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I can talk to people socially and be friendly, but can't seem to make real friends. Why?

I am 65 years old and have quite a good life, but I am shy in situations such as women's groups and lack confidence in making friends. I can talk to people quite well but trying to take this a stage further, say, and invite the person over for coffee, I find that people react negatively to me and I end up feelng more rejected. As a child my mother was rejecting towards me before she died, when I was 10. Perhaps this is the reason - over the years some of this has improved but I wonder sometimes if I am deliberately isolating myself - or whether it's just my nature.

Where I lived before for 21 years, I made 2 friends although one has become rather indifferent towards me now. One friend was invited by a number of local women to coffee mornings at their houses, but I was almost never invited. Even quite near neighbours never asked me to join these, although they acted friendly enough when we met in the street etc.

Perhaps I come across as too needy and people draw back from me - also I know I don't have the energy for a lot of social interaction - but feel rejected when I am not included. Can't work it out!

asked Jan 25, 2013 in Clinical Psychology by melinda1234blue (120 points)

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1 Answer

Look at it like this sweetheart, you've went this many years without these people and you've survived. You are putting too much stress on the situation when it gets to a certain point. You may be afraid to make the wrong move and mess it all up. You need to let go of their importance and start valuing your own. Voice your opinions and ideas more openly. You have just as good of ideas as anyone else. Be yourself and let people see who that is, this way they know  

who to invite over instead of being unsure about your character. Don't be afraid to walk the line on peoples boundries here and there, but dont overdue it or completly disregard their boundries. Smile at people frequently and listen to them when they have something to say. Don't tollerate those who don't listen to you, its not worth it then. You might try reading the book How to Win Friends and Influence People. by Dale Carnegie. Let them flock to you, because your friendship is valuable.

answered Feb 26, 2013 by xxsocraticxx (540 points)