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Topic: Friends please!  (Read 2848 times)

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Friends please!
« on: August 12, 2010, 07:09:32 AM »
So I've been here for 2 weeks, my head is literally a nutshell. Things didn't turn out as planned (of course). My husband and I are having to move into a flatshare because the job I was promised...disappeared!  [smiley=dead.gif] Now looking for a home and work- my first two weeks here have been delightful :D

 [smiley=anxious.gif]

I knew that previously on my last visit most "Londoners" weren't very friendly..I try not to stick out like a sore thumb and mesh with everyone else, but......... I'm too friendly. I feel that my friendliness is laughed upon almost. Anyone? I'm starting to get homesick already. I know I have to give it a chance but it's difficult when you don't know anyone except your husband. I'd really like to meet some of you and make new friendships! It would make all the world better if I could find some fellow Americans   :-\\\\ I live in Enfield, Middlesex-North London? Hope to hear from ya'll!

xx
Jenn



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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2010, 09:56:58 AM »
Hi Jenn

I know you didnt ask for an advice and I apologise if I am speaking out of turn, but it was my experience when I first moved over that in the first few weeks, maybe even months, it is one's paranoia, uncomfortable-ness or desire to "fit in" that makes them stick out, not their friendliness, their accent, their dress style, their lack of knowlegde, etc.  Trust me when I say that you care about those things much more than anyone else.

Why do you think people are laughing at your for being friendly?   I dont live in London, and I realize that big cities are different from the towns on the outskirts, but I would really hesitate before you jump to conclusions that all Londoners arent friendly and you have to have American friends.  You said it yourself - you have to give it a chance and you have to give people a chance.  I hate to say it, but if you've only been here two weeks, IME, it will get worse before it gets better.  Have patience and treat every person you meet as a new person, not an unfriendly native. 

Good luck to you!!


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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2010, 10:50:47 AM »
I knew that previously on my last visit most "Londoners" weren't very friendly..I try not to stick out like a sore thumb and mesh with everyone else, but......... I'm too friendly. I feel that my friendliness is laughed upon almost. Anyone?

While some people don't have any problems, I have found it difficult to make friends here in my town - especially with the local British women.  As an American, you do stick out.  I've tried to find a balance between being myself and "fitting in".  As an America with a "southern accent"  I get a harder time (you are from Texas so you know what I mean).  For some reason, as in the States, people think you might be a little less bright when you have a southern drawl.  Even trying to get information over the phone is difficult.  When I can't get an answer, my husband calls back and gets the answer right away.

Making friends will come.  I haven't made any deep friendships with British women - but I have with others (Americans/Australians/Canadians/South Africans - that I have met here and thru work) like myself.  Just met a Canadian last week.  I heard her speak at my work and took initiative to speak with her.  Turns out she is having trouble making friends, too, and new to this town.  We met up yesterday and both had a great time.  Having lunch today.  It's a bit odd to go on "friend dates" but I got over it.  And I'm glad I took the chance to get to know her.

Just wanted to say you are not alone.  I don't live in London - I live in Newbury about hour west.  I love taking trips into London so if you are interested maybe we could meet up some day.

Hang in there.  I know it's tough and weird.  It's much like the first day at a new school - every day it seems for me here.  But it is a brave thing to come to a new country, start completely over, and make a new life while leaving friends, family, and the comforts of back home.

Stay friendly, it's the American way - kill them with kindness as my dad says :)

xx


Re: Friends please!
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 10:56:57 AM »
hi jenn,
Im about an hour and a half from enfield.
I know what you mean about making friends here. Ive been here 5 years, and unfortantley I only have aquantiances and  have "friends" within the industry I work in. But nothing like a friendship.
I agree, it sucks when the only friend you have is your other half! Anyway, if you want to meet up,let me know!


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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 11:15:53 AM »
Hi Jenn

I know you didnt ask for an advice and I apologise if I am speaking out of turn, but it was my experience when I first moved over that in the first few weeks, maybe even months, it is one's paranoia, uncomfortable-ness or desire to "fit in" that makes them stick out, not their friendliness, their accent, their dress style, their lack of knowlegde, etc.  Trust me when I say that you care about those things much more than anyone else.

Why do you think people are laughing at your for being friendly?   I dont live in London, and I realize that big cities are different from the towns on the outskirts, but I would really hesitate before you jump to conclusions that all Londoners arent friendly and you have to have American friends.  You said it yourself - you have to give it a chance and you have to give people a chance.  I hate to say it, but if you've only been here two weeks, IME, it will get worse before it gets better.  Have patience and treat every person you meet as a new person, not an unfriendly native. 

Good luck to you!!

I'm sorry, if you would have read correctly, you would see clearly that I wasn't targeting as a whole when it comes to Londoners. I explained that in my experience *most* of the people I came across were in fact unfriendly. Now obviously the beginning is going to be rough and YES it would bring comfort to find neighboring Americans. I would LOVE to make friends all over England and I'm sure I will. Frankly, I find it more difficult to make conversation with someone here than back in Texas. Please next time, read my posts more thoroughly if you're going to give "advice." Thanks.


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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 11:23:46 AM »
Stay friendly, it's the American way - kill them with kindness as my dad says :)

xx

Yes!! My southern accent seems to raise eyebrows. ;D I'm always repeating myself whenever we go out and then I have to explain myself. I just went to the Texas Embassy last week and met a Canadian girl working the bar, she was super friendly. It really made my day!

We should definitely get together next time you're in town :) Please let me know! What part of Texas are you from?


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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2010, 11:32:05 AM »
hi jenn,
Im about an hour and a half from enfield.
I know what you mean about making friends here. Ive been here 5 years, and unfortantley I only have aquantiances and  have "friends" within the industry I work in. But nothing like a friendship.
I agree, it sucks when the only friend you have is your other half! Anyway, if you want to meet up,let me know!


 :) Where are you located? I'd love to hang out! You should pm me!


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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2010, 11:34:44 AM »
Jenn, we are having a book club meeting next week.  It won't be in central London, more in the western suburbs. 

Click here for more details.

To be perfectly honest, we started the book club not only because we like books, but also as an excuse for some kind of regular meet ups.  It is hard to meet new people!  So, feel free to join us, even if you haven't read the book.  We spend just as much time socializing as we do discussing the book.

If you would like to join us, feel free to PM me and I will give you directions.
“I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.” ~David Sedaris


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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2010, 11:38:28 AM »
Hiya Jenn,

I am no where near London but 3 hours north...I have a few girlfriends here in my area one in particular who is british and we get along famously but it helped our husbands have known each other forever.  The UKY women I talk to all seem fantastic and friendly and we have even met up a few times, its a matter of getting out there.  If you are ever up near Durham or Newcastle feel free to reach out as I would meet ya for a drink ;-)
I lived in Austin for 8 years and loved it but its funny when people say where are you from and I say Texas? I get where is your hat and gun ;-)

You just go there enjoy some time and then worry about other stuff later


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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2010, 11:41:56 AM »
I'm sorry, if you would have read correctly, you would see clearly that I wasn't targeting as a whole when it comes to Londoners. I explained that in my experience *most* of the people I came across were in fact unfriendly. Now obviously the beginning is going to be rough and YES it would bring comfort to find neighboring Americans. I would LOVE to make friends all over England and I'm sure I will. Frankly, I find it more difficult to make conversation with someone here than back in Texas. Please next time, read my posts more thoroughly if you're going to give "advice." Thanks.

Relax....I think you're focusing on the wrong part of Mirrajay's post. She does give you a bit of good advice - perhaps it's your perception of how people react to you more than how they truly are behaving. I know when I first moved to England I was hesitant to open my mouth because I knew it would draw some amount of attention, good and bad. It's not a great feeling and remember being paranoid about how people perceived me and my accent.

It will definitely get better and you can't get yourself down after just 2 weeks. Planning a meet up in your area is a great idea!


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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2010, 12:08:31 PM »
Relax....I think you're focusing on the wrong part of Mirrajay's post. She does give you a bit of good advice - perhaps it's your perception of how people react to you more than how they truly are behaving. I know when I first moved to England I was hesitant to open my mouth because I knew it would draw some amount of attention, good and bad. It's not a great feeling and remember being paranoid about how people perceived me and my accent.

I think mirrajay and bmore are right. Just relax and try and forget about the fact that you speak differently (easier said than done, I know), and you'll be fine. I have a good friend here who has THE STRONGEST American accent I think I've ever heard. She's lived here for decades, but it hasn't changed in the slightest. But it doesn't affect her in the least bit. She's involved in everything in the community, everyone knows her and everyone likes her. It's really more about how you feel about fitting in than about how other people feel about you fitting in.
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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2010, 01:28:30 PM »
Woah.  Sorry that the people you have met have been unfriendly and that you took offense to my post... But I was actually trying to be helpful.   I asked why you thought people were laughing at your friendliness for a reason - I thought if you gave us an idea of the responses you have been getting and perceiving as "laughing at you" or being unwelcoming of your friendliness, we might be able to offer some insight... is it possible that you're misinterpreting something cultural, perhaps? 


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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2010, 02:13:28 PM »
as im not living in the uk yet i may be speaking out of line here but i would like to try and offer some friendly southern advice.........i think that we must all keep in mind that no matter where we move in the world there will be adjustments............if i moved to new york city i would probably find it difficult..........but i try to be true to myself......i am who i am and i aint gonna change that...........on my visits over i have discovered that people arent as receptive to me as id like but i just keep on trying......my last visit over i made all out efforts to speak to people everywhere i went.......you know what-eventually people started talking back !!!!!!!!..........please dont give up trying......sooner or later someone will respond to you and who knows they may end up being your best friend.


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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2010, 02:24:19 PM »
I knew that previously on my last visit most "Londoners" weren't very friendly..I try not to stick out like a sore thumb and mesh with everyone else, but......... I'm too friendly. I feel that my friendliness is laughed upon almost. Anyone?

I do know what you mean. It's not so much that londoners aren't friendly, but not outwardly friendly and sometimes they don't seem used to people not being as incredibly reserved as they are. They just keep to themselves a lot, which is sometimes appreciated, but difficult when it comes to meeting people. I probably wouldn't have made any friends if I wasn't attending a university right now. Most of the londoners I've become friends with though are far more friendly than what you'd expect - it's just getting to the point that is frustratingly difficult!

If you need an american to meet up with, I'm currently in Southwark, and am doing nothing but writing a dissertation at the moment (or so I should be!) Good luck with the job and flat hunt, too! Rubbish how the past two weeks have worked out for you.  :-\\\\
I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.' Kurt Vonnegut


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Re: Friends please!
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2010, 02:53:43 PM »
Glad I found this thread. I've been in England on and off for awhile now, and still have found it difficult to make many close friends. I'm quite outgoing and I know a lot of it is being from a big city in the States, and moving to Wiltshire and getting the taste of real english country living. (why the heck does everything close so early on Sunday?)

We are actually moving to Central London in a few weeks. I'd love to meet a few Americans to just chat with. We recently had our civil partnership ceremony (we're hitched!), and we are VERY happy.

I've noticed most of the folks on this site are female, not sure if there are any rules to the bookclub and such for a nice friendly gay guy? :)

I've been scouring england for things like Nyquil and hash browns I can pop in the toaster. I bring vats of ranch dressing and read both UK and US newspapers. I'm a bit homesick but absolutely love the English. I find them very friendly, but the entire culture is VERY different than what I've been exposed to in NYC and LA.

Would be really great to meet a few Americans not too far away from me who would like to gab over coffee at Cafe Nero! Please don't hestitate to PM me if any of this sounds interesting-


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