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6/29/14 3:43 P

It's my fiancé, I assume nothing when it comes to her, she has out right said she wished she had more friends.

The last several months we have been making dates with other couples I know who've always said "let's get together sometime."

Huh, turns out that they MEANt that and so my fiancé and I have been out with several different couples and have had a great time but still, my fiancé won't contact those couples on her own, she's afraid they'll either not respond or not welcome her contacting them.

I can only do what I can only do, she's got to make the effort but I am always in support of her efforts.

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
6/29/14 12:45 P

I never know how I am supposed to respond in threads such as these where there seems to be an agenda to receive a specific answer & I don't always know if that's the answer I have.

Nevertheless on the topic of friends, I have just the right number of them and am grateful to have them. I've also been burnt in the past by misinterpreting "friends" and thinking toxic relationships were "friendships."

So I am leery of friendship and don't necessarily want any further friends, although acquaintances are important & welcome in my life.

I wonder if the person the OP wants to help with friendships really WANTS to be helped. I think everyone develops their own philosophy and style when it comes to friendship and sometimes it is demeaning for others, no matter how close, to think they need to "help" or fix this in another person.

BANKER-CHUCK Posts: 6,702
6/29/14 10:56 A

A lot of good answers here with in-depth analysis of "friends". For myself, I make many work friends, social club friends, service club friends, and various motorcycle club friends. Out of the hundreds of work friends I have accumulated over the years, very few are one I keep in contact with over the last 40 years. I find that work friends are just that and once I move on or they move on the friendship does not normally follow. However when our paths cross again we are like long lost friends that have a lot to talk about, mostly of the past working relationship.
Someone in this thread said they have friends that can be counted on one-hand. For me that is somewhat true, I may need both hands and at least one foot... if we are counting "very close friends" who know the most details of my life.
Most encounters and the people you get to know are acquaintances. If you see them again you may wave and smile and make a little small-talk. Like killer Joe, at a gathering or party I insert myself into many conversations. Since the jobs I have had required me to ask many probing questions I find out a lot of information about a person within a very short time. Probing questions can keep a conversation interesting.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (563,511)
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7/9/13 8:47 P

"True friends are like diamonds, precious but rare. False friends are like autumn leaves, scattered everywhere!"

We all need friends, but true friends are hard to find, although they do exist!!!!!

7/9/13 8:39 P

I remember even as a small child wherever my Mom would take me and there were other kids around my age or older I would make friends. I also use to (and still do at times) invite myself into other people's conversations, people who are a gathering/party but I didn't know them directly or had only been offhandedly introduced to them when I entered the party.

Most people are AWESOME and most of them have awesome stories to tell and if you're like me you can appreciate what others have to say.


BETZYGIRL Posts: 2,157
7/9/13 8:36 P

Hi, KJ, Is it safe to assume your friend WANTS to make more friends? My DH is much like you, doesn't know a stranger and if he meets you once you are a friend. I'm MUCH the opposite, I have a few very close friends and a lot of acquaintances. I am quite happy with that. Large crowds make me feel unsettled after awhile so we concluded that DH will let me know if it's an activity he wants me by his side, otherwise I get to stay home and have some downtime. When we are in a group, I'm just as happy listening and just chiming in occasionally. That's the personality God gave me and I'm comfortable with it. My guess is if your friend wants to become more social, go at it slowly and in a non-threatening group. (By non-threatening I mean start with smaller groups and be aware of when your friend starts to feel tense and head on out before the tension level removes all the fun of the activity. Hope you find out what she needs to make her comfortable! emoticon Sometimes just two is enough:)

GARDENDIVA2 Posts: 612
7/9/13 8:07 P

I sort of agree with ICEDEMETER. As I am reading the responses I am thinking about how I met the people I refer to as "friends." I have very few close friends that I can call in the middle of the night but I do have a number of friends that would be there for me if I asked.

I have met most of my friends doing volunteer work. We all had a common soap box so to speak and before you know it you are spending a lot of time together doing both the volunteer work and socializing. From this core group of people I have met many other people but most are just acquaintances.

I have also noticed that since I am getting older it is harder to meet new people. I do not know how old your friend is but you are about my age. Most people my age are married or have children and not only do we not share interests but they do not have free time so there are few social gatherings.

ZZYYGGY3 Posts: 2,393
7/9/13 5:36 P

I am very close to what your friend is like. A deffinitely shy introvert. I don't like parties, or large gatherings unless it's family. I do have a couple of really close friends though. You can help your friend out by being supportive and maybe inviting him/her to a small party of your close friends. Theres alot of work envolved in friendships and people just aren't up to the task. Good luck.

7/9/13 4:35 P

I think it's nice to include someone in your gatherings or invite them out, but as far as helping them make friends, you probably won't be much help, unless you want to start a dating/friendship service where you analyze traits and commonalities.

I don't consider co-workers friends unless we do social things together, outside of work. If not, they are my co-worker or acquaintance per se.

Friends come in many forms. I've got many good and best friends who have all known each other for years and years, and we all love getting together in a group or individually. Any of us can call on each other any time for anything. It doesn't matter if we haven't seen each other for a week or a year -- we are always the same to each other and have a lot in common. I consider them part of my family -- my people so to say. Over time, many of us have introduced new friends to each other, too, which have become lasting relationships.

Then there are those not so great "friends" who are mostly OK, until they are in need of something or they call you just to listen to themselves talk -- never interested in how you are or what you've been doing. Hmmmmm. I guess I don't have the heart to drop some of them. They consider me their friend, though, and they do make life interesting sometimes. We attend each others' gatherings, but generally aren't too close otherwise. LOL. We still call each other "friends" though.

Another type of friend is like your neighbor or the cashier you always go to at the store. I often hear people say things like "My friend, next door...." or "My friend at the supermarket...." I consider these people friends, too, but the term acquaintance could work too.

I'm another one who likes talking to people. I often make my husband edgy because I engage people I don't know in conversations while he will be trying to walk off or starting to give looks and nods that he wants to go. It's funny and it drives him crazy! He's use to it, so I get a lot of eye-rolls. :-)

I know people who have very few friends or acquaintances, and I know social bugs. Some people are just fine not knowing a lot of people, where others love and need to be around people all the time. Either way, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
7/9/13 1:13 P

There really are a lot of definitions of "friends", aren't there?

My *friends* are the small group I consider my "family of the heart". These are the ones with whom it doesn't matter if you don't talk to each other for 5 days, or 5 months, or 5 years - the relationship is still just as strong. These are the ones who could show up at 3 in the morning, knowing that not only are they welcome to move in for however long, but also that their coffee will be served just how they like it.

My *buddies* are the co-workers, the folks I met at parties, the folks I met at wherever, that I talked with and we "clicked" enough to exchange home numbers and get together occasionally. They are an incredibly diverse group, but our areas of shared interest are pretty limited. I'd help them move, but not help them move in, you know?

Acquaintances are those who I run across here or there, know their names, might know the names of their spouses or kids, and can comfortably make small talk with. I don't know their numbers and it wouldn't occur to me to go out of my way to contact them.

This gal you're talking about, KJ, does she really want friends, or is she looking more for a circle of buddies to go out and do things with? If she's like me, then that is where the real *friends* start, anyways. If it's the circle of buddies, then the best thing that I can suggest is to get involved in an activity that she has fun with. It might be shooting pool, or playing darts, or curling, or soccer, or baseball, or cooking, or making pottery, or whatever. The thing is, that meeting someone through something like that gives you a common interest to start with. When you're really having fun with something, it shines out and draws people to you. It also gives the opportunity to watch others, and it's easy to open a conversation with a question about the activity, which generally leads to more conversation.

Just something to think about: she might find that going out to places with you would give her a really helpful example to follow. I was incredibly shy at one time, but had one really close friend. This friend was extremely extroverted and social. I trailed along in her wake for a while, and had no choice but to admit that she had way more fun than I did. So - I watched and learned and "faked it" for a few years until I actually was comfortable enough to be as sociable as she was. I've since evolved my own style, but would never have had a clue as to where to start without her example to follow.

Edited by: ICEDEMETER at: 7/9/2013 (13:18)
7/9/13 12:39 P

cool, a lot of definitions about friends.

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
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7/9/13 12:36 P

I think a lot of people use the word friend lightly and really have a lot of "buddies." You can have tennis buddies and drinking buddies and work buddies. You touch on some personal things with these people but what I call "real friends" you can only count on one hand for most. A real friend is someone who is there for the bad as well as the good. Someone who would take you in if you were homeless or sit with you if you were getting a cancer treatment. A lot of times you don't even find out who are your real friends till things go badly in your life. When things are going well for you, everyone wants to be around that energy but when tragedy hits, well that's what separates the friends from the "good acquaintances."

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
7/9/13 11:46 A

I am a more introverted and private person.
I am happy with a very small group of people I call friends. I do not feel the need for a large social circle.
I am not afraid of people but I hate small talk so it is easier for me to form a connection with someone through a shared hobby or a class rather than at a social gathering.
I would not consider someone I met once at a party a friend or even an acquaintance yet even if we talked all night. If I meet them a few times then they are an acquaintance but I have to know someone for awhile before I call them a friend.
A friendly co-worker is not really a friend to me since it is not a relationship formed by choice. They would be more like an acquaintance level. I might consider the person something of a friend over time but probably would not keep in contact with most people if we no longer had a work connection.

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
7/9/13 10:55 A

I'm actually kinda like Rose. I've never been much of a social butterfly, but there are a few people that I click with. I'm not...anti-social, but I'm not comfortable in big crowds, unless I'm just people watching. MAN, that freaking family reunion on Saturday? I'm glad that all five kids were with me. Prevented me from having to talk too much.

Anyway, some of us are just socially awkward. I am way more social on the internet, because it involves reading, (sometimes) thinking, and then posting a reply. I don't have to deal with the stress of big crowds, and if someone asks a question-I am not obligated to answer right away.

07SOJO Posts: 1,652
7/9/13 10:46 A

I agree, you can't understand something that you don't know what it feels like, especially when you can't grasp the concept. I've gone through different phases of my life with no friends, a few friends and many friends.

PATTYGRAN Posts: 411
7/9/13 9:53 A

Hi Lisa,
I have been a bad judge of character in the past but can't let that stop me from meeting and getting to know new people. I do tend to keep them at arms length for a while and am more cautious but have also been lonely and don't want to be. If you want to be friends, lets get to know each other.
My name is Patty and I live in Ohio. Nice to meet you emoticon

7/9/13 9:35 A

Very interesting, I'll need to sift through the information given to come to a solution for my plight but I thank you all for your help. I hope by relaying to her all your "definitions" of friendships that it'll somehow help her to want to meet new people.

FIRECOM SparkPoints: (0)
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7/9/13 9:31 A

Being retired, I consider my job is to meet and greet as many "strangers" as I can every day. I make it a point to say "HI" to everyone I meet, mostly at the market, and try to at least shake hands before our encounter is over. This is fun and you meet the nicest people.

TIG123GER SparkPoints: (77,547)
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7/9/13 9:22 A

I categorize them as friend friends and work friends. Sometimes the two cross over but I have many work friends that I share things with and enjoy spending time with but they are only at work and we don't do anything outside of work time. I have a core group of work friends that I've had for over 10 years and we go to each others' houses and do things with spouses so they cross the work barrier. Then I have my outside work friends that I've had for years. I don't consider myself shy but I also don't have a lot of "real" friends that I can share anything with (or would want to).

GUDDIGO Posts: 1,081
7/9/13 9:19 A

Different cross overs.

JUDYAMK SparkPoints: (30,790)
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7/9/13 8:42 A

Well here is how I describe friends. I would not call my co workers from home to chat or get their opinion about anything. I consider work separate from my outside life. I know lots of people because of working in the pharmacy ( that is why my husband will not go to the grocery store with me too many people stop to talk ) I have one & only one person that I consider a true friend. She never tells me what I want to hear to make me feel good When I am going through issues my husband will say you need to go over & see Tanya. She never paints a rosy picture a crisis she makes me look at the whole picture,she gives me great food for thought. i have other friends I would Never go to my other friends they would sweet talk me ,sympathize with me ,and boo hoo with me. I would be in worse shape. I hide it from them so good they do not even know what I am going through. I hid my abuse as a child so good I was a master at it so I guess that carries over into adult hood.I am thankful for Tanya. I always told her that her second profession cold be a counselor instead of an English teacher. Her students love her, she listens to them.

7/9/13 7:20 A

so, what do I say or how do I help this person have more friends?

SLRASSLL Posts: 136
7/9/13 5:05 A

I tend to "get along" with just about everyone but when it comes down to it I keep my distance from most. I have a few casual friends and many aquaintences but no really close, spend alot of social time with friends. It stems from my teens- early twenties when the people I thought for years were my friends proved to only be so as long as they needed something from me. When they didn't or when I had a relationship that didn't directly involve them (my boyfriend of 23 years now) they ditched me. I heard from 1 of them after 5 years of silence and it was because they had moved nearby and would need transportation around the area.
I can't speak for anyone else but I find it hard to fully trust in someone's intentions after years of that treatment. I know not everyone would be that way but so many have been it just doesn't seem worth the effort to take the risk again.

KAYAHSLOANE1 Posts: 10,478
7/9/13 4:40 A

I am introverted but not shy. I don't feel at ease @ larger parties where you socialize that much. I do better one on one or in smaller groups. That said I have 3 very close friends who are not related to me. I have family but I really only feel close to my mom and a few cousins.
Everyone else is an acquaintance (like neighbors) or someone I work with. I get enough social interaction in public, from family and my friends and the people I walk with that I'm perfectly happy to have down time away from the social aspect of life.

I'm not sure if you were at a party and because you learned a few things about each guest they would consider you a friend. You were introduced and talked and that is as far as it went. Unless you exchanged numbers and decided to get together for a drink or dinner and kept in touch I don't think that is friends. Others opinions likely differ from my point of view.

Friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers is basically what order I put people into~

RUKIDDINGME123 SparkPoints: (39,606)
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7/9/13 4:15 A

I can honestly say that I have no friends and I wouldn't count my co-workers among friends there is no relationship beyond work.

I am a really bad judge of character and tend to take people at face value and I have been burned a lot. I think it is the reason that I keep people at arms length.

I'm lonely though and I really wish I had a friend and someone to vent with, confide in, shop with...

SUZIEQUE77 SparkPoints: (9,271)
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7/8/13 3:59 P

I have worked with people whom I thought were my friends before, because we talked a lot at work, and sometimes about things that seemed like what friends would discuss more than just work colleagues. But when I left the jobs, few if any cared to keep up with me, I have gone back to the work place to "visit" when I knew I'd see some of them. They were pleasant and all, but I could see none really cared. I tried to keep in touch with a couple of them but it was so one sided (me contacting them) that I decided it was not worth the bother. I do still keep in touch with two that I worked with though I'm Facebook friends with a few more (who never contact me there or even click like on my posts, but do make game requests sometimes, which I ignore or reject).

Now my husband on the other hand is very social and has made life-long friends at every job he has worked at (and there have been a few!) I actually have more friends who are the SO of one of the good friends he made than I have any other type of friends, but it works out for us, and these couple friends are REAL friends. I'm going shopping tomorrow with one of these women who is the SO of someone my H worked with in the past...looking forward to it very much!

7/8/13 3:38 P


This quest of mine, however, is already proving to be harder than I thought, I can't seem to wrap my head around being afraid to make friends and/or talk to people....and I'M UGLY!!!

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
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7/8/13 3:32 P


I can count the number of friends I have on one hand and I am okay with that as it has a lot to do with how I grew up. We moved every two years and as the youngest and only girl in my family, it became easier for me to be on my own than depend on friends to play with as there weren't always friends around! By having a very small number of friends, I can give them my very best efforts, help and commit to the relationship -- I would whole heartedly give my few friends a needed organ; adopt their children; lend them our second car etc.....not so with acquaintances. Even if I don't talk to these few people everyday; when we do talk it as just as though I spoke with them 5 minutes ago!

I have acquaintances in a large number....these are people I have met through sports, training, my son's school, etc. I have fun with them but there is no pressure for me to get together and call everyday.....I am funny and generous with them when I feel like it but I am not giving them a vital organ.

So to sum up, I prefer the quality of a very small number of friendships I have 1 couple and my husband.....that is it and I am okay with that as I would lay down my life if asked by them.

7/8/13 3:30 P

Oh man, you are funny! I think I may be the girl version of you in the way that I talk to everyone, I love people and I love to meet people. I will say that I have a core group of "My peeps" these are people that I have known for my lifetime that I would trust with my life. Then there are people that I can talk to and have a cup of coffee or a beer and never talk to again for ten years.
Strangers are fun! I love to talk to new people and learn new things!
I can be a bit much for some people so the Bull in a china shop thing makes me laugh!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (196,935)
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7/8/13 3:15 P

I have lots of different friends. Some are co-workers. Some are strictly people I see at the gym that I chat with. Some are neighbors.

When someone asks me how to do I determine how close a friend someone is, I tell them this. A really close personal friend is someone you can call in the middle of the night to bail you out of jail and you know that person will come.

I definitely have one friend who will do that for me. Not that I plan on being in jail any time soon. The point is that a friend is someone you can rely on regardless of the circumstances.

I know family would bail me out. But... only one really close friend of mine would do it.

BASHELBY56 SparkPoints: (3,320)
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7/8/13 3:03 P

Actually I think it's exactly what she had in mind. It would seem that SP believes strongly in the power of community to reach would seem this blog is to get you thinking of your commitments. My situation is much like yours, so I can understand where your coming from. I am determined to make this Orkney so am trying hard to reach out to people. It feels really weird but I am finding it does get easier.

WENDIBUGG Posts: 674
7/8/13 2:57 P

I have social anxiety so it is really hard for me to chat up people. It is usually a lot easier for me when an outgoing person is talking to me as they do most of the talking. I have one really close friend and a few others that I have been close to in the past. I move a lot so it seems that when I leave it is like I no longer exist to some and just rarely hear from others despite my attempts. Since my last move I rarely hear from family now. And I always have to be the one to contact them. I guess I don't consider acquaintances friends since we rarely interact. Some people I've worked with I would be friendly with but others not so much. All a matter of it I would have a conversation with them outside of work. Ok, done rambling since this probably doesn't help you much lol.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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7/8/13 2:57 P

It can depend on your definition of 'friend.' I have a ton of good acquaintances and casual friends (ie people I like to hang out with) but very few people who are the type of friend where I'd want to sit down with a bottle of wine and discuss the weirdest things that have happened in our relationships recently (and boy do I have a doozy atm). I'm good at making surface connections but deeper emotional intimacy takes more time for me to figure out.

PATTYGRAN Posts: 411
7/8/13 2:49 P

I work with a lot of people so I can't really fathom calling them all friends, however I do have a core group who I would consider that way in the workplace. I also have a part time job in a Y and feel I know a lot more about the people I work with and the members there more than at my full time employer. I work the front desk and personal train.
All in all I have more acquaintances than friends, having only a few "real true I can trust with anything and they don't judge me or I them" friends. Those are priceless and rare.
That being said, I don't think anyone can have to many friends in their life, I just think it's how you perceive them.

7/8/13 2:34 P

I am NOT shy, I'm "that guy" at parties or social gatherings that you never met before or maybe have seen me around and then I start talking to you and by the time you and your S.O. leave I know your names and something interesting about either of you (I ask a lot of questions about recreational stuff when I meet new folk).

Are we then "friends"? IDK but I think I have way more "acquaintances" than I do friends and as for my co-workers, well, I consider them friends even if we no longer work together.

That said I have met people who say they have NO FRIENDS and that they don't consider co-workers their friends and acquaintances are meaningless since you don't really get to know them.



I suppose some people are "Shy"? "Introverted"? "Socially Awkward"? I am CLUELESS in this aspect.

If you are someone who has very few friends or claim to have none please help me understand this concept better, someone close to me has this problem and I feel like I can't help them.


p.s. - I have been described as a "Bull in a China Shop" emoticon

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