Saturday, July 3, 2010

How Do Grown Women Make A Friend?

Since I suffer from bi-polar and social anxiety, I don't have too many real-life friends that I do things with. Now I'm in the position of wanting to make new friends and unsure how to go about it without coming off as a stalker!

When I worked outside of the house, I could make friends organically at work. You get to know someone, have lunch, share stories and it can move on easily from there. Since that's not an option I have to just approach people who I am only acquaintances with, to try and pursue a friendship.

There's a cashier at my local Kroger who I really like. We've talked for years while I'm checking out about family, life, our boys. She's seen the boys grow over the past few years and I really like talking to her. Also, the receptionist at my boys orthodontic office is really great to talk to. We have kids the same ages and face a lot of the same challenges and questioning when it comes to raising teenagers who may not follow the path we want for them.

The awkward part is taking these to the next level. Do I just ask if they'd like to go out for coffee sometime? What if I'm just rejected & then have to face these people on a regular basis afterwards, that could be weird.

Any advice Mimi-readers? I would love to hear from you.

I wish I lived closer to some of my dear bloggie friends!


Moonwolf said...

Unfortunately, the only way to take things to the next level is to take the plunge. Ask them out for coffee -- that is usually pretty harmless and shouldn't cause a lot of embarrassment if they decline. If they do decline, try not to take it personally and just keep enjoying what they are able to share with you. Remember, just because you are ready to change the relationship doesn't mean that they are. Good luck!

Diane said...

if it was actually acceptable to do so, i'd give you a good reference!! :)

if you're not quite ready to take these acquaintances to the next level, how about put yourself in a position where the organic thing like you were talking about can just happen, like an art class or something?

Sueann said...

Oh a class of some kind is a really good idea Diane!! Or you can be really daring and do the "let's go out for coffee" thingy!!
It is a little harder as you get older as well. Best wishes to you sweetie. I totally know how you feel.

Rebecca Jo said...

OK - when I read this, I seriously was praying, GOD, please let her number come up to win the book by Lisa Whelchel... & GUESS WHAT????

YOU WON!!!! I'm so excited! I think this book will really touch your heart right on this topic.

Just send me your info & I'll be sure to get it right out to you!

sAm said...

They may wish they had the chutzpa to ask you to be a friend - I think we all feel awkward with this kind of thing. In my personal experience, whenever I've taken the plunge and barged ahead I've had good results - coffee is always good! (but I will be following the comments to get some ideas of my own, fyi!)

Amy said...

I know what you mean. It is so hard to make friends. But if you like these people then I say why not talk and ask them if they want to hang out.. I would so hang out with you if we lived closer.. Have a great night.

Queenie Jeannie said...

Who wouldn't LOVE to be your friend??? Go for it hun!! Also, are there women in your church you could ask too?? HUGS!

He & Me + 3 said...

I feel the same way friend. I wish I lived closer too. I feel like I could have some really great friends from blogland

sara said...

you will never know unless you ask...right? I think I would just say "you know I really enjoy talking to you, would you want to go have coffee sometime?" They may be needing a friend too. What about a neighbor that you could invite over for dinner or to go to a movie. or join a small group in your church?

I find that the hard part is not making friends for me it is that we all make ourselves so busy with "life" that we don't have time to pursue those friendships.

Beth in NC said...

It is hard ... especially once the family comes along. I never have time to hang out with friends.

I think you should try. You won't know until you do.

Keep us posted!


Plunge girl! YOu may be rejected a few times...and you may not. I wish you lived closer too. It would be so easy. I I have work friends. I have some of those...our kids are the same age and went to school together friends....I have church friends....I have scrapbooking friends....and I have two friends I carried over from my own childhood. It takes me a while to jump out there and make friends...but once I do...I just plunge in. I too suffer from a low level of social anxiety...lucky for me...I am married to a guy who walks into a strange room like he owns it. Keep us posted on how it goes.

Jenn said...

I like the art class idea! Our local library has a regular book club too... if yours does, it may be something that you'll be very versed in, as well as the opportunity to meet new people.

As far as the cashier and receptionist go, I think it would be perfectly exceptable to ask them to coffee!! Praying for ya with this!!!

Carolina said...

Oh Mimi, I'd love to have coffee with you. Geographically challenging though.
All the others gave you the right advice I think. I totally understand how you feel. But if you keep it really light, something like Sara suggested... And they probably wouldn't say 'no' anyway. Would you?
I have lots of friends, almost all from horse riding (you could go horse riding) and a couple from... art class! Yep!
Good luck! Go for it!

Sara said...

Wish I could offer something, but I'm only friends with my sister and she lives in Texas and I'm in Ohio. Everyone else is "too busy". Adult friendships are hard. Good luck!

Pat Wahler said...

I'd try the tactic of something like, "Want to meet for lunch (or dinner, etc) next week?"

You might consider joining a group with of focus on something that interests you. That way you'll be meeting others with similar likes in a non-threatening environment where you can get to know each other better.

Another thought would be signing up for a class that you might enjoy. Studying together or meeting after class is a time honored tradition for nurturing friendships!


Susan said...

I am in the same boat over the years I have had many friends that were made through similar activities etc. Girl scouts, for one, and then scrapbooking. When i took a long break from scouting to return to college and live on campus out of state for 2 years(came home on the weekends, then e/o weekend...due to workstudy) those friends slowly drifted away. 2 of them were very close, or so i thought, it really broke my heart.

then I got into scrapbooking and made many acquaintances and 1 SBing buddy, then another woman came into my life through scrapping, and we became friends. I introduced her to my scrapping buddy (I knew the buddy and I would never really become friends) but this new woman and I got close, but not like my friends from back in the scouting days...those gals and I would go to bingo sometimes, we would visit each other, talk on the phone etc. this woman worked F/T (I did also until I was severely injured on the job now disabled) but she is also VERY involved with "Eastern Star" then one of my old friends from scouting (not super close) got into scrapbooking, and I also introduced her, and we all starting scrapping once a month at this woman's home, she has a HUGE craft room in the basement of her home. we used to go on SBing weekend trips etc. well, the buddy and I both were not in the same $$ league as this other 2, I was equal to the gal from scouting when I was working but still below the other, the buddy was forced into early retirement and was getting a pension, I was getting nothing (now I get SS) anyway, due to my disabilities and the stairs at this woman's house I missed a couple of months of the scrapping days (2nd Saturday of the month)The times that I did go, I noticed a very clear change in the atmosphere, and I even reached out to my friend about this, she just brushed it off. over a short amount of time it became very clear that my friend and my scouting friend were both becoming closer with each other and slowly pushing me out THEN came the evidence of major betrayal of my confidences by BOTH of them. so I no longer have any friends.My heart is broken, hubster says I am better off--but men do not need friends like women do. I no longer work, and do not have a car, which means I really have no resources. No one understands the loneliness. I totally get where you are coming from. If it weren't for the internet I wouldn't have anyone to call friend. but it would really be nice to have some RL friends.


Rachael said...

I think about this too! When I meet someone at an event or at a playground that seems like I could click with them. I see little kids walk up to each other on the playground and just say "Hey, want to be friends?" and I wish that we could just do that as adults without it being "weird."

I got business cards made for my playdate group that I run, and at the same time got some made for myself. They were free ( and have my blog name & address, my name, email & phone #. You could try the route of saying something like 'hey, I would love to be able to chat more than just here in line - here's my #/email if you'd want to have drinks/coffee/lunch sometime'. That way they are not put on the spot and can contact you.

I don't know, it is really hard as an adult, I find especially since I don't work outside the home anymore I don't know how to meet people.

Another thing you could try in terms of just meeting new people is They have TONS of types of groups from women hanging out to movie watching to writers and you can go meet people that way.

Let me know if you find the magic answer!

Anonymous said...

I know, do you just go up to someone and say "Hello, will you be my friend?" hee hee I've considered doing that more than once! Inviting someone to coffee is good - you could try out a new coffee or lunch place in town (plenty to talk about - reviewing the new place!) Maybe garage or estate sale-ing if you like that, lots of interesting stuff to keep a conversation going at those places, too. Summer is a good time for art fairs and other neat events that appeal to lots of people.

I have some good friends, but they are busy with school and work or babies, and/or live too far away to really hang out much. (We're all in our 40s!) My main social life is at my son's baseball games but I don't have a lot in common with most of the moms; although it would be neat to have friends who had boys that could have fun with my son. One of the moms actually asked me to call her so we could have coffee, but then she never returned my calls or said anything afterward. Of course, we're at the same place at least 3 times a week through Spring and Summer baseball! I just smile and say hi, and she always gives me an odd look and won't say much. I don't know if she was put off when she found out I have bipolar disorder. Her actions indicate that she is a bit "stranger" than I am, though! Finding friends at my church has been difficult and the ladies' events where I could meet people are usually scheduled during the weeks my son is with me, and being with him is my priority. I'm not super social either, but it sure would be nice to have some girlfriends to have fun with sometimes! I wish I lived closer to you too! Hope you will post an update. :-)