Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Query from a Confused Parent


The Doctor and I
I have an issue and I could use your input! The Doctor often feels a longing for new friendships while she really doesn't put any effort into finding, creating, enriching new friendships.
Why? 

I find myself putting effort into it, then putting space between myself and her friendship efforts, then going back to putting effort into it... I'm not at all sure I can do anything. 

I try to keep out of it...until she, again, asks for my help. But I don't see her putting effort into it... Why not? What do you think? Is this even a problem? Isn't it kind of normal?

And, YES, she is kind of shy, kind of not. She is anxious to meet new people. She is very open to friendships with a large variety of people. But kind of lackadaisical about putting any effort out there... I dunno, kind of normal, really!
*shrug*

Any ideas or input??????

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

P.S.  Some of the coolest and best people read my blog!  THANK YOU!



7 comments:

  1. Because of my experience with my two extremely socially opposite children, my two cents is to leave it alone for the most part, especially at 15.

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  2. Maybe she is like me. Even though I went to high school I didn't have many friends. I wasn't picked on or unpopular, but I was really anxious when it came to meeting people. I found them to be very cool and collected while I seemed spastic, nervous, and awkward. I wasn't judgmental or mean... it was just difficult for me to feel ok with myself long enough to think anyone would actually like me. I guess what I'm saying is, you can be really nice and you can have lots of opportunity. But often times we hold OURSELVES back from the opportunity. I'm not sure what could have been done to help me, maybe breathing exercises or something to calm my anxiety (which is probably why I was so hyper etc) and allow me to feel at ease in the situation? Maybe ask her what she feels is holding her back and problem solve from there. In the end, you can't make friends for her, but you can support her in her own efforts by listening and helping her follow through with her ideas.

    I hope she has success!
    Mae

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  3. My question to your question would do your's and The Doctor's ideas of required friendship effort match? Is she looking for deeper, long-term friendships or more surfacy, hey-let's-go-hang-out-at-the-burger-joint friendships?

    Sometimes I wonder why finding, creating, building, and maintaining friendships seems to have to be so complicated. Does it fall under that old axiom about nothing worthwhile being easy?

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  4. I'm curious what her response is to this. Does she know why she wants new friends, but won't put in the effort? My husband is like this, by the way. He is too scared to make the first move. He's looking for a friend that will pursue him. I think he needs to grow past this because the people who pursue him are rarely the people he connects most deeply with. But I don't know how to get him past his fears. Mostly I just try to create the time and space for him to pursue friendships. Like hey, friday night the kids and are doing _________, so you have the night to yourself. Maybe Ryan __________is free to go out for a beer? And I leave it at that. It's certainly a balance with adults. It's not like I can plan play-dates like I do with my little kids.
    Also, when I was 15 my parents gave me space to invite friends over to my house and they would hide away in their room so I felt the freedom to invite people over and hang out without parents listening in to our conversations. That was awesome. My house became the hang out house. I had people over all the time. We would have dance parties in my living room and my parents would just watch a movie in their room. I'm so thankful for that now.

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  5. My 15 year old is struggling with this too. She doesn't take any control of her social time and she is too old for me to set up "play dates." This school year I signed her up for the Youth Advisory Council at our local library and their book club. She enjoys going, but hasn't made one friend that she wants to see outside of the club. She is often content to stay home and read or watch tv, but then complains about being bored and not having any friends to call. So for her birthday I scheduled a fun day with 3 of her casual friends (rock climbing, checking out downtown Portland, dinner) and they all had a blast. Since then she has been eagerly planning her weekends with these girls. I think it just took having the right kids doing something super fun for her to realize how much fun friends can be. She prefers small groups and low maintenance friends but that's okay. She has been kind of between social groups before this and (I think) afraid to put too much effort into new friends for fear of being rejected.

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  6. She's a teen, they're still figuring themselves out. I think the best thing for anyone is having a hobby that gets them away from their usual family & friends and forces them to meet new people with similar interests. :) Danica

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