for real, I met at the fourth of July fireworks near my house – go figure. I guess you just have to take a risk, get out and meet people, be a good friend to them, and you might find a good friend.

truecomedian's avatar

My first response was to say that you should try exposing yourself here on Fluther, then as I read further, I realized you had. What you say about the lack of satisfaction in your confidences, says a lot about you. Dontcha think? My best advice to anyone is simply to be as deliberate as possible. You find people to talk to anyway you can. And you modify the way you communicate based on the situation, the person, and the format. I think. I have had meaningful, deep, conversations with complete strangers. Mostly at times of intense need. What could be so uranium that you can’t say it on Fluther, ha.

BoBo1946's avatar

Just thought these were good…some have no author.

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked”
Bernard Meltzer quotes

“Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.”
Tennessee Williams quotes (American playwright. 1911–1983)

“Friendship is a treasured gift, and every time I talk with you I feel as if I’m getting richer and richer”

“Friends are God’s way of apologizing to us for our families.”

“Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

syz's avatar

I have to say that even my longest and closest friendships are fairly superficial. I’m lucky enough to have a partner that I can be pretty damn honest to, and a relationship with one of my sisters that allows for some frank discussions on some subjects. But I usually feel as if I am a closed-off, solitary sort of person.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have two lifelong friends. We can discuss anything… and I do mean anything. I know the discussion will go no further.
I have a larger circle of friends where certain topics are off limits.
There is an even larger circle of “friends” where I can discuss the superficial.

My two lifelong friends are gold. Neither one is a facebook friend.

Universal_Scapegoat's avatar

I just think back to the people that I know and decide which is the most qualified for the situation I am experiencing.

BoBo1946's avatar

Find this to be true on Fluther and in the real world. Some think, I’m the only one here.

iphigeneia's avatar

I think you just have to take the plunge and initiate the conversation yourself. You won’t reach that level of comfort if you don’t take steps to get there. I don’t think that I’ve ever had a friend like that. It’s weird, because I know there’s a chance of a couple of my real life friends reading this, but I’ll make my point as best I can. Friendship takes work. Luck and opportunity are also involved, but like everything in life the best way to get what you want is to work for it.

One way to be a good friend is to be there for them all the time, to buy them lunch and remember their birthday. The next step is to ask yourself, without any reason, “what can I do for our friendship?” You don’t just grasp opportunities, you create them.

And that is my advice, though I can’t say from personal experience whether it works. It’s just a worthwhile general philosophy.

iamthemob's avatar

I have difficulty answering this too. My best answer is I don’t so much find them – luckily, I have them.

gailcalled's avatar

When I moved to this community because of its beauty and proximity to my then-husband’s new job, I had no connections.

In the past I have had professional relationships and friends, summer house friends, and the hurly-burly of the community of parents.

When I arrived here, I chatted with everyone who was the least bit pleasant, I invited folks out for coffee or lunch, I joined a Synagogue and I volunteered for the local Democratic party, the Fine and Performing Arts Academy in my hamlet, the County Orchestra and the Film Club. I started a book club, I went to several support groups that dealt with my issues.

I now know dozens of people but count only several as close friends. Here, also, we rely on our neighbors so we make sure that there are no Hatfield/McCoy feuds.

partyparty's avatar

Take risks… be a friend to someone else… perhaps one day you will find that special person you can open up to. Just be yourself. Don’t hide away.

@BoBo1946 Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend… I love this quote… I have it hanging in my kitchen

BoBo1946's avatar

@partyparty really…. well, we walk together girl.

Aster's avatar

I have my s/o and a few best friends from jr high school (or earlier!), most of them are over the internet, and that’s plenty.

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Coloma's avatar

I talk to different friends about different things, but really, through my own self realization of the past decade I find little need to ask or share much of anything anymore.

My problems need my solutions and I have zero tolerance for endless whiney, complaining, bitch sessions that so many feed off of.

I am not a complainer, I am an action oriented type that trusts her own judgement implicitly.

I have one friend that meets my intellectual needs, one that is just a kick around, lunch and movie pal, another that is an activity/travel pal and several random, sometimes get together friends.

My biggest friend complaint the past few years is everyone being so wrapped up in their day to day relational/familial dramas…gah!

If I have to listen to another ‘relationship’ vent I am going to shoot myself! lol

I am my own best friend and fortunetly I happen to cherish my own company and solitude even though I am an extrovert by nature.

Actually I just realized yesterday that my 23 yr. old daughter is fast becoming my best friend, we can talk for hours about everything under the sun and she brings much humor and intelligence into my life.

noodle_poodle's avatar

I really have no idea…I move house frequently and though I care and invest a lot of time in people and trying to keep contact with them I seem always to eventually loose them. I wonder sometimes If i just become unimportant to people because I drop off the 20mile radar that incompasses most peoples lives. If you find the answe let me know :) there are a few good ones on here stating that you must invest yourself in people and I believe that to be true what is hard is finding someone in whom your investment will not be a waste.

Coloma's avatar

@noodle_poodle

Don’t look at it as an ‘investment.’
Enjoy the moments and drop the expectations.

The sustainability will reveal itself in it’s own time.

Besides, no ‘investment’ is without risk.
Win some, lose some, break even on some, such is the nature of life.

All relationships have their reasons and seasons, hold on loosely. ;-)

noodle_poodle's avatar

@Coloma whilst that is good advice and when I say investmennt its not like I spend my time with people thinking of it as such, I am pretty easygoing but it does get a little soul destroying to be so often making new friends…getting to know, like and care about them only to loose contact with them as they cant be bothered to keep up a correspondence…you say loosely but frankly it annoys me when people are so bla say about the human contact in their life…people who are so easy going about it must be lucky enough not to know what its like to feel alone in the world…its not nice at all.

Coloma's avatar

@noodle_poodle

I hear ya. We do live in a very self centered world, but..you are never alone, you have yourself and developing your ‘spiritual’ side is another solid ‘investment’ for those disconnected lean times.
As I always say..‘better to walk alone than in the company of fools.’ ;-)

Jude's avatar

Lucille was right on the money, honey.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I agree with @lucillelucillelucille, and you might have to take my word for it, but I have been the best friend some of my friends could ever hope to have had. (I know, it is hard to believe, but true nevertheless.) I don’t seem to get that kind of friendship (or even ‘offer of’) in return, or maybe the problem is that I just don’t seem to ‘need’ that in return. I don’t know what it is, which is why I signed up to ‘follow’ without having an answer.

I still don’t.

live_rose's avatar

I tend not to, because I don’t believe the bonds I have with people are close enough to share those things, I have anxiety disorders which make it uncomfortable for me to give and receive such friendship.But I figure you’ll know when you have a friend you can tell things to, it will be organic not something you have to try and figure out.

Scooby's avatar

I keep everyone at arms length :-/
They’re always there for me, if I need them & vice versa… Me & close relationships are like time bombs, sooner or later they explode…. Such is life! :-/

rooeytoo's avatar

In all my years I have only ever had (and thankfully still have) one really good friend. But there are many things that have occurred in my life over the years that I have not shared with her or any other human being. Sometimes I miss having a wide circle of friends, but it is mostly when I need some thing more than someone. I figure that is why I love dogs so much, they give me most everything I need in the way of love. I do love my husband as much as I have ever loved anyone, but I am not sure how that measures up on the “love meter.” I hear folks in here wax lyrical about their partners and I wonder why I don’t feel that involved, I guess might be the right word or maybe invested.

But anyhow, that is the way I am. I am content with my life as it is. I don’t know if I could be more content with more people. I really miss my shrink who died probably 20 years ago now. I could be almost completely honest with him. (Notice I said almost) I think I like having aquaintances more than true friends (whatever they are), less investment, less pain. I have very little maternal instinct also, at least toward 2 legged creatures, I have immense quantities towards furry creatures. Bottom line, perhaps there is something missing in me, I am lacking some part that most people have and that is what makes them loving and outgoing, etc. Maybe you have some pieces missing too @wundayatta, maybe we all have pieces missing, just different pieces???

YARNLADY's avatar

My husband is my best friend, and I can share everything and anything with him and vice versa. For some questions/answers, a professional counselor would be better.

wundayatta's avatar

@rooeytoo I most certainly have some pieces missing. Important ones. I’ve working on building a fix for them, and just when I think I’ve contained the problem, it breaks out again. I’m starting again, only with more guilt because in the process of all this,

I end up hurting people, and once you’ve done that, it cannot be undone. You can’t go to jail for the kind of pain I inflict, so I try to punish myself. I made a good job of that tonight. I rode my bike into a car mirror and tipped over onto the sidewalk, where I severely damaged my thumb. I’m typing with one hand now, as my thumb is riding on ice like a half dozen oysters.

I don’t think my accident was really an accident. I think my subconscious had a lot to do with it. It was a very stupid mistake. I think it’s not so much that I don’t know how to make friends as it is that, subconsciously, I don’t believe I deserve any friends.

anartist's avatar

talk to them. listen first, mostly. when you find a kindred spirit, you can begin to bond.

everephebe's avatar

@noodle_poodle, I agree with you on the 20 mile distance. It seems like most friends are not fair-weather friends, but rather only close if you are actually physically in or near their proximity. Though some are the exact opposite.

I think you have to be at least slightly comprehensible to have friends; and in that, I fail big time, why I don’t know. I think I’m going to just get back into reading all-the-time, many of my dear friends have inhabited pages of books I read.

I have one truly close friend, and that’s really all you need.

spidermonkey019's avatar

i have no close friends

spidermonkey019's avatar

why did i even write that… sorry

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