It's a mobile app where profiles are private. And it connects people in groups of 3, but not only based on interests, but personality, lifestyle, values, etc. It would be awesome if we could connect a bunch of this crowd IRL. What do you think? https://we3.app.link/
I think we've moved past the whole "not being able to be friends with someone of the same gender" thing (nevermind the fact that people of the same gender can date!). There are probably better ways to tackle people using the app for dating.
I think you meant to say "of the opposite gender".
I find it difficult to make friends with people of both genders, but my hobbies and interests seem partitioned strongly to one gender, virtually making the other gender seem alien and extra hard to make friends with. I don't know why that's the case, and it seems to be one of the great questions of our time along with others like what dark matter is. :0 Indeed, some of them seem to FEIGN interest for the purposes of mate seeking, but questioning each and every person's motives would devolve us into some kind of McCarthyist wasteland of jade, toxic cynicism.
One possible solution is to keep gender secret in interaction. Another would be to segregate interactions by gender. We3 chose the latter. I whine at the strangeness and unfashionable nature of humanity, but I can't whine at We3's decision. It seems to keep everything pretty--
>(nevermind the fact that people of the same gender can date!)
We're back to the wasteland.
Albeit a smaller wasteland, statistically.
I don't think the fact that you find it hard to do so should be a reason to restrict your user-base. I see a case for single-gender outings and understand that some people would prefer such outings, but I think co-ed outings could add to the app.
EDIT: Just saw your link on why tribes are single gendered. I didn't really take the creep-factor into account. Maybe a 2 on 2 female/male ratio would help reduce it, best of luck with figuring it out, it's a tough nut to crack!
As another fellow expat, my main issue is trying to make friends with locals or other people that are outside the "expat bubble."
From my experience, those who stay in expat bubble too long become really toxic (both the expats and the locals that hang around them).
I've been learning the local language and have made a lot of progress by just getting involved in specific hobby groups like hiking and birding.
It's tough but rewarding.
Just avoid using a dog, cat and rabbit as your mascots I guess ;)
I have a strong preferences not to use apps that are mobile only. And I firmly believe that communicating on mobile has a hard time turning into something more substantial. People nowadays are used to quick status updates while on mobile. Look at the popularity of Snapchat. Why bother writing something when I could just post a picture on Instagram?
It is difficult to make friends when you are over 30, and I think with society stuck on the internet and mobile, it will be even more difficult. At least break free from mobile.
If I am looking to build a friendship, mobile is not the place I would look. Hookup? Tinder/mobile is awesome.
For me making new friends is easy, probably because I am used to it. It is not that hard unless you are desperate.
It is like money, when you don't need it, it way easier to make money than when you need it.
The best way to make friends it to find an indirect way of being in close contact with other people, an help them.
For example I have made incredible friends helping people on drugs. After months or years of pain, when those people get out of drugs they are your friends for all your life, because you were there when very few people were.
I also made lots of friends volunteering teaching(poor) kids 3d printing and engineering in general. When those kids become men or women they surprise you.
From my point of view, you make friends when you don't need to make friends, because you have more important things to do than focusing in yourself.
I know people who fit in the classical "over 30" role with 23 because they got two children and I know people who don't fit in that role with 42.
But I think there is a high correlation between age and state of life.
Also, the people over 30 that aren't in that "I don't have time for other people"-state are often those who struggle to find friends.
One thing to note though is that one needs to pursue it proactively. Don't be ashamed to ask people to add you to their whatsapp group. Don't be afraid to supply other people with food they like, so they will remember you when they want to relax. And take off some time from your hobbies and work schedule so you can participate in meetups.
That is rude and looks desperate. If a group actually likes you, then they would invite you first. As a general rule, never invite yourself to anything social. You can invite others to your place or to have dinner, but not to something else somebody already planned
I tend to appear standoffish and several friends have told me that they initially believed that I disliked them. I have to tell people explicitly that I am interested in spending time with them to overcome this.
but then those other people are begrudgingly inviting you out of politeness since you asked, rather than being a genuine invite
In my early 20's, I was more open to hanging around people I know I didn't like, or wasn't compatible with, because I didn't want to be alone or without friends, craved attention, and saw every social encounter as a stepping stone and potentially valuable.
Now, I know better. When you get older you realize you don't need to surround yourself with people whom you don't like, no longer crave as much attention, and already stepped along many of life's stones. You also put on less of a pretense to others and care less about being liked. It's more important to be authentic and true, even if that means having less friends, than a phony with a lot of fake friends. All this has the result of making it more difficult to randomly find real friends.
It's common I'll meet many new people but the ones who I stay in contact with are few and far between, and that's okay. People come into your life and go out of it, it's just the way things work. I'm thankful for everyone I've had in my life and know that there are many more great people who I have yet to meet.
As an introvert social interaction drains my mental energy so at some point you start investing more energy into enjoying your best friends than into making new friends.
2. There is this recruiting problem where you have to decide which secretary to hire before having seen all of them. The optimal solution is to see the first 37% (1/e) and then hire the first that is better than the previously seen best.
Putting that into lifespan of ~75 ys and assuming we don't really start sampling until we are 15, we end up with an optimal stopping (= exploitation) age of 32.07.
Surprisingly close to the 30 mentioned.
I figured, that for me, 37% (1/e) worked out to 13 people.
This (finding people) is a space I've spent a lot of time doing, planning, understanding, and thinking about :)
Also, there are a lot of scientific papers on how to model these in scholar.google.com (sorry that I don't have links that I can give right now)
I'm not an expert on psychological motivations, so I can't speak to the feelings or motivations of others, just myself.
Most of the time these results are things I find during introspection after social events are over. I can spend 4 hours in a social situation and be one of the drivers that keeps things going. It's later, when I'm alone and meditating, that I discover just how exhausted I was.
My wife is an introvert and is highly skilled at chit chat. She can work a room better than anyone but the most gregarious salesman types. She will remember the names of people that she met 10 years ago, details about their careers, their children's names and what their children studied in college. Doesn't matter if it's a professional event, a wedding, or a funeral, she is always on her game. BUT, she always goes home exhausted.
Have you ever wondered if deep inside you are an introvert that just got very good at pretending to be an extrovert at early age due to social pressure? Western society rewards extroverts.
Are you sure about that? I get the impression that the English culture regards extroverts as freaks of nature and terrifying monsters.
My older male friends are less and less interested in romance as they report finding sex with no strings attached is getting easier with age.
For older women, the situation is the exact opposite. Their dating pool, which consists of (say) all older men keeps decreasing with age.
That might explain why your older female friends find relationships harder as they age, rather than a decrease in their physical attractiveness. The latter is what many women attribute their situation to, but IMO its just statistics and preferences.
But what's also true is women tend to want to settle down in their early-mid 30s (at least in large American cities, among professional types) and now they become simultaneously more selective. In a sense, women are always the 'choosers' with rare exceptions. Men tend to have wider nets, on average.
And this is where Facebook tries to seduce you. I'm going to go ahead and say that 90% of your Facebook friends aren't friends but rather they are acquaintances. Being friends means actually doing something together. Rather than liking your Facebook friends' vacation pictures, why not go on a vacation with them?
I was only part of the local community of players (green team in my city) briefly, but it was enough to learn that people in it talk to each other all the time (via Hangouts at that time), they see each other every evening, play together and then hang out together. That's one of the strongest friendship-making activities I've ever seen.
Side note: I'm surprised how in both Ingress & Pokemon GO, friendships cross team boundaries; you can be adversaries and friends, like in any respectable sport.
(For those unfamiliar, Ingress players have tongue-in-cheek epithets for the opposing team. Green team are "frogs" and blue team are "smurfs".)
The date didn't lead to anything as I don't think she had any romantic interest in me, but it was definitely a funny point when during a lull in conversation I paused and gravely asked if it was OK for her to be on a date with a "filthy frog" and she busted out laughing.
It's definitely a somewhat unique phenomenon, and I like both the effect (seeing friends more regularly) and being able to experience it from the inside.
It does, however, give me the feeling that I should put more effort into getting together with my other friends. But life provides any number of excuses to delay it.
Sounds like sports or any hobby that involves other people. But I haven't played it so maybe I'm missing what's unique about it.
Reading the sentence I just wrote it still just sounds like sport, where you have to go to an oval or arena or whatever. But with Pokemon Go it's sort of 'anywhere' and yet specific at the same time. It's a particular place at a particular time. The difference may just be that it's a virtual / digital game rather than a physical one.
You form your first friendships really early on with an extremely strong commonality - the hugeness of the world and your lack of information about it. Literally everything is in common with your peers circa age 2-4 because nothing is established yet. If it weren't for how our society has a habit of breaking these kids up constantly throughout their childhoods I would think those relationships would form the most iron clad friendships you can get if they survive to adulthood. Too bad about 90% of the kids you meet in daycare you never see again after you start school.
School is the next big one, where for most kids they will struggle alongside each other for 13 years straight. The mixing up of classes year to year again hurts the likelihood of strong friendships forming, but you can also just have kids your age in your neighborhood as a strong peer group. You have massive amounts of commonality at that point - you are taking the same classes, you live in the same area, you know the same people, you are subject to the "same" pop culture of your school.
That is where those high school clicks emerge from. The most bonded peer groups of before specialize as they age.
The same hold true into college, but I definitely don't see the same commonality and uniformity there. Going through puberty is really the cutting off point where divergent personalities specialize your interests enough that finding commonality becomes much harder, and you start having much less to offer your peers over their cumulative experiences and engagements.
It only gets worse from there. The more years into life you are, the more interests and specialties you have as a person that makes finding compatibility all that harder. People force themselves into relationships and marriage out of societal pressure. Nobody forces you into friendship nearly as much, so over that hump the lack of compatible people drops to near zero. Its why I think most marriages fail - they are trying to force the highest degree of friendship, when the older you get the harder it is.
Pokemon Go, and video games in general, are extremely effective ways to get people a commonality to force them together and interacting in ways that can build meaningful bonds. A common challenge is essential to bonding. The more passionate you can be about it the more likely it works.
But even then the 30 year old comes with baggage. They already have their favorite movies and musicians. Likes and dislikes. Hobbies and things they want to avoid. Because they have experienced so much more a fraction than they would have as children they are that much more set in stone. The adage of how you can't change a person applies here - even children demonstrate dramatically declining malleability as they gain experience in life. As you gain magnitudes more life experience your flexibility personality wise declines by similar magnitudes. It is trying to fit together puzzle pieces - if the pieces are made of clay you can mold them to fit. If they are tried out and set in stone they are rigid and it is much harder to find a match, and those matches are much easier to fracture and break.
The commonality and struggle are the prongs of a puzzle piece. The more impactful on your life, the happier it makes you, the more passion you can have for it the more pronounced those prongs can be. Early on you only need the simplest commonality as being the same age or living near one another to forge bonds - as you get old and your piece gets more defined and nuanced, it takes larger struggles and stronger forces to bind pieces together.
"The friend of your youth is the only friend you will ever have, for he does not really see you...and perhaps he never saw you. What he saw was simply part of the furniture of the wonderful opening world. Friendship was something he suddenly discovered and had to give away as a recognition of and payment for the breathlessly opening world which momently divulged itself like a moon flower. It didn’t matter a damn to whom he gave it, for the fact of giving was what mattered, and if you happened to be handy you were automatically endowed with all the appropriate attributes of a friend and forever after your reality is irrelevant.”
Wow, this quote is phenomenal
Great answer. I would just add: the bigger the struggle, the stronger the friendship. Military friendships are the extreme example of this. I've seen war comrades crying like children after decades without contact.
Great friends don't need to talk constantly to remain close friends. For various reasons, I lost contact with my best childhood friend for a while. It was 10 years, but it felt like nothing, we instantly clicked again.
>You form your first friendships really early on with an extremely strong commonality - the hugeness of the world and your lack of information about it. Literally everything is in common with your peers circa age 2-4 because nothing is established yet. If it weren't for how our society has a habit of breaking these kids up constantly throughout their childhoods I would think those relationships would form the most iron clad friendships you can get if they survive to adulthood. Too bad about 90% of the kids you meet in daycare you never see again after you start school.
This is exactly my experience as well. My best friend and I originally met before we can even remember, we must have been 3 or 4 years old. There are pictures of us running around in pajamas and bowler hats, play fighting with plastic pirate swords, stuff that I can't really remember now.
We actually didn't really get to see each other more than once or twice a year, because we lived so far apart, so I guess we bonded even more intensely for the couple of weeks we had every summer. We lost touch around the 6th or 7th grade, and didn't really see each other for 10 years or so, apart from sporadic chats on Facebook and such.
But we finally got back together in 2014, and it was almost as if no time had passed. We had burgers and a few beers, and talked for 6 hours straight. Completely separately from each other, we've both become huge metalheads, so now we go to concerts and festivals all the time, and he invited me to join his music quiz team. We're annual champions for three years running now, and the guys have become my closest friends.
They've also gotten me into pen'n'paper roleplaying games, and introduced me to further new friends through that.
It is definitely harder to make friends as you get older, you have to hit just the right shared interests to make it work.
If two people living together for years split up without being married in the first place, it improves the divorce statistics but doesn't really change the underlying reality.
Isn't this also true when you join any group of people who sharing the same goal?
For example: A soccer or football team or gym? Or maybe a book club even.
Sports and books respectively are missing an element of that formula. Sports aren't immersive. The obstacle is always just a game, for fun. Except when it isn't. There is a reason major sports professionals form lifelong bonds amongst each other while a volleyball club doesn't have as profound an impact. Your brain doesn't create a mountain of importance out of the sport.
For books, there is no common enemy to struggle and persevere against. You can get really immersed, but that makes the book memorable, not the people you talk about it with. In the same sense it is better than nothing and can produce friendship, but its not nearly as effective.
The trick is that none of it can be forced. You can't "make" yourself care, and nobody else can. It has to be a legitimate struggle with legitimate engagement and sense of comradery. Kids in school can feel that sense. Immersed gamers can feel it. If you are passionate about game development you can feel that with your codevs. But you need both pieces for the magical result.
The hardest part of the game is getting enough players to take down a high level boss, which is why people have taken to joining chats to coordinate raids. Though this may be different for highly populated areas, and it's still possible to just randomly show up at a raid and find people waiting for it to start.
* https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrtyNMe3xtv3CLg5QR78HzQ/vid... - Best youtube channel I've encountered, though it's done in vlog style, so it's probably quicker to get information from the sites above.
I am able to make new friends, but they end up being more like acquaintances most of the time. Currently I am in grad school, and that's working out well for me. There's something about the shared camaraderie and shared suffering from the workload that builds real friendships.
I suppose that's why I tend to gift Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet to friends, i.e. "But your solitude will be a hold and home for you even amid very unfamiliar conditions and from there you will find all your ways." Or maybe that's why I admire Tarkovsky, i.e. "I don’t know… I think I’d like to say only that they should learn to be alone and try to spend as much time as possible by themselves. I think one of the faults of young people today is that they try to come together around events that are noisy, almost aggressive at times. This desire to be together in order to not feel alone is an unfortunate symptom, in my opinion. Every person needs to learn from childhood how to spend time with oneself. That doesn’t mean he should be lonely, but that he shouldn’t grow bored with himself because people who grow bored in their own company seem to me in danger, from a self-esteem point of view."
Though sometimes I think about what side is greener, I suppose it's a matter of perspective.
Community College typically don't have dorms and high participate in student orgs.
Like you said, grad school has been useful because you're all going through the same situation and spending repeated time with each other.
For me, it was picking a handful of Meetup.com groups that interested me and going to meetups over and over and over again, until I became one of the regulars that knew pretty much everyone and they knew me. And then we started inviting each other to private events, and friendships grew from there.
so it may be less about being 30+ and more about not having regular activities which bring you in contact with the same people over and over again.
What really helped me was getting into a bunch of hobbies and putting myself out there, starting kickboxing and crossfit, volunteering at a local historic motor race, going to concerts and festivals, music quizzes. Just a bunch of stuff that interestes me, and presumably interest people with a similar mindset as mine.
> Currently I am in grad school
A post about being in grad school at 42 would be something I'd read.
As I have grown older I realised that my university friends were mainly a bunch of snobby middle class boring people. They had a careers, while I explored life a fair bit more (and still manage to have a career after taking a few years out).
The guys who I have met through kayaking - an activity where we have quite literally saved each others lives on occasion - are far more interesting and fun and more real friendships.
I was involved with the university club for a while, until my level was beyond wanting to help teach beginners and push my own limits somewhat harder.
Travelled and worked as a rafting guide after university, and I quite literally have kayaking friends all over the world now.
What other struggles are there that we can take on to facilitate bonding?
It occurs to me that raising children is a struggle and can help someone bond with their spouse. That doesn't help single people (like me) though. Work can be a struggle, but not always a positive one, and switching jobs can end it. I imagine firefighters and EMT workers face a deeper struggle than corporate jobs and form deeper friendships.
I made tons of friends in my 20s and early 30s. Many of them moved away to other cities with time, so I have fewer friends now, but that's also partly due to being in a long term relationship, so I have less time, and I'm still friends with some of the people I became friends with in my 20s, and between work, relationship, life and those other friends there isn't much time left for anything else. That's without kids in the mix!
However none of the friends I made in my 20s were friends borne of a shared struggle. Most of them were people I met through going to social events specifically organised for people to meet each other. The city I moved to had a lot of transient worker types moving through them so there were lots of events organised by and for expats (perhaps I should call us migrants, as that's what we were). People would turn up to a bar and know nothing about anyone except that we all wanted to make friends, and maybe even hook up. Everyone arrived alone and was trying to make new friends all the time, so if you got a few friends that way, they'd also have a few friends, and everyone would start going to similar events so you'd see each other a lot, and that branched out into events organised just in our groups - mostly very simple events like "let's all meet in the park and drink and barbecue today". It was all quite straightforward and struggle-free. As people came and went I found myself going round that loop several times in my 20s, developing new groups of friends as old ones slowly dissipated.
The only slightly tough part of it was learning how to be sociable with total strangers. Most people are a bit shy and it's not really natural to make fun conversation with someone you just met and know nothing about, but it's like anything, it comes with practice.
I wouldn't describe most work as a struggle. There has to be some higher purpose than just getting through the day. Startup life can achieve that in some way, if you're a very early employee or founder as that way the hard decisions and unexpected events are shared in your group. I'm like that right now - not a founder but a senior executive at a startup firm, and I'm lucky enough to be (by coincidence) working with someone who was in the same class as me at university, someone who I had stayed friends with throughout our 20s. And yeah, building a company is tough work, it's definitely a struggle that I feel enhances our friendship, certainly we see a lot more of each other these days!
I think this is, in its own way, a kind of shared struggle: meeting with groups of expats provided you with a group that you could bond with over the shared experiences and modern "hardships" of adapting to life in a new city.
I've found that competitive gaming has been pretty good for this, with the stipulation that it mainly applies to 1v1 games which are usually played at live events (such as fighting games like Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros Melee, or card games like Magic: The Gathering), rather than games which tend to have more of an online presence (MOBAs like League of Legends and digital card games like Hearthstone are less good for this). Pretty much any game that has an active local scene will have at least one local business (usually a game store or an arcade) that runs weekly events for a nominal entry fee.
The immediate benefit to playing a competitive game that has an active local scene is that you'll find yourself in the same space and spending time with the same group of people for several hours at a time on a weekly basis, so at the very least you'll become acquainted with most of the locals. Attend enough of these weekly events and it's usually pretty easy to get plugged in with people who run smaller, less-official events on the other days of the week. One of the things I like about Magic: The Gathering is that I can move to any major city, go to a Friday Night Magic event, and quickly get plugged into a local network of people who share my interests.
If you ever take your game beyond the local level, then you'll also probably end up forming more social connections with people in the local scene, as traveling to events becomes much more economical when you do it with a group of people to split the cost of hotel room and gas. When you travel to an event with a group, you end up spending a lot of time with the same group of 3-4 people over a period of a weekend, which can be a great bonding experience. There's also the fact that traveling to events like this has the effect of making you feel like you're competing together as a "team," even if you're all competing individually; it's fun to root for people from your own city, and it's these sorts of experiences that really offer the kind of "struggle" that I think is good for facilitating bonding. Part of the benefit of traveling to an event as a group is having people to commiserate with after you get knocked out of the tournament.
The "commiserate with and/or root for people I recognize from my own city" can also apply to people you didn't travel with, and in fact having serendipitous encounters with people you know but didn't travel with can also be a great bonding experience. When you drive four hours to an event and then see someone you recognize from home, it can make for a great, "Hey, good to see us!" moment, and even if it's not someone you know really well, you always have "so how's your tournament run going?" as an icebreaker. These moments can often end in making dinner plans where you get all of the dozen or so people from your home city to meet up at a bar or diner, and a lot of the most memorable experiences I have from competitive gaming come from those late-night dinners.
I've found that any hobby that offers "casual regular events on a weekly basis, plus occasional group trips for the people who take it more seriously" is a great recipe for bonding; I played competitive Pokemon for several years despite not enjoying the game particularly simply because of the great social experiences that I had with playing it. I have friends who are into cosplay and anime conventions who have had analogous experiences. Competitive gaming is the main one that I engage in that I consider "strictly recreational," but I've also had some similar experiences with the local game dev scene and with local writing groups, which are adjacent to my professional life. Some of my favorite experiences in game development have come from going to a big event like PAX and just having friends (both from internet and from back home) stop by my booth to chat. There's just something great about traveling across the country to an unfamiliar city and seeing a familiar face that I find really special, and events like these can also be a great chance to turn "internet friends" into "real friends."
I used to be active in a ski club that would plan weekly trips to mountains. Made a lot of friends through that. I need to find another organization like that.
I also think social isolation around gay people makes friendship among gay people special. I don't know much about Western countries like U.S., but here in Tokyo, most of the gay are still in the closet. They have to pretend to be straight outside gay communities. It is really stressful. They cannot talk much about their lovers or their gay friends. A lot of gay people around me say drinking with straight people is just boring because of those reasons. That drives us to make gay friends.
It is quite anecdotal, but I didn't have single friends a year ago, and now I've got 4, 5 close gay friends since I started using a dating app. I am actually very satisfied with my current life.
I have many child-free gay friends in their late 30's-50's and their social lives are often 5x those of their straight counterparts.
WOW. You will never find a friendlier bunch of people who are always looking for new friends, even when there isn't attraction present (a common mistake in the vanilla world is that lifestylers have sex with anything that moves). It is the most welcoming community we've ever been a part of.
I mean, if I have a Tinder profile, I will expecting people who tapped me are all womans. So when I found out it's actually a guy, I will be surprised and feel wired.
I do have a friend that swears by couchsurfing.com for finding new friends, but I personally haven't tried it.
Granted, I am sure some of that has more to do with myself and my personality, but any time I meet someone from "the apps", there's always some sexual tension, even if we establish beforehand that we're not looking for sex. It's an odd dynamic which I've tried to breakdown before meeting by adamantly establishing that I'm just looking for friends. Maybe it's where I live, maybe it's the kind of people I end up meeting, or maybe it's me. I know it's partially me because I am in a very different place in my life at my age than most people I know or have meet through these apps. But I sure do wish it was easier to make friend's via the gay social apps.
What app are you using in Tokyo?
You're right about Tinder, but Bumble has the "bff" thing.
I went on it for a while as a straight dude, and everyone I matched with was a gay guy. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I'll add that the workplace can be problematic for friendship as there is extra room for undue hostility. If someone makes a mistake, for instance, that mistake may fall directly on your shoulders and friendships predicated on that type of situation usually do not end well. People do not want to feel like they are being taken advantage of in friendship.
Compare that with a scholastic environment and mistakes generally only affect the one who made it (or perhaps faculty, who students usually do not befriend), thereby not affecting friendships. If your own grades were dependent entirely on your friends' performance in school, you just might not be able to maintain those friendships quite so well.
Maybe I'm really strange here, but do guys even have lady friends who are not their relatives, who are not their co-workers, and who they are not trying to date?
Edit: Downvotes? Is there something controversial about being friends with women to just have enjoyable conversation and platonic interaction without some sort of ulterior motive?
I find it harder to make friends with males because it's often hard to find a good connection. I'm 47. But I have made good friends with other males once we find a groove (often based around humour)
I've often been surprised about the things other males think about once they open up. Initially some males can seem quite one dimensional.
I got a lot of crap when I was younger because of my friend choices. Teenage years? My parents wouldn't trust my friends. Didn't like me hanging out with them. Folks assumed I was having sex with this group of guys, which was really weird as I didn't generally date within our core group. In many areas, it simply isn't socially acceptable. Yet it is completely socially acceptable to be somewhat possessive of your romantic interest, up to and including forbidding them to have opposite-gendered friends. For men stuck in a "macho" society, it can signal that they might be gay and made fun of for it (and I don't actually understand why). It sucks, and I'm quite happy my spouse isn't one of those people.
I work pretty hard to maintain some normal interests, enough that I can chat with pretty much anyone. I do find deeper relationships difficult though, as there are fewer people who share my real interests in my area (or even in my cohort of long term friends). Finding those people is difficult.
Long term relationship is easier when you can talk about trivial day to day stuff, because is not enough serious stuff to talk about normally - after a while you just said it all.
If it's hard, it's usually a psychological difficulty rather than a lack of opportunity.
Unless you live somewhere exceptionally remote, you're usually surrounded by people and opportunities for meeting them are quite frequent. You could strike up conversations most anywhere: from streets to bus stops to parks to bars to dance and social clubs to special interest groups, work, cafes, parties, conferences, and so on.
Usually, though, most people don't make the effort, for a variety of reasons ranging from fear to awkwardness and lack of social skills.
Once you meet people, though, you have to go further and cultivate acquaintances in to friends, and lots of people fail to do that as well. Even after a friend is made, however, it's still a challenge to get closer and then to maintain the friendship, which again people often fail to do.
For people over 30+ some common threads are same-aged children, similar pets, common hobbies, etc. It's just easier, and let's assume that my life is busy enough that I don't have the energy to work in new relationships that don't have a certain flow to it. It's not about fear or lack of social skills, because at some point we are ALL going to be awkward in a conversation and this is easily forgiven, especially since by the time we hit 30+ we are a bit more patient.
Personally, I've found that creating a small group is the best way to find new friends and the energy to cultivate it is spread out amongst the group. Inviting new people into the common circle is MUCH easier. It's easier to keep interesting conversation with 3 people than 2. But with more people comes the problems of scheduling and opportunities become slimmer.
Similar-minded people looking for friendship is easier than doing it alone.
Now sure, not every conversation with a stranger will turn into a life long connection between soulmates. Some of them you'll never talk to again. And sure, sharing the work between a circle of like-minded friends can help once you've gotten that like-minded circle of friends established.
But I have to say - some my best friendships have formed when a relative stranger struck up a conversation with me over a game. Or a job. Or a shared technical interest. Or, yes, by just being in the same damn place at the same damn time.
I'm probably just picky, because I can't imagine making a single friend over a year using that scattershot approach.
I actually do live in a fairly remote place, pmoriarty, but your comment has me reflecting on culture. Seattle, where I regularly visit, is known for the "Seattle Freeze," whereby people are insular and guarded. I spent a lot of years there in the tech world and have no relationships to show from it; just business. Perhaps you are in a locale where the culture is more open and welcoming, where people are more willing to engage in conversations with strangers?
I spent a lot of time working remotely. Bouncing up and down the northeastern corridor. I found a way to get acclimated to a city rather quickly. Find your tribe, friend the service staff, and it generally grows from there. Make yourself that you're a regular, and a good person.
I'm not an outdoorsy person, I'm not a "chill" person. What I enjoy wasn't common fare. That's not meant as a knock. The closest I found here, was the LGBTQ community. But there was a bit of trepidation with me being a software developer, i.e. causing problems for the city.
There is the Seattle freeze. But it's also we're busy and there is not that much in common. It's important to try and not be negative. Blaming the city is not beneficial. Maybe the city just isn't right for you. What do you want from your city, where you live?
I will say I did find it's more insular. My usual fare of trying to join a conversation at a bar didn't work. Saying hi, was not well received. I also think I had a cloud of negativity, from heavy job dissatisfaction that limited a positive response. My few friends here. Were gained from bartenders a bouncer, and someone I met at a mixer.
One other thing I'd note. Is I try and perform outside of work, event hosting, dj'ing, etc. I tried talking to promoters but got stood up a lot. Make an appointment to meet up and no show.
This is certainly nowhere close to the norm in europe. I only know a couple of people who work more than 40 hours a week (37.5 is standard in the UK), and they definitely take vacations.
This is simply observed by noting that most people, in both countries, actually work and pay taxes. Therefore, in Europe, most people are paying for both their own services and for those of people who can't afford it. That's an attitude of "I'll pay for my neighbor" not "my neighbor should pay".
It's like you are celebrating a system that didn't take much out of you to give seriously dehydrated people water while conveniently neglecting the result that giving them a bottle of water either made them destitute or prolonged their lives by a small amount. You also conveniently neglect that many first world nations manage to have universal healthcare and spend less per person than us. I will say this though, if you are rich there are very few better places to be for healthcare than America. Hoorah, what a great system; what a great quality of life for everyone!
Disclaimer: My two Seattle visits were both welcoming and pleasant, and I've never met newfoundglory. Had I, I likely would have found them to be quite friendly.
Wanna be friends?
I would extend your evaluation to say that it is not appropriate for use on others, but if you think that it helps you assess yourself, knock yourself out.
My understanding is that it's a lot more, I forget the word. reliable or repeatable? I mean, two different big5 tests are more likely to give you the same answer than two different MBTI tests.
I don't think much has changed, except now more people use headphones and cell phones to signal that they're in the latter group. Previously they would have nodded and said "mm-hmm, oh wow" a lot.
"How you doing today?"
"Oh, you know how it is." He gives me a weak smile. I can tell he feels worn down from the daily grind.
I pick up my script, then think of a way to keep chatting.
"Hey, this is going to sound weird, but I also have <foo> medical condition. Do you have any advice on getting that treated?"
I have no idea why this made sense to me, but it was something like "Pharmacists fill scripts, and they also see prescriptions daily, so they know which illnesses are treated by which medicines, so therefore this is totally not a weird thing to do."
He gives me this super surprised look and stays mostly quiet. I say "I should see a doctor huh?" and he says yeah. I walk away feeling like a dummy.
I didn't mind at all, and I'm not afraid to try to make new friends. But now instead of this random person thinking of me as a neighbor (he always called me by name) I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm weird. And I am.
The point is, I don't really care about being weird. I don't think I'm alone in this. But I stay quiet because it damages social relationships to express myself in odd ways. It's better to be on a cordial first-name basis than have an arms-length-but-personal experience with them.
The opportunities you mention for meeting people are really not as frequent as you make it seem. And it's unclear what to say to force a conversation. Yes, some people have this skill. Some are also naturally good looking. But seeing as this is Hacker News, I think the audience might be closer to my side of things.
The reason I wrote this was that you mention there are all these opportunities. But going over in my mind, I can't see a single way to talk to that guy that isn't socially weird. He's at work. He just wants to get his job done and move on to the next customer. I don't know anything that could make him laugh. Asking about his day or asking him to tell me what it's like to be a pharmacist would be seen as yet another frustrating thing to deal with at work. And there are other people in line behind me, so this is an imposition on everyone else.
But those people are opportunities too, right? I could just turn around and start chatting them up. Except not really. It's the same for everyone else in life: We're all busy, all dealing with our own things. And the older you are the busier you get.
All of this is to say, you can live in one of the biggest cities in the country and still feel completely isolated and alone. I know. And maybe this comment will put it into context that it's not really their fault. It's just the shape of the situation.
I usually hack on my projects at the mall on a couch, and end up meeting quite a lot of people. But only if they happen to be hacking away on something too, and eventually I ask them about it. But that seems rather an uncommon situation. So I'm wondering "Outside of work and family, where would other hackers have excuses to meet people in daily life?"
Even now, the smart thing is to stay quiet and not post this. You're told to stay quiet in a thousand ways by the society around you.
Using the coworking space is a surprisingly good way to meet people. Obviously the guy locked in an office, headphones on, hammering out code should be left alone -- but there will be many people sitting in the common areas, chatting with their buddies. They might be drinking the free beer on tap. They probably have a startup, open source project, etc. that they're passionate about and would be happy to tell you about.
I think consistently seeing each other daily for whatever period gives you a good chance to find common interests, incorporate social outings, etc.
In any case, I don't see that asking a pharmacist about a medical-related topic would be interpreted as a friend request.
The point is that you are actually meeting the pharmacist. You're there every week. That's an opportunity.
Say you wanted to talk to him more, I would not be trying to act like more of a customer by talking about medical conditions, I would be talking about things he might be interested in, or mention something else that I'm interested in, or something that anybody might be interested in (weather/current news/sporting event), or something related to the current situation. Or even just throw something out there - "you look like you might know about <certain thing>, my mom has one and was just asking me about it". Even if you're wrong they'll be interested in why you might think that about them which can move onto other subjects. "You remind me of <such-and-such person>". "Hey, you remind me of my dad, what's a good present to get someone like you?". Use your imagination and you can come up with a million of these.
You could even just volunteer something about your life. "Nice day today, I'm in a good mood because I'm going on a trip away soon". If he's interested in talking he'll continue. Most people who are working boring jobs will want to chat with a customer that isn't annoying.
I think it depends on what you want to happen in the end. Do you want to meet this pharmacist out as a friend or more, or do you just want more small talk?
Small talk is, by definition, impersonal. If you want the relationship to be personal, you need to transition from small talk. Either find a common interest or show interest in his interests.
TBH I find small talk pretty irritating and mostly enjoy being impersonal in the city. There's too many people to be friends with everyone, and I don't have time for many friends as it is. "How are you?" - "I'm good thanks"!
Mostly when I do make the effort to chat, people are receptive.
NHS I think are keen to encourage use of pharmacists for minor ailments.
Play! Or, well, hobbies in general.
I've met people online through games and technical social forums, some of whom I later grabbed drinks with after we found out we were in the same area, and later still ended up working with several.
Nowadays I'm into boardgames - if you plopped me in a random city with no other contacts and a need to socialize, I'd maybe check online for boardgame bars. Maybe try to strike up a conversation about a boardgame another group's playing that looks interesting, or invite someone who's just grabbing food to join in. Or look up shops that might host the occasional MTG tournament - I don't generally play MTG, but it's a common enough game there's been a circle that plays it at every job I've had, and a tournament settings by it's very nature is going to force at least a minimal amount of interaction between complete strangers.
One of my friends is into drones - building them, racing them, the works. So there's racing events he goes to and meets people at, socializing during the downtime. More interactions of "oh, I recognized XYZ that you did online!" (common forums, videos, etc.) Also hosts a monthly movie night - a relatively easy excuse to get to know people better that he might only kind-of barely know at work.
Paintball seems like another option I should try picking up sometime. I bet paintball fields have some kind of open-to-all events to try and drum up business.
> But I stay quiet because it damages social relationships to express myself in odd ways. It's better to be on a cordial first-name basis than have an arms-length-but-personal experience with them.
Does it, and even if it does, is it really better? Extensive online socializing has made me very comfortable with being frenemies or worse with trolls etc. - worst case scenario, me and whomever I'm conversing with both find out we have better things to do than talk to the other party - and best case scenario, you've found something to bind over for a lifetime. Win/win.
(I realize this can be much easier to say than to internalize, but I wanted to plant this idea.)
> Even now, the smart thing is to stay quiet and not post this.
Then intelligence is overrated.
> You're told to stay quiet in a thousand ways by the society around you.
Then those parts of society are also overrated. Fuck 'em. Keep talking - how else are the other weirdos who also don't know when to shut up going to find you? :P
Sure, but that doesn't mean it's easier. In my experience, it's the other way around, really. I am rather good at operating tools, and tools to deal with the physical barriers to socialization are usually pretty easy to operate.
The psychological side of that, though, is... more difficult. There are tools there, too, but in my experience, those tools are much less well understood.
I strongly disagree; I think it's the opposite. Friendship takes time. You need to invest the time into conversation, building trust, building a relationship. You won't have a good friend after a week together.
It's also why quite a lot of my close friends are ~10 years younger than me—I move a lot and each new city I hit I have to make new friends. Many times that means people in their 20s that can spend leisure time like that. Probably not the best for my renal system though.
So at least for me the "meeting" people got solved.
Looking at the data I have received from the sign-up and data selection processes there should have been no problems.
This is interesting...
I disagree. There are plenty of places to meet people. Instead its hard for most people to be compatible to hang out regularly. Most lonely people have plenty of acquaintances, but no close friends to regularly hang out.
Flattery will get you nowhere.
Alcoholic, died age 29, sings about how he is lonely, like other alcoholics do.
British singer describes how he's afraid of Americans.
You see the difference, right? The current generation, the weak ones, they like to sing about how tough they are. "Heathens" or "Royals" is the typical sort of chest puffing bragging about their own prowess.
That's a lot different from outsiders describing their fear of your kind in song.
There's actually a pretty good financial analogy with... finances. At uni "all of us" lived the same lives in the dorms. We had all the same financial life, which was "student poor". Rapidly the ultra rich kids moved to the ultra high rent apartments, we had lives that diverged, etc. Decades later rather than all of us having the same financial condition and experiences, there are likely very few people exactly like me financially.
Finally there's a lot of hand wringing that I'm not hanging out with people who have nothing in common with me other than drinking the same beer or cheering for the same sportsball team. A lot of people grow up and see that as the waste of time that it is. At 18 you can be fooled into thinking a shared enjoyment of "Miller Lite Ice" is a deep personal connection, but many people can't be fooled that way at age 50. Not really a problem.
I also think the importance of having a common lifestyle or a lot of shared interests can be overstated. I don't share that many hobbies with my wife but I enjoy talking to her and spending time with her regardless. I enjoy meeting up with old friends from school even when they're at totally different career stages than I am. You don't have to do the most expensive thing you can afford every night.
For example, when I was younger I used to play some football (soccer). I don't play at the moment, but when I watch a game there's a lot more for me to pick up on because of that past experience. I get that to someone who's never played before the game might look uninteresting as it's a relatively low point scoring game (compared to something like basketball or tennis), but to people who are into it there's much more going on than just the goals, it's the dynamics of the game as a whole that captures their attention. Having past experience playing makes it easier to see when a team is attacking well and defending well, easier to pick up on individual displays of skill, easier to pick up on new opportunities and how these could change the game, easier to pick up on the state of the game (chances of a win, loss or draw) and the ways the players respond to this.
If the only part of the game that mattered was when the ball was kicked in the net then it would be a boring game as it doesn't happen very often, but there's a whole lot more going on if you know where to look. You might still find the game boring, but hopefully this helps to explain how people get into it.
I didn't realise American football could be abbreviated to football. We also knew it as gridiron, and it always seemed like the very definition of boring, repetitive sport. Guy takes the ball, runs at the opposition, is taken down, everybody stands around chatting for ~10 minutes, repeat :)
My recommendation to people is to find a meetup (doesn’t have to be from Meetup, could be a sports league, religious group, volunteering...) that meets frequently so that you have a chance to slowly get to know the same group of people over a course of time. I find meeting up once per month is a little too infrequent for growing bonds and prefer weekly/biweekly meetups but sometimes you end up meeting someone who you gel with and it’s easy to meetup many times over beyond the meetup interval.