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Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:36 PM

Ok, guys, I need advice on this - how can I relate better to other men and develop friendships?

One thing I realized during my recent mental health crisis is that I really don't want to be socially awkward and isolated. Due to the upbringing I described in the other thread, I was never "one of the guys", never allowed to participate in sports or activities, not even allowed to just hang out with other kids. Never learned about cars, sports, outdoor activities like hunting or camping. Being gun-shy about male authority figures due to experiences with my father didn't help, I had no good male role model in my life. I was a great student, into early PCs, books, far too insecure in my self-esteem to date or even approach girls, all things that said "nerd, pick on me."

I've had a couple of pretty close friendships as an adult, started as work relationships and expanded to there to the point we would do things after work or on days off or weekends, and it was nice. But, those guys moved on, getting into relationships then married, and I didn't want to be a fifth wheel. I still keep in touch, but not all that often, and they are too busy to really have time to hang out.

So, thoughts? I would love to fit in and be "one of the guys".

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Reply Ok, guys, I need advice on this - how can I relate better to other men and develop friendships? (Original post)
Denninmi Dec 2012 OP
ZombieHorde Dec 2012 #1
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #3
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #2
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #4
MadrasT Dec 2012 #5
closeupready Dec 2012 #6
Macoy51 Jan 2013 #7

Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:44 PM

1. I'm a nerd. I hang out with other nerds.

You could also join a cult. They're really fun if you find a good one.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 05:09 PM

3. That is funny, but cults have a way of enlisting people at low points in their lives

So it's something to be aware about.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 05:07 PM

2. I think the best thing you can do is get out of the house

What you don't want to do is remain isolated. If you have spare time, fill it with what interests you. Persue a new or existing hobby by joining and participating in a relevant club. Volunteering is another excellent way to fill your time because you'll meet new people and get a sense of accomplishment. It may take time to develop close relationships with others, but there's value in just interacting with other people rather than just staying at home.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 08:40 PM

4. Heh. I'm totally not your go-to guy on that.

I've always been sort of antisocial; I function perfectly fine in social settings, in fact my wife thinks I'm way better at it than she is... I just don't need it the way some people seem to, in fact, I can take it or leave it. We've got some aspergers type stuff in our family, I certainly showed some traits as a kid and I may still have some holdovers from it as an adult.

I did an awful lot of boozy party-type socializing as a young adult so I also feel like I 'got some of it out of my system'... and I'm blessed with a raucous, loud family so I'm rarely 'lonely'.

But I've noticed that folks of our age- 40ish- seem to cocoon more, keep to themselves. And yeah, when people are married, with kids, etc. it's even more so. We've got some friends we've made around here who make an extra-constant effort to do things and go out and be social. I'm fine with that, but again, I like it in small doses.

I'd suggest what MN said- join a club, similar interests, find out what sorts of community stuff there is in your area, volunteer, work at a library... as far as sports go, I look around and I see a lot of atheltically, um, challenged guys my own age. So I would think not having a history or any special aptitude would be an impediment IF that sort of thing is your speed. Or, join a bowling league, something like that.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 03:02 PM

5. I think

the best way to meet potential friends is to start with common interests.

You could volunteer someplace that does something you care about. I am a loner and basically don't want to be around people so I volunteered at a cat shelter. Turned out I met people who also loved cats and some of them were pretty cool people.

I know a lot of people who use meetup.com to find activities near them. There are Meetup groups for just about everything you can imagine. (This works better if you are in/near a big urban area.)

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:12 PM

6. Sad but very common in Americans. Our culture

actively discourages male friendship, and even when it does occur (rarely), it's diminished as "male bonding, wink, haha".

Sadly, I think the answer is to move away, seriously.

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Response to closeupready (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:34 AM

7. Fake it Until You Make it!

 

Volunteering is a great way to get out of the house. And it is easy to fake talking about sport. Just read one article a day from the sports section and use that as your conversation started when with a bunch of guys.

For example, your city’s baseball team just traded pitchers. Say something like “so, what do you all think about the Joe/Macoy trade the Braves just made?” Trust me, someone with have an option and folks just LOVE to share their opinion lol. The conversation will be off and running.


/Did you catch last night's game?

Macoy


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