By RosalieM Latest Reply 2015-01-31 21:31:27 -0600
Started 2015-01-16 11:40:46 -0600

This is a new discussion on friendship. I would like honest opinions, not just what would make me feel good. I am wanting to make new friendships as I have not made many over the years. I was always too busy with what interested me, like business etc. Now at 76 years old, I have some time. I know many people whom I enjoy but I would not call them friends. The reason I don't have friends is because from the time I was in high school I realized I did not fit in with anyone. I tried, but thought the other 14 years olds were silly, what interested them did not interest me at all. I worked for myself most of my life so did not have a lot of close contact with people to any degree. I have a lot of contact, but not at the friendship level. I find it shocking that people are so petty and envious of each other. I find it shocking that people are so lacking in motivation, even for their own welfare. I find it shocking that people are so anxious to conform to what ever is popular. I only have one life to live as does everyone and I don't want to waste in any way. I have a brother who is a real friend and he is trying to help me understand, he has more experience than I do. I would like to find someone to be my friend with whom I have more in common. When I talk with people, I have to go to where they are in their life. They almost never come where I am and talk about the interests that I have. Once in a while I will come across someone who I would like to be friends with, but can't as they are usually men. I can be their friend and I am, but not on the same level as another woman. Maybe I should just forget it! I have always been pretty happy the somewhat loner that I am. I have never been lonely. What do you honestly think?

Tags: off topic

21 replies

MarkS 2015-01-20 09:47:13 -0600 Report

Hi RosalieM, Kind of interesting because I consider everyone my friend. My kids used to laugh and say I'll talk to anyone, whether I know them or not; happens all the time at the grocery store. While I am outgoing and speak with really anyone (life is too short to not be pleasant with everyone who passes my way), I do have about 20 or so very close friends who I would give my life. While I don't agree with them on everything (e.g., politics, religion, spots), we do share the same values (treat everyone as you would want to be treated). When we get together, there is no judging, just acceptance. As I read through your post, I see a lot of judgment in your language (e.g., "other 14 years olds were silly", "I find it shocking that people are so lacking in motivation") and a lot of pent-up anger (e.g., "I don't want to waste in any way") and frustration (e.g., "the somewhat loner that I am"). And my question to you is why can't you "go to where they are in their life" and in the conversation find a common thread? Or maybe you need to re-evaluate where your life is. Also, why can't you be friends with men? This statement immediately gave me the impression that you think you are far superior to others, especially men. I hope that you can find what you are looking for and as my Mom always told me, try some of that honey to catch those flies and get rid of the vinegar. Peace!

RosalieM 2015-01-20 13:59:43 -0600 Report

That is not the case at all. I am friendly with everyone I meet, I go where people are in their lives all the time. I can be friends with men, I have a lot of "men friends". I am talking about a very close friend, not casual friends. I have lots of those. I have evaluated my life a great deal. I don't think I am superior at all. If you knew me you would know that I am a very simple person. My interests don't match most of the people I know. I don't require "honey" myself. If a person requires "honey" they are putting on a front. Massaging peoples ego's and producing honey to attract them to is of no interest to me. If that is judge mental, so be it. I insist on being myself, being upfront and honest. If you ask me a question, I will always give you an honest answer to the best of my ability. You can depend on it!
Can you depend on a person whose ego you must massage?

MarkS 2015-01-21 08:23:44 -0600 Report

We may have a different interpretation of the "honey." I don't believe that using "honey" is massaging a person's ego, but rather accepting them as they are. And it never hurts to compliment someone and listening with interest to what they have to say (even if it is not my point of view or passion). And, after thinking about your statement, "Can you depend on a person whose ego you must massage?", there are some people like that who are not real friends. But I would not say everyone is like that. We are all complex beings with a lot of strengths and frailties. But we are all in this together! I'd love to sit down and talk with you about a lot of things - I think you are a very interesting woman. I enjoy your posts and while I may not agree with all, I still like the way they get me pondering!

RosalieM 2015-01-21 11:02:39 -0600 Report

I would love to sit down and talk with you too. Yes people are complex however the quality of our society is pretty much based on what society excepts. People want to fit in.
so should we not judge at all but accept all behavior?
I don't think so. Society goes down hill as it is human nature to take the easier path. Building character takes effort and work, but the result is a better society. If the easy way is not accepted by society, they/we will develop character (a good thing).
and our society will be better. So will our economy.
We as diabetics have a responsibility to society to take care of ourselves. Our disease is very expensive.

MarkS 2015-01-21 12:35:26 -0600 Report

Human nature has not changed. And I don't believe that society accepts the easy way out. And not only do diabetics have a responsibility to take care of themselves, ALL people have a responsibility to take care of themselves.

RosalieM 2015-01-21 15:51:26 -0600 Report

Human nature hasn't changed, but human behavior has. It has gotten much worse since I was young. Yes everyone has a responsibility t take care of their health, people on this site are just about all diabetic.
So it is them who read this.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-01-18 21:55:38 -0600 Report

Hey Rosalie,

I really appreciate your honesty here. And I see you got lots of honesty, and wisdom, in return.

I have always been one of those people who has a very small number of close friends. Like you, I value people who are concerned about others, who act out of kindness and compassion, who like to think and discuss, who want to make the world a better place, who aren't chasing the latest trend.

There are other people like that out in the world, but it takes time and patience to connect with them. So enjoying your own company is an important skill to have. And sticking close to the people you can relate to, family members, other people, male or female, is also important. Life on life's terms.

Being able to really listen to other people is a gift. But yes, sometimes that leaves us listeners feeling kind of alone when the listening we do isn't reciprocated.

You are not alone, my friend!

RosalieM 2015-01-19 06:15:10 -0600 Report

Thank you for that Dr. Gary. It is encouraging to me. I knew there were people with whom I could relate, but My responsibilities consumed so much of my time, I didn't have time to look. The two women found me. Which I find very encouraging.

NewSong53 2015-01-18 20:34:03 -0600 Report

I understand what you mean. It's very difficult for me to find people that I have enough in common with. If they have a husband or grandkids, they spend their weekends with them and if they work, they are too tired at night (like I am) to do much. If they are single, they are usually retired and do things during the daytime while I am at work. Most of the ladies I meet are in my Sunday School class and have been in that group for 30 years or more. It's easy to be acquaintances, but very hard to break into the "friend" arena. Some might think you are trying too hard — and sometimes I have wondered the same about myself — but when I didn't work at meeting people and making the first move, I found it just didn't happen. I have someone currently who is a good friend, but not someone I can share intimate conversations with or hang out with (has a husband so not much "girlfriend" time). I desire to have at least 2 or 3 fairly close relationships of different types. I love my current friend — she's almost like family and if I need something she is right there! I'd love to have male friendships, but am pretty uncomfortable with them initially so it's hard for me to get past that awkwardness — and the stuff I like to do is chick stuff. I have lots of acquaintances and sorta-friends. I enjoy these and try to make the best of these and if anything happens, it happens. But I do, like you, wish I had some close friends whom I share more in common with. When I'm weary from loneliness, I pray about it and it seems God places people in my path who fill that need for connection. Join groups who do things that interest you. Maybe take a continuing education class on a topic you're passionate about. Good luck and I wish you the best in your search.

Pegsy 2015-01-17 14:01:29 -0600 Report

For me, what friendship is has changed over time. When I was young it was about someone to spend time with nearly every day. Someone to play with, walk to school with, do homework with, spend summer days with, etc. As I got older it was more about someone to confide in and be there for emotionally, especially as teenagers. Then when I was married and had children, we had "couples" friends that we hung with and i had "mommy" friends that I hung out with and our kids had play dates. Now that I am older I find that I have far fewer friends than I used to. I don't really need the companionship as I like to spend my free time with my husband, kids and grandkids. I have a few friends that I share hobbies with and that we sometimes eat out with but I would not say that I have a "best" friend, although I would like to. I agree with Gabby that having a lot of friends is over rated but for me friendships don't just happen, it does take effort on my part to reach out and get to know people and be available to others.

RosalieM 2015-01-19 06:27:44 -0600 Report

Having lots of friends is not all it is cracked up to be. Lots of friends just mean you are popular. It doesn't say anything about the quality of a friendship.
I prefer quality over quantity. It takes time to have and be a good friend.
If we spread ourselves too thin, no one benefits.

GabbyPA 2015-01-17 08:55:22 -0600 Report

To me, having a lot of friends is over rated. I would rather have a few good friends than a load of people that I think are friends, but when I need help or something all I hear are crickets.

Friends for me are not made, they happen. That instant connection with someone that you can nurture and help grow. Those are what friends are to me. It takes work and an honest give and take to make them keep working, but those are the best kind. Forced or contrived rarely works for very long.

And I will be honest, guys often make better friends than women. They are generally more honest, less snippy and you always know where you stand. I cherish both sexes in friendships.

RosalieM 2015-01-16 16:22:54 -0600 Report

Right after I wrote this discussion, a woman customer showed up at my shop. She has a similar personality to mine. We have many common interests and she understood everything I talked about and I understand her. I ask her to e my friend. We had both took the personality tests and found out we are part of a small minority. But we found each other. We have a good sized senior center here, but many of the people who frequent it are petty. When they play bingo, they have to sit in the same chair and do everything the same or they get mad. They gossip like crazy too. That is not for me. I like to learn new things. When I turned about 75, I noticed people start
treating me different, like I am close to being senile or something. Taking a class would be more my style. I might take a writing class if one is offered soon.
Thanks for the suggestions.

RebDee 2015-01-16 17:00:11 -0600 Report

Hurray you found a friend. Ask her to go to a class with you. BTW = I hate bingo and know exactly what you are talking about. Bingo players think their luck will change if they sit in a different seat. However, senior centers have more than bingo.

RebDee 2015-01-16 15:37:22 -0600 Report

I am a big advocate of Red Hat Society (RHS) which is for women over the age of 50 years. While many of us started out with husbands, my chapter is now mainly widows. Once a month we go out for dinner (called a Chat & Chew) with one of the women as hostess so she picks the place. Once a month we have an event such as a bus trip to somewhere, or a museum, or a movie, or a park to see the flowers, or a bakery, (we even did Annie's Pretzels where they showed us how to make pretzels and we each got to make one and later eat it). Since each woman must act as hostess, each event is very different. Sure there are some that I didn't particularly enjoy, but since many I do enjoy and learn from, I find the overall experience to be wonderful. I am the Queen of my chapter which has been in existence for 11 years. While the women may change, or go to another chapter, or die, there is always a core that has stayed. We have become quite close. We don't all like the same things, but since we like each other, we have become good friends and often go out together not as a RHS group.

Another place to meet nice people is your church or synagogue. OR try taking a class for seniors at one of the nearby community colleges. OR watch the newspaper for events such as a musical that is either free or inexpensive. OR perhaps there is a senior center nearby where you could go to dance, play pingpong, hear a lecture. AND don't leave when it is over. Stay and talk with the people that are there. Then the next time they will recognize you and invite you to join their group. I hope some of these ideas will work for you. Let us know if they do. I do all of the above.

RosalieM 2015-01-16 16:35:25 -0600 Report

I have no trouble meeting people, I am outgoing and friendly. The problem is I
I have nothing in common with them. The class I take will be with young people. They are not so set in their ways. Did you know that it is believed by
virtually all the experts that old people cannot learn new things. I learn new things every day. So any class offered to seniors would be with the assumption that the students can't learn new things, how boring would that be. Thanks for the suggestions.

Baking4ever 2015-01-16 17:56:40 -0600 Report

You are never to old to learn…it keeps your brain sharp…I'm younger than you are but your comments sounds like I might have wrote them myself

Kats49 2015-01-16 14:38:56 -0600 Report

Well, let's begin…I already have a connection to you we both are cooks, I'm 61 and i have never had more than three or four good solid friendships. You are what I consider trying too hard to fit in…just be yourself. That's how all friendship developed…You have connection already on this site. You are off to a good start. All through high school and college and life I have always had more male friendships than female. My husband finally figured that out …got over his jealously early in our marriage. We enjoyed 34 years of marriage and I will meet him again on the other side of the veil.Unless the gentleman is married, there isn't a reason not to be friends. Sometimes just listen, try not to judge and let life take you on a journey. Life is short and not to be wasted. "I feel that you enjoy sharing what new cooking successes you have made, that tells me you are a giver. That's just what I think… RELAX

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