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    Thread: Tell me (and ask me) about your (my) social life

    1. #1
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      Tell me (and ask me) about your (my) social life

      I'm actually not all that comfortable putting this forward, because I am inviting sharing on a level that is probably quite personal for most of us. I do not mind sharing, but I suppose sharing has to be reciprocal to feel fair, doesn't it? And if you do choose to participate and share and also to ask, I appreciate that you took that initiative.

      Recently (in the last few years), I've been learning that perhaps not feeling comfortable about something doesn't mean I shouldn't try to explore it.

      Likewise, when I was younger, I spoke to different people every day, I met new people very often, usually through common interests, and my interactions usually ended up leading to the both of us having a more friend-like relationship than just acquaintances. I was more impulsive, which of course had its downsides too, often leading to oversharing and actually pushing people away. You win some, you lose some, comes to mind.

      And these days I feel like this never happens anymore. I rarely meet anyone new, I rarely put myself forward for it too. Have I become cowardly? I don't know what I might fear, other than losing some of my sense of self. Though I've been learning that sometimes you must lose something to gain something, too. I have a few people on the friends' list here on DV, I think because of this common interest of dreaming and sometimes deeper thought in general. It's one of the few places where I feel I can discuss certain ideas that nobody else has the time or interest for. But I think pretty much all of those friends were requests initiated by them, and not me.

      I do not take for granted that I have a close loved one with whom I can share pretty much all of my thoughts; even so, life has never felt complete for me without interacting with people who are (initially) strangers.

      However, when I do meet and interact with new people of late, despite whatever interests we may have, I sometimes end up feeling I have not connected with them on a basic level. This is mostly about stuff unrelated to DV, really. Still, in general I try to get people to interact more, both with myself and others (this thread is an example of that).



      I suppose the simplest thought I can have here is; am I getting older and this thought process is just a reflection of that?

      Deeper thoughts also form; as we get older, do we just become so complex that we essentially become... potentially, less connective with others? I'm not a chemist but it feels like a well-balanced molecule that doesn't need to add or take anything because it's chemically stable; molecules don't have desires or feelings that they need to satisfy, of course. This notion is relevant to how I was before too, less stable, trying to fill in different gaps in new ways.

      So, anyway, in this thread I ask you to:

      1) Share your thoughts on this subject. Or share your thoughts on your own (social) life, if you wish.
      2) Ask me something similar or equal to what you have shared, that would only be fair, I believe.
      3) Have fun and don't take things too seriously either.
      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

    2. #2
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      Hey, it takes a lot of strength to talk about our vulnerabilities. I love this kind of stuff. You could ask me anything, and I would probably tell you.

      You say you think it gets harder as you get older, but I've found the opposite to be true. When I was younger, I only had a few friends; I was a misfit. One was a very popular girl who my best friend, and then a bunch of other misfits that I sat with at lunch. But they were awesome. We were awesome. Couldn't be normal if we tried! Then after I moved away at 18, I didn't have any real life friends for hm.. almost a decade. Mind you, I was video game addict living in a toxic relationship - but, pity party aside - it wasn't until I was 29, when I re-started my life, that I started making friends again. Now, I have so many friends, I am so happy. Heck, I have two best friends! Two! It seems so easy now. They just come to me; I feel really blessed. My problems now are 1) making sure that they understand the boundary of friendship and nothing more, without hurting them. This happens sometimes. And 2) I'm bad about calling people back and doing things with them - I get tired and need to recharge, you know?

      I think the key is I stopped hiding my true self. I had a spiritual awakening experience, and after that, I just decided, I am who I am, and that's just that. If someone doesn't like me, they aren't for me.

      You say you're not connecting with others. Are you finding yourself wishing you had more friends? Or are you happy being more alone? I can't tell from your post. I know it can be hard, though. I hope you find your way, and I'm happy to be your friend.

    3. #3
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      Hey DarkestDarkness,
      I can feel you on this and appreciate a lot that you are sharing your thoughts. Getting out of one's comfort zone is essential for personal growth

      My experience is similar though I likely never was as sociable as you. Still, I always got to form new friendships quite easily. In the last few years this has stopped to some degree and I'm actually not sure why. Is it me who is more reluctant to invest in forming new bondings or have I become more cautious in sharing my thoughts thus appearing more reserved?

      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      I have a few people on the friends' list here on DV, I think because of this common interest of dreaming and sometimes deeper thought in general. It's one of the few places where I feel I can discuss certain ideas that nobody else has the time or interest for.
      Another explanation could be that my interests at the moment differ largely from most people around me, like you said. I tend to focus on a specific topic at a time, sometimes even getting a little obsessed

      From what you're writing here

      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      Deeper thoughts also form; as we get older, do we just become so complex that we essentially become... potentially, less connective with others? I'm not a chemist but it feels like a well-balanced molecule that doesn't need to add or take anything because it's chemically stable; molecules don't have desires or feelings that they need to satisfy, of course. This notion is relevant to how I was before too, less stable, trying to fill in different gaps in new ways.
      it seems to me that you may have become more self-sufficient, reflecting primarily on your own thoughts and experiences, and not needing so much input from the outside anymore. With more complexity there emerges also a richer inner world to consider.

      Hey MoonageDaydream,
      glad to hear that you're content with your current, more active social life

      Quote Originally Posted by MoonageDaydream View Post
      I think the key is I stopped hiding my true self. I had a spiritual awakening experience, and after that, I just decided, I am who I am, and that's just that. If someone doesn't like me, they aren't for me.
      This is clearly some powerful stuff right here. I hope to get there one day, too.
      As long as I can remember I struggle to truly open up and trust someone else completely. No idea if others experience the same but I always feel like I have some very disparate personality traits which are/were difficult to integrate into my being in the first place. In the last maybe two years I'd say I made good progress here but sharing/showing these sides in everyday life remains challenging.

      So, well, I'll just start with discussing these things with strangers on the internet. Thanks for listening

    4. #4
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      Very glad to see not just one, but two replies here. I also didn't realise my original post could be read ambiguously, so it's interesting that you pointed this out:

      Quote Originally Posted by MoonageDaydream
      Are you finding yourself wishing you had more friends? Or are you happy being more alone? I can't tell from your post.
      I guess I'm not 100% sure. I want more friends, yes. But like you I also need a "recharge" from social interactions, more so from IRL interactions; not only that, because I have a condition that affects my energy levels anyway, even minor interactions and events can be enough to drain me. So on that side of things, I can appreciate being more alone, since it means I can manage my energy more predictably.

      Quote Originally Posted by MoonageDaydream
      I think the key is I stopped hiding my true self. I had a spiritual awakening experience, and after that, I just decided, I am who I am, and that's just that. If someone doesn't like me, they aren't for me.
      Can't say I've had any specially life-turning moments (read near bottom though), but I am starting to be more that way than I was. I have always been like that to some degree, but it has had ups and downs. I have often gravitated towards pleasing people based on their preferences rather than mine, though it's not always been the case, I see these days that I did that more often than I should have done in some situations. A lot of people in recent years have told me to take care of myself first, both in social regards and otherwise; maybe it's obvious to others, but to me it almost had a sort of unconscious guilt attached, which takes some overcoming.

      And I am always happy to explore new friendships regardless of how I feel about energy, focus, etc.



      Quote Originally Posted by CarpeNoctem144
      Another explanation could be that my interests at the moment differ largely from most people around me, like you said. I tend to focus on a specific topic at a time, sometimes even getting a little obsessed
      Sometimes I can get very obsessive too, something I have to be careful about. As I said, I have often overshared in the past and good part of why is probably because I was obsessing about something at the time, either about myself or someone else or just something.

      Quote Originally Posted by CarpeNoctem144
      it seems to me that you may have become more self-sufficient, reflecting primarily on your own thoughts and experiences, and not needing so much input from the outside anymore. With more complexity there emerges also a richer inner world to consider.
      You may be right... But I still find myself wanting the approval or confirmation of others, particularly from strangers and particularly in regards to my creative works. I say this with some caution, because it's nobody's job to help me figure myself out, nor do I expect anyone to take on such a role. I mention it mostly because it's definitely a driving factor in how I approach social situations in many cases. I don't currently see it as a positive nor a negative, it's just the way I work, for some reason.

      Though it's obvious to me from the people who have been around me the longest that I have never approached touch-and-go social situations in the same way as many people must do, frequently finding myself obsessing about the feelings of someone I may never even meet again.

      Like you in some sense though, I probably often appear reserved to others; mainly because I normally can't think of words before I'm actually saying them, so I often don't know what I'm about to say, a trait that is kept in check by not saying anything at all, something I do have control over (now).

      But I am the opposite of you in this regard:

      Quote Originally Posted by CarpeNoctem144
      As long as I can remember I struggle to truly open up and trust someone else completely.
      For the longest time in my life, I have always trusted others, some people in my life might even say "far too much". It wasn't until last year when I had a very unpleasant experience that I realised why my partner is like you. Despite this, I am still very trusting, but I question my trusting of others more often now. I know reality hasn't changed, the world is the same as it was the year before that, but somehow I felt disappointed that the worst of people was proven to me. Was I lucky for all those years of simply trusting people? Was I naive? Perhaps I was just unlucky with this incident, rather than the opposite.

      Quote Originally Posted by CarpeNoctem144
      So, well, I'll just start with discussing these things with strangers on the internet. Thanks for listening
      Happy that you did. Even before these times of social distancing etc. I have not been out and about all that much, so for me internet interactions end up comprising the majority of my social life.



      Thank you both for the replies. I look forward to seeing more, either from yourselves or others. I could go into more details on all I said but it would digress too much if I'm not asked more specific questions by someone.
      Last edited by DarkestDarkness; 07-15-2020 at 02:47 AM. Reason: spacing
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      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      I guess I'm not 100% sure. I want more friends, yes. But like you I also need a "recharge" from social interactions, more so from IRL interactions; not only that, because I have a condition that affects my energy levels anyway, even minor interactions and events can be enough to drain me. So on that side of things, I can appreciate being more alone, since it means I can manage my energy more predictably.



      Can't say I've had any specially life-turning moments (read near bottom though), but I am starting to be more that way than I was. I have always been like that to some degree, but it has had ups and downs. I have often gravitated towards pleasing people based on their preferences rather than mine, though it's not always been the case, I see these days that I did that more often than I should have done in some situations. A lot of people in recent years have told me to take care of myself first, both in social regards and otherwise; maybe it's obvious to others, but to me it almost had a sort of unconscious guilt attached, which takes some overcoming.
      For the first part, if you're conflicted, then on a subconscious level, you will push people away. At least, I think so. Sort of like a self-fulfilling prophecy, or law of attraction. So that could be the whole reason why it's harder now. Because part of you doesn't want it, and that part will subconsciously sabotage your efforts.

      For the second part. For people pleasing and being inauthentic. Here's the hack for that - you have to realize that truth is actually often the best answer in the long run, for everybody. I believe this in my core. I find it so funny how people will go to great lengths to make excuses because they don't want to do something. Rather than tell a person the truth (Hey, I'm too tired right now, or I don't really feel like it) they concoct a story or lie. Sometimes, this backfires in their face when the other person finds out the truth. And then things are just really messy. Not only is the truth often the best answer, but it's incredibly freeing. And sometimes, you do have to hurt peoples' feelings. You can't live your life entirely for other people. The key is being as gentle and tactful as possible (something I'm still learning how to do...).

      It does get tricky when dealing with children, however. Like with my students, I always look for that glimmer of awesomeness in them and reflect it as much as possible, while ignoring the not so great things as much as possible. It has a bigger effect on their self-esteem because they know what I'm saying is coming from truth.
      DarkestDarkness likes this.

    6. #6
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      P.S: I may come across as being a bit short below, so I just wanted to apologise in advance about that, I've been in a weird mood, probably in part due to a bit of a flare up...



      Hm, I didn't mean to imply that I conduct myself in a manner that isn't authentic to myself or my personality when interacting with others. I do know what you mean, because yes, some part of me did do that, but that was many years ago; over seven or eight years at least since I was like that. About six or so years ago I realised that it was better to only lie if I felt a person might have a radical view on a particular subject about some part of my personality that might come into conversation; to be more specific, some people are still quite backwards where I'm from, and something as basic and inconsequential as your sexuality can still make you an easy target for ridicule or mistrust, for instance.

      And that just depends on the kind of person they are, so I have of course since then realised there's sometimes no need at all to do any such thing and simply (like you say) be completely truthful. But my experience indicates that I can't apply this as a blanket rule and have to gauge it from person to person, even if I would always prefer to be truthful about things that I personally consider to be inconsequential...

      I'm sure tact does have a lot to do with it, it's something I've only been able to improve in the last few years, my partner has been helpful in that sense.

      As for self-sabotaging, I think there's some truth in what you suggest, though I don't think it's the main thing for me, as it does cross a conscious threshold but as it does I can become averse to investing myself into a social relationship, because I know I tend to overinvest myself (i.e. obsess, like mentioned on my other reply) and typically that can be what becomes draining for me; especially if I overinvest myself and find that in the end, the social connection did not become established in some more firm sense. Finding the middle ground between healthy interest and obsession is where the difficult lies for me, I think.



      I'm curious, maybe I didn't understand the wording properly; what did you mean by:

      Quote Originally Posted by MoonageDaydream
      (...), I always look for that glimmer of awesomeness in them and reflect it as much as possible, while ignoring the not so great things as much as possible
      I have only had the experience of teaching children a couple of times, but it was great when succeeding in giving them the inspiration or confidence that they needed and which I was not so readily given by adult figures when I was their age. I wondered if it was something relating to something like that.
      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post

      I'm curious, maybe I didn't understand the wording properly; what did you mean by:

      I have only had the experience of teaching children a couple of times, but it was great when succeeding in giving them the inspiration or confidence that they needed and which I was not so readily given by adult figures when I was their age. I wondered if it was something relating to something like that.
      Yes, confidence, self-esteem. I primarily teach special ed kids, so kids with learning disabilities, autism, and behavioral challenges, in a title 1 school. So these kids come to me often really wounded (and they are in that delicate middle school age range). Very low self-esteem due to being different from their peers, and knowing about it. I find these kids are often so very smart and teachable, you just have to help them believe that. And show them how to get around their challenges. So that means, as far as honesty goes, being sensitive to their wounds, and pointing out their strong points. Also, it means overlooking/being flexible with some misbehavior (especially with EBD and ADHD kids) while you build trust. Then, what I've witnessed, is they often drop those behaviors, because they value your opinion of them. It's the most wonderful thing in the world, in the entire world!, to see a child go from smoking in the bathrooms, cursing, and failing their classes, to, by the end of the year, being an A-B student, and doing well, because they had a few good teachers. It doesn't always work though. Some kids are beyond the point where they can be helped; at least by me. Still, I love my job.
      Last edited by MoonageDaydream; 07-16-2020 at 12:34 AM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post

      I do not take for granted that I have a close loved one with whom I can share pretty much all of my thoughts; even so, life has never felt complete for me without interacting with people who are (initially) strangers.
      Do you feel this person understands you and can relate to you? Perhaps i'm not comprehending well but i'm still a bit confused as to what you are seeking or looking to gain. I know you want to interact but is there something behind that, that you are seeking deep down? I'm ADD and dyslexic so i tend to overlook many things.


      This a very interesting thread because i feel people have very different needs in terms of social life. Always good to see many different perspectives on this.

      I don't have much social life. Probably for the best. There was only about a five year period in my life in which i had good friends. During my childhood years. I can interact with people just fine on a surface level but there is very little in the way of understanding when i reveal more of myself. It can be difficult at times because i would like to open up more and i've tried to but it just leads to greater misunderstandings especially with relatives. The response to me is always in the opposite direction to my preferred destination. Is this something you can relate to???
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      Quote Originally Posted by tropicalbreeze View Post
      I don't have much social life. Probably for the best. There was only about a five year period in my life in which i had good friends. During my childhood years. I can interact with people just fine on a surface level but there is very little in the way of understanding when i reveal more of myself. It can be difficult at times because i would like to open up more and i've tried to but it just leads to greater misunderstandings especially with relatives. The response to me is always in the opposite direction to my preferred destination. Is this something you can relate to???
      Yes, that is something I think I can relate to quite well. Because of my physical disability and how my life has worked in conjunction with that since my late teen years, for the most part I actually have no friends left from real life, really. My family is its own class of thing that I have stopped trying to understand for the most part, I have too many biases and am too different in many regards and it feels the same for me as you've described it; fine on a surface level, but not so much understanding in a deeper sense usually. This is compounded by the fact that I speak my natively language poorly and so cannot articulate my thoughts properly in it.

      There are old friends I've tried to keep in touch with but I have either been ignored or had bad timings when I tried contacting them. Friends I've met online in the first place are the people that I've kept in touch with longest, but over the last years there's been a combination of the fact that we've already talked a lot about many topics and I suppose everyone has been so busy we don't actually talk so much anymore.

      And when I had a chat with an old friend recently, I realised how much I'd changed, and how little they'd changed, which somehow matched my expectations of them, but not of myself. I don't know how I feel about it.

      Quote Originally Posted by tropicalbreeze View Post
      Do you feel this person understands you and can relate to you? Perhaps i'm not comprehending well but i'm still a bit confused as to what you are seeking or looking to gain. I know you want to interact but is there something behind that, that you are seeking deep down? I'm ADD and dyslexic so i tend to overlook many things.


      This a very interesting thread because i feel people have very different needs in terms of social life. Always good to see many different perspectives on this.
      I do feel that way yes and this is partly what has made me look more inwardly in recent times, because I shouldn't need external validation and interaction as much as I do and yet I do need it... That's certainly a big part of why I interact with people the way I do, like in this thread.

      I can't answer exactly as to what the deeper cause may be, because I haven't found it yet, but I suspect so far that it has to do with my childhood. A bit like you, in my childhood I had good friends and then one day it all just fell apart, for many reasons but in good part simply because our paths diverged. I had always tried to make people meet each other and be friends between themselves and bring my circle of friends closer this way, but seemingly it didn't work or matter in the end.

      Semi off-topic, as I think you didn't imply anything by it other than what you stated, but now I'm curious, do you feel your ADD and/or Dyslexia affect you in terms of social interactions?
      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

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      Quote Originally Posted by DarkestDarkness View Post
      Semi off-topic, as I think you didn't imply anything by it other than what you stated, but now I'm curious, do you feel your ADD and/or Dyslexia affect you in terms of social interactions?
      Hard to say if things would've been different. But i don't think it effects my social life to that degree, just my ability to learn.
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