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Old 11-30-2007, 09:28 AM
 
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With their time and energy, that is. My husband and I were both commenting how we feel people are extremely ungenerous these days. Case in point: at work, I have a colleague who has mentioned several times some marriage issues and she seems very lonely. Now, in the past, I would have asked her if she'd like to get together for lunch sometime to chat, and let her know that I'm around if she needs any support. However, since I've been treated so poorly by women so many times in the past few years, I decided not to do that. But it reminded me how people have been so ungenerous towards both me and my husband.

For instance, being newcomers to this city, both my husband and I casually ask people for recommendations on things to do, places to go, and mention that we moved here not knowing anyone--because we're trying to make friends.

No one, and I do mean no one, has ever asked us if we'd like to get together or join them for an activity. Now both my husband and I would do exactly that--if there was a newcomer neighbor or person in our department, we would go out of our way to welcome them and invite them out to do something, because we both know how hard it is to move to a new place not knowing anyone. But no one has been that generous with us. Do they just not think of it?

So both my husband and I have become disappointed with people in general. It's not just how we've been treated on this move, but also over the past few years, when I moved to our last city to be with him, again not knowing anyone when I moved there. I work with several women around my age, and when everyone is discussing their weekend plans, etc. I mention that I'm staying in b/c my husband is working late, etc.--and it's not like they've ever once asked me to to anything with them, even though they know I'm a newcomer and don't know anyone here, because I've mentioned that a few times.

I also enjoy sending old friends and relatives the occasional, "hi, how are you doing?" email to catch up, reconnect and let them know I'm thinking of them, and I can say that I basically never even receive a reply back, even though I think this is a nice gesture and it would be nice if they at least had the decency to respond. So after years of this I stopped doing that, too.

People just don't understand the concept of reciprocation anymore. I used to host dinner parties all the time, until I realized I was never getting return invites. So I stopped hosting dinner parties.

Maybe I've just lived in unfriendly places, but I've noticed this as a general trend.

Last edited by doglover29; 11-30-2007 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Life here is not an Apollo Mission. Everyone calm down.
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I think this is an important topic. I too have been very disappointed with people for many years. I answered 911 calls for a living and have experienced a downhill slide of manners....people just don't know how to behave. Not to mention, we as a country are becoming increasingly unsuccessful in educating our own children.

I feel that people have become very distracted with the added stress of a bad economy, higher gas prices, higher expenses over all. People are consumed with their own day to day survival and less outwardly receptive. Everyone is on some kind of strange autopilot.

Also, even though people don't know it, I think a lot of people are shell-shocked by the last decade of conflicts and disasters.

Not to make this thread political, but if ONE candidate would tout the NECESSITY of altruism...a movement to counter this selfishness the next generations are being programed to emulate...they might win.

Everyone needs to wake up. I don't mean we all need to become social butterflies, but we definitely need to evaluate how we are treating each other.
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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I would agree that manners are going the way of the dodo bird.

However doglover29, I am not sure this applies to your situation. Friendships are cultivated over a long period time. I think it unrealistic to expect people to become your friends instantly. Granted, you have to start somewhere, but we throw the term, "friend" a bit too liberally.

And I would avoid discussing anything personal with coworkers. You do not know these people and they are not your friends. At best you see a front that they put up daily.

Just my two cents. Best of luck acclimating. It will come in time.
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moth View Post
However doglover29, I am not sure this applies to your situation. Friendships are cultivated over a long period time. I think it unrealistic to expect people to become your friends instantly. Granted, you have to start somewhere, but we throw the term, "friend" a bit too liberally.
I don't think asking someone out to lunch or coffee as a friendly gesture means they necessarily have to become your friend or be your friend--it's just a friendly gesture, that is so noticeably lacking these days. That is something both my husband and I would do if there was a newcomer we came across as work.

And as for instantly--we've been here a year and a half now, not just a few months. It's been incredibly difficult to make a couple of acquaintances, let alone even one friend.
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Life here is not an Apollo Mission. Everyone calm down.
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I also want to add that people are having relationships with electronics more than ever before.
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:48 AM
 
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It's been my experience that communities have personalities--some friendly, some not so friendly. Although most of my life I've lived in Texas, I've found some places much friendlier and welcoming than others. It was easy to make friends in Houston and people seemed open to the idea of going out for lunch or coffee like you mentioned. It was much, much harder to make friends in a small town I lived in for several years. Although people were nice, no one ever asked me to do anything. I hosted parties and tried to join organizations but never felt welcome. Those aren't the only places I've lived but it often seems to change with the town.

Maybe you just haven't found the right spot for you yet.
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Life here is not an Apollo Mission. Everyone calm down.
1,065 posts, read 4,058,641 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doglover29 View Post
I don't think asking someone out to lunch or coffee as a friendly gesture means they necessarily have to become your friend or be your friend--it's just a friendly gesture, that is so noticeably lacking these days. That is something both my husband and I would do if there was a newcomer we came across as work.

And as for instantly--we've been here a year and a half now, not just a few months. It's been incredibly difficult to make a couple of acquaintances, let alone even one friend.
As someone who lives in a nice town, but usually is nursing her last $26 until payday, I wouldn't be able to afford lunch or coffee out even if I was asked. I wonder if this isn't the case for a lot of people.
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:56 AM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
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Originally Posted by MainStreet View Post
I also want to add that people are having relationships with electronics more than ever before.
True. Sometimes it's easier and better to make e-friends first that you eventually meet, than make friends in person first, realize that you have nothing in common with or that they irritate you somehow, then you are stuck being their friend and trying to avoid them. I've seen several sitcoms where one couple was trying to avoid future outings with another couple. lol.

I don't do couple things though. I prefer one on one interactions and to not have to deal with their s/o or spouse. With couple interactions, the men tend to bond and talk about interesting things with each other, then I am stuck with the woman and most women are very boring to me with their marriage, baby and shopping talk. I prefer the company of men.

doglover29 - If you want to make some real friends, you and your husband need to find and do specific hobbies and activities where you will meet new people while doing them. Look outside your workplace.
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:07 AM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
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Just to chime in here, I agree it is difficult to connect with people. I think a lot of people end up getting owned by the things they thought would make them happy. They are caught up running around and working their butts off to make car payments, house payments, student loan payments. The list goes on and on. In my own life, I just don't know where a day goes anymore. I'm so worried about paying off the last of my student loan debt and saving for retirement. We forget about the important things in life. We neglect the things that really make us feel alive. The other day, I went for a long walk and looked up at the trees and out at the ocean. I stopped to feed a few carrots to my horse and goat friends. I petted some dogs that were out and about. I realized, these are the things that make me feel good. But why do I find so little time to do them? What has become of my life that I've stopped enjoying it?

Greenie
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by miu View Post
doglover29 - If you want to make some real friends, you and your husband need to find and do specific hobbies and activities where you will meet new people while doing them. Look outside your workplace.
We certainly have done that. We joined about 20 different social groups when we moved here. We have met lots of people, sure--but a) we are nearly always the only couple in these groups (let alone the only married people), and b) we have invited many people from these groups to do things, but after one outing we never heard from them again. These kinds of groups are great for meeting people, but for us at least hasn't led to any acquaintances or friends. The main problem, I think, is a) single people aren't that interested in making friends who are married (I have definitely felt unwelcome in many discussions among women in these groups b/c I'm married--most of the discussions revolve around finding a man, dating, and going out to bars, which I have little to contribute to), and b) it seems that people come mainly to do the activity, and not necessarily to socialize. My husband is on a lot of sports teams and he definitely finds that to be the case on those. People go to play the sport, and are not interested in making new friends.

I don't know what else I can be doing to meet people and make friends. But both of us wish we had at least one friend here. We've been here a year and a half, and it would feel a lot more like home if we had a social network of some sort.
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