November 17, 2018

"Making friends is actually quite simple; most people are flattered that someone cool (that would be you, taking my advice) wants to befriend them."

"If there is a person in your workplace, church group or running club that sets off Potential Friend sirens in your head, here’s what you do":
1) Become a person who is comfortable spouting non-sequiturs. Friendship starts by talking, which means that someone has to start talking! Comment on the weather, or the smell of the room, or something on TV last night … regularly. It’s pleasant to make conversation about something light...

2) Then, once you have built up a rapport with your Potential Friend, you have to DTT: Divulge To Them. Share a very tiny secret, like you have cramps or you’re hung over or you accidentally voted for Bush. This is step one to building trust.

3) The next step is crucial! After you DTT, wait a period of time, and then refer back to the thing you divulged to them! You are creating an inside joke. THE FOUNDATION OF FRIENDSHIP.

4) And finally, you have to ask them to hang out with you one on one. And then again, 2-6 weeks later. Then they should get the hint and ask you to hang out, too. Now you are friends. Congrats!
From "How to Make Friends" (NYT) — addressing the difficulty people seem to have making real friends after they're out of school.

And I know — you never have cramps and you voted for Bush on purpose. That's why I'm able to DTT that I write a blog that is read mostly by people who voted for Bush on purpose AND Trump on purpose. And I seriously need to make new friends after the friends I lost because my blog is read mostly by people who voted for Bush on purpose and Trump on purpose.

As for step #4, if you do the ask-out twice like that and then they never come back with the ask-out, then you know you are not "someone cool." But keep wielding the old 4-step approach to get more data points. Good luck!

143 comments:

Paco Wové said...

Wasn't somebody among the deplorables here recently pointing out how Americans are stereotyped overseas as shallow, silly and childish people who never stopped talking? Where could that idea have come from, I wonder.

Shouting Thomas said...

When you're approaching 70, as I am, making new friends is fraught with peril.

I befriended a great couple five years ago. Mark was a math prof in Albany and his girlfriend, Brenda, was a wild Irish dame who'd spent most of her life singing with Irish bands in bars.

They died within months of one another last summer, a year after I attended their house warming party. Mark died of brain cancer. Brenda's body finally blew up from a lifetime of alcohol and drug use.

rehajm said...

you accidentally voted for Bush

If you think like this you need to procure a large group of friends since you are the type who enjoys unfriending friends for wrong think.

Henry said...

It can be interesting to listen to a very gabby person and notice how much of their conversation is non-sequiturs.

On the other hand, sometimes a social gathering is not a social gathering. It is you in a not-a-social-gathering public space trying to read or write or work. Then the non-sequitur person is not so interesting.

It is interesting to compare these instructions to the extremely detailed "social stories" that therapists use to build up the social skill in autistic kids. It's kind of the same ball park.

Ann Althouse said...

"If you think like this you need to procure a large group of friends since you are the type who enjoys unfriending friends for wrong think."

I've been unfriended for *not* unfriending friends for wrong think.

exhelodrvr1 said...

limit your screen time

Shouting Thomas said...

Mark and I became friends thru FB conversations. So, it can work the other way.

We had talked at length about the quota system in his math department. (We were both nerds! He even understood high level programming talk.) He was frustrated that the department had set hard quotas in an attempt to force the hiring of more women, women who were clearly not competent mathematicians.

We met for dinner frequently, but the political talk was mostly in the background. We were both taking up classical piano again after retiring.

So, you can make friends on the basis of being mutual wrong thinkers.

iowan2 said...

Great for the superficial friends. I have examined my wife's few close friends over the years and have determined that her closest friends seemed to drive her nuts. Examining my own close friends, the key that unlocks that special relationship is not the common interests and values, but the acceptance of each others flaws

Darrell said...

Learn how to fake sincerity.
Check.

stevew said...

How does one "accidentally" vote for Bush, or anything? Those that do cast accidental votes shouldn't, perhaps, be voting in the first place.

Is there more of a story or theme to this article? If all it is is a short list of instructions on making friends then I find the choice of the editors to publish it rather sad and pathetic.

Rory said...

Get a dog.

tcrosse said...

If you want a friend, be a friend.

Amadeus 48 said...

That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

Amadeus 48 said...

Most English people think they already have too many friends.

Francisco D said...

I worry about people who read books about how to make friends.

Tommy Duncan said...

"Will you be my friend?" -Mr. Rogers

DanTheMan said...

Hi Ann. How's the weather in Madison?
Does this room smell funny to you? (yes, I know...)

:)

Leland said...

DTT that you voted for Obama.

LordSomber said...

This reads like something out of Teen Vogue, but I guess that's the caliber of writing now at the Times.

tcrosse said...

How to befriend your neighbor,
According to the Southern Nevada Water Authority

Narayanan Subramanian said...

the lesson is that there is explore phase for all things ... which is good to know that without hesitation or fear

Kevin said...

Is that how Stu the Cockatoo made friends at the zoo?

IgnatzEsq said...

I would rather trust Ben Franklin than the NYT. "He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged."

https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/02/20/the-benjamin-franklin-effect-mcraney/

Meade said...

"I've been unfriended for *not* unfriending friends for wrong think."

A labrador retriever would never unfriend you for *not* unfriending friends for wrong think. In fact, a labrador retriever would never unfriend you. Period. Even if you unfriend him. *Unfriending* is not even a concept to a labrador retriever.

gilbar said...

Blogger Henry said...
It is interesting to compare these instructions to the extremely detailed "social stories" that therapists use to build up the social skill in autistic kids. It's kind of the same ball park.

This was instructions for nerdy geeky geeks that don't know how to make friends, so...
It's not kind of the same ball park; It's EXACTLY the same spectrum
Can't use that as your non-sequitur though; better to use something like...

"Can't decide if the enjoyment of my split cane flyrod justifies the frailness and lack of warranty"

Then, you've established that you're cool!

rehajm said...

This reads like something out of Teen Vogue, but I guess that's the caliber of writing now at the Times.

My first thought was If they're flailing to appeal to a younger demographic Times readers must be in the dying demographic.

EDH said...

Share a very tiny secret, like you have cramps...

I get the willies. People know nothing about their own soft gut. So how come they can sum us up, without suffering all the hype we've known? How come they bum us up?

Amadeus 48 said...

I think Althouse did DTT that she voted against McCain as much as for Obama. She did DTT how McCain lost her and why she thought the Democrats had to take some responsibilty for national defense policy and next steps in the Middle East.
Pardon me if I am misremembering.

gilbar said...

Meade says... *Unfriending* is not even a concept to a labrador retriever.

There's an Off the Mark cartoon that sort of addresses this
Stress Lab

mockturtle said...

It would seem there are NYT staffers who have trouble making friends.

Amadeus 48 said...

Do I dare DTT that I believe in gentlemanly behavior, including a mild proclivity for heroism and a preference for discretion over honesty?

Wilbur said...

"I seriously need to make new friends after the friends I lost because my blog is read mostly by people who voted for Bush on purpose and Trump on purpose."

Dear Heart, I'm sure you've come to realize those people were not your friends.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

At this stage in my life - when it comes to friends - quality over quantity.

mockturtle said...

Pardon me if I am misremembering.

Althouse voted for Obama because he is such 'a lovely man'.

Amadeus 48 said...

Yeah, but then she voted for Romney because Obama turned out to be such a zero.

Achilles said...

This can’t be a serious article.

Darrell said...

Shouldn't it be DtT?

Darrell said...

Are they printing the NYT on octagonal paper yet, so that it's easier to put in standard bird cages?

Amadeus 48 said...

I should emphasize that I understand that Althouse is much more interested in how and why her commenters voted than she is in telling us how she voted. I doubt she will ever again DTT how she voted.

Achilles said...

Amadeus 48 said...
Yeah, but then she voted for Romney because Obama turned out to be such a zero.

But Romney would have been worse for the country than Obama was.

William said...

The whole concept of friends is somewhat outdated. When I read about people from previous centuries who left visiting cards, organized dinner parties, and played whist with other couples in the evening, I can't help but think I'm glad all that's over. I suppose in its day socializing served as a way to compensate for the absence of Netflix and HD television, but it was a very imperfect substitute......It's useful to have a few intimates, but a larger circle of acquaintances just increases the odds of being annoyed, betrayed, neglected or otherwise mistreated by those assholes who comprise the greater part of humanity.

Amadeus 48 said...

It is hard but not impossible to have a civil discussion about Trump with friends who disagree with you. You have to focus on common ground, which usually devolves into criticism. One entertaining gambit is to discuss the various meanings and implications of MAGA.

There are a surprising number of interpretations out there, but you can have an interesting discussion about where America should go from here.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

I don't hold the D's in low esteem for voting for Obama. I cheered when he beat Hillary in the primary. Yeah Obama did a lot of damage, but he wasn't Hillary. And he was inspirational to people who were sick and tired of the same-ole'. McCain was same ole'.

I do think Ann wised up and came round for Romney. Even though Romney was the same ole'. The Obama damage was revealed by then, despite the media covering it up.
Most people knew. But even if she did vote for Obama (or not), it isn't any of our business.

Screw Obama for making Hillary the head of the State Dept. He should apologize.

But to this day Obama never pays a price for any lie or poor decision.


As for making friends - the best way is to be a friend. I find though, that many of the females in my life take advantage of my kindness and generosity. I have few female friends for this reason. I’m OK with it. Believe it or not, one of my best female friends is on the left. She and I simply stay away from politics. I also remind her that I am surrounded by people who disagree with me, and I am thankful for her friendship despite our political differences.

Ann Althouse said...

"I should emphasize that I understand that Althouse is much more interested in how and why her commenters voted than she is in telling us how she voted. I doubt she will ever again DTT how she voted."

Sometimes a mystery is better than the truth. If you knew the truth, you'd need an explanation and you'd make up your own explanation and forget mine, and I'd feel called to correct your wrong explanations. It would be quite tedious. It's not a subject I want to put up for discussion. I'm selective about what I think is a good discussion topic -- for you and for me.

Amadeus 48 said...

Achilles— I see your point with the benefit of hindsight, but I voted for Romney and was disappointed when he lost. BHO was terrible, but we survived. Trump is undoing many of BHO’s second term blunders. If HRC had won, America would be in the soup for real.

Trump has got to figure out how to turn prosperity into votes better than the GOP did in 2018.

Leland said...

It would seem there are NYT staffers who have trouble making friends.

That's because if your political, then you find it stupid that anyone would actually "accidentally" vote for anybody. Unless you live in Broward or Palm Beach Florida, ballots aren't that difficult. If a ballot confuses you enough to knowingly accidentally vote for somebody; then don't operate heavy machinery, make change for this $5, and keep away from my children.

If you are not political, then you find boring those that think talking about politics is a everyday thing. Most people have hobbies that don't involve fretting about people they will never meet in life.

mockturtle said...

Face it: A lot of Obama voters voted for Trump.

Amadeus 48 said...

Mockturtle—Yup.

Once written, twice... said...

Ann, you don’t have any friends because you are a narcissist and in general people don’t like to be treated like an audience when hanging out.

But you do have Meade.

Ice Nine said...

My wife is always hurt when a friend doesn't keep in touch or reciprocate or Trump-dumps her. I tell her, "Your friends will always do you the favor of defining the quality of the friendship for you."

Henry said...

I don't think who people voted for is very interesting myself.

Henry said...

It's not kind of the same ball park; It's EXACTLY the same spectrum

Spectrums are bigger than ball parks, but I get your point.

Amadeus 48 said...

Hey, Once...you don’t know anything about Althouse except what she choses to tell you on this blog, and she could be lying.

I once asked one of her students what she was like as a law professor. He said she was very open and accessable to students and she never brought up or referred to her blog in class.

As far as I am concerned, Althouse outside this blog is a mystery. Best wishes to her and Meade for a long, happy, mysterious life together.

mockturtle said...

All hail the Queen of Blogs!

FIDO said...

It makes me sad that you had friends so pretentious, self absorbed and closed minded that they dropped you as a friend for something as small as this.

And however critical I seem to be, I consider people like that much worse. Silence on Kavanaugh is a venial sin compared to openly advocating character assassination and the destruction of due process.

Occasionally I need to remember that.

FIDO said...

It would seem there are NYT staffers who have trouble making friends.

Having read their stuff, is this such a surprise? They are incredibly pretentious, opinionated and judgmental.

It speaks well of Americans that the NYT writers have trouble making friends.

gilbar said...

actually "accidentally" vote

You couldn't actually accidentally vote, and Know that you did it.
If you accidentally pulled the wrong lever, punched wrong tab, marked wrong circle; you didnt know it... Or you would have requested a new ballot.

The only way to accidentally vote for Bush, and Know that you did it; would be that you intentionally voted for him: in your stupid un woke daze.

Later, you became Woke; and NOW, realize your error. Thus, you are admitting that you used to be a bad Bad BAD person; and needed correction... But Now, you've seen the light

Seems a risky way to get laid, probably not as bad as admitting that once, you accidentally bought a gun

Once written, twice... said...

Amadeus, you also don’t know anything about me and who I know and don’t know.

Ray - SoCal said...

Sad that people would unfriend over politics. Interesting way of thinking that politics is so important, you would destroy a relationship.

Shallow and short term thinking.

Eventually there will be another Dem President.

rcocean said...

"I've been unfriended for *not* unfriending friends for wrong think"

With friends like that who needs enemies?

A biographer investigated why Lillian Hellman - a terrible person - had so many friends, and the answer was she divulged the most intimate secrets - like talking about her sex life - to even her most distant friends, which made them feel close and protective toward her.

That's with women. With men, it was easier, she just hopped in the sack with them. Instant bonding.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"How To Garner New Friends" by Ann Althouse

her new book since the release of "Smokey-Eyed & Strappy-Sandals"

Darkisland said...

ST, I am of a similar age and have similar problems. I've tried to solve it by making younger friends.

But somehow, whenever I ask a 20 something blonde if they would like to come inside my van and share a secret, they break loose and run away screaming.

I am thinking zip ties may be a useful friendship aide.

John Henry

Sebastian said...

The real problem for most people is that the fear of rejection is stronger than the desire to make friends.

Darkisland said...

I just do not get this whole business about not being friends with someone just because of political wrongthink. I suppose that if a person kept yammering and hectoring about it that would send me running. But just voting for PDT? Or Obama? Or Bush or some such?

Sounds nuts to me.

My wife of 44 years and I had somewhat divergent political and religious views when we got married. We just agreed not to discuss them. To each their own.

Over the years she has mellowed to the point where she is now a Trump supporter. She was an Obama supporter, as I was, though for completely opposite reasons.

On religion, after 20 years of watching the kids and her going to church every Sabbath and what a great job it does keeping their heads straight, I finally came round and saw the light back in the 90s.

If we had gone our separate ways back in 74 for such trivial reasons, both our worlds would have been much smaller and sadder.

I am constantly amazed at people who think that we should not be together if I support President LITERALLY HITLER! (Version 3) Fuck 'em I say.

John Henry

mockturtle said...

Sebastian offers: The real problem for most people is that the fear of rejection is stronger than the desire to make friends.

No, the real problem is that people who fear rejection aren't the kinds of people other people want as friends.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Share a very tiny secret, like you have cramps...

Um...how about NO. Notinterested in your cramps, bowl movements, pink eye. She thinks that sharing that stuff in a casual conversation, getting to know you stage is charming?

Yikes. I would carefully ease myself away from this person. Ick.

tcrosse said...

Share a little bit about your hemorrhoids. That's a surefire friend-maker.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

Being a decent human being is also a popular method of making friends. Though sometimes you have to wait patiently and listen closely to see the decency in others. People I initially wrote off as assholes I came to find, through long proximity, were actually very compassionate and possessed of a firm and tolerant moral code. And vice versa, natch.

Ray - SoCal said...

FaceBook / Social Media has increased conformity, due to a decrease in privacy kit caused, fear of being tagged as a bad thinker, with fear of rejection and ostracization.

NPC seems to explain their actions, and has no room for real non conformity.

And Althouse is a non conformist.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The best method of making casual friends is to have a conversation, back and forth, and LISTEN to the other person. Be interested in their conversation. Be interested in THEM. Respond to THEIR remarks instead of thinking about what you want to say about yourself or your own thoughts. Do this on a casual level without sharing ridiculous personal information.

As you develop commonality*, topics of interest to both of you, you can go to a higher level of friendship.

Once you have become very very good friends (not just acquaintances) you might be able to take it to the next level. Maybe.

*developing commonality is salesmanship 101 and a good sales person will do this with ease, skill and without you even recognizing it :-D

mccullough said...

Meade should write an article on how to get a wife in midlife. He can title it “The Science of Hitting on Blogresses”

narciso said...

I think the primary in 2008 was mostly screwed up, McCain won with his base, the media, Giuliani was left in the dust even though he had been a press favorite, they are picked up their mash notes with Obama and never looked back, then McCain chose to throw someone else under the bus, the homes memo was the vehicle.

tim in vermont said...

I lived in Palm Beach in 2000 and knew someone who was distraught from the fear that he had actually voted for Bush.

I personally don't have a lot of use for "friends" who feel the need to control me by withholding friendship. I would rather have real friends. I know that I was probably disinvited from an annual party that I had attended for decades for not joining in on the condemnation of Trump. It's fine.

TML said...

I'm curious how you've determined that most of us voted for Bush and Trump on purpose. A sense you get from your commenters or actual declarations from commenters that you've tracked somehow, either literally or just a head tally. I wish I could remember how long I've been reading your blog. And I know we've had but one interaction Twitter. A dongle interaction.

Kelly said...

I suck at making friends, but have been working on my neighbor for going on two years. We’ve finally reached the stage where I got invited to the family lake house for Labor Day. Well worth the time I’ve put into it and I didn’t even know they had a lake house with a boat! I would have sped up the process if I’d only known.

Kevin said...

Face it: A lot of Obama voters voted for Trump.

PUMA Ave is a two-way street.

Annie C said...

Although I absolutely adore the peeks Althouse gives us into life at Meadhouse, like Amadeus, the mystery is the best part.

Lewis Wetzel said...

This friend-making technique will not work to help you make facebook friends.

Carol said...

This is my main problem right now. I tend to seek friendship with mother figures or men, not good.

Women my age, I don't get. They always seem so anxious, competitive, comparing themselves all the time. Are we on the same page? Do we agree? And watch out for desperate impoverished boomers who want to "help" you with your stuff.

And why do women always want to go one on one, no thirds wanted (which we called "queering off" in grade school. You know, those two BFFs who wore their hair the same and walked around together exclusively.) So if I dare show up while they're sharing that very confidential secret, they shut down and act all put out. Obviously I'm not good at this, but I'm used to the gregarious musicians I worked with all my life. Who have no use for you if you're no longer in the band.

As for politics, I avoided a couple women because one kept going off on both my party and my church, then about DVT, and I got tired of it. Another I love dearly was lamenting the election of DJT and I was afraid she'd realize what a strong Republican I was. I didn't mind her views but what if she found out about mine? So chickenshit!
Last time I laid eyes on her was at her funeral.



DavidD said...

That reads like it was written by someone for whom English is a second—or third—language.

roger said...

As far as I am concerned, Althouse outside this blog is a mystery.

Call me Ishmael.

Sebastian said...

"No, the real problem is that people who fear rejection aren't the kinds of people other people want as friends."

That, too. But that only intensifies the fear, not easily overcome by a four-step process.

The key thing is not to care about rejection. Many people have to learn that, some never do.

Zach said...

Reasonable, workable advice from an advice column? What will they think of next?

DavidD said...

How do you know if you accidentally voted for someone?

Did you fill out the ballot the wrong way and then not ask for a replacement?

It’s not like you can tell how you voted once you’ve submitted your ballot.

Or did you mean that you voted for Bush on purpose and only decided later that it was a mistake?

DavidD said...

Oh, I see that gilbar said exactly what I just said.

ALP said...

Is this something that just can't be learned in the many years of public school education? So many young adults claming 'social anxiety' (if social media is any indication). I wonder if this is the logical outcome of an upbringing heavy on "stranger danger". Why WOULD you be comfortable approaching strangers when you've been told everyone outside of your family is a potential threat?

Birkel said...

I did not vote for either Bush, or McCain, or Romney.
I voted for Reagan, Dole, and Trump.

Meanwhile, every Democrat votes for Jill Stein.
Not a single Hillary voter to be found.

ALP said...

The advice left out leveraging adversity. Adversity brings people together. Not Captial A adversity, but a common goal that takes some work to achieve. That's why I'm always pushing volunteer work or taking a class when people want more friends.

Yancey Ward said...

"I accidentally didn't vote for Senator in Florida."

Signed, Broward County Voter.

Ray - SoCal said...

Something I read mentioned 61% of Dems believe republicans are racists.
https://usaherald.com/61-democrats-believe-republicans-sexist-racist/

This could explain why Dems unfriend so much and easily, and Republicans don’t have the same issue.

Fear of associating with a racist.



M Jordan said...

Friendships happen naturally. If you’re a normal person you’ll eventually make friends by chance and circumstance without trying. What you can control is how not to prevent this natural process from happening. Always talking about yourself is the number one way to do that.

Here’s a tip: try to keep a mental transcript of your conversations. If you’re words are occupying over two-thirds of the page, STFU.

M Jordan said...

And one more tip from me: Go to church or synagogue or the mosque. You’ll make some friends, I’ll betcha.

RigelDog said...

Althouse: I've been unfriended for *not* unfriending friends for wrong think.

And there you have it, the distillation of our current social climate and why I am a "Changer." I voted for Gore, and then 9-11 happened, and I discovered that the media was reporting on the world in their heads, not mine. At the time, you could try to discuss this disconnect/difference of opinion with others without losing friends. As the permissible bounds of discourse narrowed, I got pissed off. Whoever the people are that think they alone are permitted to hold opinions---that's who I am agin'. The kind of people who would destroy a friendship simply because their friend refuses to actively shun an Untouchable, a Deplorable. What an absolute Orwellian horror we have had thrust upon us.

mockturtle said...

In my experience, lasting friendships stem from like interests and experiences.

gilbar said...

back in 2000, in the first election after
my motorcycle collision with a deer back in March,
my traumatic brain injury,
my 3 days in a coma,
my 3 months of brain rehab...

I walked into the polling place, voted straight party republican (one circle to fill in), and voted NO on retaining Judges (about 14 circles); and walked out, smiling! Yea Voting!
As i walked across the parking lot, i SUDDENLY realized; i had NO IDEA which party i'd picked.
I Knew which party i'd MEANT to pick, and was pretty sure i'd picked Some party; but i hadn't double checked which party before turning the ballot over.
To this day i have No Idea which straight party i picked; it was most probably R but...
I sure NEVER think that i 'accidentally voted' democrat, i think i MIGHT have accidentally voted Democrat That's how i'm pretty sure that no one would say they accidentally voted for George Bush unless they meant to; you'd say, i might have voted for george bush.

ps. Damn Deer! this used to be a hell of a country, until all the Goddamned deer showed up!

RigelDog said...

Women my age, I don't get. They always seem so anxious, competitive, comparing themselves all the time. Are we on the same page? Do we agree? }}} ---Carol

I think I am older than you are and have to say that women of any age seem this way to me. As I will lament to my husband and daughter, "Sometimes I wonder if I am even a chick?" I'm NOT interested in being competitive, or in forming in/out groups. I AM interested in almost any topic and happy to meet men and women where they are, but it seems that only the men are open to real conversation---even if we have nothing in common, I can have a great time talking about long-haul trucking or whatever. Women (big generalization) seem to have more boxes that they need you to check off before they are willing to socialize with you. I do have a few good long-time friends, but they are all really problematic---now I try to cultivate friendships with normal women but have mostly struck out.

mockturtle said...

RigelDog: Compatible women are out there--just hard to find. I meet most of my women friends in RVs on the road solo, like me. We have things in common right away--independence, self-confidence and a love of adventure and the RV lifestyle. Even if we differ regarding politics and religion we can still be friends. One such woman is coming down from Las Vegas for Thanksgiving. While we both voted for Trump, we are not on the same page spiritually. Neither of us gets angry that we don't agree. This is the key. Women, especially, are so emotionally invested in their opinions that they can't be objective.

Oso Negro said...

@Althouse - you scored a husband from the commentariat, why not some new friends? But you are contemplating a move to somewhere new and that will be a great chance to shake up your social scene or lack of it.

William said...

If i could have my druthers, I wouldn't spend so much time hanging out with guys like me.

Freeman Hunt said...

Most of making friends is just showing up. Literally showing up. (Not meant in the deeper way of being there for people.) Find out about events or groups you are interested in and show up. Introduce yourself to anyone you have a conversation with. Keep doing that. You'll have friends.

Sacto_Dave said...

>>Examining my own close friends, the key that unlocks that special relationship is not the common interests and values, but the acceptance of each others flaws

YES! The same is true for long term marriages.

mike c said...

I think that Williams comment wins the thread, which is as follows:

"It's useful to have a few intimates, but a larger circle of acquaintances just increases the odds of being annoyed, betrayed, neglected or otherwise mistreated by those assholes who comprise the greater part of humanity"

If you don't think that this is funny and so true, you are are out of touch with reality.

Mike

Dave said...

"It's not a subject I want to put up for discussion."

Seems like you took a lot of heat over Bammy, so I agree, that topic is not conducive to our remaining friends.

DTT: I voted to eliminate slavery in Colorado. I know, totally breaks the conservative stereotype. BFF?

Jeff said...

"I've been unfriended for *not* unfriending friends for wrong think"

With friends like that who needs
enemas?

FIFY

Marc said...

What is friendship?

I think we live in a society which has come to value the superficial more than the substantial, and this has affected our abilities to judge rightly about all sorts of things. "Though challenged, though injured, though tossed into the flames, though nailed to a cross, a friend loves always. And as our Jerome says, a friendship that can end was never true."

Ralph L said...

the friends I lost because my blog is read mostly by people who voted for Bush

They delved into the comments? And didn't like us?

Occasionally I become self-conscious about strangers reading the crap I post here and elsewhere, but it hasn't stopped me yet. Had an English teacher in HS who would read some of our essays to the class--excruciating!

Todd Galle said...

I've found a decent library always supplies plenty of friends, some dead for centuries, some still alive. In real life, I'm reaching the end of my career, and am not promotable, which is fine with me. I do befriend youngsters coming into the field, do some mentoring or internship overseeing, and help them as I can to succeed in a crowded profession. Not all of America's youth are insufferable, so there's that.

RigelDog said...

Compatible women are out there--just hard to find. I meet most of my women friends in RVs on the road solo, like me. We have things in common right away--independence, self-confidence and a love of adventure and the RV lifestyle. Even if we differ regarding politics and religion we can still be friends. One such woman is coming down from Las Vegas for Thanksgiving. While we both voted for Trump, we are not on the same page spiritually. Neither of us gets angry that we don't agree. This is the key. Women, especially, are so emotionally invested in their opinions that they can't be objective. }}}

I can well imagine that living the RV lifestyle, where people are really interested in new experiences and meeting new people, would be fertile hunting grounds. Other than the fact that I would not want to go RV traveling alone, and that my husband would rather stuff rabid racoons down his pants than RV or camp, I would enjoy this! I am happy that you have this in your life. I also don't mind if others don't share my politics per se, it's those who make it a litmus-test for acceptable human being that I am forced to avoid. Living in Philadelphia, I am surrounded by people who are very much litmus-test people. Sigh. I hope to find some new acquaintances in organizations such as Libertarian Meet-Ups. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

gilbar said...

rigelDog what do you do with your mail while Rving? Just let it set for months at the post office?
I'm curious, 'cause i feel trapped by my mail

gilbar said...

sorry, i meant that for mock turtle ( i think)

pacwest said...

Alternatively, just pick up a copy of Dale Carnegie.

The simplest and best way to make friends is to be interested in THEM. Not some shallow BFF secrets crap. The writer of the article sounds like she never had, or will ever have a true friend. Sad.

FullMoon said...

Bad luck and trouble my only friend...

Not me, some other guy.

Paul From Minneapolis said...

In summary, try to emulate Robert Walker in "Strangers On A Train."

mockturtle said...

Gilbar writes: sorry, i meant that for mock turtle ( i think)

I am on the road 5-6 months [summer, as I live in Southern Arizona] and have my mail forwarded to my sister's address in WA. What little snail mail I get, she scans and emails to me. If it's important, she will send it to me wherever I happen to be.

mockturtle said...

I didn't get to vote in the AZ GOP primary because ballots aren't forwarded.

Jupiter said...

"I write a blog that is read mostly by people who voted for Bush on purpose AND Trump on purpose."

The people who comment are likely only a small fraction of those who read. But I grant you, it does not seem likely that there are large numbers of Lefties reading this blog but not commenting. Maybe they read the blog, but not the comments. It does seem like Althouse writes with the hope and expectation that her commenters will respond. She may well be disappointed that those who comment tend to be well to the right of her own point of view.

gilbar said...

thanx Mockturtle!
i hadn't thought of that; of course, i'm not sure your sister in WA would make the effort for me :)

Luke Lea said...

Ann should be happy to know that I did not vote for Bush. I'm a life-long Democrat and only voted for Trump as a gamble, hoping for trade and immigration reform. Surely you have other fans like me.

mockturtle said...

I voted for Bush but not McCain or Romney. Both times I wrote in Ron Paul. And I voted for Trump because I liked what he had to say. Still do.

mockturtle said...

Per gilbar: thanx Mockturtle!
i hadn't thought of that; of course, i'm not sure your sister in WA would make the effort for me :)


Major RV clubs like Good Sam and Escapees have mail services. Some will sort and scan your mail. These days I get very few non-junk pieces of mail and the P.O. doesn't forward junk mail so my sister doesn't have a lot to deal with.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that this friend worry is a young person’s thing. I remember high school, when everyone else had a bunch of good friends, and I really didn’t. Went back to my 20th reunion, and found that the liners and losers were the doctors and lawyers, and the cool kids from high school wanted to be our friends. I will admit though that my mother cheated to get me in a fraternity - she asked my father’s junior law partner for a recommendation, and he got the national fraternity president to give me one. so, I came out of college with a bunch of close friends, having lived with them for several years, while most of the GDIs (non-Greeks) did not. Still close to several of them, including some Jill Stein (I.e. Crooked Hillary) voters. Heck, I am supposed to get together next month with the other “out” Republican from back then, after he proudly announced that, for the first time in his life, he had voted a straight Democratic ticket (including for the erratic execrable Kirsten Sinema, over fellow pilot McSally). No doubt, we will skip politics.

The fraternity gave me the confidence that I was no weirder than most of the other people around. Also helpful was a Dale Carnegie class (actually two classes, since I attended again, for free, working my way through by demonstrating things for the paying attendees). There I learned that most everyone had the same fears of public speaking and making friends, and that made it much easier for both. I would suggest, even after all these years, his book “Winning Friends and Influencing People”.

Spouting non-sequitors is, I believe, silly, and counterproductive. Most of the people I know would think that to be a mark of a scatter brain. Someone you can’t take seriously. But what both of us find ourselves doing is finding common ground with the other person. You can always find common ground, if you just look hard enough. We have a kinda contest between us. She is quicker and more observant, but I am more gregarious (she would say much more, but phrase it less nicely). So, it is a good contest. I remember an interesting time two years ago, when we broke down outside Gallup, NM. Tow truck driver was crusty and had no interest in talking to tourists who had broken down. Not worth his time. So, we competed to see who could open him up first, and get more than a yes or no grunt. The subject turned out to be guns. After that, he was downright chatty, telling us where to stay, where to have the vehicle worked on, etc. Sure, our early discussion may have sounded like non sequitors, but the reality was that we were trying different things out, to discover his interests, and, thus, find common ground.

Finally, sharing confidences is how junior high girls make friends. It doesn’t work that well with guys, nor with women who have outgrown that. Or maybe I have just spent my time since my senior year in high school with women who didn’t trust other women who shared confidences, and esp confidences of others. My partner was telling me last week about how she handled one of her daughters playing telephone circle confidence sharing, where one girl would tell her something in confidence, only to immediately call up another girl and share it with her. She told the daughter that next time she heard that sort of thing, she would deprive her of her telephone for a week. Sure enough, less than a week later, she made good. The daughter didn’t have one phone - but closer to a dozen. All ended up locked in her mother’s closet for the week. A week with the daughter only able to gossip with her friends during school was sufficient.

Bruce Hayden said...

“I am on the road 5-6 months [summer, as I live in Southern Arizona] and have my mail forwarded to my sister's address in WA. What little snail mail I get, she scans and emails to me. If it's important, she will send it to me wherever I happen to be.”

Maybe see you this spring/summer. My partner is after me big time to buy an RV. Right now, we switch back and forth between AZ and MT, depending on time of year. Last month it took us five days to do the trip, with a young kitten doing the trip for the first time. A trip that her ex has been doing in under 24 hours for decades. We don’t have very many hard deadlines, so taking our time is just fine. She remembers fondly a trip she made back and forth across the southern part of the country, after she had bought a place in KY. Something to do with truck drivers, CB radios, and two single women (nothing actually happened because she had her young kids along). And her uncle made a name for himself entertaining at RV campgrounds around the western US. Even a decade after his death, she would run into people who, after hearing her last name, would ask if they were related. Nope. Not related to anyone named “Choo Choo”. Mostly, I think that she is bored, and really hasn’t traveled just to travel and see the country, since her mother would throw her brood into the station wagon, and tour the southwest to get them out of the Vegas summer heat. If it works, her son-in-law’s family has a place on a lake in some weird state just east of MN, and we have a standing invitation to visit. Etc.

mockturtle said...

Bruce, I spent several weeks in Montana this past summer. Planning to return to Alaska next summer. Hope the lower fuel prices hold. [Nah, they always go up in summer].

tpceltus said...


Or, How to Become a Lobbyist

Ralph L said...

Yo, mockturtle, how dare you confuse me with Henry on the cafe thread. I'm a much better commenter.

Ralph L said...

When the quality is low, I make up for it with quantity.

Henry said...

LOL. Who could confuse a dog and cat?

Ralph L said...

the P.O. doesn't forward junk mail

It's time for another avalanche of begging letters for my dad. I don't know how so many got his new address so quickly after he moved in with me 5 years ago. I've edited his mail the last couple of years. The absolute worst is Zinke's PAC. He sometimes got 2 things a day from them and several a week for years, and one again this week.

He can't deal with a cell phone, so we're stuck with daily credit card robo-calls on the landline. You think they'd give up after a while.

mockturtle said...

Sorry, Ralph and Henry.

Henry said...

No worries.

Ralph L said...

grumble grumble grumble

Bob said...

RigelDog said, "I'm NOT interested in being competitive, or in forming in/out groups."

This is interesting, because one of the arguments for "letting women run things for a change" is that they're more cooperative, less competitive. I've never believed that. Since just about every organized activity requires a leader (decision-maker), I can't imagine a mostly-woman organization with only one woman who thinks she should be boss.

Your comment certainly reinforces my bias.

Bob from Alhambra

Danno said...

Blogger Oso Negro said...@Althouse - you scored a husband from the commentariat, why not some new friends? But you are contemplating a move to somewhere new and that will be a great chance to shake up your social scene or lack of it.

My thought is that Madison has so many lefties that are all politics all the time, making it harder to run across people who aren't politics 24/7. They non-political types are still out there, but their numbers are much smaller than in someplace not as ragingly political, so it may be where you brainstorm on what activities attract such people and do some reconnaissance of those groups. Or you could look for those kinds of people in your relocation search efforts as oso negro mentioned above.

Danno said...

The not they.

mockturtle said...

This is interesting, because one of the arguments for "letting women run things for a change" is that they're more cooperative, less competitive.

Far from being more cooperative, women are actively hostile toward one another, even if it's well disguised.

tim in vermont said...

Deep friendships come from facing hardships together, physical, emotional, whatever, and standing by each other through them. In my experience. If it were not for the fact that we could all get doxxed by a hack, I would give you a couple of stories to back that up. But they tend to put me in a bad light until I am finally overcome by the sudden unexpected and deep emotion of friendship.

MikeR said...

Always wondered how that was done.

PJ57 said...

I agree with Meade and some of the other commenters. I've never been particularly good at making social friends, and at some point when I came to terms with that inadequacy, I decided that having a good dog is the way to go. My old dog, who passed away this summer (Mrr. Bojangles, he still grieves), was not even particularly friendly -- female rat terrier, natural born killer, would sit on the opposite end of the couch from me like we were on an Amish date. But we happily took walks together, raged at squirrels and other such vernim, enjoyed our lunch. I don't think there are many true gifts in life, but dogs are surely one of them.

Rick Turley said...

Blogger PJ57 said...

“I agree with Meade and some of the other commenters. I've never been particularly good at making social friends, and at some point when I came to terms with that inadequacy, I decided that having a good dog is the way to go.”

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UY4h1ikePaA

He never tells me that he's sick of this house
He never says why don't you get off that couch?
He don't cost me nothin' when he wants to go out
I want you to love me like my dog

He never says I need a new attitude
Him and my sister ain't always in a feud
When I leave the seat up he don't think that it's rude
I want you to love me like my dog does, baby!
When I come home, I want you to just go crazy
He never looks at me like he might hate me
I want you to love me like my dog

He never acts like he don't care for my friends
He never asks me where in the hell have you been?
He don't play dead when I wanna pet him
I want you to love me like my dog does, honey!
He never says 'I wish you made more money'
He always thinks that pullin' my finger's funny
I want you to love me like my dog

He don't get mad at me and throw a major fit
When I say his sister is a bitch
I want you to love me like my dog does baby
When I come home, I want you to just go crazy
He never looks at me like he might hate me
I want you to love me like my dog!
I want you to love me like my dog does, baby!

Saw the song writer Scotty Emerick yesterday sing this song last night in a cave believe it or not. He was subbing in last minute for Bobby Bare who was ill and supposed to br the opening act for John Anderson. He also wrote “Beer for My Horses” and “I’ll Never Smoke Weed with Willie Again.”

RigelDog said...

Bob posts: "RigelDog said, "I'm NOT interested in being competitive, or in forming in/out groups."

This is interesting, because one of the arguments for "letting women run things for a change" is that they're more cooperative, less competitive. I've never believed that. Since just about every organized activity requires a leader (decision-maker), I can't imagine a mostly-woman organization with only one woman who thinks she should be boss."

Oh yeah, women are competitive and they tend to hide it and they complicate everything with all these back layers. Men aren't better or worse but I think they are easier to read and don't drag a lot of baggage into every interaction.
I just saw this play out in real life. Have a good female friend who considers herself to be a staunch feminist and a great believer in the patriarchy---probably because she's always been gender non-conforming. So she's always about promoting the idea of women in power since when she was younger, men did hold most positions of power.
Anyway, she recently vied for an open supervisor's job in a volunteer association filled with both women and men, all accomplished and many of whom she considers to be friends. At the last minute, several of the women closest to her in the organization decided they wanted to be candidates too. Her closest "friend" edged her out for the position. There was so much passive-aggressive behavior from the women, putting her in a negative light, and my friend was truly shocked. But it will never occur to my friend that women are no better than men, let alone that the formidable "Patriarchy" did not prevail and that the men in the organization didn't try to humiliate her during the campaign.

Peter said...

Then there’s the DENNIS system
https://youtu.be/tFMWGf65Rj8

Bunkypotatohead said...

How about an article on getting rid of friends I don't like all that much?

Gunner said...

Approximately half the voters picked Bush both times. The fact that the Times treats this like an abnormality shows how insular they are.