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General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: Astatine on January 29, 2018, 04:23:27 AM

Title: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on January 29, 2018, 04:23:27 AM
I recently read this  post (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/i-don't-have-to-go-to-work-tomorrow/msg1873859/#msg1873859) by pbkmaine and this post (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/no-i-won't-buy-into-your-mlm/msg1853242/#msg1853242) by TheGrimSqueaker about social connection and social capital.

I've also realised I'm happiest at the moment with more social interactions, despite my default tendencies to be a bit of an antisocial homebody.

I'm starting this thread to encourage myself to do something most days to improve my social connection with friends and acquaintances etc. Social media is fair game for keeping friendships and connections alive (please do not criticise or shame any forms of connection in this thread: any connection is valid, regardless of whether it is in person, by phone, texting, social media, messaging etc).

Feel free to join in too.


Today:

- I wished a dear friend happy birthday on FB. (we caught up yesterday in person when I gave her a gift so this was in addition to that)

- I sent a calendar invitation to a work friend for lunch later this week. Every time we run into each other we keep saying, we must have lunch together and never get round to it.

What I still want to do tonight:

- Yesterday I messaged a friend who I've dropped out of contact with for about 18 months and she responded while I was at work, so I want to reply to her tonight.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on January 29, 2018, 06:45:58 AM
May I join you? I am definitely a homebody, and being frugal has made that tendency stronger. Plus I'm a sahm with a wah spouse... so there's often no reason to leave the house.

This week: call someone at the local charity to discuss upcoming class, I've been putting this off due to anxiety.
- arrange a coffee date (at my house) for next Monday for three other moms in the neighborhood.
- visit the local gallery to deliver some work; Make connections there and arrange a demonstration day for next month.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on January 29, 2018, 01:26:47 PM
Welcome! Absolutely you can join in. :) The more the merrier! Good luck with your list.

I messaged my friend back last night. Huzzah!


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Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: kaleidoscopicalkris on January 29, 2018, 01:35:34 PM
I'm in! So far today, I have wished a friend happy birthday by text instead of by facebook, and we've had a really great conversation because of it!

Next up: Reach out to a friend to finalize plans for tomorrow night. Season tickets to any sort of event with a friend are a great way to maintain a regular get-together.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 29, 2018, 06:43:08 PM
I love this challenge!

I'm making a start by RSVPing yes to my local gardening group's vege swap this weekend. I will bring some seeds and veges and maybe make some new friends or at least friendly acquaintances...?
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: chasesfish on January 29, 2018, 06:46:20 PM
I'd like to follow this, just to simply text someone daily that I haven't caught up with for a while
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on January 29, 2018, 06:49:02 PM
Yay!!! Welcome everyone :)

I’m at work now, hopefully will do something when I’m home.


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Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: JanetJackson on January 29, 2018, 07:09:25 PM
I LOVE THIS.
TLDR: I'm way antisocial, but thrive in a community and used to have TONS of friends before I moved to a new city.  I'm up for this challenge!

I am a serious homebody, and my dog has been going through cancer treatments so I have been really optimizing my time with her.  I am also moving a few miles further outside of town in a few weeks, which I know will only isolate me further from people.  BUT this will be a studio garage apartment with NO ROOMATE, so I could absolutely host a friend or two on occasion.  Now just to get myself to interact with people.
I moved to this city about seven years ago, leaving many close friends behind.  I have yet to make any good connections here, but I am also not trying hard enough.
I would like to interact with one different person in my immediate area each day, in any way.  This could be going to a yoga class and putting my mat in a NEW SPOT (I'm a creature of habit), or sending someone a text, or even a Facebook comment.  ANYTHING.  Usually I come home, walk my dog, walk the neighbors dog, go to the gym and work out in the back left corner by myself, and then come home and cook dinner + lunch for the next day and listen to a podcast, foam roll, and go to sleep.  Some days, besides work, I can go a whole day without talking to anyone.  On my days off, that often happens.  People reach out and I usually ignore it.
Must.  Get.  Better.  At.  Being.  A.  Human.

I'm in! :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on January 30, 2018, 12:55:02 AM
Welcome! Your goals sound great!

So, what I've done just now (now that I'm home from work) was like and comment on about 7 or 8 things on FB. Unfortunately the timeline algorithms are a bit crappy so I'm not sure I'm seeing all the people I give a shit about, but I did what I could.

Tonight's goals:

- message someone I used to work with and see how they're going this year

- comment on 5 journals on this forum (preferably ones that I already follow) because a) online community is also important and b) I have a bad habit of reading without replying because of anxiety or whatever.


How did you all go with today's goals (or whatever timeframe you've set for yourself)?
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on January 30, 2018, 02:46:43 AM
Tonight's goals:

- message someone I used to work with and see how they're going this year

- comment on 5 journals on this forum (preferably ones that I already follow) because a) online community is also important and b) I have a bad habit of reading without replying because of anxiety or whatever.


Done! Plus a random message exchange with friend F who apologised for not talking to DH when they ran into each other earlier today. (not sure why she messaged me not him, but I'm happy to have more contact with her)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: limeandpepper on January 30, 2018, 04:36:20 AM
I'm not very good at being social and keeping in touch so I'm going to use this thread as a reminder!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on January 30, 2018, 04:50:26 AM
Yay l&p! Welcome :)


Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on January 31, 2018, 04:42:20 AM
Stuff I managed to do tonight:

- a while ago I messaged a friend on FB messenger and she got back to me today saying yes, we should catch up. (we've been saying this every so often for the past 6 months or so) I responded with an option of 2 weekends in Feb to catch up when I'm free. I'm realising I like having social stuff booked in the calendar in advance, so I'm suggesting concrete days when people say 'we should catch up'.

- responded to another response from someone I know. No catch up suggested but I'm sure we'll do coffee sometime in the next few months.

- I'm hosting a Tupperware party in a couple of weeks to get some BIFL storage containers for my pantry, plus with bonus socialising (Tupperware parties go through one of my social circles in waves - everyone's usually pretty good at saying feel free to come and not buy anything). I've made contact with the consultant and posted an update on my FB event page.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Bateaux on January 31, 2018, 05:46:07 AM
I'm far more antisocial than I was when younger.  It's not that I don't like to be with friends, it's because I've gotten far more selective with the people I like to spend time with.  It has almost nothing to do with a persons income or wealth.  I can't stand most wealthy people.  Mustacian types, I love.  I like cycling and backpacking.  Two sports thst can be as cheap or as expensive as you make them.   The common denominator is the person.  The person makes the sport, not the fancy gear you use. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: JanetJackson on January 31, 2018, 08:56:02 AM
I LOVE THIS.
TLDR: I'm way antisocial, but thrive in a community and used to have TONS of friends before I moved to a new city.  I'm up for this challenge!

I am a serious homebody, and my dog has been going through cancer treatments so I have been really optimizing my time with her.  I am also moving a few miles further outside of town in a few weeks, which I know will only isolate me further from people.  BUT this will be a studio garage apartment with NO ROOMATE, so I could absolutely host a friend or two on occasion.  Now just to get myself to interact with people.
I moved to this city about seven years ago, leaving many close friends behind.  I have yet to make any good connections here, but I am also not trying hard enough.
I would like to interact with one different person in my immediate area each day, in any way.  This could be going to a yoga class and putting my mat in a NEW SPOT (I'm a creature of habit), or sending someone a text, or even a Facebook comment.  ANYTHING.  Usually I come home, walk my dog, walk the neighbors dog, go to the gym and work out in the back left corner by myself, and then come home and cook dinner + lunch for the next day and listen to a podcast, foam roll, and go to sleep.  Some days, besides work, I can go a whole day without talking to anyone.  On my days off, that often happens.  People reach out and I usually ignore it.
Must.  Get.  Better.  At.  Being.  A.  Human.

I'm in! :)

This week so far I made small conversation with someone at the gym, I smiled at the dude lifting in the rack next to me and made a face like "goshdang this weight is killing me" and he nodded like "me too!"- that totally counts as interaction.
I also spoke with a woman at work longer than I usually would have.
Today someone left me a note saying that we should go trail running (I used to do this fairly often, and I'm doing a running challenge right now anyways...so...)- I don't necessarily get along great with this person, but good enough, and maybe it'll be nice not to run alone?
Doing ok this week so far! 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: NoraLenderbee on January 31, 2018, 01:44:32 PM
I'm in.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on January 31, 2018, 05:22:32 PM
I made small talk at the dentist office today.
This afternoon I texted a stranger  (child brought home a phone # for a friend met on the school bus, so all I knew was they live in our neighborhood) to meet us at the neighborhood park. And they did! This is big for me, meeting a stranger and attempting conversation for over an hour.  I didn't even die. And I may have intimated that I'd invite the mom over for coffee soon.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on January 31, 2018, 05:53:14 PM
Sounds good! I think I'll make it a goal to text someone every time I'm "napping" with my daughter. I'm usually on my phone anyway. It was part of my new year's plans to start inviting people over more, but we've been wallowing in cold season and not wanting to get anyone else sick :(
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on January 31, 2018, 06:23:53 PM
JanetJackson: great job! Are you going to go on the run with the person who left you a note?

Carrie: way to go!!! I loved ‘I  didn’t even die’. Funny how our brains can be a tad prone to catastrophising. (I never ever do that. Nope. Never ;))

NoraLenderBee: Welcome! Do you have any particular goals you’d like to aim for? You can always start small and build from there :)


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Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: better late on January 31, 2018, 07:22:32 PM
I would like to join in. I am so much happier when I have planned social events-- but I need a prompt to initiate them. And the more you do it, the easier it is to do. Also, for some inexplicable reason my social anxiety level is very low right now so I need to capitalize on that!

I have next Friday off of work so will plan a lunch date with a friend I haven't seen in 9 months.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on January 31, 2018, 08:35:12 PM
I like this challenge :-)  I started adult life with pretty bad shyness/social anxiety, got a bit better in my 20s but still hardly made any friends. After moving to NYC in 2014 I started getting pretty good at meeting people and turning acquaintances into friends. But you can never have too much social capital and I still find myself feeling a bit lonely sometimes.

Today:
1. Made a little small talk with 3 different co-workers, even the one I don't like very much.
2. After work I was at a concert and saw someone across the room who I know a little bit - walked over before the music started and said hello, and we ended up talking for 15-20 minutes. I suggested an idea she seemed to really like regarding her volunteer gig (which is where I know her from).
3. Was texting with a friend about his job hunt and gave him a lead on a place that was hiring for an entry level position that he is qualified for.
4. Wished a friend happy birthday with a message telling her a little story about something that made me think of her this week.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Frugal Lizard on January 31, 2018, 08:37:32 PM


Carrie: way to go!!! I loved ‘I  didn’t even die’. Funny how our brains can be a tad prone to catastrophising. (I never ever do that. Nope. Never ;))

I loved that too
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: martyconlonontherun on February 01, 2018, 01:02:14 AM
My biggest issue is that the "we should hang out" = happy hour or dinner at a restaurant. It seems taboo just to go to someone's house to hang out or just to do something free like walking around.

Any suggestions?
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 01, 2018, 03:03:50 AM
Welcome everyone!

Regarding hanging out, depends on the person. I think if you want it to be at your house, you need some activity even if it's just come over for a cuppa (like a cup of tea or coffee) or for cake etc. Or if you want something free or cheap, maybe suggest meeting up for a picnic or to walk around a nice park or lake, or to see a free art exhibition, so there is a focus for the hanging out together. That works for my social circles and my location. YMMV of course.


One thing I've noticed with this challenge is that I'm removing a lot of self-imposed pressure/stress. I always feel like I should do more to build and maintain friendships and acquaintances and that I'm always failing. But if I set myself a few small achievable social activities (like messaging someone or arranging to meet someone), and then do them, then I can relax for the rest of the day because I've done enough.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 01, 2018, 03:12:03 AM
Today I did:

- had lunch with a work friend. She was running late, so I ended up talking to someone else I know while I was waiting for her.

- message an animal rescue group to talk about one of their animals up for adoption (I thought I knew the animal and was curious - turns out I did know the animal)

- continued a FB messenger conversation with someone I know.

- had a few awkward-ish conversations in the lift at work.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 01, 2018, 04:18:41 AM
Accepted an invitation out to a show for later in the month! Trying to consolidate some relationships with new friends :-)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on February 01, 2018, 05:04:30 PM
Hung out with two different friends today! And got invited to a ladies' night on Saturday :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on February 01, 2018, 05:22:27 PM
Someone fb messaged me to call them, and I did. I was annoyed that we couldn't discuss over text or messenger, but was rewarded by the lady dropping the f-bomb and warning me to steer clear of drama laden issue. It was funny, and a nice connection.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on February 01, 2018, 05:28:52 PM
Social capital fail for me today. I got a text from someone who I'd really like to be better friends with (he does the coolest stuff and has the most interesting friends) inviting me to go out tonight because he had an extra (free) ticket to something. But my back is really sore and it's raining and I was totally not in the mood to be social, so I told him I couldn't make it :-(  It was pretty last-minute so I'm sure he won't take it personally, but I wish I had been up for it.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Drole on February 01, 2018, 07:03:48 PM
Rebuilding old friendships and starting news ones is a priority for me so posting to follow along and maybe have some accountability/encouragement/new ideas.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Poundwise on February 01, 2018, 07:17:35 PM
My social goals for this month:
1. compliment a person every day
2. ask a question about themselves every day
3. spend an hour every week writing cards or sending real emails to real friends (as opposed to social media)

About the first two goals, I actually do admire many people and would like to know more about their lives. But in person, I have a tendency to forget to express my admiration, and I also somehow hesitate to ask questions in person, when in truth most folks like to talk about themselves.

I'm also a terrible correspondent and need to fix that.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 02, 2018, 01:17:47 AM
Yay, more people!!! <3 In the spirit of this thread I feel like I should reply to you individually. But in the spirit of my personal goals for 2018, fuck all the shoulds. So you get an all encompassing welcome!

Apart from the usual occasional chit chat with my team mates, today I:

- had lunch with one of my former managers who I really like. Thiis was unplanned, she just happened to get her lunch at the same time as me and wanted company (she's an extravert). But, I did make the effort to talk and not just be a passive audience to her talking.

- bought a gift for a friend for her surprise party tomorrow morning. (I try not to do gifts but a couple of my friends show by actions that gifts matter to them, so for special occasions I do gifts for those particular friends) I bought her a pot with 3 pretty succulent plants and some seeds for pretty looking flowers. She seems to retweet a lot of succulents and flowers etc on one of her twitter accounts so hopefully she will like them.

- bought vegan pasty to make [themed] food for tomorrow's surprise party. Several of us have decided we are all in on [theme] and I want to contribute (the theme could be triggering for some people so I'm not going to write about it here)

- writing this made me realise I would like to message the host of [themed] party letting her know what I'm planning to bring. Which I have now done and she responded straight away :)

- I have to go to a nurse clinic every 6 weeks for maintenance of an implanted medical device (portacath). Today, thanks to this thread, I made much more of an effort to talk to reception staff and the nurses than I usually do. I greeted one of the reception staff by name (yay me for remembering! my memory got a bit fried with medical treatment a few years back) when she said 'hi [Astatine]' and we made small talk about a new change to check-in procedures at reception. I also said hi to the other reception person (I don't know her name yet but she seems really nice too). And then one of the nurses, J, who knows me and DH by name said hi, and we talked to her about her recent holiday in quite a bit of detail. And then with the nurse who was doing the actual maintenance, I made the effort to ask her a bunch of questions about stuff she'd mentioned when we were all talking with nurse J, and it was all fascinating stuff! Yay me! And then I said goodby to both reception people.

This is pretty huge for me. I've usually felt uncomfortable in the medical setting (because I've had some fairly full on nasty treatment at this nurse clinic) and have just gone through the motions of small talk. But this time I decided to go with the flow and just chat and it was really nice. :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 02, 2018, 01:29:24 AM
Social capital fail for me today. I got a text from someone who I'd really like to be better friends with (he does the coolest stuff and has the most interesting friends) inviting me to go out tonight because he had an extra (free) ticket to something. But my back is really sore and it's raining and I was totally not in the mood to be social, so I told him I couldn't make it :-(  It was pretty last-minute so I'm sure he won't take it personally, but I wish I had been up for it.

Bummer.

I should also 'fess up to a social capital fail for the week. A work friend (the one I had lunch with this week) organised a location to view the supermoon/lunar eclipse from, reasonably near where I live. But I was sooooo tired (I'm low on spoons due to recovering from a bad illness a few months ago) and the event was going to start at 10.30pm. I was so ready to crash in bed by then, so I bailed. :/ And I love astrononmy too.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: limeandpepper on February 02, 2018, 02:22:55 AM
Wow you did a lot today Astatine, that's great! Don't beat yourself up for not being able to do all the stuff.

I've been chatting to my sister on FB this week and it's really nice. We talk a lot about investments actually haha!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on February 02, 2018, 02:31:13 AM
PTF. Just moved to a new city (3 months ago) and trying to make new friends here while also maintaining my 'old' friend circle. Will read up the thread and contribute with goals and encouragement to others later.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 02, 2018, 03:15:41 AM
Tomorrow's goal: actually make the effort to chat to people at the surprise party tomorrow morning. Maybe I should set myself a goal of 2 people? Hmm. Goal of talking to 1 person (other than just chiming in a bit to a group discussion), stretch goal 2 people.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: chasesfish on February 02, 2018, 07:56:37 PM
I was writing something tonight about receiving my first job offer.  I realized I hadn't reached out to the person who went trudging through the rain with me on our college NY trip trying to figure out where to get a drug test.  Fun times.  He's off trying to change the world as the CEO of a biotech company and we haven't talked since he was on round 2 of funding.  Decided to send him a message
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Clara Smith on February 03, 2018, 12:51:38 AM
I'm a socially isolated person. and I've also felt anxiety when I go in any gathering. someone, please help me. I don't want to be that type of person. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 03, 2018, 12:59:13 AM
Welcome new people!

I exceeded my talking with people at surprise morning tea, including someone I'd only met once before. and now there is lots of follow-on chit chat on FB which is nice :)

I'm a socially isolated person. and I've also felt anxiety when I go in any gathering. someone, please help me. I don't want to be that type of person. 

Hello! Welcome :) IME it's possible to have friends and a social life with some chronic (and varying levels of) social anxiety.

But of course, everyone is different. Is there anything in particular that you find really difficult? Are you still able to Do The Thing despite the anxiety? Or do you avoid All the Things because of the anxiety?

If you feel comfortable enough to share some of your fears or anxieties, hopefully one or more of us can offer some support or advice. And/or it's possible you might find your fears are shared by one or more of us.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: ozmickey on February 03, 2018, 01:45:10 AM
I am in. My work has kept me busy in the last few years and I have let social interactions fall to the wayside. Last Monday I did go to a new-to-me book club in the city after work. It made a long day for me but the people were interesting and very friendly.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on February 03, 2018, 09:01:07 AM
Yesterday the new lady I met at the park, whose son rides the bus with mine, invited my son over. So I walked him over there and visited in her house for half an hour, then left my kid there to play.  It was fine, but I still don't know that I know how to visit well. She texted later, and I mentioned we should get together again and she said "great!" So I think it's ok. They live 0.4 mi away, just around the corner. Within the past 7 months I've met three different women/families within easy walking distance. I think that means it's time to take the very scary plunge and host a dinner party.

I talked on the phone with a chatty older woman who shares a hobby with me - someone else gave her my number. I really don't want to pursue this because she was too much for me.

I also set up a demonstration at a local guild, and now I'm in charge of organizing a whole group. This will definitely get me out of my comfort zone, but it'll be good. The demonstration is open to the public so I'm gearing up for a big day of many interactions. This will be my test to see if I've got what it takes to teach a class in my craft.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 03, 2018, 06:00:39 PM
Welcome, ozmickey! And way to go Carrie!

Yesterday I said yes to going out to a fancy dinner with some friends at the beginning of next month. I almost said no, but then thought about it and said to myself, why not? I can easily afford it and I'd like to keep deepening my connection with this particular group of friends/acquaintances.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: expatartist on February 04, 2018, 12:10:16 AM
Great challenge! At the moment I'm spending a few weeks away from home, reconnecting with family and friends in the US, but am wanting to strengthen connections with acquaintances/friends while away. Tomorrow I'll write a friend at home about an art event she's throwing the night after I return.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 04, 2018, 01:09:29 AM
I'm making a start by RSVPing yes to my local gardening group's vege swap this weekend. I will bring some seeds and veges and maybe make some new friends or at least friendly acquaintances...?

This event was this afternoon. It was kind of a bust socially - too many people milling around, and most people just spoke to the people they already knew. But I made an effort to make small talk with the people I stood near, it was interesting to attend for non-social reasons, and apparently they usually have far fewer people so I will attend again in future and see if it's a better setup for making connections.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Drole on February 04, 2018, 06:12:06 PM
Making plans to get together with a friend-of-a-friend.  I probably wouldn't have followed up a couple of months ago, but I read something not long ago that stuck with me.  Something along the lines of, not waiting for the perfect friend to come along.  Not waiting for that person who might not exist.  And honestly, she just might be the perfect person.  Somedays I forget to jump in when I have the chance.  Gotta jump on those chances.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 04, 2018, 11:54:51 PM
Welcome! Way to go!

(I have so lost track of who is new to the thread and who is checking in on progress. But, perfectionism can get in the way of my socialising so I will not let my imperfect knowledge be an impediment to greeting people. I have so many social hang ups. I am hoping that naming some of them in this thread will help me shed some of them)

HAH, sometimes I find early stages of meet and greet with new groups to be ugh, but then after a few repeated attempts, eventually there is a connection. So yay for wanting to try again! (worst case you get food and/or plants for your garden :)) You probably know all this, I'm a bit tipsy, writing out stuff for myself, hoping that my brain will absorb this lesson properly and have less freak outs when attempt #1 at socialising is a bit of a fizzer.

Making plans to get together with a friend-of-a-friend.  I probably wouldn't have followed up a couple of months ago, but I read something not long ago that stuck with me.  Something along the lines of, not waiting for the perfect friend to come along.  Not waiting for that person who might not exist.  And honestly, she just might be the perfect person.  Somedays I forget to jump in when I have the chance.  Gotta jump on those chances.

Oooh. Very interesting analysis. I've realised in recent weeks that part of me thinks that I should have one or two BFF (outside of my marriage). And I don't, not really. Cultural expectations around friendships are *hard* IME. I keep thinking that I'm doing something wrong in that I don't have a perfect person.

And maybe perfect person for a non-romantic friendship just hasn't come along for me yet or... maybe, that's a model that doesn't work for me, and what works for me is a bunch of friends and acquaintances each of whom bring something different to me in terms of friendship, and that it's ok not to have a 'perfect friend' who fulfils all 'friend needs outside of marriage'. I suspect I'm rambling a bit but this is something that I've sort of been thinking about for a while but not very coherently.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: limeandpepper on February 05, 2018, 12:23:59 AM
I've realised in recent weeks that part of me thinks that I should have one or two BFF (outside of my marriage).

I don't have any BFFs outside of my partner and I don't think he does either. We have friends but not best friends. I do feel a tingle of envy sometimes when I hear about other people and their BFFs... :/  But then I wonder if maybe I'm just not built to have a BFF anyway, and that perhaps the kind of friends I have, and our interactions, are actually the best suited to how I like my social life.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Villanelle on February 05, 2018, 01:01:09 AM
I'm a socially isolated person. and I've also felt anxiety when I go in any gathering. someone, please help me. I don't want to be that type of person.

What works will be different for everyone, but I feel quite similarly and here are a few things that work for me.  (When I say they work for me, that doesn't men the anxiety and dread go away, but they are somewhat diminished and are usually but not always more manageable and I'm able to push through.)

Bring a friend.  For example, these two people I'm going to invite for coffee on Friday--I plan on asking a dear friend with whom I'm completely comfortable to join us.  (I'll be making the invite in my role as a leader of an organization and thankfully this friend is also a leader, so it makes sense.)  If she can't make it, I'll likely ask someone else.  This isn't ideal as this other person isn't someone with whom I'm nearly as comfortable, but she is at least past about 85% of my anxiety barrier, so would still offer some security for me.  Anyway, I find I'm far more comfortable if I have the security of having "my people" present for new interactions.

Also, have a purpose.  Generally, something like coffee is more challenging for me than, say, book club.  A book club means there is a clear thing to talk about so I can always default to that.  Just going for lunch of coffee lacks that purpose and makes me feel more anxious and awkward.  (The coffee I mention above lacks at least some of that purposelessness because it is welcome them to this country and our organization and offering to assist them in the transition and ask questions they may have.  No ideal, but better than most random "let's do coffee!" situations.) So if you are seeking new connections, perhaps look for hobby-driven groups and if you are extending invitations to new acquaintances, consider inviting them to a wine and paint night or a local festival, rather than just a "sit and talk" thing.

Finally, I have a stable of questions on which I can fall back if I'm freaking out.  If I'm really panicking inside, I can default to these.  They are pretty standard.  "Where are you from?" (Usually with some kind of follow up question based on their response.)  "Do you have any children or pets?"    That sort of thing.  This is a big anxiety easier for me because even when my brain is in the fog of panic that comes with my anxiety and I'm struggling to form coherent--much less interesting!--thoughts, I can get these out and it's often enough for me to regain some of my footing.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on February 05, 2018, 01:56:46 AM
Joining this friend, as I am also a person who tends not to prioritize social interaction, while I just should. These are the things that are going on now:

I registered for a 2 day event this Saturday and Sunday with lectures about mushrooms, with my local mushroom club. I know a few people in that club, but I'm not sure that they will be there. But I'll make an effort to talk to new people. The event is sponsored for me (and a bunch of others) by the club, to keep me up to date.

As I will be away most of the coming weekend, DH thought he might visit our mountain cabin. He put out a invitation on a small facebook group with outdoor people if anyone wanted to join him. There will also be an event going on there, as the village is checkpoint for a dog sledge race. A Danish guy was interested in coming. I hope he will join, as DH could also use some more friends.

I invited a friend of mine and her boyfriend to join us for a long weekend at our mountain cabin later in February. Looks like they are planning to come. Then we can go CC skiing together and having social time in the cabin at night.

The women in my department at work are having a girls night out, in the city. We are going to have dinner and see a movie, paid for by yourself. Some of my colleagues are talking about having a three course meal, ordering a wine menu with the meal and me paying for a taxi to get home. What the F...! Last year I didn't join, because I find it too far (35 kms each way), parking is expensive in that city and because I didn't feel comfortable with the idea of joining.
This year I am going to join. Maybe there can be something positive to it. I told the organizer (my group leader) that I wanted to eat somewhere simple, not a three course meal and I wouldn't join them visiting bars and other places later. She said that she intended to book a simple restaurant and not visiting bars later, as it is on a Monday evening. I think I might take the train, to avoid parking challenges. The cost might be the same, driving or using train.

Last weekend DH went to an event in the city. It was some event for outdoorsy people, but we were not the main target audience. DH is not working at the moment and wanted to get some social interaction, so I agreed to go there. And we knew a friend of us would go. And DH "knew" some people from Instagram. The 2 lectures about outdoor stuff were nice to listen to. It was also nice to see our friend again, as she lives quite far away and we didn't see her for a year.

When we met BIL during Christmas, he mentioned that he might want to visit us around Easter, for a sea trout fishing vacation. He is welcome to come. Only challenge is that if he comes while we work, he doesn't have other means of transportation from our house than walking half an hour to the train station. BIL does not have a driver's license. DH would have to take off time to join him for fishing. On the other hand, sea trout fishing is best done in the dark, so DH could join him fishing at night. BIL is a sort of mole and could stay up all night. DH needs to sleep before going to work. I hope we can combine his plans with some of our national holidays in spring. That would be best for all.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Villanelle on February 05, 2018, 02:10:29 AM
Making plans to get together with a friend-of-a-friend.  I probably wouldn't have followed up a couple of months ago, but I read something not long ago that stuck with me.  Something along the lines of, not waiting for the perfect friend to come along.  Not waiting for that person who might not exist.  And honestly, she just might be the perfect person.  Somedays I forget to jump in when I have the chance.  Gotta jump on those chances.

This is a lesson I've learned in the past decade and am still working toward fully accepting.  For a long time, I had my social circle. I had a strong circle of maybe 6 women, and I didn't really need any more than that.  Occasionally someone would drift out (maybe moving away) or someone would be added (like when I developed strong friendships with two coworkers), but I was happy and never really looking for more.

When we moved out of the country, it was starting from scratch.  It was simply awful for me, and very lonely for a very long time.  We've had two more international moves since then, and I've come to realize that having "Germany friends", as opposed to only cultivating relationships with people I think might be soulmate, friends-for-life types is okay.  It's not fake or dishonest.  I still have a tendency to want to write someone off the moment there's anything off-putting about them, so I have to fight that sometimes. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: NoraLenderbee on February 05, 2018, 03:20:29 PM
I guess my first goal is to reply to two unanswered letters from old friends (who still want as friends), and touch base with another friend I haven't talked to in a long time.
I am really terrible at holding up my half of friendships.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: KBecks on February 05, 2018, 03:32:04 PM
This is a good challenge.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 05, 2018, 03:47:42 PM
Welcome any newbies! And well done on all the progress! Any other updates from people? I love reading updates, in part because it gives me new ideas of what I can try in my own life.

I guess my first goal is to reply to two unanswered letters from old friends (who still want as friends), and touch base with another friend I haven't talked to in a long time.
I am really terrible at holding up my half of friendships going to try to improve at staying in touch with old friends.

FTFY ;)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on February 05, 2018, 04:00:32 PM
Any other updates from people? I love reading updates, in part because it gives me new ideas of what I can try in my own life.

Not much success here... I've invited several people to an event tomorrow but I don't think anyone's going to come with me. (I had originally planned to go with a couple of friends but they ended up being in Europe this week.) Ooh, but I haven't invited the guy who invited me out last week. Ack, I'm so shy with him. But I bet he would like to go. :-S
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 05, 2018, 04:24:55 PM
Any other updates from people? I love reading updates, in part because it gives me new ideas of what I can try in my own life.

Not much success here... I've invited several people to an event tomorrow but I don't think anyone's going to come with me. (I had originally planned to go with a couple of friends but they ended up being in Europe this week.) Ooh, but I haven't invited the guy who invited me out last week. Ack, I'm so shy with him. But I bet he would like to go. :-S

I'm personally counting success as 'messaging someone' or 'asking someone to a Thing' :) I can't control whether someone comes to a Thing but I can control whether I invite them to a Thing.


Just realised I didn't do an update for yesterday. whoops!

- ate lunch with a couple of people at work (as in, we all happened to sit down at the table together to eat our food, but I'll count it :))

- had a text conversation with the Tupperware consultant who will be running the Tupperware party at my place on Saturday

- messaged a friend trying to arrange a get together in a couple of weeks. Trouble is, she's suggested a cafe with a playground in a shopping centre that I mostly avoid (too easy to run into ex and ex in laws there = PTSD-type bad reactions). Which has now increased the difficulty of organising stuff. Still working out what my best option for responding (which are, ask her if she has a suggestion not at that shopping centre, or me crowd sourcing kid friendly cafe options from another group of friends who have a zillion kids between them)

- responded a few times in this thread. that totally counts, right? ;)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 05, 2018, 05:31:49 PM
Arranged dinner before the show I'm attending tomorrow night with new friends, and also accepted the offer of a lift even though the driver doesn't live close by (that's the kind of thing that makes me feel really anxious, but she wouldn't have offered if she wasn't willing to drive a little out of her way, right?).
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: chasesfish on February 05, 2018, 05:33:21 PM
I'm pretty happy with this challenge so far...reconnected with two people, one that its been a couple months on and one that its been a couple years
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 06, 2018, 01:55:39 AM
Well done chasesfish!

Arranged dinner before the show I'm attending tomorrow night with new friends, and also accepted the offer of a lift even though the driver doesn't live close by (that's the kind of thing that makes me feel really anxious, but she wouldn't have offered if she wasn't willing to drive a little out of her way, right?).

If she offered, it's fine to say yes. (and I get the anxiety - I try to counter it with things like, well, maybe to her it's not very far out of her way, maybe she likes driving, maybe she likes feeling helpful or finds sitting in a car with people a good way to chat one on one - but to be honest, in reality it's probably no big deal to her and she didn't put much thought into it :p)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: limeandpepper on February 06, 2018, 02:21:40 AM
Arranged dinner before the show I'm attending tomorrow night with new friends, and also accepted the offer of a lift even though the driver doesn't live close by (that's the kind of thing that makes me feel really anxious, but she wouldn't have offered if she wasn't willing to drive a little out of her way, right?).

Also she might really enjoy your company! I know my friends and I sometimes go out of our way just so that we can spend more time together. E.g. waiting at the train station for our trains, there's a train I could get on earlier but I choose to wait and get on the same train as my friend, just so we can chat for longer, and I don't mind getting home later at all!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: NoraLenderbee on February 06, 2018, 01:33:18 PM


I guess my first goal is to reply to two unanswered letters from old friends (who still want as friends), and touch base with another friend I haven't talked to in a long time.
I am really terrible at holding up my half of friendships going to try to improve at staying in touch with old friends.

FTFY ;)

:D  OK, I'm going to.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on February 06, 2018, 05:31:17 PM
Ahhh, thank you thread, I just texted my writing buddy to invite them over for hot chocolate. And yesterday I texted a neighbor and they didn't respond and I ACTUALLY WALKED OVER AND KNOCKED ON THE DOOR and asked if their kid could come play, and they did and it was awesome. I would not have had the courage before this thread.

And I went to a ladies' night and a mom hike and look at me, I just texted another friend I haven't met up with in a while and asked her out for coffee, CHECK ME OUT PEOPLE, I'M BEING SO SOCIAL!!!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on February 06, 2018, 09:33:33 PM
Yay, Mrs. Whipple! Go girl!

I've had a few chatty moments with three different neighbors over the past two days, and my kids have been playing with various neighbor kids almost every day. This is huge - there were many years we didn't know anyone in our neighborhood  (except for the elderly couple next door), and our kids didn't have playmates.
This challenge is helping my socially -somewhat- challenged child too!  Thank you for this thread!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on February 06, 2018, 11:10:44 PM
Any other updates from people? I love reading updates, in part because it gives me new ideas of what I can try in my own life.

Not much success here... I've invited several people to an event tomorrow but I don't think anyone's going to come with me. (I had originally planned to go with a couple of friends but they ended up being in Europe this week.) Ooh, but I haven't invited the guy who invited me out last week. Ack, I'm so shy with him. But I bet he would like to go. :-S

I didn't end up inviting that guy and went to the event by myself. But it ended up being an extremely social evening.

1. Talked to three strangers while waiting in line to get in.
2. Ran into four different people I know and chatted with each. Shared a taxi home with two of them. A third added me on FB.
3. Talked to three different strangers inside: one saved my spot when I went to the bathroom, one friended me on FB after we had a long chat, and one really loved the idea I gave him for the name of his debut album.

I also got into a couple of minor arguments, I'm not sure how that works on the 'social connections' spectrum... do I get demerits? :-P
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on February 06, 2018, 11:48:21 PM
DH's weekend date with another outdoor person is working out differently than expected. The guy is leaving really late from Denmark and is going to drive the long way. He won't be there until long after midnight on Friday. So they will both drive separately instead of in one car. But I still hope the guy goes to the same place and the get to meet and do some stuff together. Otherwise DH will be there on his own for the weekend, and he could use some company.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on February 07, 2018, 12:24:12 AM
Ahhh, thank you thread, I just texted my writing buddy to invite them over for hot chocolate. And yesterday I texted a neighbor and they didn't respond and I ACTUALLY WALKED OVER AND KNOCKED ON THE DOOR and asked if their kid could come play, and they did and it was awesome. I would not have had the courage before this thread.

And I went to a ladies' night and a mom hike and look at me, I just texted another friend I haven't met up with in a while and asked her out for coffee, CHECK ME OUT PEOPLE, I'M BEING SO SOCIAL!!!

Awesome! Way to go!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on February 07, 2018, 12:29:33 AM
My updates so far:
- Reached out to an old friend as I'll be in his city next week. Unfortunately he's traveling those days so no opportunity to meet up. We agreed on meeting up next time I'll be in his city tho (my boss is located there, so I go semi-regularly)
- Joined the pubquiz with co-workers last night that I signed up for in an impulse and really felt like canceling last night.

To doish list:
- Ask if the dinner plans for tomorrow with "new friends" from an event are still happening.
- Make plans with friends in hometown for the weekend
- Ask a friend who's just back from a 2 month overseas trip to meet up when I'm in boss' city next week.
- Text my friend in Pisa about my plans for my upcoming Italy trip and to what extent she has time to hang out/host me.

Annoying part is: I'm doing a good job at the "old" friends who tend to be far away (hometown, Italy) but my social circle here is still rather limited.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on February 07, 2018, 12:41:28 AM
I am back in touch (via messenger) with a friend of mine that I hadn't been in touch with for a few months, because I was too apathetic. She will be going us on a trip soon and we are coordinating plans.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: frontstepdesign on February 07, 2018, 08:27:15 AM
Posting to join - we moved 5 months ago to a new state/town, and now I telecommute - so I don't have that built-in office pool of people to help me get acquainted.  I do kind of miss my big office building and all my people, even if I had to shut them out to concentrate on anything difficult.

Wins so far:
Finding a gym with small classes and a personal touch.  I actually got a lunch date out of this.
Attending a smaller,very friendly church - saw my yoga teacher there, and we're starting to have non-yoga conversations.
Got incredibly lucky in my neighbors - two other women also work at home, and have a 'come over any time and relieve the tedium' attitude.
Sold a pair of shoes on a FB group to someone who's becoming an entreprenurial-type friend.  Again, SHEER LUCK.
There's a few members of an international club (through which I met my husband) here, and we like hosting game night for that couple and his work friends.  Need to set another date for that.

Wins not cinched so far:
Volunteering at the library/Friends of Library association - I like the cause, but they only meet once a month, and sometimes I can't make it, and that's not often enough.
We've been included in a social group in the next town.  These people are nice, but they drink a LOT.  And eat out expensively a LOT.  This is a playground we dabbled in at the last place, and I want to make more sensible choices now that we're moved.
Need to keep trying at the church - scheduling hasn't worked yet, and I haven't figured out what small groups there are.
Gym is not without costs - I'm taking advantage of a deal for 'unlimited classes for $ for two months' now, but obviously that will expire.  Hoping that frequency now will pay off after I replace some group classes with running when the weather dries up a bit.

Planned attempts:
I've been invited to a new book club starting out next week.
Church's pancake supper next week.
I've heard of a running group, but haven't seen them yet.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dicey on February 07, 2018, 09:23:32 AM
Wow, I like this thread.

I was invited to join a new group that supports our local theater. It requires an annual donation to the theater, but the amount is less than we give anyway, so I look it as a way to make new friends. Monday was the inaugural meeting. Instead of hanging with someone I already knew, I decided to meet other people. I saw someone with the same name and struck up a conversation. She introduced me to two of her friends, and we all chatted for quite a while. I also met someone whose name I recognized because she's a friend of a friend. Afterwards, there was more mixing and I got to chat with the people I knew before I got there. Fun evening, plus I have an excuse to use our shiny new DAF.

Yesterday, I had a bunch of scrapings from some squash and a large pumpkin left over from Halloween. It was uncut, but had developed a fairly substantial soft spot. I posted on NextDoor, because I wanted to give it to someone with chickens. A neighbor that I knew replied to say that her neighbor had chickens and would take it, but that she was at the hospital getting her son's broken arm set. I made a batch of cookies for the family and collected the scraps for the chickens. It was late when I made the delivery, but we had a nice small chat and now I know a little bit about another neighbor.

Today, I am walking with my walking partner. I will be dropping my MIL off at her new companion's house. I found her on ND, too and I'm enjoying getting to know her. My walking partner is the person I deliberately did not hang out with at the event on Monday. (We had walked just two hours before the event, so what did we need to say to each other?) It will be fun to compare notes on our walk today.

I have one more, but I'm out of time. Thanks for starting this thread!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on February 07, 2018, 09:50:51 AM
A friend mentioned she would love to learn a certain type of stitch (I studied textile arts) so instead of waiting weeks--I invited her over last night and we had a lovely evening. She brought deserts and we stitched, had a nice connection AND I ended up inspired.

Also tonight is weekly XC-ski night with a co-worker friend (as long as my sore throat clears up), we started doing it at the start of winter  (locals night) and it is always such a good event. Probably my most social event of the week as we usually run into others that she or I know and I end up meeting new people, even if just briefly.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on February 07, 2018, 01:39:50 PM
To doish list:
- Ask if the dinner plans for tomorrow with "new friends" from an event are still happening. Done. We'll be with about 8-10 people tomorrow!
- Make plans with friends in hometown for the weekend
- Ask a friend who's just back from a 2 month overseas trip to meet up when I'm in boss' city next week.
- Text my friend in Pisa about my plans for my upcoming Italy trip and to what extent she has time to hang out/host me.

New on the list:
- Invite one girl from "new friends" group for lunch at work as we happen to work almost next to each other.
- Get to know one of my co-workers better - he seems nicer than I thought at first.
- Plan dinner with my office (only date that worked out so far was Valentine's day - how about we're all lonely PhD students :'))
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 08, 2018, 04:42:05 AM
So awesome to see all the activity on this thread. Amazing work, everyone! <3

I'm low on energy/spoons (flare up of a pre-existing illness thingy) so I haven't done anything new, just trying to maintain the momentum of things I've already started.

I have a Tupperware party on Saturday, continuing to organise that. I'm not sure how many people are turning up, maybe 5? maybe up to 10? (I did a blanket invitation to a FB get-together group of women that I belong to, and some of them aren't always good at remembering to rsvp yes)

I messaged a friend to see if she is still happy to meet for lunch on Sunday.

And, I stopped procrastinating about responding to a message from an old school friend about meeting up for lunch in 2 weeks time. She suggested a location that I avoid because of the risk of running into my ex and ex in-laws (I have PTSD-type reactions and have a silent phone number for safety reasons because of them etc). Argh. Of ALL the places she had to suggest to meet up in my city. I did try to look up other places that have a close-by playground for her child to play in while we all eat lunch, but couldn't find anything. But... I made myself reply and asked her to suggest somewhere different. ugh. I want to see her but this was Hard.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Drole on February 08, 2018, 07:00:40 PM
I invited some folks that are biking around the country to stay with us. Obviously they are quite low maintenance so the fact that I don't have enough beds is OK and one bath to all share. Lovely folks.  Tiny bit crazy in a good good way. Kids are having lots of fun.

Met up with the my friend of a friend. Went very well and seems we'll start walking together. 

I'm tempted to offer to host another family over spring break but not sure since our lives/house might be a little too rough around the edges for many. These folks i'd been in touch with online before inviting them. A blind offer to strangers...gotta think some more.


Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 08, 2018, 07:17:40 PM
Having a friend over today! Woo!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pbkmaine on February 08, 2018, 09:30:22 PM
So awesome to see all the activity on this thread. Amazing work, everyone! &lt;3

I'm low on energy/spoons (flare up of a pre-existing illness thingy) so I haven't done anything new, just trying to maintain the momentum of things I've already started.

I have a Tupperware party on Saturday, continuing to organise that. I'm not sure how many people are turning up, maybe 5? maybe up to 10? (I did a blanket invitation to a FB get-together group of women that I belong to, and some of them aren't always good at remembering to rsvp yes)

I messaged a friend to see if she is still happy to meet for lunch on Sunday.

And, I stopped procrastinating about responding to a message from an old school friend about meeting up for lunch in 2 weeks time. She suggested a location that I avoid because of the risk of running into my ex and ex in-laws (I have PTSD-type reactions and have a silent phone number for safety reasons because of them etc). Argh. Of ALL the places she had to suggest to meet up in my city. I did try to look up other places that have a close-by playground for her child to play in while we all eat lunch, but couldn't find anything. But... I made myself reply and asked her to suggest somewhere different. ugh. I want to see her but this was Hard.

Just tell her that, Astatine. “Could we pick somewhere else? I don’t want to chance running into my ex or his family.”
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on February 08, 2018, 10:54:37 PM
Having a friend over today! Woo!
Woo! Hope you had a blast!

I am hosting a hot chocolate and burrito get together with my writing friend and her partner. And then I thought of this thread and went hog wild and invited a mutual friend and her family that I would like to get to know better. And I talked with someone at the gym that I had met hiking, and she is super nice and I'm going to totally get her number the next time I see her because I forgot today.

It's hard sometimes to talk with people since I'm a SAHM and all I really do is kid stuff. So I've been forcing myself to read (a book a week) so I have something else to talk about. Reading buddies are the best kinds of buddies!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 08, 2018, 11:20:34 PM
MrsWhipple, you’re on fire! Way to go!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Off the Wheel on February 08, 2018, 11:26:16 PM
Ooh this is a great challenge! Accepted. :)

Today... had some nice bonding at work. We have a treehouse in our office (that sounds weird) and for the first time in ages my whole department was in town and we were able to get up there for our meeting and it felt so lovely and nice. I really love my team, and expressed that.

Also made a reservation for dinner on Sunday for my dad's birthday.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 09, 2018, 02:36:35 AM
Drove out to look at an amazing sunset after doing the grocery shopping. Ended up having a good chat with a random guy who was out for a walk with his baby, including about some local redevelopment that was happening.

We’ll probably never run into him again but it was nice having a chat with a local.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 10, 2018, 01:19:00 AM
Sooo, I had a Tupperware party at my place today (wanted to get some BIFL pantry items). I was a bit worried that it was going to be awkward because only 5 people showed up in the end.

But it was good fun. Lots of chatting in between the Tupperware-ing.

And... at the end, me and 2 friends ended up chatting with the consultant for another hour or so, well after all the Tupperware-ing had finished. She has a lot of common with one of the friends, and we all quite like her (which is why we were happy to continue with the wave of Tupperware parties when she was first introduced to this particular women's FB meet up group). And now we're absorbing her into the group, and she'll now get invited along to all of our regular get togethers.

LOL! Kind of the reverse of the social capital issue described in the link to TheGrimSqueaker's post in my OP in this thread. We kind of absorbed an MLM consultant into our friend group.

So awesome to see all the activity on this thread. Amazing work, everyone! &lt;3

I'm low on energy/spoons (flare up of a pre-existing illness thingy) so I haven't done anything new, just trying to maintain the momentum of things I've already started.

I have a Tupperware party on Saturday, continuing to organise that. I'm not sure how many people are turning up, maybe 5? maybe up to 10? (I did a blanket invitation to a FB get-together group of women that I belong to, and some of them aren't always good at remembering to rsvp yes)

I messaged a friend to see if she is still happy to meet for lunch on Sunday.

And, I stopped procrastinating about responding to a message from an old school friend about meeting up for lunch in 2 weeks time. She suggested a location that I avoid because of the risk of running into my ex and ex in-laws (I have PTSD-type reactions and have a silent phone number for safety reasons because of them etc). Argh. Of ALL the places she had to suggest to meet up in my city. I did try to look up other places that have a close-by playground for her child to play in while we all eat lunch, but couldn't find anything. But... I made myself reply and asked her to suggest somewhere different. ugh. I want to see her but this was Hard.

Just tell her that, Astatine. “Could we pick somewhere else? I don’t want to chance running into my ex or his family.”

Thanks pbk, I ended up saying something similar (it was hard though).
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on February 10, 2018, 12:46:14 PM
Today I visited an event about a subject I am interested in. I immediately found some people I had met before and chatted with them. I also had lunch with another women I'd met before and we had very nice contact. She invited me to contact her later if I ever want to visit an area in Sweden where she has a cabin. I also contacted an orher women that I met last autumn and that I might by working with later.
But I was not good at meeting lots of unknown people. I was friendly to everyone, but didn'k make conversation with many new. Many of the people were also a generation older than I was. I hang out most with my generation. New chance tomorrow.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on February 10, 2018, 01:27:22 PM
I need to host a coffee day to build up to a dinner. I love to cook, and I want to get to know three different neighbors/families in our neighborhood,. Not necessarily to be my bff, but so I know them and trust them since our kids play together.  It also wouldn't hurt to have a few more connections anyway.

So - coffee first, I'd make scones or a pastry, invite 3-4 neighbors (moms who work part time or sah).  Then beginning of March invite one family for dinner. Doable? 

I always wonder how often other families invite guests into their home. I want to work up to 1x per month for dinner and 2x per month for  either coffee or a craft day.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dicey on February 10, 2018, 02:11:40 PM
Okay, more social capital. After a long period of unemployment*, my good friend was asked to be the interim Executive Director for a non-profit that's right up her alley. We have season tickets to our regional theater. I knew our subscription seat mate was connected with the same NP in some way, but we've never done much more than exchanged social pleasantries. Saw him last night at the theater and asked him if he knew my friend. Turns out he would be her boss. Further, they had done final interviews just yesterday. I told him a story about my friend that demonstrated her amazing resourcefulness that she never would have told in an interview. (It was about a trip we took together that could easily have gone sideways, but her smart thinking and connections saved the vacation.) Who knows? It might just might tip the decision in her favor. Kinda cool.

Today I'm going to a Valentine's Tea for charity. A library friend called when a slot opened up. I have a "Random Ask" giving category that works like this. Whenever someone asks me for something that seems worthy/interesting/intriguing, I give them a hundred bucks. I earmark $1k annually for this type of giving. Any residuals go toward our regular charitable giving. The ticket price is only $35. There will be a silent auction raffle where you buy tickets and drop them in the baskets of the things you'd like to win. I plan on buying $65 in raffle tickets and taking my chances on the practical things. More to the point, it will give me something to do and something to talk with other people about. I have no idea how many people I will know there, but I suspect not a lot. In a nice bit of synchronicity, some of the beneficiaries of this event are also supported by the friend from the first story's NP.

Plus, I confessed elsewhere about buying a pink scarf for a previous Valentine's-themed event. I'll be wearing it today for the win.

Oh, and Monday is my turn to host the Board Meeting for another group. Twenty women in the morning. Fortunately, the hostess only provides coffee and tea, which I have and were paid for by this group (I'm the Hospitality Chair), for the frugal win. The co-hostess brings the edibles so easy-peasy for me. Then on Monday afternoon, we have the first meeting for an annual city-wide event that I co-chair. Probably about fifteen people will turn up for that. It's not in my home, and we don't serve refreshments, so it will be even easier. Whew, thats a lot of socializing in a short amount of time.

*My friend was in a small-ish multinational company where she was their factotum in two languages on several continents. The co-owner/founder died suddenly and the company was sold. The new owners discovered how amazingly capable my friend is and they kept piling on more and more responsibilities. Finally, she had enough. She asked for a buyout and Got It! She's fine financially, but did not expect this sabbatical to last as long as it did. I suspect this new job will not pay nearly as well, but she's got enough put by that it won't kill her, and it aligns with her passions. It's an FU story to be sure, but it's not mine, so I'll just tell it here, not on that other thread. I strongly suspect that my friend is FI. She's not mustachian at all. I'd guess she has no plans for ER. Different strokes, I guess, but still a good story.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 10, 2018, 05:27:03 PM
I think I'm going to try practising this gauntlet in this thread :) I was thinking that online friends and acquaintances matter too.

@Linda_Norway I think a lot of people find it hard to make conversation with people they haven't met before, but maintaining connections with people you know is important.

@Carrie I love how you're continuing to push yourself outside of your comfort zone! Very inspiring. Hope it all goes well with your neighbours.

@Dicey Wow, that's a lot in a short space of time, and I love how you're conciously using social capital to try to help others.


I was going to write more but I have to go meet a friend for lunch. :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: JanetJackson on February 10, 2018, 06:59:40 PM
Okay, more social capital. After a long period of unemployment*, my good friend was asked to be the interim Executive Director for a non-profit that's right up her alley. We have season tickets to our regional theater. I knew our subscription seat mate was connected with the same NP in some way, but we've never done much more than exchanged social pleasantries. Saw him last night at the theater and asked him if he knew my friend. Turns out he would be her boss. Further, they had done final interviews just yesterday. I told him a story about my friend that demonstrated her amazing resourcefulness that she never would have told in an interview. (It was about a trip we took together that could easily have gone sideways, but her smart thinking and connections saved the vacation.) Who knows? It might just might tip the decision in her favor. Kinda cool.

Today I'm going to a Valentine's Tea for charity. A library friend called when a slot opened up. I have a "Random Ask" giving category that works like this. Whenever someone asks me for something that seems worthy/interesting/intriguing, I give them a hundred bucks. I earmark $1k annually for this type of giving. Any residuals go toward our regular charitable giving. The ticket price is only $35. There will be a silent auction raffle where you buy tickets and drop them in the baskets of the things you'd like to win. I plan on buying $65 in raffle tickets and taking my chances on the practical things. More to the point, it will give me something to do and something to talk with other people about. I have no idea how many people I will know there, but I suspect not a lot. In a nice bit of synchronicity, some of the beneficiaries of this event are also supported by the friend from the first story's NP.

Plus, I confessed elsewhere about buying a pink scarf for a previous Valentine's-themed event. I'll be wearing it today for the win.

Oh, and Monday is my turn to host the Board Meeting for another group. Twenty women in the morning. Fortunately, the hostess only provides coffee and tea, which I have and were paid for by this group (I'm the Hospitality Chair), for the frugal win. The co-hostess brings the edibles so easy-peasy for me. Then on Monday afternoon, we have the first meeting for an annual city-wide event that I co-chair. Probably about fifteen people will turn up for that. It's not in my home, and we don't serve refreshments, so it will be even easier. Whew, thats a lot of socializing in a short amount of time.

*My friend was in a small-ish multinational company where she was their factotum in two languages on several continents. The co-owner/founder died suddenly and the company was sold. The new owners discovered how amazingly capable my friend is and they kept piling on more and more responsibilities. Finally, she had enough. She asked for a buyout and Got It! She's fine financially, but did not expect this sabbatical to last as long as it did. I suspect this new job will not pay nearly as well, but she's got enough put by that it won't kill her, and it aligns with her passions. It's an FU story to be sure, but it's not mine, so I'll just tell it here, not on that other thread. I strongly suspect that my friend is FI. She's not mustachian at all. I'd guess she has no plans for ER. Different strokes, I guess, but still a good story.

Great updates!  I often consider going to charity events to increase the "justification" of a social event to encourage myself to go!  Maybe I'll do it!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on February 10, 2018, 09:29:56 PM
My entire week ended up being excessively social. I went out to seven events alone and ran into people I knew at every damn one. Even the weird "ice dancing to Franz Schubert" thing I got a free ticket to. I even ran into someone while walking down Broadway in midtown NYC during rush hour, and it turned out we were on our way to the same place.

I will only take gauntlet credit for one of them, where I was in a rush to get from event A (ended at 8) to event B (starting at 8:30), and walked past someone thinking "huh, that kind of looked like so-and-so"... and made myself go back to check, and say hello when it turned out to be her, and long story short she and her friend were interested in coming to event B with me, so we shared a taxi over and ended up having a long talk (I really only knew her slightly, so this was a big step). She introduced me to two of her friends, who seemed like very interesting people.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on February 11, 2018, 10:27:48 AM
Today I was at the second day of the event. I talked a bit to a person I met yesterday and who I knew. Also talked to a couple of other women I'd met during courses in autumn who liked to catch up with me. Talked to a strange women from another region. And I had nice conversation with two unknown men at the munch table. One of them is learning to pass an exam in the subject and doesn't live too far from my place. I passed the exam last autumn and offered him to contact me later in the year to help him study. (The subject is knowledge about mushrooms, so we need to wait for the right season and can study by taking a walk in the forest. The whole conferance was about mushrooms.)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on February 11, 2018, 12:08:00 PM
Okay, more social capital. After a long period of unemployment*, my good friend was asked to be the interim Executive Director for a non-profit that's right up her alley. We have season tickets to our regional theater. I knew our subscription seat mate was connected with the same NP in some way, but we've never done much more than exchanged social pleasantries. Saw him last night at the theater and asked him if he knew my friend. Turns out he would be her boss. Further, they had done final interviews just yesterday. I told him a story about my friend that demonstrated her amazing resourcefulness that she never would have told in an interview. (It was about a trip we took together that could easily have gone sideways, but her smart thinking and connections saved the vacation.) Who knows? It might just might tip the decision in her favor. Kinda cool.
This is fantastic! I feel like sometimes I hold myself back from helping since I don't want to overstep bounds, but I think I need to indulge in whatever urges towards generosity I get. There's a neighbor who's really sick right now and going through treatment, and I'm going to ask her more if her toddler can come over to play with mine so that she gets more of a break. He's a sweet kid, so it's no trouble at all, but she never asks for help so I think I need to be better about reaching out.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Villanelle on February 12, 2018, 01:54:22 AM
I forced myself to go out to a dinner with a group of people that I am sort of naturally a part of (by the nature of DH's job and our positions), but that I have up until now sort of avoided due to anxieties.  I really didn't want to go.  I considered begging off as sick at the last moment (and I did have a cough that has now actually turned into Very Sick).  But I went and ended up having a very nice time.   
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on February 12, 2018, 02:05:12 AM
I forced myself to go out to a dinner with a group of people that I am sort of naturally a part of (by the nature of DH's job and our positions), but that I have up until now sort of avoided due to anxieties.  I really didn't want to go.  I considered begging off as sick at the last moment (and I did have a cough that has now actually turned into Very Sick).  But I went and ended up having a very nice time.

Well done of stepping outside your comfort zone and getting a positive experience.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 12, 2018, 02:29:01 AM
I met with a friend for lunch yesterday, it had been nearly a year since we'd caught up. It was a fun couple of hours.

I forced myself to go out to a dinner with a group of people that I am sort of naturally a part of (by the nature of DH's job and our positions), but that I have up until now sort of avoided due to anxieties.  I really didn't want to go.  I considered begging off as sick at the last moment (and I did have a cough that has now actually turned into Very Sick).  But I went and ended up having a very nice time.   

Well done on overcoming your anxieties and going to the dinner! That's a big deal. I'm battling anxieties about writing to various people tonight. Argh.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on February 12, 2018, 04:14:26 AM
Update on my initial to do list:
- Make plans with friends in hometown for the weekend This worked out. Met up with all of them
- Ask a friend who's just back from a 2 month overseas trip to meet up when I'm in boss' city next week. Did reach out, but she didn't have time unfortunately
- Text my friend in Pisa about my plans for my upcoming Italy trip and to what extent she has time to hang out/host me. Done. I can stay at her place as long as I want and she has time for some trips on the weekend!

So all are done and 3/5 of my reach outs were succesful in the sense of a meetup. The other friends didn't have time but will be happy to meet up later.

New on the list:
- Invite one girl from "new friends" group for lunch at work as we happen to work almost next to each other. This probably won't happen until March due to me going on holiday this Friday
- Get to know one of my co-workers better - he seems nicer than I thought at first. Won't be at work till Wednesday
- Plan dinner with my office (only date that worked out so far was Valentine's day - how about we're all lonely PhD students :')) This date is set. Even the only postdoc with a wife managed to convince her of celebrating Valentine's day another day :p
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on February 12, 2018, 08:31:39 AM
I have been feeling unsociable this weekend. The weather is dreary/rainy and perfect for cocooning in the house working on a sewing project & reading books.

I was asked to check on kitties for a fairly new friend (known them for about a year) while they're out of town. This makes me feel good that we can do things for each other. I need to make sure to cherish & grow this friendship.

I guess I need to set a day and text invites for that coffee I've been thinking about hosting. Maybe next Monday, and invite 2 or 3.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Drole on February 12, 2018, 07:29:13 PM
I need to host a coffee day to build up to a dinner. I love to cook, and I want to get to know three different neighbors/families in our neighborhood,. Not necessarily to be my bff, but so I know them and trust them since our kids play together.  It also wouldn't hurt to have a few more connections anyway.

So - coffee first, I'd make scones or a pastry, invite 3-4 neighbors (moms who work part time or sah).  Then beginning of March invite one family for dinner. Doable? 

I always wonder how often other families invite guests into their home. I want to work up to 1x per month for dinner and 2x per month for  either coffee or a craft day.

I need to do this too. We have 2 new neighbors.  Both younger/without kids, but need to build up some community where we are currently living.  Perhaps I'll see about coffee and breakfast tacos. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: NoraLenderbee on February 13, 2018, 02:22:34 PM
I haven't done anything yet. :(
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on February 13, 2018, 03:15:03 PM
I need to be on this thread.

Boyfriend and I are pretty socially isolated. We interact a lot with friends on social media - a large number of our close friends have moved away in the past few years - but seem to strike out regarding any sort of in person contact with local people. I'm not sure if we're somehow offending people, or our friends are largely just really flaky and unable to show up at a date and time they say they will, or what's going on. We get a lot of last minute cancellations, or we make plans and for whatever reason they don't happen. Recent examples:

- I make plans to go to the Women's March with a friend. We arrive separately (this was probably the fatal flaw but I wanted to minimize my standing-around-waiting-for-stuff-to-start time so I didn't get tired too quickly), and when I get there I message her asking where she is. No response. I hear back from her hours later, after we're both home, that she went with other people.

- While Boyfriend and I are both horribly sick with flu, a friend emails us: "Hey, when you guys are feeling better, why don't we all get drinks?" I respond, "Yes! We're still sick but when we recover, let's definitely do this." We recover. I check in with them again - "Hey, we're healthy now! When would be good?" Response: "OMG, we're so busy right now, we can't, so sorry." This was about a week after the initial invite. What happened?

I try not to take stuff personally. People have lives and stress and schedule problems. But this sort of thing happens a LOT, and after a while you start wondering if it's you.

Boyfriend is turning 50 in a month and he sent save-the-dates for an evening out, last month. A few people said they'd show - but we get so many last minute cancellations any time we make plans with people that I'm scared to death he won't have anyone come and celebrate his milestone. (Two of the "yes" RSVPs are the couple who invited us for drinks and then said "OMG too busy!")

So, clearly I need to make new connections with others who are reliable. I have no idea how to screen for this other than trial and error.

Right now, the other impediment is the 14 inches of snow on the ground. I can't blame people; I don't want to be out in that either.

I think we should start small - joining things, leaving our house to go to events we're interested in. Maybe some meetups. Hard sell when the weather's so bad but we can force ourselves.

Boyfriend, however, wants to leap right into inviting people over, which gives me a lot of anxiety because I'm not a great housekeeper and I've had close friends shame me because I missed some dirt somewhere even after I spent days scrubbing. (There was also a memorable incident where a friend turned on a ceiling fan that we'd literally never turned on since moving into our apartment, because I don't like them, and huge dust bunnies flew EVERYWHERE. I was mortified.) And yes, I know someone who shames you for not being clean enough is not really a friend, but again, how do you screen for that?
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Poundwise on February 13, 2018, 08:14:22 PM
Quote
I make plans to go to the Women's March with a friend. We arrive separately (this was probably the fatal flaw but I wanted to minimize my standing-around-waiting-for-stuff-to-start time so I didn't get tired too quickly), and when I get there I message her asking where she is. No response. I hear back from her hours later, after we're both home, that she went with other people.

Something like this happened to me, too, at the NYC March. I  found myself going with an entirely different group than those I expected to see, and met up with some others. I tried to text my original group, but texting was not working. In the end my son and I got separated from all of our companions, then ran into another person we knew, and went home with her.  I know a group of over 40 people who started out together, but only about 7 were left by the end.

Over the weekend, I went to a party alone, because my husband didn't want to go.  I didn't have the best time ever, but I did see a lot of people I know. It made me feel like I need to have more fun, because that is all people talk about. I don't have consumption-driven "fun" any more; I work constantly.  That's by choice, but it's hard to make conversation when I don't go on far away trips or drink fine wines, etc.  Oh well, that kind of socializing wasn't on my list anyway.

I think I have been making progress on "truthfully compliment a person at least once a day" front. I think the ultimate goal is to increase this to noticing/saying something good to each person with whom I interact for more than 5 minutes each day. I just can't think that fast, so maybe I can ratchet up to 3 compliments a day?
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on February 13, 2018, 09:19:53 PM
Tonight, even though I was really tired and worked late, I called a family member (who really likes phone calls) and talked for an hour. We made tentative plans to see each other next week. Sunday night I went to a concert and saw a couple of friends/acquaintances who have been having pretty serious health problems lately, and tried to be a sympathetic listener. I also talked to the musician who put my friend on the guest list for her concerts and made sure my friend had a chance to thank her in person.

Over the weekend, I went to a party alone, because my husband didn't want to go.  I didn't have the best time ever, but I did see a lot of people I know. It made me feel like I need to have more fun, because that is all people talk about. I don't have consumption-driven "fun" any more; I work constantly.  That's by choice, but it's hard to make conversation when I don't go on far away trips or drink fine wines, etc.  Oh well, that kind of socializing wasn't on my list anyway.

You should definitely have more fun. Fun is a lot of fun! ;-)  And there are lots of fun activities that aren't about consumerism. I guess not every crowd of friends is the same, but in my friend group if you had a party there would be discussion of interesting books, documentaries, music, local events, politics, etc. Much better than talking about everyone's latest example of conspicuous consumption. :-/

I always worry about my dad, he's well into FI and 72 and says he will never retire unless he's forced to. But work clearly and obviously stresses him out very much, to the point that it affects his health. I wish he had a great hobby that he had been dreaming about retiring to for 20 years instead of this.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 13, 2018, 10:41:40 PM
Today: hung out with my mums' group. Such awesome women.

I'm making plans to have a friend over during the day on Friday. Woot!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Drole on February 14, 2018, 02:14:47 AM
Met up with my new acquaintance-friend-to-be for a walk and that went well. Future walks delayed due to her schedule, but in a few weeks, we should be able to go again.

Posted in a small group that I can host some folks overnight.

Tried to chit chat with the other parents at most recent school bday party. I get confused on names, kids, etc etc

Title: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 14, 2018, 03:05:45 AM
I need to be on this thread.

Boyfriend and I are pretty socially isolated. We interact a lot with friends on social media - a large number of our close friends have moved away in the past few years - but seem to strike out regarding any sort of in person contact with local people. I'm not sure if we're somehow offending people, or our friends are largely just really flaky and unable to show up at a date and time they say they will, or what's going on. We get a lot of last minute cancellations, or we make plans and for whatever reason they don't happen. Recent examples:

- I make plans to go to the Women's March with a friend. We arrive separately (this was probably the fatal flaw but I wanted to minimize my standing-around-waiting-for-stuff-to-start time so I didn't get tired too quickly), and when I get there I message her asking where she is. No response. I hear back from her hours later, after we're both home, that she went with other people.

- While Boyfriend and I are both horribly sick with flu, a friend emails us: "Hey, when you guys are feeling better, why don't we all get drinks?" I respond, "Yes! We're still sick but when we recover, let's definitely do this." We recover. I check in with them again - "Hey, we're healthy now! When would be good?" Response: "OMG, we're so busy right now, we can't, so sorry." This was about a week after the initial invite. What happened?

I try not to take stuff personally. People have lives and stress and schedule problems. But this sort of thing happens a LOT, and after a while you start wondering if it's you.

Boyfriend is turning 50 in a month and he sent save-the-dates for an evening out, last month. A few people said they'd show - but we get so many last minute cancellations any time we make plans with people that I'm scared to death he won't have anyone come and celebrate his milestone. (Two of the "yes" RSVPs are the couple who invited us for drinks and then said "OMG too busy!")

So, clearly I need to make new connections with others who are reliable. I have no idea how to screen for this other than trial and error.

I'm not sure how to get over the unreliability thing. I think it's not uncommon because I see all the last minute cancellations to various people's social events which have been organised on FB, regardless of who it is or which social circle it is. (and I have to confess I do occasionally bail on events when I have no spoons left for socialising with people I don't know very well - I have a few chronic conditions that flare up from time to time) So I try not to take it personally when people bail on things.

A couple of suggestions/comments that may or may not work for you:

I recently hosted a Tupperware party and one of their suggestions is to invite twice as many people as you want to attend. My take home messages from that are:
1) I assume that Tupperware has done some data analysis on maximising sales and how that correlates to number of attendees.
2) Their data show that half of people will turn down invitations (admittedly, an invitation to a Tupperware party might not be greeted with the same enthusiasm as say, for a birthday party - but it is one of the few MLMs all of my social circles are happy to host from time to time).
3) Err on the side of over-inviting not under-inviting.

That said, in theory I invited 30 or 40 people to my Tupperware party (everyone who belongs to a particular private FB meet up group) and only 5 came.

And I totally understand your fears about nobody turning up to your bf's 50th. Apparently that is a very common fear (there was a discussion about it in my journal last year, and I remind myself of that everytime I organise something).

I organised a birthday picnic party for myself last year, and I ended up inviting lots and lots of people, 40 adults (and about 30 kids), even some people I'm not that close to. About half turned up in the end. If I do it again this year (likely), I think I'll spread the net even wider. Could you bump up the number of invitations to your bf's party?

And ugh @ people judging your housekeeping skills. Hopefully you won't come across anyone like that again in your new city.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on February 14, 2018, 04:28:09 AM

Boyfriend is turning 50 in a month and he sent save-the-dates for an evening out, last month. A few people said they'd show - but we get so many last minute cancellations any time we make plans with people that I'm scared to death he won't have anyone come and celebrate his milestone. (Two of the "yes" RSVPs are the couple who invited us for drinks and then said "OMG too busy!")

So, clearly I need to make new connections with others who are reliable. I have no idea how to screen for this other than trial and error.

Right now, the other impediment is the 14 inches of snow on the ground. I can't blame people; I don't want to be out in that either.

I think we should start small - joining things, leaving our house to go to events we're interested in. Maybe some meetups. Hard sell when the weather's so bad but we can force ourselves.

Boyfriend, however, wants to leap right into inviting people over, which gives me a lot of anxiety because I'm not a great housekeeper and I've had close friends shame me because I missed some dirt somewhere even after I spent days scrubbing. (There was also a memorable incident where a friend turned on a ceiling fan that we'd literally never turned on since moving into our apartment, because I don't like them, and huge dust bunnies flew EVERYWHERE. I was mortified.) And yes, I know someone who shames you for not being clean enough is not really a friend, but again, how do you screen for that?

Could you try to do something fun during the 50 year anniversary? Like going some place to the beach/forest and making a campfire. What I mean is making it attractive for people to join as it is different from usual.

When we had a housewarming party after moving to a new house, we invited a lot of people to a garden-campfire-party outside in the snow. And it was windy that night. I didn't expect many people to come, so we invited many. Definitively more than half came and everyone was okay with sitting outside in the snow. I think most were curious to see the new house, which we went into later in the evening.

Please don't take it personally when people turn down a facebook invitation. It is too loose. And we are all very stressed out and are sometimes too low on spoons (good expression) to be in the mood of going to a party.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on February 14, 2018, 04:29:59 AM
DH went to our cabin this weekend, without me. But the Danish guy that had talked about joining him didn't come for whatever reason. It is again the making a loose appointment on facebook that gives people the impression that they can take it lightly.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on February 14, 2018, 08:42:02 AM

 It made me feel like I need to have more fun, because that is all people talk about. I don't have consumption-driven "fun" any more; I work constantly.  That's by choice, but it's hard to make conversation when I don't go on far away trips or drink fine wines, etc.  Oh well, that kind of socializing wasn't on my list anyway.


I had this problem when we were in extreme hair-on-fire-emergency a few years ago. We didn't even have Netflix, much less cable, so we couldn't talk about whatever the hot new TV show was. Couldn't afford movies so couldn't talk about that. Couldn't go out to eat or for drinks with people. Had literally NO fun. I had 3 jobs. I worked. That was it. It did make it really hard to make conversation with people.

We've relaxed this a little bit, so we can at least now, for example, discuss the latest netflix series with people instead of standing there and looking dumb.

I organised a birthday picnic party for myself last year, and I ended up inviting lots and lots of people, 40 adults (and about 30 kids), even some people I'm not that close to. About half turned up in the end. If I do it again this year (likely), I think I'll spread the net even wider. Could you bump up the number of invitations to your bf's party?

This is an excellent suggestion. The problem is that we just don't have that wide of a circle. Boyfriend could think of 6 people to invite, and a couple aren't really that close to us. Most of our friends have moved away; people are fleeing this city in droves and I don't blame them. I cannot tell you how many times I've met someone promising, we start hanging out, and then comes "I'm moving!" There are just not that many local people any more that we even talk to, much less socialize with.

We definitely need to widen our circle somehow. I feel like we've got a few strikes against us: in 40s but no kids, we're nerds but I hate to game (and nerds always, ALWAYS want to freaking game! Ugh! Though that's an option for Boyfriend, he doesn't mind it), general lack of disposable income for socializing. I don't meet many mustachians here. When one of my friends moved to a smaller city, she was shocked at how people have house parties. That's, like, the default weekend plan when you want to see your friends. There's less to do there, sure, but not NOTHING to do. While here, no one wants to hang out at people's house, in my experience. They want to go out and DO THINGS. She told me, "this is so weird and awesome! I can just invite people over! And they come! And they have fun! And no one's complaining that we're not at whatever club/bar/restaurant is trendy right now!"

I blew off the last MMM Chicago meetup because it was on a beach in cold weather (guys? Let's not do that again? ;) ) Maybe there'll be another one at some point.

I sometimes don't have the spoons for socializing, so I understand if that's the issue.

I think Boyfriend would rather die than celebrate his birthday in the snow. As would pretty much everyone we know. I guarantee that if we advertised this as an outdoor activity, literally NO ONE would come. (Probably including me and I am his partner, LOL.) Everyone here is so over winter. People just hibernate and refuse to go outside except when necessary for months on end.  I hear it's not that way in Norway and Scandinavia in general; that people there accept that the weather is shit but go out anyway. That's probably a healthier attitude.

OK, so, I think my goal is first going to be, widen our circle. Not even necessarily "make friends," though that's the larger goal. Maybe we should focus on literally just meeting more people, instead of finding friends. Maybe it's a numbers game - the more people you meet, the more likely it is to click with someone, even if it's just one person. And we should go into this with the attitude of, success = we met someone, not success = we made a friend who will socialize with us.

I have some opportunities coming up for this in a couple months when community garden season starts. I always plan on being more involved with my community garden org, and I do stay involved in the spring, but once the garden really gets going and I have a lot of work to do in it, I have a hard time balancing that and work and my side business (which ramps up in summer) and, y'know, trying to enjoy the few months of nice weather we have, haha.) And then I just can't find the time. I can try to do better with that this year.

I also need to get back into political volunteering. I meant to go to an organizing meeting a couple weeks ago but had an emergency with the cat so had to cancel. Hopefully there will be other opportunities coming up soon.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik on February 14, 2018, 11:11:31 AM
I think I need to be on this thread.   

My social life has grown smaller through the last few years.  A big part of that is that my closest friend became very sick with a mental illness.  I feel the lack of a close friend - we'd get together for tea at her place or go out for lunch and talked about everything.  She's frugal so we'd just go to inexpensive ethnic places so fairly MMM-ish.   We are still in touch but she isn't able to go out or even get together at her place regularly because she's in a care facility out of town.  She comes 'home' for a few days per week.  Her caregivers are trying to readjust her to living on her own and it going very slowly.   Last time I visited her was in November.  We stay in touch by phone every week or so though. 

I have some acquaintances though and some possibilities there.  I actually meet a lot of people since I attend two recovery groups.

However, my husband and I are lacking in couple friends.  We had a few that have petered out over the last year or so.   Not really sure why?  We've talked about doing some kind of volunteering together but haven't actually figured anything out yet.   At the end of the month, one of my groups is having a pot luck so we're going to that.  We've gone to meet-up groups in the past and maybe we could start again.

I like Tris' idea of meeting more people and eventually someone will click.   
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: frontstepdesign on February 14, 2018, 12:21:06 PM
All those plans (book club meeting, pancake supper at the new church)...pbbbt.  I have a bad head cold.  Yay Olympics.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 15, 2018, 02:04:55 AM
Today I registered to attend an open session at my local Playgroup (not a childcare, but an Aussie thing with activities and socialising for kids with parents present, very low cost). I'm hoping that their schedule will have at least one good weekly session on one of my days off. As well as being fun for my baby, it will be a great opportunity to make local friends with kids the same age.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Forever Wednesday on February 15, 2018, 03:05:51 AM
Posting to follow.

Soon I'll need to work big time on re-building my social network. I recently cut ties with my old University friends. My remaining friends mostly come from work, but as our unit is shutting down soon we'll no doubt end up scattered across the country. This will leave me high and dry by next year if I'm not careful. : I







Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Poundwise on February 15, 2018, 04:45:29 PM
Quote
Quote from: Tris Prior
Quote
Quote from: Poundwise on February 13, 2018, 08:14:22 PM
     It made me feel like I need to have more fun, because that is all people talk about. I don't have consumption-driven "fun" any more; I work constantly.  That's by choice, but it's hard to make conversation when I don't go on far away trips or drink fine wines, etc.  Oh well, that kind of socializing wasn't on my list anyway.

I had this problem when we were in extreme hair-on-fire-emergency a few years ago. We didn't even have Netflix, much less cable, so we couldn't talk about whatever the hot new TV show was. Couldn't afford movies so couldn't talk about that. Couldn't go out to eat or for drinks with people. Had literally NO fun. I had 3 jobs. I worked. That was it. It did make it really hard to make conversation with people.

This seems to be a fairly common problem for Mustachians, even non-hard-core ones like me.

Today I emailed a few old friends, not close ones, but people I esteemed and worked with in the past-- and it felt good.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on February 16, 2018, 12:40:58 AM
Quote
Quote from: Tris Prior
Quote
Quote from: Poundwise on February 13, 2018, 08:14:22 PM
     It made me feel like I need to have more fun, because that is all people talk about. I don't have consumption-driven "fun" any more; I work constantly.  That's by choice, but it's hard to make conversation when I don't go on far away trips or drink fine wines, etc.  Oh well, that kind of socializing wasn't on my list anyway.

I had this problem when we were in extreme hair-on-fire-emergency a few years ago. We didn't even have Netflix, much less cable, so we couldn't talk about whatever the hot new TV show was. Couldn't afford movies so couldn't talk about that. Couldn't go out to eat or for drinks with people. Had literally NO fun. I had 3 jobs. I worked. That was it. It did make it really hard to make conversation with people.

This seems to be a fairly common problem for Mustachians, even non-hard-core ones like me.

Today I emailed a few old friends, not close ones, but people I esteemed and worked with in the past-- and it felt good.

It helps finding friends who'd like to join you for a running trip or a walk in the forest or something at your house. Or any other cheap activity that you doesn't require buying drinks in a commercial place.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dicey on February 16, 2018, 01:27:52 AM
@Tris Prior, I have written about this before, even on this thread, I think. (Posting during insomnia, sorry I'm fuzzy.) The library always needs volunteers, and I know this sounds sexist, but able-bodied men are worth their weight in gold, 'cause books=heavy. Go see if your nearest library has a Friends Group. I promise you will make new friends. Plus, library users naturally skew toward frugal, in my experience.

I didn't have cable for over a decade, but I always knew enough about the highest rated shows, because I READ about them - free! Think of it this way: if you saw the movie and I read the book, we have enough in common to have a conversation. Believing you can't converse with people about shows because you don't have cable is somewhat flimsy. Hell, you can always ask about their most/least favorite character or episode, then just relax and let 'em talk. Then you can change the subject. It totally works.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on February 16, 2018, 08:51:24 AM
A friend hosted a 'social experiment' last year at our home (she wanted to do a trial run of a Conversation Dinner as she was supposed to facilitate one of these later on in the year to a larger group)

She send out invites to a set number of people, most of whom knew each other but perhaps not well. The only request was to come with a bottle of wine and an open mind.

She paired people up with someone they weren't familiar with and served each course of food with the option to discuss one of the questions on the "question menu".
Some of the questions were easy "tell me about a scent you remember from your childhood", others were more personal/intimate "have you ever kept a long-term secret from your family". You stayed in conversation with the one person you were paired with so it really felt like you were able to get to know them.

It was an interesting night, and highlighted how everyone has interesting stories to tell IF we ask the right questions. I think we can learn to engage in more meaningful conversation if we develop the skill. I am working on this, in the end it's using curiousity to draw things out of people without feeling pushy :)

(this friend also has a deck of conversation cards and can manage to get people talking about random things without it feeling contrived. ie ...the last time they puked, or the kindest thing anyone has ever done for them). ha--always makes for interesting evenings :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on February 16, 2018, 09:06:18 AM
There's a gun-control march going on Sunday. I'd like to go, but I don't want to do another march alone. I saw on Facebook that an acquaintance is going, so I messaged her to ask if she wanted to meet up. No response yet, and maybe she'll say no, but at least I asked, instead of stewing over why no one's responded to my "hey, who wants to go to this march with me" Facebook post. ! Win?

ETA:  she said she's going with her feminist group and I'm welcome to meet up with them! Bonus: I want to know more about this feminist group. I've been looking for something like that for a while but didn't want to just go in cold.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 16, 2018, 03:23:19 PM
I've been really tired this week so I haven't done many new things since last weekend. However, tonight I'm going to a Chinese NY pot luck dinner at a friend's house, and because I don't have transport, another friend will be giving me a lift there and back. I have a glut of cooking tomatoes so I'll give some to both the host of the dinner and the friend giving me a lift.

Depending on how tired I am today, I might text another friend and see if she wants to do anything tomorrow morning, like go to a park with her son.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on February 16, 2018, 03:47:24 PM
I'm teaching a cooking class on Monday morning! And after that is over my week plans include setting up an afternoon play with a neighbor for my kid, finally inviting a few people for coffee next Monday  (forgot this Monday was a holiday, plus cooking class commitment).

I visited with a few people yesterday. Asked advice & shared experiences.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 16, 2018, 03:50:20 PM
I'm teaching a cooking class on Monday morning! And after that is over my week plans include setting up an afternoon play with a neighbor for my kid, finally inviting a few people for coffee next Monday  (forgot this Monday was a holiday, plus cooking class commitment).

I visited with a few people yesterday. Asked advice & shared experiences.



Well done!!!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on February 16, 2018, 06:03:03 PM
-Catching a ride with someone I know through a friend, to go have dinner with a couple of friends (who moved to a nearby town)

-Going to a music event, even though I most likely will want to go to bed :)

-Making plans to have an art date with another 'lost friend' who I haven't seen in ages (she has a young daughter)

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 16, 2018, 06:03:35 PM

Depending on how tired I am today, I might text another friend and see if she wants to do anything tomorrow morning, like go to a park with her son.

Friend is unavailable but she suggested catching up weekend after next.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on February 16, 2018, 06:53:14 PM
I love the encouragement on this thread. :)
I forgot another Thing. I'm taking my two youngest to a birthday party tomorrow.  My goals are to get to know a few people better - by asking questions & listening. I need to pay attention to cues and try not to say something awkward or too controversial.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: QuillScroll on February 19, 2018, 07:12:15 AM
Thanks for this thread, I just stumbled upon it.
I and my hubby are both introverts and are very uncomfortable in general with too many (read anybody other than us) people around.
But this year I made a resolution to reach out to friends and family and stay in touch, attend more get together and do stuff as a community.
I'll keep posted how it goes.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on February 19, 2018, 11:12:46 AM
I met up with the feminist group as well as my acquaintance who pointed me in their direction, at the protest yesterday. They seemed nice, but my friend told me that the actual group is closed to new members, outside events like yesterday's, because they are "at capacity."

Oh well. I achieved my primary goal of not attending the protest alone and having some social interaction with new folks.

This echoes something I've heard somewhat often from people who are local to me - the feeling that they don't have time for new friends, already have enough friends, etc. I'm wondering how commonplace this is or whether it's a thing that's unique to my city (and possibly other large cities like NYC where things tend to be faster-paced and people tend to overcommit themselves).
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on February 19, 2018, 11:28:28 AM
-Went for a 2.5 hour catch-up walk with a friend

-Made plans for another get-together with someone I haven't seen in months

-Will actively invite some friends to come visit while my SO is gone in March

@TrisPrior  I don't think it's a unique problem for large cities--I live in small town with high seasonal turnover and people suffer from the fatigue of getting to know new people (who are only here short term)
Sure, there are benefits to long-term relationships however I think if you have a good connection, who cares if it's for 5 days or 5 years?!

Age-wise though, there is also this time period when people are nesting/maybe busy with family and I try to be considerate of that since I don't have children myself.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on February 19, 2018, 01:29:46 PM
I have a lot to report.
Saturday I went to a child's birthday party and had a blast.  Since the kids were entertained, I had plenty of time to visit with the adults. So many good connections were made. I made plans to meet up with two of the people next week at a coffee shop. ;)
Sunday I texted with a friend who will host the next neighborhood brunch, next Monday, and I'm really looking forward to that. We're adding another lady to our invite.
I sent condolences to the family over a death of a former coworker (of mine, from 17 years ago), but I do feel a little bit bad that I didn't go to the visitation yesterday.
This morning I taught my cooking class! It was good, and I'm going to do it again. This really pushed me beyond my comfort zone.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on February 19, 2018, 01:43:51 PM
Went out this weekend with someone from out of state who I had met when she was visiting in 2015. We've kept in touch a bit on Facebook so when she comes back to NYC she usually pings me to see what I'm up to. Turns out she and her partner are moving to NYC in a few months so now she will be a local friend :-)

We went to a concert and I made a bit of an extra effort to go talk to the drummer afterwards as he's one of my favorite drummers and he's always been very friendly to me. And then I got sucked into a conversation with the guitarist (who I'm very shy with because I'm a megafan of his) and managed not to say anything stupid enough to haunt me late at night when I'm lying awake and can't sleep. This is a major accomplishment when you have social anxiety ;-)

I'm wondering how commonplace this is or whether it's a thing that's unique to my city (and possibly other large cities like NYC where things tend to be faster-paced and people tend to overcommit themselves).

I haven't really found this to be true in NYC... there is a lot of population turnover (old residents leaving, new residents arriving) and lots of single/childless people, so there are tons of people looking to make friends and who have lots of time to socialize. I think the fast-paced/over-committed stuff results in making more casual friendships, though. People are much flakier here than where I used to live.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 19, 2018, 09:07:45 PM
Proposed a time, date and location for my local MMM meetup for early March. :D

And I finally got around to booking a table at a cafe this Saturday so me and DH can have lunch with my old school friend, her husband and their kid. I had to book online (ugh, I hate the uncertainty) and am waiting to hear back from the cafe to see if my booking was confirmed or not. I get that online bookings are less work for cafes and restaurants but I don't like a) not getting the instant feedback as to whether my booking is confirmed and b) not being able to confirm any particular seating requirements (eg indoors vs outdoors).

And friends of the weekly dinner will be back in town after being away for a few weeks, so it will be nice to have that routine back in place. I do quite like standing social arrangements where you just have to show up weekly etc at a predetermined time and place. Takes out a lot of the mental and emotional labour for everyone. (not very common unfortunately - maybe that's a goal I can work towards later this year - set up some more routinised socialising)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on February 20, 2018, 06:28:04 PM
Congrats to everyone on their sociability! This thread has made me realize that I'm actually a bit more social than I had imagined, which is good.

Yesterday, though - I got to dance class early, and there were two people standing on opposite sides of the room. "I'm going to make friends!" I thought to myself, and approached one of them. "Hey, I haven't seen you here before!" I said. "Oh, I'm here visiting from Thailand," the lady said.

"You're from Thailand? That's where I'm from!!!" the other lady cries out. The first lady ran across the room, talking excitedly in Thai, and they hugged and began chatting in rapid-fire Thai, ignoring me completely.

Well, at least I instigated a friendship, albeit not in the way I intended. Sigh.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: QuillScroll on February 21, 2018, 08:03:13 AM
I attended a HOA meeting at my community yesterday. After the meeting, took the effort to meet each one and chit chat for few minutes. Couldn't meet all of them but guess I would have atleast met 10 people few known before and few for the first time.
I felt emotionally exhausted but also thrilled at making so many new connections.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: QuillScroll on February 21, 2018, 08:06:22 AM
they hugged and began chatting in rapid-fire Thai, ignoring me completely.

That was rude of them..  but as you said, you helped create a new friendship :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Bee21 on February 22, 2018, 03:16:48 AM
Need to work on this as I am getting totally antisocial these days. When the kids were little I did make an effort to socialise with other moms to help them make friends, but now they are at school and I am less inclined to spend my limited free time on polite chit chat while the kids are playing.  I actually don't want to to talk to people these days, I know it is bad. People just freak me out. I went out to a couple of events with some school moms, but it is girls only (my husband cannot stand their husbands, we tried), plus these these women are quite complex characters and it feels like I am  walking on eggshells around them.

I think I will try to find a local book club or a choir. Keep trying.  I even organized a playdate for next week.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dicey on February 22, 2018, 03:38:36 AM
I met up with the feminist group as well as my acquaintance who pointed me in their direction, at the protest yesterday. They seemed nice, but my friend told me that the actual group is closed to new members, outside events like yesterday's, because they are "at capacity."
Don't sweat this. People move around, lives change, openings happen eventually. Sometimes, that response is just a cover for, "We'd like to get to know you a little better before we invite you to stay and play." Just keep on being you. Participate in "outside events" as it suits you and just see where it goes. All groups need new members in due time, or else they die. Literally. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Poundwise on February 22, 2018, 06:06:51 AM
I met up with the feminist group as well as my acquaintance who pointed me in their direction, at the protest yesterday. They seemed nice, but my friend told me that the actual group is closed to new members, outside events like yesterday's, because they are "at capacity."
Don't sweat this. People move around, lives change, openings happen eventually. Sometimes, that response is just a cover for, "We'd like to get to know you a little better before we invite you to stay and play." Just keep on being you. Participate in "outside events" as it suits you and just see where it goes. All groups need new members in due time, or else they die. Literally.

+1. 

Such a shame, though!  My group is always recruiting, because it is so hard to find people who will actually get out there and be active. You can only count on a third (at the very best) to be able and willing to do the necessary.  But I guess different groups have different dynamics. Certainly the biggest jump-starts to my social life has been joining volunteer associations, and more recently, political groups. There must be another group near you looking for members, even if this one is not!

And, MrsWhipple, your story was both hilarious and sad!! I guess those ladies were lonely, but it was indeed rude of them. Maybe you should move that post over to the "good deeds" challenge. :P

Quote
Quote from: Tris Prior
Quote
Quote from: Poundwise on February 13, 2018, 08:14:22 PM
     It made me feel like I need to have more fun, because that is all people talk about. I don't have consumption-driven "fun" any more; I work constantly.  That's by choice, but it's hard to make conversation when I don't go on far away trips or drink fine wines, etc.  Oh well, that kind of socializing wasn't on my list anyway.

I had this problem when we were in extreme hair-on-fire-emergency a few years ago. We didn't even have Netflix, much less cable, so we couldn't talk about whatever the hot new TV show was. Couldn't afford movies so couldn't talk about that. Couldn't go out to eat or for drinks with people. Had literally NO fun. I had 3 jobs. I worked. That was it. It did make it really hard to make conversation with people.

This seems to be a fairly common problem for Mustachians, even non-hard-core ones like me.

It helps finding friends who'd like to join you for a running trip or a walk in the forest or something at your house. Or any other cheap activity that you doesn't require buying drinks in a commercial place.

It's true, I should invite people to do things, rather than go to parties.  Usually I thrive in group working events, but I lost my footing in an event where the sole goal was to socialize.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on February 22, 2018, 08:46:54 AM
Have been feeling a bit blue recently (as in February)
 so this is good thread is a good reminder for me.

-going to see family next week (they live quite far so I usually only go once or twice/year, but there is a new addition who I am excited to spend time with!)

-went for a walk with a friend who has an 8 month old, so haven't seen her much recently

-connected via text chat with an old roommate and made plans to get together this spring/summer

-tentatively planning for an art school friend to come visit

These are all connections with people I already know, so will work on meeting some new ones as well!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on February 22, 2018, 09:22:31 AM
I responded to a friend's "Hey! Who wants to join us to see Black Panther?" Facebook post instead of assuming he didn't mean us. So we're going in a group. Money's really tight right now due to vet bills but we bought tickets anyway. I feel kind of guilty about that.

I really wish it was easier to meet people who don't want to spend money (who also are not 25 years younger than me and broke as hell due to being just out of school; nothing against them, I don't hate millennials, but I'd like to have friends who have similar life experiences to me, you know?)

Along those lines, there's a Chicago meetup thread going on right now, for anyone else reading this who's in Chicago area? https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/meetups-and-social-events/calling-all-chicago-mustachians/msg1908157/#msg1908157
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 22, 2018, 02:36:56 PM
I'm still low on energy so I haven't stretched myself this week but I did do a few things online.

I've started playing Words with Friends on my phone again and a few days ago reconnected with a friend on the game (WWF has a chat function).

I've chatted a bit online with my old friend from university who lives in another city.

I continue to exchange pics of cute animals with a friend via DM on Twitter.

Also, this Saturday is the monthly community day for Pokemon Go and I'm wondering if I'll have enough energy after having lunch with my friend to go hang out with my local Pokemon Go community and do some raids etc. (I'm part of a big Facebook chat group for my local area. If anyone else plays Pokemon Go and lives in an urban area, there should be some sort of raiding community you can join if you're looking to meet new people.)

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on February 22, 2018, 03:09:10 PM
Yesterday I went to a parent meeting at school, visited with several people. Got a text afterwards inviting me to join two of the ladies this morning for coffee. It was fun, and will probably do it again soon. Bonus - one of the ladies owns the coffee shop so my coffee was comped. :)
Met up with a new neighbor at the playground, then invited her & her child to my house. They came over, even though my house was kinda messy. I don't think she cared. This neighbor texted me today. (I'm making a new friend, y'all!)
Still have a social thing on Monday (neighbor coffee at a house).
I'm contemplating becoming politically active, but not quite sure I'm there yet. I know I'll be adding more charity work to my plate, since my demo was a success. The director of the organization seemed awesome and like we could work well together.
All in all, a busy week of making connections.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 22, 2018, 08:11:31 PM
I did a Pokémon Go raid with a few people today. I had never met any of them before. Pokémon Go has made me a lot better at talking to strangers :)

I found out about a Pokémon Go Community Day bbq organised by the local playing community. It’s on tomorrow afternoon. If I still have energy after meeting a friend for lunch tomorrow, I’ll go along to the bbq. It will be a stretch for me re social anxiety because I don’t really know anyone that well. But, I can always just talk about the game. Most people in the community are far more obsessed with it than me :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: rosarugosa on February 23, 2018, 11:58:38 AM
I need to join in and will work to think of some realistic goals.  I retired late last year, and a lot of my admittedly minimal socialization needs were met through work.  I've kept up with several co-workers via FB and e-mail.  I do seem to have more energy for socialization without work (in HR no less) sucking all the life from me, but most of my socialization is within a very narrow circle of family and friends.  I do get to spend a lot more time with my BFF sister which is wonderful.  She is pretty social, and a lot of the friends I've made as an adult are courtesy of my sweet little sister!
I'm enjoying hearing of everyone's goals and progress.  Thanks for the great thread!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: imadandylion on February 23, 2018, 02:22:48 PM
This is such a good idea for a thread.

I'll join, too.

I have the sort of planner that is very organized and encourages you to write out your goals for lifetime, 3-year, 1-year, and 3-month "deadlines." Last year, I wrote that one of the things that was important to be was making friends.  Well, for my 2018 planner, I didn't, because I want to be razor-focused on my other goals (mostly related to career, money, and travel). But now I feel like it's not good to *not* strive for this goal, too. Even though I am an introvert and can enjoy being at home, it's still important to cultivate relationships and memories.  This is going to come off as a little bit weird, but last year I got engaged and I didn't really think too much about it. Then we started wedding planning, and when it came to the guest list, I felt weird about who I would invite because I'm truly the worst at keeping in touch with people, I realized! We always have those friends that you can pick up where you left off, but still, we want this to be a fun party/celebration full of friends, not acquaintances. I have some people that I might consider friends, but wonder if they're friends "enough" to invite to a wedding. Don't get me wrong, I don't want friends as accessories to a wedding.  It's just that this life event that is supposed to be filled with joy and relationships (to me, anyway) and this is an excellent motivator to keep current friendships going or turn fledgling relationships into definite friendships.  I'm kind of strict at the idea of who is considered a true friend, too. I feel like most people just consider everyone they meet a friend (e.g. facebook friends), but I don't, so that makes it more complicated for me.

Other than the lifetime relationships thing, I also just want to be a nice, good ol', well-rounded person.  I would describe myself as a friendly person and really don't mind talking to strangers. But when it comes to hanging out... ugh. The whole money-spending thing really gets me.

Some things I'm doing or plan to:

- I accepted an invitation with coworker-friends to go rock climbing on account of free passes, but then remembered the shoe rentals are not free so I declined and explained I'm trying to save money for the wedding and stuff... but instead of just declining and not saying anything else, I offered to do a board game night instead, or a dining out event to a restaurant we talked about before that they might want to try. We have also discussed starting a book club, so I will try to bring that up again when we do board game night.  I am working on being honest and not secretive about saving money, because when I have declined invitations and have been up to doing my own things and being busy with that with zero explanation, people legitimately started to think I didn't like them anymore.

- Plan a visit my sister and her kids. Yup, I'm so introverted, I sometimes don't even talk to my family that much. lol... anyone else like this?  Maybe I will bake snickerdoodles with my niece. :) Realllly need to spend more time with the kids so they actually remember who I am!!

- Need to arrange a girl's day with a friend I don't really hang out with often because she lives in another city!  I just wanted to mention, in case anyone needs ideas, I met this person on girlfriendsocial.com, which is strictly a website for women who are looking for friendship.

- My dental hygienist is really cool, and every time I got get my teeth checked out or cleaned, she is SO fun to talk to and we have a lot in common. Sometimes we just talk a bunch before even getting to the actual work, ha! I would love to hang out with her, she seems very interesting and relatable.  At my next appointment, I should try to talk about some of our interests (like photography) and see if we could do something together outside of the dental office related to that! This sounds funny to me because it's so premeditated...

- Try to hang out a couple friends from middle school. Now these are the type who you can just pick up where you left off... in that case, "left off" was the early years of college... oops. It's difficult, too, because of the whole different cities thing, but it's not that far... I really need to make an effort!!

- Maybe plan to go hang out with coworker-friend based on invitation to go to a running event. I balked at the price of admission at any length of run and she mentioned we could just cheer them on and hang out afterward and explore the city. I might do that. This is next month, which at least, is enough notice to plan to use some $$ on food that day?

- Could also plan a pot luck/dinner party. I have hosted one before with coworkers and it was fun. But that was a long time ago, so we are overdue. I also used to organize a coworkers brunch, but it's hard when you're vegan to find brunch places, lol. Maybe change this event to a dinner thing since there are more options.

- Maybe reach out to a friends-couple that we met in the last city we used to live! It was honestly such a bummer having to move because we just met them and were hanging out and having a lot of fun. Plus, how often do you cultivate friendships as a COUPLE? You always have friends that have significant others, but it's different when you're all just genuinely friends all around.  They really SUCK at text messages, though, which is part of the reason why we haven't kept in touch. Maybe we can make a plan to visit this city and meet up with all friends that live there? :/ I will send a text and put it out there. If nothing happens, then at least I tried!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: ozmickey on February 24, 2018, 11:05:34 AM
Well I had a good week:
1. I met up with a former coworker for a walk around our Botanical Garden and brunch.
2. I met a friend for dinner after work. She works two jobs and her spare time is very constricted. I hope we can start meeting monthly.

Next week:
1. Book Club after work - this is a new club that I have been to once.
2. I have a friend who lives overseas, I need to send her a Facebook message.
3. I am a member of a Meetup group that is active, I should sit down and figure if I can get to any of the planned events.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on February 24, 2018, 09:29:41 PM
-Went for another walk with my friend who has a baby (she confessed she is eager to get out of the house..so we might try to do more frequent walks)

-Booked a ride to the airport with a ride-sharing site vs. taking a shuttle-bus

-Have 2 ski dates (alpine) set up for this week & 1 XC ski evening :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 25, 2018, 10:47:58 PM
Welcome any newbies to the thread! And I love all the updates <3 Very inspiring, and I'm so glad others are finding this thread helpful too.

*cheers everyone on*

I did a Pokémon Go raid with a few people today. I had never met any of them before. Pokémon Go has made me a lot better at talking to strangers :)

I found out about a Pokémon Go Community Day bbq organised by the local playing community. It’s on tomorrow afternoon. If I still have energy after meeting a friend for lunch tomorrow, I’ll go along to the bbq. It will be a stretch for me re social anxiety because I don’t really know anyone that well. But, I can always just talk about the game. Most people in the community are far more obsessed with it than me :)

Sigh. My weekend plans got derailed by annoying health stuff. I spent Friday night in the emergency department at the hospital with an infection (I'm in a high risk category), spent a couple of hours at home sleeping and then had to go to another health clinic to get something else sorted out. So I had to postpone the Saturday lunch with a friend and only managed a short period of time at the Pokemon Go community event. But, I made myself say hi to a few people at the Pokemon Go event. (the tricky bit was working out who was part of the organised event and who was just there playing by themselves and not wanting to talk to anyone)

At least I made it to weekly dinner at friends' house on Sunday night. But even that almost didn't happen thanks to flash flooding and road closures. (we decided to go a bit late to make sure that the floods had drained enough and we went a different route to avoid the dodgy spots)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on February 26, 2018, 02:49:52 AM
Quick update (will look at other's updates later)
- Spent several days seeing friends in Austria/Italy. Total of 4 friends met (for 3 it'd been half a year, for the last one 1.5 year since we'd seen each other) plus met a lot of new people too.

No news yet on having lunch with potential new friend and getting to know my co-worker better.
My trip to Berlin won't happen as the friend I have there canceled his plans to come home (he's in Aussie currently). However another girl I know there was disappointed I wasn't gonna make it so maybe I'll go anyways somewhere in the spring.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on February 26, 2018, 03:20:47 AM
I spent a week with DH at our mountain cabin. The last 3 days with 2 friends that I had invited. Nice to meet up again, as we hadn't met for a few months. We had great weather and good cross country skiing circumstances.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik on February 26, 2018, 07:01:19 AM
I had a social fail over the weekend. 

Mr. P and I were going to a potluck for a group I belong to on Saturday at 4:00.  However,  I woke up Sat. morning with a migraine.  I think it was from the stress at work from the previous week - our server got a ransomware virus.   We weren't up and running until Thursday.  Then had to back track and correct some documents.   So I cancelled our attendance.  I didn't have the spoons for shopping/cooking for a potluck and then being in a crowded room for several hours. 

I have been enjoying reading other people's stuff though. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 27, 2018, 10:09:09 PM
How is everyone else going? I've been a bit unwell which never helps with my background social anxiety. I have a few things I've been procrastinating on so maybe if I write them here I will actually do them and not feel like it's lurking/hanging over my head.

1) Play the next go against my friend in Words with Friends and respond to her chat comment (I feel out of my depth in responding, but on reflection that would almost definitely be because I feel very tired after treatment for a bad infection).

2) Work out if I'm well enough to go out to a $$$ dinner with friends tomorrow night (we've all prepaid for a special meal by a chef that a few of my friends stan for).

3) Message someone who bought Tupperware at my recent party and tell her DH and I will try to deliver her order to her at home one weekend soon (she has two small kids).

4) Message friend who is like a sister and see if she wants to catch up for a picnic sometime soon.

5) Message friend and see if she's still available to catch up in mid March (and I need to research to see if the location she suggested still has an open cafe or not - there have been some recent big changes there).

6) Reschedule lunch with another friend (we were supposed to catch up last Saturday for lunch, and I booked us a table and everything, but I needed to go to hospital for treatment :/)

ETA 7) Message an online friend who is very much on my wavelength despite cultural and language differences, but we haven't had a proper conversation for several years now and I miss her.


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)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on February 27, 2018, 10:19:41 PM
Next week is my evening out with girls from my departure at work. I am atill figuring out how to get to that town in the cheapest way. The restaurant that is reserved looked very reasonably priced and had good reviews.

I am considering to visit an event in September. It is in another part of the country and probably more than a day driving. Plane would be more practicle. The event is 4 days and stays at a hotel. This is not cheap. Finding a place in a nearby forest to set up my tent is of course setting me far apart from the rest of the people. I guess I will have to choose to either go and pay full pot or not go. I could try to share a twin room with someone.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on February 27, 2018, 10:48:44 PM
The last couple of days (and likely tomorrow again) I've been very anti-social, but that's because I was heavily social over the weekend and needed a break from people. Friday I was going to stay home but decided to do a friend a favor because it was his birthday, and this morphed into a 90-minute wait in line talking to people (strangers) the whole time, some of whom I might see again in the future - we made vague plans to be in the same place at the same time but didn't exchange contact info. Then I went out with my friend and his girlfriend for dinner afterwards even though I was exhausted. It was really fun, but I spent $25 on a taxi home because we weren't done until midnight and I was utterly zonked. Saturday I only had maybe 30 minutes of chatting with people, plus a brief but meaningful-to-me quick handshake with someone I greatly admire. Sunday was another heavily social evening with probably 3+ hours of chatting with different people, including both strangers and friends, plus a great 20-minute conversation with someone I'd like to get to know better.

Taking a few days off to recharge, but I'm trying to get together a group of people to do something fun on Thursday. I've got two "maybes" and a couple of "I'd like to but I can't," but no "yes" so far...
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 28, 2018, 12:52:27 AM
I went to mums' group today despite feeling blergh and having a difficult nap schedule to contend with.

Unfortunately I felt crappy afterwards - I said a few things that didn't quite come out how I meant them, and had that feeling like I wasn't quite on the same wavelength as my mums' group friends. Blergh.

Yesterday and today I have made an effort to either reach out to people or respond to their contact, including making plans with two friends. Also responded to the Meetup thread to arrange a brunch that at least one excellent MMMer will be at (hopefully more!).

I'm working my way up to responding to emails and PMs, which I've been putting off while feeling extra anxious for the last little while.

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??
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on February 28, 2018, 01:01:51 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 :/)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 28, 2018, 01:19:16 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 :-/
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine 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??

&lt;3 &lt;3 &lt;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
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip 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 :)

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: rosarugosa 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior 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.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop 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?"
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie 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."
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine 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
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Drole 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. 





Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: I'm a red panda 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: imadandylion 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice 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:

(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/interaction.png)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip 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:

(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/interaction.png)

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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice 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... ;-)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on March 07, 2018, 11:56:01 PM
@Dollarslice this made me happy to read :)

Signed,

Another Social Anxiety Peep.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: rosarugosa 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior 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?
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice 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...
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior 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."
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik 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. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Rosy 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:) 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik 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.  :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dicey 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: JanetJackson 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).
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Frugal Lizard 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.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: JanetJackson 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip 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
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: NoraLenderbee on March 12, 2018, 10:53:49 AM
I emailed a friend and we are going to get together in 2 weeks. Yay!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik 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. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle 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.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop 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
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine 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 :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: JanetJackson 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!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on March 15, 2018, 06:34:18 AM
Had a drink with a newish friend last night. We're both new in town and she admitted to be a bit lonely sometimes as for her it's the first time to move "far" away from her hometown (for me it's the 4th time so I got used to building a new social life). I really like her and we are part of a group so hope this will become a regular. Now I just need to find a more mustachian alternative for cocktail nights at the local pub :p
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on March 16, 2018, 01:39:10 PM
Had a drink with a newish friend last night. We're both new in town and she admitted to be a bit lonely sometimes as for her it's the first time to move "far" away from her hometown (for me it's the 4th time so I got used to building a new social life). I really like her and we are part of a group so hope this will become a regular. Now I just need to find a more mustachian alternative for cocktail nights at the local pub :p

Sounds like a good person for you to get known with.

Maybe meet at each other's house? Going for a hike or a run together?
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on March 17, 2018, 08:56:37 PM
Had a picnic down by a river with an old childhood friend/acquaintance who moved to a nearby town. She has a 2 year old, so it's hard to schedule get-togethers but it was a lovely connection. 

Followed it with a walk with someone who is quickly becoming one of my closest friends--she moved into my neighborhood 6 months ago and it makes a huge difference to have a friend closeby.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Drole on March 18, 2018, 03:09:54 AM

Followed it with a walk with someone who is quickly becoming one of my closest friends--she moved into my neighborhood 6 months ago and it makes a huge difference to have a friend closeby.

You are lucky! This is something we are really lacking in our current home. No neighbors with kids for our kids and i've yet to find anyone for me. Our old neighborhood was much better with kids and adults interacting and we're only a few miles away but pretty much not included now.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on March 18, 2018, 05:55:15 AM
Yesterday when we went cross country skiing, a guy approaching in opposite direction atopped amd said he say faliliar people, meaning DH and me. I didn't recognize him with sunglasses on. He took them off. I still had problems recognizing him and said so. Then he said he was living together with <female first name>. That helped. Then of course I remembered him. His GF amd he have been visiting us for dinner once, either last year or two years ago. I haven't seen him since then. Good to meet him again. We chatted a bit and went on with or trip.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on March 18, 2018, 11:52:30 AM

Followed it with a walk with someone who is quickly becoming one of my closest friends--she moved into my neighborhood 6 months ago and it makes a huge difference to have a friend closeby.

You are lucky! This is something we are really lacking in our current home. No neighbors with kids for our kids and i've yet to find anyone for me. Our old neighborhood was much better with kids and adults interacting and we're only a few miles away but pretty much not included now.

I Know, I feel lucky @Drole !
 Proximity makes such a difference..it's the casual-ness of saying 'oh I am going for a walk in 10 minutes, would you like to join?"

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on March 19, 2018, 12:58:01 AM
I had a partial success, partial fail today. I joined a Pokemon Go raid with my local raiding group today. So yay! I talked a little bit with one person. Then people decided to stay for something else, me included. And... I just sat there without talking to anyone :p I was very tired and the location was a tad noisy, but still.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: JanetJackson on March 19, 2018, 05:46:35 AM
Everyone here is doing so great!  Nice work!
I went to a Crossfit gym last week- just dropped in on the workout to check it out.  People were friendly, and it's easy to make bonds when you're doing hard things together.  I felt pretty satisfied that I had done it.  I'm hoping to go this week as well to check out the vibe of a class at a different time of the day and see what that crowd is like.  I fell on Friday and popped my ever-dislocating shoulder out (but then right back in) so I am REALLY hoping it feels "right" by Wednesday of this week (my day off) so that I can drop in again.

Yay me!  Yay everyone!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on March 19, 2018, 12:26:30 PM
I started a conversation with a stranger this weekend - there were two of us waiting for the doors to open for a concert, and I invited her to share a table while we waited since there was an empty 2-person table right by the doors (and we would be annoyingly in the way if we stood). She was very friendly but also a little crazy, LOL. Not going to be a new friend, but good practice and briefly entertaining.

Less positive: I got an upsetting e-mail while I was at the concert and saw it on my phone in the intermission. I apparently looked so upset (fighting off an anxiety attack) that someone in the band sat down to talk to me before the next set started. I was saved from an extremely difficult/awkward conversation by some tourists next to me who decided to interrupt and ask him for an autograph. It was very kind of him to try to talk to me, but that would not have gone well...
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on March 20, 2018, 06:16:15 AM
Joining in!  I really need to work on this.  We moved to a new state two years ago, and it is very slow going making new friends.  I have a couple of casual new friends but no one close yet and no one in my neighborhood, and honestly I am lonely.  Working full time doesn't help with the friend situation . . . I haven't had much luck making close friends at work.   

Anyway -- yesterday I texted a casual friend I had not heard from in a couple months, and found out she is leaving town to move cross country!  That has happened to me a bunch of times that a new friend up and moves . . . I think I must 'click' with restless mobile types.  (Either that or they are fleeing from me, lol.) I'll be getting together with her to catch up before she leaves town.   

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on March 20, 2018, 08:17:15 AM
Trifele, that happens to me constantly. Everyone I meet and start to click with ends up fleeing the city. It really sucks. I can't say that I blame them, it's usually because of our awful winters or because they want to buy affordable property that actually includes land and is not just a tiny condo.

Going to a friend's Hamilton party on Friday, and Thursday I'm going to try and volunteer at my community garden's orientation. (I say "try" because it's after work and I can't actually make it until 15-20 minutes after they want volunteers there, so I emailed them to ask whether that would be OK.) This year, they're having orientations for each garden site separately, rather than a few big sessions for all six (? I think?) sites, so I'm hoping I can meet some people whom I'll actually see in the garden this summer.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on March 20, 2018, 11:02:42 AM
Heard from some old friends/acquaintances and they want to drive up for a visit this week. I haven't seen one of them in at least 6-8 years :) A pleasant surprise so I am trying to start work later in the afternoon so we can go for a hike & lunch.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik on March 20, 2018, 11:32:35 AM
My husband and I are hosting an Easter get together for family on Easter Sunday.  Then I've invited a new person out for tea on Easter Monday since I'm not working that day.  She's not sure if she's in town so I'll see.  And, an older friend for whom I agreed to be her executor wants to host a lunch to introduce myself and her Power of Attorney person. 

Also, at my weekly meetings, I am doing my best to speak to people I don't know rather than sticking with my usual people.  This is going well.

Well, my husband and I have put out feelers re: our summer BBQ.  I'll probably get some answers back today and then we'll set a firm date.   I wasn't sure how to handle the setting of the date to get good attendance. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Poundwise on March 20, 2018, 07:39:43 PM
Dropped off dinner for an old friend who just had a baby. She is still in my old neighborhood,  a somewhat stressful (because of traffic and crazy drivers) 40 minute drive away, but I am glad I did it! Will try to visit again soon and reconnect with some other buddies in the area.  I got to cuddle her tiny baby, too! 

Last week I called another old friend with whom I speak only about twice a year... turns out she lost her father just a couple of weeks ago, so I am glad I did call.

Not doing so well on the making new friends front. I have been feeling fat, frumpy, and my house has been too messy for company.  Even at its best, our way of life is more functional than decorative, if that makes sense... entertainment is just not our specialty! However we will be hosting Easter at my house, and this will be a good opportunity to get to know my new SIL (whom I like) better.

 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on March 21, 2018, 07:19:07 AM
Currently visiting family back home. I looked up a friend I haven't seen since we moved, and yesterday my kids and I met up with her and her kids.  We walked at a state park, and then grabbed supper together at a pub.  It was great.  She actually travels quite a bit, and hopefully will visit us someday in our new location.     
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: JanetJackson on March 21, 2018, 05:15:43 PM
Currently visiting family back home. I looked up a friend I haven't seen since we moved, and yesterday my kids and I met up with her and her kids.  We walked at a state park, and then grabbed supper together at a pub.  It was great.  She actually travels quite a bit, and hopefully will visit us someday in our new location.     

Walking and outdoor stuff is my favorite way to connect with people!  Great job!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: sui generis on March 22, 2018, 05:30:13 PM
PTF and participate! 

I plan to FIRE in 11 months and one of the things I am most scared of is getting too socially isolated without the structure and people that are FORCED to interact with me.  I'm this really weird combo of introvert and extrovert and I get super depressed if I don't have enough interaction but also kinda super suck at getting the interactions started.  I have some great friendships I maintain really well, but have a hard time turning an interaction into an acquaintance and an acquaintance into a friend. Awkward!  Oh and also, I lose too many friends to babies/kids (I'm just that age), so I have to constantly be making new friends just to maintain status quo levels of interaction!

Looking forward to re-reading the thread and seeing new posts to pick up on strategies to chat people up and turn them into friends!  I got a little panicky just typing that, but I must persevere!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Drole on March 22, 2018, 08:23:42 PM
So a girl I was friends with many moons ago is getting remarried. I'd love to go, but i'm hesitant about spending the $. It wouldn't be for a wedding, just a reception. One side says show up and support her and see her, the other side says wait until i'm traveling and in the general vicinity.

Going to the reception would probably be a hoot, plus i'd get to meet her current friends/etc. But visiting at a different time would probably mean egtting to spend more time (alone-ish) with her.

Cost to attend is probably $600 (flights/hotel).
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on March 22, 2018, 10:18:43 PM
-Friends from long ago visited today..hadn't seen one of them in 6 years, the other in 2 years.
Was a lovely catch-up (although I picked up the bill at lunch in an Un-mustachian move)
made plans to hike this spring/summer

-Received a letter in the mail from an old pen-pal friend. We actually met over 15 years ago when she walked up to me at a concert and said she wanted become my friend..ha. We wrote letters for many years but had fallen out of contact--she wants to revive our snail-mail correspondence so I will begin crafting a response this weekend

-Picked up a shift at an old workplace and had lovely conversations and connections with old workmates

I seem to be doing well with reviving old connections, not so much with making new ones
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Frugal Lizard on March 23, 2018, 06:40:04 AM
I attended a talk by myself. I had bought tickets for my hubs to go with me but he couldn't go.  I sent out an email to a number of neighbours to see if they wanted the ticket and heard back from three people that they had bought their own tickets already.  When I got there, there were six people I knew well enough to sit with.
The talk was so inspirational.  I walked home with two of my neighbours that I have only met a couple of times as they just moved in last year.  We have so many common areas of concern. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on March 23, 2018, 07:03:06 AM
I was out of social contact for two weeks because of flu, so I had to cancel a few things I was really looking forward to.  One was a volunteer activity (a spring break camp for under privileged youth). I will continue to look for ways to volunteer at this organization. It seems like I could meet some great people through this.

I feel like I'm in a pickle. I've been getting to know a newish neighbor, and we walk occasionally, and our kids play together sometimes. Well, just yesterday her 4th grader told my 5th grader that HRC kills babies before they're born. My kid said "that doesn't sound right, are you sure?" To which the other kid responded "yep, my dad says so and my older sister says so."
So obviously, I don't think our friendship here has much of a future. First off, I don't burden my young children with complex adult topics, and 2, I will not tell flat out lies to further a political or religious agenda with anyone - much less my own children.
Being non-religious zealot in the bible belt makes (finding) sincere and respectful friendships tricky.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on March 23, 2018, 08:34:59 AM
This year we are featured in the Easter magazine that is sent out to all inhabitants and cabin owners in the village where we have a cabin. We were asked to write something about ourselves and what we like to do there. I am curious whether anyone will recognize us next week and will chat with us about the article.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: NoraLenderbee on March 23, 2018, 11:48:07 AM
The friend I'm supposed to see on Saturday thinks she's developing a sinus infection, so our plans are up in the air. TBH, I'd rather postpone a week just because I have a lot of stuff to do at home.

I invited another old friend to coffee, someone I used to work with and really like, but haven't seen in a very long time. She and her spouse are starting a "detox diet" for a couple of weeks, so we won't get together until April sometime. Well, better than nothing, and I did contact her!

A guy in my bike club asked on the mailing list if anyone had a bike travel case he could borrow. I did. he came over last night to pick it up. We'd never met before; now we are acquaintances and potential cycling buddies. Also, I'm happy to see my travel case get used.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on March 24, 2018, 11:39:08 AM
Had a drink with a newish friend last night. We're both new in town and she admitted to be a bit lonely sometimes as for her it's the first time to move "far" away from her hometown (for me it's the 4th time so I got used to building a new social life). I really like her and we are part of a group so hope this will become a regular. Now I just need to find a more mustachian alternative for cocktail nights at the local pub :p

Sounds like a good person for you to get known with.

Maybe meet at each other's house? Going for a hike or a run together?

Yes, meeting for a dinner or a tea would be a perfect one. Running would also be an option as we live close to a popular running-park. I just suck at running :p.

Yesterday we actually met with some people from this group again (the girl from former post couldn't make it) and it became semi-mustachian as the first drink was on the PhD organisation and after midnight we got drinks from a night shop and continued the party in someone's house. So only 2 beers that I actually have to pay for :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on March 24, 2018, 03:53:39 PM
Went to the Hamilton party last night and actually introduced myself to a number of people - one of whom looked very familiar to me and turns out to live in my neighborhood. It was so fun!

Today: TOTALLY drained and cocooning. Body and brain said NOPE to attending March for Our Lives, which I feel really bad about.

Does anyone else find that they need to majorly recharge social batteries after a night of being around people?
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on March 24, 2018, 04:43:50 PM
Does anyone else find that they need to majorly recharge social batteries after a night of being around people?

Yes. Needing to recharge after being social is pretty much the definition of introversion.

I find that different people wear me out at drastically different rates - some people I can hang out with every night for a week and it's all good. Some people have me wanting to lock myself in a dark room after an hour or two. I'm increasingly unhappy with family holidays because it means I have to stay in a house full of people for an entire weekend and I can't stand it after the first day.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on March 24, 2018, 05:02:30 PM
Recharging is key--I imagine many of us on this thread lean towards introversion!

Went for walk & art gallery visit with a friend today. Ran into another aquaintance and met someone new- friend of the friend (both work at the museum).

Feel like I am getting to know more and more people in this town. It has a high turn-over rate as it's a tourist-type town, and the locals stay low key, I've been here on & off for seven years..just earning my local status.
Walked back home and ran into two more friends. Spring sunshine is getting people outdoors.

Going to a conservation event tonight and interested to see what crowd will be there and whether I know anyone.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on March 25, 2018, 07:03:42 AM
Just completed a week long road trip where we had some nice (and overdue) visits with friends and family.

Traveling again next weekend to see friends we haven't seen in almost two years. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on March 27, 2018, 09:51:00 AM
Had a woman I met through my SO reach out who would like to get together with me.

So we are tentatively planning a hike when the weather clears--it's funny how I say I am looking for connections but then become nervous when people want to connect.

 I think there is just the slightly awkward phase of getting to know people--it feels a bit like dating.

Reconnected with an old work friend, via IG. A lovely catch-up and nice to hear and see what she has been up to the last 5 years.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on March 28, 2018, 01:21:37 PM
Talked to a stranger in the pool today. This has always been normal to me, but so far this pool has been quite antisocial. This was my first real (like, more than "shall I go first?" or "sorry for smashing my arm into you") conversation in the pool in 5 months.

Booked tickets to visit two friends in Austria in May.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on March 28, 2018, 05:10:29 PM
I think I have a new gym buddy! She joined up after I offered a free membership transfer because my husband is a quitting quitter ;) And she seems really excited to come to classes and do gym stuff and hang out! So I sent her my phone number and let her know which classes I'm doing in the next couple of days. Crossing my fingers she's cool!

...especially since the last woman I talked to at zumba started telling me how it was "so important" to join a church to develop her kids' sense of spirituality because her oldest is "already starting to be a deviant" and how old is my kid, is she ready for spiritual training yet? I didn't even know how to respond to that - "oh, I'm a deviant atheist heathen myself, and my husband is a Satanist, so our kid is definitely going to hell according to you!" I just smiled and nodded and marked her off as a potential friend since I'm not looking to make gym enemies.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: sui generis on March 28, 2018, 05:22:40 PM
...especially since the last woman I talked to at zumba started telling me how it was "so important" to join a church to develop her kids' sense of spirituality because her oldest is "already starting to be a deviant" and how old is my kid, is she ready for spiritual training yet? I didn't even know how to respond to that - "oh, I'm a deviant atheist heathen myself, and my husband is a Satanist, so our kid is definitely going to hell according to you!" I just smiled and nodded and marked her off as a potential friend since I'm not looking to make gym enemies.
As a fellow atheist heathen, that's a terrifying scenario that you handled with grace!  On the other hand, and relevant to this topic, I'm often reminded what a great sense of community religion inspires.  I usually just think about the bad stuff it inspires, but it is true that it has created strong communities at times in human history and my friends who are religious find friends so easily through their churches because part of the "job" at most churches seems to be to reel people in.  While I think a lot of atheists (etc.) are partly that way because they are not "joiners"  I am a joiner and always find the local humanist, non-theist groups to be poorly attended and very skewed demographically.  For FIRE, I'm trying to think of all the other types of groups I could join that would hopefully work hard to keep new members and have a strong sense of community.  Mostly I think of hobby groups (hiking, euchre, who knows what else I'll find), but will it go beyond just that hobby like church often does?  I think it takes hard work, but there's a lot of that going on in this thread that seems to be yielding results, one step at a time.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: JanetJackson on March 28, 2018, 07:16:47 PM
Y'all I joined a gym!  Yep, a Crossfit gym, punch me in the face- whatever... it's worth it and I have to value SOME PART of my damn life... I can't just eat rice and beans and sit inside all day with the lights out to save electricity (sorry rant, sometimes other threads on the MMM forum tick me off).
I've been dropping in to this gym 1x a week for the last three weeks (and they didn't make me pay, which is awesome) and the vibes were really great and positive.  I had checked out a few other CF gyms in the area, and this one seemed to have the best energy and the best pricing.  Having somewhere to go where socializing is part of the workout is a really good fit for me.
I ended up talking to the owner, who let me pay for the whole year upfront (which comes out to a 53% per month discount from regular prices).  I am SO GLAD that I have been so frugal with my money and that I keep a high savings rate even at my low-ish income.  I had enough in my "gym" designated savings account to pay the whole lump sum.
Today's workout was tough, but everyone was so nice and the more I go, the more I realize how valuable this type of social setting is to me.

It's also getting warmer here, which means more donation-based outdoor yoga classes.  I love these, and brought my dog to several of them last year- about once a week (setting up in the back so that she wouldn't disturb anyone-she just sleeps the whole time anyways, ha) which brought a lot of people over to my mat to say hi to her after/before class, which was social and nice.

Oh I'm so happy. 

It looks like there has been a lot of good progress here on this thread.  I agree that meeting new friends feels exactly like dating... I think because it has all of the same elements, and really we're looking for connection in both settings.   
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Poundwise on March 28, 2018, 07:46:21 PM
As a fellow atheist heathen, that's a terrifying scenario that you handled with grace!  On the other hand, and relevant to this topic, I'm often reminded what a great sense of community religion inspires.  I usually just think about the bad stuff it inspires, but it is true that it has created strong communities at times in human history and my friends who are religious find friends so easily through their churches because part of the "job" at most churches seems to be to reel people in.
Yes and no. I find that I have church friends with whom I connect on a weekly basis, but I don't necessarily see them outside of church, and our relationship does not progress beyond a certain level... a good level, but still I find that I like to keep a certain reserve because I don't want my business talked about all over the community.

Quote
For FIRE, I'm trying to think of all the other types of groups I could join that would hopefully work hard to keep new members and have a strong sense of community.
Volunteer groups definitely will work hard to keep new members! And there is nothing like working with people towards a goal to bring you together.

Saying this, I should probably invite some of my new political activist friends to do social things with me.  They are really an inspiring bunch... most of them are also doing things like running nonprofits, are  the pillars of their churches or temples or PTAs, etc. Only problem is they are so darn busy, and like me tend to be workaholics.

I've been striving to say good things to people more, but it's somehow hard to do so without sounding artificial.  I think I have to think more about what I like about each person ahead of time, so I don't have to come up with something on the spot. Unfortunately criticism comes too easily to me. I'm not judgemental, just too detail oriented.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on March 28, 2018, 08:40:05 PM
I've been striving to say good things to people more, but it's somehow hard to do so without sounding artificial.  I think I have to think more about what I like about each person ahead of time, so I don't have to come up with something on the spot.

Picturing myself attempting this in a group situation... "Hi! I, uh, I like your shoes! And you - your shoes are just as nice as his. Actually, I like all of your shoes. Good job with the shoes, everyone. Really on point."

I'm sort of on furlough from work suddenly so I'm having a terribly anti-social week sitting at home all day. But last night and tonight I found free concerts to go to and had a 15 minute chat with the people sitting next to me. Last night it was a very elderly couple (they were adorable, but probably not a useful social connection since it seemed like they rarely left their neighborhood), tonight it was another single woman about my age, which was nice. And I talked with the ushers for a minute - I recently bought a membership to this place so I can go to all their performances for free, so I'll probably see the staff a lot.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on March 29, 2018, 02:21:54 AM
...especially since the last woman I talked to at zumba started telling me how it was "so important" to join a church to develop her kids' sense of spirituality because her oldest is "already starting to be a deviant" and how old is my kid, is she ready for spiritual training yet? I didn't even know how to respond to that - "oh, I'm a deviant atheist heathen myself, and my husband is a Satanist, so our kid is definitely going to hell according to you!" I just smiled and nodded and marked her off as a potential friend since I'm not looking to make gym enemies.
As a fellow atheist heathen, that's a terrifying scenario that you handled with grace!  On the other hand, and relevant to this topic, I'm often reminded what a great sense of community religion inspires.  I usually just think about the bad stuff it inspires, but it is true that it has created strong communities at times in human history and my friends who are religious find friends so easily through their churches because part of the "job" at most churches seems to be to reel people in.  While I think a lot of atheists (etc.) are partly that way because they are not "joiners"  I am a joiner and always find the local humanist, non-theist groups to be poorly attended and very skewed demographically.  For FIRE, I'm trying to think of all the other types of groups I could join that would hopefully work hard to keep new members and have a strong sense of community.  Mostly I think of hobby groups (hiking, euchre, who knows what else I'll find), but will it go beyond just that hobby like church often does?  I think it takes hard work, but there's a lot of that going on in this thread that seems to be yielding results, one step at a time.

@sui generis -- agree 1000% with all of this.  It is really hard to find non religious groups with a sense of community.  And hiking and euchre?  Be still my heart.  Two of my very favorite things!  I like the way you are thinking, to let common interests lead the way.   
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on March 29, 2018, 02:25:46 AM
I've got a big thing going on this weekend -- 700 mile (each way) road trip to visit an old friend for a long weekend.  A little nuts, and I'm sure I'll be tired Tuesday morning at work, but can't wait to see her! 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Poundwise on March 29, 2018, 09:46:56 AM
I've been striving to say good things to people more, but it's somehow hard to do so without sounding artificial.  I think I have to think more about what I like about each person ahead of time, so I don't have to come up with something on the spot.

Picturing myself attempting this in a group situation... "Hi! I, uh, I like your shoes! And you - your shoes are just as nice as his. Actually, I like all of your shoes. Good job with the shoes, everyone. Really on point."

hee hee, exactly!! 

I just know that it feels really good when somebody gives me a compliment that I know is true. I have some friends who know how to make people feel appreciated. I need to figure out how they do it!  I'm not the good friend who will point out if you have spinach in your teeth, but I will notice it but while talking to you, I'll start agonizing about whether to tell you, and thus say random things which make you think I am weird.  Then after we say our goodbyes, I'll remember how cool you are and what a great coffeecake you made for the bake sale...
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on March 29, 2018, 02:36:10 PM
Threw together a quick dinner with some friends last night to plan a group multi-day hike this spring..also managed to tentatively plan a day trip with some ladies at the same time.

Contemplating a birthday gift to myself in a couple months of a weekend retreat, run by a woman I have hung out with briefly but would like to know better (not totally mustachian but also not too pricey) might be nice to do something like this solo and stretch myself--literally and figuratively :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on March 29, 2018, 05:20:30 PM
@sui generis -- agree 1000% with all of this.  It is really hard to find non religious groups with a sense of community.  And hiking and euchre?  Be still my heart.  Two of my very favorite things!  I like the way you are thinking, to let common interests lead the way.   
I'm actually going to tag along with a hiker friend to her Unitarian Universalist church next Sunday (easter, ha!). I've been to UU churches before and there's always a good dollop of heathen members, so crossing my fingers!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on March 29, 2018, 06:22:35 PM
@sui generis -- agree 1000% with all of this.  It is really hard to find non religious groups with a sense of community.  And hiking and euchre?  Be still my heart.  Two of my very favorite things!  I like the way you are thinking, to let common interests lead the way.   
I'm actually going to tag along with a hiker friend to her Unitarian Universalist church next Sunday (easter, ha!). I've been to UU churches before and there's always a good dollop of heathen members, so crossing my fingers!

"Dollop of heathens" -- love it!  Sounds like a punk Irish band
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: sui generis on March 29, 2018, 09:25:17 PM
@sui generis -- agree 1000% with all of this.  It is really hard to find non religious groups with a sense of community.  And hiking and euchre?  Be still my heart.  Two of my very favorite things!  I like the way you are thinking, to let common interests lead the way.   
I'm actually going to tag along with a hiker friend to her Unitarian Universalist church next Sunday (easter, ha!). I've been to UU churches before and there's always a good dollop of heathen members, so crossing my fingers!
I've thought about trying a UU church/get-together as well.  As a joiner, but not religious, I thought it might be good...but I'm cautious and need to look into it more first.  It sounds like they have good communities though!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Drole on March 30, 2018, 07:55:11 AM
I actually enjoy going to Quaker churches that don't have leaders.  All you do is sit in silence and, on occasion, someone stands up to say a few words. 

My DH once asked, "How do you know if you're late and they've already started their service?" :-)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: I'm a red panda on March 30, 2018, 08:30:42 AM
@sui generis -- agree 1000% with all of this.  It is really hard to find non religious groups with a sense of community.  And hiking and euchre?  Be still my heart.  Two of my very favorite things!  I like the way you are thinking, to let common interests lead the way.   
I'm actually going to tag along with a hiker friend to her Unitarian Universalist church next Sunday (easter, ha!). I've been to UU churches before and there's always a good dollop of heathen members, so crossing my fingers!
I've thought about trying a UU church/get-together as well.  As a joiner, but not religious, I thought it might be good...but I'm cautious and need to look into it more first.  It sounds like they have good communities though!

I've enjoyed the UU Pagan group near me. I don't necessarily think I'm Pagan though.  But they are a fun group, and their rituals are good times to reflect and not too "wooo" for me.
I tried the services near us, but they didn't do it for me.  Some of their study groups seemed interesting, but I just don't have that much time on my hands.  They do seem to have something for everybody though. When my daughter is older, I want her in their religious education classes- as it seems more about exploring different religious rather than indoctrination into one religion.  I also would love to get more involved in some of the social justice causes.

There are definitely atheists in our UU group, but they don't attend the services, but they do many of the activities.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Poundwise on March 30, 2018, 08:37:32 AM
I think it's time to break out this classic again: https://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/carroll/article/JON-CARROLL-3324002.php
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on March 31, 2018, 08:41:20 PM
I started talking to a stranger today at a concert I had a free ticket to; I really liked him (he is retired, watches his grandkids during the work week and goes to interesting live music in the evenings). When I was telling him about an upcoming event I thought he might be interested in, the person sitting on the other side of him piped up and said "sorry to interrupt, but did I hear you talking about [location of event]? I work there!" So then we all started talking (including the 2nd person's boyfriend) and had a nice chat. :-)  Three new acquaintances and I'm trying hard not to forget all their names immediately. I'm so terrible at remembering people's names... and I'm only so-so with faces. I hate that about myself, it seems disrespectful to the people I meet, somehow.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: imadandylion on April 01, 2018, 12:48:52 PM
I'm not really making good progress on the friends front.  I am having a hard time wanting to even agree to go out and have a drink. It just doesn't seem that fun. It seems like most "friends" (I still can't really consider my coworkers to be true friends) just want to go out and drink all the time and it's not really me because more health-focused by comparison.

It seems that when you are trying not to spend money frivolously AND trying to be healthy (AND vegan, so there's more limited options of even going out to a restaurant/bar) that the difficulties in developing friendships are compounded.  Most people my age (mainly talking about my coworkers because they're the only people I have the option of hanging out with) are very into going out all the time and spending money ALL the time and are definitely not interested or aware of the more frugal lifestyle. How are others dealing with this?

I am not really sure how to meet other people.  I have considered meetup before but the activities also seem very go-to-a-restaurant-or-a-bar focused. There doesn't seem to be very many active/hiking groups and I kind of feel like I prefer to do activity like that with just my partner because I don't like coordinating stuff like that with a bunch of people.

I took a group exercise class where we had to do stations in a small group to practice boxing moves on various equipment and you could sometimes talk to people when transitioning to the next round. I don't know how many people are interested in finding friends when they're just going to a class to exercise and the only real time to talk is before or after the class, but this is a possibility, I guess. It's something I'm just trying to do for myself anyway, so it would be a major plus if I could make friends this way. I could try a yoga class, too, but I have a feeling that people would be inclined to be less talkative and more about the experience than meeting other people...  Seems like taking classes in general may be a good avenue.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on April 01, 2018, 03:03:04 PM
It seems that when you are trying not to spend money frivolously AND trying to be healthy (AND vegan, so there's more limited options of even going out to a restaurant/bar) that the difficulties in developing friendships are compounded.  Most people my age (mainly talking about my coworkers because they're the only people I have the option of hanging out with) are very into going out all the time and spending money ALL the time and are definitely not interested or aware of the more frugal lifestyle. How are others dealing with this?

My frugal friends are, for the most part, people who just don't earn much money. Which might rule out your co-workers! I have friends who get paid irregularly like artists and musicians, people whose job tends to be intermittent (e.g. working in television where shows come and go all the time), and a couple of folks who have 9-5 jobs but are just naturally frugal. Plus there are some real spendypants who I have to be careful with. It can definitely be uncomfortable with people who just assume everyone is OK going to an expensive restaurant/drinking a lot of alcohol/etc. I think you have to be pretty forward about it and come up with good alternate suggestions. They won't change on their own. Get ahead of the curve and be the one who invites people to things/plans things. There is an endless world of interesting activities out there besides eating and drinking in restaurants. Free museum days, free concerts, charity walkathons, botanical gardens, volunteering, outdoor movies in the summer, art galleries, lectures/talks, etc. etc. Maybe you could try to organize a more cultural/educational thing to do once a month with your co-workers or with a meetup group.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: imadandylion on April 02, 2018, 07:43:31 PM
@Dollar Slice You're totally right, that's what I needed to read! Looking back on March, I pretty much took the passenger seat which leads to people just inviting me some places (I guess I should be grateful at least that still happens, lol) instead of playing the active role of initiating activities/outings.  I generally felt in the past that when I organized events, it was more fun because it was what I wanted to do and it seems at least different from what other people suggest, so I always get positive feedback on them. I will have to be more creative and plan. Last Friday I asked some people what they were doing but didn't suggest anything concretely, just did the "Oh yeah, we should do that sometime" in regards to hiking and tennis, so I could follow up on that.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on April 03, 2018, 07:58:15 AM
My crazy 1500 mile road trip to visit old friends this weekend went great!  We had a wonderful time together hiking with their dogs, cooking, playing games, and watching movies.  Fantastic weekend.  We are hatching plans to get together next spring to go camping.  But hopefully I won't have to wait that long to see them again. 

I would love to have a friend or two nearby in our new location that I feel this comfortable with.  I will keep searching!   
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on April 05, 2018, 12:35:29 PM
XKCD still gets us:

(https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/friendly_questions.png)

We'll figure out small talk one of these days. :-)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on April 05, 2018, 01:32:11 PM
@Dollar Slice Too good. and too true.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: rosarugosa on April 05, 2018, 04:42:13 PM
I think it's time to break out this classic again: https://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/carroll/article/JON-CARROLL-3324002.php

This was great!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on April 06, 2018, 01:02:17 AM
My travel besties had a reunion yesterday without me (meh, distance sucks) and watched travel photos/videos and then we made a video call where they'd take turns holding the phone in front of the TV screen so I could also see it and talk with them about aaaaall the memories and the embarrassing drunk videos.

Tickets to visit one of them next month: check.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on April 07, 2018, 09:58:45 PM
After massive social overstimulation on Thursday/Friday at work (four people I'd never met were visiting from the company that just hired me and I had to be 100% ON the entire time) I really want to drag myself into a cave forever. But I know it will wear off after a few days, so I'm trying to make plans with friends for the next couple of weeks so I don't come out of my cave with nothing to do for the foreseeable future. Invited some friends to go out on Tuesday; will see a friend from out of town on Thursday; and posted on Facebook about an event next weekend to see if I can get someone to come with me.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on April 10, 2018, 07:41:37 PM
Had kind of a negative experience at a voter registration volunteer training event yesterday. I got there, there was a very brief meet 'n greet in which I got to introduce myself to one person before we were told to find seats because the training was going to begin shortly.

The room was pretty full. I asked someone if a seat was taken, was told it was not, sat there, said a warm "hello" to my table-mates..... two women across the table who literally *looked down their noses* at me. I always thought that was a figure of speech but I got the full visual. They were very well-dressed, about my age, both had large rocks on their fingers.... hm, maybe it was my purple hair and stripey tights that put them off? They then pointedly turned toward each other and started conversing about their children. Well, OK then!

I'm laughing about it now - because seriously, who does that?! - but at the time I couldn't help thinking that if I'd picked a better seat I might have gotten some good conversation out of the evening. Oh well. Maybe at the actual volunteer voter registration drives that I'm now trained for, I'll meet friendlier folks.

Dollar Slice, I hear you on overstimulation. We had three very social (for us) weekends in a row and last weekend we just cocooned. This weekend we have a couple of date nights planned, one of which might involve us seeing other acquaintances. Or maybe not. Then we leave for London a week from Friday - where we will see some old friends whom we haven't seen in years. Then we'll probably need some recovery time. Being an introvert can really suck!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on April 10, 2018, 10:49:28 PM
Sorry you ran into those witches! You probably wouldn't have had a good time talking to them anyway, if they are so snobbish or uptight or whatever. I've had that happen once or twice too, you say something friendly and they look at you like you're a cockroach or something.

Wins: I convinced a third friend to come out tonight in addition to the original two I invited, and then convinced all three of them to come out on Thursday with me and my out of town friend. Also struck up a conversation with someone who I've seen around a few times but never talked to. I didn't like him that much, but it was better than staring at my phone for 15 minutes waiting for my friends.

Less successful: saw two friends across the room and never said hi.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on April 13, 2018, 04:42:01 AM
Made a family date with some new friends to go hiking tomorrow, with dinner after.  These friends have been really kind to us after DH had a bad accident in the fall.  I really like them a lot, and I wish they (a) lived closer and (b) we all had different work schedules so we could see them more.  Great people.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on April 13, 2018, 12:38:33 PM
I over-socialed again last night - whoo! Although I was already so fried when I started that I don't really feel any different afterwards. Met up with a couple of friends for drinks and went to a concert with another friend, and in the process I randomly ran into 15-20 more friends, one or two at a time - five on the street, three in the lobby, five in the aisles, one in the ladies' room, etc... plus two different people who walked up to introduce themselves (one was an online acquaintance, one was a stranger). The social event of the season, I guess!

Maximum serendipity award goes to the guy who walked into the bar where I was having drinks with friends, and we did the "wait, don't I know you from somewhere?" look, and then I realized he was the guy who had smiled and waved at me on Bleecker Street at 11:30PM Tuesday night and I'd had no idea who he was or why he was smiling and waving at me. Now I know why, and we've been introduced properly. Maybe he'll be a friend someday, he seemed very outgoing and nice. :-)  I'm consistently weirded out by how often I randomly run into the same people like that, in such a big city...

I made plans for Saturday night with a friend that I really like, but we often go many months without seeing each other. She never really initiates plans (which makes me feel weird about always being the one to ask) but then she always seems thrilled when I invite her to do something. Maybe she is just shy about asking me to do things.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pekklemafia on April 13, 2018, 01:06:08 PM
Posting to follow and perhaps do a little sharing! This is probably one of the most encouraging and positive threads on here, which is a breath of fresh air :)

It's still winter here (has been for the past 8 months, wth) so socializing has definitely been a challenge. I'm also one of those people who prefers quality connection over small talk, but I can totally appreciate that small talk and any kind of interaction counts when you've got social anxiety. I tend to stay in the shadows on social media, but this thread has made me realize that even a social media interaction can be beneficial in its own way :) So maybe I will leave a few more comments here and there.

My partner and I are definitely trying to expand our social circle and also try to include people who feel lonely or isolated... I totally know how it feels having to start from scratch in a new city, or feeling like you don't fit in with your old circles anymore.

Today, I:
- talked to my coworker about weekend plans
- am texting with a good friend about plans/life in general
- debating on whether or not to go to a book club meeting tonight... I didn't read the book though /shame

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: sui generis on April 13, 2018, 03:51:10 PM
I went to lunch with my college roommate, who is in town for work.  It was so fun, which was really nice, because we've grown apart a bit in recent years as she's gotten more conservative, had kids, and really bought into materialism, while I've gone the other way in like every possible way.  Actually her husband not being there really helps, because he's sort of an a$$hole.  It's nice to have a positive reconnection with someone when you had a mediocre one the last time you were together, to set things back on a positive note.

Work is so hard though, because it's like a social desert here.  The one person I had a positive interaction with today is someone that really likes me (possibly for my ethnic heritage, I suspect!) but everyone else talks shit about her, and she's retiring in a few months. She saved me a homebaked cookie, which was very sweet!  But bummer that one of the few people I can have a pleasant chat with is leaving soon (and I don't understand why everyone thinks she's so cranky!).
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on April 14, 2018, 02:26:45 AM
Went for lunch with a friend on Thursday. We hadn't met in 3 months and only been texting. He suggested to go for a coffee this weekend. He keeps complaining about how broke he is though, so I might need to get him into more mustachian habits than coffees and lunches.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on April 14, 2018, 04:42:06 AM
Got a text from a friend last night asking if we wanted to get together next week.  :) She is leaving town soon to move cross country.  :(   But on the plus side, I will now have a friend in that state and can probably drop in/stay with her if I'm passing through on my travels. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on April 14, 2018, 06:33:06 AM
New family moved to our neighborhood a few months ago and I've slowly getting to know the lady. I just found out yesterday when we were visiting that we enjoy the same movies and she's not a Trump supporter! It's crazy how I feel like I need to find out the thing about DT (red state) before I can invest much time in developing a friendship. I never cared that much before, now it's kind of a character test. Hah!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pbkmaine on April 14, 2018, 01:08:56 PM
XKCD still gets us:

(https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/friendly_questions.png)

We'll figure out small talk one of these days. :-)

My uncle (now 97) owned a restaurant for many years, so he knows how to make small talk. He always starts with the weather. What it’s like today, whether it’s been especially hot or cold, how windy it is. This can then expand to local farmers (he lives in central Pennsylvania), traffic, how people drive in different kinds of weather. Depending on the responses he gets, the conversation can proceed to historic weather patterns, history of the area, and transportation trends. I have learned a lot from watching him work.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: furrychickens on April 15, 2018, 07:21:49 AM
Reading through the back posts on the thread still. My biggest gain has been finding a homeschool group we click with. Still working on developing deeper friendships outside of my marriage. Would love to have 1-2 really good friends, not quite to the intimacy level I truly desire yet with any of my friends and not feeling super connected with my wife either at the moment.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on April 15, 2018, 07:35:52 AM
Went for lunch with a friend on Thursday. We hadn't met in 3 months and only been texting. He suggested to go for a coffee this weekend. He keeps complaining about how broke he is though, so I might need to get him into more mustachian habits than coffees and lunches.

So coffee yesterday turned into 3 coffees and a sandwich (oops) bit it was a looooad of fun. He's one of those people that doesn't take himself too seriously and that you can have fanatic discussions with about sensitive topics without offending each other. Me likes.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on April 15, 2018, 09:19:14 AM
So in our new area not one single neighbor has come to say hello to us in the two years we have been here.  (We live in the country, but there is a 'neighborhood' of sorts on this side of the valley.)  So I've been on a slow-motion mission to meet them all.  The kids and I have literally been knocking on doors, introducing ourselves, and giving a gift from our garden or some eggs from our chickens. 

We've met some nice people, but so far no clear friend opportunities.   Some of the neighbors seemed most interested in getting us to join their church (not interested) so those families are a no-go for friendships.   We still have two houses to go.   I have hopes for one of the families especially, since they reportedly have a son about the same age as ours, and our guy could use another friend.  Fingers crossed. 

Would also love to meet a nice neighbor we could exchange garden or animal care with, when we go out of town. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Classical_Liberal on April 15, 2018, 10:05:09 AM
The room was pretty full. I asked someone if a seat was taken, was told it was not, sat there, said a warm "hello" to my table-mates..... two women across the table who literally *looked down their noses* at me. I always thought that was a figure of speech but I got the full visual. They were very well-dressed, about my age, both had large rocks on their fingers.... hm, maybe it was my purple hair and stripey tights that put them off? They then pointedly turned toward each other and started conversing about their children. Well, OK then!

You just met the wrong people.  I'm a pretty conservative dressing older guy, when at events like this I seek people like you (someone who seems, visually, a bit out of place) and try to make friendly.  Fuddy-duddys have boring lives and no stories to tell, don't give up.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on April 15, 2018, 10:08:20 AM
I made plans for Saturday night with a friend that I really like, but we often go many months without seeing each other.

This went really great! :-)  We talked really deeply for hours, including discussion of minimalism, budgeting, and living an intentional and unconventional life to maximize happiness.

Responding to something Pekklemafia said a couple of days ago: of course small talk is not fulfilling on some deep level, but that's how you meet people. Everyone is a stranger the first time you talk! The person I went out with for five hours last night is someone I sat next to at a concert and randomly started talking to a few years ago. I moved to a new city in 2014 and almost all my good friends here are just people I started talking to (or they started talking to me) while out and about. There are so many connections out there to be made and you never know which one will stick.

And yeah, it's also great practice when you have social anxiety, if you get used to talking to strangers you'll have an easier time with a lot of necessary life moments that would otherwise be difficult. I remember the exact moment in 2004 when my very shy self was faced with a terrifying social situation (a party where I'd literally never met anyone there), I just had a moment where I said to myself: this is it. Just do it. Pretend you have self confidence and see what happens. Act like an extrovert. Talk to people and introduce yourself. And it worked! I'm still close friends with a couple of people I met that night.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on April 15, 2018, 10:14:14 AM
Posting to follow and perhaps do a little sharing! This is probably one of the most encouraging and positive threads on here, which is a breath of fresh air :)

It's still winter here (has been for the past 8 months, wth) so socializing has definitely been a challenge. I'm also one of those people who prefers quality connection over small talk, but I can totally appreciate that small talk and any kind of interaction counts when you've got social anxiety. I tend to stay in the shadows on social media, but this thread has made me realize that even a social media interaction can be beneficial in its own way :) So maybe I will leave a few more comments here and there.

My partner and I are definitely trying to expand our social circle and also try to include people who feel lonely or isolated... I totally know how it feels having to start from scratch in a new city, or feeling like you don't fit in with your old circles anymore.


Inclusion is such a generous approach to life @pekklemafia --keep us posted :)

I oftentimes won't go out of my way to singularily invite people to do things (don't wish to over-promise when I know my social abilities are limited), so I often will put out a general invite. As in..."here is what I/we are doing, if anyone wants to join in, message me"..which tends to result in a few takers and a nice mix too.

Successes: Had two people join in on cold-water plunges in the lake last week

and at an event with SO, I sat at the opposite end of the table so that I could meet someone new (this event tends to have the same people every year, but this year one fellow brought his wife who I'd never met)  She is an artist and I suspected we would get along--it was so pleasant to have a new, easy connection and they invited us to visit them at their island home this summer.
Glad I took the uncharacteristic risk of sitting with someone I didn't know.

And @Dollar Slice , as per usual, spot on
 "Just do it. Pretend you have self confidence and see what happens. Act like an extrovert. Talk to people and introduce yourself. And it worked! I'm still close friends with a couple of people I met that night"
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik on April 15, 2018, 10:16:57 AM
I am continuing with my plan of talking to people I don't know well at my Saturday morning meetings.   

I am also going to invite people that I know quite well out for maybe a walk, or breakfast before the meeting.  So next Sat. morning, I am going for breakfast with a member I've know for a long time.   

Also, last week I went to a Tuesday night yoga class at my local community centre.  You can't chat during the class but you can before and after.  Not sure how this will go but I really like yoga anyway.   

I've been enjoying reading other people's writing on this thread.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on April 15, 2018, 12:47:36 PM
Responding to something Pekklemafia said a couple of days ago: of course small talk is not fulfilling on some deep level, but that's how you meet people. Everyone is a stranger the first time you talk! The person I went out with for five hours last night is someone I sat next to at a concert and randomly started talking to a few years ago. I moved to a new city in 2014 and almost all my good friends here are just people I started talking to (or they started talking to me) while out and about. There are so many connections out there to be made and you never know which one will stick.


This is sooo true. A little small talk to start with can result in a big click that makes the best and deepest and most valuable friendships. Most of my best friends now aren't the old school ones that evolved out of convenience, they're random people I met at unexpected places that turned out to be so cool I went out of my way to stay in touch.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Poundwise on April 16, 2018, 03:56:32 PM
I'm doing better introducing people to each other than making friends myself. But I guess that is still good!

I posted elsewhere that I helped set some good people up on a blind date. They are now on date #3!!

At church there is this lonely kind of guy who always looks miserable, but he's actually a nice, friendly guy with chronic illness.  For some reason nobody but the pastor ever talks to him despite the fact that his been attending the church for almost a year.  I always make a point out of saying hello, but find it a little hard to make conversation as we don't have much in common.

 But last week I managed to introduce him to the father of one of my son's friends, another sort of silent fellow.  To my surprise, they seemed to enjoy talking together and were chatting for most of the coffee hour.  So that worked out!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on April 17, 2018, 08:53:24 AM
I was so looking forward to the community garden workday on Saturday morning - a chance to meet and get to know others in my garden. It got rescheduled for Sunday morning due to ice-cold rain. Got up Sunday morning to a torrential ice-cold downpour - yep, cancelled. Now I don't get to go into the garden until 4/27, as it opens this weekend but I'll be out of the country for a week. Oh well. In previous years I always seemed to be in the garden when no one else was, though by season's end I usually found a few people whom I at least recognized on sight.

While I'm on vacation I'm going to see some friends whom I haven't seen in probably a good 10 years - looking forward to that. Why do all of my friends live across the country and/or across the ocean? :(

You just met the wrong people.  I'm a pretty conservative dressing older guy, when at events like this I seek people like you (someone who seems, visually, a bit out of place) and try to make friendly.  Fuddy-duddys have boring lives and no stories to tell, don't give up.

I wish more people were like you! And, I was more amused than offended, but it's a shame that clearly I picked the wrong seat. I'd been looking forward to some conversation.

It's been hard to find opportunities to go out and meet folks. I think a lot of people are cancelling plans because it is still snowing in April. Everyone's in a foul mood, no one really wants to go out. I really hope this passes soon.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on April 17, 2018, 09:15:18 AM
Yep, I hear you @Tris Prior.  The wonderful hike/dinner plans we had last weekend were postponed due to weather as well.  Finally today will be a bit warmer and drier.  We are going to meet up with some friends tonight for a baseball game/some beers.  Looking forward to it!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 17, 2018, 10:57:38 AM
I look like a boring fuddy duddy but I am just wearing a conservative costume.  I think creative nonconformist people are surprised when they get to know me.  In university, my third and fourth year roommate was the wildest punk rock looking person in the whole program.  When our various friends found out we were sharing an apartment they were always stunned.  One of the guys had to come to our place three times before he believed that we shared.  She had bad asthma and sought me out because I looked like I would dust an apartment and run the vacuum regularly.  We became good friends and are to this day.  And I never know what colour her hair will be when we get together.  Mine is still mousy brown with a sprinkle of silver. 
I have done some more volunteering and am meeting a number of new people through this.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on April 17, 2018, 11:33:56 AM
I look like a boring fuddy duddy but I am just wearing a conservative costume.  I think creative nonconformist people are surprised when they get to know me.

Yeah, I'm the same. In my case "radical" takes the form of not giving a shit about looking pretty/interesting/fancy/etc. and I just wear very plain clothes and have very plain hair and no makeup. But I love seeing other people express themselves in a way that makes them happy. I remember one time in college I was out at a nightclub (wearing whatever minimum level of dress got me in the door) and some guy was talking to me. A friend of mine that I had a couple classes with walked by, and she was dressed up totally outrageously/provocatively (which she loved to do every weekend). I smiled and said hello to her and the guy talking to me was totally shocked that I knew her.

It turns out it's not required that we visually match the style of our social circle... :-)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pekklemafia on April 17, 2018, 01:01:00 PM
I was so looking forward to the community garden workday on Saturday morning - a chance to meet and get to know others in my garden. It got rescheduled for Sunday morning due to ice-cold rain. Got up Sunday morning to a torrential ice-cold downpour - yep, cancelled. Now I don't get to go into the garden until 4/27, as it opens this weekend but I'll be out of the country for a week. Oh well. In previous years I always seemed to be in the garden when no one else was, though by season's end I usually found a few people whom I at least recognized on sight.

Do you happen to live anywhere in Canada by chance? Haha - we just got 10cm or so of snow in Alberta... I was able to see my one raised garden bed the other day, but so much for that. I hope you'll get to meet some nice folks at your community garden - when I had a community plot, it was a good way to get myself out of my apartment at least and enjoy the outdoors.

We ended up being invited to a kegger/birthday party over the weekend, which was fun. I knew most of the people there, so while it counts as socializing, I'm trying to expand our network a bit and didn't quite get to connecting with any strangers. Oh well. Next time! Also, it has totally zapped my energy and I spent the rest of the weekend watching the clips of Beyoncé's Coachella performance and Queer Eye... introverts need to be recharged.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on April 17, 2018, 03:51:34 PM
Just visited our community garden plot yesterday (4th year there) and already met someone new who introduced herself and also caught up with another gardener who is there frequently (daily). Plants are a nice things to bond over.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on April 17, 2018, 07:56:35 PM
Tonight's social interaction is dedicated to @Tris Prior  ;-) I went to a book/author event and there was an empty seat next to me (a really good up-close seat) that people kept overlooking because it was in a row that was mostly reserved. I saw a woman with bright purple hair looking for a seat, and when she walked past I told her there was a free seat next to me that she was welcome to have. Since I knew we had a favorite author in common it was easy to start a conversation. :-)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: furrychickens on April 18, 2018, 04:26:38 AM
Just visited our community garden plot yesterday (4th year there) and already met someone new who introduced herself and also caught up with another gardener who is there frequently (daily). Plants are a nice things to bond over.

I didn’t meet a lot of my neighbors until we started doing our urban homesteading thing :)

I’ve even had pleasant conversations with Jehovah’s Witnesses without a single mention of God because they wanted to talk gardening with me, lol.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on April 18, 2018, 07:56:05 AM
Tonight's social interaction is dedicated to @Tris Prior  ;-) I went to a book/author event and there was an empty seat next to me (a really good up-close seat) that people kept overlooking because it was in a row that was mostly reserved. I saw a woman with bright purple hair looking for a seat, and when she walked past I told her there was a free seat next to me that she was welcome to have. Since I knew we had a favorite author in common it was easy to start a conversation. :-)

Hahaha, awesome!

Just visited our community garden plot yesterday (4th year there) and already met someone new who introduced herself and also caught up with another gardener who is there frequently (daily). Plants are a nice things to bond over.

I didn’t meet a lot of my neighbors until we started doing our urban homesteading thing :)

I’ve even had pleasant conversations with Jehovah’s Witnesses without a single mention of God because they wanted to talk gardening with me, lol.

MAN, our JW's never ask about my garden! Yours is in your front yard, though, isn't it? I guess that would help.

I am SO itchy for the community garden to open so I can start talking plants with people. I'm also going to work the garden's plant sale again in a couple weeks so that's always a good opportunity for that.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: furrychickens on April 18, 2018, 09:01:30 AM
Yeah, the bulk of my garden is the front yard and the sidewalk strips, plus I’m a corner lot so my whole property is easily visible (less so now that the chickens and rabbits are behind a 6 foot privacy fence I built last year). IIRC one of the younger members (early 20s) had an urban farm somewhere in the central city.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on April 19, 2018, 06:42:47 AM
I've been absent from the thread for a while - combination of no energy (I've been unwell for a while without realising it but am improving a bit now) and being away on holidays.

Anyway. I did stuff! I message my friend who is a bit like a sister to me and DH and I will go over to her house on Sunday morning. Yay! (we'll take lots of snacks to share) I've known her for decades, but have become closer in the past decade or so thanks to pesky life experiece events (divorces, death, illness etc). Getting older sucks in many ways, not sure if getting wiser/more experience makes up for it.

And I messaged another friend who I've also known for decades. Our friendship hit a bit of a hiccup this time last year, and then we were going to catch up in March but I got horribly sick, and then I went on holidays. But, I have suggested meeting up in the next few weeks, and we shall see. Hopefully we have enough history to counteract the hiccup in the long run.

On top of that, I'm hosting a clothes swap with a newer group of friends/acquaintances weekend after next. I only have 2 definites (as definite as people are responding to FB invites), but I am talking myself out of social anxiety/catastrophising. Even if nobody shows up, I've made the effort to invite people over to my place.

Oh, and this Sunday DH and I are back in to our usual routine of weekly dinner with his ex-housemates. We were away the last 2 weekends, so it will be nice to see them again.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: JanetJackson on April 19, 2018, 10:42:36 AM
I've been absent from the thread for a while - combination of no energy (I've been unwell for a while without realising it but am improving a bit now) and being away on holidays.

Anyway. I did stuff! I message my friend who is a bit like a sister to me and DH and I will go over to her house on Sunday morning. Yay! (we'll take lots of snacks to share) I've known her for decades, but have become closer in the past decade or so thanks to pesky life experiece events (divorces, death, illness etc). Getting older sucks in many ways, not sure if getting wiser/more experience makes up for it.

And I messaged another friend who I've also known for decades. Our friendship hit a bit of a hiccup this time last year, and then we were going to catch up in March but I got horribly sick, and then I went on holidays. But, I have suggested meeting up in the next few weeks, and we shall see. Hopefully we have enough history to counteract the hiccup in the long run.

On top of that, I'm hosting a clothes swap with a newer group of friends/acquaintances weekend after next. I only have 2 definites (as definite as people are responding to FB invites), but I am talking myself out of social anxiety/catastrophising. Even if nobody shows up, I've made the effort to invite people over to my place.
I have found clothing swaps to be a great social connector in the past, good luck!!

Oh, and this Sunday DH and I are back in to our usual routine of weekly dinner with his ex-housemates. We were away the last 2 weekends, so it will be nice to see them again.
Great job! Consistency is key!  I have a MAJOR problem with social consistency.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: JanetJackson on April 19, 2018, 11:14:50 AM
Hey Y'all!
I have been absent from this thread (and the MMM forum) a bit lately because the weather has been SOOOOO nice here.  If I'm not at work or the gym, I've found myself doing something outside (planting/walking/hiking/reading) until it's dark and then I just don't have the evening energy to internet :)
HOWEVER,
I went to a social event.  I.  Went.  To.  A.  Social.  Event.
HA.
My gym had a little cocktail hour for new members to meet eachother and some of the money went to charity.  I had almost talked myself out of going, but then I used the Therapy-Style App on my phone to reframe the catastrophizing I was doing around the event, and convinced myself to go.
It felt so good to actually wear jeans (vs my capsule wardrobe for work or my gym clothes) and makeup :) I only had one drink (because I don't go "out" and also because drinks at a bar apparently now cost $7) and I basically only spoke to the one dude I know from classes and his husband, but I had a few teeny tiny interactions with others.  I stayed for an hour and a half, which is great for me.
The next time I saw that guy at the gym he got my phone number so that I can dog-sit for him and his husband when they travel (my side-hustle).
I have definitely had my moments of solitude, but I've really been working on it.I even had a friend over for a glass of wine and a chat a week or so ago.
It really is like every other thing in life, it requires practice.
But is life just a sum of practicing things that don't come natural to you?  Hmmmm... I don't know why, but that idea kinda bums me out.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on April 19, 2018, 11:27:33 AM
But is life just a sum of practicing things that don't come natural to you?  Hmmmm... I don't know why, but that idea kinda bums me out.

Pretty much. If you think about it, even things that seem really simple required a lot of practice at one point - eating, walking, sitting up, reading, typing, adding numbers, etc. But then you get good at it, and it's easy (or easier), and you don't have to really practice any more, because it's one of those things that feels natural. Maybe think of it not as a series of practice sessions, but as having the ability to constantly get better at everything.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: QuillScroll on April 19, 2018, 12:13:32 PM
I'm visiting this thread after a gap. I joined this challenge with lot of enthusiasm initially. But after couple of friends turned down my invitation for lunch (I would like to believe they were really busy), I just find it very hard to find the motivation to initiate any social connection or meetups.

On the other hand, I have made a new friend at work and also increased meetups with neighbors.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on April 19, 2018, 12:39:15 PM
I invited new neighbor friends, the whole family, over for dinner tomorrow! I hope we have a nice time. I'm making Indian food. First social dinner at our house in two months or more. I really want this to become an every other week thing , with different folks, just to get in the habit and not let anxiety take over.

Monday I'm hosting brunch with neighbor ladies/friends at our house. I'm making a pear, goat cheese, honey, rosemary tart. (With homemade puff pastry.)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on April 19, 2018, 12:54:48 PM
Seriously impressed by homemade puff pastry! I never even dared try.

I get a lot of people turning down invitations... I try not to take it personally. Some social groups seem to have a lot of that (as well as people flaking/cancelling, or being reluctant to RSVP/commit). 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pbkmaine on April 19, 2018, 03:50:47 PM
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/20/this-harvard-study-reveals-how-you-can-be-happier-and-more-successful.html?__source=twitter%7Cmain
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on April 23, 2018, 01:27:10 PM
Today at lunch I was sitting at the same table as some of our internal customers, the customer representative receivers of our software. Turns out that one of them, doing specialist work in a full time job at our company, is also a farmer in his spare time. Nice to be talking to him about his sheep that are of a wild race that still can have lams of their own, while he is at work.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on April 24, 2018, 03:56:01 AM
Thanks for the link pbk, and well done everyone!

Today was all about our neighbours. Earlier today one of our neighbours came over to ask DH to sign a form stating how he'd known our neighbour.

And another neighbour came over tonight to invite us to his 60th birthday party in a couple of weeks. :D The party itself will be awkward because we won't know anyone apart from our neighbour and his partner, and DH and I are both socially-awkward introverts. But, maybe I can use it as practice for small talk? (and you never know, maybe we'll know somebody there?)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on April 28, 2018, 02:59:54 AM
How's everyone going? I love reading this thread, even if I'm going through phases of not posting.

Yesterday was all about the neighbour's again. One neighbour came over to get his forms finished and signed. It was a brief visit - I would have been happy for neighbour to have stayed and chatted for a bit but it seems like he gets a bit overwhelmed with social stuff fairly quickly.

And other neighbour came over to ask if we'd look after his cat while he's away. (it's a bit of an effort because cat is getting old and needs 3 medicines in her food twice day, but we said yes) I also said DH and I would definitely come to his 60th birthday party and he seemed genuinely very pleased and happy we said yes. Neighbour said other neighbours (who DH has met a few times but I haven't yet) will also be coming to his party, as will his partner who lives in another city. So hopefully there will be a few people we sort of know to talk to and it's always good to get to know other nice neighbours (not everyone in my street is nice - there is one unpleasant family who yell a lot who I don't want to get to know ever).

This morning DH and I went to a 5th birthday party (son of DH's ex-colleague). It was better than I expected - I'm usually not great at making small talk with people I don't know very well. But I had a couple of conversations with people one on one, and joined in a few group conversations, and chatted with the 5 year old's mum about her paintings.

While we were at the party, I got a text from a friend asking if DH and I would like to go to the gardens to play Pokemon Go with her and another guy. I was tired but still said yes :D It was good, but a bit awkward at times. At least there is always the game to talk about as we walked.

And... tomorrow morning I'm hosting a clothes and small homewares party! This morning I wasn't entirely sure anyone would be showing up but told myself that it was ok if nobody showed, at least I invited people. But, tonight it looks like I'll have at least 2 definites, maybe a few more. And one of the definites is the Tupperware consultant that we befriended at my Tupperware party in February, which makes me smile :)

I've also accepted an invitation to another Tupperware party in a few week's time. So yay! I was feeling soooooo antisocial and hermit-like this week, but writing it up helps overcome my negative self-talk about no socialising.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on April 28, 2018, 09:06:47 AM
I went for a night out with a friend and another friend of hers. We stayed the night at friend of friends place, which I think was very generous of her towards an almost-stranger like me. It was only the 2nd time I met this person but my friend has been saying we'd be a good match for as long as she's known her and I think she's right. The three of us work out really really well together and we have little boundaries discussing things and loads of stuff in common while being very different at the same time. We discussed going to a festival with the 3 of us again next week, which I'm sure will be a lot of fun and would be good to add another friend to the list. Only downside is that she's living on the other side of the country as most of my friends while my whole goal of joining this thread was making more local friends.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on April 28, 2018, 03:34:09 PM
The community garden is now open for the season and I chatted with two people today about gardening! I'm hoping to be more involved this year. I say this every year, but when the summer gets busier it just doesn't happen. I'm going to try to put more effort into it this year; I've backed out of one large early-fall commitment (that involved prepping all summer for it) so I should have more free time.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: sui generis on April 28, 2018, 05:42:17 PM
I went to a forum on health care reform that a local activist group put on today. I was expecting to chat with people a bit and didn't chat quite as much as I planned to, so a bit disappointed.  But, it was enough that I think as I approach FIRE in 10 months, I'll have to ramp up my participation with them and I'll have more opportunities for social interaction via this neighborhood coalition of like-minded activists.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on April 28, 2018, 11:28:47 PM
I had a severely anti-social week due in part to an eight-day migraine which was giving me all kinds of weird aversions (to lights, sounds, foods, crowds, etc., etc.). I went out Sunday night and barely held back from starting an argument (with anyone and everyone, I was incredibly irritable). I went out Wednesday night to see one of my fave musicians premiering a new project/band and he happened to be standing right by the door when I walked into the building. I managed to say hello, shake hands and tell him I'd been looking forward to this concert for a long time, but then was overcome by shyness and left a little too abruptly. Hopefully it didn't seem rude.

Feeling a lot better today, but due to migraine brain fog I'd totally spaced on the fact that a friend of mine was coming to New York this week. He texted me from the airport at 6:30 to see if I had any plans tonight. I was already in midtown for something unrelated, about 10 minutes away from where he was staying, so I embraced spontaneity and we went out for dinner and live music (not terribly mustachian but I only spent $37 which is pretty good for a last-minute Saturday night in NYC). Another friend texted just after I made plans with the first friend, also asking if I had plans tonight, so I suggested something tomorrow instead. (There is an event tomorrow that I know he will particularly like, and he hadn't heard about it, so that worked out great.) And my out-of-town friend is going to come with us tomorrow as well. He also asked about doing something later in the week. And I have tentative plans with another friend a week from tomorrow. Yay, so many plans with real human people! Tonight was so good for me since multiple other people were asking me to do things. Usually I'm the one making all the plans and doing all the inviting, and too much of that can make you start wondering if anyone actually likes you :-P
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: sui generis on April 29, 2018, 12:26:55 AM
I forgot I had another event tonight!  I went to a bar (I'm sooooo not a bar person) for a fundraiser for a ballot measure a *different* activist group I work with is helping on.  I went alone because my BF is out of town.  I thought I'd see lots of people I knew so didn't really think twice.  But I walked in and didn't see people I knew!  Ah!  And I was alone!  At a bar!  So awkward! 

I circulated a bit, while making my way to the bar and saw a couple of people I've met before and chatted briefly with, so that helped get me started.  I ended up seeing two women I've talked to a bit before and was able to chat with them for a while.  I hope I'll get to know them more over the next few years as I start participating more, so I see that as an investment conversation.  I also met another woman who was very friendly and engaging, so that was nice.  Not sure I'll see her again, but it was a good practice convo even if not!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 29, 2018, 06:56:04 AM
@Dollar Slice - I often feel that since I am the initiator of almost all invitation - I wonder the same thing.  You need the odd invitation affirm a genuine like sometimes.  It sure is nice to get one!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on April 29, 2018, 09:16:45 AM
I bailed on helping our friends move today because I threw my back out gardening and therefore cannot carry anything up and down stairs. Also STILL jetlagged from our London trip and Boyfriend picked up a nasty bug on the flight home. I feel like the biggest asshole ever because this is how you get social capital - quid pro quo, you help people and maybe they'll help you when you need it. Boyfriend pointed out that our friends didn't help us move last year, but I reminded him that we didn't ask.

I hate it when my body says "nope!" to a social activity.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Bicycle_B on April 29, 2018, 10:18:13 AM
Hi, everyone.  Dropping in because I think you're all doing a great thing and I probably should too. 

In practice, FIRE for me (4.5 years and counting, though I stumbled into it and was slow to understand my situation) has been a quiet period with lots of house-based loafing and only a couple of new friends.  Currently there is a social upswing though in the form of BicycleB Has A Girlfriend Now.

My get-off-the-couch list has some more "practical" projects too, and for now those will be a bigger focus.  Nonetheless, I treasure the opportunity to absorb ideas from you bold participants and gradually apply some of them.  Even now I will find time to apply some of them. 

For this coming week, will reach out to a distant young friend of mine.  We'll call him Honorary Nephew in Big D (HND for short).
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik on April 29, 2018, 11:36:31 AM
I started going to a yoga class on Tuesday nights at the community centre.  I might also check out a before-work class Thursday mornings in the summer. 

Right now I drop my niece off at school on my way to work so can't do a Thursday a.m. class.  I really, really enjoy the time I spend in my car with her.  I am grateful that I am getting to know her a bit better.  :)  This has been a real gift for me. 

I continuing speaking to new-to-me people at my meetings. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on April 29, 2018, 05:48:32 PM
I’m loving all the updates! Way to go everyone! I’m on my phone so multiquote is too hard, but I really liked the distinction between chatting to new people in the hopes of making a new longer -term acquaintance or friend, or just chatting for practice talking to strangers.

I know it now sounds obvious written out but I like the framing, and hopefully will help at events where I won’t know many people. At my neighbour’s upcoming 60th, I will talk to other neighbours to build local social connections and maybe become acquaintances. Other people who I will probably never see again can be practice for getting over social anxiety (that’s the selfish reason, but there might be others there who don’t know anyone - neighbour is crossing the streams at his party from about 5 or 6 non overlapping groups).

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: centwise on April 29, 2018, 11:35:02 PM
posting to follow
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on May 06, 2018, 09:07:58 AM
A good friend, who I see almost daily, is leaving for 6 weeks so it will be a good push for me to establish/work on other relationships.

Have been picking up shifts at my old workplace and making lovely re-connections (& some new ones)

Made plans to hike with a friend & an aquaintance/friend on Monday

Have been more sociable while gardening (it's a community garden) and there are some lovely folks there

Reaching out to have dinner with someone later in the week when I drive through her town
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on May 06, 2018, 10:51:10 AM
Yay to everyone making some springtime plans to get out there!

Went to a birthday party for a friend, started talking with her neighbor who is both introverted and awesome but she doesn't get out much either. We talked for an hour and at the end of the night said that we would see each other in a year and pick back up ;)

Did a zumba autism charity dance thing with friends.

Made chocolate truffles and gave them to our neighbor who has been so generous with giving us her daughter's hand me downs. I feel like I can't do enough for them, she seriously has saved me hundreds of dollars in clothes and shoes and things.

My next goal is starting a Sunday picnic thing with nearby families, so that we can hopefully have a nice community hangout that isn't church-based.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on May 06, 2018, 12:52:33 PM
I know a way to get in touch with people. Walk around with a basket full of green edible plants. I have made two trips and at both trips I had some women asking me what I had in my basket and telling me that they were very interested in the subject of edible plants.
I am currently doing a course. I got along very well with the woman sitting beside my. She is a former cook and very essy to talk to. She luves a couple of hours driving from me. But she invited me for a trip further north in the summer, in the vicinity of our cabin. I hope it fits with our summer holiday, but I'm not sure.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 06, 2018, 07:47:25 PM
I'm doing well at this, but have pushed it too far in the opposite direction and am feeling physically exhausted from all my socialising. From now on will try to make plans that are at better times of the day for me, and less demanding generally.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on May 06, 2018, 10:14:20 PM
I'm doing well at this, but have pushed it too far in the opposite direction and am feeling physically exhausted from all my socialising.

I guess if it were easy we wouldn't need a thread for it :-)

I went out tonight with a few friends and totally ran out of steam before the end of the night due to some painful medical issues sapping my energy. Oof. I don't think anyone noticed, but I snuck out without saying goodbye to most of them.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: sui generis on May 06, 2018, 10:27:24 PM
We have a baby shower invite for next month.  Pros:  they are friends we want to invest in and maintain (even though they are having a kid and we will rarely see them for the next 18 years), we can practice chatting with people we don't know, and get a little social infusion.  Cons:  We don't like children or baby shower games and the consumerist angle of showers is a downer.  Pretty torn on this one.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on May 06, 2018, 11:40:11 PM
I feel very socially content about last weekend.

Went out to celebrate liberation day with a good friend and a friend of hers whom I've seen for the 3rd time this month now. Seems like she might be a new friend and the connection with other friend makes it easy and convenient to get in touch regularly. Actually, on many points we seem a better match than we are with our common friend!

Then finally I seem to make a solid local friendship. It's a very interesting fellow PhD who is hilarious in many ways. I should get him into less spendy habits (he's likes designer stuff, but also if it's from a thrift shop!) but we regularly go for some Vietnamese food together which is great fun. He's in social sciences and makes me learn a lot about the extremely rich top 0.5% of Vietnam, while I teach him about the issues STEM PhD students run into.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on May 07, 2018, 12:15:20 AM
Then finally I seem to make a solid local friendship. It's a very interesting fellow PhD who is hilarious in many ways. I should get him into less spendy habits (he's likes designer stuff, but also if it's from a thrift shop!) but we regularly go for some Vietnamese food together which is great fun. He's in social sciences and makes me learn a lot about the extremely rich top 0.5% of Vietnam, while I teach him about the issues STEM PhD students run into.

Please don't overdo it. He is an adult who can decide for himself what he spends his money on.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on May 07, 2018, 05:10:58 AM
I had a pretty full-on weekend. DH and I had lunch with an school friend of mine, her husband and their small child on Saturday. It was nice to see them but a bit draining. My friend means well but sometimes lacks a bit of real-time empathy and talked about difficult stuff without acknowledging how difficult it was for me. I'll probably leave it for a few months (or more) before I arrange another get-together. My emotional resilience is low these days.

Then that evening we went to our neighbour's 60th birthday party. We only knew his partner at the party but it was fun enough. I had a few ok-but-awkward conversations with some people I had nothing in common with and then eventually a younger person showed up and DH and I had some good chats with them. I was sooooo tired afterwards though.

Then on Sunday we went to a small child's birthday party and caught up with some people we know. It was fun (in between the kids getting upset at each other) and nice to see people.

This weekend we have a couple of events - a Tupperware party and a Eurovision party. Plus I've arranged to have lunch with a work friend this week. 

Yay to everyone making some springtime plans to get out there!

Or autumn/winter plans ;) /aussie
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on May 07, 2018, 08:13:34 AM
I went to the Chicago MMM meetup last week and it was fun! I was amazed that there were some people there who are lurkers on the forum. That takes nerve!

This weekend I volunteered at my garden org's plant sale, both days. I had fun and talked about gardening with total strangers, but most of them have their gardens at other sites (our garden org maintains I think six different gardens around the city). So I'm not sure I'll ever see these folks again, unless we end up at the same events. It still was fun, though. I think I do better socializing when there's also a task to do, rather than just sitting around at some event trying to think of something to talk about.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on May 07, 2018, 09:49:50 AM
Then finally I seem to make a solid local friendship. It's a very interesting fellow PhD who is hilarious in many ways. I should get him into less spendy habits (he's likes designer stuff, but also if it's from a thrift shop!) but we regularly go for some Vietnamese food together which is great fun. He's in social sciences and makes me learn a lot about the extremely rich top 0.5% of Vietnam, while I teach him about the issues STEM PhD students run into.

Please don't overdo it. He is an adult who can decide for himself what he spends his money on.

Oops, bad communication from my side! I meant to say less spendy habits while hanging out with me as we always go out for food/drinks, but the designer bag example kinda ruined that context. I'm planning to invite him over to my place next time as I have some fancy Vietnamese coffee that'd be sad not to share with someone who loves it as much as I do.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on May 08, 2018, 06:58:51 AM
Today I am staying at home because I felt groggy this morning and had no voice and hadn't slept.
I just went out to check whether some mushrooms (morells) had started to grow behind my house. They tend to grow in wood chips.
My neighbour that I only know a little bit was outside, gardening. She is a pensioner. Her garden is full of wood chips. So I went to chat with her and told her that her garden might be full of this quite exclusive mushroom. I showed her one that I had found growing in the gravel road. And the poisinous double that is growing a few meters further in the road.
Then we chatted a bit more about why I was home, whether we liked the house. And our hobbies. She wants to learn to recognize bird sounds. While I am learning about edible weeds.
She told me I was free to roam her garden for this edible mushroom. :-) That wasn't even my intention to tell her.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on May 08, 2018, 09:02:17 AM
More garden chatting! An artist I know from doing craft fairs together has a plot in my community garden, just a few plots away from mine. Had a nice conversation yesterday about growing things and preventing bunnies from eating our lettuce.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Bateaux on May 08, 2018, 11:35:47 AM
I seem to be going backwards on the social connections/ friends making.  I'm becoming ever more introverted but really want to be gregarious.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on May 10, 2018, 10:45:12 AM
Reached out to a friend I see infrequently, and going for dinner at her place tonight.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Bee21 on May 12, 2018, 06:40:48 PM
Well, I hosted an impromptu dinner party which went well. 'Bub, I invited m and co for dinner, do you mind?' Hmmm. My husband has a tendency to invite people over.

 I was a social butterfly the last couple of weeks with all the travelling we did, so I really need some peace and quiet now.  I had some great conversations with people I will never see again, but no regrets, it was very entertaining. Made new friends via the boat club we are more and more involved, one of the couples even lives in the same suburb. We played cards against humanity with people we just met, which is apparently a risky move but it went well.

Heard the most shocking divorce stories ever. OMG. It is amazing what people share a after a couple of drinks.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on May 13, 2018, 08:39:50 AM
-Had a delightful dinner with the friend I mention a post ago, then reached out to another to make plans for a hike/swim this week.

-Met some new-ish neighbors and had a lovely interaction with them
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on May 15, 2018, 01:51:39 AM
omg I just made an instant new friend! Randomly we were taking down a Pokemon gym* at the same time at a shopping centre. And we just hit it off straight away and chatted excitedly for more than half an hour. And when it was time for me to go, she suggested adding each other on FB so now we can contact each other to meet up and play Pokemon Go together. :D I *never* make friends quickly so this was pretty amazing.

In other news, this past weekend was pretty social, which was fun but so tiring. On Saturday I went to a Tupperware party and talked to people. Then Sunday was a Eurovision party at a friend's house followed by going out to dinner with some other friends. Yay!

I've also organised a girl's night out (I HATE that phrase but I can't think of a better one - ladies night out is even worse IMO) at a restaurant which does cocktails. That will be in a couple of weeks. Yay me!



*Pokemon Go is a phone game that is mapped on to the real world, so you have to go out and about to play the game.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: KBecks on May 15, 2018, 06:33:59 AM
I went to lunch with a friend from my old toddler playgroup yesterday  morning.  We haven't seen each other much since our kids were small, but now they are in middle school!  It was supposed to be a small group but some of the other women bailed out and so it was a nice one on one, more comfortable anyway.

I need to make more plans!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: june28 on May 15, 2018, 12:59:07 PM
It isn't much, but I had planned a weekend away to avoid going to my neighborhood block party. That's pretty typical of the lengths I will go to to avoid social interaction with lots of people at once. Anyway, you all inspired me to postpone it. Even though I'm nauseous thinking about it, I will be hanging around strangers neighbors on Saturday.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on May 15, 2018, 05:01:07 PM
It isn't much, but I had planned a weekend away to avoid going to my neighborhood block party. That's pretty typical of the lengths I will go to to avoid social interaction with lots of people at once. Anyway, you all inspired me to postpone it. Even though I'm nauseous thinking about it, I will be hanging around strangers neighbors on Saturday.

Good job @june28! Just think, you might make a lovely connection or two-- and since it's your own block party, you can disappear back into your house for occasional breathers (which is what I would be tempted to do!)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: sui generis on May 15, 2018, 05:11:44 PM
I am super excited to see my old college roommate for dinner on Thursday.  We haven't seen each other since last year when we celebrated our birthdays together at another fancy dinner.  He's bringing a friend who I've met before and like, so I guess that makes this feel like an actual effort that belongs in this thread.  Although I don't see old college roommate often, and of course it is important to tend to old relationships as well as new, it doesn't feel like I have to try very hard with this one (which is also nice!).
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: gimmickless on May 16, 2018, 06:23:23 AM
Went to my first town hall meeting last night.  Couple presentations on small business ownership and met a retired legislator, which was fruitful.  The Q&A session was dominated by two old complainers, which was not so fruitful.

90% of successful networking is showing up. Gotta keep remembering that.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on May 16, 2018, 10:15:13 AM
Been feeling very low lately... haven't done anything social (except a visit for Mother's Day) in about 10 days. I wrote and deleted a bunch of messages inviting people to do stuff, because I just didn't feel like putting myself out there :-/  But I did manage to send one invitation finally, and they were so excited about it (replied with "yes yes yes!!!!!!"). So that made me feel good. But it isn't for a couple of weeks, so I should really push myself to get out and see some people.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on May 19, 2018, 06:03:49 AM
I've been very inward-focused and haven't done a thing socially in the last 10 days or so, but yesterday I did make a date with some co-workers to go out after work next week.  I genuinely like these coworkers, so I'm really looking forward to it.  Not sure if we will just go to a bar, or maybe I will suggest this game cafe I discovered.  It's really fun.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on May 19, 2018, 07:16:50 AM
Our neighborhood pool opened this weekend and on our first visit I saw & visited with three people/families I know. Should have lots of opportunities throughout summer to see friends there.
I had coffee with new friend/ neighbor last week at her house.
Next weekend we'll have family in town.
I've made phone calls & lots of interaction that normally I'd have anxiety about (but didn't!), regarding some renovations we're starting.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 25, 2018, 03:25:10 AM
Just popped across the road and lent something to a neighbour :D nice to reinforce those friendly local connections!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on May 25, 2018, 03:55:11 AM
I have been doing a course a couple of evenings, of learning to recognize edible weeds. Of Wednesday we went picking plants. I made some nice contact with some of the women on that course. And yesterday we made food, where I also had good contact with some of them.

But I did freak out a bit yesterday. We were making the food in 2 kitchens, with 17 people or so moving around. I was working hard on my tasks. Many others just hang around, standing in the way in the already full room. Some speaking with a very loud voice, which makes others talk back with their loudest voice. It was extremely stressful. I even asked a person to please use an "inside voice", a term from Norwegian kindergartens.

I was stupid enough to leave from there without exchanging information. But I have all the email addresses, I'm just not sure who is who. But I think I will go through all the addresses, and try to find a face on the internet, fitting to the name. If I recognize a face, I will invite the person as a facebook friend.
One of them that I had most contact with is not on facebook. Maybe I'll send her an email to stay in touch.

I will see the teacher again in the weekend on a mushroom trip we are both going to. She wanted to join me later on a mushroom control event, which will be in the autumn. There you need to be 2.

Yesterday we were also visited by another lady who is good at mushrooms and greens. We talked a bit and I will probably see her again at later events. I had seen her before, but never talked to her. Stupid me: this woman has the kind of face with mouth ends pointing downwards, not showing happiness. And somehow this turned me off to talk to her. When we talked yesterday, she was nice, so I should learn not to judge people on their face.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Raenia on May 25, 2018, 07:58:18 AM
I haven't read through the whole thread, but I love this idea.  I am a very introverted homebody, and easily fall out of touch with people, so I want to encourage myself to keep up with people, especially my local friends.  To start off:

 - Went to a game night yesterday that a friend was hosting and got to hang out for a few hours playing a new game.  It is usually hard for us to go to these, as they run so late on a weeknight, but this week they were able to start earlier and so we were able to go.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on May 25, 2018, 08:35:41 AM
Been struggling a lot lately (can't shake depression since a friend passed away a few weeks back) but had a great and very social night out last night. I hadn't been able to get myself to invite the people I wanted to invite to an event, but then one of them heard about it independently and invited me :-) That gave me the confidence to invite another mutual friend. We all went together and it was lovely. And they were so sweet to me, both of them have had losses of people they were close to in the last year, so they totally get how I'm feeling right now.

Bonus: one of them started talking about astrology and asked what my birthday is... It's next weekend (and I hadn't made any plans). So she decided we should go out and celebrate, which makes me really happy because I would have felt sad if I didn't make plans, but I'm really not up to badgering people into celebrating my birthday...
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: sui generis on May 25, 2018, 09:01:42 AM
Sorry to hear of your loss @Dollar Slice.  That sounds *really* rough.  But glad you have found people to celebrate your birthday with!  It's really nice to celebrate birthdays, especially when you don't have to feel like you have to force people to celebrate with you!  I was just complaining on my journal about my mom and stepdad coming up to visit for my birthday (which is ALSO next weekend!) and how I had to do so much work for my own birthday!  But actually, it was nice that they wanted to come and celebrate with me, otherwise it probably would have been just me and my BF trying to find something to do together. 

So I'm grateful that family is coming to visit, although there's definitely some mixed feelings, as there can be with family sometimes!

This weekend, I'm going to Santa Fe, NM with some good friends, and a few soon-to-be friends?  Ugh, trying to be optimistic about meeting new people.  our friends rented a big house, so hopefully I like these other people enough to be in pretty close contact for 72 hours!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on May 25, 2018, 09:59:41 AM
Sorry to hear of your loss @Dollar Slice.  That sounds *really* rough.  But glad you have found people to celebrate your birthday with!  It's really nice to celebrate birthdays, especially when you don't have to feel like you have to force people to celebrate with you!  I was just complaining on my journal about my mom and stepdad coming up to visit for my birthday (which is ALSO next weekend!) and how I had to do so much work for my own birthday!  But actually, it was nice that they wanted to come and celebrate with me, otherwise it probably would have been just me and my BF trying to find

I am a big birthday-celebration fan in general, but usually I'll either do something with my parents or I'll find a fun concert to go to with friends or something. But my parents have been super busy with a bunch of emergencies and nothing's been planned and I didn't feel like bugging them about it (my mom, for example, is currently 1000 miles away taking care of her sister who just had surgery).

What day is your birthday, maybe we're birthday twins? ;-)  One of my close friends has a birthday on June 4 (mine is the 2nd) so we dream of celebrating together, but we live on different continents so it hasn't happened yet...
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: sui generis on May 25, 2018, 10:40:06 AM
Sorry to hear of your loss @Dollar Slice.  That sounds *really* rough.  But glad you have found people to celebrate your birthday with!  It's really nice to celebrate birthdays, especially when you don't have to feel like you have to force people to celebrate with you!  I was just complaining on my journal about my mom and stepdad coming up to visit for my birthday (which is ALSO next weekend!) and how I had to do so much work for my own birthday!  But actually, it was nice that they wanted to come and celebrate with me, otherwise it probably would have been just me and my BF trying to find

I am a big birthday-celebration fan in general, but usually I'll either do something with my parents or I'll find a fun concert to go to with friends or something. But my parents have been super busy with a bunch of emergencies and nothing's been planned and I didn't feel like bugging them about it (my mom, for example, is currently 1000 miles away taking care of her sister who just had surgery).

What day is your birthday, maybe we're birthday twins? ;-)  One of my close friends has a birthday on June 4 (mine is the 2nd) so we dream of celebrating together, but we live on different continents so it hasn't happened yet...
Mine is the 3rd, so I guess we have the beginnings of a straight!  @diapasoun was saying her birthday is around then too.  She might be one of our birthday twins, or complete our straight!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: diapasoun on May 25, 2018, 01:17:37 PM
Sorry to hear of your loss @Dollar Slice.  That sounds *really* rough.  But glad you have found people to celebrate your birthday with!  It's really nice to celebrate birthdays, especially when you don't have to feel like you have to force people to celebrate with you!  I was just complaining on my journal about my mom and stepdad coming up to visit for my birthday (which is ALSO next weekend!) and how I had to do so much work for my own birthday!  But actually, it was nice that they wanted to come and celebrate with me, otherwise it probably would have been just me and my BF trying to find

I am a big birthday-celebration fan in general, but usually I'll either do something with my parents or I'll find a fun concert to go to with friends or something. But my parents have been super busy with a bunch of emergencies and nothing's been planned and I didn't feel like bugging them about it (my mom, for example, is currently 1000 miles away taking care of her sister who just had surgery).

What day is your birthday, maybe we're birthday twins? ;-)  One of my close friends has a birthday on June 4 (mine is the 2nd) so we dream of celebrating together, but we live on different continents so it hasn't happened yet...
Mine is the 3rd, so I guess we have the beginnings of a straight!  @diapasoun was saying her birthday is around then too.  She might be one of our birthday twins, or complete our straight!

Oh dang. I'm a Maybaby still, though very close to you all (and celebrating on the 2nd, so let's party in spirit?).
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on May 27, 2018, 01:25:38 AM
Today I am going on a mushroom walk with a retired professor in the field and another 20 people with some mushroom knowledge. I know some of them from earlier trips, so it is a nice meetup. Not too far from home, 40 min driving or so.

A friend invited DH and me for a trip on their RIB, a rubber boat type made for speeding. It is to celebrate her Bf's birthday. I hope DH can for this time forget about his aversion for noisy speed boats and just join the trip. We were also to visit an island where there is something to see and where we have all been before.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on May 27, 2018, 05:51:01 AM
I went to a party of my sports club last night and it turned out really really well. I was relatively early so it was just the board there at that point, which was good as I could get to know everyone very well. I hadn't been to any non-training activities of them yet due to not knowing any people and being too shy to just go to one of the drinks by myself. Today I knew someone from my training hour would come (though she arrived 2h later) which gave me the courage to just show up anyway.

Got to know some cool people from both my club and another befriended club and had a very fun night in general. And as it was the clubs birthday party they had free drinks and as I was early and many people showed up waaaay later they kept giving me coins. My first 3 beers were on them so that was a Mustachian win too!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 27, 2018, 05:57:55 AM
Had a chat with both sets of immediate neighbours this evening.

Earlier today somebody knocked on the door and gave me a bottle of wine to say thank you for a Buy Nothing item! She lives a few blocks away so there's a fair chance we'll run into each other again :-)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Raenia on May 27, 2018, 06:33:45 AM
My partner ran into our upstairs neighbors while taking out the trash yesterday, and chatted a little while.  They invited us to dinner one day next week.  I'll make a dessert to bring to say thank you.  Hopefully we'll all hit it off and we'll invite them back in exchange.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik on May 27, 2018, 07:04:21 AM
I joined a meet-up group for women my age.  I had been looking for a book club but couldn't find one in my area.  I'll keep checking meet up but I also don't want something that is far away.

Not sure if I mentioned here, I am going to a Tuesday night yoga class at my local community centre.  Not really a social activity but I really enjoy it so will keep going.  You can whisper a bit before the class starts and then chat a little while exiting. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on May 27, 2018, 06:53:34 PM
-Went on a hike with folks who want to connect with people in ways that don't involve drinking (our town has quite a party culture)
 While I do drink, I am definitely up for supporting this type of event and a friend was one of the organizers..

-Was cold-water swimming and a woman approached me to chat about it. Turns out we both are interested in cold-water therapy and she might start a local group so we can gather more people around this
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on May 27, 2018, 07:03:07 PM
I went to a birthday morning tea yesterday for a couple of people I know. It was fun, even though i was a bit nervous going (I knew I was going to be asked about some difficult personal stuff and managed to pass on my news quickly and then request a subject change, which worked ok).

Then had weekly dinner with our friends last night which was nice and I felt very supported.

This morning I had a Messenger chat with an old friend, briefly shared my difficult news, and then chatted about other stuff.

And I've been keeping in touch on Messenger with my new BFF who I met through Pokemon Go. Hopefully will catch up with her again this week.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: better late on May 27, 2018, 09:04:18 PM
We invited a bunch of people over for a get together this weekend. So many RSVPd no with holiday travel plans and graduations conflicting with our date...I was really getting queasy about it. And then the day of the event we had a couple cancel so it was getting to be a very small group. I was super anxious. And then people arrived and it was fun and lots of laughs. While ideally it would have been a bigger group, we still had fun.  I wish I could say it makes it easier to host the next one...
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Bee21 on May 27, 2018, 09:24:25 PM
Had a very social weekend. Yesterday we had people around all they (was good, but too long. I can't behave well that long. Like 10am-5pm). The men had a working bee, the kids played, women chatted and provided food. Hmmmm.

also, we visited some schoolyard friends for drinks on Sat, who also invited an other family with the same medical issues as we are dealing with. This is a 1 in 10000 genetic thing, so it is great to know people living so close, but it just made me so sad.  In comparison to them, it looks like we dodged the bullet, my child has only a few mild symptoms which is mostly an inconvenience, not a major drama (yet), but I was horrified to hear the problems they are dealing with. I shouldn't complain at all. I initially wanted to join the support group for families with the same condition, but it looks like I am not ready.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on May 27, 2018, 10:20:17 PM
I'm feeling overwhelmed.
This week I've met a friend at the pool 3x, which was fun and relaxing.  We had kid-grade graduation - way too much crowd and polite interaction with strangers/acquaintances. Skipped the class party, kid didn't want to go. (Whew!)
Then had sisters & fam over (from OOT) on Sat & Sun. Looking forward to just my own little family tomorrow.
This week I'm planning to meet up with a friend or two at neighborhood pool, and start some home reno projects.
As soon as the home projects are done I'll start up with biweekly  (or some regular interval) dinner gatherings.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on May 28, 2018, 06:26:31 AM
Today I am going on a mushroom walk with a retired professor in the field and another 20 people with some mushroom knowledge. I know some of them from earlier trips, so it is a nice meetup. Not too far from home, 40 min driving or so.

The trip was niced. I had good contact with some of the people I knew from earlier and met some new ones. We found some mushrooms, despite it being crispy dry here.

A friend invited DH and me for a trip on their RIB, a rubber boat type made for speeding. It is to celebrate her Bf's birthday. I hope DH can for this time forget about his aversion for noisy speed boats and just join the trip. We were also to visit an island where there is something to see and where we have all been before.

I had misunderstood. My friend's BF did not have a birthday. It was only a boat trip.
DH really hates RIBs and other speedsboats. He figured that he would really not be nice company on such a trip. I was thinking of excuses how to tell my friend. But I thought that if I make something up, we will probably receive a new invitation for a boat trip some time later. So I decided to be honest and blame DH. I told her he dislikes fast boats, thank you for the invitation, but no thanks, we rather meet you again on some other occasion. I got a reply back with OK. So I hope this doesn't ruin our friendship. I also understand DH, who said he would have hated the whole trip and would have been annoyed at everything about it. So would I have been, as I also hate such boats.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on May 31, 2018, 01:21:16 AM
Yesterday we had the yearly membership meeting from the private road organization that I am leading this year. I had been dreading it big time. I had expected people to react in a bit of a hostile way.
But all in all, the discussions were polite. Our suggestions were accepted, with small positive modifications. A very difficult road case was discussed well, but ended with a very good solution that everyone agreed on.

I didn't want to lead the whole group. Not that I'm afraid for people, but I have a low voice and people often have difficulty hearing me. So I wrote the notes, while someone else lead the meeting.

I wasn't really a social event to make friends, but was a social experience nevertheless and something I had been dreading bigtime. A guy who I know came to me with some questions about hiking elsewhere in the country. As I had walked one of these routes, I could give him advice.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Raenia on May 31, 2018, 06:04:58 AM
My partner ran into our upstairs neighbors while taking out the trash yesterday, and chatted a little while.  They invited us to dinner one day next week.  I'll make a dessert to bring to say thank you.  Hopefully we'll all hit it off and we'll invite them back in exchange.

We did go to this, though it turned out to be a cook-out of mostly college age folks.  We didn't stay long since it was a weeknight (it is summer break for them, but not for us working stiffs!) but it was nice to chat with them a bit.  Exhausting, though!  I'm not that far out of college myself, but they just seem so young now.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on May 31, 2018, 12:32:15 PM
Invited a couple over for dinner next week that I met through a hiking group. Their toddler is about the same age as ours, hoping we hit it off! Finding couple friends is like the hardest thing I've ever done, like dating but with 4-way intersectional issues. I don't know how polyamorous people pull it off, lol.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on May 31, 2018, 01:58:35 PM
Invited a couple over for dinner next week that I met through a hiking group. Their toddler is about the same age as ours, hoping we hit it off! Finding couple friends is like the hardest thing I've ever done, like dating but with 4-way intersectional issues. I don't know how polyamorous people pull it off, lol.

Oh, this is both funny and a great question :)

We've had a few social events this week and this morning, I was so exhausted from an all-day event yesterday that I slept until almost 9am (we usually get up between 6:30 & 7:30) I bowed out of another event today so that I could have some solo time at home..tidying and podcasts as a rejuvenation recipe.

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on June 01, 2018, 12:46:42 PM
I just made a Father's Day craft party for next week and invited 16 other mom friends to come make Sharpie mug presents. Now I feel sick. What if nobody comes? What if everybody comes?  AHHHHHHHHH
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: expatartist on June 02, 2018, 03:56:57 AM
Have been trying to meet with a friend-of-a-friend for months. We've been virtually introduced as she's looking for ideas on how to utilize a former temple space she's inherited / leased for art or 'wellness' or cultural projects. Finally we're meeting tomorrow afternoon and I hope we can get to know one another and collaborate someday on this or another project.

First thing tomorrow AM a corporate HR colleague has offered to take me on an exploratory walk of our neighborhood. She's returned to this part of town reluctantly to take care of her mum, and I'm still learning what's where. So hopefully this can benefit both of us. I'm always slightly terrified of yet fascinated by those in our corporate divisions. They've often been with the foundation for decades, know everything about everyone, and are mostly very old-school Hong Kong: family here for generations, there's an entire level of etiquette and understanding in three+ continents, cultures and languages I can only grasp the surface of. But I try as best as possible to adapt my mid-American manners and so far that's worked ok, especially when keeping wine out of it.

Since I'm here for the long haul and not just flitting through like most foreigners in HK, I'm keen to meet more people from the Territory. Their insights and wisdom mean a lot.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: KBecks on June 02, 2018, 05:37:56 AM
I just made a Father's Day craft party for next week and invited 16 other mom friends to come make Sharpie mug presents. Now I feel sick. What if nobody comes? What if everybody comes?  AHHHHHHHHH

That is really cool!  Have fun with it.  :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: DagobertDuck on June 02, 2018, 02:50:23 PM
I'm following this one!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on June 05, 2018, 04:20:34 AM
A while ago I contacted a person I had met at a course and asked if we could stay in touch, by email. She doesn't have facebook. She mailed me back and wants to stay in touch. I can visit her at home if I ever pass her house, which is a bit out in the country.

I talked with one of my frugal colleagues about my planned early retirement. She asked when I had in mind to retire. Then I answered, latest at the age of 50. I am almost hitting 45 now. The plan is to retire in 2020 at age 46, but I am not saying that to others just yet.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on June 05, 2018, 04:42:27 AM
I did a couple of Pokemon Go raids with other people today. I'd met a couple of them a few times before but mostly they were strangers.

We have nothing social planned next weekend. This is the first time in a long time.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik on June 05, 2018, 06:44:31 AM
Last weekend, I went to a potluck for a friend's birthday.  A really great group of women there.  I enjoyed chatting very much. 

continuing with yoga on Tuesday nights though it isn't particularly social because I really like it.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on June 05, 2018, 07:26:34 AM
I went back to dance classes, because that used to be a social outlet for me. Turns out I'm the only one in the class. Fail! Oh well, at least it's a good workout.

I've been having a hard time with this lately - seems that everyone I know is busy or cancels plans with me or is sick. I'm feeling pretty isolated. Last Saturday we participated in our neighborhood yard sale but while we had some nice chats with people who stopped by, they moved on quickly - it was a 200-household sale and people literally run through it to snap up as many bargains as possible. It made me think, though, if there are better ways to meet others who are nearby. Considering joining Nextdoor because I read on some other forum that folks were having some success finding social gatherings on it. My neighborhood's pretty kid-heavy though and we're not parents. Maybe worth a try?
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on June 05, 2018, 08:25:21 AM
We have a dinner with neighbors on Friday, a kid birthday to attend on Saturday, and sometime next week there will be a recipe swap/wine evening in our neighborhood that I'm planning to attend. I may meet up with others throughout the week at the pool.

That will be enough to last me a while!
We're doing some renovations so won't be hosting anyone at our house for a while.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on June 06, 2018, 03:30:35 AM
A lot of my maintaining connections is happening online. Social media and messenger (mostly through private groups). I think if I ever got rid of my smart phone and/or my social media accounts my social life would drop to just weekly dinner with 4 friends and not much else.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on June 06, 2018, 09:49:19 AM
Went out with a newish friend and her coworkers last week. Tonight we're meeting up again with two other common friends. This connection is slowly getting solid (unfortunately she's moving across the world next month). Will also be going out with a part of this group this weekend.

Also slowly making friends at the gym. One girl asked for my phone number to see if we could meet up for drinks with a small group (3-4 folks) later this or next week.

I have a housewarming of an old friend + one of her other friends who's slowly becoming mine now too as we keep meeting up with the 3 of us :). Actually the two of us seem to be an even better fit than we both are with our common friend.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 06, 2018, 10:48:12 AM
A lot of my maintaining connections is happening online. Social media and messenger (mostly through private groups). I think if I ever got rid of my smart phone and/or my social media accounts my social life would drop to just weekly dinner with 4 friends and not much else.

That's why they call it social media! :-) I literally don't know the phone number of several of my close friends. We use Facebook Messenger, e-mail, Whatsapp, etc. I have a little five-person group chat on FB Messenger that's been running since January of 2014. We didn't know each other very well back then (people I'd met maybe twice) but we were all going to this big week-long music event and someone started the group to help us plan for it. We never stopped chatting, and now we're all pretty much BFFs.

I have a housewarming of an old friend + one of her other friends who's slowly becoming mine now too as we keep meeting up with the 3 of us :). Actually the two of us seem to be an even better fit than we both are with our common friend.

My mom always jokes that she met all of her best friends through this one (fairly annoying) friend of hers, and she inevitably becomes better friends with the friends-of-friend, and then they all feel bad for leaving out the OG friend... I guess some people are good at making cool friends :-)

I had a really good social night last Friday (my "birthday eve" celebration) and talked to two existing friends, a person I didn't know who came with one of my friends, and three different musicians I really love who were all in the band. Oh, and a stranger at the bar because we both got there before our respective friends showed up.

Then my social anxiety ramped up and I totally chickened out of talking to the person I wanted to talk to last night :-(  Although he did come say hello to me, I didn't do much more than a "fine thanks how are you" kind of thing. I'd wanted to tell him something specific, but I was just feeling too shy. Ugh, why am I so weird? I can be so outgoing one day and the next I'm practically hiding under the table...
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on June 06, 2018, 02:51:35 PM
I just made a Father's Day craft party for next week and invited 16 other mom friends to come make Sharpie mug presents. Now I feel sick. What if nobody comes? What if everybody comes?  AHHHHHHHHH
Update! This went super well, there were six other moms and six other kids and it was just about perfect for our small house and yard to cover. And we all had muffins and coffee and watermelon and now I'm just a little bit exhausted but I think it went well. Someone said I should make it an annual tradition, so maybe I will :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on June 06, 2018, 05:24:39 PM
Going to go to a community garden event "weeding wednesday" (just for a short while since we are having a friend over for dinner but wanting to make the effort)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on June 07, 2018, 08:48:02 AM
This morning on my way walking down the steep hill to the train station, I was picked up by a woman I know well, as we are in a board together. Chatted all the way to the next city, 10 further than I had planned.

On my way back up I was picked up by another woman, which turned out to be one of my neighbours. i hadn't talked to her after our initial greeting. So we had 10 minutes of chatting in her car en she invited us to drop by for a coffee some time.

At work I met someone who had worked with DH. Happens often in a small country. We had plenty to talk about during the lunch.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 07, 2018, 10:13:34 AM
I invited six people to go to a last-minute concert this weekend (late announcement/pop-up kind of thing). Heard back a 'yes' from two of them already. :-)  Ideally I'll end up with four yeses and two nos since the best table in that place is a table for five...
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 07, 2018, 05:24:13 PM
I'm on such a roll today! Made arrangements to see my parents for Father's day (but not on Father's day, so we had to figure that out), invited my mom and her friend to come do something in the city one night, and invited my brother to hang out. Brother is a big deal since I've been more or less continually annoyed at him for three years running, and I've only spent one on one time with him once in that period. (He said "maybe" which is probably a "no," but at least I'm making an effort.)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on June 08, 2018, 12:06:02 AM

I have a housewarming of an old friend + one of her other friends who's slowly becoming mine now too as we keep meeting up with the 3 of us :). Actually the two of us seem to be an even better fit than we both are with our common friend.

My mom always jokes that she met all of her best friends through this one (fairly annoying) friend of hers, and she inevitably becomes better friends with the friends-of-friend, and then they all feel bad for leaving out the OG friend... I guess some people are good at making cool friends :-)


That's so funny right? At the gym last night we had a similar discussion! I hang out with two girls there are who are friends and they met through a common friend/flatmate and now are way better friends than with the person they met through.

I also have a situation like that in hometown now. At birthdays we often hang out with some of my friends' boyfriends and their friends. Now I don't like the boyfriends and their friends as much (very childish, still in the "drinking a lot is cool" mode at 25 yo) but one of them has a brother who regularly shows up and he's super nice to the point where we biked home together last weekend and ended up talking for another 30 min at the point where we needed to split up to each get to our own houses.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dicey on June 08, 2018, 02:27:31 AM
I want to share this somewhere and this seems a good place. I belong to a couple of boards and one of them is giving me fits, as I have whinged about elsewhere. For a different board, I am the Hospitality Chair. Today was our annual Crossover Luncheon, where incoming and outgoing board members hand off their duties and break bread together. I chose the restaurant, planned the menu, and negotiated a fair rate months ago. Today, everything came together. The food was awesome, the setting perfect, and everyone loved it. I got so many compliments. We were a group of 21 and no one had a single complaint! Best of all, it was Mediterranean Cuisine, with all the dishes served family style. There was a lot of food left over, so everyone took to-go bags. Nothing was wasted, which made my mustachian heart very happy. It was a blast. It felt great that everyone was happy and wasn't scrutinizing/criticising my every move.  Hmmm, maybe it's time to re-think that other board when my term is up...I'm still passionate for the cause, but the board is becoming too much Not.Fun.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on June 08, 2018, 03:58:51 AM
I want to share this somewhere and this seems a good place. I belong to a couple of boards and one of them is giving me fits, as I have whinged about elsewhere. For a different board, I am the Hospitality Chair. Today was our annual Crossover Luncheon, where incoming and outgoing board members hand off their duties and break bread together. I chose the restaurant, planned the menu, and negotiated a fair rate months ago. Today, everything came together. The food was awesome, the setting perfect, and everyone loved it. I got so many compliments. We were a group of 21 and no one had a single complaint! Best of all, it was Mediterranean Cuisine, with all the dishes served family style. There was a lot of food left over, so everyone took to-go bags. Nothing was wasted, which made my mustachian heart very happy. It was a blast. It felt great that everyone was happy and wasn't scrutinizing/criticising my every move.  Hmmm, maybe it's time to re-think that other board when my term is up...I'm still passionate for the cause, but the board is becoming too much Not.Fun.

Nice for you that this lunch went so well. And great to hear that no food was wasted. Nice that everyone thought so and was like-minded in that matter.

Board jobs can be a lot of work and sometimes a PITA to work on. I am personally on a board where I have very little influence and do all the administrative work. I put another person to do a task (drawing a map) and he is just not doing it or procrastinating, while I am very much an "on-time" kind of person. The board is also in general giving me stress and sleepless nights. Although the yearly meeting with the members went much better than I had anticipated.

But at least I now have a good contact with the other woman on the board.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 09, 2018, 12:00:54 AM
Then my social anxiety ramped up and I totally chickened out of talking to the person I wanted to talk to last night :-(  Although he did come say hello to me, I didn't do much more than a "fine thanks how are you" kind of thing. I'd wanted to tell him something specific, but I was just feeling too shy. Ugh, why am I so weird? I can be so outgoing one day and the next I'm practically hiding under the table...

Hurrah for Slicey! Saw this person again tonight and I dredged up the bravery to say a quick hello. He is someone semi-famous that I deeply admire, and I know him well enough to say hello, but am still really shy about reaching out because I always feel like he's got better things to do than talk to a total nobody like me. But I managed to say hi tonight, and instead of a quick hello, it was like... the best conversation I've ever had. We talked for ages, and he was incredibly kind and gave me all kinds of advice and really listened to me. I can't even tell you how happy I am that I pushed myself to take a deep breath and say hello :-)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dicey on June 09, 2018, 12:37:33 AM
Then my social anxiety ramped up and I totally chickened out of talking to the person I wanted to talk to last night :-(  Although he did come say hello to me, I didn't do much more than a "fine thanks how are you" kind of thing. I'd wanted to tell him something specific, but I was just feeling too shy. Ugh, why am I so weird? I can be so outgoing one day and the next I'm practically hiding under the table...

Hurrah for Slicey! Saw this person again tonight and I dredged up the bravery to say a quick hello. He is someone semi-famous that I deeply admire, and I know him well enough to say hello, but am still really shy about reaching out because I always feel like he's got better things to do than talk to a total nobody like me. But I managed to say hi tonight, and instead of a quick hello, it was like... the best conversation I've ever had. We talked for ages, and he was incredibly kind and gave me all kinds of advice and really listened to me. I can't even tell you how happy I am that I pushed myself to take a deep breath and say hello :-)
Yay! But hey, you're semi-famous around here, and deeply admired as well, so this person ain't got nothin' on you, Slicey.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 09, 2018, 01:33:07 AM
Then my social anxiety ramped up and I totally chickened out of talking to the person I wanted to talk to last night :-(  Although he did come say hello to me, I didn't do much more than a "fine thanks how are you" kind of thing. I'd wanted to tell him something specific, but I was just feeling too shy. Ugh, why am I so weird? I can be so outgoing one day and the next I'm practically hiding under the table...

Hurrah for Slicey! Saw this person again tonight and I dredged up the bravery to say a quick hello. He is someone semi-famous that I deeply admire, and I know him well enough to say hello, but am still really shy about reaching out because I always feel like he's got better things to do than talk to a total nobody like me. But I managed to say hi tonight, and instead of a quick hello, it was like... the best conversation I've ever had. We talked for ages, and he was incredibly kind and gave me all kinds of advice and really listened to me. I can't even tell you how happy I am that I pushed myself to take a deep breath and say hello :-)
Yay! But hey, you're semi-famous around here, and deeply admired as well, so this person ain't got nothin' on you, Slicey.

Haha - thanks! :-)  I don't say 'deeply admire' lightly though, I mean like... deep deep. Like one of my top humans on the planet. Not just his work, but as a human being. I've never met anyone even remotely like him. Gah! I'm going to be coasting on this for months...
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on June 09, 2018, 01:57:32 AM
Then my social anxiety ramped up and I totally chickened out of talking to the person I wanted to talk to last night :-(  Although he did come say hello to me, I didn't do much more than a "fine thanks how are you" kind of thing. I'd wanted to tell him something specific, but I was just feeling too shy. Ugh, why am I so weird? I can be so outgoing one day and the next I'm practically hiding under the table...

Hurrah for Slicey! Saw this person again tonight and I dredged up the bravery to say a quick hello. He is someone semi-famous that I deeply admire, and I know him well enough to say hello, but am still really shy about reaching out because I always feel like he's got better things to do than talk to a total nobody like me. But I managed to say hi tonight, and instead of a quick hello, it was like... the best conversation I've ever had. We talked for ages, and he was incredibly kind and gave me all kinds of advice and really listened to me. I can't even tell you how happy I am that I pushed myself to take a deep breath and say hello :-)
Yay! But hey, you're semi-famous around here, and deeply admired as well, so this person ain't got nothin' on you, Slicey.

Haha - thanks! :-)  I don't say 'deeply admire' lightly though, I mean like... deep deep. Like one of my top humans on the planet. Not just his work, but as a human being. I've never met anyone even remotely like him. Gah! I'm going to be coasting on this for months...

Yay for Slicey! Little hellos can have big results.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik on June 09, 2018, 07:09:54 AM
Then my social anxiety ramped up and I totally chickened out of talking to the person I wanted to talk to last night :-(  Although he did come say hello to me, I didn't do much more than a "fine thanks how are you" kind of thing. I'd wanted to tell him something specific, but I was just feeling too shy. Ugh, why am I so weird? I can be so outgoing one day and the next I'm practically hiding under the table...

Hurrah for Slicey! Saw this person again tonight and I dredged up the bravery to say a quick hello. He is someone semi-famous that I deeply admire, and I know him well enough to say hello, but am still really shy about reaching out because I always feel like he's got better things to do than talk to a total nobody like me. But I managed to say hi tonight, and instead of a quick hello, it was like... the best conversation I've ever had. We talked for ages, and he was incredibly kind and gave me all kinds of advice and really listened to me. I can't even tell you how happy I am that I pushed myself to take a deep breath and say hello :-)

This is so cool!    Good on you for having the courage to say hi!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on June 09, 2018, 09:31:05 PM
Nice update @Dollar Slice !
Great job putting your friendly self out into the world--
Isn't that just the best when it yields unexpected connections??

I am holed up at home tonight after an event last night & full day of work. Trying to establish some more regular ways to get out in the evening (I often work evenings and if I don't..then it is really hard for me to rally energy to get out, even when it's still lovely & light out) Contemplating a running group, but might give myself 4 weeks to go consistently before I attempt that!

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 10, 2018, 12:33:26 PM
Nice update @Dollar Slice !
Great job putting your friendly self out into the world--
Isn't that just the best when it yields unexpected connections??

Yes... :-) I'm still going over that conversation in my head. All the ways he is a master at making someone feel seen/heard/cared for. (Not just me, a couple of times someone walked up and interrupted us to tell him how much they admire his work etc and it was a master class in talking to people in a way that they would walk away with a big smile). I want so badly to be able to do that.

I've had such a lovely weekend of social stuff... Friday night of course I walked away glowing. Saturday I had invited a bunch of people to a concert and we ended up with a nice big group and had a ton of fun. We sat right in front and I managed not to be shy when a couple of the band members talked to us before/after the show.

Mustachian bonus: it turned out one of the servers was a good friend of one of my friends, so his girlfriend came to sit with us and we got the best service all night long including about ten refills on my tap water without having to ask. We were there for six hours and it was really hot so this was a major advantage over ordering a lot of cold drinks. :-)  (I did order some wine and tipped enormously so as not to be an ass...)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Trifele on June 10, 2018, 01:17:08 PM
Congrats on your fabulous weekend @Dollar Slice!!  Absolutely fantastic.  :)

I have been a slug lately and between work suckage (long hours, stress) and long hours working on our house, I have done zero in the way of new connections. 

On a positive note, we are having some friends over for dinner tonight.  Friends who don't mind they are eating in a dusty construction area.  :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on June 10, 2018, 08:08:29 PM
Yay Dollar Slice!!!!

We had a friend over for dinner last night. It was pretty casual (we don’t own a dining table so meals are always eaten on laps sitting in the couch) but excellent fun.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Sun Hat on June 11, 2018, 04:55:54 PM
I'm so happy for you @Dollar Slice !!! Congratulations on being brave! I'm going to try to remember your success when I'm feeling too chicken to talk to people.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Poundwise on June 12, 2018, 09:09:46 PM
Such a lovely story of success, Dollar Slice!!  Made me happy to hear it.  I am sure that your idol also enjoyed and learned from you, as well!

I reached out to a new woman at church who is also a mom at my kids' school and who also is involved in two of the same charity groups that I volunteer for.  Actually she reached out to me first, a couple of times and to my embarrassment, I completely blew her off the first time (because I had to run), and the second time I forgot who she was. Maybe she even reached out to me a third time, I think she did.  And she got annoyed because I kept forgetting who she is.

So I made a point of sitting down with her the next time I saw her, and we had ten minutes of awesome conversation before my husband and kids pulled me away. It turns out that she is a really cool, interesting person and I like her a lot.  Sometimes I wish I weren't so face blind and oblivious... we could have been friends for months! But I am looking forward to seeing her again in the autumn.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 12, 2018, 11:17:22 PM
Sometimes I wish I weren't so face blind and oblivious... we could have been friends for months!

I am usually OK with faces (although there's a lot of "I'm not sure if I've actually talked to them before or just seen them around") but I'm horrible with names. I literally have people I've known for years that I don't know their name because I'm too embarrassed to ask again. Ugh. And they always remember MY name, of course! I need an app for this, like I can surreptitiously snap a photo of them and put in their name as soon as I meet them, and then have a record to refer back to. I remember things much better if I see it written down.

I am sure that your idol also enjoyed and learned from you, as well!

I did give him some advice, haha. But it was basically just "you should definitely do whatever [other guy] told you" because he was telling me about some advice he got from someone we both know who is extremely brilliant and very good at applying it to practical situations.

I'm probably going to see my new buddy a couple of times next week, I guess I'll find out if we're friends now or if it was just some crazy late-night one-off thing after a couple glasses of wine. Hopefully I'll be having one of my "on" days and not one of my "hide under the table" days...
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on June 13, 2018, 06:41:39 AM
A question for people in this thread: how much energy (time/emotional/mental etc) are you putting in to maintaining existing friendships vs trying to make new connections?

I keep finding myself wanting to expand my social circles but I think what I would find more satisfying in the long run is maintaining and building existing friendships/acquaintances.

But then, I rarely feel like I fit in anywhere, like I'm on the outside looking in and it can all come tumbling down at any time if I say or do the wrong thing (I have a LOT of hangups from childhood that I haven't quite gotten over yet). But I don't know if that's because I haven't found "my people" yet or if childhood trauma-reactions just make everything feel not quite right. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 13, 2018, 11:11:20 AM
A question for people in this thread: how much energy (time/emotional/mental etc) are you putting in to maintaining existing friendships vs trying to make new connections?

Hmm. I haven't really thought about it that way, honestly. I'm really just an opportunist. If I'm doing something fun that I can convince friends to go to, that's great. If someone needs something and I can help, great. If I'm going to an event and couldn't get anyone to come with me, I'll try to make new connections (or deepen a connection with whichever random acquaintance I run into).

I have been pushing to deepen a couple of existing friendships lately, in part because both of them lost a close family member and I could see they needed some extra emotional support. I only moved here 4 years ago and even my closer friends aren't *that* close. I'm no one's BFF right now, which is kind of hard. (This weekend I did have a few drinks and heavily implied that the people I was with were my best friends, but I'm not sure if that counts... haha.)

Not sure about the "fitting in" part. I will say that I've changed a lot over the years... when I was in high school and college I definitely didn't feel like I fit in, and I tended to have a couple of close friends and not a big friend circle. Early working years were the same except I often didn't have any close friends living locally and didn't go out much. At some point I started forcing myself to be more outgoing, and with the advent of online interest groups (and developing new interests myself) I started finding my tribe. Then I moved to NYC and was truly where I belonged, and started meeting tons of people. I've gone from the nerdy kid people made fun of to being almost... popular? Cool? I dunno. It's very weird to me how people's perceptions of you can change so drastically. And I still have a lot of anxiety/insecurity about it (hence joining this thread).

I guess I would spend some time thinking about why you don't feel like you fit in - where the disconnect is between you and your existing group. And also what kind of friend circle you actually want - are you the kind of person that really likes having a couple of very close friends? Or are you the kind of person who wants to have lots of people in your life, even if they aren't as close? And if what you want isn't what you have, what are some steps towards change?
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Poundwise on June 13, 2018, 08:51:46 PM

I am usually OK with faces (although there's a lot of "I'm not sure if I've actually talked to them before or just seen them around") but I'm horrible with names. I literally have people I've known for years that I don't know their name because I'm too embarrassed to ask again. Ugh. And they always remember MY name, of course! I need an app for this, like I can surreptitiously snap a photo of them and put in their name as soon as I meet them, and then have a record to refer back to. I remember things much better if I see it written down.

Yes, me too!


I'm probably going to see my new buddy a couple of times next week, I guess I'll find out if we're friends now or if it was just some crazy late-night one-off thing after a couple glasses of wine. Hopefully I'll be having one of my "on" days and not one of my "hide under the table" days...

I hope you really become friends!! Though maybe a little distance is good.  It's sometimes more fun to have crushes on people than to have them turn all human on you.


    A question for people in this thread: how much energy (time/emotional/mental etc) are you putting in to maintaining existing friendships vs trying to make new connections?
Though I have an old friend with whom I chat with every week, I'm spending more time on new connections because we are relatively new in this community, and the first few years I was too busy taking care of young kids and elderly parents to socialize much.  A few times a year I visit neighborhoods where I used to live and manage to see a whole bunch of people in a day, and it's great. But otherwise, I'm trying to make new friends since I expect we'll be living here a good long time.

Also, the old friends with whom I am in the most contact, now have different politics than me, and it's a bit of a strain.  I love them and all, but it's more relaxing to be with friends around whom I can say anything without thinking too much.

Quote
I rarely feel like I fit in anywhere, like I'm on the outside looking in and it can all come tumbling down at any time if I say or do the wrong thing (I have a LOT of hangups from childhood that I haven't quite gotten over yet). But I don't know if that's because I haven't found "my people" yet or if childhood trauma-reactions just make everything feel not quite right. Thoughts?

One of the big breakthroughs for me in the last decade has been to realize how awkward OTHER people usually are!  Maybe I'm wrong, but I think most people are basically lonely. At any rate, even when I don't fit in, I'm not afraid of people any more. 

In terms of feeling like a good fit, the best conditions I find for friendship is when a group of people who are new to one another come together (like to a new school or program or housing group), then spend a fair amount of time working or studying together. That's not enough for cohesion though.  The next step is for this group of people to travel together among strangers.  Then you feel like you know each other!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 13, 2018, 10:13:54 PM
I hope you really become friends!! Though maybe a little distance is good.  It's sometimes more fun to have crushes on people than to have them turn all human on you.

Oh, I don't mean like dinner parties and board games. I'm thinking more like elevating the relationship from "gee, there he is, I should say hi but I don't want to bother him" to something slightly less pathetic. ;-) It would be nice if I always felt that comfortable talking to him, that's all.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Carrie on June 14, 2018, 11:36:20 AM
Often summer months mean more blissful seclusion for me, but this summer I'm proud to say I've had more interactions than my norm.
I've texted friends more (which is still weird for me - I miss good old fashioned phone calls), I've visited with acquaintances at the pool, we've had dinner with a new (to the neighborhood) family. The dinner was reciprocal,  so that's fun!
I still feel like I need to do a better job of visiting with the across-the-street family, but we won't be hosting anything at our house until our current house projects are finished.
I've made more effort to introduce myself & chit chat if I start seeing the same person over & over. It's amazing how few people bother with that (like at school functions or neighborhood pool).
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on June 15, 2018, 11:18:58 PM
I'd say I am primarily trying to deepen existing connections - shifting friendly acquaintances into real friends, where possible. It's difficult right now because a lot of spoons are being used up on medical stuff.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on June 16, 2018, 04:55:59 AM
A question for people in this thread: how much energy (time/emotional/mental etc) are you putting in to maintaining existing friendships vs trying to make new connections?

To me the current desire for new connections is because I moved to a new area. However, my old connections are highly important to me and I put much effort in maintaining them. With some friends this is easy as they're good texters and we stay up to date of each other's life events, while for others it's hard as they don't like texting and meeting up is really the only way to stay in touch.


I had an extremely social week. First we had a dinner with some co-workers. Love frugal dinner parties ($3 for food/drinks and a whole lot of fun). Then Thursday there were drinks organized by my sports club. Funnily enough, my other sports club turned out to be there too so I talked to a bunch of people I usually only see in a sports-environment. It was fun, but not really satisfying/deepening as all contacts are still superficial.

Then last night we had a reunion from my masters programme and it was amazing. These folks feel like family. My coworkers thought I was crazy to leave work early and travel 3+ hours for the alumni BBQ, but some people who live abroad now had actually taken planes or 6h bus rides to be there and it was great to see everyone again. I think there we see the point of staying in touch with old friends. As I live elsewhere I don't talk to everyone regularly, but when we get back together it's always like nothing has ever changed.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on June 16, 2018, 01:49:54 PM
A question for people in this thread: how much energy (time/emotional/mental etc) are you putting in to maintaining existing friendships vs trying to make new connections?

I keep finding myself wanting to expand my social circles but I think what I would find more satisfying in the long run is maintaining and building existing friendships/acquaintances.


Deepening existing connections and creating new ones are balanced goals for me.

I easily hermit myself with just a few close people but part of this goal for me is to open up a bit more to stretching beyond my comfort circles.
 Part of this is developing acquaintance relationships into friendships (when the connection is there) by being proactive with plans and practicing socialability (is that a word? ) :)

Have added a few new people into my circle of friends this spring and it feels great. And, it just takes time.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: sui generis on June 16, 2018, 01:59:11 PM
I'd like both to deepen some existing connections and to make new ones.  But I find the latter a little more important to me right now.  To just be able to have some brief, not very deep social interactions is one thing I am really missing.  I think it's because where I work, I sometimes don't speak to another human practically at all some days, and although I barely cross over into extrovert territory, I have no realized how it feels to be isolated and lonely and just desperate for human interaction.  It's become even more important for me to do stuff with other people in my non-work time, which has been happening a lot in the last few weeks, thankfully, so that I can be happy.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 17, 2018, 11:22:03 PM
Had another very fun and social weekend :-)  My friend is having surgery in a week so I said we would have All The Fun this weekend and organized a bunch of stuff. We went out Saturday night until 3AM with (frugal!) live music and food and drinks and dancing. I was in an outgoing mood and things went really well. (I was even brave enough to walk up to one of the band members during an intermission to tell him he's amazing.) Tonight I had a big group of friends come to yet another concert (invited four, who invited three more, plus another five showed up). I had a chance to talk with some people I didn't know that well. And at the end of the night invited one of them to come to an event next week since her husband will be away for a work trip and she'll be home alone all week.

Also talked to some strangers and gave one guy my contact info because he said he had just moved to NYC and I figured he could maybe use a new friend. I also reached out via text to three people who are in the borderline acquaintance/friend zone, because a friend had extra tickets and asked if I could help her find a good home for them (for free). One of the three people said yes and was so grateful and happy and had a great time. The other two were really pleased that I thought of them but couldn't make it. Strengthening relationships left, right, and center over here! :-)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Raenia on June 18, 2018, 06:55:02 AM
I had a very social weekend as well.  My sister came over on Friday to help with some wedding planning, then we had a bunch of friends over on Saturday for drinks and hanging out.  Sunday we hosted a birthday/Father's day brunch for my partner's dad.  It was all really fun, but I'm exhausted and got almost none of my housework done.  Gonna be a lot of catching up this week, and a bunch more last minute things for the wedding.  All this socializing is great, and I'm glad we did it, but I can't wait for a quiet weekend.  Unfortunately, it'll be a few weeks before we can have one.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on June 18, 2018, 10:41:16 AM
A question for people in this thread: how much energy (time/emotional/mental etc) are you putting in to maintaining existing friendships vs trying to make new connections?

I keep finding myself wanting to expand my social circles but I think what I would find more satisfying in the long run is maintaining and building existing friendships/acquaintances.

But then, I rarely feel like I fit in anywhere, like I'm on the outside looking in and it can all come tumbling down at any time if I say or do the wrong thing (I have a LOT of hangups from childhood that I haven't quite gotten over yet). But I don't know if that's because I haven't found "my people" yet or if childhood trauma-reactions just make everything feel not quite right. Thoughts?

I can relate to this feeling a lot. I too was bullied as a child, but I also feel like I don't have much in common with the people that I've been encountering, or that they all think I'm this awkward weirdo.

I'm focusing almost exclusively on meeting new people because my existing friendships are so transient. Most people I know are actively trying to move out of my hometown. I just found out last week that *another* friend, whom I'd hoped to get closer to, is moving to the other end of the country in a few months. This has happened to me over and over again for literally decades and it's so frustrating! I have plenty of online friends and connections, and a small social circle who all happens to live in another city (about 5 hours' drive for me, we'll actually be traveling to see them this weekend and I'm pretty excited about it); what I'm starved for is local friends with whom I can do things in person.

Anyway! I went to my community garden's potluck on Saturday. That's a pretty easy thing to attend even for someone like me who gets social anxiety - you can ask pretty much anyone there, "what are you growing this year?" and "how is your garden looking?" and that will start people talking.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: sui generis on June 18, 2018, 11:06:40 AM

I'm focusing almost exclusively on meeting new people because my existing friendships are so transient. Most people I know are actively trying to move out of my hometown. I just found out last week that *another* friend, whom I'd hoped to get closer to, is moving to the other end of the country in a few months. This has happened to me over and over again for literally decades and it's so frustrating! I have plenty of online friends and connections, and a small social circle who all happens to live in another city (about 5 hours' drive for me, we'll actually be traveling to see them this weekend and I'm pretty excited about it); what I'm starved for is local friends with whom I can do things in person.


I can relate to this feeling so much!  Either they move, or they have babies and you know, in either case, you can stay friends of course, but it won't be the same and certainly not the same amount of time (if any at all).  I thought I was getting old enough that friends would no longer be having their first babies, but I accidentally made some friends that are a little younger than me, and poof!  From now on, I'm only making friends with people in their 60s or 70s!  Maybe they'll be less likely to move and almost for sure won't be having any babies!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on June 18, 2018, 01:36:47 PM

I'm focusing almost exclusively on meeting new people because my existing friendships are so transient. Most people I know are actively trying to move out of my hometown. I just found out last week that *another* friend, whom I'd hoped to get closer to, is moving to the other end of the country in a few months. This has happened to me over and over again for literally decades and it's so frustrating! I have plenty of online friends and connections, and a small social circle who all happens to live in another city (about 5 hours' drive for me, we'll actually be traveling to see them this weekend and I'm pretty excited about it); what I'm starved for is local friends with whom I can do things in person.


I can relate to this feeling so much!  Either they move, or they have babies and you know, in either case, you can stay friends of course, but it won't be the same and certainly not the same amount of time (if any at all).  I thought I was getting old enough that friends would no longer be having their first babies, but I accidentally made some friends that are a little younger than me, and poof!  From now on, I'm only making friends with people in their 60s or 70s!  Maybe they'll be less likely to move and almost for sure won't be having any babies!

Indeed. Sometimes we meet new adult people childless people. Amd then all of the sudden they are either getting a baby, or they devorse and the closest one goes to live with a guy with 4 children.
I also thing making friend with elderly people could make most sense. But they might become old soon and need help. Which to some degree is okay to give, but it would be nice to have friends who are equally fit as yourself to do stuff with.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on June 18, 2018, 07:11:30 PM
Oh yes - throw children into the mix and we have an even harder time finding people who have time to socialize, for sure. I don't have kids and *I* barely have the time and energy!

You guys, I'm so excited - Boyfriend and I have been invited to a 4th of July cookout. This never happens to us. We always end up spending the holiday with just the two of us - we usually go to the beach and that's nice but I'm always a little sad that we're not hanging out with a fun group. I am really looking forward to this!
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 18, 2018, 07:53:48 PM
Nice, Tris! 4th of July is such a weird holiday when you live in the city. You feel like you should be doing something but no one actually has space for a cookout, and fireworks can be kind of a nightmare with the crowds. I think last year was the first time I ever got invited to something by someone I wasn't related to. And it was like... 2PM on the 4th when I got the invite, so cutting it pretty close.

Today I invited someone I've never met to hang out on Wednesday. Should be interesting. He's visiting NYC from Europe and I ran into him commenting on Facebook (we have a mutual friend).
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Tris Prior on June 18, 2018, 08:55:16 PM
Yeah - here in Chicago, sometimes folks will have a tiny yard in back of their building where they can grill, but it's not terribly common if you rent, like most people I know do. Our last building had a gas grill that the landlord (who lived below us) let us use and that was awesome. I miss it.

Fireworks are indeed horrid - we gave up on going to the actual fireworks grounds downtown years ago. You can see them from pretty much anywhere along the lakefront so we just hang out at the lake way far north, where we live, and watch them from a distance. But it's still crowded as hell, people are shooting off fireworks inches away from you even though they're illegal here, and everyone is smoking tons of weed. Then there are the people who shoot guns in the air in lieu of fireworks; I don't know if you get that in NYC too? it's a crazy time.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 18, 2018, 09:06:54 PM
I don't know if there are guns being fired, I haven't heard of that here. But people shoot illegal fireworks off the rooftops for days (I'm in Manhattan, so it's very dense with apartment buildings etc., totally insane place to light fireworks). It sounds like my neighborhood is under siege. I'm always paranoid about fires being started if a firework landed on the roof.

Last year I got invited to watch the fireworks from my friend's rooftop which is about ten stories up. You could see the big city display in the distance but we were surrounded by a dozen amateur/illegal ones in the neighborhood. Crazy.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on June 19, 2018, 01:58:41 AM
Yay Tris for getting the invite! Hope you have a fun time.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 26, 2018, 09:46:57 PM
Today I invited someone I've never met to hang out on Wednesday. Should be interesting. He's visiting NYC from Europe and I ran into him commenting on Facebook (we have a mutual friend).

This one ended up being pretty weird, but I think I managed it OK :-/

Since that night, I've been on a roll... I invited someone I haven't seen in a while to come out on Saturday night, and we hung out and it was fun. On Sunday I made a special effort to spend the day with family even though I'm not hugely fond of the people who were visiting (they're not terrible, just don't have a lot in common). A seven hour visit, I definitely had to stretch my social muscles a bit for that one. Monday I had won some concert tickets, and my #1 and #2 concert buddies weren't available, so I reached out to someone I don't know as well. He was really excited to come and we had a fun night out. We've been acquaintances for a while, but this was the first time we ever made plans to go out together on purpose instead of just meeting up in a group or something. We talked for almost an hour before the show and got to know each other better. He's been texting me a bit so I think we're going to be friends :-)  He's eccentric (and super frugal!), but really interesting and fun to talk to.

I'm taking a couple days off going out because I wore myself out, but on Thursday I've planned a really great night out with a good friend. Her husband is away this week so it's a girls' night out.

Have run into that guy I had the great conversation with three times since and never managed to talk to him :-S  Although there was significant non-verbal communication in the smiling and waving departments, and some kind of brief backwards-handshake-turned-wave-and-smile-as-I-walked-past thing which I was really quite proud of. Very casual, very suave. ;-)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Linda_Norway on June 27, 2018, 03:05:27 AM
I asked an acquaintance/friend if she would be willing to join me in a side-gig. The side-gig involved giving a theoretical course, go pick mushrooms and cook food with them. I guess I could do it all myself, but I don't want to do the cooking aspect and the chaos with letting 12 people cook. Nice to get help from a someone who has given such a cooking course before. She was positive to help. Now I just need some more info about dates and budget.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on June 27, 2018, 03:54:10 AM
I went out last weekend with some friends to have some food that was on special at a particular cafe. That was fun but we sat outside and it was soooo cold. So we left after about 1 1/2 hours.

I had lunch with someone at work this week (usually I eat by myself and read stuff on my phone).

This weekend I don't have much on except for a forum meet up.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Raenia on June 27, 2018, 07:43:36 AM
Got married over the weekend, and it was a really great chance to catch up with some people I haven't seen in a long time.  I was able to sit down and have a full conversation with several people I hadn't seen in a decade or more, as well as regular chatting with just about everyone else.  There were only 2-3 people I didn't get to talk with, because they had to leave early unexpectedly.

Also made a commitment to keep in better touch with a couple of our friends who we found out will be moving out of the country at the end of the year.  We will try to visit them in their distant state once before the move, and we're talking about setting up regular chats/games once they are abroad.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 27, 2018, 10:26:14 AM
Got married over the weekend

Incredible commitment to upping your social connections! ;-) 

Congratulations :-)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on June 27, 2018, 10:30:29 AM
Got married over the weekend, and it was a really great chance to catch up with some people I haven't seen in a long time.  I was able to sit down and have a full conversation with several people I hadn't seen in a decade or more, as well as regular chatting with just about everyone else.  There were only 2-3 people I didn't get to talk with, because they had to leave early unexpectedly.

Also made a commitment to keep in better touch with a couple of our friends who we found out will be moving out of the country at the end of the year.  We will try to visit them in their distant state once before the move, and we're talking about setting up regular chats/games once they are abroad.

Congratulation @Raenia! Weddings can be a great time to pull together old friends and family..most of my friends are already married or have chosen not to legally marry their partners/hold a wedding so I sometimes miss the celebratory gathering of people that happens at these events :)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik on June 27, 2018, 10:32:02 AM
On Canada Day, we are hosting a bbq - about 15 people in all.  Pretty much all family - some that we see often and some that we don't see often.  I am pretty excited (and a bit nervous) about it. 

After, my husband and I are going to join a local meet-up group for socializing. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on June 29, 2018, 10:42:29 PM
Ended up having a Very Bad Week this week and really wanted to just curl up and hide, but instead reached out and offered to save a seat for a friend at a concert we had free tickets to, because I know he works late and couldn't get there early. He said 'yes please' and told me he had a friend joining him, and texted us both to look for each other so we could all sit together. I asked a couple of people if they were [her name] and they said no, then I overheard someone asking some random lady "Hi, are you [Slicey]?" so I flagged her down. We clicked right away, and we ended up all hanging out for a few hours before and after the show. Sent Facebook request and we're all going out again tomorrow (part of the same music fest I had free tix to). Maybe a new friend in the making! Have also been getting daily texts from the guy I invited out Monday night so I think we have definitely achieved a new, higher friend level :-) Today I invited him to another free event next Friday that I thought he would like.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on June 30, 2018, 10:19:27 PM
Woo, good on you for pushing yourself out of the comfort zone of being curled up and hidden!

I had a flipping awesome day today - went to a delicious 8-course gourmet breakfast at a farmer's market with a friend who got free tickets. Then went to visit a mustachian friend I hadn't seen in two years and we ate delicious things and drank tea and talked for a couple of hours. And then spent the rest of the evening at the river with my baby and husband. All in all a wonderful and sociable day.

Now I'm curled up and hiding while the husband puts the baby to sleep, ha.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on July 01, 2018, 10:20:04 AM
Had a really good and fun social impulse yesterday. Living on the other side of the country, I ran into someone from my high school class while walking through the city center! Turns out he'd moved here 1.5 years ago. Very few people from my hometown move this far away so I was pretty convinced I was the only one over here and so was he. We ended up chatting for an hour in the middle of the shopping street. Turns out he literally lives two streets away from me. Still can't believe how someone from my own class lives in my city and no one ever told me ashometown is a pretty close community so when you tell them "I moved to city X" they'll usually reply with "Oh do you know [person]? He lives there too!" if there's someone else, esp if you're the same age.

Well.. that evening he texted me if I wanted to join him and his gf in the park for some drinks. Some drinks in the park became many drinks and unexpectedly lasted till sunrise (5 AM). It was some pretty good fun! So funny how we were barely in touch back in high school and got along great now. Seems like this was the easiest add to my local friend list so far + it might provide me with some rides back home once in a while which saves money and an hour in public transport.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on July 09, 2018, 01:00:31 PM
Had a super social week last week... Tuesday ended up going out with the guy I mentioned getting texts from last week - I was having a really bad day and he texted to see if I wanted to go out and do something, so that was really nice. Thursday I invited a bunch of people (including that same guy) to join me at a concert. When I got there no one I knew had showed up, so I sat somewhere by myself feeling a little mopey. Then a nice woman sat down next to me and started a (great) conversation. We talked music and politics and stuff until the concert started. A couple of the people I had invited showed up eventually, and I ended up talking to them plus a musician I know during the intermission/after the show. Two of them gave me big hugs, which was nice since last week was really hard. :-)

Friday I went to a big event that I knew a couple of friends would be at. I'd prepared a map/program of the event in Photoshop because it was sort of secretive - the venue wasn't announcing the details in advance, but I'd gotten them from a friend. A bunch of people (acquaintances and friends-of-friends) ended up using my map (which I offered to text to them) or just following me because I was one of the only people who really knew where/when everything was. Offering a useful service: great way to connect with people :-)  And... what else. Oh, Saturday I went to see a band for $10 because a friend of mine was playing in it. He seemed really pleased that I'd turned up.

This week I have no plans with anyone at all and I'm feeling a little bummed about it...
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik on July 09, 2018, 01:23:56 PM
We hosted a Canada Day bbq a week ago that was a huge hit!   So it is now an annual event.  :) I had had some anxiety about it but it all worked okay. 

And, I found a women's social meet-up group that has a book club going.  So I joined it and am going to my first book club meeting in 2 weeks.  It is quite close by too - extra bonus!  I am really excited about this - love reading + need to put myself out there and hopefully meet new friends.   The group does other things like going for brunch and to see fireworks as well. 

Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on July 09, 2018, 03:32:45 PM
We hosted a Canada Day bbq a week ago that was a huge hit!   So it is now an annual event.  :) I had had some anxiety about it but it all worked okay. 

Nice! I've never hosted a party ever :-S  I mean, not since I was a kid when my mom was really hosting it.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Serendip on July 09, 2018, 09:57:47 PM
@Dollar Slice --you are doing so good, definitely have been experiencing heaps of new connections :)

@pachnik --good luck with the book club!
I have been 'soft' invited to join one as well, I think.  A friend has had me as a returning guest to her book club, one that doesn't regularly add new members as they keep it small and intimate (and have been meeting together a decade or so!) I've been invited again by another member to be her guest, so I think I am needling my way in there. It's a great group and definitely are more socially extroverted than my usual crew. I've already been invited to a wine-tasting as well..

Also, joined a hiking group. Have friends I hike with fairly regularly but as we often have different days off, I needed to expand my circle. Have only gone on one hike and will go for a few more to decided whether it's my speed or not.. The group seems a fair bit older but that doesn't really matter if they are experienced and love the outdoors.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: pachnik on July 10, 2018, 06:52:37 AM
We'll see how the book club goes but I am really looking forward to it.  Two weeks from tonight!  It meets every other month but the meet-up group does other things as well.  I will keep my eyes open on a second book club if I enjoy this one.

The yoga class I go to on Tuesdays is quite non-social.  No surprise there I guess.  People come in, sit down and meditate or stretch and then when it is the end of the class, we just shuffle off home. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on July 13, 2018, 04:26:30 PM
Things have been going well with my social life (if nothing else...)

I asked a couple of people if they were [her name] and they said no, then I overheard someone asking some random lady "Hi, are you [Slicey]?" so I flagged her down. We clicked right away, and we ended up all hanging out for a few hours before and after the show. Sent Facebook request and we're all going out again tomorrow (part of the same music fest I had free tix to). Maybe a new friend in the making!

Saw her again over the weekend and this week she Facebook-messaged me to see what my plans are and if we might see each other in the next few days, and also to give me some sympathy/empathy about my job situation which I'd posted about on FB. I think we might hang out tomorrow.

Then a nice woman sat down next to me and started a (great) conversation. We talked music and politics and stuff until the concert started.

I was somewhat amazed when I got a Facebook friend request from this person yesterday... somehow she managed to track me down even though she only knew my first name (which is one of the most common female first names). It made me feel good, though, she told me she was "so glad" to meet someone who shared her taste in unusual music and politics... :-)

I also got invited to join a group that someone is starting to try and organize a Monday night concert series. I kind of don't want to because I think we'd all have to chip in money for it, but it could also be a pretty amazing opportunity to get involved in the music scene here, so... maybe. Maybe I'll ask how much they expect it to cost.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on July 13, 2018, 04:51:59 PM
I accepted an invitation to go make jam with a few ladies I had never met before. Hey, maybe new mom friends, I thought...

"So how did you all meet?"
"A vaccine group on Facebook."

<awkward silence>

I... should have looked at their facebook profiles beforehand. Not making that mistake again! Fucking antivaxxers around here, it's like a new kind of epidemic that I can't inoculate myself against. I would have called them out or just left, but we had carpooled in so I was stuck there for hours. Oh well, when life hands you lunatics, just make jam, that's what I always say.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Astatine on July 13, 2018, 11:17:14 PM
Yay for those doing social stuff! Welcome @spartana And oh no MrsWhipple!!! Your last sentence made me laugh at least.

I haven’t been doing much. Been low on spoons. But, DH and I met up with a couple of friends at a community event today which was nice.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on July 14, 2018, 03:06:57 AM
I accepted an invitation to go make jam with a few ladies I had never met before. Hey, maybe new mom friends, I thought...

"So how did you all meet?"
"A vaccine group on Facebook."

<awkward silence>

I... should have looked at their facebook profiles beforehand. Not making that mistake again! Fucking antivaxxers around here, it's like a new kind of epidemic that I can't inoculate myself against. I would have called them out or just left, but we had carpooled in so I was stuck there for hours. Oh well, when life hands you lunatics, just make jam, that's what I always say.

That made me laugh. Will remember it whenever I run into a bunch of lunatics. Where they okay for the rest tho? Or just talking anti-vaxx and other similar stuff? Sometimes I enjoy hanging out with people whose views are so extremely different from mine because it gives me an idea of their way of thinking. Buy yeah if they're really plain idiots with no reason it's hard.

Hope the jam was good :p
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: HappierAtHome on July 14, 2018, 04:37:57 AM
We tested a new format for having friends over today: lunch and hanging with Ewok, then playing a board game while Ewok has his afternoon nap. It worked! (Probably would not work with more than a couple of friends, or with friends who are less understanding about babies, because noise levels matter). This is pleasing, as we've realised that boardgames at night are not a good option while we're so short on sleep.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: woopwoop on July 14, 2018, 12:33:45 PM
That made me laugh. Will remember it whenever I run into a bunch of lunatics. Where they okay for the rest tho? Or just talking anti-vaxx and other similar stuff?
Mostly it was fine, although they started talking about how consumeristic society is and I was like "hey, cool" and then they started making fun of people who have Coach purses and I just kind of looked over at my Coach purse sitting on the table and was like "are they talking about me? I think they're talking about me. I got this thing as a gift five years ago, wtf." Really judgy against anyone who wasn't in lockstep with their particular brand of newageism. I think they hated me a bit for contaminating the jam with my nonorganic sugar. And I was judging them for being so judgy, so I guess I'm just as bad.

And we didn't put in enough pectin so the jam turned out a bit runny but w/e. 
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Hirondelle on July 15, 2018, 02:13:00 AM
Hmmm not a very good match. Oh well, you tried your best. Just like anything making friends comes with failures too.

At least you've inspired me to make strawberry jam today - with priced down strawberries from the farmers market ofcourse.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Raymond Reddington on July 15, 2018, 03:31:30 AM

I'm focusing almost exclusively on meeting new people because my existing friendships are so transient. Most people I know are actively trying to move out of my hometown. I just found out last week that *another* friend, whom I'd hoped to get closer to, is moving to the other end of the country in a few months. This has happened to me over and over again for literally decades and it's so frustrating! I have plenty of online friends and connections, and a small social circle who all happens to live in another city (about 5 hours' drive for me, we'll actually be traveling to see them this weekend and I'm pretty excited about it); what I'm starved for is local friends with whom I can do things in person.


I can relate to this feeling so much!  Either they move, or they have babies and you know, in either case, you can stay friends of course, but it won't be the same and certainly not the same amount of time (if any at all).  I thought I was getting old enough that friends would no longer be having their first babies, but I accidentally made some friends that are a little younger than me, and poof!  From now on, I'm only making friends with people in their 60s or 70s!  Maybe they'll be less likely to move and almost for sure won't be having any babies!

Indeed. Sometimes we meet new adult people childless people. Amd then all of the sudden they are either getting a baby, or they devorse and the closest one goes to live with a guy with 4 children.
I also thing making friend with elderly people could make most sense. But they might become old soon and need help. Which to some degree is okay to give, but it would be nice to have friends who are equally fit as yourself to do stuff with.

This is an issue for us as well. Almost all of our couple friends have left our HCOL city. Pretty much everyone left is still single, and many have personality um, quirks, (relationship wise) that make it unlikely/difficult for them to get into relationships. I'd be fine with friends with kids if they still hung out, but none of them stay here. Not really into couples who use pets as surrogates for children however - nothing wrong with pets, for sure, but the concept of a "fur baby" disgusts me. We want to be around active couples, yet so many here just want to vegetate during time off, or do expensive activities like eating out or getting drinks at bars, or overpay for expensive "shows" and other live entertainment when there are so many other fun things to do. The single people, while fun to chill with in groups, often just complain about everything when we hang out, and that's not really our thing. I miss many of the friends who've left, but where we are just seems to be attracting different kinds of people. Lots of complainypants, lots of Tiny Detail Exaggeration Syndrome, lots of luxury chasing.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on July 23, 2018, 03:12:08 PM
Haven't been terribly social the last week or two (ran into some friends, went to visit parents, but didn't actually make plans with any friends on purpose). Feeling a little isolated right now since I'm suddenly not working and don't have that built-in socializing five days a week.

So I invited a couple of people to go out and do stuff this week... one was very interested but wasn't sure yet, the other I never heard back. Trying to think of some other people I could invite to things this week that aren't likely to be flaky.
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: MaybeBabyMustache on July 26, 2018, 08:10:59 PM
New to the thread, but trying to branch out. We moved to the bay area 5 years ago, and are both caught up with work & don't invest the time to make friends. . . or harder, couples friends. We've had no one other than visiting family over to our house in five years, and we invited a group over for dinner on Saturday. It's the family of one of my son's friends, and they have been awesome & helpful with the kids.

We're making improvements on our house, so it's always in some form of disarray & makes me uncomfortable to host. But, if we wait for it to be perfect, we'll be waiting forever. :-)
Title: Re: Increasing social connections/social capital
Post by: Dollar Slice on July 27, 2018, 01:48:51 AM
Welcome, MaybeBaby! :-) Nice job on throwing a dinner party.

I managed to wring some social time out of this week. Tuesday I ran into a bunch of people I knew and was invited out to do something afterward (which I accepted, and ended up having a great 30+ min conversation with someone I have mostly just had casual/light conversation with in the past). Tonight a couple of people I'd invited came out and we all had a great time. Have a "maybe" for tomorrow and another couple of "maybes" for Saturday. And friends of mine are working at both of those events, so even if no one I invited shows up, I'll be supporting some friends if I go by myself.