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Making non-member friends


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#1 OneBeanBiker

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:04 PM

I feel really dumb when it comes to making non member friends. Aside from friends I made back in high school (9 years ago) who I sort of talk to (mainly facebook), I have no non member friends. I just started talking to and hanging out with this guy who I work with. Hes a good guy, hes friendly to mormons, but is not a member. I think I like him, but that has me all sorts of confused because I'm not sure that could go anywhere since I will settle for nothing less than a temple marriage. Thats all aside the point though. I just feel totally awkward around nonmembers even though there are plenty of them our there. I don't judge and I love everyone, but it's difficult figuring out the details of friendship. This probably doesn't even make sense. I guess I just wish it'd be easier to meet and become good friends with others who aren't members. I never do missionary work because I just don't know non members.i think that is because the only place I meet new people is at church stuff.... I need more friends and it'd be easier to find them if I knew what to say... Anyway, thanks for your help to my ramblings.

#2 prisonchaplain

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:54 PM

Hi. My name is prisonchaplain. I'm a non-member. Nice to meet you. :-)

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." -- Lord Acton


#3 Dravin

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 04:26 AM


I need more friends and it'd be easier to find them if I knew what to say...


There is more to friendships than being able to pull pleasant words out of the aether. Maybe you are referencing small talk type conversations but while that helps with making acquaintanceship it doesn't really make you friends. Friendship is built upon mutual interests and respect, the initial ice breaking ,"What do I say!" moment is only a small part of it. Can you make friends at Church? You say the difficulty with making friends is meeting people and then move on to, what I parse, as being able to have easy initial conversations. Which of these is the predominate block?

Also, I would add, and I'm not saying this is why you want to make friends with non-members, that a relationship built upon, "I'm gonna be your friend so I can proselyte to you" is not on a strong foundation.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

#4 OneBeanBiker

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 05:48 AM

Yeah I think I screwed up what I was trying to say. My point obviously isn't clear... Basically, I never meet non members cause I dont go anywhere but church and work. So that sucks. Don't worry, I would never proselyte. I'm not the missionary type. We don't even talk about church at home.. Ha. I guess what I'm trying to say is when I'm building stronger friendships, or wanting to build up friendships with those who aren't members, its hard. When I talk about the things that are important, all of my argument and belief is backed up by my testimony. Argh. I'm having a really hard time explaining myself. I'm coming off as an ignorant mormon prude. Thats not me, by a long shot. If someone can decipher my meaning, please help. If not, I'll come back later to try and make sense.

#5 JudoMinja

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:16 AM

It sounds like you are having trouble finding people with whom you share a common interest when that interest isn't church. Since the only places you go to "socialize" are church and work, this isn't a surprise. Wherever you work, there are going to be all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds and the one thing bringing you together is your job. Some of them may not like the job, may only be there because it's the only work they can find, and the lot of you probably aren't really interested in talking about work when you're at work. It's possible to make friends with a co-worker, but it's hard and takes time because you are in a professional setting. If you are going to make more non-member friends, you need to get out and do things that will get you socializing with non-members in a better setting than work. This also, however, is easier said than done. The most common social setting for most non-members is bars and clubs which we avoid. But there are other settings where you can meet people and make friends if you do the work to look for them and dig them up. People will form book clubs, outdoor clubs, film groups, etc. Think of the things you are interested in and see what you can do to get involved in things where other people will be doing the same thing. Like rock climbing? Get a membership for one of those indoor rock-walls. Play a musical instrument? Offer to give lessons or join a music interest group. Etc. The only way you are going to make more friends is if you put yourself in situations where you can meet people with whom you would like to be friends.
Bhagavad Gita - “Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he becomes.”

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#6 Spartan117

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:39 AM

If someone can decipher my meaning, please help. If not, I'll come back later to try and make sense.


I think I get what you're trying to say. I'm a convert of just 23 months, but my life before the church was wholly incompatible with gospel standards. As a result of that, I've had trouble at times connecting with members of my ward. My first few weeks in my first ward had some awkward moments. I would meet people and try to get to know them, but we would just end up looking at each other smiling with nothing at all to say to each other. I could tell I was loved there and people were glad to have me in the ward, but my social culture as a new convert had a lot of maturing to do. It still does.

The other side to that coin was that most of my life long friends took it personally when I wouldn't go out with them for a drink anymore. I eliminated that aspect of my life all the way, and some people saw that as my thinking I was better than them for not drinking anymore. No matter what I said or did they couldn't understand that by refusing to go to a bar with them, I wasn't saying that I was better than they were. Or, that they were better than I was. If anything, I was trying to show them that we were all better than needing a drink to be friends. No such luck, though.

So here's my advice ...

--Learn fully some of the reasons behind the lifestyle conditions that our church places on their members. As an example ... Law of Chastity: Sexual sins are next to murder in seriousness in our church. Word of Wisdom: Avoid addiction. There are secular benefits to every "rule" the church has. You shouldn't (and you don't) have to figure out and be able to explain them, but in can help when trying to connect with non-members. Even if you're answer is simply "God said so." Say that and be confident and comfortable with it. So ...

--Don't be embarrassed about the teachings of the church. To the world, the idea of not living together before marriage or only having one sexual partner your entire life can come off as naive. And if the only values you share with your significant other are worldly ones, then those ideas may very well be naive. Let them know that being a Mormon is not some Sunday activity, it's a lifestyle that carries real consequences. Adding to that ...

--Keep a sense of humor about our culture. I promise you that the average non-member has questions and misconceptions about Mormons and would LOVE a chance to get answers directly from the source. We've become popular in recent years. I read a study that said 85% of non-members have met a Mormon, but only 14% of them say they know what our beliefs are. So when they ask you about sister wives or salamanders, don't take it personally. Be able to laugh it off. And be sure to return the favor ...

--Ask them questions about their culture as well. See if they have any funny drunk stories. Ask them about their worst hangover. But after you've talked about the differences between you, then find out what you have in common. Life outside the church does consist of more than rated 'R' movies and happy hour at the local pub. Acknowledge the differences, then move past them to see where you stand.

Lastly, if you come across a situation and you're totally stumped, come back and post about it here. This board is heavily focused on information and advice. Sometimes whether you want it or not. :P

Thought I'd try shooting my way out. Mix things up a little.


#7 anatess

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:08 AM

Okay, I'm confused... Are you talking about friends or are you talking about boyfriends... They're 2 completely different things. Your friend doesn't have to believe in God and follow the WoW so you can go screaming about the new pair of Michael Kors shoes displayed at the mall...

#8 Dravin

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:19 AM

Basically, I never meet non members cause I dont go anywhere but church and work.

Then the basic solution is to go other places besides church and work. Hobbies, clubs, and volunteer work are the most obvious ways to do this.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

#9 prisonchaplain

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:39 PM

If you want to meet non-members, and maybe even build friendships, then, when a non-member says "Hi," say hi back. :-)

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." -- Lord Acton


#10 mrmarklin

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:54 PM

Then the basic solution is to go other places besides church and work. Hobbies, clubs, and volunteer work are the most obvious ways to do this.


All my best friends are non-members. I belong to a couple of clubs that have no Mormons in them.

I have travelled with these people, attended numerous events swith them, and of course pursued my hobbies with them.

Making friends at work is no different. If you have common interests you can and should pursue friendship.

I have had friends at work in the past, but now in my managerial position that is very difficult, because I have no peers. It can be difficult and even problematic to have friends that are subordinates.

I have no Mormon friends because I've never been in a Ward that had people that share my interests. Like my co-worker, the only thing we have in common is membership in the church.

#11 OneBeanBiker

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:05 PM

It sounds like you are having trouble finding people with whom you share a common interest when that interest isn't church. Since the only places you go to "socialize" are church and work, this isn't a surprise. Wherever you work, there are going to be all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds and the one thing bringing you together is your job. Some of them may not like the job, may only be there because it's the only work they can find, and the lot of you probably aren't really interested in talking about work when you're at work. It's possible to make friends with a co-worker, but it's hard and takes time because you are in a professional setting.

If you are going to make more non-member friends, you need to get out and do things that will get you socializing with non-members in a better setting than work. This also, however, is easier said than done. The most common social setting for most non-members is bars and clubs which we avoid. But there are other settings where you can meet people and make friends if you do the work to look for them and dig them up. People will form book clubs, outdoor clubs, film groups, etc. Think of the things you are interested in and see what you can do to get involved in things where other people will be doing the same thing. Like rock climbing? Get a membership for one of those indoor rock-walls. Play a musical instrument? Offer to give lessons or join a music interest group. Etc.

The only way you are going to make more friends is if you put yourself in situations where you can meet people with whom you would like to be friends.


The bold is very close to what I was trying to say. Thank you! I'm trying to find places to go to meet other people. I've started going to a group of young adult cancer survivors, but it's a small group and mostly girls. I'm hoping to get to know them a bit better to see if we mesh at all. The whole co-workers thing wouldn't work. I work in a special ed class with married people in their 50s and older.. I'm only 27.

Okay, I'm confused...

Are you talking about friends or are you talking about boyfriends... They're 2 completely different things.

Your friend doesn't have to believe in God and follow the WoW so you can go screaming about the new pair of Michael Kors shoes displayed at the mall...


Just friends, not boyfriends. (I really don't date. :raincloud:) The bold, I don't understand what you're trying to say....

If you want to meet non-members, and maybe even build friendships, then, when a non-member says "Hi," say hi back. :-)


Sorry I wasn't clear. That is not my issue. I do have lots of friends from high school and what not who are not members. Plus the majority of my family are not members. I'm a super friendly person, so obviously I would say hi back. It's not like non members are aliens or something.






I'm sorry if it's still confusing. I haven't been able to formulate my quandary into actual words instead of just a feeling. I'll try to do so before I start a thread next time. Thanks for your input, folks!

#12 anatess

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:35 PM

Just friends, not boyfriends. (I really don't date. :raincloud:) The bold, I don't understand what you're trying to say....


My neices have tons of non-member friends and it seems like most of the time they're together they're talking about or trying on some "this is so cool" shoes at the mall.

So yeah, what I'm trying to say is the same as what everybody else says... common interests.

You say you have non-member families and you have non-member acquaintances. So, I guess the question you need to answer so we can understand what you're trying to say is... Why don't you consider them your friends?

Maybe that's what our problem is in understanding your post. Maybe we don't quite understand what you mean by the word Friend. So, maybe if you start there - who would you consider as your friend? - then we can understand each other better. English is only my 3rd language, so I still don't quite get a lot of the nuance in certain words.

#13 lizzy16

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:44 PM

I find making Mormon frinds really hard..even though I'm at BYU-Idaho! I get really intimidated my members because I always feel like everyones so good compared to me. Find non members that are religious? maybe that'll help. I try to find members that think and care about the church to the same level I do.




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