I Just Cannot Make Friends No Matter What I Do!

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GiantHockeyFan
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13 May 2014, 12:31 pm

I suppose this is a semi-rant and could go in the Haven, but I feel totally exhausted and burned out trying to make friends. I have tried being more open and friendly, making eye contact and small talk and all that fun stuff but no matter how well I am treated, every single time I invite someone over they ALWAYS make up some BS excuse. This goes for both males and females and even people I have known for many years.

I don't even talk about my special interests and do listen attentively but I still cannot seem to make any friends. What makes it more frustrating is that I get along with people at work extremely well. I feel like I have tried everything and that nobody will ever even a casual acquaintance. The only 'friend' I have only visits when I drive him to and from and pay for supper. Doesn't sound like much of a friend.

I would really like to know what I am doing wrong and why people show so much interest in me but always turn down invitations and never invite me anyone. Even my hockey buddies almost did that to me recently and I am one of the veteran players! I wish I could post a video of one of these encounters because I cannot figure out why nobody would want to pay me a visit, especially since I so centrally in my city.



namaste
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13 May 2014, 12:43 pm

Over the years i have realised that people are just cautious and they dont want to get into trouble
My mom has mental illness but she doesnt accept that and neither gets herself treated

But her behaviour is so odd that i cant tolerate her for 10mins
If i am walking across the room she keeps on staring
She keeps checking my hands and asks what im carrying in my hands
If i am going out to grocery store she will ask why i am going
she is constantly peeking into me

If a person is odd people would avoid them
and definitely the person wont understand why....because they arent
endowned to understand it.

even people avoid me they keep saying i dont have a smile....they keep asking
why i dont smile etc etc
now a days i stopped inviting people over to my place
and ya getting a friend is extremely hard


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Ann2011
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13 May 2014, 1:23 pm

GHF, perhaps there is something in your home that is unappealing somehow. For example, I have a friend who has two big dogs, who are quite boisterous. They don't bother me (I love dogs,) but some mutual friends dont go there because of this. Also, I have another friend whose place is a bit smelly. It doesn't bother him, but I can't tolerate it for long. Also, I smoke and I know this bothers some visitors as they don't come by.
But at any rate, it sounds like you do have several circles of friends at work and with hockey, so you must be doing something right.



starkid
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13 May 2014, 1:59 pm

People generally want their friends to make them feel a certain way. Perhaps you are not giving people the feelings they want.


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schleppenheimer
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13 May 2014, 2:29 pm

Maybe what you could do is:

1) invite a group of friends out for a drink or to a concert -- that way you're not the only source of entertainment
2) go out somewhere rather than to your home -- it's more of an "event" that way
3) find something to do with friends that is something you can all "discover" at the same time -- i.e. a new restaurant, a new festival, a new band, etc? -- this discovery leads to bonding
4) if you can group people together and be the "party planner" of these events, maybe they'll begin to expect you to take on that roll. You don't even have to talk or be the life of the party ? you're just the organizer, and then you can enjoy what unfolds as a result of your organization.

Don't know if this is just info that you've already tried -- if so, sorry.



zer0netgain
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13 May 2014, 2:44 pm

Making friends is more art than science.

I've had very, very few friends in my life.

All you can do is "be yourself" (pardon me while I go gag now).

People will either like you or they will not. The most you can do is learn to restrain your more objectionable "quirks" when around others.

Most people are shallow and expect others to fit into neat little "boxes" they made long ago for those they will call "friends."

Even among NTs, this is so....they just have a better chance of fitting into someone else's "box."



1401b
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13 May 2014, 4:27 pm

Invite them over... where??
You're not inviting them to your home* are you??
Not for a first (or even eighth) social event are you?

" 'Come into my parlor,' said the Spider to the Fly."
That is waaaaaaaaaay too much of a "social" leap!

During 'small talk' look for mutually enjoyed -reasonably public- activities, golf. bowling, kite flying, and try to make definite arrangements to do that activity.
When you do that activity do it casually!
Really focus on keeping your intensity level down and just enjoy the fun bits.




* (the place where you live or sleep or cook food, regardless if it is a home, house, apt, or just a bedroom in your parents house.)


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starkid
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13 May 2014, 6:59 pm

1401b wrote:
Invite them over... where??
You're not inviting them to your home* are you??
Not for a first (or even eighth) social event are you?

" 'Come into my parlor,' said the Spider to the Fly."
That is waaaaaaaaaay too much of a "social" leap!


Hmm. I don't know about the OP, but I am at my best when at home. Anywhere else, being friendly is complicated by overstimulation.


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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13 May 2014, 10:54 pm

I think there is something to the idea of not jumping levels. Or at least not jumping too many levels too quickly.



GiantHockeyFan
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14 May 2014, 6:58 am

Ann2011 wrote:
GHF, perhaps there is something in your home that is unappealing somehow. For example, I have a friend who has two big dogs, who are quite boisterous. They don't bother me (I love dogs,) but some mutual friends dont go there because of this. Also, I have another friend whose place is a bit smelly. It doesn't bother him, but I can't tolerate it for long. Also, I smoke and I know this bothers some visitors as they don't come by.
But at any rate, it sounds like you do have several circles of friends at work and with hockey, so you must be doing something right.


I doubt that's what it is. My apartment is not spotless but is VERY clean and welcoming. Of course, few even get to the point to where they even visit just once. I know I live in a area with a bad reputation (that is very much undeserved) but it's not like I live in a ghetto either. What I further find frustrating is that some of these people I have known for a VERY long time and they still talk to me, so I wonder if they aren't just being nice out of pity.

1401b wrote:
Invite them over... where??
You're not inviting them to your home* are you??
Not for a first (or even eighth) social event are you?

Why not? That's usually where I am (rarely) invited. It's not like these are strangers: they all know who I am, where I work and what kind of person I am. Most of them constant complain about the lack of money too so I'm not about to offer to pay for their activities like I used to.
Quote:
Really focus on keeping your intensity level down and just enjoy the fun bits.

I am starting a couple of co-ed sports activities next week for the summer and will be doing everything to tone down my intensity. What really gets me frustrated and confused though is that the biggest, most intense hothead of all has girls clinging to him literally wherever he goes.



Pobbles
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14 May 2014, 7:48 am

OP, are you trying too hard? This can make you appear needy, and can put people off.

You say you try to be more open and friendly? Maybe stop doing that, or don't do it as much, especially if warm and cuddly isn't you. Be yourself. If people are put-off by your personality or special interests, then perhaps they're not going to appreciate you as a person the way you would like when you eventually 'open up' to them.

Be comfortable with yourself and don't shut yourself away, meeting new people is important.

Now I'm not the most sociable or popular person in the world, but I would disagree with the chap who suggest that you don't invite people back to your place, especially if you're even remotely like me. I am much more comfortable and socially graceful at home, and I am an excellent host. I don't get visited too often, but when I do my guests stay for hours and I sometimes struggle to get rid of them!
(that said, I do make a FANTASTIC cup of tea, I'm a pretty good cook, and my home cinema setup spanks the Odeon in terms of comfort)

One thing I tend to avoid is 'dates' or forward planning, as most of my friends find it hard to commit due to jobs or families. Most of my friends are pretty spontaneous and horribly disorganised, and that suits me.



GiantHockeyFan
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14 May 2014, 9:36 am

Pobbles wrote:
OP, are you trying too hard? This can make you appear needy, and can put people off.

I have been told that before but I fail to see how "hey, if you don't have any plans I would love to have to over this Saturday?" counts as being needy. If I go with a more "I don't care" attitude the results turn out the same. The only people who don't say no to a visit are women older than my mother, whom I can get along with surprisingly well.

Quote:
You say you try to be more open and friendly? Maybe stop doing that, or don't do it as much, especially if warm and cuddly isn't you. Be yourself. If people are put-off by your personality or special interests, then perhaps they're not going to appreciate you as a person the way you would like when you eventually 'open up' to them.

The paraphrase Lisa Simpson "be myself? I've been myself for over 30 years and it isn't working." I do realize that I need to be less rigid and not so wrapped up in my special interests and have tried to meet people halfway without compromising who I am. They don't seem to want to give an inch for some reason no matter what I do. This is especially puzzling in the dating context: sure I am not perfect, but many married women tell me I'm the kind of guy girls dream of. Just wish I knew how to display that without 'trying too hard'. I take a while to warm up to people but I am fiercely loyal to them.

Quote:
One thing I tend to avoid is 'dates' or forward planning, as most of my friends find it hard to commit due to jobs or families. Most of my friends are pretty spontaneous and horribly disorganised, and that suits me.

That's a fair statement and I try to always say "well, I'm usually home XYZ so if you want to drop by you are more than welcome. I will be around after 5pm on those days."



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14 May 2014, 10:35 am

Why not try the sports bars? I'm sure you'll meet somebody--guy or gal--who's interested in hockey. Maybe you can all watch Hockey Night in Canada sometime., or even go to a hockey game if you could afford it (afford it, I know, is problematic even for those with middling incomes). That would get the ball rolling.

You could order pizza and have chips and dip on hand.

I forget where you're located. But I wish the Toronto Maple Leafs would win the Stanley Cup sometime.



GiantHockeyFan
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14 May 2014, 11:20 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Why not try the sports bars? I'm sure you'll meet somebody--guy or gal--who's interested in hockey. Maybe you can all watch Hockey Night in Canada sometime., or even go to a hockey game if you could afford it (afford it, I know, is problematic even for those with middling incomes). That would get the ball rolling.

You could order pizza and have chips and dip on hand.

I forget where you're located. But I wish the Toronto Maple Leafs would win the Stanley Cup sometime.

I tried that too and have gone by myself more than once (used to go with my ex). The staff is always very friendly and I am sure they recognize me but everyone else remained in their little cliques. I don't live in an NHL city but I do go to hockey games regularly (say 30-40 a year). Sure, I know lots of people there and feel very comfortable even going alone but they are all married men 40+ who like to get drunk and stupid. I respect that's their choice but it's not for me.

I certainly am treated well at hockey events (and I also do volunteer work for a major organization in public events) and while I have been treated with respect and admiration, no friendships have resulted thus far. Just sucks that it's summer and there is no hockey until August. On that note, I did check out the local Senior Baseball League once and while I personally had no major issues, I have never seen such a rude, insular, unwelcoming group of people in all my life. I wish I knew there I could go to relax and have fun in the summer evenings other than movies that doesn't involve copious amounts of alcohol.

P.S. You think that's bad, remember I'm an Oiler Fan. The only Cup they will ever see is a beer cup on the golf course. I did get to see my local team win a national title once though: what an incredible feeling that was!



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14 May 2014, 12:08 pm

You have an ex?

Sorry to point this out but that fact alone already makes you more socially advanced than a lot of other folk on the spectrum. I'd worry less.

BTW older friends of either sex are valuable to have, no matter what age you are. If you don't scare away the auld dears, you must have something going for you?