How to Make Friends and Influence People

This post is more of a question than anything else.  How do you effectively make friends as a mature adult?  Lately I have been a little discouraged over my friend situation.  I’ve mentioned it before but three of my best friends have moved in the last few months and a ton have gotten married, engaged or are dating somebody.  One of the hardest things about being single is the constantly changing peer group.  If you watched shows like Friends, Seinfeld and Sex and the City you would think that all singles have a set group of friends throughout their mature lives.  It’s a nice fantasy but in reality singles are constantly reinventing their social circle.  I wish I had a group of girlfriends that I could call on a Friday night and always have something to do, but I don’t know anyone who actually has that. Most of my friends are from different parts of my life (different wards, from school, work etc).  When I lived in American Fork my roommates and I had a little bit of that group feel with our friends but now Camille is in Blanding and I hardly see Megan.  This year we may not even have our traditional Halloween party 😦

Perhaps some of my single readers can comment on their ability to make friends.  One of the problems I have run into lately is that I am using work to fill the void of my missing friends.  I know I should be out there making new friends but I don’ t know how.  I have tried throwing parties, dinner groups and meeting people at church but so far it isn’t working.  My book clubs are dying which makes me sad and I can not get anyone to come to enrichment of any kind.  Some may say I should go dancing, but I hate dancing.  I’m terrible at it and have no rhythm.  Perhaps I should start up a new book club, but I am losing confidence that anyone will come.  It has been a lot of fun having my sister Anna in town.  My sisters are my best friends.

I don’t mean  to engender pity. I am grateful for my amazing friends, but I am feeling a little lonely.  It’s just hard to get up the energy to start over again, making new friends, forging new relationships.  Especially when it seems like my gift of entertaining has fizzled.  (Maybe it was actually Camille that was the gatherer and I just hung on to her coattails for two years- very possible).  I miss Camille, Miriam, Stef, Melissa, Emily, Raelene, Julia, and more.  I wish they all lived in Utah but alas they do not and I just don’t know what to do.  Friendships have to arise organically.  They cannot be forced.  I have to wait and try my best and whatever happens, happens.

Sorry this is such a random post.  I think this is a sign I need to get back to Hawaii.  Anyone want to go?  At least next week I am going to California for a little roommate reunion with my sister Megan and friend Emily.  I am so excited about getting some time off.  I need it!

us four in hawaii

6 thoughts on “How to Make Friends and Influence People

  1. I wish I had some great advice, but honestly ….I feel the same way a lot of the time. Even now that I am married I still struggle with the ever changing circle of “girl friends.” It has been harder for me to fit into a “family ward” and to meet new people. I miss all of the great stuff that a singles ward provides for getting to know people. I feel like I have lost touch with so many friends.
    So, hang in there! You aren’t the only one who feels this way. I’ll pray for you!

  2. Thanks Julie. It is good to know I am not alone. I hope I didn’t sound too depressed in my post. It is just some challenges, and I miss my friends. Life goes on.
    It’s interesting what you say about your experiences in the family ward. To me it is funny because with all the modern conveniences you think it would easier than ever to have friends but it seems like those friends stay on a more shallow level. It’s like facebook has replaced actual visits with friends. Not quite as good!
    Thanks again.

  3. Well thanks for the kind thoughts! I did get your message last night but not until it was too late to call back. I have been insanely busy with work this year and I feel like by the time I get home, it’s too late to call anyone. And just so you know…I feel a lot of what you feel as well. It is hard to constantly be making new friends. My best advice is to be yourself and be friendly (which of course is being yourself!) and eventually things fall into place. I just try to think that eveyrone feels the same way I do and it is much easier to approach people. Also-just think by the time you are 30 how many friends you will have since you are constantly making new ones! I think of you often and hope you are doing well. And you know I’m always up for Hawaii!

  4. Even NOT being single it is hard to come up with a good group of friends. You even need friends being married. Sadly I have found as a trend in the church in general the women feel very lonely. It is a sad thing to hear. We should all be more than happy to be “friends” with other women. But it doesn’t happen.

    Good luck. If you find the magic answer PLEASE post it!

    1. It really is sad. I wonder why we do that when we need each other so badly. I guess I have always thought you didn’t need friends as badly when you were married because you have your spouse as a constant. Clearly from all the responses this is not the case. Thanks for the comments.

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