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I'm so lonely I could cry...
January 9, 2008 5:52 AM   Subscribe

I need friends...

My five year relationship ended, and I'm encountering a problem: all of my friends were his best friends. Add to the mix my one close friend is now married with a kid on the other side of the country, and my social life has dwindled down to nothing, and I'm incredibly lonely.

The problem is, I have no really good friends of my own. Everyone has a huge circle of friends with back stories, high school/college adventures, and a kind of camaraderie that I never had. I want that kind of camaraderie, and a wider circle of people in which to travel. I want to be able to call up a friend to go to the movies, or go to another friend's house, or just talk.

I've tried the join a group/go to the gym/etc route but I didn't do too well. How on earth do I do this? I feel like the longer I'm alone the harder it will be to get out of this, but I have no idea as to how to begin...
posted by sephira to Human Relations (48 answers total) 84 users marked this as a favorite
 
do you have job? any work mates that you are friendly with that might want to do something out of work?
if there's any advice i could give, it would be: don't try really hard to make friends, its really off putting to others. Do something you enjoy doing like hobbies and the friends will come naturally if you are being yourself.
posted by Jimmeh at 5:59 AM on January 9, 2008


Yes, I have a job, but everyone here is significantly older than I am (think 25+ years difference).

Did the hobby thing. No dice. And yes, I act like myself, and it's not that I'm trying too hard - I wasn't trying at all up until yesterday when I went I went to the movies and shopping alone that I made the decision that being lonely sucks and I needed to do something about it.
posted by sephira at 6:03 AM on January 9, 2008


I'd really recommend going on Facebook. You'll reconnect with lots of people from your past, and some of them will want to get together for a beverage.

Do you enjoy being around any of your co-workers? Do they do stuff together? If not, could you organize a pub night? Or just try eating lunch with people and getting to know them better, and then you can ask different people to do things with you outside of work.

MeFites are always up for a pub night, so call a meetup in your area.

Taking classes and joinging groups are good ideas. Make sure you follow your genuine interests instead of joining the groups just to meet people. But in general, try to be somewhat patient. Relationships are like a garden - you have to cultivate them and they don't happen over night.
posted by orange swan at 6:04 AM on January 9, 2008


Oh, and one more place to look for friends is in your neighbourhood. If you live in an apartment building does it have any sort of planned activities? Look into community events and offer to help out.
posted by orange swan at 6:12 AM on January 9, 2008


People got mad at me the last time I said this, but I honestly think it's the best advice.

Take a deep, dark look at yourself. What are some things you would REALLY like to change about yourself. Not for other people! Just for you, to be who you want to be. Not to say that you aren't good enough the way you are either. But, the fact remains we all have impulses to change, grow and better ourselves.

On the inside, who do you want to be in five years? A year from now, what will you be happy knowing you really tried to do for a year? Do you want to deal with your urge to drink too much? Need to risk rejection? Need more focus? Should be better read? I don't know answers, you do. Pick a few things and pursue them softly and uncritically. But, be stubborn in your pursuit, like an animal. Commit yourself to a year of whatever you decide.

Every time I have ever done this with honesty, everything else in my life started to fall into place. I am a hopeless introvert so manipulating the world to work for me rarely works. Fixing myself works wonders, however. YMMV. Good luck and I feel your pain!

Oh, and this is not an exclusive option, you can do this while pursuing all the other great advice you're going to get.
posted by milarepa at 6:23 AM on January 9, 2008 [32 favorites]


Seconding orange swan... find some project or club or cause that matters to you, and offer your time. Being a help to others is a great way to find friends.
posted by zainsubani at 6:30 AM on January 9, 2008


Let me just say that I'm not introverted - I don't have a problem meeting and talking to people, it's making those acquaintances lasting friendships. I know a lot of random people, but I don't have a strong bond with anyone. I want to move past the acquaintance stage and into having a friendship.
posted by sephira at 6:31 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


MeetUp dot com, baby.
No, really.
There are billions of different and weird interests for a snowflake like you, and hundreds of people waiting to meet you who share those interests. I say this from personal experience.
Highly recommend.
posted by willmize at 6:33 AM on January 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Evening and weekend classes.
Volunteer.
posted by ewkpates at 6:36 AM on January 9, 2008


Try joining the Jaycees. I was a member for about 5 years and loved it. The Jaycees started out as the junior chamber of commerce, but has evolved into a community/ social group of people 18-40 years old. Mostly you have a monthly meeting followed by going out and eating or getting drinks. We also organized the local Christmas parade and did a few fundraisers for the local food bank.
But like I said mostly it is a social organization. I met tons of people my age and still hang out with a lot of them.
You should call your local Jaycees chapter and find out when their next meeting is taking place. You will have more friends your age then you will know what to do with.

usjaycees.org
posted by Beaufort at 6:40 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


The only thing not suggested above that I can think of: Over in MetaTalk, meetup threads pop up with some frequency. Judging from the photos, a good time is generally had by all (never been to one myself).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:43 AM on January 9, 2008


My best advice for you is to find something your passionate about and get involved with it in some way. I find it incredibly easy to make friendships if I'm able to talk to someone that has the same passionate interests as I do. On the other hand I find it incredibly difficult to make friends when the person either doesn't share my interests or doesn't share my interests at the same level of intensity as I do.
posted by bindasj at 6:45 AM on January 9, 2008


Well if you already have a bunch of random acquaintances that you presumably like then just start hanging out with them more. If you are the sort of person who waits for people to call you up to do stuff, flip it around, and start calling people to see if they want to see a movie, go shopping, etc. Do this often enough and your acquaintances will become your friends -- unless you or they are a jerk I guess.
posted by chunking express at 6:46 AM on January 9, 2008


Get a part-time volunteer job in something that attracts people your age. (Food not bombs, lit stuff if you're 20-something, kid charities if you're 30-something and don't mind married people, etc.)

I really feel your pain. It seems like you have to devote all your free time to just "being people" if you want any hope of being accepted by a social group. My best bet is always tacking on to one or two similarly project-laden people for a few months or years, and hoping for the best.
posted by shownomercy at 6:47 AM on January 9, 2008


i'll be your friend. mind you, i'm a big dork and i'm really only good as text at the other end of a wire, but you're welcome to full access to my (awesome) brain. send me some mefi mail and i'll get you my nerd-contact info.
posted by knowles at 7:00 AM on January 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


dance classes. I'm interested if not passionate about dancing, but I've done them (and just plain dancing) for a long time and many of the people I know I know through them. I have to admit (this is shocking to me) that I go there more for the dancing then to meet women at this point. But when you are lonely, and all of a sudden you are dancing with someone, it's a great relief.

There's all kinds of weird people and social awkwardness but usually too if the class can support enough people who come regularly enough, something good is going on.

I've done Irish set dancing in the past...if the town is right for that, it can be fun. It can also be a lot ao0f old people too (not fun).

I've done a lot of contra dancing this year. It's crazy fun, very very easy and the people are nice, mostly. Again, if you have a good community, it's great.

Lately I've taken up tango, it's super fun and very sexy. It's like the dance answer to the question of lonliness.

A lot of people love swing and salsa. Me not so much although Salsa and Meringue are pretty sweet.

Seriously...try it.

Also yoga classes can be good, not for meeting people but for just being around them in a somewhat intimate setting. I met alot of people through yoga too.
posted by sully75 at 7:07 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seconding bindasj -- looks like you're in the US? If you have any interest in politics, this is a great time to get involved on a campaign. The presidentials are pulling in lots of new volunteers, and you'll meet tons of new people of all ages.
posted by rdn at 7:09 AM on January 9, 2008


I read the following once and it stuck with me, and it seems to be true, too:

"Ask a favor, make a friend".

Asking people for help (cat sitting, a cup of sugar, even advice) seems to open the door for them to a) ask you for a favor in turn, b) talk about whatever it is that you need help with, c) a feeling that you can, in some small way, count on each other. It exposes you to them as a vulnerable person with needs (even for sugar), but in a small, real way.
posted by amtho at 7:11 AM on January 9, 2008 [29 favorites]


Folk dancing. Contras or english country dancing. If you have scottish dancing in your area, try that. Scottish country dancing is much harder to do well than contras or english country dancing, so the Scots have to work harder to be welcoming and open.

If you live in the Boston area, go to Pinewoods in the summer. You can't feel unhappy or lonely at Pinewoods.
posted by vilcxjo_BLANKA at 7:11 AM on January 9, 2008


Go to bars and cafes. I understand all these people saying "take classes" etc, but really. You don't want to sit through yoga or knot tying when all you want to do is make friends and have a good time. Do everything you might normally do at home - reading, study, finances, internet if possible - in another location. A cafe, the library, a bar. Reducing the time spent sitting at home should be your first priority. When you become a regular in a few places you will get to know the staff, the other regulars, and you will become involved in activities that are going on in your town before you know it.
posted by fire&wings at 7:11 AM on January 9, 2008


Oh. By Boston I really should have said New England, though people have come from as far as Hawaii.

You could also try to play the recorder, if there is an early music or recorder society in your area.
posted by vilcxjo_BLANKA at 7:12 AM on January 9, 2008


Did the hobby thing. No dice.

What does that mean, i.e., what exactly happened to 'cause things not to work out? Explaining that may help pin down how to solve your problem.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:53 AM on January 9, 2008


Friendship is so random and unpredictable. You make acquaintances and they stay acquaintances for years then suddenly become friends, or you meet someone and they become a close friend in weeks, or a close friend turns into an acquaintance... all you can do is maximise your "connectedness" and adopt a policy of pursuing all the leads life offers, even when they seem unpromising.

eg: Are there acquaintances you could go to a movie with? Is there a 65-year-old at work who'd be thrilled if you expressed an interest in finding out about her particular spare-time activity? Does your close friend on the other side of the country (or anyone else for that matter) have other friends in your own city — could she broker a meetup just because "she thinks you two would get along"? Pursue a multi-pronged strategy and don't write people off until you're sure there's no chance of something flourishing. Also, don't make things harder by believing that "everyone" else has deep, longstanding ties of love and camaraderie with a close-knit gang of friends, because this is not true.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 8:00 AM on January 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Perhaps joining a church would help? You could choose one without the dogma, such as a Unitarian church, or maybe a large interdenominational one. Our local Unitarian group has movie nights, philosophical discussion nights, a Habitat for Humanity group, a writing group, etc.
posted by Ostara at 8:10 AM on January 9, 2008


Take an improv or acting class. Beginning improv classes usually have some teamwork and trust building exercises. The interaction you have with other classmates will go a long way to building relationships outside of the class.
posted by studentbaker at 8:14 AM on January 9, 2008


I want to second meetup.com -- it's one thing to go take a class and hope to make friends, but if other people are taking the class to learn things, you have to be forward and out there to turn them into friends. And if you were the forward, out there, friend-making type, you'd already have a huge zoo of friends.

The difference with meetup, especially specific meetups groups that are focused on friendship (I'm in one specifically called 'Females for Friendship') is that a lot of people are there awkwardly trying to make friends. It puts less of the onus on you to be the forward, out there one.

Also, please, give up the notion that 'everyone' has an established circle of friends. Lots and lots of people don't -- it's not a defect on your part, it's just a reality for a lot of people. Despite what I said above about you not being the forward type, don't let the feeling that you're a failure at this sort of thing depress you into not trying. You can do this -- you're just going to have to put more work into it.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:17 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


@Brandon Blatcher: I did things like join a Stitch n' Bitch, but the women there were all older housewives with children. The younger set was too young, still in their teens.

@game warden to the events rhino: I work in an office with a bunch of older men, with whom I really don't have anything in common with other than our place of work. Even if we did have something in common, I'd like to avoid the "making the wife suspicious" or "younger girlie wants a date" situations. My friend on the other side of the country is the same as I am, no close friends of her own outside of her marriage (other than me).

A lot of the activities in this area are centered around singles groups, and while I am single, I have no desire to change that status at the moment, so that's out. I'm in school, so I don't have the time resources (or to be honest, the interest) to dedicate to a dance class or yoga. And I prefer to remain away from political or religious groups.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I very much appreciate them.
posted by sephira at 8:18 AM on January 9, 2008


Ah, grasshopper. To cultivate a social life, you must first learn to love being alone.

When I was feeling the same way, I started my own stupid little ritual to remind myself how much fun I could have just being alone. (I wont go into details, but it involved dancing in my room to 80s music while wearing nothing but a matching hat and scarf.) I watched movies, I wrote, and all the time, I meditated on the fact that I was TOTALLY SELF-SUFFICIENT. I didn't NEED other people to have a good time.

And once you do that, and you truly believe it, you can begin to delve into WANTING to be around other people to have a good time.
posted by greekphilosophy at 8:28 AM on January 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


You said yourself, "I want to move past the acquaintance stage and into having a friendship.".

Have you tried calling up these random friends and inviting them to a movie? or an event? Have a plan of action like "I want to go see X at the Z this Friday" and invite them.

I found a group of women from LiveJournal who had started a local women only sports club, and by sports club I mean we would go play a random sport and then go drink/eat. Then it kind of evolved into just drinking and eating. And though I found that group through LJ I believe it first started through an ad in Craigslist.
posted by collocation at 8:47 AM on January 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wait, you're in school? For what? Isn't school supposed to be the best time ever to make friends? If you're in school, in a program you enjoy, you should be surrounded by people with interests similar to yours. Is that not the case where you are?

You're a beautiful girl and seem like you have your head on straight (you have a good job, are in school, and seem to write well). Maybe you intimidate people (?). If that's the case, then maybe you are naturally drawn to the wrong kinds of people. Similar interests generally mean similar tastes, but if doing the hobby/groups/class thing isn't working out for you, then maybe you should break out of your comfort zone a bit and try to meet some people you wouldn't normally think you'd click with (hard to give examples of who that might be, given that I have no idea who you are).

I had a good friend who had a problem similar to yours at one point. Her solution was to be more agressive about asking people to do things. If she liked a guy, she'd pull a Sadie Hawkins and ask him out. If she thought someone looked cool, she'd go up to them and tell them so. If she wanted to hang out with someone, she'd go directly over to them and ask them out to do something specific. She got shot down a whole lot, but eventually met her husband this way. May not work for you, but I thought I'd just throw it out there.

I really liked amtho's answer, thought that's a lot easier to accommodate if you live in an apartment building or a tight neighborhood of some kind. Still, even if you don't garner friendships this way, you'll be up to your ears in cups of sugar before too long. Then you can bake cakes for the homeless. Win-win.
posted by Pecinpah at 8:56 AM on January 9, 2008


I took some time to think of the people I've met and the friends I've made and kept over the years and our abilities to pick up instantly after a long hiatus. I think the common feature in all of those relationships is living life in epic proportions. It's not about money or resources so much as what you're able to do with what you have and how you do it. Part of the matter is building or finding a social group.

Example: a woman I used to work with was tired of typical work get-togethers, so she started a salon which met Thursdays at a place that was well-suited to conversation. Through that, I went to Burning Man, launched rockets filled with Cyalume goo at dusk, etc. Made a lot of friends through this group and built our common history.

I knew a woman who decided that when she wanted to make friends, she was going to do it through randomness. She pulled business cards from fishbowls at restaurants and made the owners her pen pal.
posted by plinth at 8:58 AM on January 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, be patient . . . especially when joining clubs and groups. It will take time to feel like you've got some sort of history with people. For the times that I have moved and began going to another church, it really took a year before I really felt comfortable and not like a stranger. It just took that long to recognize faces and names and find my niche within the group. One thing that helped was being consistent in going. If you join a group, club, take a class and they meet once a week/month, whatever, make sure you go no matter what. Make your presence known just by being there.

Another good idea is to volunteer your services. Perhaps someone needs help setting up chairs for your club. Volunteer to help or volunteer to help clean up. First, you'll come off as very kind to volunteer and second, it opens the doorway for conversation among the other helpers.

Best of Luck!
posted by Sassyfras at 9:00 AM on January 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


I was in a similar situation a couple of years back (Though in my case my crazy GF had driven all my friends away) and I spent a lot of time rebuilding friendships, and figuring out what the best way to build friendships is.

For the most part you need to take into account people are probably happy with the friends they have, and so probably won't actively seek to make a friendship with you. This is not at all the same as not wanting to be friends, but it means you have to do the work. So if you know someone is having a party, _you_ have to ask if you can go, even if there is an age gap with that person as your mention with work people there could well be other people closer to your own age at the event it's self. Same for going out for meals and drinks. Most of the time people will welcome your company, but until you're a regular face they might not think to ask you along, just keep plugging away and friendships will (hopefully) follow in time.
posted by paulfreeman at 9:03 AM on January 9, 2008


Everyone's responses so far are really good, but since you have acquaintances but not friends, you might need more information on developing friendships. Just now I was able to look back in email and trace the evolution of a recent friendship; maybe sketching out the progression would be helpful for you to see.

I met this woman at a party of people connected through interrelated workplaces. That night I chatted with her about guilty pleasures on TV, and we discovered that we were both watching the a particular reality show. We had a fun and lighthearted conversation about it. During the next week, I signed up to play a game online having to do with the show and invited her to play too, as a lark. So we exchanged a couple of few-line emails joking about the show and the game. A week or so later, she sent one of those chain emails with 100 questions and answers about yourself that you pass on to all of your friends, which, looking back, gave me lots of fodder for future conversations. She invited me to an Oscar-watching party. I couldn't go, but then I invited her out to a group dinner (a group of acquaintances and friends go out to a restaurant once per month, each outing spearheaded by a different person, who chooses the restaurant). In between, we were chatting in email about TV shows and movies and what we were up to. Six months later, we were inviting each other not just to parties but to smaller 5-6 people outings, which would be followed up by more significant conversations (less about pop culture). A few months after that, we were good enough friends that we could go to lunch or dinner as just two and have plenty to talk about.

The key points, I think, are that we started talking about nothing, essentially. No worries about having important stuff in common or anything like that. We didn't have fear of judgment, just talked about our dumb show and went on from there. Next, there were lots of group invitations. Oscar parties, dinners, bands, getting together to watch tv shows that otherwise we'd be watching home alone, free city stuff like movies in the park, etc. There were opportunities at least twice a month to do something that would lead to conversation and mutual understanding.

So, my advice to you would be too look for seemingly-insignificant connections between you and your current acquaintances and try to expand upon those in a fun and lighthearted way. Do this too with new people that you meet. (Facebook is actually great for this.) Try to set up some organized fun for your current acquaintances along the lines of a book club or restaurant club, and invite along everyone you meet that seems nice enough. If you need more acquaintances, sign up for a class -- creative, cooking, language... (I've taken all of these and they all led to chatting before and afterwards. I've made the fewest connections with exercise class. YMMV.) Reconnect with old friends too to expand your circle.
posted by xo at 9:14 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


'nthing getting more into a hobby or something that other people with similar interests can talk with you about. For guys..sailing, wine, and cars usually does the trick. The idea is to keep yourself busy but also meet people along the way. Give it time, you'll have a circle of friends of your own (had to do the same thing after a 7 year relationship...it took about a year and a half to have a comfortable amount of close friends)
posted by samsara at 9:22 AM on January 9, 2008


While it sounds a bit cheesy, I highly recommend getting on OKCupid anonymously and answering a crapload of matching questions. While a lot of them are relationship specific, they do make a point of trying to also do matching for friendship. I've been really impressed with the results.

My picture is on there but everything else is anonymized so I don't feel ashamed of being myself and still finding someone who shares my interests, desires and views.
posted by bkdelong at 9:38 AM on January 9, 2008


All the ideas for joining various groups are good, but once you meet someone you think you might like to be friends with, you need a way to make the jump. I made one of my best friends when we were both standing around talking in a group of people (still strangers to each other) and she mentioned mushroom hunting. I said, "I've been wanting to learn about that! I think there's a community education class about it coming up." She said, "Really?" and we were off. I made another good friend when we were both witness to a third person's really bizarre behavior. Later that day I tracked down her phone number and called her up to say "I just had to call you! Can you believe he did that?" She said, "I know!" and we were off. My point is you just have to keep an eye out for these little opportunities to gain traction.

Another thing that I've had success with is being the organizer of an activity. It's easy to say to someone you barely know, "I'm trying to get some people together to go snowshoeing next Saturday, not that I have any idea how to snowshoe--want to come?" Even if they don't want to, they'll know that you want to be friends and will likely invite you to do something else soon, unless they don't like you, in which case it's not embarrassing because all you were looking for was someone to go snowshoeing with you. Or whatever.
posted by Enroute at 10:30 AM on January 9, 2008


I did things like join a Stitch n' Bitch, but the women there were all older housewives with children.

Your profile mentions you're a graphic designer/comp sci geek. Are there any other hobbies, so the local Linux group, where you need help getting Fedora to run on this piece of hardware, or some gallery showing or indie movie with discussion afterwards?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:30 AM on January 9, 2008


At 30, I ended a six year relationship and moved to a new city on the opposite coast of the US where I didn't know a single soul. I didn't have many close friends that were just mine, not shared with a partner, in my 20s. I am extremely introverted.

I took it as a personal challenge/growth experience to find friends in my new city, though I took it slow and didn't force things. Not everything was successful. I knit, so I joined a couple knitting groups. One worked out, one didn't. I joined a women's networking group. Not my cup of tea. I joined an online dating site. I now have two great male friends from that adventure. I got introduced to two women via a social networking site by a mutual friend in my old city; I took the plunge and contacted them. They are now my closest friends, two and a half years later and they've introduced me to lots of other great people as well.

Also, I took classes in areas I was really interested in (Chinese, painting, silversmithing). Didn't come away with friends from those, but they were a blast and it's something to talk about when you're getting to know new people.

There are tons (TONS) of people out there looking for friends. You will find them. Remember that good friendships take time, so be patient.
posted by medeine at 11:13 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Instead of going for a movie and shopping alone, ask two other people who don't know each other well for a girl's day out.

Just one can be awkwardly intimate, they'll like to meet someone new, and you're bound to get closer to one or the other or both.

Voila, some friends.
posted by sondrialiac at 11:37 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Check out metachat.org. It's an off shoot of this site, and a really friendly place. Lots of friendships have been spawned out of that wonderful site...and I am certain some of the folks are in your neck of the woods.
posted by Richat at 12:38 PM on January 9, 2008


If you're looking for hobby groups, look for ones where you get to sit down and talk to each other.
A huge proportion of my friends were met through writing groups. Reading groups are also good.

Don't be scared to chop and change through the groups. If a group doesn't gel, find some different ones. It's probably not the group thing that caused you problems, it's probably the people in the groups you tried.
posted by seanyboy at 1:25 PM on January 9, 2008


Some good advice in this thread. I just want to point out that 38 users have marked it as a favourite, so that's proof, if any were needed, that there are plenty of other people out there in the same boat. Good luck.
posted by idiomatika at 3:34 PM on January 9, 2008


Adopt a dog from the pound. Walk him at the local dog park everyday and strike up conversations with the other people there. May or may not work. Worth a shot.
posted by proj08 at 5:29 PM on January 9, 2008


Seriously, Guitar Hero III has helped revitalize some old college friendships!
posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 11:11 PM on January 9, 2008


Don't misunderestimate the relationships you have with your family. Your folks and siblings can be a great way to get in touch with your past, and can be a great source of the camaraderie you’re looking for. I've never been as close to my brother as I am today, and we hated each other growing up.

Remember that developing those deep, complex interpersonal histories takes time. Literally, years. Start planting seeds and don’t rush the harvest.
posted by sambosambo at 5:01 AM on January 10, 2008


From your profile, it looks like you're pretty far down in Virginia, but if you occasionally saunter up to the District, I'll be your friend.

How do you feel about go-karts?


Sorry if that's not helpful. Still...go-karts! First race is on me - email's in the profile.
posted by averyoldworld at 1:51 PM on January 10, 2008


"Ask a favor, make a friend".

Asking people for help (cat sitting, a cup of sugar, even advice) seems to open the door for them to a) ask you for a favor in turn, b) talk about whatever it is that you need help with, c) a feeling that you can, in some small way, count on each other. It exposes you to them as a vulnerable person with needs (even for sugar), but in a small, real way.


I just want to point out that in addition to the reasons amtho provides, the effectiveness of this tactic can be viewed in light of the cognitive dissonance theory of psychology. You can see the effect at work in this experiment, for instance. Basically, if you get someone to do you a small favor (something which would seem impolite to refuse), when they think about it later they will wonder why they did a favor for someone who they don't particularly like and will reconcile by deciding that they do in fact like you. It makes sense if you read the studies.

Also: Don't misunderestimate the relationships you have with your family.

Particularly true if yours is the Bush family.

posted by ludwig_van at 12:13 PM on January 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


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