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dragonofenvy

dragonofenvy

Mage
Oct 8, 2023
548
The first and last time I had irl friends was when I was 18 years old and it lasted for a couple of months. I don't know what I did then to have those couple people want to be my friend but clearly it was something. I've been alone since then and I know that the only way to do anything about it is to actually try to talk to people but how do you even do that? Hangout spots don't really exist anymore and I can't get close to any of my co-workers (doesn't help that I'm a driver so I'm only around them for maybe an hour per day).

So for the people who say that you have to "be confident" and "put yourself out there" how do you practice this yourself? For people who have made friends, how did you make them? How do you go out and make new friends without being introduced to them by other people? Are people really going to want to give someone who's super socially awkward and an autist to boot a chance in the first place because in my experience they don't. Yes, I know my attitude regarding it is a big obstacle but it's hard not to have this attitude when people who have friends seem to just... have them and when you haven't had any there's some amount of bitterness to it, but I'd at least like to try. Again.

I'm not expecting much from this but if you have any suggestions feel free to throw it out there. I did briefly look at meetup.com because I know other people in other threads suggested that but there isn't anything within 50 miles of me other than the birthdays of old people in nursing homes which I don't want to attend and it would also be very awkward to do so.
 
Abandoned Character

Abandoned Character

(he./him)
Mar 24, 2023
233
"Hangout spots don't really exist anymore" doesn't ring true to me, personally. Obviously it depends on your location, but as long as there are people, there are hangout spots. It's literally what people do, they hang out.

Your situation is entirely your own, the job, living situation, and autism are all difficult things to work around when it comes to making friends. You seem to be pretty level-headed when it comes to what you want to do and your confidence in interacting with people. You're right to feel bitter about the lack of friends. I suppose a place to start is to ask yourself why those friendships you had at 18 only lasted a few months. Did you enjoy their company? Do you think you would still be friends with them if you did something different? What kind of energy would you contribute to the friendship?

Relationships are transactional, whether you like it or not, so what you put in is what you are going to get out.

To "put yourself out there" is a skill that you have to put intentional effort into developing. It can be as simple as wishing the cashier a good day, or compliment their character (the way they dress, their nails, jewelry, shirt, hair). The point is to do small things often. Get comfortable with being sincere and not really caring if you are taken the wrong way. Smile more, walk with your shoulders back and your neck upright. This isn't bullshit, the way you carry yourself is a reflection of your mental state and vice versa. Change one and the other is easier to follow.

Some smart guy out there said that friendships happen when there is frequent and spontaneous interaction. School, work, hobbies are all hubs of friendships because people are getting together primarily to do something. The social part is secondary.

Focus on yourself and you will naturally find others who are focused in a similar way.

Hopefully some of what I said may be useful, I can expand on any of the points if you wish. And if it isn't too silly, you may consider me a friend. Perhaps we do not meet the parameters to be qualified as friends--who is in control of the friendship metric anyway?
 
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lost_ange2211

lost_ange2211

An angel who wants to go home..
May 29, 2024
145
I also find it hard to make friends, especially irl, online I'm more approachable and it feels easier.

You could try to join a club or like a activity group of people with the same hobby. Then you already have some things in common and a thing to talk about. That's the only idea I have for myself but I'm not in a state to even try that. So I can understand your struggles.
 
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dragonofenvy

dragonofenvy

Mage
Oct 8, 2023
548
I suppose a place to start is to ask yourself why those friendships you had at 18 only lasted a few months. Did you enjoy their company? Do you think you would still be friends with them if you did something different? What kind of energy would you contribute to the friendship?
I was manipulative and treated them pretty poorly at times. The reason I know this is because they told me as much. They said that at first I was really cool but then progressively got worse and worse. I wasn't able to fix myself until about 2 years after the fact.

so what you put in is what you are going to get out.
That's part of my problem. I'm not really sure what I can put in.
Focus on yourself and you will naturally find others who are focused in a similar way.
I know this is what I need to do but again I'm not really sure where to even start with this. I've generally been left on my own to figure things out myself so it's hard.
"Hangout spots don't really exist anymore" doesn't ring true to me, personally. Obviously it depends on your location, but as long as there are people, there are hangout spots. It's literally what people do, they hang out.
The only place around would be a bar. Not really my thing. Otherwise, I'd have to drive about an hour to a larger city that I don't know and try to find something there. I almost think starting with some discord group might be a safer less daunting thing to begin with.
 
pollux

pollux

Knight of Infinite Resignation
May 24, 2024
120
You only make friends when you do things together + see each other a lot; this gives you opportunity to do things with them outside of the club/hobby/activity you both do. Only then your relation really gets upgraded to friend imo

The most important thing is: nowadays you pretty much have to assume that the first step will have to come from you.

So you need to:

1) find places where you might get to know people, preferably places in which you operate well*
2) get acquainted with the people there
3) find opportunities to deepen your relation with them

2 will be hard, mostly psychologically, depending on your personality. Remember that whenever you enter a new group, they might let you participate, but they don't accept you right away. You need to spend sometime with them before they feel like you are one of their own.

3 will usually be easy after 2), but success is out of your hands. It's easy in the sense that it is usually costless socially (no one will think poorly of you that you are asking if they wanna hang out*). It's out of your hands in the sense that you should expect a lot of "oh sorry, I can't go that day" or "hey man, sorry but I'm not gonna be able to go today". Maybe this means they don't wanna hang out with you, maybe it means they just don't want to go out of their homes for one day, I don't know, but you'll probably get these.


*this is also important. if you're the introverted/shy type, going to a bar or a party is simply not going to work out
**if you do this too early it might be seen as a little pushy
 
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