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About Rexpert84

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    Newbie: Without form, and void
  1. Hi All, First time poster about a subject that has probably been explored several times in this forum. I’m trying reeeeeeeally hard to make friends. After having my second child in the fall and being on maternity leave, I felt keenly aware of some loneliness and self esteem issues (I think work typically provides a distraction). I’ve never been one to have a lot of friends (I have a good relationship with my best friend, my husband), but I definitely felt that having friends in the ward/neighborhood would be a good, perhaps even healthy, thing for me. I had this conversation with Heavenly Father towards the end of last fall and I felt like I could really give the friend thing a try for a year. So that has been my commitment and I’m about 6 months in. I think I’ve read just about every talk, blog post, and discussion board on the subject of making friends at church. They almost all have the same advice, which typically revolves around serving others, reaching out to those who may also be looking for friends, magnifying your callings (including ministering), and being generally approachable and friendly. None of that is bad advice, but I feel like I am doing all of those things and I don’t feel like I’m getting the results I was hoping for. I wouldn’t say that I’m not making any progress, but don’t think things are moving the way I would like. I think people view me as a “nice person you see at church”. This might sound stupid, but I would like to be invited somewhere (either just me or my family) by another person/family. It’s pretty discouraging that we’ve been in this ward for ~18 months and not a single family/person has reached out beyond what is required through church. I was especially surprised when I had a baby and no one from relief society came to visit or offered to bring in meals or other assistance. About me … I’m a female in my mid thirties, married for just over 7 years, and have 2 young children (nursery age and younger). I work full time and my husband is in school full time. We live in Utah in an area with a lot of new home growth. Our ward is comprised of homes that are all less than 3 years old, and even though there is a lot of construction in our neighborhood, our ward boundaries are such that the only new members to our ward are people buying existing homes (at least for the time being) — so we are relatively static and quite small for a Utah congregation. As you might expect, being in Utah makes it such that our ward and our neighborhood are essentially the same (maybe a 2-3 block radius). I think my reason for posting is that I’m at this point where it’s getting really difficult to come to church and be aware of how friendless I am. I know that friendships are happening and developing between other families/individuals in the ward (even a lot of the same people I am trying to reach out to). People aren’t unkind, but I do get the impression that people are not really interested in anything more than an acquaintance at church with me. I committed to try for a year, so I am going to keep my promise, but it’s getting very difficult to come to church. I know that’s where Heavenly Father wants me to be, but … I can take the sacrament anywhere and my testimony certainly isn’t tied to a particular ward or building. It would be much easer to attend a ward(s) as a visitor where there are no social expectations/hopes than to attend my own ward where I feel very excluded. I guess I am looking for advice and guidance around two things … Ideas for making friends or getting past the “acquaintance at church” phase of getting to know someone Coping with the social anxiety of attending church Thanks for taking the time to read!
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