Currently, I have few friends. I've always had problems making friends. I've had even bigger problems keeping them. I don't know where to start, or how to remedy. .......
First, I'd like to say that I am posting anonymously because I do not wish this question to be linked to my online screen name for the rest of internet eternity. I hope you (and the mod approving it) can understand this concern. :)
Now let me get to my life impacting question:
First point: I have very few friends.
All throughout my life, I have had issues KEEPING friends. And, making them, to a certain extent... in the sense that all friendships I've had seem to have materialize on their own or through the efforts of others, and not through my own actions.
So today I have maybe 2 or 3 somewhat- real friends. I cannot confide in them 100%, more like 80%. They are not my ideal choices in friends, but I have them and will not let them go for this very fact.
I feel that these friends are not a fit for me. They are not as reliable as I'd like, they do not fit my own lifestyle and goal-oriented ideas like I'd like.
So I feel they are almost holding me back and causing me frustrations just in the way that they live their lives. Its is not their or my fault, just a % of inequality in our lifestyles.
Don't get me wrong, they are great for good times, and great to share experiences and elicit advice (on the two-way advice street). But they also have problems that I know I would do better not being around .. like alcohol/driving and drugs/jail related histories.
I am able to separate their problems from my life (as in, not put myself in harms way or let them influence me) but as such, I would like to add to these friends .. and maybe as a result be able to spend less time with the troublesome group but not alone lost in my own lonely thoughts.
So far.. this may seem like an easy situation to resolve .. but I have huge issues going out ALONE and trying to make friends. The fear of rejection seems to be a huge thing i suffer with, among severe anxiety that does not quell into I feel comfortable.
In the area I live, right now (8:30p on a Saturday night) there are not may options unless I know people.
I.e. Going out alone to the bar.. because #1 I am not going to drink & drive, and why else would you go to a bar? Not dirnking would seem socially odd in my mind. (If you tell me to get over this fear, I may say I do not find it possible to just "get over" and live on. Anxiety comes into play).
Beyond that, even if I had a ride, all i can picture is walking between the finely knit groups, awkwardly breaking their "circle" to get a word in, and trying to fit in with one of them. Being such a outcast I dont even have much to talk about! This process will not look good at all to the other patrons (and potential future friends), and so after two or three moves between groups, I would seem like a social outcast (which is not necessarily untrue.), but would still prevent me from making progress seeming as a stable, interesting friend.
So far I know this much: 1) need new friends. 2) have to get over the fear of rejection and social stigma.
Therefore, imaging the advice I will get from ask.mefi, yes i need to start a new sport. or hobby. and meet the people there.
But I still have problems with small talk , and starting conversational threads without my anxiety getting in the way. I have this
and all other internet resources to learn off of , but putting it into affect is not as simple as find and reading the resources.
After trying sites like events@ craigslist, and meetup.com, and other sites .. it seems to be very hard to be successful in meeting people. Or, at least I havent found sites that work for me.
So, I dont know where to start. I would be open to any other thoughts you may have on this delima I find myself suffering through every weekend. Please do what you do best ask.mefi, help me!!
I thank you in advance for every idea you can share