Author Topic: Increasing social connections/social capital  (Read 13829 times)

Astatine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #150 on: February 28, 2018, 03:33:39 AM »
Also, this challenge has made me articulate one of the things that I get anxious about: while I've learnt that yes, my close friends do love and care about me, I always feel like that it can evaporate and be gone in a moment if I say or do the wrong thing

Did I write this??

<3 <3 <3 I'm torn between argh, I'm so sorry you have the same feelings cos they SUCK and *phew* not just me.

(tbh I even get these feels on this forum with lots of people, including you :/)

ME TOO :-/

In conclusion:

1) anxiety sucks, specially social anxiety

2) brains can be dumb

Tris Prior

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #151 on: February 28, 2018, 09:07:39 AM »


Also, this challenge has made me articulate one of the things that I get anxious about: while I've learnt that yes, my close friends do love and care about me, I always feel like that it can evaporate and be gone in a moment if I say or do the wrong thing, and I always jump to the worst possible conclusion. I know where this has all come from (childhood trauma stuff) but it is very hard to unlearn deep emotional reactions. (I don't share my fears with anyone, just DH, and apparently, now all of you)

Me too. I think because this did happen to me repeatedly as a kid and a teen. The sudden freeze-out that girls do to one another sometimes for no apparent reason - one day everything's great, the next day they all decide somehow "We're going to start ignoring Tris from now on." Leaving me standing there wondering WTF just happened.

I do feel that, for me, it's less worrying that I'm going to say or do the wrong thing (though that is a factor), and more feeling as though I just don't exist to them unless I'm constantly making overtures. Less "I've offended someone," more "I don't matter." If that makes sense.

March has some stuff coming up for me:

- My community garden org is having a seed swap on Sunday and I decided to volunteer at it, in addition to just going to get my grabby hands on free seeds.

- The garden org also requires us all to attend mandatory orientation before the season starts, regardless of how long we've been doing it. This year, they're having separate orientation sessions based on which garden location you're in (there are 6 or 7, I think?) I think this is a great idea as that way you can meet people that you're likely going to be seeing in the garden all season long and maybe make some connections. So I'm going to that.

- We heard about a Buffy trivia night that sounds hilarious so we're going to that in hopes of meeting more nerds.

- Friend's birthday party

- At month's end a couple of our friends from St. Louis are coming up for a visit. Really looking forward to that. Except that one of them always makes comments on any tiny visible bit of dirt or dust she finds in our apartment. NOT looking forward to that. Anyone have scripts to shut that kind of thing down? We've already tried the "it hurts our feelings when you point out our shortcomings re our housekeeping ability" and in return got "well, it's important to have a clean house." Oh, OK then?

- Boyfriend's birthday party. We're both terrified that no one's going to show up, and the event he chose required him to make a reservation and put up money up front. So I guess we'll have to eat that, if no one shows. (It's an activity that really requires more than him and me.) I have no idea what to do to make him feel better if people do indeed end up blowing off his 50th.

Serendip

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #152 on: February 28, 2018, 09:27:44 AM »


Also, this challenge has made me articulate one of the things that I get anxious about: while I've learnt that yes, my close friends do love and care about me, I always feel like that it can evaporate and be gone in a moment if I say or do the wrong thing, and I always jump to the worst possible conclusion. I know where this has all come from (childhood trauma stuff) but it is very hard to unlearn deep emotional reactions. (I don't share my fears with anyone, just DH, and apparently, now all of you)

Me too. I think because this did happen to me repeatedly as a kid and a teen. The sudden freeze-out that girls do to one another sometimes for no apparent reason - one day everything's great, the next day they all decide somehow "We're going to start ignoring Tris from now on." Leaving me standing there wondering WTF just happened.

I do feel that, for me, it's less worrying that I'm going to say or do the wrong thing (though that is a factor), and more feeling as though I just don't exist to them unless I'm constantly making overtures. Less "I've offended someone," more "I don't matter." If that makes sense.


It makes so much sense!!
I have been reading a just released book called Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions (Johann Hari)
(the author also did a TED talk about addicts & the need for connection)

Essentially the author is looking at the skewed research on the brain chemistry side for depression and making the argument that we *as a society* are actually having a very normal/good responce to a very weird & f'd up world. We have lost our connection to neighbors, tribes, families, on top of uncertain jobs, finances, place in the hierarchy, ability to be self-determined when we have little choice in so many things.

I thought of this group & how we all are realizing we desire more connection.
The book also goes into trauma shaping how we read people/navigate the world.

End point: I think we are onto something..keep reaching out :)


rosarugosa

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #153 on: February 28, 2018, 02:35:12 PM »

- At month's end a couple of our friends from St. Louis are coming up for a visit. Really looking forward to that. Except that one of them always makes comments on any tiny visible bit of dirt or dust she finds in our apartment. NOT looking forward to that. Anyone have scripts to shut that kind of thing down? We've already tried the "it hurts our feelings when you point out our shortcomings re our housekeeping ability" and in return got "well, it's important to have a clean house." Oh, OK then?


As someone who keeps a clean home, but realizes that is my thing and totally does not judge others nor choose my friends based on their housekeeping or lack thereof, I think I would go for something along the lines of, "What the hell is wrong with you?"  And yes, I would be hoping to never see this "friend" again.  With friends, it is all about quality rather than quantity.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #154 on: February 28, 2018, 03:05:20 PM »

- At month's end a couple of our friends from St. Louis are coming up for a visit. Really looking forward to that. Except that one of them always makes comments on any tiny visible bit of dirt or dust she finds in our apartment. NOT looking forward to that. Anyone have scripts to shut that kind of thing down? We've already tried the "it hurts our feelings when you point out our shortcomings re our housekeeping ability" and in return got "well, it's important to have a clean house." Oh, OK then?


As someone who keeps a clean home, but realizes that is my thing and totally does not judge others nor choose my friends based on their housekeeping or lack thereof, I think I would go for something along the lines of, "What the hell is wrong with you?"  And yes, I would be hoping to never see this "friend" again.  With friends, it is all about quality rather than quantity.
wtf - with the unbelievable rudeness? "Not as important as being a good person"

I hate conflict so I would probably play it more of an "alas, so sorry I can't meet your exacting standards" or " oh well, a little dirt is good for the immune system"  or " I would rather enrich my brain, my body, my community than spend all my time on the mundane task of dusting"  or " it was dust or (insert task that you did do to make the party happen such as buy groceries or booze or toilet paper) so I chose (this activity) 

sorry you have to have a jerk to your home.
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Tris Prior

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #155 on: February 28, 2018, 03:29:18 PM »
Yeah.... it's Boyfriend's best friend so she is not going anywhere anytime soon. And, this is her 1 bad quality. She really is a lovely person other than this.

The thing is, she doesn't say that to him. Only to me. I suspect that she subscribes to the theory (which I was also raised with but do not believe any more), that the condition of one's home is the responsibility of the female resident, not the male resident. Therefore, if the place is filthy it's the women's fault and she should get right on that. Which is kind of hilarious in our house because Boyfriend probably cleans more than I do. But, before we moved in together his apartment was a total bachelor-pad shithole and apparently she never shamed him for that.


MrsWhipple

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #156 on: February 28, 2018, 04:20:00 PM »
Yeah.... it's Boyfriend's best friend so she is not going anywhere anytime soon. And, this is her 1 bad quality. She really is a lovely person other than this.

The thing is, she doesn't say that to him. Only to me. I suspect that she subscribes to the theory (which I was also raised with but do not believe any more), that the condition of one's home is the responsibility of the female resident, not the male resident. Therefore, if the place is filthy it's the women's fault and she should get right on that. Which is kind of hilarious in our house because Boyfriend probably cleans more than I do. But, before we moved in together his apartment was a total bachelor-pad shithole and apparently she never shamed him for that.
If she says it with Boyfriend around, he needs to be the one to shut that shit down hard. If he's not around:
"Why would you say something like that?"
"That's a rude thing to say."
Laugh heartily. "Surely you're not serious."
Or just stare at her silently.

Frankly, I wouldn't invite people like that into my home. If they ask about staying over, "Oh, I'm afraid last time our place seemed to be unacceptable, and we simply don't have the time to get it ready. There's a nice hotel nearby, would you like the number?"

Carrie

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #157 on: February 28, 2018, 04:43:03 PM »
I would respond with "eh, it's just not my thing. This is where I keep the rags, vacuum & cleaner, help yourself."
Shrug shoulders, walk away.
Or say, "that's really his chore in our division of tasks, you should mention that to Boyfriend."

Astatine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #158 on: March 02, 2018, 03:04:08 AM »
A few things:

- made it to dinner out with 5 other people (one of whom I'd never met before - she was a friend of a friend), which was good fun

- socialised with a few people at work at lunch

- tomorrow morning I'm meeting up with MMMers, most of whom I've met at least once before but there will be at least one person I haven't met before

- might do a Pokemon Go picnic dinner with a couple of friends Saturday arvo/evening, depending on whether we can find somewhere away from a big city-wide festival (I don't like crowds)

- back to weekly dinner with some friends on Sunday night

Hirondelle

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #159 on: March 02, 2018, 03:21:30 AM »
Haven't been very social this last week. Sports activities got canceled due to spring break and I spent my evenings at home. I did chat a lot with co-workers though and joined lunch every day. Yesterday I did chat with a lot of my long distance friends on FB and Whatsapp so that was good.

Weekend plans:
- See both of my good friends from hometown.
- Ask lab-next-door girl for lunch somewhere next week.
- Figure out if I can visit Austria in May to see a friend there + check if I can combine with other friend in Austria.
- It's my dad's birthday today so I'll go there tonight and see my family plus probably some of my parent's friends.

Drole

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #160 on: March 02, 2018, 05:55:41 AM »
One of the original links in the post has really been on my mind and that's the idea of "showing up."

So I've been trying to see more from other folks' perspective and what is important to them.

-ex our neighbors run the local community garden so the kids and I volunteered there on the last workday.  I've been meaning to do it for awhile, and it really is a win-win as my kids get to learn about gardening from folks who know much more than I do and they get help with tasks like weeding.  But its showing up in what's important to someone else.

-I've also been cleaning out a storage mess and trying to re-home things.  So a parent of one of my kid's classmates runs a sewing program for immigrants.  She got the old sewing machine.  Not a social thing on its own, but trying to support and build a little better foundation.  My massive supply of paper products has been given to the school....helps balance the trade that my kids get cans to recycle.

-I invited two families from school to attend a dance competition with the kids and I on Saturday.  I know one mom, but not the others.  I think just the 'new to me' family is attending.

-I've signed my daughter up for swim team to get her out and building more social connections.  Son starts soccer with an existing friend in about week.  Anything to avoid the coming home and becoming a TV vegetable thing + bored + fighting with each other bc they both want kids to play with. 

Since starting this little effort, its been really interesting to see the results.  One gal who I made an effort with invited the kids and I over for dinner.  What made this so neat was that our husbands were the original base for the 'friendship' and mine is currently traveling.  She invited this bc she knew he was away and was trying to give me something to do with them in the evening and give me a break from cooking, etc.  Really sweet.

Anyway, I'm sure there have been some other wins and efforts I am forgetting right now. 






Carrie

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #161 on: March 02, 2018, 06:54:09 AM »
This week has been good. Monday morning I had brunch with two other ladies, we all live in the same neighborhood and have kids the same age. We discussed important issues and current events, and that felt good.
Tuesday afternoon I met up with new friend/parent of my kid's new friend at the park, and made arrangements for Friday afternoon (today). She also mentioned being in town for spring break, and wants to explore the area with us (they just moved here from out of state).
Wednesday morning I went on a walk with the across the street neighbor, had a nice visit, and have made plans to get our families together for dinner soon.
There were other small interactions, like chatting with receptionists, pleasantries with teachers during my school volunteer time, etc.
But - here's what has me thrilled- two years ago I barely knew anyone in our neighborhood. Just this week I've had meaningful interactions, real conversation and friend making, with four different women who all live within half mile of us. 

It sounds like everyone is doing great. Are you all feeling more connection, and is it making your mental space better? My anxiety is decreasing with every social engagement.

pachnik

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #162 on: March 02, 2018, 08:13:21 AM »
Weekend plans:

Tonight, I am going to call a friend who i'll be helping with some legal stuff.

I am going to my regular Sat. a.m. meeting where I know a lot of the regulars.  I will make a point of speaking to a person i don't usually speak to either before the mtg starts or at the break. 

Also, I will email a friend who should be getting back from her cruise soon.  I've missed her. 

I've enjoyed reading other people's entries.

Tris Prior

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #163 on: March 02, 2018, 08:45:14 AM »

Or say, "that's really his chore in our division of tasks, you should mention that to Boyfriend."

It's odd how this individual thinks I am responsible for Boyfriend's behavior. Once, when we were visiting them in their town, Boyfriend apparently used the bathroom in the middle of the night and forgot to flush (pee only, mind you, it's not like he left a huge mess). The next morning my friend said to me, "Do you know that Boyfriend didn't flush the toilet? What's up with that - you need to talk to him about that." I looked at her mystified and jokingly said something like, "uh, he's a grown man and I'm not in charge of his toileting; did you mention this to him, if it bothered you?" No, of course she hadn't. What? I told her that I wasn't responsible for his bathroom etiquette. :)

Anyway, this is one flaw in an otherwise lovely person (who to be fair had a very very conservative religious upbringing and while she's left most of that behind I think some of it might still be hanging on re gender roles).

Do others have problems getting others to RSVP, and if so, does this vary by age? Boyfriend told me last night he was worried about his party because no one had responded to his "does this restaurant work with everyone's food preferences/sensitivities?" message. He took that to mean, no one was coming, but he said he didn't want to be That Guy who keeps pestering people. That being said, he really did need to get the reservation made, and he needed a headcount for that. I told him that it was perfectly acceptable to say "hey, I need a firm headcount for the reservation by X date." So he did that, and this resulted in two firm yesses! Hooray!

That being said..... is it normal, in everyone's experience, for people to just not RSVP to things? Boyfriend asked me, "is this a millennial thing?" because most of the people invited are younger, but I hate to millennial-bash.


It sounds like everyone is doing great. Are you all feeling more connection, and is it making your mental space better? My anxiety is decreasing with every social engagement.


The majority of the plans I've made haven't happened yet - but I think it is helping my mental state to have things on the calendar to look forward to.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #164 on: March 02, 2018, 12:18:51 PM »
I am still trying to pull myself out of a funk so haven't really made any efforts to be social.  I did some huge things for me and I needed a rest.  Next weekend I am co-presenting at a small conference with a neighbour/colleague so I guess go out there on public speaking limb again is all I can handle at the moment. 
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Dollar Slice

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #165 on: March 02, 2018, 12:26:58 PM »
Tris, in NYC it's not millennials, it's everyone. I invited seven people to a thing last night. It wasn't something that needed RSVP but I was going to go early and stake out seats for us all. So... Two people confirmed the night before that they would come. Two people confirmed in the late afternoon that they would come and then cancelled between 6:30 and 7:30 (one was a genuine emergency). One told me she would absolutely come if she could but wasn't sure and would let me know. Never heard back. One said "maybe" and then never contacted me about it again.

I did have a great time with the two people that showed up :-) And also talked to three acquaintances that were there, two of whom I'm very shy with.
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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #166 on: March 02, 2018, 12:40:57 PM »
This year I've done three things to try to work toward this goal.  I really think this is just going to broaden my list of acquaintances though. I already have a lot of acquaintances.  :(

-Joined a local Moms blog loss group, I've attended 2 meetings so far, and kept in touch with 2 of the Moms on a more personal basis. One I really want to be friends with, but since she doesn't have living children, it is a little difficult since my living child is the age of her son. That's hard; but I'm trying to think of ways to reach out to get together with her more.
-Went to the first gathering of a local bereavement charity's support group.  This was because one of the women from the previous group asked me to go. I connected well with a number of the women there. This one meets quarterly, so I hope to keep it up.  I also hope to get more involved in the charity.
-Joined a religious(ish) group. Have been to 4 gatherings so far. This one looks like it's really going to stay acquaintances though :(
-Accepted an invitation from neighbors to go to a charity trivia night. This is next month, and the first time we will use a non-daycare babysitter. It certainly makes going out more expensive.

imadandylion

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #167 on: March 03, 2018, 02:43:39 PM »
I don't really have problems getting people to respond to invitations to do things, especially group things. Is it because you're inviting a bunch of people to a group thing where they might not really know other people very well? Some people can be uncomfortable with this. Or maybe they don't care for the venue/type of event very much?  I've found it's good to just plant the seed of doing something with people, then invite, then follow up 1-2x with people who are going (and ask about +1's), especially if it's at a restaurant. This will help them to decide pretty quickly.

It's not a millennial thing to back out or be flaky, that's been around for generations. Instead of just writing it off as poor social form (unless you genuinely start to notice a trend of a certain individual doing this, then stop inviting them if it bothers you...) or negatively speculating, maybe just be understanding and focus on people who do want to go. Some people might not feel well or aren't in the mood depending on what happened, and you wouldn't want to people to feel like they have to go if they're not going to be their best self

Some updates:

- Board game night yesterday went over really well, and it sounds like other people wanted to come, so maybe next time we do this we can expand our party since people want to do it again. It turned into a mini potluck, too, where everyone contributed something, food or booze, so it wasn't as financially straining like going out would be for my partner and me.  We had 6 of my coworkers over for a total of 8 in the party, so in a small apartment it gets tough to host more than that, but maybe next time there can be two concurrent games going on.  Will follow up on setting up a sushi-making party night, too, from someone's suggestion.

- Reached out to an out-of-town friend, who agreed to do a brunch/"girl's day" with a traditional manicure appointment and thrifting expedition.  We will schedule in April because we're both busy this month. Trying to look up more ideas of stuff to do. Love when friends can be flexible about time. I feel like the year is already going quickly, and February and January were gone before I knew it, so April isn't too far away to wait.

- Going to hang out with a couple coworker-friends to plant nurseries on Sunday, but then I have to skedaddle in the afternoon because I posted on nextdoor to help people in the neighborhood with stuff, and someone actually took me up on it!

- Tried to get in touch with that couple we were friends with but found out via facebook stalking that they moved to the UK! :( Would love to have chatted anyway but the wife didn't accept my friend request.  Oh well. I guess she wouldn't have a reason to.

- Messaged some people on girlfriendsocial but no one responded. I don't think people are really active on this site. I also wasn't very responsive last year when some people were trying to get in touch with me either. Might try meetup.com some time, but none of the groups seemed all the interesting, or they do but they always seem to involve spending money eating out! I just want to cast a wide net and meet new people in general and not sure the best way to do this.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #168 on: March 04, 2018, 12:14:22 PM »
Our girl's from work night out (dinner and cinema) is cancelled. Half of them cancelled for various reasons.

I will go to a course i May to learn how to pick wild green stuff for dinner. The course is not too far from home. Might be fun.

Tris Prior

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #169 on: March 04, 2018, 05:26:31 PM »
I don't really have problems getting people to respond to invitations to do things, especially group things. Is it because you're inviting a bunch of people to a group thing where they might not really know other people very well? Some people can be uncomfortable with this. Or maybe they don't care for the venue/type of event very much?  I've found it's good to just plant the seed of doing something with people, then invite, then follow up 1-2x with people who are going (and ask about +1's), especially if it's at a restaurant. This will help them to decide pretty quickly.


To clarify, I was mostly complaining about people who do not respond at all. Not a good time? Not into the event we have planner? Fine - just TELL US THAT. We will not shame you if your answer is no, we promise!

It's the dead silence in response to invites that we have a hard time with (and reinforces some of the fears that I and others alluded to upthread that it's not that people dislike us, they just fail to notice we exist despite our best efforts).

At any rate, being directly told "we need a headcount for the reservation" seems to have gotten us at least some yesses and no's. Which is all we wanted.

Serendip

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #170 on: March 04, 2018, 07:05:08 PM »
Visiting my hometown to see family and made an effort to see a few childhood friends. Sometimes it's easy to just hide out when I am home but I never regret it when I see these old, familiar faces--it's a good reminder to step out of my introverted comfort zone every now and then.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #171 on: March 05, 2018, 08:15:18 AM »
I had some major social anxiety at an event last night and am feeling like a bit of a failure at the moment... sigh. But at least XKCD gets us:

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Serendip

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #172 on: March 07, 2018, 04:00:09 PM »
I had some major social anxiety at an event last night and am feeling like a bit of a failure at the moment... sigh. But at least XKCD gets us:



This cartoon is the best..I actually thought of it today when I was having a nice interaction with the fellow beside me on the airplane--after a normal pause, I panicked..then I thought of this, calmed down & pulled myself together.   ha

Had a lovely chat with a stranger. It's so nice when we can just get outside of ourselves and be with someone.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #173 on: March 07, 2018, 04:42:45 PM »
This cartoon is the best..I actually thought of it today when I was having a nice interaction with the fellow beside me on the airplane--after a normal pause, I panicked..then I thought of this, calmed down & pulled myself together.   ha

:-)  Sometimes it helps just to acknowledge it... in your head or in the open. I realized after posting it that if anyone asked me why I was acting weird that night or why I didn't say hi (they won't, but see: social anxiety) I can just say I was having a social anxiety flare-up. And all of the people who could conceivably ask that would be nice about it, because they're nice people. So it's not a big deal. And if I say it's not a big deal often enough, maybe I'll even believe it... ;-)
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Astatine

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #174 on: March 07, 2018, 11:56:01 PM »
@Dollarslice this made me happy to read :)

Signed,

Another Social Anxiety Peep.


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Linda_Norway

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #175 on: March 08, 2018, 07:09:49 AM »
I had a 3 hour course with a bunch of people from another division. Talked a bit to some people that I hadn't talked to before.

rosarugosa

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #176 on: March 08, 2018, 08:38:44 AM »
I was amazed to find out how many people around me were taking medication for anxiety.  Some of them either hid it very well or their meds were very effective!  So a lot of people will be quite sympathetic to an admission of anxiety because they struggle with some type of anxiety themselves.
I had two situations last week where I saw people I knew from afar.  Of course my first reaction was "thank goodness, they didn't see me!," but in both cases I made myself go over and talk for a bit.  These are people I like, although more in the acquaintance than friend category, or kind of in that gray zone in between.  In any event, I was very gratified afterwards; they were pleasant interactions that were bright spots in my week, and they both seemed pleased to see me as well.

Tris Prior

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #177 on: March 11, 2018, 09:14:54 AM »
I'd like some perspective as to whether this is in fact a huge social misstep that will send people running from us screaming, or whether that's just my social anxiety talking.

Boyfriend's 50th birthday party was last night. We invited some friends to dinner out, followed by karaoke. We were terrified no one was going to show up, as I mentioned upthread, but only 1 person cancelled. People seemed to have fun! I was very relieved as I feared if no one showed Boyfriend was really going to sink further into depression.

At the end of the evening, Boyfriend - who was fairly drunk, which, whatever, you turn 50 once - thanked everyone for coming and said something like "you guys are my best friends in {our city}."

And I just facepalmed because..... we're not actually that close to these people? I'm certain we are not THEIR best friends in this city. I feel like he came off as really needy. I'm hoping they give him a pass because he was drunk, and read it as drunken "I love you man" and not "We're so pathetic that we don't have closer friends here."

What do you guys think - is this my social anxiety and embarrassment at not having more friends talking? I suspect so, but maybe not? If it is not, and this is actually a huge social misstep, any suggestions on how to recover from it?

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #178 on: March 11, 2018, 09:23:24 AM »
@Tris Prior - I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just enjoy that Boyfriend had a great time.  Drunken people can get needy.  Much nicer type of drunken person than those that are mean.  Hope his head isn't hurting too bad. 
Remember - you can't decide what other people think but you can chose what you think.  Chose - drunken man feeling the love....He was having a good time.
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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #179 on: March 11, 2018, 10:23:06 AM »
How long have you lived in that city? I've been through the same kind of thing, feeling like all my friends are "new" friends in a new place, and feeling like I'm not a high priority to anyone since they've all been here longer and have more established relationships. It's just a normal part of life. Anyway, they're probably flattered. Think how you would feel if someone said that to you. You'd feel good that they liked you so much and felt a connection with you, right?

The worry is low self-esteem or anxiety talking, I think. The only way I could imagine thinking that was "pathetic" was if I was only hanging out with someone out of pity or obligation... and I think deep down you're worried that this is what's happening, because the social anxiety makes you feel like you don't have any worth as a friend, and you don't understand why anyone would be your friend for real. (I'm 100% projecting this from inside my own social anxiety, btw... I'm continually amazed that people like me and perpetually worried that they don't really.) I think part of the reason why I try to do a lot of favors and kind things for people is that it makes that part of me shut up... "See? People like me because I'm so nice! They're not secretly feeling sorry for me because I'm such a loser." If this all sounds familiar: definitely social anxiety talking...
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Tris Prior

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #180 on: March 11, 2018, 11:28:02 AM »
@Tris Prior - I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just enjoy that Boyfriend had a great time.  Drunken people can get needy.  Much nicer type of drunken person than those that are mean.  Hope his head isn't hurting too bad. 

Remember - you can't decide what other people think but you can chose what you think.  Chose - drunken man feeling the love....He was having a good time.

He never gets hangovers - lucky him. :P

I am trying not to think too hard about what they thought of his statement. He had a really good time and it probably didn't even occur to him that maybe that wasn't a good thing to say (I have not mentioned it to him.).

How long have you lived in that city? I've been through the same kind of thing, feeling like all my friends are "new" friends in a new place, and feeling like I'm not a high priority to anyone since they've all been here longer and have more established relationships. It's just a normal part of life.

I have lived here all my life, born and raised. He's been here since 2005. Yes, that's exactly it, I feel like we are not a high priority for anyone, but an afterthought, and told Boyfriend the other day "I don't know how to get people to actually care about us?"

So part of me thinks, what's wrong with me that I've been here for so long and still do not have close friends? Then the other part of me remembers, oh yeah, I HAD friends but they all hated Chicago and left for places where the winters aren't as bad, where owning property with actual land is a possibility, etc. All my life, it's gone: meet someone, hit it off, start hanging out, develop friendship...... and they announce they're leaving.

A lot of this is on us. We haven't prioritized making friends for some time for a variety of reasons, over the years: sick parents needing care, jobs that required 80-hour weeks, poverty that caused us to spend all our time hustling for money and being unable to afford to socialize (and also being unable to find people who were willing to socialize with us for free; that is a real problem in this city). We're working on it harder now but it sometimes gets really exhausting. We were supposed to go to another event today that is sure to have folks with similar interests, but we are too worn out (and slightly hungover) from yesterday's festivities and no adulting tasks were accomplished yesterday so instead we're food-shopping, batch cooking, doing laundry....


Anyway, they're probably flattered. Think how you would feel if someone said that to you. You'd feel good that they liked you so much and felt a connection with you, right?

Yes, I would. But I keep replaying this conversation I had years ago with a not-close friend. She awkwardly was explaining to me that her wedding venue was tiny and she couldn't fit everyone after inviting family and lifelong friends, so she was sorry but I wouldn't be getting an invite. I wasn't upset by this; I had the same issue with my own wedding and I told her it was fine and I understood. She looked relieved and said something along the lines of, "whew, some people have gotten SO upset with me about this. There's one person who I'm not going to invite.... and I don't know how to tell her because she just asked me to be her bridesmaid in HER wedding. She says she feels so close to me, like a sister, and wants me to be a part of her big day. And I just don't feel that way about her, and I'm not even INVITING her much less asking her to be a bridesmaid, and I feel so awkward around her now, I don't know that I'll feel comfortable even hanging out with her again."

I didn't even know her friend but instantly felt SO sorry for that person, whoever she was. Here she thought she and my friend were BFFs and my friend just..... didn't. I'm worried about becoming that person someday.


The worry is low self-esteem or anxiety talking, I think. The only way I could imagine thinking that was "pathetic" was if I was only hanging out with someone out of pity or obligation... and I think deep down you're worried that this is what's happening, because the social anxiety makes you feel like you don't have any worth as a friend, and you don't understand why anyone would be your friend for real. (I'm 100% projecting this from inside my own social anxiety, btw... I'm continually amazed that people like me and perpetually worried that they don't really.)


OK, thank you for the reality check. I suspected as much (yay therapy for helping me see that this might be my jerkbrain talking even though I still feel crappy about it!). And yes, I worry that people don't really want to hang out with me but feel obligated to. I was bullied horribly in school, as was Boyfriend, and both of us had the experience of people faking like they wanted to be friends with us and then mocking us and shunning us. "You thought we were your FRIENDS? HAHAHAHAHA." That sort of mean girls behavior. Except Boyfriend got it from girls he wanted to date. Tweens and teens just really suck sometimes.


I think part of the reason why I try to do a lot of favors and kind things for people is that it makes that part of me shut up... "See? People like me because I'm so nice! They're not secretly feeling sorry for me because I'm such a loser." If this all sounds familiar: definitely social anxiety talking...

Totally familiar. When I was getting mercilessly bullied as a kid and would lament to my mom that no one liked me, she would say, "if you want a friend, you need to BE a friend." She never really explained what that meant, though, and I had no idea, so in my kid-brain that morphed into "go along with whatever others want, do favors for people, help them, never ask for anything in return, do all the emotional labor and listen to their problems but don't burden them with yours." To this day I struggle with setting boundaries with others and standing up for my own self-worth because I never learned how to do that. I have a hard time seeing the line between "good friend" and "doormat who has no needs of her own."

pachnik

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #181 on: March 11, 2018, 11:58:19 AM »
Tris, I am happy that your boyfriend's birthday went so well.  And I also don't think the thing he said is a bit deal.  Especially with everyone having a few drinks in them. 

We have that thing about people moving away from here too but in Vancouver it is more about 'cashing out' on the very expensive real estate and then buying somewhere with a lower cost of living.  One very good friend moved away about 15 years ago to live with her son in Alberta but we are very much in contact still.  And in fact, she invited us to visit her in Calgary.  Our vacation this year is already booked but we decided to make a road trip to Alberta next summer.  To visit my friend as well as see the sights. 

And I know what you mean about prioritizing friends.  We both work full time and for example, today my husband is making bread and doing some batch cooking.  We'll clean up the house and I need to go to my bank branch.  He also want to take a motorcycle ride since the weather is good.  After dinner, I am meeting someone at a coffee shop for tea so there is a bit of socializing there. 

One thing that I am going to do this summer is have a BBQ for both sides of the family.  It will be the largest number of people I've hosted in a long time.  Feel kind of anxious about it but still going to do it. 
« Last Edit: March 11, 2018, 01:19:25 PM by pachnik »

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #182 on: March 11, 2018, 12:23:04 PM »
I would respond with "eh, it's just not my thing. This is where I keep the rags, vacuum & cleaner, help yourself."
Shrug shoulders, walk away.
Or say, "that's really his chore in our division of tasks, you should mention that to Boyfriend."

THIS ^^^ and yup, I've said that.
I've also said, "yeah well, I had more important things on my mind:) 

pachnik

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #183 on: March 11, 2018, 01:20:13 PM »
I would respond with "eh, it's just not my thing. This is where I keep the rags, vacuum & cleaner, help yourself."
Shrug shoulders, walk away.
Or say, "that's really his chore in our division of tasks, you should mention that to Boyfriend."

THIS ^^^ and yup, I've said that.
I've also said, "yeah well, I had more important things on my mind:)

I've definitely said both things as well.  The first one stopped the person in their tracks.  :)

Carrie

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #184 on: March 11, 2018, 01:33:17 PM »
I'm so lucky that no one has criticized, at least to my face, my cleaning skills. Sometimes I'll self deprecate to head it off with - I hate cleaning, so I hope everything is fine- if not, don't care.

Carrie

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #185 on: March 11, 2018, 01:36:40 PM »
I just started a book that made me think of this thread and the concerns echoed throughout. I'm only a little way into it, so I can't vouch that it's perfect, but so far I'm nodding my head and having some aha moments. I Know How You Feel, The Joy and Heartbreak of Friendship in Women's Lives, F. Diane Barth.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2018, 01:38:26 PM by Carrie »

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #186 on: March 11, 2018, 07:59:42 PM »
Whew! Just came from a Memorial Service. Close to 500 people there. I called someone who I serve on a board with to ask if I could sit with them, as I wasn't sure who I would know there. They were very gracious, and eventually I did see others I knew. I ended up having a couple of nice conversations. Favorite one went like this:

Big, Important Person: Usually when I meet a pretty girl, I ask them if we dated.

Dicey: I didn't get married until I was 54, so we probably did.

Slayed him and the rest of the group, and I am damn proud of myself for thinking up a good retort for once in my life.
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #187 on: March 12, 2018, 01:52:40 AM »
Big, Important Person: Usually when I meet a pretty girl, I ask them if we dated.

Dicey: I didn't get married until I was 54, so we probably did.

Slayed him and the rest of the group, and I am damn proud of myself for thinking up a good retort for once in my life.

:-D
Good one.

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #188 on: March 12, 2018, 07:04:00 AM »
Oh my gosh I had forgotten about this thread and am SO glad to have re-discovered it.
I moved a month or two ago. 
I got out of the busy stressful city and now live in a converted garage apartment on a farm.  It's so beautiful, peaceful, and feels good to my soul- but I know it's isolated me even further.  I've gone several days (days when I am off from work) not speaking to another human being (I might sing cool songs to my dog, but that's it) and while I don't mind it at all, I know it's not healthy.

  Every now and then, a deeply persistent and consuming, bleak, isolating loneliness kicks in.  Generally I'm able to shake it off pretty darn quick- I'll throw a podcast on or take a hike in the woods, but last week I did call the crisis hotline just to make sure I was ok (I was fine).
Against all of my other mustachian tendencies, my high savings rate, my strict budget, my "don't do stuff because stuff costs money" attitude, I really think I need to get re-involved with sports. 
I used to go to Crossfit as a sponsored athlete (meaning it was free) and I LOVED IT.  I went to the social gatherings (usually free stuff at the gym, bring your own food, etc.), worked out and talked to people 3+ times per week, even went rock climbing with some fellow members once.  I no longer play for the sports team I was on, so it's no longer available to me for free (I don't have time for the sports team right now- it's a 15+hr/wk commitment not counting the crossfit days)  I've decided that I need to look into something like this again, or just start paying for it (the cheapest CF gym I've found will let you pay for the year and give you a student discount, which breaks it down to $80/mo- to go back to the gym I was formerly at, it is $160/mo) in order to give my life some functioning social aspects and feelings of purpose. 
I've been at a regular gym for a while now and I just work out in the corner and never speak to anyone.  I've done the group classes here as well and I don't like them (except spin was "ok", but mostly because it was easy for me since I'm a leg monster and that made it reinforcing... but did I actually enjoy it or socialize with the other people?  Not really....) much. 
Dang it... I think I want to endure the face punches for paying for crossfit on a 35k salary. :( :( :(

Has anyone here paid for social activities if they check other boxes in life (like social activities that are also networking, social activities that are also health-building, social activities that are also educational, etc...)?  How did you sit with that choice?  I think I've all but convinced myself that I need to do it, but I know I will obsess over it since I try to optimize my spending in every other part of my life (I live on about 18-22k of my 35k salary).
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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #189 on: March 12, 2018, 07:58:12 AM »
@JanetJackson - I have paid for social activities.  Sometimes they are in the guise of a learning opportunity - yesterday I learned how to do pysanka - and the afternoon cost $10 and had tea and chocolates in addition to all the supplies to come home with an Easter Egg.  In the past I have paid to be on a soccer team with other newish-parents, card making, painting class and pottery.  I have two new friends through painting classes.  These two are people that are more than acquaintances on the way to friends....  Now instead of taking classes, we paint together for a way more mustachian approach to this hobby.  I have made friends through gardening at a community food garden - which doesn't cost me a thing.  Every Thursday I go to help harvest and feel good connections there.

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #190 on: March 12, 2018, 08:34:13 AM »

Has anyone here paid for social activities if they check other boxes in life (like social activities that are also networking, social activities that are also health-building, social activities that are also educational, etc...)?  How did you sit with that choice?  I think I've all but convinced myself that I need to do it, but I know I will obsess over it since I try to optimize my spending in every other part of my life (I live on about 18-22k of my 35k salary).

This is always one of my big dilemmas that I wrestle with. I do pay, sometimes, but I always feel very very guilty about it because I am way behind on retirement savings (having only discovered MMM in my 40s). It goes in cycles. Sometimes I feel worse about myself when I've spent the money. Other times, I know I'd feel depressed and lonely if I missed out on something I would really enjoy and instead sat on the couch staring at my 4 walls and frantically thinking of ways to bring in more income so that maybe I can retire someday.

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #191 on: March 12, 2018, 08:58:52 AM »
Thank you for sharing.  It sounds like we have very similar dilemmas. 


Has anyone here paid for social activities if they check other boxes in life (like social activities that are also networking, social activities that are also health-building, social activities that are also educational, etc...)?  How did you sit with that choice?  I think I've all but convinced myself that I need to do it, but I know I will obsess over it since I try to optimize my spending in every other part of my life (I live on about 18-22k of my 35k salary).

This is always one of my big dilemmas that I wrestle with. I do pay, sometimes, but I always feel very very guilty about it because I am way behind on retirement savings (having only discovered MMM in my 40s). It goes in cycles. Sometimes I feel worse about myself when I've spent the money. Other times, I know I'd feel depressed and lonely if I missed out on something I would really enjoy and instead sat on the couch staring at my 4 walls and frantically thinking of ways to bring in more income so that maybe I can retire someday.
"Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future" -John F. Kennedy

Linda_Norway

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #192 on: March 12, 2018, 09:15:14 AM »
Has anyone here paid for social activities if they check other boxes in life (like social activities that are also networking, social activities that are also health-building, social activities that are also educational, etc...)?  How did you sit with that choice?  I think I've all but convinced myself that I need to do it, but I know I will obsess over it since I try to optimize my spending in every other part of my life (I live on about 18-22k of my 35k salary).

DH and I have been paying members of a sports club to be able to train together with other like minded people. This was a good experience for a reasonable fee. We have also gotten free training at a swimming pool and a weekly training at a sports school from this membership. All in all very cheap and worth it.

I have also been going to educational events for my hobby. As long as I learn a new skill that I would like to use, it is worth it, especially if the price is reasonable. I am also going to social events that are often free, but require me to buy train tickets which are not free. And they cost time. As I live not so close, it might not be worth it. I don't go very often.

For another hobby, I have also travelled to a location and rented a cheap room to spend a weekend with strangers that have the same interest as me. As the room was cheap and the company good, it was worth it the first time I did it. The second time was less worth it from a social aspect. It is also a long way driving. We need good weather to do our hobby and that it taking a chance. If the weather is bad, it is not worth it.

I am considering to travel to an event in autumn that would cost me a whole day driving or buying plane tickets, and would require me to rent a place to sleep, preferably in the hotel with everybody else. This would be a huge cost. It would be educational and social. But I'm not sure whether the numbers will match up. I will probably not do it.

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #193 on: March 12, 2018, 10:06:15 AM »
@JanetJackson I think you already know what is best for you. You will continue to save and be frugal in other aspects of life and IMO money is also a tool to help us craft a life we enjoy living..now as well as later!  If we can find the balance, that is the best.

Sacrifice is okay and even great at times, but not necessarily when mental health is involved. Sounds like social contact in a way you enjoy and benefit from at this point in life might lead to you into a future that is more satisfying. No need to be a martyr for your money.  Or can you think of any ways to make an extra $50-$80/month to offset the cost? Sometimes if I want to pursue something with additional cost I will see if I can add an extra shift or pickup a few hours of work anywhere.
Enjoy your new space, sounds delightful
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 10:58:08 AM by Serendip »

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #194 on: March 12, 2018, 10:53:49 AM »
I emailed a friend and we are going to get together in 2 weeks. Yay!

pachnik

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #195 on: March 12, 2018, 11:15:09 AM »
Had a good visit with a new person last night at a tea shop.  We chatted a bit about other things we'd like to do together so I will call her in the next few weeks - maybe over the Easter long weekend. 

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #196 on: March 12, 2018, 03:14:20 PM »
JanetJackson, I fully understand the frustration. I also pay for sports (cheap though, through university) and often skip out on the social events around it because of the costs, though these would be the more binding/social events that would give a chance to get together in a different way and become more than exclusively sports friends (last weekend they organized a weekend trip for 50 euros, I skipped it). It sounds like for you the regular gym isn't working and you're up for a chance. Is there anything you can do that's "in between" your current gym and the expensive cross-fit? Like a sports club, which is usually more social than a gym. Otherwise you could just sign up for 1y of CF and cancel if it hasn't been worth it.


I've been rather anti-social the last week(s?) and I don't really know why. I'm at some uni courses, so no chatting with co-workers. At the courses somehow I haven't been social and the vibe wasn't that social either. I felt a bit awkward for unknown reasons. Also didn't meet with any friends on the weekend, but did some sports and had regular chitchatting there.

On the good side; I'm having a drink with some of the most fun people I know in this city next week and miiiight be going to hometown to see my friends again as one is throwing a party. But that's a bit of shitty planning as I wanted to go with Easter again as I'd have a few more days instead of the regular rushed schedule. And I don't wanna go both weekends as it's so close together.

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #197 on: March 14, 2018, 02:50:17 PM »
I am in the process of making a new friend via the gym I joined. She has a kid my kid's age, we have a friend in common who introduced us, and I've been going to most of the classes she takes (Zumba! Spin! Yoga!). It's nice getting to know someone new. We went wedding dress shopping for our common friend two weeks ago, and that was terrifically fun. Tomorrow I'm going to take her kid to storytime while she goes to the doctor. It's almost like dating again, like, am I being too needy? When should I invite her family over for dinner? Maybe a more casual lunch? haha

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #198 on: March 15, 2018, 12:48:03 AM »
Last weekend DH and I met up with a friend who was one of the bridesmaids at our wedding plus her husband and 2 kids. We belatedly exchanged Xmas pressies. I had a lot of anxiety previously about this friendship (it has a LOT of emotional baggage, 99% from me - it's the only friendship that survived me breaking up with my ex, except for a few friends from school). But, it was fine and I was quite relaxed and enjoyed the time with my friend and her family. I expect that this friendship will eventually wane, but I'd like to keep it going as long as possible.

This Saturday DH and I are going to a fundraiser morning tea thingy organised by a friend. That should be fun, I hope. And then weekly dinner with DH's ex housemates/quasi family on Sunday.

I was going to have lunch with a work friend today but he called in sick today. Ah well, another day.

I haven't been active in this thread for a while. Been processing some emotional stuff so I haven't had much emotional bandwidth for socialising. But, at least I organised a clothes swap in 6 weeks time with a group of people I know. I hope at least a few people turn up.

It's almost like dating again, like, am I being too needy? When should I invite her family over for dinner? Maybe a more casual lunch? haha

omg I know those feels! How to signal interest but not be tooooooo needy with a potential friend. I think you just summed up the angst of making new friends :)

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Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
« Reply #199 on: March 15, 2018, 05:29:55 AM »
I am in the process of making a new friend via the gym I joined. She has a kid my kid's age, we have a friend in common who introduced us, and I've been going to most of the classes she takes (Zumba! Spin! Yoga!). It's nice getting to know someone new. We went wedding dress shopping for our common friend two weeks ago, and that was terrifically fun. Tomorrow I'm going to take her kid to storytime while she goes to the doctor. It's almost like dating again, like, am I being too needy? When should I invite her family over for dinner? Maybe a more casual lunch? haha

Great job making a new friend with similar interests!!
And I absolutely know those feels.... it DOES feel like dating!
"Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future" -John F. Kennedy