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Making friends these days

MatchaMiaMatchaMia Posts: 60 Boards Initiate
I think its so hard to make friends these days just because no one tends to say what they feel? Either, you adapt this mindset where you're thinking "we're not close enough to...." or "am I annoying if...." or "I can't show interest because I'll seem desperate / weird". I think it's the same with relationships too? maybe they're intertwined like that. I feel like, maybe it's just my perception, but It's hard to make friends because people already have their 'friend groups', and even if you talk its like I said, you don't think you can ask them to hang out because you're not close enough but also like, how else are you going to get closer if you don't hang out? And then there's also "are we having a good time because we're becoming friends or are you trying to start a 'situationship', flirt, maybe an actual relationship?" and if you bring it up maybe It'll be awkward for the friendship or whatever. It also takes a lot of energy to give and get nothing back or feel different people out. I don't know I just think growing up and making friends is so complicated for no reason ??

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    Terry8936Terry8936 Posts: 271 The Mix Regular
    It's true that social dynamics and communication have evolved over time, and these changes can sometimes create challenges when it comes to forming meaningful connections.

    Making friends and building relationships can be complex, but it's not impossible. Patience, persistence, and a willingness to put yourself out there can go a long way. And remember, quality over quantity matters—having a few meaningful, supportive friendships can be more valuable than a large group of acquaintances.
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    I'm a community moderator. I'm here to help guide discussions and make sure Community Guidelines are followed. I can't send DMs, but you can message @TheMix or email community@themix.org.uk with questions or concerns.
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    emiip98emiip98 Moderator Posts: 132 The Mix Convert
    Hi @MatchaMia it can be difficult to form a genuine connection with someone, it does take time and persistence and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't, you can never predict which it will be but when you do find that connection it is worth the wait :) The best way to work this out is to get out into the world and be your true self :)
    FAQ | How to report a post | How to report spam
    I'm a community moderator. I'm here to help guide discussions and make sure Community Guidelines are followed. I can't send DMs, but you can message @TheMix or email community@themix.org.uk with questions or concerns.
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    JJLemon18JJLemon18 Community Champion Posts: 1,956 Extreme Poster
    Wow. I absolutely agree with all of this! Making friends is tough, and sometimes it seems impossible :/ Most of the time when socialising I just don't know what to say, like what is right to say or what isn't. That's why I tend to be super awkward and its often pretty embarrassing.
    Believe in me - who believes in you
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    MatchaMiaMatchaMia Posts: 60 Boards Initiate
    @JJLemon18 Honestly I feel like there's no solid solution to the challenges- like everyone said, It's just the natural process of finding people who you can really connect with and that might mean going through a bunch of people you might not form the best relationships with. I agree it takes a lot of patience because the persistence can be tiring especially when you think you're the only one trying?

    I'm trying to adapt the mindset that whatever isn't meant for me will go to make room for whatever IS meant for me? With the 'what's right to say and what isn't' I feel like that can never be found out until the bravery of just speaking up happens ;) and then just going from there and learning about each other (I wish they had that sobby face emoji so I could use it here)

    @Terry8936 I for sure agree with quality over quantity- I just feel like a lot of people these days have really high walls you need to climb up to get to that point with them, more so than before...I think generation-wise we're all more scared to get hurt in friendships and relationships than a few years ago. Like it's become almost a norm to close yourself off or to be socially embarrassed for caring?
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    JJLemon18JJLemon18 Community Champion Posts: 1,956 Extreme Poster
    @MatchaMia Again, I absolutely agree with most of what you said, and your mindset is super great! Personally I'm absolutely terrified of 'messing up' or getting rejected or something. But as you said, you'll never know what works if you don't try anything. I just wish it was a lot easier to not care about what others think, like I know its not the end of the world when I do something wrong or if someone doesn't want to talk to me, but when the opportunity comes my brain just switches to the "hell nah" state and I run home and regret my decisions lol. I'm not even sure how I can work on this. I can only properly talk with people I'm comfortable with, and I can't get comfortable with someone without talking with them...

    Btw if you're on mobile you can just use emojis from your keyboard but if you're on desktop then if you right click you should get the option to add emojis there I believe.
    Believe in me - who believes in you
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    MatchaMiaMatchaMia Posts: 60 Boards Initiate
    @JJLemon18 I totally get what you said- It's a lot easier in our heads to say 'I'm going to do / say it, it should be fine' than actually believing it and carrying it out. I wish I could give you good advise but it's still something that I'm working on too- I think with practise and working yourself up to be courageous is the main thing, maybe starting with something less intimidating? like, meeting 2 new people with someone you're already comfortable with? meeting mutual friends? That may relieve the pressure of speaking up first if your friend can lead a conversation, and make room for your voice to also be heard. I sometimes first connect with people that I recognise irl, online, because it's less intimidating for me, but I know even just sending a text / dm can cause anxiety. I also agree that it would be helpful if it were easier not to care about what others think. It takes time to build that mindset where one, you know your value as a friend, secondly, you have an understanding that some people won't be compatible with you, but that doesn't have to be a negative thing, and that rejection isn't always personal :) Again, it's easier said than done and It's something I've been working on for yearssss
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    JJLemon18JJLemon18 Community Champion Posts: 1,956 Extreme Poster
    MatchaMia wrote: »
    maybe starting with something less intimidating? like, meeting 2 new people with someone you're already comfortable with? meeting mutual friends
    Yeahhh, that's not possible...
    I personally think I'm more comfortable speaking 1 to 1 with someone as I struggle a lot with making my voice heard, so this way I know the other person is actually listening. But as you said, having someone else can greately reduce the stress and pressure of you having to talk, which I can also relate to.

    What you said about sending messages and dms, yes I do feel very anxious sending them sometimes, especially if I'm the one sending it first. But to me thats the best and most comfortable way of communication since I dont have to worry about being self consious, I can take my time with the reply since theres no rush (mostly), and if I feel overwhelmed or something I can let the person know and just message them later, while in person I'm not just gonna say "alright I dont feel good, I'm going home" and then just leaving. This comfort that I always have a 'safe space' to go to if I need.
    Theres also the whole problem I have with my voice but we're not gonna go there haha.
    I feel like the other person must know me, what I'm like and what I'm going through in order to understand me and let me feel comfortable and certain that if I say or do something wrong, they wont just hate me for eternity lol.

    Thank you for the advice tho! :) Sorry this has ended up being me just talking about myself.
    Believe in me - who believes in you
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    MatchaMiaMatchaMia Posts: 60 Boards Initiate
    @JJLemon18 No need to apologise, really- It was nice to talk with you and see that other people could relate and share their experiences with this haha! I totally get that online can feel more comfortable because there's less pressure to reply in the couple seconds after someone had finished speaking...and honestly its so good that you can mostly draw out your boundaries and reply when you want to because I know there's this really unnecessary idea of 'etiquette' (not sure of a better word) that you need to reply as soon as you see a message, even though you don't owe it to someone, so that itself can be a bit much. It's important to be able to withdraw from something you don't want to necessarily engage with at that moment until you're ready. I also get how it's harder to withdraw in person because you kinda feel bad if you leave a social event quickly...honestly I haven't had too much experience with this but I'd like to think I'd try and prioritise myself / be able to firm my boundaries if I really did want to go home, which i do feel safer doing with friends than with strangers...a bit of a tangent here but in a way you wouldn't really want to be friends with people who don't try and understand you and just thinking about it, if we don't enjoy someone's company then we're doing ourselves a favour by just going home, forced stuff just creates such an unpleasant atmosphere - this is just my thought process anyways!

    No problem also :3 sorry it wasn't so useful
    we don't have to talk about your voice if you'd rather not share!
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    JJLemon18JJLemon18 Community Champion Posts: 1,956 Extreme Poster
    @MatchaMia I'm glad haha.

    Etiquette? Never heard of it xD Seriously though, I'm the type of person who doesnt really try to follow the so called "etiquette", I just don't know what the proper way to behave is most of the time lol.
    I'm often so active that I see messages almost immediately and I have this weird habit where I will sometimes not reply immediately to not give the sense that I'm always waiting for a reply or that I'm desperate or something lol :sweat_smile:
    MatchaMia wrote: »
    a bit of a tangent here but in a way you wouldn't really want to be friends with people who don't try and understand you and just thinking about it, if we don't enjoy someone's company then we're doing ourselves a favour by just going home, forced stuff just creates such an unpleasant atmosphere - this is just my thought process anyways!
    Yes I totally agree with that! But as this thread shows, finding good friends is real hard.

    If you don't mind I'll talk a little about myself again. The only 'friends' I have are a couple of guys I know from uni, and I wouldnt really call them friends too much, we don't talk almost at all outside of uni, and they're not very considerate people, to say the least. I've had a couple situations where I didn't feel too good during a lecture and since we sit in rows and I was in the middle I couldn't leave without telling them to move, so most of the time I was strong and stayed. But there were a few times where I felt so bad that I decided I have to leave and I told them I don't feel good and I want to go, but they didn't let me out. They always said "you have to say", "you'll be fine" etc. And me being shy and quiet, I cant stand up for myself, so I stayed. And that's always been a worry of mine, 'what if I start to feel bad again? I'd have to tell them to move. What if they wont listen?' and so on.
    Sorry its a kind of long unnecessary story but I think it fits well with the topic of withdrawing yourself from a situation and being around friends that understand you.

    And short explanation of my voice. For some reason I find it very hard to talk, impossible to be loud, and I often lose my voice. So talking is real tough for me. Phone calls are my nightmare lol.
    Believe in me - who believes in you
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    MatchaMiaMatchaMia Posts: 60 Boards Initiate
    edited September 2023
    @JJLemon18

    I get what you're saying- I think that may just be a social anxiety norm that a lot of people experience- I used to also be like that, waiting a while before responding but I think I just learned that it doesn't really matter - people will think what they think and it's never something you can control so just reply if you want to even in seconds, or wait until you feel like replying- either way the only opinion thats worth that anxious thought is your own. I used to say, if people view the fast replies as desperate or pityful, then they're the ones who need to rethink because 1. people should appreciate you making time for them / connecting with them, and 2. honestly timing a reply is a bit extra really - what's even so bad about someone replying fast :s , I think people just blow it up too big than it needs to be.

    Don't apologise at all! Honestly, there are different types of friends, I don't talk to a few of mine outside uni either, but i think every relationship is different and can't be entirely comparable. Some people you're only friends with for contextual reasons e.g., same classes, others your relationship is bit deeper, others a bit more fun-focused, and others very surface level- I don't think It's a bad thing as long as they aren't harming you. I have to say though, what your 'friends' did seems quite awful and i agree, inconsiderate. I don't believe friends would've responded that way at all and I think surrounding yourself with that kinda people isn't the best- speaking from experience, you'd for sure want to be friends with people who make you feel understood or at ease at the very least! It's a hard concept to follow but I agree being alone is better than to surround yourself with people who don't at least respect your feelings.

    Standing up for yourself is difficult at first, but very important and a powerful way to protect yourself!
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    JJLemon18JJLemon18 Community Champion Posts: 1,956 Extreme Poster
    MatchaMia wrote: »
    I get what you're saying- I think that may just be a social anxiety norm that a lot of people experience- I used to also be like that, waiting a while before responding but I think I just learned that it doesn't really matter - people will think what they think and it's never something you can control so just reply if you want to even in seconds, or wait until you feel like replying- either way the only opinion thats worth that anxious thought is your own. I used to say, if people view the fast replies as desperate or pityful, then they're the ones who need to rethink because 1. people should appreciate you making time for them / connecting with them, and 2. honestly timing a reply is a bit extra really - what's even so bad about someone replying fast :s , I think people just blow it up too big than it needs to be.
    I absolutely agree! Though its still hard trying not to be self conscious about everything, no matter how much I tell myself that people don't care, or that what they think about me doesn't matter, or that its not worth the cost of making me anxious. I just can't help it sometimes. But I am improving.
    MatchaMia wrote: »
    Honestly, there are different types of friends, I don't talk to a few of mine outside uni either, but i think every relationship is different and can't be entirely comparable. Some people you're only friends with for contextual reasons e.g., same classes, others your relationship is bit deeper, others a bit more fun-focused, and others very surface level- I don't think It's a bad thing as long as they aren't harming you.
    That's actually very interesting. I never really thought about the idea that you can have different 'types' of friends. This really changes the way I will view 'friends' from now on, I won't expect everyone I meet to be perfect friends. Maybe my uni friends are just that, uni friends. And I'm always so conflicted about them, cause they do sometimes seem like nice people, even though I talk quite negatively about them. I think their intentions are good, they just don't know how to properly be nice and caring, if that makes sense. Like with the situation I mentioned, they just wanted me to not miss a lecture, and the fact that they didn't know how much I was struggling was on me for not making it clear enough.

    Though the question is: how do I find good friends then? Ones that are more caring, or ones willing to have more fun etc.
    Also if I don't want to be around these friends of mine, do I just not sit with them anymore? Do I just start sitting by myself hoping someone else talks to me? I'm gonna get a LOT of questions from them if I do, and I'm not ready for that.

    Again, I'm so sorry, I've basically stole this thread from you at this point xD
    Believe in me - who believes in you
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    MatchaMiaMatchaMia Posts: 60 Boards Initiate
    @JJLemon18

    It's actually an idea that I'm getting used to- some friends or people will only fulfil you in different ways and that doesn't have to be a bad thing, like... friends who fuel you academically and encourage your pursuits, and like i said, friends who are able to give you a good time- these people may be different but you can appreciate them equally for different reasons. Finding friends who check off multiple of these boxes are just extra special to me personally, but I've stopped trying to expect this in all my friends and to appreciate what each friendship offers- of course its only natural that you trust and are closer to some than others. I guess what friendship means to people is quite subjective anyhow.

    I think if you're not ready, you can maybe slowly distance yourself? Some days sit with them, some days don't, and usually, people get used to natural drifting in the long term. I think separating yourself from people who don't fit you doesn't have to be a negative thing at all and not even personally against them. Again, you might be more comfortable doing something else but this is just a suggestion :)

    This is a bit vague and I apologise because each person's experience with this is so different but I feel like the more you know yourself, the more likely you'll find friends that are good for you, but this takes a lot of hit and misses, and also generally takes a long time- sometimes it means spending a lot of time with yourself before letting others into your life. With others talking first, maybe joining a club will surround yourself with people who are more open to talk with you as you share a similar interest?

    No need to apologise at all! :)
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    JJLemon18JJLemon18 Community Champion Posts: 1,956 Extreme Poster
    @MatchaMia I think I'll try to stay with them for now, I'm losing nothing by staying with the only people I really talk to at uni.
    sometimes it means spending a lot of time with yourself before letting others into your life.
    I think I've spent more than enough time with myself already xD
    I have started to join some societies hoping to get myself out there and meet some new people, but I'm terrified lol. In the end tho I have nothing to lose, so why not.

    I know I know. I really appreciate all the insights and advice you've given me, thank you so so much! Take care <3
    Believe in me - who believes in you
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    JimetteJimette Posts: 85 Budding Regular
    @MatchaMia I can relate. Even when people see me as their friend, I don't see them as friends but rather just people I know. And the only friends I have are fictional and imaginary ones. IDK if it's just me or what
    Wild Hearts Never Die~ >:3
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