Skip to main content
Illustration of people sitting and standing

New here?

Chat with other people who 'Get it'

with health professionals in the background to make sure everything is safe and supportive.


Have an account?

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Something’s not right

Re: Independence and Friendship

One suggestion was to be yourself and not break the law. But the reality is that government and organisations make rules that are contrary to my circumstances. What is one supposed to do in that situation? Apparently, one is meant to hold their belief internally in their mind in opposition to society's rules. And the more different one is the more internalised those beliefs become and the more opposition is generated by others who sense the opposition without tangible evidence. Until the individual is effectively broken and loses all life. How sad.

Re: Independence and Friendship



Is anyone able to offer practical suggestions for making frienads? How do young people in particular make friends?


I have attended more than 150 Meetup events in the past six years, including about 40 events I have organised myself, but cannot say I've made a lasting friend by this strategy. The closest I came was one person, but they apparently lessened interest in me because of their commitment to existing family and friendship groups and because our interests were very slightly misaligned, despite them being the most aligned out of the hundreds of others I have met. Most members are older than me, which also reduces the likelihood of shared perspectives. Sometimes I organise events for which other members register, but then no-one shows, leaving me to complete the activity alone. Usually I do so while trying not to cry because my efforts to organise interesting events were apparently wasted and I don't understand why people deceive me. My events are free.


I've been a member of four recreational clubs, but can't say I made a lasting friend.


My work colleagues seem to have different interests and beliefs to me. Their motivations appear to be to feign their abilities, at which they are successful because they exploit loopholes in the law and industry, then party at opportune times. When I have invited them to extracurricular events I enjoy, I have received only two attendees to more than ten separate events. My work is apparently so competitive that that those I sit next to in my office are actively in opposition to me.


I have been a member of two professional associations. I attend regular seminars, but the people I meet have attitudes like my work colleagues. I asked these organisations if I could advertise my own events that I would find interesting in the hope they would help me attract similar people. But the organisations didn't allow it. I don't understand the purpose of the associations if they won't allow paid members to seek and connect with other paid members. I organised a discussion group last year with a different association, then attended three events by myself because the registrants didn't log in.


I have attended church periodically my whole life. Almost all other attendees are much older. I have attended two courses at my church in which the participants were much younger. But I seemed to have a different theological understanding to them and therefore didn't make a connection.


I tried online dating. The people I send messages to often don't respond or respond only once of twice, then stop abruptly. I really don't know why or why I am not interesting enough to others to at least engage in one phone call.


My parents have no apparent social life. I cannot remember them attending a social event outside our extended family in the past fifteen years.


Once I went saw someone very interesting on a train and found their contact details. However, I received no response to my messages. Another time I went to a networking event but left distraught when I felt decieved by the advertisement.


I tried to receive professional help. One counsellor suggested I try laughing therapy and proceeded to demonstrate, but I didn't find it funny and was effectively laughed at, that was after telling me that she was unable to help and I should consult a different practitioner. Usually I feel angry after meeting my psychologist because 


The act of forming a friendship is apparently so trivial to most people that Relationships Australia only have resources for people in relationships, not those trying to form a friendship.

Re: Independence and Friendship

@P12  Sorry, I can't offer any advice as I'm just as clueless as you are about how to get set up with compatable companions.


You sound like you've had a lot more ideas about it then me, but it sounds like it's all come to the same result in the end, anyway.


@P12 wrote:

The act of forming a friendship is apparently so trivial to most people that Relationships Australia only have resources for people in relationships, not those trying to form a friendship.

Sadly, so true. I've struck a few organizations that seem to appreciate the gravity of the loneliness crisis, but so far, they only seem to raise awareness of the crisis; they don't seem to have any ideas about how to fix it.

Did you know that the British government has a "Minister For Loneliness" now? I think I heard some talk of proposals of developing a similar ministry over here.


It still staggers me that this is such an untended issue. There are those types of people out there who are compulsive matchmakers. Isn't there some way to harness those inclinations at a societal level, to provide those services to people who really need them? Maybe be need to have matchmakers as full-time social servants - people who do nothing but seek out compatable individuals and community clusters to set lonely people up with. People have been doing that for free for decades; but unfortunately, the people most in need of those services just don't seem to get them.


And I really think that patient matchmaking needs to be incorporated as a dedicated element of the mental health system, because there is such an enormous potential for kindred spirit crossover there. If your so unusual that the masses label you "mentally ill", then odds are that that's just how the world will label your soulmate and/or true family. So whose most likely to encounter you all and reconize that you belong together? The mental health system!


I remember watching a TV show where one character described another "mentally ill" (shizophrenic) character. His description was supposed to sound rather disparaging, I think. But as I listened to him, I just couldn't help but think "Damn! Why don't I ever meet women like that? She sounds awesome!" To me, the aspects he was describing were really attractive and relatable; but to the wider world, they are "mental illness", to be "corrected". So I suspect what I really need is a matchmaker who is able to delve through the pool of so-called "mentally ill" people to find the ones I'm most compatable with and set me up with them. That's why I think that matchmaking really needs to be made a major part of therapy.


Of course, it should only ever happen with patients' mutual consent. But I suspect that you will find a lot of patients eagerly signing up to be finally united with their true families.




Sorry for the rant. I know I contributed nothing useful. Sorry Smiley Sad. It just that, as you've probably guessed, this is an issue that I'm really passionate about.

Re: Independence and Friendship

Thanks for your help @chibam. Your message made good sense to me. You sound like someone with whom I might be able to connect in real life if circumstances were different so I wish you well for your efforts. Keep up the hard work.

Re: Independence and Friendship

Wow @P12  You have put a lot into socialising.  I believe their can different zeitgeist in the air that can effect things.  Pre Covid their seemed huge emaphasis on being competitive and getting ahead.  Maybe that is some of the problem.  Some societies are more open. Covid has brought mental health issues more mainstream, and people do seem friendlier.  Cant say for sure but I do know that when I have focussed too much on friendship it has evaded me, but when I relax a bit things can flow better.  Its all a work in progress.  


Take Care, stay safe and stay kind.

Smiley Happy

Re: Independence and Friendship

“Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”

― Carl Gustav Jung

This quote resonates with me and I was reminded of it as I read your thread. I can relate to your writing. I don't have any solution either but I've not given up trying.

Re: Independence and Friendship


I guess it all depends on how one defines friendship and what one expects in return.


There are 3 people I consider to be actual friends. These are people on whom I know I can rely to assist me if something goes wrong, people who will never let me down. One of them I see in passing each weekday as we work in the same building (although we rarely meet up outside of that situation), one I might catch up with by phone or in person once a month (a client) and the other maybe only once or twice a year. All three know that, likewise, I would do anything they required of me.


I know other people, I pass the time of day and share anecdotes but they are not my friends.


My partner doesn't have friends. He thinks he does. He has a couple of very patient people who are prepared to listen to him in diplomatic silence, not offer an opinion and somehow manage to get away with not agreeing with him unreservedly. He knows quite a few people that share his interests in flying model aeroplanes or sailing but we do not socialise with them. We do not socialise as things are much less likely to go pear shaped if we stay at home by ourselves. 


My partner is autistic. He has what was previously called Asperger's Syndrome overlaid with Bipolar Disorder and PTSD. He is more "aspy" than either of his diagnosed sons.


What this means is that he has very fixed ideas about how the world works, how the world should work, what is right and what is wrong (he does not believe in compromise in any way) and cannot understand; no, cannot even conceptualise that not everyone experiences logic in the way he does. When anything doesn't work out according to his very rigid expectation he becomes aggressive. People give up trying to communicate or rationalise with him and stop answering their phones. 


The relevance of this is that, and please forgive me but I am in no way condemning or criticising you, just observing, you seem to have fairly rigid expectations of what friendship comprises.


I have absolutlely no interests in common with the three people I've listed as my friends. All were chance meetings and all took years of casual coversations before we turned around one day and realised we were good friends.


I know plenty of people who share some of my varied interests but spending time with them I find a little exhausting, boring or simply unfruitful most of the time. I choose not to do it.


A decade ago I would have said "I'm not going to choir, what if no one likes me?" or "I won't take that sewing class because I might not fit in". I had an epiphany one day when I realised that I wasn't going to choir because it was me that didn't like them, not the other way around. I stopped taking classes or going to craft events because I always knew more than the tutor.


I believe am bad at friendship because I forget to return calls, I miss birthdays or when someone has a baby I've already forgotten what they've called it by the time the conversation has ended. They think I'm great because it only takes one phone call and I'll make you a cake, alter your trousers or drive you to the hospital. I am lucky that the members of my tribe only expect of me what I am capable of giving. One is 12 years older than I, one about my age and the third 18 years younger. As I said, we have no common interests, no shared childhood experiences, different education, ethnicities and careers; simply an indefinable "click" of mutual respect and confidence.


Meeting people is not the same as making friends. Obviously you have pulled out all the stops to meet people but I believe friendships evolve over time. Sometimes a very long time and not always with whom you expect. When I first met one of my three good friends I thought she was too rough around the edges, to outspoken, not educated enough and a bit tiresome. I was wrong.


Maybe, just maybe, you are trying to hard and expecting too much. Friendship can't be forced and often takes years to establish. Maybe it's not a case of you being "not interesting enough" to those who don't return your messages but of being too intense too quickly. I'm not suggesting you try to change your personality, I am suggesting that it may just take longer for you to find people who dance to the beat of the same drum.


I know it's easy for me to say "be patient" when you feel like you've been banging your head against a wall for years. The thing about banging your head against a wall is how good it feels when you stop.


Much love and encouragement.

S x



Re: Independence and Friendship

Can anyone provide advice about how to best work in an autocratic organisation?


As far as I have been told, in these situations, one must follow instructions precisely, and when free from instructions then may pose alternative solutions. However, how can I cope with the situation that the instructions I am asked to perform are in conflict with my personal needs, while my suggestions are unpopular and not acted upon. Who decides upon the leadership of autocratic organisations?


Perhaps the best strategy I've used is to carefully delineate my existence and pursue my interests outside of autocratic organisations. However, in my experience, autocractic organisations are inescapable because they exist throughout government, business, community, and family groups.


Another strategy is where organisations subordinate leadership to a committee, but even these are unsuccessful because they rely on consensus of a small group and an individual's opinions are rarely respected. Why does society not support individuals to follow their interests and talents?


Life must be strange game in which there is no purpose, some people are luckily in power, while others are unluckily not.

Re: Independence and Friendship

In my job, there is a law that says practitioners must act as far as reasonable. Then the word "reasonable" is defined as what an average practitioner would do. 


In my observation, the most successful practitioners in my field are experts not in the field but at "acting" or feigning ability in the field.


Does the law mean that fraudulently feigning skill and talent is an integral part of society (it apparently worked for Hamlet, he became onr of literature's most famous characters) and why does it not define reasonable as one person acting with dignity and integrity, regardless of whether others think the same? What part of society values people who act truthfully?

Re: Independence and Friendship

Thanks for your suggestion @SJT63 . I will try it. However, would you have time to clarify one comment? You suggest I am trying too hard and I will find friends more slowly than most people. How will I feel if I reach the end of my life and I haven't made a friend? I think I would feel more sad than if I made great effort but still failed. At least then I would feel content that I have acted with integrity, the error was with the other people, and my afterlife will bring satisfaction that was missing from my life.


Illustration of people sitting and standing

New here?

Chat with other people who 'Get it'

with health professionals in the background to make sure everything is safe and supportive.


Have an account?

For urgent assistance: