Ask Angela: No one speaks to me at church

How do you handle feeling lonely at church? Photo Credit: Flickr Mitya Kuznetsov

 

Dear Angela,

I’m not trying to force social connections with people at church, but since I’ve come to this new ward it’s as if I’m invisible. I can go an entire Sunday without anyone saying anything to me. No “Hello!” No, “How are you?” And barely even any eye contact as we pass by each other in the halls. You might be thinking “Oh you’re just in one of those non-social wards.” But there is a huge group of people who are always laughing and talking together, so I know that’s not it. I think I’m just invisible.

Any suggestions? Or is church just destined to be this incredibly lonely place?

Thanks,

Invisible

Dear Invisible,

I’m sorry this is your Sunday experience. I’m sure it hasn’t been fun – but moving forward, there are some things you can do.

1. If you are feeling invisible, I’m sure others are, too. Make it your goal every Sunday to speak to at least 2 people who look like they could use a friend. Shift your focus from the large group of people laughing and talking together, and find others who may seem a little lonely or uncomfortable. (This is how someone approached me, and she and I have been great friends for 2 years!)

2. Stop counting the people who aren’t saying hello. You may not realize it, but that frustration is showing on your face. People want to approach someone who looks happy and relaxed, not angry and agitated. I’m not saying it’s your fault, but I do think this adjustment can help you reach your end goal.

3. Lastly, volunteer to help with something/anything. There are always more assignments than there are people to fill them at church. Get involved in some way, these projects get you working with, talking to, and relying on other people. This type of communication can end up being the basis for really lasting relationships. You’ll start to know people at church…but maybe more importantly…you’ll start to feel known and be able to worship with out the nagging feeling of loneliness disrupting your peace.

I hope this helps, and start today! Let us know how it goes.

xo,

Angela

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2 thoughts on “Ask Angela: No one speaks to me at church

  1. Going to a new ward is tough sometimes! But if you keep going and say hi to others… you’ll meet new friends. Invite people over to your house… Do your visiting teaching. Pray for new friends! You’ll be blessed.

  2. Sometimes new wards are new to lots of people, all of the time. The “long-term” members often can’t tell the difference between visitors and new “long-term” members. Sometimes, the “happy group” is just a bit snobbish, Angela’s advise will work regardless of your situation. Don’t let someone else’s failure to notice you affect your self worth, connect with others in the ward that are feeling like you, they are there.

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