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How NOT to make friends


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   People continuously seem to misunderstand the purpose of this board; it's not about posting personal adverts, it's about sharing experiences and asking questions on the topic of how to make friends. The questions and answers are, however, spread thin across the multitude of threads that this board has, and continues, to spawn.

   So I thought, as an introverted, prejudiced misanthrope who, magically, has a contact list which in spite of regular grooming always has plenty of people on it, let's approach it from the other end and discuss how not to make friends.

   See it a bit as 'the pet peeve' thread, but focusing on socialising. Now I shouldn't have to point out that this thread, just as any other thread, is not the place for personal disputes and flaming as this is true for the entire forums - but I'll go ahead and say it anyway; if you're incapable of being in the same space as people with whom you may not fully agree with in all aspects of life, beat it.

 

   I'll start off with a peeve of mine which regards what I just mentioned, the 'personal adverts' that appear here. I have contacted quite a few people who made such threads over the years, but in the vast majority of the times I did, I found the person to be utterly unwilling to uphold even the most elementary essentials of social exchange, leaving conversational dead-ends at every response which mounts to more and more resistance to break through to connect with someone. For example:

  • Hello there! I saw your thread on the 'Make Friends' section of the forums and thought I'd reach out. How are you doing?
  • Hi.
  • Everything going okay?
  • Yeah, fine.
  • What are you up to?
  • Nothing much.

   This isn't even an exaggeration, this is how a fair amount of people actually respond to being contacted - usually even without the use of punctuation (which, to me, is a severe turn-off!). Could it be because I'm a scary man and a 'potential creep'? Perhaps in some cases, but I've tried it with Neph too and, granted, she may be scary as well, but then I don't tend to reach out to the sparkly unicorn fan club types either.

   Friendship, whether in Second Life or real life, isn't something you're entitled to; it's nothing people should have to serve you on a silver platter. For two people to get to know each other, there must be a mutual exchange of interest or curiosity. If you're unprepared to engage with people, advertising your wish to make friends is utterly pointless, and a waste of your time as well as that of all who respond to you. If you're feeling 'shy' when approached through a textual conversation, then I honestly couldn't tell you what's wrong with you - but rest assured, something needs looking into.

   P.S.

   This isn't a response to any recent event, thread, or any one person in particular - if you feel 'hit', don't worry; I've likely already forgotten all about you.

   So, what are some other ways not to make friends?

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RandomStrangerYouHaveNeverInteractedWithBefore Resident is offering friendship.   Would you be my friend?   (By default, you will be able to see each other's online status.) Second Life:

People continuously seem to misunderstand the purpose of this board; it's not about posting personal adverts, it's about sharing experiences and asking questions on the topic of how to make friends. T

So..... if I'm as shy in textual conversations as I am in verbal ones, there is something wrong with me that I need to look in to?

Posted Images

RandomStrangerYouHaveNeverInteractedWithBefore Resident is offering friendship.
 
Would you be my friend?
 
(By default, you will be able to see each other's online status.)

Second Life: Friendship offer declined.

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37 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

I may not be making friends with Skell by referring guys who want Fashion Advice for Men to him...

It's one thing to refer people; I'm fine with that. It's when someone's first approach is to offer friendship out of the blue that I get irritated. Especially so because my profile states "Sorry, I don't accept friendship offers. No exceptions." (Trust me, I still get about five per week from people who want a Catwa CSR on call.. 9_9)

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7 hours ago, Orwar said:

If you're unprepared to engage with people, advertising your wish to make friends is utterly pointless, and a waste of your time as well as that of all who respond to you. If you're feeling 'shy' when approached through a textual conversation, then I honestly couldn't tell you what's wrong with you - but rest assured, something needs looking into.

I just want to pick up on this point for a moment.

As someone who has struggled, mostly but not entirely successfully, with both introversion and social anxiety, text-based interaction can be a wonderful thing. If you have no problem holding a vocal conversation for hours on end, you probably don't realise just how precious and valuable it is to take 30 seconds to compose your thoughts. That mental breathing space is possibly why so many of us are here; because it's orders of magnitude easier to be the literal comic genius that I am (cough) if I can think things through before saying or typing them.

So if, even with all of that, you're still stuck unable and/or unwilling to progress beyond the "hi how r u" dance... you ain't right.

Edited by AyelaNewLife
I did typo
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6 hours ago, Orwar said:

If you're feeling 'shy' when approached through a textual conversation, then I honestly couldn't tell you what's wrong with you - but rest assured, something needs looking into.

So..... if I'm as shy in textual conversations as I am in verbal ones, there is something wrong with me that I need to look in to?

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5 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

So..... if I'm as shy in textual conversations as I am in verbal ones, there is something wrong with me that I need to look in to?

The answer to your question, as you, I, and others suspect is... absolutely not.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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24 minutes ago, AyelaNewLife said:

If you have no problem holding a vocal conversation for hours on end, you probably don't realise just how precious and valuable the it is to take 30 seconds to compose your thoughts.

   I used to do a lot of 'um'-ing and 'err'-ing, I'm a terrible orator and used to get really stressed out about it. Now when I speak I'm more likely to just take random pauses to compose my thoughts or find the word I'm looking for - which some people apparently find extremely annoying. Shrugs.

13 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

So..... if I'm as shy in textual conversations as I am in verbal ones, there is something wrong with me that I need to look in to?

   I may have forgotten to put up the 'may contain traces of sarcasm and a weird sense of humour' sign. Sorry!

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43 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

I've found that over the years, telling people that there is something wrong with them is not a good way to make friends.

   Saunters up to Beth with a mischievous smirk. Mm, did I ever ask you 'what in the seven Hells is wrong with you'?

   Anyway - another way to quickly terminate a potential friendship is to flip off one's ability to see your online status; it sort of defeats the whole purpose of having you on that list to begin with and really just is a form of ghosting, and it's so easy to spot. If you don't want to talk to me, that's entirely fine, I don't demand your full and complete attention at all times when we are both online simultaneously. 

   Two people summarily ejected from my contact list in the last week alone for doing that. One of them I didn't speak much to to begin with. Sighs.

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My problem is that I have a hard time turning down a friendship request from anyone that I know casually inworld or here on the forums.  However, I am also NOT a talky type person.  I have always sucked at small talk or any sort of chit-chat.  Even as a teenager on the phone all evening with friends, they pretty much did all of the talking.  So when people on my friends list IM me, I end up giving some of the dead-end type answers to questions and then letting the conversation lag into silence that goes on forever.

Maybe I should just always follow up ever friend request with a comment telling them not to actually expect me to communicate.

 

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7 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

My problem is that I have a hard time turning down a friendship request from anyone that I know casually inworld or here on the forums.  However, I am also NOT a talky type person.  I have always sucked at small talk or any sort of chit-chat.  Even as a teenager on the phone all evening with friends, they pretty much did all of the talking.  So when people on my friends list IM me, I end up giving some of the dead-end type answers to questions and then letting the conversation lag into silence that goes on forever.

Maybe I should just always follow up ever friend request with a comment telling them not to actually expect me to communicate.

 

That pretty much sums up my interaction skills as well.  I think the last friend request I did accept, I did follow that up with a warning that I'm not much of a conversationalist.  There are a couple of people on my friends list that I chat with occasionally.   Many of the others are from a RP group that I was really involved with for a few years.  I don't speak very often anymore with any of them,  nor do they contact me hardly ever, but I keep them on the list more for old-times sake (and because they haven't removed me from their side either).  

This isn't to say that I won't talk if someone that I casually know IM''s me, but it's hard to know whether there will be that 'click' where I feel comfortable conversing or not. 

Outside of family, I'm pretty much this way in RL as well, so over the years I've come to terms with how I am and am comfortable with it.  When I've been in situations where I've had to be social, I can get by for short periods of time, and when I was working or involved with other community groups, I've had a lot of acquaintances and casual friendships, but very few that have lasted outside of work or the larger group.

So, you'll never see me making a post here looking for friends, or responding "yes! let's meet up!" to someone else's looking for friends post.

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29 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

My problem is that I have a hard time turning down a friendship request from anyone that I know casually inworld or here on the forums.  However, I am also NOT a talky type person.

One of my profile picks contains the following words: "I'm often very busy inworld, so don't be offended if you get my autoresponse. I'm also not the most chatty of people (unless I'm with very good friends), so please don't expect me to entertain you." Of course, that last bit might come across as a bit abrupt (and it was initially written into my profile in response to those who did expect me to entertain them) but - outside of my job - I don't talk to many people in SL and it bugs me when I'm alerted to people constantly logging in and out. Since Firestorm won't let me choose who I get on/offline notifications for, I have to keep them on for everyone, and with a large contacts list that gets distracting and annoying.

As to having trouble turning down friendship requests, I used to be the same, but I've found a nice way of doing so gently and without causing offence: "Sorry, but I'm going to decline that friendship offer. I try to keep my contacts list as small as possible, but I'm happy to send a calling card." Followed by sending that calling card immediately. It usually mollifies the friend-requester into not feeling too rebuffed, and most people never bother to check their calling cards folder to see who is online anyway ;)

ETA: The calling card thing is something I only do for people I've interacted with previously. If I log on to three friend requests from randoms I've never spoken to then I just click them off and ignore them.

Edited by Skell Dagger
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The problem isn't so much that people are awkward, but in having unrealistic expectations based on that. If you're shy and awkward, posting here asking people to contact you is unlikely to work. You know that you're not going to keep the conversation going, so it'll fizzle most of the time.

It's one reason why I've tried to suggest relevant events and to join the groups for those events. No single person has the carry the conversation in a group, so it's a good way to get a feel for things without so much pressure. The event also gives an obvious topic to talk about. But it's hard to persuade people that this might be a better option than sitting alone somewhere hoping that someone will send a message.

(Personally, I know I'm not the sort of friend who will chat all the time, so I wouldn't contact someone from here even if they shared all my interests. I'm semi-afk on my building platform most of the time and mainly surface at events.)

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I admit freely to folk when they friend me, that I am very much an introvert and not always chatty but if you do go in my box; I will try to reply but like Skell I'm more chatty if your very close friend as about 11 people on my list  I will talk to most days as they been my friends either a very long time or i consider them that a close friend. 

Although some of you know me from meet ups, never bug me or bother me if I'm quiet as you all pretty embraced me as I am so thanks.

Then touching on being an introvert; I had a guy friend a while back who I confessed this; then one day when I was being more introverted than usual (as had done 3 host sets that day so I was wiped out energy wise and anyone who hosts as is introvert knows we need quiet time to recharge plus he knew I done those sets as he popped in briefly to all 3) then gets annoyed with me being quiet, saying I'm giving him the cold shoulder etc so basically making a mountain over small little mole hill.  Naturally,  I'm like excuse me, did you tell early on our friendship that I am an introvert; just done 3 sets so need time to get my energy back!!!  Even so he still kept making issue over it, I'm like I'm done; if you can't respect me for being well me then bye Felica!! Blocked his ass, removed him as friend and even now he still in my ignore list.

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10 hours ago, Skell Dagger said:

RandomStrangerYouHaveNeverInteractedWithBefore Resident is offering friendship.

Even better, when RandomStranger offers it in a foreign language that you don't speak (which sadly is anything but English)! I get this freakishly often.

 

5 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

So..... if I'm as shy in textual conversations as I am in verbal ones, there is something wrong with me that I need to look in to?

and Maddy replied:

5 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

The answer to your question, as you, me, and others suspect is... absolutely not.

Right, the answer to Lil is a resounding "NO." For me the answer is, "Yes, obviously."

 

4 hours ago, Orwar said:

      Anyway - another way to quickly terminate a potential friendship is to flip off one's ability to see your online status; it sort of defeats the whole purpose of having you on that list to begin with and really just is a form of ghosting, and it's so easy to spot. If you don't want to talk to me, that's entirely fine, I don't demand your full and complete attention at all times when we are both online simultaneously. 

Well, that keeps me off your list (that and probably more, like you wanting to get your hug and me being a tiny squashed fairy if you do). I do this routinely. I have never thought of it as ghosting, and that upsets me, as that really isn't my intent, but I *am* trying to hide with turning off my online status. I could come in as my alt to avoid everyone, but there's usually a downside to that, practical things like I want to go shopping and it is a pain to make a gift of everything, plus I'd forget to do that and then end up with stuff for my alt. Can't have that.

I'm very shy, which few on the forums believe. If I show "online" to my short list someone WILL ping in with an IM. I like my friends. I will feel obligated to talk to them. I'll enjoy the conversation because they are my friends after all, but I do come inworld usually with a plan, not to just hang out.

4 hours ago, Moira Timmerman said:

  I think the last friend request I did accept, I did follow that up with a warning that I'm not much of a conversationalist. 

I basically give anyone I'm willing to add to my list a five minute lecture about what an absolutely horrible friend I am inworld. I don't mince words. I'm the worst. I rarely IM because I'm afraid I'm barging in on people, and my friends are much too nice to tell me to sod off. I then explain that me on their friends' list is rather like me just taking a token spot, or I'm there to class up the joint. [sarcasm] I tell them several times I totally understand if that isn't what they were wanting and no hard feelings if they decline. I sometimes feel like sending out yearly reminders of "I told you so" and "it is ok if you want to delete me now." At least no one can accuse me of false advertising.

4 hours ago, Skell Dagger said:

"Sorry, but I'm going to decline that friendship offer. I try to keep my contacts list as small as possible, but I'm happy to send a calling card." Followed by sending that calling card immediately.

I'm so stealing this, Skell. I totally forget about calling cards (as I'll bet 90% of folks do). This IS a nice way to soften the blow, and it IS awkward to turn people down and I honestly feel awful when I do (unless it is like the random thing).

I don't lose too many friends because I do keep my friends' list small, and the ones there have either been there for eleven years and they know I'm a lousy friend, or they are newer and have heard the spiel. I've made quick friends a few times (without the warning) and what gets on my last nerve is as I'm logging in, still not totally rezzed nor are my surroundings, to hear my message bell going off. Do that day after day after day and I'll say something kindly like "KNOCK IT OFF!" if that doesn't stop it then I'll flip off their ability to see me online.

I don't have any jerks on my list. I'm happy with what I've got. 

I am happy to see a fellow grumpy misanthrope make a post about how NOT TO make friends.

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6 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

So..... if I'm as shy in textual conversations as I am in verbal ones, there is something wrong with me that I need to look in to?

No, I don't think that's what he meant at all as you took it out of context (see context below).  He's saying to be friends and/or to have a friend, we all need to do our part and be pro-active in that friendship that's how it read to me.  To me, Orwar, the OP was saying...getting past the "friends" that just say "hi, how are you", and then never really speak again and I have even wondered why we became friends at all.  It's happened to me many times; there is just no dialogue.  But, I built for my first year and a half of SL and still build, sometimes I'm busy and I used to be like Skell Daggar for awhile in not accepting any friends requests because I was busy and didn't have anything to put into a friendship.   I still build, but with COVID-19, my creative balloon deflated altogether.  My inworld friends - I told them I just cannot speak right now.  I'm too upset.  And, they understand.  I didn't want to rob their inworld escape, so I've told my inworld friends I need space right now and I just cannot talk about it - all the whys and reasons which I don't want to bring inworld.  

13 hours ago, Orwar said:

Friendship, whether in Second Life or real life, isn't something you're entitled to; it's nothing people should have to serve you on a silver platter. For two people to get to know each other, there must be a mutual exchange of interest or curiosity. If you're unprepared to engage with people, advertising your wish to make friends is utterly pointless, and a waste of your time as well as that of all who respond to you. If you're feeling 'shy' when approached through a textual conversation, then I honestly couldn't tell you what's wrong with you - but rest assured, something needs looking into.

   P

 

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21 hours ago, Orwar said:

 

  • Hello there! I saw your thread on the 'Make Friends' section of the forums and thought I'd reach out. How are you doing?
  • Hi.
  • Everything going okay?
  • Yeah, fine.
  • What are you up to?
  • Nothing much.

   This isn't even an exaggeration, this is how a fair amount of people actually respond to being contacted.

This is my experience as well, very few responses seem to go anywhere.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Gatogateau said:

Even better, when RandomStranger offers it in a foreign language that you don't speak (which sadly is anything but English)! I get this freakishly often.

The default friend request message will depend on the language their viewer is set too.

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 It was the first public election where I would be old enough to vote and excitedly registered to collect signatures so my candidate could run. The first four voters either pretended not to be

home (I could hear them laughing behind the closed door) the next few told me they were Democrats  and would not help put a Green on the ballot. My fellow campaigner said that was the last straw and we should just leave that racist building building but I hadn't even tried yet.

An old White woman opened the door and yelled at me for ringing her bell while she was trying to rest. I apologized explained that I just waned to get our candidate's name on the ballot, she could still vote for the candidate of her choice in the election. She then wanted to know why he was still running if he couldn't get the initial support from the party. I explained that while I sent from door to door getting signatures big party candidates had fundraisers where democratic groups would give them thousands of dollars to run against against poorer candidates.

Ok, back to my book. But the attitude you present is sometimes what makes people listen to you, with an open mind.

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My inworld profile says I don't friend add. Despite that, sometimes people talk to me and shortly after, offer friendship. If it was an ok conversation, I feel badly about declining so I accept. They usually then ask to meet up every time I log on so I end up turning my status to invisible before eventually deleting them. I don't log on to hang out so... yeh. I almost always bump into them afterwards somewhere. Something's probably wrong with me 😞

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4 hours ago, AdminGirl said:

My inworld profile says I don't friend add. Despite that, sometimes people talk to me and shortly after, offer friendship. If it was an ok conversation, I feel badly about declining so I accept. They usually then ask to meet up every time I log on so I end up turning my status to invisible before eventually deleting them. I don't log on to hang out so... yeh. I almost always bump into them afterwards somewhere. Something's probably wrong with me 😞

 

4 hours ago, AdminGirl said:

My inworld profile says I don't friend add. Despite that, sometimes people talk to me and shortly after, offer friendship. If it was an ok conversation, I feel badly about declining so I accept. They usually then ask to meet up every time I log on so I end up turning my status to invisible before eventually deleting them. I don't log on to hang out so... yeh. I almost always bump into them afterwards somewhere. Something's probably wrong with me 😞

my profile says I responded but don't see the response!  it's another lost message I guess. anyway, i'm glad we got together again!

Edited by BeautifulXu
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On 6/1/2020 at 9:13 PM, Orwar said:

   Saunters up to Beth with a mischievous smirk. Mm, did I ever ask you 'what in the seven Hells is wrong with you'?

   Anyway - another way to quickly terminate a potential friendship is to flip off one's ability to see your online status; it sort of defeats the whole purpose of having you on that list to begin with and really just is a form of ghosting, and it's so easy to spot. If you don't want to talk to me, that's entirely fine, I don't demand your full and complete attention at all times when we are both online simultaneously. 

   Two people summarily ejected from my contact list in the last week alone for doing that. One of them I didn't speak much to to begin with. Sighs.

I've done this once or twice, with people who I accepted as friends out of politeness but never really had any desire to be their friend. I went invisible to them for a week or so then quietly dropped them. They never asked why.

I have also dropped people off my friends list for being that person, who demands my 100% attention whenever I'm online. From that, I learn two things; that I was their only friend, and the reason why they don't have any more.

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