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Hello everyone!

firstly, yes i realize the absurdity of making a thread on a forum to try to make offline friends:blushed:

but i'm curious! i know that as infp's a good deal of us struggle a little with being outgoing and making friends, but i've decided to take some advice recently from someone i really respect to try to find some people i can really connect to nearby me. so what are your experiences with this? where does one even go to make friends? any places better for infp's to go to do this? anything you have to say on the subject go ahead, i'd love to hear what anyone has to say about it at all c:
 

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I moved to a new city for work with no friends or family in the area..meeting people has been extremely difficult. People at work, while I get along great with them, all pretty well keep to themselves after work. I've done a few things with meetup, a happy hour and a few hikes. It's kind of awkward, but then again I am just awkward in general. The happy hour was huge..and when I got there, pretty much everyone had grouped up already so I did the most socially awkward thing I could think of, which was walk up to the "registration" table, make the final decision to bail and then just turn around and walk out. From there I decided to stick to small groups, I've been on a few hiking trips of 6-8 people and it went well. I've yet to actually befriend anyone but I've had decent conversation during the hikes themselves. It has promise I guess, so I'd have to suggest a look I suppose as well!
 

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I met some wonderful people from PerC itself... although most likely than not those will be long distance friendships.

In real life I've had a very hard time finding friends, and appreciating the ones I have as well. I've always felt misunderstood around them, and can just be with them for a while until I need my alone time once more. I can't truly be my self in front of my current real life friends, so I feel something is lacking still...

I'm going to start college next month, studying philosophy... There will be very few students; I really hope there are some NF! I feel the most comfortable among NFs...

In the end most of the friends I've made have been from school. I also made some friends by visiting chat rooms from where I live (in real life) but it took too much of a long time to find people and I really never became true real life friends with them...

Oh, recently, in a trip I made to some European cities two months ago, I met this guy from Uruguay in Amsterdam who shared room with me in a hostel and I kind of became friends with him. He has already kind of invited me to his country.
 

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I still don't know how to do this very well. It seems that I only try with people that I feel I could have a decent connection with, otherwise, to me, it's not worth it. It's a very slow process. I have a 'new' friend (INFJ) and it's so far taken us about 18 months to get to the point where I recognise that she's now a friend and not just an acquaintance. Online friends are much easier.
 

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Typically I often find the initial bonding experiences harder to produce, especially in this generation of people that need more confirmation of 'romantic intentions' not being present straight away and how activities can be a good starting point or knowing someone through another person, yet all too often some refuse to acknowledge how difficult it can be initiating anything when new to an area.
 

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Two minutes ago, I sent a text message to a couple, my wife and I met 2 weeks ago in Peru who happened to live in the same city as we did. I invited them over for dinner. Maybe I'll hear from them. Maybe I won't.


1. Know the kind of people you want to have in your life. Be specific.

If you just have a fuzzy idea then you're just going to get fuzzy results. Something as general as someone I connect with or someone I can talk to is so general as to be meaningless. If you don't know what you want, you won't recognize it when you get it.

One of the big things with the people in my life is that they travel to difficult places not just touristy places. It takes a special personality to travel because you have to enjoy challenges and problem solving. You need to use a bathroom but you don't know if where you have to pay for one and where you can use one for free. You can't read anything on the menu. You forgot your tooth paste but all you see are tourist shops selling knick-knacks.

Overcoming challenges is a very important trait that I want in the people I spend time with because all relationships have challenges to overcome. People who travel (not vacation) have demonstrated ability to face and solve challenges.


2. Give yourself the opportunity to meet people.

You can't make new friends by sitting in your room reading a book. You actually have to be around people to meet people. There's two ways people make the initial connection: interest and mutual problem-solving

People usually talk and connect over similar interest. Improve your odds. If you're a vegan and you want to meet other people with that same philosophy, taking a vegan cooking class improves your odds where going to a barbeque would decrease your odds. People bond over mutual problem solving like AA meetings or team sports.

My wife and I bonded with these people we met because we all were doing the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu. The problem that we faced and shared together was how do we summon the physical and emotional energy to walk 26 miles in 4 days over 1000 stories of stairs (empire state building is 107 stories). Facing and solving this problem with our little group was how we bonded even though the group had a wide range ages, interests and life philosophies.

Most of my close friends comes from dancing. I've been dancing at least once a week for 20 years. If you show up some place that you enjoy, where there's lots of people and you become a regular and a familiar face, people will eventually introduce themselves to you. I don't go dancing to meet people. I go to dance because I enjoy it a lot. But I end up meeting because I'm in a place where there's lots of people to meet.

3. Be social in order to filter.

Most people use similar values as their primary filter. They look for people with similar values, people who believe the same things are important as they do. I filter based on personality traits (enjoys challenges, history of problem solving, always has a project that keeps them passionate). Everyone has filters.

And you don't get to apply those filters without being social. So my wife do have people we just met over for dinner. Filters don't determine who you connect with. However, they do allow you to recognize that some people aren't a right fit.

4. Open up to make friends, don't make friends to open up.

Brene Brown, a research on vulnerability and connection, says that you feel connected when you open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable to rejection. Everyone is deeply afraid of feeling unworthy of being loved. So we minimize the chances of rejection by having these huge hoops that we make people jump through before we allow ourselves to really be seen.

Unfortunately, no one wants to have to go through tests to be found "worthy" of your friendship. People want to be accepted for who they are, as is, without having to prove themselves first. In order to do that, you have to open up and allow yourself to be seen. This conveys a level of trust. When you trust someone, they feel special. This doesn't mean that you'll end up being great friends. But it opens the conversation to a level where you can learn whether there's something there to build on.

5. Be the friend you want to have

If you want to be invited out to do things, then be the person who invites people to do things, not because you expect an invitation in return, but because that's the person you are.

If you're a person who keeps score, i.e. I called you five times but you only called me once, then you'll end up attracting people who also keep score and those relationships will always be about fairness and quid pro quo.

If you want people to open up to, you have to be the person who opens up to other people. Like attracts like.



So I just a got text back from that couple we just met and they're free for dinner next week. Maybe we end up being great friends, maybe we'll never see them again. The object of the dinner isn't to make friends. It's to enjoy their company. They were fun people. Older than us. Had really interesting travel stories like when they were stuck in a hurricane in Belize with just spam, rum and a bathtub full of water for drinking just in case. I mean that's how I want to be treated. I want people to call me because they enjoy my company and feel that spending their time with me is worthwhile.
 
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infpblog, that is exceptional advice!!! *takes notes*

I made a friend online years ago, and we didn't meet in person until 10 years later. This gives you an idea of how much I don't really trust people, it takes a looooong time. Maybe not 10 years, but I'd say 3- at least. Also, once my online friend and I met in person, our friendship disintegrated soon. Tone of voice, body language, and other factors are part of liking or disliking someone, and the internet doesn't offer those things. So yeah, I don't trust the internet.
In real life, I make no friends ever. I am quite outgoing in the sense that I leave my house everyday, I love it! I love nature, and coffee shops, parks, concert, comic book conventions, sitting at the boatyard with a smoothie and watch people... I'm outdoors a lot by myself, but I simply never make friends. I don't trust people, so if somebody would approach me and start giving me conversation out of the blue, I'd think they're a creep or a weirdo and I'd leave immediately.
I have found that the best way for me to meet people and keep in touch is though classes, courses or by going to the same coffee shop 2-3 times a week. When I do that, the staff know me and give conversation (small talk, but it's something!) and they have even asked me out a couple of times, the problem was I didn't want to be their friend cause they were party-goers, loud, etc. And like infpblog said "Know the kind of people you want to have in your life. Be specific". I know I don't want to be surrounded by loud party animals.
I have never trusted the internet as a means to meet friends, except that one person I mentioned above. I just don't trust it.
 
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