Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™
FRIENDSHIP: How to Make Friends In Your 30s?
Sorry for the disturbance but could you tell me please how can I make friends, I mean new friends or at least to feel ok in the presence of people to work.I am 30 years old, I have a broken family, my dad always drinks and makes huge scandals every night and this was the environment that I lived in, as depicted very good in the song BlackBird cause my mother's name is lonely and my father's name is PAIN. When I was younger from 20 to 30 years old I really was very active in social life, had friends, a straight A student (was very hard to learn through tears every day and night while my father was calling me names just because he was drunk, and I tried ti learn even though I never felt to have a family), always helped other children -abandoned children to speak correct English and Italian, helped them at Math or Chimestry, some of them I helped them to be hired, they thank me with the tears in their eyes and it felt great.With every one of them seeing them happy and councling them after work, after finishing my dayjob, I was going always to help them.I was there a volunteer. Now at 30 I changes I feel that the luggage (the drinking problems, beating me up asa child,the names that my parents called me)these luggage is very hard ti carry on and I can not make friends, at the new job I feel i can not relate to anyone, well i have some malefriends, but I really need a friend a girl type friend..
My great friends are all away from my Country and if you could please tell me what can I do to make friends - I tried to go to the gym but I can not make friends as I used to- I feel that I have a low energy, I am sad inside but never show it- I just want your advice If I am only me in this world and do not have no one how ca I make friends or be as I was- because you know even if I had a serious relationship-I can not and DO NOT WANT THEM TO KNOW MY PARENTS- I was so hurt by them they are like ice to me- and they were like ice-but I do not hold a grudge I really loved to have just one friend, not a friend who wants something from me, money, or only because I can help her to achieve smth-I am done with this just want somone once a week, if they want to meet as this, but to be friends for me because I am a good listener, loyal friend and always there to help and fun. Thank you and please if you have time really answer me. Thak you dear amazing soul!
~~Nicole, I hope I can offer you some good advice and comfort. You have been very courageous your entire life and that has propelled you to achieve in what was a very dysfunctional family and unhealthy childhood. Still what you describe as luggage that you have carried through that period and still carry, has to have had a tremendous impact on you psychologically. I am not a psychologist, but it would be understandable that, even with all of your accomplishments, you would suffer from very low self-esteem and/or depression.
Possibly the reason that you cannot make friends is that you do not feel that you are as good as other people. The fact that you do not want people to know your parents indicates to me that you are ashamed of your past. In addition, the physical and emotional abuse that you have experienced has probably made you feel that you are partially responsible and not as good as others; abuse does that. Please try to understand that none of this was your fault. In spite of the overwhelming odds created by your surroundings, you were a straight A student and you sought out other children to help. These are the actions of a wonderful person. You need to seek help in unloading that “luggage” that is making you feel inferior. When you were younger, it may have been a little easier to carry it, but over time I think it has worn you down.
I would first suggest you seek professional help (counseling) to get to the core of your feelings. Many of us have needed psychological counseling at some our lives to help cope with a lot less traumatizing experiences than what you have been through. (We did not always realize how badly we needed it.) Someone needs to help you understand how wonderful you are and get you back on track to the self-satisfaction and the achievement of which you are capable.
I would, also, suggest that you stop trying so hard to make friends and concentrate on healing yourself first. Just get back to the things that gave you enjoyment in the past. Get back to the gym, not to meet other people but for yourself. Go back to helping others. You obviously enjoyed it, and it is a great way to prove your self-worth. Join groups with similar self-interests whether they be non-profit help groups, music groups, reading etc. Some long-lasting friends can come automatically from such groups because you have interests in common and group interaction is necessary. These people are getting together for a purpose other than making friends, but friendships often come as a result.
Whatever you do, do not give up; you are not meant to be alone. You have too much to offer, and there are people that want to share your common interests and, thus, your life with you. Keep in mind that relationships which are not totally socially driven (that is, to have an in-the-moment good time and feeling of acceptance), take longer to build, but like anything else, time invested makes for stronger foundations. These types of friends will not care about meeting your parents, but as friends with mutual interests, they may help you deal with the parent issues that burden you.
I suggest that you immediately do some internet research on dealing with self-esteem and depression. But don’t stop there. You have been abused at a very fragile age and it takes more than self-help to address such hurt. Please see a counselor. You have helped other people in the past; let someone help you now. You are still very young. You are intelligent, caring and have a lot to offer society. Don’t let us down. Heal your hurt and get back in the game.
I will be praying for you.