Friendship/how to make new friends?


#1

Hi everyone. I live here in the San Diego area. But I just recently came back home to the Catholic Church. And just recently moved back here to San Diego.

But it seems like in the area that I live in-East county San Diego-it seems hard to make new friends. I mean the bar/club scene is dead here. And it's somewhat very protestantized here in my part of San Diego if you know what I mean.......

The only thing we have here is the Mall/shopping center-but it's a big/huge mall and that's about it.

I'm 33 and single by the way.... So would my church/parish be the best place to start making friends or any other ideas?

Thanks.;.........


#2

[quote="juansdec, post:1, topic:239199"]
Hi everyone. I live here in the San Diego area. But I just recently came back home to the Catholic Church. And just recently moved back here to San Diego.

But it seems like in the area that I live in-East county San Diego-it seems hard to make new friends. I mean the bar/club scene is dead here. And it's somewhat very protestantized here in my part of San Diego if you know what I mean.......

The only thing we have here is the Mall/shopping center-but it's a big/huge mall and that's about it.

I'm 33 and single by the way.... So would my church/parish be the best place to start making friends or any other ideas?

Thanks.;.........

[/quote]

I wouldn't know how to make friends with people at a bar. What interests/fascinates you with such places?
Best to go where you will have something in common with people. I met all my friends at my Catholic school, doing voluntary work with disabled people or going to different church groups.


#3

Do the things that interest you and friends will come. Are there any sports you like to play? If so, seek out a bar or civic league and get involved. Like hunting and fishing, join the local rod and gun club. Like theatre? Try out for a play or take a community collage acting class.


#4

Just because someone is protestant doesn’t mean they can’t be your friend. If I limited the people I was friends with to only people I shared and exact religous denomination with I’d be pretty lonely.

I would look into doing things you enjoy, and start there.


#5

[quote="GraceDK, post:2, topic:239199"]
I wouldn't know how to make friends with people at a bar.

[/quote]

It's not difficult. You smile, have a drink or two, join in the conversation and say "Hi, I'm GraceDK, I don't think we've met." There are a lot of different types of bars out there, something for everyone. Catholic? Go to the bar the Knights of Columbus run. A homesick expat? Try an ethnic bar. A lawyer? There are bars near virtually every courthouse where you'll find your peers? Sports fan? That's a given. Outdoorsman? Lodges everywhere have bars. Musician? That's a given too. Like to dance? There are all manner of dance bars, some of which cater to non-obscene music and dancing.

By day, you might meet friends at work or at a park or library or Church. After dark, there are people who don't feel like sitting on their couch with the TV on - so they go hang out with like m inded people. Not many places are open after dark where you can just drop in as an unknown other than bars.


#6

Luckily there are more alternatives than TV or Bar :slight_smile: I have been going to churches that had most of their weekly meetings, groups and events during the evenings.
Maybe bars in America are Catholic, but where I am there is no such bar. Here bars differ from cafe, in that they are often places for consuming alcohol, getting ready to move on into the night life. The only people I know who go to bars instead of the job, school, church etc, to find friends are very secular people who most often find likeminded people there.
But then again, Im somewhere in Europe and have never heard about the knights of columbus.


#7

Meetup.com.

I have been to events on meetup.com and I even ran a group for about 2 years. If you don’t know about meetup.com, the premise of the site is that you look for a group that shares your interest. For example: checkers.

Usually the group facilitator schedules a meeting once a month at a restaurant or some other SAFE public event where you get to meet group members. In time, these strangers can become friends to each other. And of course by the time you attend your second meetup, you would have met at least one person in the previous meetup.

I took a cursory look and found a catholic meetup group for “young” people in NYC. The group is for members in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. Yay, I get to call myself young again!

The Catholic Fellowship of NYC

One of their past meetups was a subway station of the cross. Sounds cool.

So basically you search for the topic/hobby/interest you want, and plug in your zip code in your case, a California zip code, and you will see which groups share your interest in your area.

I have made a couple of lifelong friends from meetup.com.


#8

I probably wouldn’t go to a bar alone to meet people either, but Christians do go to bars for a drink. Nothing wrong with that. :wink:


#9

[quote="juansdec, post:1, topic:239199"]
Hi everyone. I live here in the San Diego area. But I just recently came back home to the Catholic Church. And just recently moved back here to San Diego.

But it seems like in the area that I live in-East county San Diego-it seems hard to make new friends. I mean the bar/club scene is dead here. And it's somewhat very protestantized here in my part of San Diego if you know what I mean.......

The only thing we have here is the Mall/shopping center-but it's a big/huge mall and that's about it.

I'm 33 and single by the way.... So would my church/parish be the best place to start making friends or any other ideas?

Thanks.;.........

[/quote]

It takes a lot of time to build trust and reconnect. I was knit into my protestant church's fellowship groups and had the dearest friends of my life. I thought only death would separate us. Then I became a Catholic (again). I went through a desert for several years until I began connecting with Catholics who were at the same place as I am in my journey. There's something to be said about meeting up with people "where we're at in our journey."


#10

If you are male (which I assume by the name Juan), join the Knights of Columbus!
kofc.org
Your local church parish will have a council and you will meet like minded guys who love to meet & help people.
:thumbsup:


#11

I agree with the Knights of Columbus idea- you’ll make friends and feel good about helping your community.

Other ideas: classes in subjects you enjoy (either through church or a college), meet ups for singles, book discussion groups, sports teams, etc. Bars would be far down on my list just because I don’t think of going out to drink as a “regular” activity in my life.


#12

Friendships nowadays, are difficult to create and difficult to maintain for various reasons.

First, people are shallow as a whole. And stupid. Yes, it’s not PC to say that, but that’s the truth. Maintaining any level of deep emotional intimacy with people like that is going to be exhausting and difficult, no matter what!

People are also tend see friendship on a superficial level. Now before anyone gets on me about how I have misanthropic views, let’s look at current trends. Most communication is done via the use of technology, and this logically means there is less face-to-face interaction. The fact is, a lot of people would rather text than call; they’d rather use facebook as the replacement for getting together and hanging out.

Also, it is my personal observation that there are generational differences. I guess I’d be a Generation-Yer and from what I can see, my generation is quite shallow, obtuse, and cliquey when it comes to friendship-making and maintaining. We were raised with faster, more, and instant gratification. Many of our parents indulged in this even more so with the “over-praising” movement that started in the 90’s. In other words, we need to be told that we are just great how we are (no matter how messed up) and we are entitled to getting what we want, how we want. Does that sound like the best recipe for a friendship, where there is give and take?

We also have to consider the local culture of an area we live. I am in the Midwest, where people are very polite and have manners when it comes to social interactions, but there is this level of aloofness that seems to have pervaded since immigrants from “back in the day” first settled here. This aloofness was probably necessary for survival and keeping cultures intact, and it continued as time went by as the overall local culture. It’s hard to make friends with aloof people, that I can say! But I also know it’s different when you move away from the cities area. Turns out, most people who live in the Twin Cities aren’t even from Minnesota.

I second the meetup.com suggestion, but it’s not an instant fix. There are various steps to take when seeking friendships.

First, you have to really work on a lot of self-growth. People aren’t going to make you happy with yourself (not saying that’s your problem, but putting it out there) and no ounce of joining activities, volunteering, etc. is going to automatically lead to friendships. In fact, I daresay going into those environments with the expectation of eventually making friends is probably going to work against your favor. Trust me, people can smell this stuff a mile away, and you don’t even have to be desperate. For whatever reason-- be it human nature, culture, whatever-- when someone is seeking friendships, it’s not an attractive thing versus if they are just living their life and happen to meet others around them who they share commonalities with.

In addition, you’ve got to re-evaluate what you want out of life, and who you are willing (and not willing ) to enter your life for friendships. Life changes can alter the dynamic of friendships-- leaving college, getting a full-time job, being in a relationship, getting married, etc. You have to take an honest assessment of yourself and prioritize the non-negotiables versus the negotiables. This sounds a lot like looking for a marriage partner or a relationship, doesn’t it? There are several differences between marriage and friendship, but overall there are underlying core principles that are the same for both.

Last but not least-- you have to be open to making friends with people you may have never thought you would. NO I am not saying go out and make friends with someone who thinks running a meth lab is a great hobby, or with someone who takes great joy in bashing religion or the like. Sometimes we all have hang-ups regarding who we think we’ll be great friends with, and in reality it turns out that’s just not how it is. I know with myself, I tend to get along better with people who are older than myself-- as in 10+ years older. A few years ago, I would have balked and eschewed any attempts for making friends with someone who was 10+ years older than myself and sucked it up with being a couch potato and homebody. Now, I don’t care much for age, but more about whether principles and beliefs are respected and shared. I am sure many people my age must think that I am odd, but life never works out the way YOU want it to.


#13

Thanks… yeah, I guess it depends on the culture/area of where we live. I live in the East County part of San Diego. And where I live it’s a mix of older suburbs and the city. And the mall/shopping center is where just about everyone goes to hang out lol.

But like the last post said, maybe it’s just my perception, but people here where I live DO seem to be shallow/superifical. The majority either go to a young people’s mega-church or to no church at all around here. But there are a lot of catholics and Lapsed catholics too.

And there seems to be a lot of male macho types here where I live and things like that. You know what I mean?


#14

I heard a radio talk show personality repeat often that the "best way to find good friends is to be a good friend." She was not Catholic, in fact I don't even know if she was Christian but her words can clearly be applied with Christian thinking.

In other words, if you change your perspective: instead of trying to find friends for yourself, try and find people that you can be a friend TO.

Try and find someone who needs you. The elderly, the disAbled, volunteer somewhere, try and see where you can use your talents and gifts to help others. When you meet people ask how THEY are, focus on being kind to them. Volunteer at your church or soup kitchen for the homeless.

You see Juansdec...someone who is kind, generous and cares deeply about others and helps them cannot help but attract friends! It may take a little time but clearly if you focus on others instead of your own lonliness I beleive things may change for you. I am not saying that you are self-centered it seems you are a kind person but if you change your focus I beleive the Holy Spirit can help you with what you are seeking. Hope this helps a little, God bless you.


#15

That is a fluff statement because it implies that being a friend will cause you to make friends. Do you know how many people out there are friendship-material-- loyal, accepting, principled, supportive, strong, etc.-- yet do not have very many friends, if any? Or people just plain don’t like them very much, because for all their characteristics there is that ONE trait that is disliked? If someone is opinionated, outspoken, may think a lot, or may have non-stereotypical gender traits, sometimes it’s enough to disqualify all the rest.

It’s not enough just to BE a good friend. It’s not enough to change your perspective. The road to finding friendships is wrought with lots of trials and is more about becoming comfortable with yourself, or changing certain qualities about yourself that you were seeking in others for fulfillment. It’s a long process, but in the end you will be more satisfied with yourself as a person, rather than forming friendships with people you only have a superficial connection with.

Ever hear from people who sometimes complain or bemoan how the folks they hang around with either engage in activities or behaviors they don’t agree with, but for whatever reason they don’t stop hanging out with them? It’s because they think they have real friends and a genuine bond, but the truth is they just hang out for the sake of hanging out. They would rather associate them selves with people who they barely have anything in common with, than be alone.

I have gotten to the point where solitary activities are more enjoyable than hanging out with people who would rather do things I find questionable.


#16

#17

Good morning, not sure if calling my post a “fluff statement” is very charitable, but understand people have different points of view of course. I was trying to be sincere and helpful and apologize if it came across that I was making light of the OP’s concerns.

In all sincerity I meant what I said but perhaps could have worded it differently?

If one seeks to be kind and live according to the will of God, and if one desires frienship and prays for friends…then I beleive God may send loving friends into that person’s life. Of course “being a friend” will not cause automatic friendship I didn’t mean to imply that it would and and people will still be critical.

I was speaking about quality Christian friendships, perhaps that helps. Not people who “hang out for the sake of hanging out.”

God bless


#18

That statement is overused and is cliche when you think about it. It doesn't really provide a person with the tools needed for self-growth and maturity, and can often lead people to being too generous, needy, etc.


#19

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.