Dear Amy: I am at a crossroads in my social life and could use some advice.
I am a married mother in her early 30s. Over time, I had a "disagreement" (so to speak) with each and every one of my lifelong friends (close friends of high school / college).
I'll spare you the details of how these friendships ended, but now I find myself without close friends to share my life with.
I miss the friendships I used to have, but I do not miss the drama and the interruptions they have caused in my life.
I was not lucky enough to meet new friends my age who shared my interests.
Is there something wrong with me? Why is it so difficult to make and maintain these relationships at this stage of my life?
My marriage is strong, my career is all I want, and my children are happy and successful, but I seem to be failing terribly at having and keeping close friends. Some advice?
– without friends
Dear friends: I do not know if there is anything "wrong" with you, but your behavior of abandoning all your friendships implies a pattern – and you are at the center. So, yes, you should carefully examine your own behavior, take responsibility, and, most importantly, see which negative patterns emerge that you can change.
Making new friends – especially in adulthood – is a significant challenge. Most parents are played together with other parents on the playground or at school; These connections can evolve into very rewarding relationships centered on family life. Are there other mothers in your circle that you would like to make friends with? Many of us also meet friends who flourish in friendships at work.
But making friends is a challenge. And turning an acquaintance into a friendship may seem like a delicate dance. One of my best friends simply approached me in our daughters' kindergarten classroom and said, "Hey, you look cool. Do you want to be friends? "It turns out I'm not that cool (she is!), But we've managed to be friends for 25 years.
Read "Friendships Do not Just Happen: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of Girlfriends", by Shasta Nelson (2013, Turner). Nelson is also CEO of Innovative Friendship Website: girlfriendcircles.com.
Dear Amy: We have built a custom home for a few years and make every effort to search the colors of the neighbor's house before deciding on a color.
After thinking hard, we chose a black and white scheme for our home.
No other house on our street is similar to ours.
Fast forward to today, and a new home is being built directly next to ours. They intend to paint the house with the same colors as ours (although they believe that the white paint will be "very different").
They bought their lot knowing our paint choices. They are also aware that this decision will frustrate us.
Is it hard to copy the colors of someone's house when you're a direct neighbor?
– Frustrated Neighbor
Dear Frustrated: There are many neighborhoods and housing associations where people are forced, through strict rules and design limitations, to paint their homes within a very narrow range. Lucky for you – you have the freedom to paint your house the way you want!
Your new neighbor has the same freedom.
Having a house painted white is not exactly pushing the limits of taste and design – you chose the color of the most popular house for your own home. Surely you can not be so surprised that someone on your street also chooses to have a white house.
Even if this was a deliberate copy of your home, you have options on how to behave. In that case, even if you are feeling insignificant, scorned and frustrated, you should behave as if you are flattered.
No, it is not corny to paint a white house, even if the neighbor's house is also white. This can be a very good lesson for you. You seem very careful, deliberate and controlled. Other people are not like you. Understanding and accepting this will be a good neighborhood exercise.
Dear Amy: "Wondering" was entangled in a family drama while visiting his older friend. Her friend's cousins accused Wondering of coming to the male members of the family.
I think it is possible that these family members were trying to isolate the older woman in the hope of receiving an inheritance. Unfortunately, I have seen this happen.
– wanting to know no more
Dear No More: This is a definite possibility. Wondering must take steps to try to reconnect with her friend.