Trying to dictate friendship

QUESTION: Masters, I am grateful for answering my question, you gave me a very helpful insight to accept the situation and move forward. You mentioned that I am lonely because I never made the effort to replace my childhood friends with adult friends. I feel that I have been doing this for the last two years. I go places, meet people and invite them to my home in a genuine desire to make friends. Many times, I also buy gifts to please them. I try to keep in touch but they seem never to make the time to have a coffee or chat with me. They are unavailable to me and eventually we lose contact. Why do these relationships not blossom? Is there something wrong with the way I approach them? Sometimes I feel they like me at first, but do not want to go beyond. Is it a life lesson for me? ~Melissa, Brazil

ANSWER: You are treating these people as if they are dolls or puppets you are using to fill in your life in the manner you desire. The gifts you purchase are bribes to get them to love you because you do not think you alone are good enough for them to like. You come on extremely strongly, almost forcing yourself on them, which has the effect of scaring them off – the opposite of what you intend.

You must first examine how you feel about yourself. Why do you think you are not good enough for others to want to spend time with you? Why do you try so hard to get others to like you? If you are being true to yourself, and not just trying to win over a stranger, they will see and accept what you project. If it is to their liking, they will take the initiative to remain in contact with you.

You do not share any common interests with these people and have done nothing to find some. You must find a reason for people to want to be with you, to have something to talk about, and share ideas. This may be books, a craft (knitting, painting, singing), an organization (religious, social, philanthropic) or some subject from a class that interests both of you. People need a reason to spend time with you besides your desire that they do so.