Keep Your Circle Broken: When It’s Hard Making Friends

My steps slowed as I moved closer towards the door, the laughter and chatter spilling out in waves from behind it. Those were women who sounded like they knew what fun and fellowship meant, though women I didn’t know, and who didn’t know me.

Why am I doing this, again? I thought for the tenth time since I’d left my house.

My family had attended this church for months and I was hungry for real friendships, not just acquaintances. God had made it clear I needed friendships, but this was new territory for me. Over the years, I’d found it easier to focus on projects and goals instead of relationships and people. People were messy; relationships, complicated.

What was easy, I’d learned, was not bothering to engage at all… until God showed me why I was wrong.

The Bible is filled with examples of how Jesus always put relationships and people first. He chose some of the most imperfect people to be His closest companions, and even when His disciples got it wrong, Jesus gave them more chances to get it right. Though He encountered hundreds of messy lives during His earthly ministry, He never turned them away.

No, Jesus never chose projects over people, because projects were never His priority or His passion. God’s people were.

Stepping through the doorway, I took in the scene – cozy comfortable rooms, a beautiful gathering space for women the church had created by refurbishing an old house on the property. I tried hard to work up my courage, trying to trust my hardest that God would help me find new friends.

Bright, bubbly women stood in clusters as groups mingle and visited.  I paused, straining to see a familiar face and wondered where I should even start. Standing by myself, though, made me feel even more conspicuous so I quickly moved to the nearest half-circle of talking women and smiled my warmest greeting.

“Hi, I’m Sara, how are you?”

The woman who glanced over at me returned a thin smile and offered a polite “Oh hi, glad you’re here,” before turning back to the ladies behind her.

Another breath. Another step. I willed myself to ignore the pang in my chest while the little bit of courage I’d walked in with fizzled and sagged.

As I walked around the rooms of that little horseshoe-shaped house, I felt like a satellite, moving in my own tiny orbit. The knots of ladies talking and laughing all seemed oblivious as I moved past. Everyone looked so comfortable, so at home. Everyone but me.

I tried, again and again, to find an opening in one of their huddles. I asked questions – “how long have you been at this church?” “A long time.” “Which small group do you go to?” “So-and-so’s.” As quickly as they began, the conversations were over.

Such perfect little circles, I thought, as I made my way out the door I’d entered just seven minutes before. But not one with room for me.

More than ten years have passed since I took that walk around the little house but I’ve never forgotten it, or the lessons I learned from it. If you are reading this and nodding your head, if your heart is hurting from your own perfect circle experiences, please keep reading. There is something from the lessons I’m sharing below that God wants you to apply.

 

SaraHorn.com: Keep Your Circle Broken | To the Woman Who's Tired of Saying Hello and the Woman Who Doesn't Always Think To.

 

#1 – Always Keep Your Circle Broken

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

Perfect circles feel right. Secure. Whole. We don’t like broken anything. Yet, all of us are broken in some way. I love the song Casting Crown  sings about being Broken Together, from their Thrive album. While the song intentionally focuses on marriages, some of the same thoughts can apply to people in general. We will never be fully complete, we will never “arrive” in our walk with Christ until we enter Heaven with Him, so why do we try so hard sometimes to be or appear more complete than we are?

 

When we purposely leave our circles broken, we intentionally look for the next friend we can encourage. That young mom who shows up to your Tuesday morning Bible study knowing no one. Your elderly neighbor down the street. The single mom of one of your son’s friends. The woman who just started working in your office.

Keeping my circle broken reminds me never to be content in being comfortable with the friends I already have but to look for ways to be a friend to others who need one.

SaraHorn.com: Keep Your Circle Broken | To the Woman Who's Tired of Saying Hello and the Woman Who Doesn't Always Think To.

#2 – Be willing to have different kinds of friends, and friendships. 

I hope to write more on this soon, but you probably already know the friendships you have can vary greatly. I think we mistakenly believe that unless every friend or every friendship looks and behaves a certain way, than we’re just fooling ourselves or pretending we have friends when we really don’t. So we don’t try or we stop trying.

One of the beautiful things about keeping your circle broken is you can have a wide variety of friendships that are different in type and stage. It’s unrealistic to think every single friend you have will be a best friend. A best friend is someone who is simply the best. Your best.

That girlfriend of yours you’ve known forever, who gets your quirks, overlooks your flaws and still talks to you anyway. Or that friend you haven’t known long at all, but you seem to finish each other’s sentences. It’s scary, because you’re that much alike – on the same wavelength of your brain kind of scary (because you were convinced there was NO ONE out there who thought the same kind of way as you).

My dear friend Heather is probably my closest friend. We were “best friends” when we were very young, but grew apart as we got older and when I moved away with my family. After my family moved back to southeast Louisiana, we reconnected again and were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings. Since moving back for good five years ago (after my husband of course), Heather has become the one I can turn to when something goes wrong or when I’m disappointed or when I am just being an ugly version of my human self and need to vent and I know I’m being the ugly version and she knows it and she still lets me. And when she needs to do the same, I’m that for her.

She prays for me, and I pray for her. That is a dear friend. But I have only one like that. And it took many, many years to be able to even say that. We don’t always get to hang out or see each other a lot, but we know that we are friends the other can rely on.

Sara Horn | Keep Your Circle Broken: When It's Hard Making Friends

So stop fretting when the new friend from church doesn’t text you or appears uninterested in doing anything more than just saying hi and chatting before or after the service. Take a breath instead of taking it personally when you can’t get a friend to meet for coffee or lunch. Stop thinking it’s you. It really just might be them…. struggling with what a lot of us struggle with, when it comes to #3.

Being ok with your imperfections. 

Ever have problems with this? Read Part 2 of this post here.

Do you ever struggle with saying hello? Or making new friends? What about reaching out? Tell me in the comments what your struggle or your solution has been and let’s help each other make different choices when it comes to friendships!

 

SaraHorn.com: Keep Your Circle Broken | To the Woman Who's Tired of Saying Hello and the Woman Who Doesn't Always Think To.

 

 

This post includes affiliate links. For my complete disclosure policy, please read here. 

158 Comments

  1. Ashleigh on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Wow, this post truly hits home! Thanks for sharing this heartfelt post! I’m an “aging out of the Moms circle Mom” (kids are 15 & 20) and seem to not fit into any group. I work at a school where all the teachers are late 20’s and early 30’s, which I’m not. I’m also not a blingy mom, a super popular “it mom”, or a super rich mom. I still need and desire close friendships, which are harder and harder to find as our children age. I would love to find several or even 1 broken circle to join.

    • Heidi Whitman on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      Definitely can relate to aging out of the moms group. My kids are 18 and 22. I’m going to be looking for a job, to get out of the house!!

    • Nancy Zenk on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 9:45 am

      Ashleigh, I feel like I could have written what you said. I also have a 15, 17 and 20 y/o and have only lived here for 7 years and it has been hard to break into a circle. I feel like I know a lot of people, but don’t have many close friendships. I also work at an elementary school with mostly younger people…other than the 2 principals and a handful of teachers. 🙂 I also find that most of the friends I do have, other than work friends, are because of my kids. Since they are growing up, I won’t have that avenue much longer to make new friends. I feel your pain!

      • Ashleigh on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 10:33 am

        There,are so many heartfelt replies to this post. Oh how I wish we could all get together in fellowship and in friendship! “Please won’t you be my neighbor”! 🙂

        • Nancy Zenk on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm

          I wish!! 🙂 I think social media also doesn’t help the situation. When you are feeling lonely and then get on facebook and see people you know getting together socially and you are left wondering why they didn’t include you, it is hard to keep a positive attitude. But we keep on smiling and praying and hoping for a couple of good friends. I tell my kids quality is better than quantity when it comes to friends!! 🙂

          • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:38 pm

            Good point Nancy! I have a friend who is very self-conscious about that – hurts her heart when she sees a group of friends that she used to do a lot with get together but don’t invite her anymore. Quality IS better than quantity, for sure! Thanks for commenting!



          • Nancy on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 7:43 pm

            It hurts my heart as well. Also, when I see my kid’s friends having a get together on facebook and know my kids weren’t included, that hurts too. I try not to make a big deal about it and don’t tell them if they don’t know about it, but who wants their kid to be left out. When we were younger, you just didn’t know these things were happening, unless they talked about it after the fact! 🙂



      • Sandy on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 3:14 pm

        Way to go. A much needed message.

        • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 1:42 pm

          Thank you Sandy!

          • Maureen Butcher on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 3:12 pm

            I too can relate with what you shared Ashleigh. My husband and I moved 2 years ago (in fact, we have done quite a bit of moving) and I wondered how am I going to make friends now that our 3 children (3I3, 31, 22) are all grown up? I would like to say that I am never lonely. But even though I have made some friends (through bible study, new neighbors) it takes plenty of effort to keep making my self known. To want to put myself out there to make friendships. Especially on a deeper level. Some times, I go too long without trying. Then I have to remind myself that people some times have been friends for a very long time before I came along. Then too, they also may have family nearby. This all means I have to be willing to not get hurt if they don’t seem to be wanting to be my friend. So, I pray and keep trying. Things that have personally helped me is to get involved in the community, being friendly to my neighbors, attending bible study, attend events. Calling others up and asking how they are, do they want to go to lunch, do they have something they would like to pray about?, Asking if there is something they can help me with or that I can help them with? (I usually wait until they say I am going to move, or I can see they are lonely too/ Or if I need help setting up my kindle (this actually happened ). I have learned that people who may seem that they aren’t open to being your friend will eventually want to include you in their life. Sure, sometimes my feelings still get hurt. But I know too that it is so worth it to keep on pursuing. Even though I don’t get to see all the friends that the Lord has helped me to make face to face, I am thankful in knowing we are still friends via email, texting,and the phone. Of course, social media has helped me to keep in contact and get reconnected to those whom I have lost contact with over the years. It has also taught me, to keep my circle open to making new friends. Thanks for this encouraging post Sara Horn 🙂



    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Hi Ashleigh! Thanks for commenting! I bet those other moms are feeling the same way – like they just don’t completely fit. I also bet that you ARE a kind mom, a warm and compassionate mom, and someone who can encourage others when they’re having a bad day. 🙂 Let me encourage YOU to reach out to some of those other moms you see, even if you don’t feel like you might completely fit. You never know who God might help you connect with if you’re willing to be available. Look for women who are new to the area, who don’t know a lot of people, and start your own broken circle. Hugs!

    • Lorraine Inman on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      This is why I joined Thirty One, I had lost myself, now I am part of a sisterhood and even with two specials needs kids, I thrive in the world and never have to worry, do I have friends, will I make friends, because God has provided this gift to me. 🙂

      • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 1:43 pm

        Great organization! I’ve heard from lots of 31 reps over the years who have read my Proverbs 31 book. Great ladies!!

    • Cathi on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 9:17 am

      So spot on. I have two older children and two younger children. I haven’t met very many people at all we could possibly “fit in” with. The older two (now 21 and 18) I had young (age18) and not many people had children the same time I did. Their children are grown and they have so much more freedom.
      Then we were double blessed with two more (now 8 and 5) and I although I have found friends with children those ages, I was already a “seasoned” mother who was passed all the first time young parents club. LOL— I am now 40, and also NOT a blingy mom, NOT a young mom, (although I do look like I am still 25) NOT a popular mom, NOT a rich mom (like my younger children’s friends moms) and really, even though it is a struggle, I realize that in this season, my focus has been my home ministry. It’s still nice to actually find friends who I can connect with. Love this broken circle.

      • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 1:45 pm

        I think you make a great point, Cathi, about seasons, and maybe this is your home ministry season. I bet you can offer a lot of wisdom to younger moms though as well!

  2. Heidi Whitman on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I just moved to a new city, so this is a good blog for me! I miss all my old friends dearly, but have to believe that God has some new friends here that will be just as good, or even better. What is that old Girl Scout song again, “make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold” 🙂 !!

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Hey Heidi! Moving definitely has its own challenges! Wishing you the best as you look for new adventures and new friends to go along with them! 🙂

  3. Mandy on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I just moved from Wisconsin to Florida. Big adjustment and missing my family and friends. My husband is the new principal at our Lutheran Schoolv church and school. I’m nervous about meeting new people and hoping I’ll find friends just as nice as the ones I left in Wisconsin.

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      I bet you will fit in wonderfully, Mandy! Smile and remember that there may be others who are just as nervous about meeting you – and also looking for new friends!

  4. Susan Stephens on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    This has been true for me at my church for at least the past 8 years. We’ve been members for 15. I’ve tried many things to try to fix it, but to no avail. I’ve tried to figure out what I’m doing wrong and have no idea. We are getting ready to start visiting other churches and I am so afraid this will continue and that the problem truly is me.

    • Carrie on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Susan, Don’t feel like it’s you. I know it’s hard to not look inward like that – but keep trying. I hope you’ll be able to connect with someone.. I need to too, and I understand the feelings… but please, don’t beat yourself up about it. it wont’ help, and will only make you feel worse. Hang in there lady! 🙂

      • Susan Stephens on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 9:25 am

        Thank you Kathy! I have found that looking internally and trying to figure myself out has become a stronghold from satan. The Lord has been teaching me that I must turn my focus on Him!!! It seems simple, but I struggle with this every day.

        • Susan Stephens on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 9:28 am

          So sorry…I meant Carrie!! I keep getting lost in all the comments!

    • Holly on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      My daughter is experiencing this at school. I finally took a look at the personalities of the girls who were not interested in being close friends with her. They were all the same type – ADD-ish, friends with several girls, fun, etc. I don’t think those girls wanted close friends so I suggested she try a different personality type to be friends with in order to find a girl who is wants to be a close friend. Maybe this could help you in your search?

      • Susan Stephens on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 9:34 am

        Thanks Holly! At this point, I’m happy to be friends with anyone…young, old, outgoing, shy…etc! I have found, though, that in my past relationships with women who are more type A, they grow tired of me eventually.

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing, Susan. A few ideas (which you may have already tried): have you invited friends out for lunch or coffee one on one? Do you try to connect during the week and not just on Sundays? Do you stay actively involved with what’s happening in the church? I only ask because I have an extended family member who gets very frustrated that she doesn’t know or feel involved with the people in her church but she only attends on Sunday mornings and does very little else the rest of the time.

      If those things haven’t worked, and you’ve prayed about it, God may well be calling you to move to another church. My best advice I give to those looking for a new church is to avoid asking the question “what can this church do for me?” and instead ask “how can God use me to serve in this church?” The difference in perspective will help you greatly!

      Thanks again for stopping by and being part of the discussion. Hugs!!

    • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      There are churches out there who will always circle the wagons and cater to the “home folk” or the core. But there are also churches that intentionally look for new faces and new people to live life with. Look for that type of church, and serve generously and wholeheartedly! 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  5. Linda S. on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Great article. I too have been in the place where I walk into a situation where there are women comfortable in their circle and have had the same short conversations and yes walked out wondering why I came in the first place. It is particularly hard now that I have become a widow. For many years I focused on my spouse and the “girlfriendships” had to take a back seat. It is more than awkward trying to fit. I do have friends. . .from work, church, previous churches, only a couple good solid ones, most are only surface. . . .is it me?? 🙂 No, just the season. God Bless!!

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Hi Linda, yes that’s a common challenge, isn’t it, juggling our spouses with our friends. I had one younger wife friend say earlier this week that she had lots of friends… and then she had kids. 🙂 I think like anything worth pursuing in life, friendships have to be intentional. And a couple of solid good friends sounds wonderful to me! 🙂 Thanks again for sharing!

  6. shelly holloway on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    What I find so encouraging is that you desire for authentic friendship is still alive .. what is dreadful is when discouragement takes its toll and we simply stop wanting connection. We bury our needs… and go thru the motions of fellowship all the while our real needs for real friendship are wimpering. This is such common ground for Gods girls… so much loneliness . I love and appreciate your article. Thank you

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      Thanks so much Shelly! You make a great point – discouragement can definitely wear us down, and I have been there, for sure. I think one of the solutions is to re-focus our perspective and look out for where we can help someone else. And then be willing to give the time it takes to build the friendships we want. Not easy, for sure!

  7. Carrie on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    I am friendless… and would love to meet someone I could connect with. I had friends in high school, so I know it’s possible! I just need to get out and find them!

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Carrie! You can do it! I think the key is to not have high expectations as you meet people and look for ways you can help and encourage someone else and hopefully the friendship evolves so that you also feel like the encouragement is returned. Be that circle breaker, friend! 🙂

  8. Paula on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    I find myself to be exactly the person you describe. I was a Theatre major in college, have no problem speaking to others in small or large groups, but seem to fail in the one-on-ones. I always feel lime an outsider. I hate this. I am not unfriendly, in fact many people come to me for advice. I sometime feel like others dislike me because my vocabulary is way over their head. Yet, I know people that can talk circles around me. Any words of wisdom.
    Paula

    • Beth on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 8:06 am

      1 Cor 9:22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. Maybe if you know their vocabulary is different than yours then use theirs rather than yours so that you don’t make them uncomfortable if you think that is the issue.

    • Nancy on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      Paula, it is funny, I feel much the same way. I am comfortable around small groups and even some large groups, if I know most of the people. I have quite a sense of humor and feel it appreciated at work, but I find I feel a bit more awkward when I am with some people one on one. I feel like I am more serious when I am alone with someone and they may be disappointed that I am not being funny! Hopefully you will find your group, just be yourself and the right group will appreciate it!!

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      Paula, I totally understand what you’re talking about. I have always felt like I haven’t “quite” fit in with other women, especially since our most recent move. I tend to have a lot more common with men – I love talking about my work and my ministry – it’s a lot harder to talk about things like shopping which is NOT in my wheel house of things I enjoy 🙂 .

      But, Beth makes a good suggestion – sometimes we do need to be aware of how people react to what we do or what we share. When we moved back to where we’re living now, I felt like a lot of people, once they found out I spoke at women’s events and taught Bible study and wrote books, saw me in a certain way and held me at a distance. I would get certain comments that implied they thought I was too “good” or “too smart” (that one made me really chuckle!) for them to hang out with. I made a point to be careful what I talked about with them so they wouldn’t feel so intimidated.

      Gradually as they’ve realized I’m pretty normal, flaws and all, not all, but many, have warmed up and I have some great friendships now.

      Thanks for sharing!

  9. brenda on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:19 am

    Yep. Friendless. But I’m also suffering a new diagnosis of a disease that has me bedridden for the time being. Not sure what the future holds, but I know Who holds it.

    • Kathy on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 5:19 am

      My son is grown into a young man and I lost my other son and his father in an accident. I spent so long grieving that I lost touch with many friends. It seems as though I have re-entered the world and woken to the realization I had no friends. The Lord has restored my heart in so many ways over the past few years, Yet, . I realized how horribly lonely I was. I tried every week to meet new people around me at church. Everyone seemed married with many children and grandchildren. Every week following church my heart would sink that I didn’t belong, I so longed for fellowship with another person, a connection. I believe that God wanted to make clear to me that He was first and foremost my friend and He wanted me to totally rely on Him first. One person must have seen the hurt I was feeling following the service one Sunday. She walked up to me, introduced herself and invited me to a weekly Bible home fellowship group. She kept me under her wing, ministered to me and introduced me to many new people. It has been over 2 years now and the Lord has seen to it that I have so many people in my life now to fellowship with. I count them as the greatest blessings one could have. Where I use to sit alone with an aching heart at church every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night…. I now scout the room for those lonely souls that need a connection and pat the seat beside me. Now, you would laugh, there were so many of us that we filled up the entire row. I glimpsed at the beaming faces within that row that spoke volumes. when one has a sense of belonging among fellow brothers and sisters in Christ we are made more whole. Satan tends to grab hold of and taunt those who are forced to isolate…. we are called to fellowship and edify one another in Christ.

      • Susan Stephens on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 9:20 am

        God bless the woman who 1st noticed you, and 2nd and most importantly, stuck with you! We are all called to do that!

      • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:58 pm

        I love, love, LOVE your story Kathy. Thank you for sharing!! To think what would have happened if that woman hadn’t been there to reach out to you! All of the sweet friendships that would have been missed! That is one reason I continue to reach out to the people around me – I remember how it felt when others didn’t reach out to me, and I never want someone else to feel that way! Thank you for sharing your story! Beautiful!

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      So sorry Brenda, to hear this. Health complications “complicate” friendships a whole lot, don’t they? God DOES have you firmly in His hands. Thanks for reading and commenting, and I pray your health improves very soon!

  10. Sabrina on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 6:32 am

    I too feel like I have no friends. It gets pretty lonely sometimes but I am at a point of I am done trying because I am tired of being hurt.

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      Sabrina, thank you so much for sharing. I hope you see by the other comments that you are definitely not alone in how you feel. Let me encourage you, if you aren’t, to find a local church to attend or a ladies Bible study. If you work, is there another woman who you can reach out to and encourage? I know for me, when I get discouraged, I quickly take my eyes off of looking at anyone else’s problems and solely focus on my own (which just makes me feel even worse!) Sometimes you need a good “sad” day. But don’t let that sad day turn into multiple days. Make a plan of something you can do the next day that will bring good either to your own family or to someone else. Hugs!

  11. Jean on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 6:59 am

    For me the “circle” represent continuation or unending. And a circle of friends should not exclude or deny anyone access to its circle. But the circle expands as it accepts others in love and caring,
    And should not be broken but grows with a sense of acceptance, loyalty and confidence that no matter what happens or where one maybe I can count on these women of God! Anything less is a CLIQUE.

    seasons may change with marriage, relocation, illness, death, etc., but a circle with Christ as its foundation can remain connected.

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jean! I explain this a little more on the video I’ll share tomorrow but the reason I chose the word broken – someone else had asked why not use the word open instead – I chose the word broken because I want to remember that by keeping my circle broken, there will always be room for one more broken person in my life because I ‘m broken as well. We are definitely WHOLE when we have Jesus as our Savior and our foundation, but for me, the imagery of a broken circle helps me remember to never be comfortable in my circle but to always keep looking for others to pull in. Appreciate you stopping by!

  12. Sara on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Thank you for this.

    Y’know it’s funny, we were just talking about this at the 4th of July BBQ. I was telling someone who has always lived here that in a small town it’s hard to make friends. It really is.
    Everyone who has always lived here doesn’t need more friends. They stick with their family and a few friends that they’ve known since kindergarten.
    It’s hard when you don’t have young children. My kids are grown. Yes, I take Violet to church with me, but, she’s not my child.
    I don’t fit in anywhere.
    I’ve gotten my feelings hurt more than once, recently. Not being invited to things that others are invited too.
    I’ve tried and tried.
    Really.
    After a while you get TIRED of trying. Trying to fit into a circle that’s a tight clique. Trying to find a friend that’s not lived here forever.
    It’s tiring to the nth degree.
    Only someone that has gone through the same thing, an outsider will understand.
    So, I gravitate to the people that have moved here from other areas, such as military people. Having said that, then I’m accused and probably guilty of being in a military people only clique. But no one else gets it. As a military wife, I’m used to people moving on after a while. I cannot grasp the fact that people here have grown up here, even though I know it. I probably have a few walls because of this. So, not everyone outside is to blame all the time, I am to blame as well.
    I’ve tried to make friends outside of church people, but, they all have their own friends and they’ve lived here forever.
    It’s a struggle.

    • Susan Stephens on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 9:44 am

      I think you are absolutely right about becoming friends with people who’ve lived in one place their whole lives. They’re usually surrounded by family and friends from childhood and that is their comfort zone. Letting someone new in, might upset that. Those of us who have lived in several different places have had to learn how to make new friends…but that’s difficult when you live in a place where people don’t need or want new friends.

    • Nancy on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Sara, I have struggled with that as well. My husband retired after 22 years in the military, not to mention my dad was in for 26 years, so I am no stranger to moving (my whole life) and making new friends. We found ourselves in the middle of Kansas not knowing anyone after retirement. I prayed like crazy to make friends, but it has taken time. We live in a smallish area and like you said, many have grown up here and have family here or nearby and don’t need more friends. It has certainly helped getting a job, I had to for my own sanity!! 🙂 That has led me to some good friends. Good luck to you and know you are not alone!!

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks for sharing Sara! (Great name by the way! And you spell it right too 🙂 ) I think for a lot of us, we are creatures of comfort and familiarity. I have had some of the same similar experiences as you have, and like you, have found friends in others who are also new to the area, transplants, etc. The key and the challenge so that you are different than those who kept those circles tight and closed is to not be the same 🙂 – being willing to reach out and connect with new people often. And also giving grace to even the tight circle people (which can be hard, I’ll admit). I think when you’ve never moved away and you don’t have that experience, it’s very hard to change what doesn’t feel wrong. Appreciate you!

      • KathiLee on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 5:24 pm

        That is so very true! I don’t think it is meant in a mean spirited way or at least I hope it’s not. I think of it more as a survival tactic. Someone new enters and no one really wants to make a move because we are comfortable. We know where we fit in. And, that’s what we all want. A place where we are recognized and accepted. We should all try to remember how it feels to be the outsider. And not be afraid to be the welcome committee!

  13. Beth on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 8:16 am

    I’ve dealt with this but God taught me relationships as I spent time with Him. Here is a post I wrote on this subject entitled “Heart Writing”. What are we writing on the hearts of others. Let’s not scribble on each others hearts but lets be the women that write beautiful things on the hearts of others.http://www.walkwithmyfather.com/?p=507

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks Beth for commenting and sharing that post! I love the imagery and the call for intentional pouring out to others!

  14. Kathi Lee on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 8:26 am

    So very glad that I viewed this site. I grew up and lived in my hometown community for 49 years. I remarried 7 years ago and moved with my twins (now 18) to Long Beach MS. It is a small community on the Gulf Coast. I can really relate to your experiences. My children have thrived but it has been and continues to be a very difficult transition for me. On top of everything else I recently lost my job. I believe God brought me here today. I look forward to being a part of the broken circle…

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      I know where that is, Kathi Lee! Sometimes when God has us in a waiting season (I definitely can speak to this, since I’ve felt like I’ve been in one for the last year or so), it’s frustrating. Keep looking for opportunities to encourage someone else. You never know if that person will end up as a great friend!

      • KathiLee on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm

        Thank you so much for the encouragement Sara. I know you know how much it means. It’s so hard for us to make ourselves just slow down so we don’t miss those “moments” that present themselves to us to reach out and invite others into our circle.

  15. Lindsay on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 9:19 am

    …and all the single women (over age 30) said “amen”! Church is the hardest place to be single. I have way more in common with a married mama of 38 than a single girl of 20, yet we so often divide up in women’s ministry. I’m a social butterfly and have tons of friends, but it’s really hard to get an “in” with women my age (I’m 35), because so often they assume I’m younger just because I’m single, or that we wouldn’t have much in common just because I’m not a mom despite my efforts to befriend and reach out. Most of my newer friends are therefore much younger and my only same-age friends are women I’ve been friends with for 10-20 years (before they got married). I have good friendships, so I’m truly not complaining. I just want to be a voice for single women in the church. We SO often get overlooked (or even worse, feel invisible amidst the family life and culture, and, at that, a family life and culture we long to be a part of ourselves). It can be very painful.

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      My mom is single, and she has said a lot of what you have shared. The only thing I can think to suggest and encourage you with is what I encourage her to do – look for ways you can encourage someone else and find ways you can serve. I know that is all very much easier said than done. But don’t give up! God has a great purpose for you, and don’t let anyone else convince you otherwise! Thanks for commenting!

  16. Suzanne on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I am a mom of a special needs child who is now 20. It has been very hard to find a circle of friends to belong to. People are very quick to be there praying for me when my son is in crisis and are usually very encouraging but when things calm down I feel very lonely. I long for a friendship of laughter and girl talk away from the worries and uncertainty of of a medically fragile child.

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks for sharing Suzanne. I can’t imagine how hard that is for you. There is a woman in our church who has a similar situation with a child. Hugs.

  17. KathiLee on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Suzanne I think in your situation when something is “wrong” or happening with your son, people know the standard of what to do, ie provide a meal, run an errand, etc. But when it comes to day to day they don’t understand how they can fit into your life. They do not understand how it is to be you and they are probably grateful. They tip toe around the elephant in the room or just disappear altogether. They do not understand that God blessed you with this child because he knew you could do it. Just a suggestion but maybe if you asked for help with a definitive request (Could you stop by the grocery store and pick up XYZ here’s my credit card:cash) that would initiate more interaction. Will pray for you and your son.

  18. Sally Smith on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 10:07 am

    It’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one out there that feels like it is so tough to join in. We’re a military family and I suffer with low self esteem, it takes a while to peel back the layers that I have but when someone takes the time or desire, we have a great time. I live in an area where it’s a very fast pace and people often don’t take the time to peel!! It’s very hard and I, too, am about to look for a job because I need to feel connected to people. I’m sad!!!

    • Nancy on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      Sally, I felt the same way. We moved here after my husband retired from the military and I no longer had instant friends. I struggled along for several years, eager for my kids to be home to have someone to hang with! 🙂 I finally had to get a job for my own sanity and that has really been a blessing to me. I have found some really good friends there. Go out and find something, it doesn’t have to be a glorious job, trust me I am not making a lot of money, but I enjoy my job and the people I work with and it has done wonders for my soul!! Hang in there and good luck on the job hunt!

      • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm

        Thanks Nancy for adding to the discussion! Military retirement is definitely a huge adjustment, I have many friends who have already gone through it, and though as a reservist wife, it won’t impact me as much as it has impacted my active-duty wife friends, there is still a sense of loss you feel when you are no longer part of the active community. Sounds like you made a great proactive choice to reach out and find others to connect with!

        • Nancy on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 7:58 pm

          Thanks Sara. I think one of the problems with being a retiree’s wife is you don’t really have anything in common with the active spouses, no more shared deployments, moves etc…but you can’t quite relate to the civilian world either. You feel kind of in Limbo. I remember standing on the edge of the stage during my husband’s retirement ceremony and trying not to burst into tears as this life I have lived for 40 years came to a close and having to start over in a new place on top of it. So glad you wrote this story and so nice to know that we are not alone in our feelings! Thanks again!

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Sally, I’m so glad you shared that. I know the military life can be challenging, the rhythm of changing locations and personnel can definitely make it harder to keep connected with friends. Volunteering can also be a great way to connect with others who share common interests! The first step is to just take a step. I know you’ll find people you can encourage and they will encourage you.

  19. Toni on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I’ve “aged out” years ago. I’m a grandma who’s so lonely I could cry and often do. I dont fit anywhere anymore since kids and grands all moved away. Siblings and parents gone too. Love my church, but everyone already knows each other and like you I wander from group to group never connecting. Some days I feel that I’ve done all that I’m supposed to do and I’m just a waste of space.

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      Toni, thank you so much for sharing. My mom feels the same way you do. She comes to the Wed Bible study I teach and always feels out of place because she’s one of the more, ahem, more seasoned women shall we say. 🙂 But I always tell her that those younger women NEED her there! For when those times come up and they’re ready to pull their hair out with kids – that’s when you and my mom and other ladies who have already been down that road, can let those young moms know it will be ok. To offer to hold a baby at a church meal so she can actually have a hand free to feed herself. Let me encourage you as I encouraged her – look for ministries, helping in the church office, or specific people in your church you can reach out to and encourage. Sometimes serving others is the starting place for connection.

      I know it’s hard – I struggle with it myself – leading is a lonely place too – but it’s a good place to start and a good goal to set. Hugs!!

  20. Pat on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    I so needed this, I always thought it was just me.I am a Air Force wife and you make friends but then you have to move and over time it gets harder to make friends.Now my husband is retired and our kids have moved away with my precious grandbabies. I stepped out of my box and went to a group and I had a awesome time. I had hoped to stay in touch but that hasn’t worked out very well but after reading your article I will keep trying and try not to take things so personal.I would love to have a church that I feel like I belonged too. We have been going to ours for over 20 years but we missed a month going because of vacation and visiting other churches. When we went back no one said anything to us but I do share in the blame. I get my feelings hurt and quit trying.

    • Sara Horn on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      Yes Pat! That’s the key, isn’t? Not to take things so personal? I can do that – in fact just this morning, I had a little mini pity party about something, and texted my friend one long venting kind of message, and asked her to “talk me down off the ledge.” She laughed and replied with “you really need to get out of your head!” And she was right! We can start assuming things and conjuring up things that have NO actual reality otherwise! 🙂 I think we all wish everyone else would be more thoughtful and observant – but then again, at some point, doesn’t “everyone else” include us? 🙂 Keep trying! Don’t give up! Thanks for commenting!

  21. memorylane00 on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Great article. I have been on the end of feeling like I don’t fit in. I have been there as a woman and as a couple. My husband and I decided to host a small group at church and call it “He Said/She said Meet & Eat”. We wanted to meet at different restaurants around town and get to know other couples in the church. No one, not one couple signed up. It was quiet discouraging.

    I have also been on the end of trying to be THE FRIEND to MANY friends and realizing that not one of the many were truly there for me. At one time, I even made the statement, “Lord, I can’t change jobs right now because someone at the new place will need a friend and I am wiped out. I can’t take on another friend right now!” I know that sounds terribly selfish and I felt bad after saying it. But, after being nicknamed “friend of the friendless”, I finally realized that it isn’t my job to be “the friend” to everyone. Even though I am a “fixer” at heart, I can’t and I’m not supposed to “fix” everyone. So, I had to learn how to set boundaries for myself, my marriage, and my relationships as to not allow being “the friend” to take over. I now have a much more peaceful life!

    • Kathi Lee on Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 9:38 am

      What a great idea that was! Please don’t give up on that idea. I know this might be uncomfortable, but instead of a sign up sheet actually approach couples and ask if they would join you. It’s easier for someone to not sign up versus telling you no, I don’t want to go or to do xyz. And, even open it up to individuals because we know how husbands can be about I don’t even know those people… And no, you can’t be everything to everybody. I’m a fixer too and we do have to manage ourselves don’t we! Best of everything to you!

    • Rachael on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 8:57 am

      I wanted to offer one explanation why some couples might not sign up for your small group that meets at restaurants. Our family is on a tight budget and we rarely eat out. In fact, we don’t attend most of our church’s social events that involve eating at restaurants because it would get too expensive, and we usually don’t give an explanation as to why we aren’t attending other than saying, “We can’t make it,” because we don’t want people to feel bad for us – we are doing fine financially, but that’s because we do set limits on spending. Anyway, don’t take it personally. Some of us just aren’t comfortable spending the money. And by the way, we happily attend church-related potluck events because they are so much more budget friendly, so maybe that’s a route you could explore with your small group. You could meet at people’s homes and everyone brings food to share.

  22. Karen on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I don’t make friends easily and never lasting ones. I have many many ‘friends’ but not those close relationships where we call each other or hang out on weekends kind of things. I never have anyone to go to a movie with me or go shopping or to the flea market, etc. And, sad, but true – most of my closest friends as guys, which is inappropriate for me to hang with since I have a husband. Don’t really know why I don’t make friends because I’m friendly.

    • busystayathomemommy on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      I might have “friends” from the church I grew up at. We just moved though and none of them talk to me unless I’m actually there at church so that’s why I don’t call them friends.. I just want what you were talking about…Sometimes I just wish I had someone who I knew a lot about and could text and call or go shopping with.

  23. Joan Turner Raber on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    People tend to think that I have a lot of friends. I have many acquaintances, but haven’t had a ‘best’ or even close friend for years. When I was working, I was often on odd shifts and days off. People said they were afraid to call for fear of waking me. Once the kids came along, I was busy with them, working, and also caring for an ill husband. I retired a little early and we moved to a different state, mainly to be near my husband’s family. As it turns out, we rarely see any of them, and one of them ‘borrowed’ a large sum of money from me after my husband, her brother, died. I doubt that I’ll ever be repaid. After my husband died, I was left in a city where I have no close friends, no job where I could make friends, and three young kids. We still haven’t found a church that we all like, so I don’t even have that. Last year I let a friend move in with us, as he/she was going through a difficult time, or so they said. They preyed on me at a very vulnerable time, and defrauded me out of a lot of money. He turned out to be a sociopathic transgender person. I am still angry, bitter, ashamed, depressed, and sad. I don’t feel like I can ever trust another person and am afraid to open up to anyone. Your story about walking in to the house with circles of women reminds me of the first time I went to one of our community women’s luncheons. I thought it would be a great way to meet some neighbors, perhaps make some new friends. While they were pleasant, I find I don’t have a lot in common with women my age. Most are empty nesters and grandparents, while I have kids in elementary school. I am undoubtedly old enough to be the mother for most of the other moms at school. I just feel like I will spend the next 12 years getting my kids out of school and off to college. After that, who knows? I’m always jealous of women who have best friends, and even sisters who are extremely close. I have four sisters…who rarely, if ever, call me. Three of them planned a sister’s weekend at my mom’s last summer. I wasn’t even invited. I found out about it on facebook. 🙁

  24. paige on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I became teary in the first 2 paragraphs. I have tried for almost 6 years to develop friends where I live and FINALLY made true, good and reciprocal friends. I reposted this hoping those who have not included people in their circle see themselves and also to remind myself to ALWAYS include others. THANK YOU for this!

  25. Elizabeth on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    I am so comforted and encouraged by this article. I have felt this way since college, and while I do have a couple of friends, I often take the easy way – away from the circles I rarely feel I fit into. I’m going to keep trying, keep reaching, keep encouraging. Thank you!

  26. Sara on Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Thank you, Sara! This is an area that so many people struggle with everyday.

    If anyone is in the west Atlanta area (I live in Dallas, Ga) let’s meet up! It’s been along time since I’ve made new friends so it could be awkward but who cares?

    • KathiLee on Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 7:14 am

      Thank you Sara in Dallas GA for opening the door! There are a lot of Sara’s in this group LOL. It may be awkward, different, etc., but then again it may not be any of those things. It may be the beginning of a wonderful friendship and just the connection with another that you we so desire. Sara you have provided an open invitation to make a connection. That’s what we are all striving to make – connections. You are awesome lady. (Kathi Lee originally from Lithia Springs GA)

  27. Angela on Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 10:07 am

    This article was just what I needed. I’m a middle aged woman who has a hard time making friends. I have many acquaintances , however I seem to make friendship difficult. I have a rather aggressive boisterous personality. I am praying for a quiet spirit and have been for some time now. I certainly do try very hard at times to keep my opinion , comment, singing outburst to a minimum , alas it is not always easy. Much of the time I have an over abundance of energy that spills over onto those around. Let me just say, that has proven to be a problem for me in most if not all in a Christian circles. I have been lonely for so long it becomes awkward when at church in conversation with the other ladies. My heart races my palms sweat and my legs quake . I feel that my big personality has got to change to be receptive to genuine long lasting friendship that I so desperately desire. I have never shared this and when I read this article I was filled with an over whelming amount of emotion that I just did not know what to do with. And so I share this because, this is doing something differently than I have done before. And so that I might have understanding as to the disconnection that i tend to find myself in. And help to be still.

    • Staci on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 3:27 am

      angela,

      Your story sounds a bit similar to mine. I found out when in my 30’s that I had ADD. Prayer and medication for a time and now some supplements help me keep calm so I don’t wear or tire other people out. Boisterous people tire other people out over time and eventually people start to avoid them or they don’t know what to do with them. So in order to serve others it seems that finding ways to tone down the powered personality so that others can talk and feel comfortable can be good.

  28. KathiLee on Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Dear Angela you seem so vibrant and full of life. I know you must be so fun to be around. Don’t change who you are. Just keep searching for the right crowd or a kindred spirit also known as a partner in crime!

  29. Mel on Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    I have just recently lost my best friend. Not to death, but sort of feels that way. We were best of friends for 14 years and she was invited into a very closed off circle of 4 ladies who had made it clear they did not want a Pastor’s wife in their circle. This left me completely without a close friend. I have since grieved the loss and have used this as a learning experience in which I never want a woman to feel the loneliness that I have. I am very much an introvert and have struggled with going to any kind of event just because I am awkward and don’t do very well starting conversations. I make it my goal to watch and be the shepherd when I see a woman who looks as though she feels very out of place and I will immediately draw her in to meet some of the other women. I pray that many other women will take a stand to try and have open circles! I love that thought, btw! Thank you for writing what many of us feel and thank you for the open discussion!

  30. Martha Stilwell on Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    I can’t begin to tell you how this fits me. Twenty six years ago my husband left me with two children ages 6 and 8. Very interesting how churches wanted to put a single divorced lady in a particular box. I stayed there and God made it work because my children were happy and they are wonderful Christ loving adults today. Eleven years ago I returned home to care for my elderly mother. I returned to the church I had grown up in and mom was still able to go. My brother attended this church also. But it was like I was invisible. People with whom I had grown up were kind at first and then I never saw or heard from them again. I would meet people on Sunday morning and no one ever remembered my name. I worked during the week and had someone take care of mom while I was at work. The caregiver would take mom to Bible study during the week and after a while we laughed because some of the same people I had met on Sunday thought she was living with mom and that I just came and went. She told them “No that I was at work and I took care of mon at night and on weekends. ” Time passed and mom could no longer go to church. So that meant I didn’t go. Very few families can have separate paid caregivers on weekends. My mother was a member of that church for 65 years and while there were calls about her no one ever called to ask if I would like to get out. She has died and I remained at that church because I was ministering to some of my moms friends. But in the eleven years since I have been back there are few calls inviting me anywhere. I have taken old friends out but there have not been return invites. I guess I see that even though I returned “home” the circles were closed. ( I was told I wasn’t invited anywhere because I had left). I have never been so lonely. Thank God for friends from work but now that I have just retired I wonder where Gid would have me go. I let work completely take over my life. In my work I am well liked and have people seeking me out. Now that I am medically retired at 64 I wonder.

    • Staci on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 3:32 am

      Martha,

      You were told that you weren’t invited anywhere because you had left? That sounds to me like unforgiveness in a way. People leave places, it’s a part of life. It sounds to me like some members in your church are in some ways punishing you for leaving and it’s very sad to hear. I hope that you get a chance to address the problem and that God changes the atmosphere in your church.

  31. Laura on Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Thank you. As a teenager, this was easy for me. I was friendly with the new people, with the outcasts, etc., and eventually we became friends – a circle of our own. It wasn’t easy, but we all remembered being on the outside, so we always invited new people in. Sometimes they’d stick around and become real friends, usually they’d move on, but they were always welcome.

    Now, I’m an adult and I find myself squarely on the outside. No groups will let me in. Worse, I can’t find anyone outside of a group, anyone who needs a friend. It’s like everyone already has a place.

    I am 28. We’ve been married for almost seven years. We are infertile. We moved cross country for his grad school last year. And my husband has several lifelong (and life shortening) illnesses, all discovered within the past 3 1/2 years. And he has Asperger’s.

    I am lonely. And after a year of trying to find a place here, I’m running low on energy, strength, and, most importantly, hope.

  32. Ashleigh S. on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 2:03 am

    This really hit home with me. I’ve always had trouble making friends. I’m very different from everyone it seems. I’m married. Have been for 6 years. But due to our circumstances, my husband & I have decided to wait to have children. Which means I was young married college age girl with no children for a while (I’m no longer college age). My current church has no one else like that. I have tried to get to know people but it’s hard. I didn’t grow up there. I connect with some of the older women at times, but it seems impossible for me to fit in anywhere there.
    And I get wanting to avoid people for this reason: it is messy. Personally, I strive to keep an open mind/heart to people because I do not like feeling this way & do not want others to feel this way. Yet this time (I’ve moved a lot in my life & had to start over more times than I can count right now), it’s different. I don’t know if I’m just tired or what, but I just can’t seem to do it.

  33. karla on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 6:21 am

    love this article. I can relate to all if it. I have struggled in our church because my husband and I got married at age 40 & 41 and had our son at age 41 & 42. We don’t fit in with the parents of kids in his class. I have a harder time because I am also a full time employeed mom and all the other moms are stay at home. I have had families over for dinner and swimming at the pool but no one has ever asked us to come play or meet to play. Due to our crazy work schedules, I can’t attend the day time Bible studies and the night time one does not offer childcare and my husband is not home from work to allow me to go. I have close friends in other states but can’t seem to get them in my own church. It is very sad and difficult. It definitely makes me feel insecure.

  34. Nancy on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 7:47 am

    How very true! I go to a church where 99% of women my age are married. There really isn’t a place for a single mom because the other single moms are much younger. I don’t send my twins to their dad’s every other weekend and get time to do things. And I don’t have money to do the things the people that I call friends want to do. The circles are perfect and I don’t belong in any of them. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m a homebody anyway and would rather be with my twinnies before they graduate high school and aren’t here anymore. But it’s so important to be aware of those looking for someone to connect with. It’s sad when someone can say they don’t have any real friends.

  35. Susie on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 10:32 am

    This is so good. I remember when I’d been in my Sunday school class a year or so and didn’t really know anyone and felt they were kind of unfriendly. Then the teacher had us go around and say how long we’d been at the church, and about HALF were NEWER THAN ME. Go figure. I was the unfriendly one! 😉

    • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      I LOVE this story, Susie! Thanks for sharing!

      • Kerry on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 4:01 pm

        The way I see it is it has become much safer and easier to just walk into church and leave Right After its over instead of trying to fit in with people I don’t belong.

  36. Trish Butte on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I have been there done that. I feel I closed my circle for fear of being rejected. I am slowly trying to open myself back up but it isn’t easy.

  37. Melinda c. on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I’ve always had a low self esteem for many years could not really say hello to anyone because I had NF. It’s a skin condition I got from my dads side of the family . The funny thing is I had friends in school but church friends I had a hard time with I was not accepted. They said really hateful things to me . Even today I still wait till they say hello first. you would think church would accept you. Not always . I get along with people at work pretty good . And feel more comfortable with them..

  38. J on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 7:41 am

    I’m approaching 30, married, but no children. Aside from having lived in three states in the last 3.5 years, it seems like every woman my own age is either single or a mother (or both). Either way, it seems I don’t fit. I’m extremely introverted and I used to be quite shy, so I’ve never been one to have more than a few friends at a time. I have some work friends, but I haven’t had a friend that I met at church since I was in high school (10 years and 5 states ago).
    I, too, have always been more interested in things other than relationships, though I have tried to purposefully cultivate them in the past, always to no avail. When I work at it, the friendship seems awkward or forced, whereas the friendships I do make seem to just happen, and they don’t take a long time to just happen either. I’m fine with this, but not having a friend at church makes it difficult to go. The last time I went to church on a Wednesday night, I ate a quiet fellowship meal surrounded by people who barely acknowledged my attempts at joining in on conversation. After the meal, everyone at the table around me left (I presume to teach children’s classes or something – I honestly don’t know), and I sat alone during the lesson. After the lesson I tried to mingle, but the younger adults had left and the older adults were in a hurry to get home, so I left without anyone else talking to me, not even a cursory greeting.
    I can make friends well enough at work, but for the last 10 years and all the moves, this same experience of basically being ignored at church has been repeated over and over. There’s always the initial “we’re so glad you decided to be a member” that first week, but then it takes so much effort just to be *noticed* by others that I’m not sure what the point is in even going to church anymore. I can pray and read my Bible and sing songs just as well on my own at home, and it hurts less than going somewhere else to worship surrounded by people and feeling utterly alone.
    My husband says I just don’t try hard enough, but he doesn’t really have friends at church either (except for his brother). Of course, his work keeps him from attending regularly, and he’s much more shy and socially awkward than I am. He’s more extroverted, though, so he likes just being around people. I’m an extreme introvert, so social situations – even ones I enjoy – are so exhausting. Just going to church is work, and going and trying to talk and cultivate relationships with people who don’t seem interested in more than, “Hi, how are you? Good” seems impossible. And then I read things about how Jesus surrounded himself with people and how important relationships are and all I can think is that I’m a bad Chrisitian.
    Sorry, I hadn’t meant to write so much. I guess I had a lot on my heart. Thanks for letting me share.

    • Laura on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 11:26 am

      Just wanted to let you know – I get it. Seven moves in seven years over here – in four different states. Also, I’m 28 and my husband and I are infertile. It’s difficult to join in all the conversations on parenting, and excruciating to listen to all the lessons on how we need to be the mothers God intended us to be.

      I am also rather shy and introverted. The only big difference is that my husband is even more introverted than I am. He also is shy and socially awkward – he has high functioning autism. When you first visit a church (most of the time), you’re right — everyone is so friendly, so glad you’re here, that you begin to think maybe you might be able to find a place here. Within a month, it’s gone. Friendliness is only for the visitors, I guess.

      I don’t know what the point of this comment is, other than to say I feel your pain. Thanks for sharing. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

      • Staci on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 3:37 am

        Laura,

        I’m so glad you shared what you did because I feel the same. Churches are so open to the new people and you think you’ve made connections and then after a month or so it fizzles out.

        So many churches I’ve found, cause I’ve been to many, seem to leave congregants to fend for themselves after a short while. You’re expected to “plug in” on your own after , like airline stewardesses, you’ve been shown all the doors to ministries and events the church has. It’s a awful cycle of non connectedness for many I’m learning.

    • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Hi J! Thank you so much for writing and sharing your heart. I think a lot of people can relate to where you are. I will probably blog about this in the near future, but I’d encourage you to check out the book “I am a Church Member” by Thom Rainer. The book is a really easy and simple read but with a lot of insight into why we go to church and what God expects from us as members of a church. I think it might help you get a new perspective. Hugs!

  39. busystayathomemommy on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Hey everyone, I can totally relate to this. I haven’t had any friends since high school. None of my best friends even talk to me anymore. Im kinda shy too so its hard for me to go up and talk to people first. Thr only friend is my husband and sometimes I just need another mom friend to relate to. I wish I could hang out with some of you!

  40. Martha Cunningham on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    I have an anxiety disorder, and a nurse once told me to look for the person who looks the most alone or awkward-feeling and talk to them. Years of therapy have made me really open, and I sometimes say that I’m feeling really awkward but want to get to know that person better.

    • busystayathomemommy on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      I know how you feel Martha. I haven’t been diagnosed with anything but I’m pretty sure I have a really bad social disorder and anxiety disorder. And I usually try to find someone who looks like me, standing alone too shy to talk to anyone and then I approach them. It’s nice to find people like that sometimes because you can tell they are feeling the same as you.

    • Staci on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 3:45 am

      It’s good to keep in mind as well that sometimes, and I mean sometimes not all the time, some people,men or women, who are off alone can be seen as a warning. Sometimes people can be unhealthy emotionally and can drag you down and hurt you. It is good to use discernment before befriending someone. It would be wise to ask the Holy Sprit to help you know who you should connect with and who you should stay away from. There ARE people who see church people, especially church attending women, as weak and easy targets. People who are users and emotional vampires, or have an agenda sometimes attend churches looking for people they deem as weak. I’ve seen this in real life and ,for example, have actually heard of men joining churches looking for weaker women, or because they saw church women as naive/dumb or easy to control, so they can marry or use them ( a pastor of a church I used to attend spoke from the pulpit about this problem in the church). So it’s good to be wise when making friends with people who are alone at church .

  41. Becky on Sunday, July 12, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I thought this article was going to help those of us on the outside of the circles. 🙁

    • Kathi Lee on Sunday, July 12, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      Well it’s just my opinion, but in my opinion, this “blog” has been helpful. There is comfort in knowing it’s not just me that’s outside the Magic Circle. I certainly don’t have the answer that will make everything better, but at least I feel a connection with others that have similar stories. I feel many of the same feelings.

      I really appreciate Sarah’s creating this site. I bet she didn’t realize the impact she would have. Just to have someone “listen” means so much. I have made a couple of comments and reached out to others in the hope of making a difference. I think that’s the best we can do is to just listen to one another, understand how it feels, and empathize. Maybe it will change your life, outlook or perspective. Maybe it won’t. Maybe you will feel a connection to someone and reach out. Maybe you won’t. At the end of the day, we do what we can do and that’s all we can do.

      • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 2:39 pm

        Thanks Kathi Lee! Glad you’ve enjoyed the article and the connecting! And no, I didn’t realize what the response might be! 30K+ shares on FB! Kind of crazy!! 🙂 But just shows us how many of us can relate to feeling this way. Appreciate you sharing!

    • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Hey Becky! This is part one – did you read part two? There are several tips on how to talk to others, and basically make your own broken circles. I don’t think there are a whole lot of ways you can break INTO circles if people won’t keep them open. That’s why I’m encouraged to keep my own circle broken and look for people I can encourage as I come into contact with them, Hugs!

  42. Andrea on Sunday, July 12, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    This was written for me. Twenty years I spent in northern Mn and never really fit anywhere. I did make a couple friends but I rarely saw them. I was so lonely for most of those years, filling my time with school and work or some project. I just moved to florida 6 months ago and started a job 4 months ago and get along but everyone already has their circle. I just started attending church and joined a women’s social group. Had 2 outings and I am hopeful that I will fit in. We will see.

    • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      Keep going! 🙂 Look for ways you can help reach out to those ladies you’re getting to know. I think even the ones who sometimes seem to be on the inside sometimes still can feel like they’re on the outside.

  43. Naomi on Monday, July 13, 2015 at 9:18 am

    This is Me at the moment,thanks for writing this ,I feel so encouraged right now,I feel all the time I make new friends I lose them,I have a lot of times questioned and blamed my self.

    • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      Glad you were encouraged Naomi! You are not alone! 🙂

  44. melanie on Monday, July 13, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Wow, just wow! Thank you for writing this! I have found since having children (2 years old and 3.5 years old) that my circle of friends has dwindled down from a fairly large group that would get together for dinner at least once or more monthly to now one friend that I might see once a month. I, too, was in the very same situation at a neighborhood party in which I went to a Christmas “Girls Night” gathering and introduced myself and attempted conversations with some of the ladies but felt so out of sorts. I felt like everything that came out of my mouth sounded ridiculous. I have always been a social butterfly. I rarely felt uncomfortable in social situations and could easily talk to people. Here I was at this party and felt so uncomfortable, I ended up leaving very early because I wanted to walk out of my skin. I realize now it wasn’t me. Most of the ladies there knew each other previously, had their “group” and past experiences with each other. I really have to work at getting up the courage to talk in groups to put myself out there and I thank you for sharing your story!

    • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks Melanie! So glad you hear your story too!

  45. Erin on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Well this hit so incredibly close to my heart. My family has attended the same church for almost 4 years. We initially began attending this church because we wanted to meet other couples our age, with children our kids ages and form a real faith family. We have been shut out at every turn. We belong nowhere. Our children belong nowhere. Our family is, for lack of a better term, unloved by our church. We have joined life group, volunteered, attended “getting to know you” functions. No one wants to get to know us. We moved to this town 8 years ago with nothing to show for it. I’ve never sought Jesus so hard to feel so alone and shunned by church. My husband and I have moved a lot in our marriage and never experienced such a thing. It’s the mind set of “honey, I’ve got my 5 friends; I don’t need 6”. It’s broken me and my spirit.

    • busystayathomemommy on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      So sorry to here this! I know how you feel though. 🙁 People talk to my husband because he plays music with the band and I get a hello every once in a while but that’s it. No one seems to need a new friend except me. Where do you live? It would be so cool if we were close to each other lol

    • Melinda cady on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Erin can you tell me where u live?

    • busystayathomemommy on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Hey We need to get a Facebook group going where we can all talk and figure out where we all live…Maybe some of us live close to each other and could form friendships from this 🙂 Write me a comment if you are interested in this and I will create a group for us!!!

      • KathiLee on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 5:49 pm

        Good idea! Kathi Lee Landrum. I live on the Gulf Coast in Long Beach Mississippi

        • Kerry on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 6:25 pm

          I live in MN.

      • busystayathomemommy on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 8:54 am

        Hey! I added you on FB 🙂 I live in Arkansas

        • Cathi on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 11:58 am

          Did someone create this FB page? We just relocated a year ago from Texas to Oklahoma. I’d like to join if at all possible. 🙂

          • busystayathomemommy on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 1:08 pm

            If you guys want I will make it now but I need you to add me on FB so I can invite you to the group! My name on FB is Megan Cummins Hood



      • busystayathomemommy on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 2:22 pm

        I made a FB group so if you want in just add me (Megan Cummins Hood) the group is secret so it might show you anything when you click this link but here it is https://www.facebook.com/groups/844492108960870/

        • Michelle on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 2:25 pm

          Will you add me to the group (Michelle n Michael Presnell)
          Thanks!!!

        • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 2:31 pm

          Love this! Way to break open that circle wide Megan! 🙂

      • Janet Brandy on Monday, September 7, 2015 at 5:46 pm

        I am definitely interested in joining the group. I live in the Chicago area.

        • Toni on Monday, September 7, 2015 at 6:11 pm

          I’m out by O’Hare!

          • Patsy on Monday, September 7, 2015 at 7:53 pm

            Megan Cummins Hood started a page on Facebook for us.



        • Toni on Monday, September 7, 2015 at 6:24 pm

          Wow, reading this really has shown me how many women feel like I do. I thought everyone else had it together.I wish we could all get together in one place for a big hug. Somehow I’m willing to bet that none of us would stop talking for hours once we got started.

    • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Erin, I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this. That is definitely discouraging. Pray about it, but if there are other churches in the area to visit, maybe consider visiting. Look for new families who come into the church, and welcome THEM. I pray it gets better for you soon!!

  46. Kerry on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Making and keeping friends is really very hard. Trust is too risky and it’s very rare to find something in common with people anyway when you don’t have kids.

    • busystayathomemommy on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      It is! And you think that in a way having kids might make it a little easier, in the fact that you would have at least the kids in common. But it is hard to even find people who have kids who want to hang out with you!

      • Kerry on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 6:27 pm

        🙁

  47. Holly on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    This article left a mark on my heart. I have always had friends, not many, but dependable ones. My best friend moved away from me recently and several others have also moved on. I find my pool of friends pretty much empty at this time. I have four kids, two of them with special needs. Sometimes, that factor in and of itself causes you to be more alone than you would like. Friends are hard to find, and friends with patience for your special kids is even harder. People can be so cruel. I had lots of friends before I had my special baby. My first baby is special but when my so called friends found out he was special they didn’t want it to “rub off” on their children. So for 8 years I had no friends. I finally decided that I didn’t want to live like that and stepped out there and found some wonderful friends. Now that they have moved on my heart is broken and I don’t want to make new friends, because if I lose them too I don’t think my heart could handle it.

  48. Dolores Mckinsey on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 8:07 am

    I totally relate to this and other ways … I seem to be the one that just doesn’t do well socially and relationally. I talk to much to loud . Too bold even bossy … Try as I may these traits are still viewed … Oh I have “good” trAits but it seems the bad ones overshadow. So I once being bubbly and outgoing has become inward and afraid of realrionships that will fail

  49. Michelle on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 10:34 am

    I can truly identify with this post. The hardest part for me is that I really haven’t had a “best” friend in quite a while. I crave that kind of friendship but most of my relationships with other mom’s just don’t pan out to be that kind of friendships. They feel awkward, or I feel that I don’t fit in. I end up feeling like I’m having to work too hard at it and then the friendship doesn’t really grow. We attend a very small church where the opportunities to make lifelong friendships just aren’t there. I’m the youngest mother in the congregation at 37 and have the only 2 children currently in the church. I have begun to simply pray that God will send me the friendships that He desires for me and leave it in His hands. I think that is the most appropriate thing for me to do.

    • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      Hi Michelle! I understand what you’re saying. I do think that sometimes we have to work harder at friendships than we might expect we might have to. The question is how much work are we willing to put in, and when have we done enough? I think each situation has to be treated as a case by case basis. Have you thought about looking for another church where you might have other younger families that you can connect with?

  50. Lindy on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 11:22 am

    So many great comments here, I don’t have time to read them all. One of the ways I find it easiest to connect and get beyond that surface level at church is to start serving in ministry. Greeting is a great way to get to know the people you are serving with (not necessarily the ones walking through the door though). If there is someone you would like to get to know better, consider serving with them. After working in church leadership for years it is my opinion that no one should ever serve alone. I know that God can use you when you serve alone, but as a church, we need to be sure not to ask anyone to serve alone. I was once serving (greeting) at church and was assigned the back door, where it was pretty much the worship team, set up team and pastors that came through the door. I would hold the door open as they carried stuff, but rarely did anyone come through that door that wasn’t fully connected at church. So I would stand there, by myself, in a back hall, waiting to see a person, while others were setting up with a room full of people, and I started to feel discouraged. Every time I served alone at that back door, I headed to service a little sad. My experience is that when you serve, your heart should be lifted. I spoke up about it and we ended up not having anyone greet at the back door (didn’t have enough people to add a 2nd person) and I felt better because if it was bothering me, it was probably really discouraging for the new person who might be serving to connect with people. I also find that by serving, it is easier to take my eyes off myself and focus on the people I’m serving. I’ve met some pretty great people, including one of my best friends, who irritated me when I first met her, by volunteering to watch her daughter while she went to the gym. We have been friends for almost 17 years and I don’t think I could have gotten past my irritation and really gotten to know her without being receptive to her needs.

    • Sara on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Great points LIndy! YES! Serving definitely helps us reach out and be more intentional in connecting with others! Thanks for commenting!

  51. terigonewalkabout on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 11:57 am

    I am an introvert, and leading an opening conversation extremely hard. And I have no children, which knocks me out of every single female circle there is. At 53 I have just given up on have a “friend” and content myself with “pals”. It’s lonely but not as lonely as being by myself in a room full of people.

    • lost on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      Teri. I completely understand what you’re saying!

  52. SS on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I live in N.Y, married with 3 girls. I have a very hard time making friends, till this day, I don’t have any.. Church friends
    are hard to make and keep. I had a very close friend for years, she and I called each other every day to talk, laugh or cry. she now lives in NJ, she doing great, I’m happy for her, but we don’t talk anymore. I wrote her a note several months ago and expressed how I miss our friendship, I think It was a mistake. Her husband is now a pastor of a church. They both forgot about thier friends here in nyc. I understand there busy but if we were friends time can be made. I introduced her to her husband 18 years ago. I was never her friend, I felt used. I’m in my late 30s and depression has taken effect on me when I think about it.
    I can’t make friends and it hurts. My husband also has a hard time making friends so we are a marriage that only have each other’s company. Which is great but gets kind of lonely at times. Thanks

  53. Janet Brandy on Monday, September 7, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    And I thought it was just me. I’m sorry that we’re all going through this, but happy to know that I’m not alone.

  54. Elizabeth on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    I can relate to this post in so many ways. I recently graduated college and am now living at home away from friends. Last year I had great relationships and lived with a great group of friends. I am still good friends with those ladies but I don’t see them anymore. I crave for friendships in my life not just through social media.

  55. Ruth G on Monday, September 28, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Hello and thank you for sharing this with everyone. I had 2 friends growing up that I lost touch with when I turned 15. I did not have one friend close or otherwise again until this year, and I’m now 52. Having said that, I have just gone through something that I realize I don’t feel close enough to any of my friends to confide in.

  56. Karol Holmes on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Love this post. My situation is a bit different and yet much the same. I once felt very connected in my church family. However, five years ago I lost my daughter to a drowning accident. It plunged me into the trenches of grief and depression and all of the other not so pleasant things that go with traumatic loss. For years I struggled just to put one foot in front of another. I have a couple of close friends who stuck with me through it all but most went along their own merry way. I changed….. a lot. My perspective on life and faith and pretty much everything else changed. I am out of the trenches now, at least for the time being. Depression no longer has a grip on me and I’ve learned to allow joy to come alongside of the sorrow that I will forever feel. But I cannot, for the life of me, find a group that seems welcoming. It’s as though everyone is afraid of me because “she’s the one whose daughter drowned.” They’ve moved on with their lives and left me behing and somehow I’m finding that that’s okay. And so I find myself seeking. Seeking the hurting. Seeking the broken. The one who is in the trenches. Seeking the one who stands on the outskirts, never really being welcomed into any group. And when I seek, God delivers.

  57. Julia on Monday, October 19, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    I have been both in the circles and out of them too. It use to bother me when I couldn’t break into one, but then I started to realize that everyone wants to be friends with the same group/circle (same as the popular girls in high school :e). Even if they were open, you couldn’t expect them to be good buddies with everyone. So I started looking for other circle-less people. That’s where new friendships have former, not from something broken but from something just beginning. Look to the fringes, ladies!

  58. Kim on Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I feel the same way as a lot of women here. However, I am single, 45 and never married, no children. All of my friends are married, children are grown and they are ready to hit the town. I often feel like the 3rd wheel and get my feelings hurt when I am not invited to “couples” events. There are a lot of vacations, weekend trips and dinners that I am not included and it really hurts. My best friend who is single as well just moved to Switzerland for 3.5 years, so I am really alone. To top it off, everyone has raised their children and they are ready to “whoop” it up so to speak. I have been there and done that, got the tshirt and I am tired. Going out partying is just not something I enjoy doing anymore, I would rather stay home, cool and rent a movie and feel good the next day.
    Needless to say this has me feeling more alone than ever. While I am an extrovert and will pretty much say hello to anyone, I have found that this town is particularly hard to meet new friends. 1 everyone is either married, in a relationship or grew up here and not looking for new friends. ( small coastal town on south Florida) all of the church’s I have visited are either mega churches or small ones that seem very cliche.
    I feel like I should just be content with my situation and trust that God has someone for me or move and start all over again. Which by the way would be my 6th move and I would then be truly alone!
    Thanks any input would be appreciated.
    Kim

  59. Becky on Sunday, July 10, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Thank you for this! I have moved twice in the last two years and am struggling with finding friends. I might start hanging back and looking for others in the same boat…

  60. chinamom3078 on Monday, July 11, 2016 at 9:19 am

    I have faced this many times. As a military spouse for the first 20 years of our marriage, this didn’t happen a lot unless I was at a local women only gathering. Why? I believe it is because we know what it is to “break in” and start over on a regular basis. We also have common ground to start with more than location. We tend to be more open and welcoming. I was stunned to find this closed circle in our 2nd career in full time ministry and now in our local community. Add to that I am almost old enough to be the mother of many of my teens’ mothers. Not much in common. I found some work and other community groups (Christian Women’s Club planning committee after atending for awhile) to be part of out side our church which has unbelievable limited opportunities for women unless you want to serve food on Wednesday night or work with children. It is lonely a lot of days.

  61. Becky on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    This is something I struggle with. I am 55, been hurt too much and I’ve hurt others. I would just rather be by myself. I know it’s not right. But I am me. I can’t open up, nor do I want too. No matter that we are called and Jesus was a people person, pastor says we need to be that, I just can’t or won’t. Wish I had something more upbeat to say. I’m sorry about that.

  62. Olivia Riggs on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Wow!!!! It’s as though you were in my head when you wrote this. I can honestly say I can’t think of one good friend I have, nonetheless a best friend. I so desire to have friends to call, go out with sometimes, and just know is there. I’ve spent lots of time in prayer and hopefully soon things will change.

  63. Tammie on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    It is very hard for me to talk to anyone outside my family. I have two older ladies ( in their 80’s) at church that sit right behind me. They are dear sweet ladies, and I love them so. But since my sister and mother died, I have been looking for someone to take their part on my life. I want a BFF. But I feel like no one loves me as a friend (BFF). Sure I have a sweet husband that I adore, but not the same as just a good lady friend. God help me. I have three boys and I would just like a BFF. Maybe God will let me have one someday.

  64. Laura on Friday, July 15, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    I understand how everyone feels! We have been members of the same church for 19 years. I feel like an outsider. I feel invisible. My husband is outgoing and talks to everyone at church but even he doesn’t do anything outside of church with anyone. There can be a potluck after church and I will sit down at a table and no one sits down. Everyone in our age group has someone they will join. I will go up to someone and start talking and then they don’t really try to continue the conversation. An awkward silence ensues and I end up walking off. Some of it is my fault. As my kids grew, we got busy with life and we stopped being as active in the church. I even started up a Scrapbooking Group and would try to get together once a month. People were coming and they got busy and it dwindled to a couple of us. The last time it was myself and just one other girl who wasn’t even a church member. A homeless person started knocking on the door late at night, scared us and we left. We didn’t feel safe with just the two of us there. That was that. Slowly I have become socially withdrawn. I want to break the cycle. I have a few friends in the neighborhood but we don’t really socialize. My best friend lives here but when she went back to work she was always too busy and didn’t have much time. Plus she has lots of other friends and has stopped doing anything with me. I know I need to volunteer or work somewhere so I am around people more. That would make it easier except I have been diagnosed with a disease in my foot that makes walking and standing painful sometimes. My day consists of Physical Therapy, stretching and exercises. Plus I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism and have low energy. I have joined a women’s Bible Study in my neighborhood. So I am trying.

  65. Susan on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I feel like this was written for me. I have a hard time making friends. I never feel
    Like I fit in. Thank you for writing this!

  66. Linda on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    I’m the daughter of a pastor, and I married a preacher. We’ve been in ministry for over forty years and recently retired. I’m accustomed to being a part of many circles and seldom ever feeling left out. However, I’ve always (having been taught well by my mom) tried to look for that person in every crowd who needed help finding a comfortable spot in the group. Recently, I attended a baby shower of a former student, not a member of any church we have served. I was the loner. I was determined to smile, speak, and make my way into one of the circles. Didn’t happen! Polite nods and smiles were about as far as I got. I wound up at a table all by myself taking pictures, ooh-ing and ah-ing, focused on the mother-to-be as she opened the gifts. But I was quite uncomfortable. The most conversation I had was with one of the hired help, and she was very sweet. I didn’t let the situation hurt me…I was wearing my big girl panties because I knew in advance that I would probably be the stranger in the group…but I ate my share of the refreshments (okay…and an extra cookie) to make the experience more palatable and left as soon as was appropriate. It was a good experience in that I was reminded to never stop looking for that one, or the ones, who need to be included. Your article is right on! Thank you for it!

  67. Karen on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    This article caught my attention as I was scrolling. This has been an ongoing issue with me for years. I have attended many churches due to feeling like the outsider and basically rejected in a Christian environment. It can really mess with a person’s perception of Christians “acting like Jesus”. These women who blow other women off in church, or women’s groups, are sending out a poor message. I feel like I am a grounded Christian, but these women are really acting anything like a Christian described in the Bible. We wonder why people are leaving the churches in droves. Looking back I wish I had addressed some of this rude behavior. Am I upset? I am long beyond that. I allowed people to hurt me in the past. At this point I attend church, work part- time, and devote time to family. I have 2 coworkers I spend time with occasionally. My ministry is with my patients as I am a 35 year nurse.

  68. aan on Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    This “season” for me has lasted 18 years, since we moved away from my hometown to a small town. No friends here. Been shunned at church, been shunned by my H’s friend’s wives they already had their clique….nothing matched up. I actually realized that I don’t want to be friends with them. Look how nice they are! (… There is no more family left in our hometown, except SIL and her family … but she and her sister and I have never been friends.

    My parents are dead. H’s parents moved 2000 miles away. My remaining relatives also moved 2000+ miles away, in the other direction. I have no siblings. I have two grown children. One married (and DIL is very close to her mother and sister), and one headed off to college in a few weeks. H travels for work, 3-4 days out of every week. D will be at school (an hour away) those same days. So now I get to be without friends OR family 1/2 the week. The town is so small the only jobs are fast food and the grocery store. I haven’t worked in 22 years.

    I understand now how people die in their homes and no one notices for weeks or months. Frankly, I blame all this moving. I have no hometown, no family to return to … we’re all spread out and disconnected.

    Seems like there are lots of us out here. We also are on the west coast …. and just from reading through the replies, I see that once again, most people with similarities me, live in the midwest, east .coast. The west is different too.

Leave a Comment