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finding friends

inspired by snippy

for some folks, online friends don't fill the same social needs as in-person friends.

for those of you who have had difficulty at times making in-person friends, and have found ways to solve that problem, what worked for you?

Some things that have worked for me are

  • inviting co-workers to a home-made dinner
  • joining and organizing ongoing religious/spiritual groups (in my case, eclectic/women's spirituality/shamanic)
  • participating in and organizing in-person meetings of people I knew from online forums

Things that seem to work for other people that don't usually work for me are

  • parties
  • bars
  • volunteering (I love volunteering, but I haven't usually made friends that way)
  • classes


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 7th, 2004 08:50 pm (UTC)
The vast majority of my close friends began as lovers. One of them now jokes about how fucking is/was my way of saying "hi." It was a viable strategy for a while, but now I'm trying something new. Some things I'm doing now to develop friendships include:

- doing projects together (zines, art, music)
- taking classes together
- cooking meals together or for each other
- offering assistance, sharing of my skills
- offering and asking for support, like rides, accompaniment to the doctor, emotional support, etc.
- networking, introducing people to each other, being community-minded
Mar. 7th, 2004 10:27 pm (UTC)
participating in and organizing in-person meetings of people I knew from online forums

That works for me. Almost everyone I know came directly or indirectly from an online venue.

The other way I've met people is through my writers' groups -- and wherever I am, there is always a writers' group, or else I start one.
Mar. 7th, 2004 11:00 pm (UTC)
Back in my BBS days online friends *were* in-person friends, because they were almost all local, plus that the fact that I ran a popular and long-lived discussion BBS myself put me into a host/facilitator/hub/knowledgeable person/local personality/etc. role as opposed to just being antisocial. But the online world moved onward and outward ...

I'd say that a good way to make in-person friends is to *really* *make* them, i.e. give birth to them, but, um, people might faint if I said that.

I have a fantasy that if I ever finished writing a book that that would help, and if anyone tries to disillusion me about that, well, I have my sound card turned off, so (cue the Flash Girls) lalalalalalalalalala I can't hear you!
Mar. 7th, 2004 11:01 pm (UTC)
All right, I'm weird, I have the opposite problem. I make plenty of in-person contacts and friends, but the on-line variety are not so easy. Almost every one that I correspond with online I knew in-person first. There are a few notable exceptions, and a few that I met both ways at nearly the same time.

I talk to people, which I realize isn't for everyone. I talk to people wherever I go and whatever I do. Sometimes it results in new friendships, and sometimes it just results in a pleasant experience on that day, at that time. In either case, I've had a better time than if I hadn't talked to someone.
Mar. 8th, 2004 01:56 am (UTC)
I go out with co-workers (when they're around; we're all pretty scattered). I've also been known to chat with people I ran into in the course of the day and eventually invited over. I might meet someone at a party, but since the kinds of parties I go to involve people sitting around talking and/or playing games they're an excellent way of meeting new people. And, of course, I meet a lot of people through friends.
Mar. 8th, 2004 06:16 am (UTC)
I harvested nearly all my friends from two things only (although I have a surprisingly large social group, given that):

  • University (specifically, living in dorms in my first year)

  • NaNoWriMo

Shared living arrangements with large numbers of people is sort of a no-brainer, especially if you share common spaces, so that you end up having to watch TV and movies together or you have a common social space for hanging out, playing games and so on.

The second one really falls under, to me, the broad category of shared-experience type events which focus on some common bond or interest.

I've made a couple of friends through our board gaming group too, but that's a spinoff of the NaNoWriMo group, so I didn't bother listing it separately.
Mar. 8th, 2004 06:32 am (UTC)
For the benefit of people just tuning in, how did you get in-person friends thru Nanowrimo?
Mar. 8th, 2004 06:46 am (UTC)
Most major cities participating in NaNoWriMo have municipal liaisons (I was one for Toronto this year), who are encouraged to hold events for their local writerfolk doing the contest. Toronto is particularly, wildly social, it turns out. On the message forums, we are bested only by "The Bay Area" and "England (Excluding London)" in terms of overall posts, for example, both of which dwarf us in population, as far as I know.

Anyhow, during NaNoWriMo we go kind of nutty on the social events. We have an event about every three days starting with one about three days before November begins to one about three days after it ends. Even given that schedule (plus an extra one in the middle that was the day before one of the others, this year), our members scheduled numerous impromptu get-togethers throughout the month. We flip-flopped, with every other get-together being for group writing sessions, the alternates being purely social. We had about fifteen people at every meeting this month. We even had about seven or eight at the one that was held at 2am at an all-night diner.

(The previous year, the group was smaller: I'd say an average of six people per meeting, which were once or twice a week.)

We'd made a lot of good friends through it. I met two of my partners through NaNoWriMo, actually; I met clawfoot at the 2002 NaNoWriMo wrap party, and thespian during the course of NaNoWriMo 2003. I think a couple of the other local NaNo folk are dating as well. But even aside from that, many people made many great friends, and we didn't want to lose touch with them.

We've formed three communities to support that: The first is a peer-editing group called Edit This Toronto, for working on our novels off-season; the second is a board gaming group, since many of us seemed to be gaming people; the last is a monthly meetup.com get-together, to formally get everyone together to just hang out. We've almost all added each other to our LJ friends lists, too, so many other meetings get called now and then. (There's a burgeoning regular sunday Pub nite, and about once a week during the week the gang goes out for crepes.)

I've been very lucky to be involved with the group.
Mar. 9th, 2004 05:23 pm (UTC)
Things that have worked for me:

* Making an effort to meet my online friends in person
* Going to local gatherings of people who are interested in things I'm interested in
* Going to poetry readings and *reading*
* Taking classes (especially series of classes that some of the same people keep attending)

Things that seem to work for other people that don't usually work for me:

* Inviting co-workers over
* bars
Mar. 9th, 2004 08:31 pm (UTC)
Conversation Cafe
If I was looking to make some new friends I'd start or join a conversation cafe:
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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