Should friendship be forced? How exactly does "friendship" or "having friends" work across different parameters?

ScurveDream

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Jul 21, 2019
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I have noticed some people just always have friends, and they don't do anything special or specific to make or keep them. Sometimes it's just neighborhood kids, workplace, schools, etc. -- and often it just naturally happens.

I find it disheartening that some say that "making" or "finding" friends is on the part of the one out of the group or friendless, but almost everyone is technically "friendless" prior to when they actually started making friends -- and nobody I've heard of that has lots of "friends" ever actually goes to people and "makes friends" simply like that.

I had a sibling, for example, who was "friends" with nearly half of their school, but never really did anything specific to make friends.

I really don't have any friends as of now, although I'm not a basement dwelling stereotype (I think it's a combination of a subpar environment/upbringing for me, along with other factors I don't want to discuss here). I've wondered since I have read here and in other sources that not having friends is actually suboptimal for health supposedly, so I wonder if my health limitations might come down to this.

But ultimately it seems people try and inundate this idea that having friends is simply about "making" the friend on the full part of the friendless one, but I never see people actually do this. Most people seem to make friends when younger and just do so spontaneously and unplanned even, but I wasn't social/didn't have any social outlets much that I was brought in to until later in my teens. I didn't hide at home or fear socializing in the beginning, but ultimately there was no natural flow or stream of friends much that I had growing up really, outside of maybe family members that come/go and such (none now that I really have much socially with).

I don't know really as I'd assume friends are people who like each other or at least share some interests/"push and pull" kind of balance sociologically, I guess in a sense I've disliked people at times during life, especially long before worrying about my health, possibly because I never had a more "normal" development, although maybe it's not entirely bad being the "outsider" of sorts.

Maybe I just don't really need friends? Isn't that an insane notion though, coming from a human being and an animal? But I can't help but shake that I need some social outlets sometimes, but have zero social oomph, connection, history, or just that natural liking taken on by others for some reasons. (possibly appearance is a factor here too?)

Almost all "masculine" or attractive males I know of have friends, even if they're the more distant, arrogant or standoff-ish types, while I have seen some guys try and try to fit in groups and are always given the boot or never feel "established" anywhere in the world (women or girls usually have fairly competent social lives > 90% of the time in my view, whereas men or boys might tend to struggle fitting in more lifelong I think). I mean most homeless being male I think is kind of telling regarding my previous sentence.

I mean even all of the girls who have liked me/shown interest never really seemed to care that I had friends or not, so it doesn't seem that I have any real social problems per se or else you'd think that would reflect everywhere/throughout normal socializing circumstances at least. Even my family, for example, doesn't seem to think I'm socially incapable, but just sees me as aloof (which I guess I am, but maybe not deliberately in the way some might think). I mean I am not some brazen, arrogant ***hole or otherwise, but even those types I see tend to have friends anyways, while some nice people are aloof or barely hold on to friends.

My initial idea was to just further approach life, but doing so (mostly) alone and in a position where I couldn't easily be mocked or ridiculed (which is why I have cosmetic work considerations for myself -- to enhance my appearance further which can help me be more socially successful for the benefit of me and hopefully others). I suppose if I enter the world and try to find the spots I can find it I could naturally just settle myself there, but without too much hope for any permanent association anywhere. Perhaps this is the only way I can find "peace" -- letting others try and see how valuable I am based on multiple factors of myself and my association/actions rather than try to be forceful in telling other people what I bring to the table or stand as in a showy way.
 

Elast1c

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Jun 23, 2017
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I'm just not sure how friendly people really are. Many people will gravitate around circumstance. I think if you have 2-3 friends you are basically lucky. Leaving it up to society to tell you how men ought to be is currently a crapshoot imo (or worse). My beleif is if you suffer and are a human being then your best option for friendship is Jesus Christ first and then others that have been through what you have or others that are interested in things you are. Creating social groups off of looks probably would work but I wouldn't recommend it for anything deeper lol. Probably fun I guess. I opt out of the concept that one has bascially any control over the friends one makes. Maybe over how they are kept.
 

Ben.

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This is realy interesting. Especially as a kid it seems to come very naturaly. Puberty and oonwards is where social interactions are more complex and need to be learned from what i understood. Psychological speaking it seems to me that puberty is a time where good social experiences is ideal. On the other hand its also the time where the emotional damage can be induced the easiest.

The wierd thing is, as i struggled with this tot for most of my life, i noticed there are days and situations where it works for no apparant reason, conversations, bondings etc. happen and work on their own, being in the flow. It only happense very rarely tho, like 2-3 times in my life thus far. I think it may be tied to health in some way. Mental and Hormonal Health i feel affect this more than we would like to admit.

But i totally get it, how is it that the person not able to learn and experience this stuff expected to be the one doing everything right? Friendships shouldn't be a one way street. I noticed that i could easily have "more" friends, but once i drop my effort and energy into staying in contact with some, you quickly learn how it is not realy a healthy relationship and you don't realy matter in the lives of thoose people becaus the contact dies the minute you pull back. No effort made from the other part to stay in contact.

There needs to be a give and take from both sides. Mutual interest in hanging out and talking with eachother.

Woman may be in general more socially inclined both from an cultural and evolutionary point of view, but do not be mistaken, there are very lonely woman out there too.



Personal traumas and fears play into this too on an unconscious level. You said you try to do things on ur own then, but i came to realize there are things that just cant be done without others, and we need others both for health and succes. When i want to do something that requires other people i found that asking or approaching others asap before my body/mind/brain can activate any fear or trauma related response i am able to do things that i usually can't because im "alone".

But i still have a long way to go. The end of the road looks very promising tho. Because what "loners" lack in social interactions, they have in personal observation, mindfulness and growth. I was told many times by people in their 40s and 50s as a teenager how i am able to converse on their level, how i am already thinking and working on stuff people only ever realise once they are already in their 50s,when they are divorced and life regrets kick in and illusions dissapear. I am not judging this in good or bad, they just never had to think or deal with themself as much.

I am always confused how some people seem to jump from one relationship to another, never being single, while others are always single and rarely have actual relationships. I can't imagine being in a relationship with someone that i do not genuinely like for instance.

I guess this also is enforced by habits developed trough the many amounts of social interactions/relationships or the lack thereof. For some it is just "normal" to be friends with literally everybody.
 

LucyL

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Oct 21, 2013
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I had a friend in college, who was friends with literally everybody. When we would go somewhere together, almost everybody we passed would say hi to him, and he would stop and have a conversation with everyone from the janitors to the professors. He was also about 6'8" and completely fearless of any kind of personal assault from anyone. He would tell me to be bold, and not be scared of talking to people, but I'm 5'6", female and about 110 lbs. And an introvert. There's an old saying, to have a friend you have to be one first, and he certainly embodied that.
 

lampofred

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Feb 13, 2016
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Low serotonin makes people want to be friends with you.
 

Vileplume

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Jun 10, 2020
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I don't think it's possible to force friendships that aren't truly mutual friendships. In order for people to truly connect they have to want to connect. If two people don't actually like each other, they will not hang out as often, and when they do, they won't really connect. This friendship will not last.

The question then becomes how do you establish a friendship that both you and the other person genuinely want. And for me this comes down to energy levels and appreciation for life, enjoyment of life. In the times when I've been low energy/low metabolism, I hate people more. Low metabolism me thinks bad things about people, judges them, stereotypes them. This negative energy comes off through everything I do -- my facial expression, my body language, my word choice, the decisions I make -- whether I like it or not. When I'm low energy, I don't love people. I can try to hide it, but it comes through. When I try to fake an appreciation for people, they can see right through it and they don't want to hang out with me. It might not be that they dislike me or think "Eww I don't want to be around that guy," but perhaps they just feel neutral about me, that I'm bland. They might not even remember me, because often when I'm in a low energy state, I try to disguise my hatred for people by acting nice and politely. I come off as bland.

But when I'm high energy, I love life and people more. I naturally love people, even those in line at grocery stores, and I find it easy to talk to them. In this state, it's easy to make friends without trying. It's because I genuinely love them. Genuinely loving people, and loving being alive, is the best way to make friends. You can't make friends when you don't love people. At least that's been true in my experience.

“At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou​

This sentence holds true for metabolism and relationships. If we exude high energy and a coherent picture of the world, we will love other people. If we love them, when interacting with them, we will make them feel good. Then, they will become our friend.
 

S-VV

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Jul 23, 2018
Messages
486
Friendship is a great investment of time and energy with rapidly diminishing returns for the majority of the cases. "True" friendship occurs when there is mutual respect, recognition and a kind of "resonance". The rest of relationships are purely utilitarian, ie access to economic and sexual opportunities.
 

steel_reserve

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Jan 17, 2016
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104
I get tired of initiating text and phone conversations.

But I also know that if I don't I will lose those friendships.

When I was a kid I remarked on the hardship of making long distance phone calls. [One phone call might cost $10 to $20 dollars.]

My dad basically said if he doesn't call his sisters he won't have sisters.

Depressing / weirdly empowering
 

Michael Mohn

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Dec 7, 2019
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If a woman calls a man a friend this means no sex but he still pays for her. So there is no friendship between men and women. I think in the teens making friendships was around common interests like sport & music. Making friendship is simple and hard. Simply introducing yourself quickly and asking if the other wants to join an activity. Hard to overcome the fear of rejection. If something gets going make a follow up suggestion like after the basketball game in the hood invite him/them to a beer an make conversation about other common interests and signal interest in the other person's specialities. Arrange a next meeting before leaving and exchange contacts. When you get older you focus more on work and family and it becomes difficult to make contacts beyond especially if you are over 45, socially you're dead (or rich). Ageism is real.
 
Last edited:

gaze

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Jun 13, 2019
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best tip i could give for the less socially inclined is to just keep asking questions and let other people talk about themselves. ask them questions about anything and everything your curious about, you'd be surprised how much people want to talk about their lives, given that most don't have any outlets
 
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Aside from a few people I speak to semi-regularly at work, I don't have any either. The one that I have been in touch with since childhood has become more and more of a smug ***hole with age, and we have just diverged so much regarding worldview that I can hardly talk to them anymore. I guess you could say I've grown less tolerant and I simply don't have patience for overbearing, smug personalities who get off on putting others down. No room or desire for that in my life.

So yeah, I'm mostly alone and the better I feel the more I'm OK with that.
 
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