Frustration making friends
I'm a student in my third year at Victoria University. I live at home, which is pretty close to my university. I am a highly motivated, very disciplined, and a complete extravert. Making acquaintances is really easy for me and I'm prone to being loud and humorous. However I don't have many "friends" and I haven't had a proper girlfriend in a couple of years. Needless to say, given my personality, this is very frustrating! I shouldn't feel lonely but I do!
So how do I go about acquiring lots of really great friends and a girlfriend?
Dear Mr. Wongo,
What is a friend? I have no idea what your answer to that question might be, and to helpfully answer your question, I really should know. I think a friend is someone who knows all about you and continues to want to be with you anyhow. There is something about you (and you are not your personality) that he or she admires, and feels enriches his or her life.
You say you are a complete extravert and that you are loud and humorous. Is that really you? Are you using your extraverted personality as a defensive shield? Do you ever talk to your acquaintances about your desires for friendship? What happened in the earlier relationships you've had with women? What was different then? How did you become boyfriend and girlfriend? Have you had male friends in the past?
You are still living in your parents' home. Is it in the neighborhood you grew up in? Do you socialize with people you've known for a long time or mostly with people from school? Do you socialize as part of a group or is your socializing more one on one? Do you participate in interest based activities - e.g. church, ski club, community organization?
I'm asking a lot of questions because in the answers to these questions you will find patterns that will help you understand why you are not finding the friends that you want. The best guidance I can give you without knowing the answers is to be yourself (not some sort of false/public self) around people who have things in common with you. Respond to any instance in which you feel that the other person is reaching out for friendship. Being a friend is the best way to make friends.
Jerry Button, L.M.H.C.
This question was answered by Jerry Button. Jerry is a psychotherapist, personal development trainer, workshop presenter and relationship coach practicing in Delray Beach, Florida. He believes that the key to quality of life lies in relationships. His approach to interpersonal and emotional problems is relational and psychodynamic. Jerry is experienced working with individuals, children and families and welcomes challenging opportunities.For more information visit: http://www.dynamicrelationships.net/