Author Topic: Friendship challenges  (Read 1538 times)

spaniard999

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Friendship challenges
« on: January 23, 2021, 09:12:31 PM »
Hi fellow mustachians.

I have been on this path to FIRE for a couple of years now and its definitely been an adventure.
One of the most challenging changes in my life have been my friendships.
As you all know, and probably also occur to many of you, in America, most people is part of this 'flexing' culture where I can't see me fitting in.

So I still meet my friends and hang out with them depending on the occasion, but I try to aim for not expending money if I don't feel like it. They see this as me being cheap.
It would be fine if this was just the only problem, but lately it's hard to find themes of conversation since their interests are not anymore the same as mine. For this reasons I dont see them that often.
I feel like I need new friends and that is my new goal:
Find new friends/people with similar interests, which it was already hard because not many people understand this path to FIRE but also with COVID it just got harder.

How did you meet your friends that have the same FIRE goals?
How can you handle your old friendships without money being an issue?

Is it feasible for me to post in this forum or others: "looking for friends?"

Thanks

jeromedawg

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2021, 09:44:44 PM »
Hi fellow mustachians.

I have been on this path to FIRE for a couple of years now and its definitely been an adventure.
One of the most challenging changes in my life have been my friendships.
As you all know, and probably also occur to many of you, in America, most people is part of this 'flexing' culture where I can't see me fitting in.

So I still meet my friends and hang out with them depending on the occasion, but I try to aim for not expending money if I don't feel like it. They see this as me being cheap.
It would be fine if this was just the only problem, but lately it's hard to find themes of conversation since their interests are not anymore the same as mine. For this reasons I dont see them that often.
I feel like I need new friends and that is my new goal:
Find new friends/people with similar interests, which it was already hard because not many people understand this path to FIRE but also with COVID it just got harder.

How did you meet your friends that have the same FIRE goals?
How can you handle your old friendships without money being an issue?

Is it feasible for me to post in this forum or others: "looking for friends?"

Thanks

I think it depends on what you're looking for in a friendship. Do you share *any* other common interests or hobbies with any of those other friends? Or are their interests no longer the same as yours anymore because they were into really expensive hobbies that are money pits? Have you explained to them your goal of FIRE and why?
BTW: when you say "you try to aim for not expending money if you don't feel like it" what exactly does that mean? Because if it means that you go out with them to dinner occasionally but purchase the cheapest item on the menu every single time, then I think there would be some merit to that perception lol. But if it means that you turn them down 9/10 times because they like eating at Ruth's Chris and other expensive steakhouses, then hanging out at a speakeasy for a few hours after, and they aren't open to doing anything else that isn't so expensive, then yea you may want to consider finding new people to hang around.

Otherwise, this might be a good place to start if you're looking for new friends in your local area:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/meetups-and-social-events/
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 09:56:08 PM by jeromedawg »

Freedomin5

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2021, 11:00:55 PM »
I have interests other than FIRE. I make friends who share those interests.

Green_Tea

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2021, 01:06:10 AM »
Hello Spaniard,

why did you became friends with your friends in the first place? Do these reasons still exist?
Sometimes people just change and that's why friendships fade. You saying "lately it's hard to find themes of conversation since their interests are not anymore the same as mine." seems to point that way. If you still like your friends for whom they are, you could try to see them in a more positive light and try hard(er) bring up new topics you and them might enjoy, this might even lead to a deeper connection with some of your old friends.

Are your friends really "that bad"? Sometimes your view/interpretation of others views and actions can be a self reinforcing cycle: them acting how you suggest they are (by words and actions to them).
What made me think this way are the following passages: "As you all know, and probably also occur to many of you, in America, most people is part of this 'flexing' culture where I can't see me fitting in." "They see this as me being cheap." Challenging your views and changing your perspective and communication might help.

Quote
How can you handle your old friendships without money being an issue?
I don't have money issues in my old friendships but I would suggest 2 things:
Have an open talk about it.
Change your perception - If you think your attitude towards money isn't an issue and act that way, they might follow suit. (see what I wrote above)
Maybe combine both.

Quote
Is it feasible for me to post in this forum or others: "looking for friends?"
Sure. I like the meetup idea (sadly not possible at the moment of course :( ). There's also firedating.me where you can look for friendships all over the world.
Be aware that local friends and "penpal" friends are different though.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 06:29:48 AM by Green_Tea »

KathrinS

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2021, 01:10:01 AM »
I have noticed that certain activities attract more like-minded friends. For example, I am part of a hiking group and many of the people who are happy to spend a day walking in nature are not so status-obsessed as others. Similarly, people who volunteer with local organisations are often not interested in status symbols. They might not be aiming for FI, but they are also not trying to 'keep up with the Joneses', so could be a better fit interest-wise than many others.

Of course, Covid has made meeting people in such ways a lot more difficult, but I look forward to joining some more such groups once meeting up is no longer discouraged.

Beach_Stache

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2021, 05:47:35 AM »
We have plenty of friends who are the opposite of MMMers, in fact I don't think DW and I have any friends who don't spend like it's going out of style.  We have 3 boys, I drive my 2003 Corolla and she drives the 2013 Nissan Quest mini-van.  I have received the comment many times about my old crappy car, but I fully embrace it and own it and love that I'm still driving the Manual Corolla w/roll down windows that I bought after College and still gets 40 MPG on the highway, who wouldn't love that!  I think most of the time our 3 boys can mask any financial "opt out" scenario, so they are our cover, but nobody will question why you aren't spendthrift if you have 3 young boys, but "spending activities" really don't interest us that much.  Our friends drive nice cars, vacation a lot, eat out a lot, pay money for babysitters, buy boats, have pools, etc.  I don't want to sound like a mooch, but I love friends who have pools and boats, b/c they WANT to show off and entertain, so we let them!  We'll bring beer and chips and salsa, but I don't want to buy a pool or a boat and have to maintain something that's going to give me a headache.  I don't want to travel far away w/3 boys and spend a week packing the car for 3 needy kids to spend a weekend somewhere else.  That's not fun to me.  So the "polite pass" (and I'll literally say those exact words) is fine by me, and between me coaching soccer on the side and our 3 boys, we really always have an excuse b/c we keep busy.

What I find is that when I'm honest and genuine and happy, that people want to spend time w/us, so we're not short on hanging out w/people who want to spend time w/us.  None of our friends are mustachian, just b/c it's a small crowd.  I can bust their chops about spending sometimes, but I'm also not trying to change people.  If people ask (which they don't very often) I'm happy to spread guidance and help answer questions, but typically people don't ask b/c they don't want to change.  If conversations about money come up, they can see I know what I'm talking about, but often they don't follow up just b/c they don't want to, b/c they don't want to change.  That's not my job though, to each their own.

So I would try to figure out why you want to hang out w/them, if you really enjoy their company.  If you do, then suggest hangouts like a hike, having them over to your place for a fire and outdoor beers, take a bike ride, etc.  All the hanging out we've done w/our friends over the last 5 years is really minimal spending.  We did do a weekend trip to a mountain which was a reasonable price, but other than going to the brewery and having a few drinks while everyone is playing outside, there isn't a ton of money involved.  We don't enjoy going out to dinner when we have to get a babysitter or over-spending, as it just doesn't make us feel good.  There is plenty to do w/friends that doesn't cost much, regardless of their spending/savings level.  I try not to judge, we do what's best for our future and let them do what's best for theirs.  Some people want to work until they drop dead, that's fine w/me if that's what they want, that's just not what we want.  Friends come in all shapes and sizes, and spend money at different rates, who cares.  If they are friends then they are friends, just don't be afraid to have a "polite pass" if they ask you to do something you aren't comfortable with.  I polite pass all the time and it makes things so much easier as I've very direct w/my communication (which most people are not), but that just helps strengthen friendships.

spaniard999

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2021, 07:43:04 AM »
Thanks for the various responses.
Let me add a bit more detail about my situation.
I feel my friends are not growing up and are stuck on the party mode with no other goals in life.
Because of this, their gatherings are mostly during the weekend (but not only limited to) and at night. The normal event would involve to have drinks at some fancy downtown bar in Chicago and rack up a bill of >$500 between 5 people.

When I join I mostly arrive when I already had dinner or I just have 1 drink. I don't see the joy in spending money in things that don't make me happy.

Now with COVID there are some events that happen at someone's place so its more likely for me to join then, even though its not advised to gather with this group of friends because they meet tons of other people (COVID-19)

That's all there is to their lives. I'm friends with them for several reasons. They are the only spaniards I know from Spain, and speaking your mother tongue makes you feel more at home. Also, I used to be on that wagon of go out, spend, drink, dont think about the future; but I am not anymore.

I tried communicating several times with them with no fruition.

Thankfully I have a GF that means the world to me and its the most amazing partner I could have imagined. She is all in this FIRE boat with me, and she understands me. But she might have similar challenges with her friends.

We love hiking, biking, swimming, .... the whole outdoors pack, but the current situation plus the fact that this is Chicago during winter....it really takes a toll on me to not be able to have a few friendships to talk about life, goals and other interests.

spaniard999

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2021, 07:50:13 AM »
We have plenty of friends who are the opposite of MMMers, in fact I don't think DW and I have any friends who don't spend like it's going out of style.  We have 3 boys, I drive my 2003 Corolla and she drives the 2013 Nissan Quest mini-van.  I have received the comment many times about my old crappy car, but I fully embrace it and own it and love that I'm still driving the Manual Corolla w/roll down windows that I bought after College and still gets 40 MPG on the highway, who wouldn't love that!  I think most of the time our 3 boys can mask any financial "opt out" scenario, so they are our cover, but nobody will question why you aren't spendthrift if you have 3 young boys, but "spending activities" really don't interest us that much.  Our friends drive nice cars, vacation a lot, eat out a lot, pay money for babysitters, buy boats, have pools, etc.  I don't want to sound like a mooch, but I love friends who have pools and boats, b/c they WANT to show off and entertain, so we let them!  We'll bring beer and chips and salsa, but I don't want to buy a pool or a boat and have to maintain something that's going to give me a headache.  I don't want to travel far away w/3 boys and spend a week packing the car for 3 needy kids to spend a weekend somewhere else.  That's not fun to me.  So the "polite pass" (and I'll literally say those exact words) is fine by me, and between me coaching soccer on the side and our 3 boys, we really always have an excuse b/c we keep busy.

What I find is that when I'm honest and genuine and happy, that people want to spend time w/us, so we're not short on hanging out w/people who want to spend time w/us.  None of our friends are mustachian, just b/c it's a small crowd.  I can bust their chops about spending sometimes, but I'm also not trying to change people.  If people ask (which they don't very often) I'm happy to spread guidance and help answer questions, but typically people don't ask b/c they don't want to change.  If conversations about money come up, they can see I know what I'm talking about, but often they don't follow up just b/c they don't want to, b/c they don't want to change.  That's not my job though, to each their own.

So I would try to figure out why you want to hang out w/them, if you really enjoy their company.  If you do, then suggest hangouts like a hike, having them over to your place for a fire and outdoor beers, take a bike ride, etc.  All the hanging out we've done w/our friends over the last 5 years is really minimal spending.  We did do a weekend trip to a mountain which was a reasonable price, but other than going to the brewery and having a few drinks while everyone is playing outside, there isn't a ton of money involved.  We don't enjoy going out to dinner when we have to get a babysitter or over-spending, as it just doesn't make us feel good.  There is plenty to do w/friends that doesn't cost much, regardless of their spending/savings level.  I try not to judge, we do what's best for our future and let them do what's best for theirs.  Some people want to work until they drop dead, that's fine w/me if that's what they want, that's just not what we want.  Friends come in all shapes and sizes, and spend money at different rates, who cares.  If they are friends then they are friends, just don't be afraid to have a "polite pass" if they ask you to do something you aren't comfortable with.  I polite pass all the time and it makes things so much easier as I've very direct w/my communication (which most people are not), but that just helps strengthen friendships.

I understand. Maybe I'm trying in my mind to mold them to my liking and my ways when I should just be accepting who they are and the fact that they are not changing. But I can still enjoy their company  from time to time.

I hear lots of people meet other people online. How does that happen? I tried the Mustachian Community meetups but seems like there is no activity in Chicago for the last 2 or 3 years.
I also read ChooseFI and their FB group but seems like people use it just for questions about refinance.

I might give a try to firedating.me


Adventine

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2021, 07:58:02 AM »
@spaniard999  People change. Your values, goals and aspirations have changed. It's fine to mourn the growing distance between you and your friends. There is the additional layer of living far away from your native country, which only adds to the isolation.

Maybe this will help you: I like to think of friendships as having seasons. It helps me gracefully accept that not all friendships are meant to last for life.

The good thing is that places like this forum exist, to find similarly FIRE minded people. It's been a lifesaver for me, especially during this pandemic.

Además, estoy estudiando español (nivel B.1.1.), y sé que existen otros hispanohablantes aquí. Te recomiendo leer las discuciones aquí, participar, tal vez comenzar un hilo de foro para los hispanohablantes. Porque no ?
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 08:08:20 AM by Adventine »

Morning Glory

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2021, 08:15:40 AM »

This is a good article about making friends:

https://www.raptitude.com/2021/01/how-to-make-friends-as-an-adult/

One thing I have done lately is to send private messages to my Facebook friends who I haven't spoken with in a while. Sometimes this leads to a real conversation and sometimes it doesn't, but the conversations I've had have been good. I've also reconnected with some old school friends lately through Facebook messenger.

I have the opposite problem as you when it comes to friends. I opted out of things so much that I had no friends at all. This was mainly due to anxiety and being busy with little children and work. I am trying to fix this too, but it's hard with Covid on.

Malcat

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2021, 08:16:38 AM »
I make friends very easily, and I can make friends with people who I have almost nothing in common with.

It's really not hard, you just have to do difficult things together and you will have a major basis for connection and conversation. A bunch of my friends are insufferable whiners if we limit our activities to going out for dinner or other such leisure, but we're like "we would die for each other" kind of bonded when we volunteer for a grueling 16 hour event or project or something like that.

Difficulty in making friends in adulthood has nothing to do with getting older. It has to do with normal middle age lives not creating a lot of pockets for shared struggle with strangers or acquaintances.

I've made friends with many a very busy mom by inviting them over to batch cook with me. I'm a former chef and extremely efficient in the kitchen. It gives us a chance to work together at something, saves them time in their busy schedule, and makes life easier and everyone cares about food. Basically, instant best friends.

For long distance friends whom I only connect with on the phone, the challenge is tackling deep personal issues and feelings. Being genuinely open about the struggles we all face. Most people are DYING to actually be honest with someone. It doesn't take much to get them to if you're willing to show your own belly to them.

Share a challenge. It's the only real way to bond.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 08:18:16 AM by Malcat »

Queen Frugal

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2021, 08:32:21 AM »
@spaniard999  I like to think of friendships as having seasons. It helps me gracefully accept that not all friendships are meant to last for life.

I love this.

Malcat

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2021, 09:13:12 AM »
@spaniard999  I like to think of friendships as having seasons. It helps me gracefully accept that not all friendships are meant to last for life.

I love this.

Same. Most of my deepest friendships have ended. It's a typically a very healthy thing to happen.

Few people share lives that are compatible forever. Most friendships I've seen that have stayed active and lasted many decades tend to consist of at least one party being fucking terrified of conflict.

I have some friendships that have lasted a very long time, but more as an on and off thing and because those are people from my formative years who live lives with similar challenges, so we would likely become friends if we met today.

When DH and I got together, he rapidly pared down his friend group consisting of a small army of men he met back home in his late teens. Except, only the total dead weight losers because the men of quality had moved on to more current friendships. DH is a deeply accepting soul, so he never cut them off.

After spending time with me and my friends, whom I hold to excruciatingly high standards in order to be given time in my life, he rapidly realized that length of history doesn't equate to quality of connection.

spaniard999

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2021, 09:19:33 AM »
...he rapidly realized that length of history doesn't equate to quality of connection.
Makes total sense.

I do have some friends that are good friends but they reside back in Spain, so its not that easy to be in touch with them even though I try to.

I might be letting go some of this 'friends' or at least make them seasonal lol.

Kroaler

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2021, 09:20:38 AM »
So I've drifted apart recently from people's who's social hang outs only involved sitting around and drinking.  It wasn't good for my health or wallet so I just slowly started to decline going.

I lost those people sort of, but I've found new people.

As someone said, go hiking or biking or to the gym or whatever your activity is and you'll be likely to bump into people.   I started hanging out with small business owners and it's a completely different world to my old circle in terms of value systems and specifically their view on money.

Morning Glory

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2021, 09:24:13 AM »
...he rapidly realized that length of history doesn't equate to quality of connection.
Makes total sense.

I do have some friends that are good friends but they reside back in Spain, so its not that easy to be in touch with them even though I try to.


Facebook messenger. I text and video call with my dad in Norway all the time.

Malcat

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2021, 09:26:43 AM »
...he rapidly realized that length of history doesn't equate to quality of connection.
Makes total sense.

I do have some friends that are good friends but they reside back in Spain, so its not that easy to be in touch with them even though I try to.

I might be letting go some of this 'friends' or at least make them seasonal lol.

Just try to realize that losing touch is not a tragic thing. Perhaps sad, a lot of change is sad, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it.

You can always reconnect when it makes sense again.

I just reconnected this year with a former professor/dear friend whom I hadn't spoken to in years. Now we talk every week because he's going through a major crisis that I can relate to. We've bonded in a way we never did before when he was my mentor, but now I have experience that is helping him get his life out of total disaster.

I'm also at a huge crossroads in my life, so it's helping me challenge my own thinking and ideas.

Point being, unless someone dies, they're still always there, and anyone worth knowing will be happy to reopen a friendship when it makes sense to do so.

The world is filled with people to connect with. Jam fucking packed. And even if they act like they don't want to, they almost all want to. It's a front.

Adventine

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2021, 09:31:40 AM »
That's right. The lovely thing about the seasons metaphor for friendship, is that there is always the possibility of renewal. In the future, if your situations align again, you can reconnect with old friends.

And if not, there are so many other possible relationships just waiting to be nurtured.

jeromedawg

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2021, 10:29:27 AM »
https://www.meetup.com/Chicago-Financial-Independence-Meetup/


I agree with everyone here especially in alluding to the fact that people change (obviously you did!). Everyone goes through different life stages usually too, some with friends they had and some without (making friends along the way). If you're into hiking, biking, swimming, perhaps you can join local Meetups or FB groups for that interest in your area? Just because there's COVID doesn't mean some of those groups will do Zoom calls. If it's impractical to meet in person, then the next best way to make friends is going to be online right? Sounds like you're a bit extroverted though and crave the social interaction?

Admittedly, I've lost touch with a lot of "friends" for the same reasons you describe (just having different interests and going through different life stages and not really keeping up, etc). Some friends who I haven't talked to in a long time I've reconnected/bonded with over different hobbies or life stages (like having kids, etc).

So with COVID, your friends were *still* gathering and going out to bars and meeting with tons of different people!? I would think that adds fuel to the fire of burning bridges... let alone encouraging the upkeep of those friendships. It does sound like speaking in your native language has been one important aspect you yearn for in friendships, which makes total sense. I'd probably feel much the same way too if I moved or lived abroad in a 'foreign' land.

In any case, don't be discouraged - keep at it and I'm sure you'll make some friends along the way :)
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 11:00:58 AM by jeromedawg »

draco44

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2021, 11:53:40 AM »
We have plenty of friends who are the opposite of MMMers, in fact I don't think DW and I have any friends who don't spend like it's going out of style.  We have 3 boys, I drive my 2003 Corolla and she drives the 2013 Nissan Quest mini-van.  I have received the comment many times about my old crappy car, but I fully embrace it and own it and love that I'm still driving the Manual Corolla w/roll down windows that I bought after College and still gets 40 MPG on the highway, who wouldn't love that!  I think most of the time our 3 boys can mask any financial "opt out" scenario, so they are our cover, but nobody will question why you aren't spendthrift if you have 3 young boys, but "spending activities" really don't interest us that much.  Our friends drive nice cars, vacation a lot, eat out a lot, pay money for babysitters, buy boats, have pools, etc.  I don't want to sound like a mooch, but I love friends who have pools and boats, b/c they WANT to show off and entertain, so we let them!  We'll bring beer and chips and salsa, but I don't want to buy a pool or a boat and have to maintain something that's going to give me a headache.  I don't want to travel far away w/3 boys and spend a week packing the car for 3 needy kids to spend a weekend somewhere else.  That's not fun to me.  So the "polite pass" (and I'll literally say those exact words) is fine by me, and between me coaching soccer on the side and our 3 boys, we really always have an excuse b/c we keep busy.

What I find is that when I'm honest and genuine and happy, that people want to spend time w/us, so we're not short on hanging out w/people who want to spend time w/us.  None of our friends are mustachian, just b/c it's a small crowd.  I can bust their chops about spending sometimes, but I'm also not trying to change people.  If people ask (which they don't very often) I'm happy to spread guidance and help answer questions, but typically people don't ask b/c they don't want to change.  If conversations about money come up, they can see I know what I'm talking about, but often they don't follow up just b/c they don't want to, b/c they don't want to change.  That's not my job though, to each their own.

So I would try to figure out why you want to hang out w/them, if you really enjoy their company.  If you do, then suggest hangouts like a hike, having them over to your place for a fire and outdoor beers, take a bike ride, etc.  All the hanging out we've done w/our friends over the last 5 years is really minimal spending.  We did do a weekend trip to a mountain which was a reasonable price, but other than going to the brewery and having a few drinks while everyone is playing outside, there isn't a ton of money involved.  We don't enjoy going out to dinner when we have to get a babysitter or over-spending, as it just doesn't make us feel good.  There is plenty to do w/friends that doesn't cost much, regardless of their spending/savings level.  I try not to judge, we do what's best for our future and let them do what's best for theirs.  Some people want to work until they drop dead, that's fine w/me if that's what they want, that's just not what we want.  Friends come in all shapes and sizes, and spend money at different rates, who cares.  If they are friends then they are friends, just don't be afraid to have a "polite pass" if they ask you to do something you aren't comfortable with.  I polite pass all the time and it makes things so much easier as I've very direct w/my communication (which most people are not), but that just helps strengthen friendships.

I understand. Maybe I'm trying in my mind to mold them to my liking and my ways when I should just be accepting who they are and the fact that they are not changing. But I can still enjoy their company  from time to time.

I hear lots of people meet other people online. How does that happen? I tried the Mustachian Community meetups but seems like there is no activity in Chicago for the last 2 or 3 years.
I also read ChooseFI and their FB group but seems like people use it just for questions about refinance.

I might give a try to firedating.me

I think following through on your thoughts I bolded above would bring you some happiness. Or at least decrease the emotional stress you are currently feeling when interacting with these old friends.  It's possible to downgrade or drift away from friendships without cutting people out of your life entirely if what you had with someone no longer fits your current life.

Have you seen this article on friendship types but Wait but Why? https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/12/10-types-odd-friendships-youre-probably-part.html Sounds like you are dealing with something like a combination between the "Historical Friendship" and the "Non-Parallel Life Paths Friendship" types.

I will note, however, that as @jeromedawg mentioned, for me personally the fact that these friends are getting together indoors during COVID would likely be a red flag of bridge-burning proportions. I know it's freezing in Chicago this time of year and meeting new people is harder at the moment, but if you do want to keep a connection with your current friends, don't these people have phones? Or Zoom? Or own jackets warm enough to go for a masked walk with you sometime? I haven't been inside a friend's house since Feb. 2020. It sucks, but there are workarounds.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 11:55:12 AM by draco44 »

ender

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2021, 12:25:19 PM »
This thread is timely as I've been thinking through similar questions in my life recently.

Was just posting on my journal about them, heh.

Covid+moving has made this rough for us this year.

draco44

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2021, 12:26:57 PM »
They are the only spaniards I know from Spain, and speaking your mother tongue makes you feel more at home.

One other thought: It sounds like, understandably, a big part of the your connection to your current friends is your shared cultural and language connection to Spain.

Forgive me if this is too obvious, but have you actively sought out connections with other Spanish expats in Chicago? Have you ever attended an event organized by the Spanish Consulate in Chicago, or the Chicago branch of the Instituto Cervantes? Or checked out/volunteered with the city's Spanish-language performing arts scene? Or looked for expat Meetup groups? If you are open to general Hispanic/Latino groups, I hear the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago is a powerhouse. Or maybe you'd be interested in teaching Spanish to people who may not be from Spain but would be excited to talk about it with you? If you want to connect to your roots but get out of the party scene, getting involved with those sorts of cultural organizations may be a good fit for you. Obviously in-person events are few at the moment, but something to keep in mind for the future. In the meantime you can probably find listservs or online events to be a part of.

Beach_Stache

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Re: Friendship challenges
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2021, 05:01:29 PM »
I think you generally make friends along the way w/stuff you do.  When you're in grade school you make friends w/classmates, new friends in College, new friends at work, at the gym, or adult soccer teams, etc.  We moved around 8 years ago to a more LCOL area when we were due w/our 3rd kid, so lost touch w/most friends in DC area, but kept a few close ones, we see when we're in town, but we made new friends from our kids classmates from parties and local adult sports teams, friends w/our kids teammates parents, etc.  I joined a badminton club when I moved down  here, but all but 1 or 2 were not warm and friendly, so I dropped it b/c I didn't particularly like the atmosphere from most of the people.  I started going to the local gym during "senior citizen hour" from 8-9AM b/c it was after I dropped my youngest off at daycare, and made friends w/the regular's at the gym who are senior citizens.  None that I would hang out w/on the weekends, but you hear their stories, get to know them, feel great at the gym, etc.  Obviously COVID time has shut a lot of stuff down, but you can hold social distance bbq, meet at the park, yoga class outdoors, etc.  If you are hesitant to get outside of your comfort zone and want to stay w/Spanish speaking people, join the local soccer league, but I thought Chicago had a large Hispanic population, so plenty of Spanish speakers.  Not sure if your English is lacking at all, but obviously hanging out w/non Spanish speakers may be outside your comfort zone, but will greatly improve English (if you have any language/cultural barriers).  If you are open and friendly, friends will come along w/most of the stuff you do.  We've lost touch w/people over time and gained new friends through stuff we do, so if you are out there then there will be plenty of opportunities.  I would start w/being a "Yes Man" to new opportunities that might interest you (gym, hiking, local sports leagues, clubs, gardening, etc.) and friends will come w/that.  Most people want to socialize, which is why they do stuff.

And remember, everyone's favorite subject!  Themselves!  So if making friends is the goal, just ask people questions about what they know, what they are interested in, and they will LOVE you!  I remember asking a guy I met questions about house siding, b/c that's what he did, and turns out he thought I was awesome afterwards.  Just ask questions :)