How do I get over all of my self defeating thoughts and being friends with women?

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching recently and I got over my nervousness in talking to women and being social. Now, I have some doubts in the way I look at relationships.

The thing is, I want to make friends with women and I mean really close friends. I want to be able to be there for my lady friends without trying to further our friend relationship into something else or being a jerk to them. I want them to invite me into their closest group of friends and to think of me when I’m not present and joking with me and hugs, all that stuff that close friends do. I say women because frankly I talk to women better than I talk to men despite being a guy,.I don’t know I feel that I connect more to them in conversation.

Thing is, I have an intrinsic thing for self loathing and I’m genuinely scared that I’m going about this the wrong way; I’m scared of building a friendship with women on the count that I have something impure/insincere in my thought process. I’m scared that through ACTUAL fault of my own I will do something to upset them or that I would be looking at our relationship in a wrong light.

To give an example, I have two female friends whom I mentioned in another thread where I complained over them not hugging me at a party. I already knew that I was going about it the wrong way but I never thought that maybe our friendship was as close as I thought it was. After some soul searching I found out that no, it wasn’t. I’m still friends with them, they still share some of my interests but I don’t talk to them as much as I used to because I don’t want to bother them with my attempts at being friendlier. If they don’t look at me as being close, platonic friends with them I wasn’t going to force it upon them.

Just because they don’t want to be closer to me but closer to others does not make them a bad person. I’m just scared that every friendship I ever make will end up like that. I have friends I admit it but only one of them and I mean one of them, someone whom I’m not even close to, ever initiates a conversation with me. Heck, I just noticed something else; none of my friends are people I knew for a long time and the oldest friendship that I have was created s year and 5 months as of this post ago. I’m not close to anyone, I have nobody except my parents to seek help from, Nobody thinks of unless I’m present and I really, really hate myself over this. I never, EVER do anything with anyone because nobody ever invites me or looks at me with even an iota of warmth. I lack confidence, I know but at the same time I don’t want to be use anybody.

I’m not trying to become friends with women as a way to create potential girlfriends because that’s just selfish and mean spirited, nor am I trying to get friends in order to get them to help me with my own problems. I just want friends whom I can share some actual fun times with but I don’t know what to do. Any advice? I want everyone especially the girls on this forum to give their opinion because I’m sorry to use such words but I don’t want to be a creeper. I look at women as individuals; somebody dancing or wearing ‘revealing’ clothing isn’t doing so for me but for herself. If I could talk about all the ******* injustices I’ve seen women go through, all the superficial ways I’ve seen men talk about them, all the down right selfish, misogynistic, utterly disgusting ways I’ve heard people talk about I would have a sermon that goes for 3 hours. I’m not joking, I really did witness all this. I also know that the mere mentioning of these things is enough to turn anyone off in a relationship let a lone a friendship. I’m too hyper aware and self concious of my flaws and too scared of what people may think.

I encourage you to get some counseling about these feelings you have towards yourself. Talk to your pastor, or get a referral through Catholic Charities or if you are in school, through them.

As for seeking to develop close friendships with females, that is unwise. The male-female bond is naturally one that leads towards marriage, which precludes the type of close relationship you are wanting when it comes to men who are not your spouse.

Befriending these girls and attempting to have an intimacy with them such as “best friends” is counter productive. When they find a boyfriend, and it gets serious, there will be less time for you and as they move into marriages and families, there will be even less time or “hanging out” with guys who are not their husband.

I hope you will be able to develop friendships with men your age, perhaps through Church or a common interest through volunteering.

1ke has some very good points.

mrajax said:

“The thing is, I want to make friends with women and I mean really close friends. I want to be able to be there for my lady friends without trying to further our friend relationship into something else or being a jerk to them. I want them to invite me into their closest group of friends and to think of me when I’m not present and joking with me and hugs, all that stuff that close friends do. I say women because frankly I talk to women better than I talk to men despite being a guy,.I don’t know I feel that I connect more to them in conversation.”

I think what’s happening is that women make more of an effort socially to make people comfortable, whether or not they actually like the people in question.

What you describe as your ideal is to be treated as a girlfriend, even though you’re a guy. I suppose that might be feasible if you were gay, but otherwise I think it’s not a good long-term plan. As 1ke points out, eventually they’ll find serious boyfriends and husbands and have kids, so it’s not the sort of relationship you envision is not sustainable over the long term.

“To give an example, I have two female friends whom I mentioned in another thread where I complained over them not hugging me at a party. I already knew that I was going about it the wrong way but I never thought that maybe our friendship was as close as I thought it was. After some soul searching I found out that no, it wasn’t. I’m still friends with them, they still share some of my interests but I don’t talk to them as much as I used to because I don’t want to bother them with my attempts at being friendlier. If they don’t look at me as being close, platonic friends with them I wasn’t going to force it upon them.”

There are lots of different circles of intimacy and you happen to have made a mistake about which one you were in. That doesn’t mean that they don’t like you. Accept what they freely offer.

In general, a guy insisting on a hug (or any other form of physical intimacy) is CREEPY.

“Just because they don’t want to be closer to me but closer to others does not make them a bad person. I’m just scared that every friendship I ever make will end up like that.”

You don’t have to be best buddy/soulmate/bosom friends with everyone you like. For one thing, nobody has that kind of time.

“Nobody thinks of unless I’m present and I really, really hate myself over this.”

You don’t know that.

Definitely seek counseling and some social coaching.

I have to add here that when I was in college, I had a number of guy friends, but as time went on and I got married and started a family, more and more of my deeper friendships were with other moms. I am friendly with dads from school, my kids’ friends’ dads, and my husband’s colleagues, but they aren’t MY friends and I am not intimate with them.

I think you’re under a false impression of what kind of friends the rest of the world has. The world you are describing is something that usually only exists between lovers and in eulogies. Do get some counseling, as 1ke suggested, because a realistic view of what a typical friendship is like will help you very much.

I can greatly empathize with what you’re going through. When I was in high school/college, I also had a much easier time talking with girls than with guys. And I was pretty socially awkward, too (not to mention my tendency to overthink all these things).

I know it might not seem like it now, but 1ke is right. As you get older, those girls will start dating and getting married. I had lots of great female friends in my single days. Now that I’m married (and most of them are married), I don’t talk to any of them anymore.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say you can’t be friends with girls. If you think marriage is your vocation, then you kind of have to make friends with girls. But you may need to adjust your expectations as to the level of intimacy you can expect from an opposite-sex platonic friendship.

I would encourage you not to overthink things, though. I think it can be dangerous to analyze every trivial social interaction (such as when a girl is or is not hugging you). That’s what’s going to lead to coming off as a little creepy. :o Some people aren’t huggers. And most just don’t give it that much thought to even notice. But if you’re always trying to initiate hugs, I think they will notice (and not in a good way).

The best thing to do is to relax and not put so much pressure on yourself. Is there a risk? Sure. All relationships come with risk. The only way to avoid it is to go live as a hermit. You don’t need to view every social interaction with the aim of forging a lifelong, super close friendship that will never go away. Friendships do come and go. That’s okay. It doesn’t make them useless.

Also as 1ke said, I would try to make some guy friends, too. I understand it can be more difficult, but just give it a shot. You don’t need to be super close to a ton of people. Even if you just find one or two guys that you click with, that would be a great blessing.

I also concur with 1ke’s advice about developing relationships through Church or volunteering. I know your profile says you are atheist/agnostic, so perhaps the latter is what will work for you. In my experience, finding a community that shares something (like love for Jesus or love for helping the poor or even love of playing Dungeons & Dragons every weekend) is the best place for friendships to blossom. If the group is structured, then there will be built in opportunities for social interaction. Thus you will not need to worry about being invited. And as there is often many people, there is less pressure with regards to the one-on-one interactions.

I understand it is hard. Anything worth doing will be difficult.

I will pray for you.

EasterJoy said:

“I think you’re under a false impression of what kind of friends the rest of the world has.”

Yes! Friendship is actually a very endangered species these days.

huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/04/close-friends-americans-two_n_1077129.html

A generation ago, the average American had three close friends. Right now, that number is down to two.

Joe5859 said:

“You don’t need to view every social interaction with the aim of forging a lifelong, super close friendship that will never go away. Friendships do come and go. That’s okay. It doesn’t make them useless.”

Exactly!

Looking back, I’ve had at least one good friend in whatever place I’ve lived, but I’ve never had a big group of friends in any one location.

For the record I’‘m not gay at all. I’m completely 100% straight. But I’m genuinely scared that no girl is ever going to be attracted to me. It’s not that I don’t have confidence I just really honestly think that nobody ever thinks of me outside of my presence. Nobody ever invites me anywhere, nobody ever does anything with me. Everytime I ask anyone outside of my dad about m yown personal problems theyt always brush me off and enver consider me. I feel that they’re doing the right thing and I really don’t think anyone genuinely likes me. I try to correct my faults and my mistakes. I’'m sorry I ever came off as creepy or pathetic.

I looked up in an earlier thread where you wrote your age, you are twenty years old and in college is that correct?

You also mentioned having problems with what you felt was severe depression for a long time and having trouble sleeping.

Dear one I would urge you strongly to seek medical attention. Do you have medical access or counseling services on campus? If not please seek help through a local charity or somewhere. God loves you, you do not have to keep living like this. Clearly you are seeking a better life for yourself, I am so sorry for the despair you are feeling. It is perfectly normal for you to want friends and a girlfriend! That is perfectly normal and wonderful! Please seek help somewhere and find the peace you deserve. God bless you and please take care as best as you can.

Gay? That was a puzzling comment to make. If you were gay, you would not be concerned that women weren’t attracted to you! You’d be relieved!

No, no, no…we’re not saying you’re creepy or pathetic! We’re saying just the opposite! We’re saying that you are not as much unlike everyone else as you seem to think. Many people wish they had a real confidante among their friends–one, though, and they are not particular whether it is an opposite sex person they might eventually marry or a same-gender friend that they might keep over the years, even through marriage. Many people either don’t have that friend or wouldn’t if they hadn’t gotten lucky enough to have that friend in a sibling or the kid that happened to grow up next door during grade school. Even those who have that friend don’t bring them to mind all of the time, not unless they married him or her. Many people wish they could just hug all their friends regardless of gender and not stir up feeling that they had not intended to stir up. It just doesn’t work that way, that’s the thing.

I think my husband and children may bring me to mind occasionally over the course of the day, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t think of me at all some days between when we wave goodbye in the morning and when I see them at night, because they are busy. I have close friends that I think of fondly when I think of them, but it is not that often…sometimes I’ll see something that reminds me of one, and I’ll think, “Oh, goodness, I haven’t heard from Mary in about a year. I wonder what she’s been up to. I’ll have to call her one of these days.” I have many people I consider my friends, but we essentially never talk about personal problems, excepting problems we have in common. I talk about mom sort of problems with the other moms, family problems with my sister, work problems with my husband, and so on. If I work at it, maybe I have lunch with my closer friends once every three months or so.

I will warn you that when we get into a funk, we can need a lot of maintenance, and it can wear even a close friend out. They see us coming and duck into a room and hope we didn’t see them, because they just do not have the energy for another round with whatever demon is bothering us, not because they don’t care but because they don’t know what they can possibly do to get us back on track. This is when professional help is a good idea. Why? Because a professional is not expected to just sit there and hold your hand through your funk. A professional is expected to figure out why you’re in a funk and how you are going to get yourself out of it by changing your outlook or treating your brain chemistry or whatever. A professional, IOW, has a tool box, and if their toolbox doesn’t have the tool you need, you can fire them just as you would if you’d hired a plumber only to find out that you need an electrician. If you have problems that will take a long time to figure out, the professional only has to ramp up the energy at the appointed time. That is doable for a human trained to do it.

Get yourself some counseling. Be willing to believe that your life can change if you get help in changing your thought patterns. Be willing to ask up front how you will know if the person you’ve hired is helping or if you need someone else. More to the point, stop beating up on yourself. A positive attitude that is positive because it has decided it won’t stop looking for a solution until It finds one that works is a positive attitude that can make a difference. You can do it!

You are not alone, by the way. Consider this quote:

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” – Henry David Thoreau

Why do you think that quote is so popular? It is popular because so many people hear it and say, “Yes! That is me! Do you mean to say that I’m not alone?” That doesn’t mean it has to be that way, but it does mean that feeling that way is very prevalent.

That’s how the world goes round, my friend. Generally speaking, you need to be on friendly terms with a person before that person becomes a “significant other.” If you’re not friends with a woman, it’s extraordinarily unlikely that she’ll want to be your girlfriend.

Because, as hard as this may be to believe…Girls *like *boys, and they *want *to be friends with boys, and they *want *to be boys’ girlfriends. I have two daughters, and I know for a fact that they have secret crushes. So while you might feel selfish and mean spirited by wanting a girl friend to become your girlfriend, that’s exactly what girls are looking for. It would be kind of funny, dontcha think? “Hello, cute girl. I’m being distant and unapproachable because I want you to be my girlfriend. If I were friendly toward you, it would mean that I’m selfish and mean spirited.”

Or do you suspect that there’s a secret way that everyone else has discovered?

:thumbsup:

hi,
so i read you are ‘historically,’ atheist; and you have visited a catholic forum…but, I have reviewed the other posts and these are to the point…with regard to a very ‘human’ answer…
I do think that we have souls…depending on social interaction…the girl of interest…might would believe in the soul…actually this would not make great conflict…the word ‘affinity’ might apply though…
to add, I have had many friends who were athiest…and to be honest-they impressed me that they were so likeable and amiable…No kidding…
My conversations with them, as i respected their opinion…revealed that they had things in common…that would be virtues as listed below (source wikipedia)

from ancient Greek philosophy, are prudence, justice, temperance (or restraint), and courage (or fortitude).

(by the way another list of virtues being more religious=faith hope love…)

Those top , cardinal virtues, could be a social experiment…and at the end of the day-see how it went with friendships…
i might get tagged here on the forum with criticism-but the girls at church may not be different from any other girl in the whole world/ there is a necessary life skill to learn-that is to know how to deal mentally, and from the heart, that of ‘unrequited love,’ which is in the event that love is not returned/so to learning the basics takes time on the calender-the basics begin with friendship…
If i could politely point out…self defeating -self concepts must change…again by the end of the day…so there is a trend in the learning curve…frustrations some days, success other days…courage is learned quicker than you think…social experiments do work…to change the unfortunate routine…so the questions, i conclude with are…: does the action teach more than a tentative social strategy? or moreover, does the action, overcoming a passiveness with an action-help esteem? is self confidence earned by some amiable action?
or does a strategy have to begin with a change in self esteem firstly? maybe not, rather , i think action, at any calculated risk to be rejected, takes a momentum from all four cardinal virtues…to be anxious yet having courage at the same time…is not suprising as a great benifit…(if you , i say respectfully, have questions on God-the forum members would be glad to answer- i say this because-i read between the lines in the OP that you might have catholic friends. and i read that there is an anger in your emotional state when writing-the thing to do is confront that anger before it eats you like a cancer…to shake it-some risk of action is necessary.)

If you want women to want to be your friend, the first thing you need to do is stop trying so hard. You sound like a creep, to be quite honest.

The second thing is that you need to be ready to welcome your female friends’ boyfriends/husbands into your life and circle of friends. If you don’t, you will lose your friends.

I’m not as pessimistic as some on this board. I believe wholeheartedly in opposite sex friendships. In fact, with the exception of one, all of my friends are male. But you have to be ready for limits and boundaries that won’t be there in same sex friendships, and you have to be ready to face the fact that if she gets in a relationship, she may not see you one on one anymore. You absolutely have to graciously welcome her boyfriend.

That’s why my husband and I are so lucky. When we started dating, my circle of friends (all male) opened right up to him and he was instantly welcomed and included. He considers them his friends now too. (His friends welcomed me in a similar manner). Had I ever gotten the inkling that he wasn’t welcome, I probably would have lost those friends.

Yes. If you have opposite-sex friends, you have to be ready to make room for a courtship in any way that you are asked, including largely retiring from the scene. (This is particularly true if you are the kind who always seems to be looking for an “affectionate” hug coming and going. :rolleyes:)

OP, if you want platonic friendships with women, then take whatever platonic friendships come your way, male or female, provided the person is of worth. If you’re only looking to have huggy women friends, people are not going to interpret your intentions as being platonic.

Indeed. My circle of friends includes both male and female, but the closest friends I’ve had were/are women.

I agree with you all that I was looking at it the wrong way. Blueyedlady, if I come off as a creep I’m sorry about it but I can see where you’re coming from. I never considered getting jealous over any potential friends, male or female, not paying me much attention if they have boyfriends or not. I think this hugging thing is what made me come off as creepy and I admit that I in general I am socially awkward. I never thought about my ‘hugging desire’ being creepy because I genuinely thought the hug was sometihng that friends share to show they like each other. It isn’t merely the hug; it’s not that I WANT to get hugged for the sake of getting hugged. In general I was thinking of being shown affection and appreciation. I just felt like wanting to experience the feeling in being inside a group of friends just enjoying themselves as I have noone who does so. I’m tired of doing everything alone.

I feel that my friends are mere acquiantances not friends friends. They always hang out whilst I’m always left out. I honestly tried being more social and yes, it’s worked, people do hold a conversation with me, I always ask them about their interests and let them talk but when it comes to initiating talks with me, nobody does and I’m often the only one left out even if everyone in the whole room is speaking. That’s what’s frustrating me. I’m begging for more when I should just be happy with the friends I have.

mrajax said:

“I admit that I in general I am socially awkward.”

It’s time to work on that. I have a mildly autistic child who did social skills groups when she was younger and still sees a psychologist about once a month. I’m more familiar with what to do with a child who is socially awkward, but this is a well-recognized issue in the psychological community, and you just need to find the right person to work with for coaching.

You can start by googling “social skills for adults” but you’ll probably eventually need to start working with a real live human, just so you have a chance to role play and get feedback and get advice on particular situations.

Guys, when it comes to actually having a relationship with a woman a sin boyfriend-girlfriend relationship/dating/courtship, I’m feleing insecure because I’m scared that nobody will like me. Someone here already said that I come off as creepy and if somebody on the forums felt this way how will others in real life feel?

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