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i_am_jan: yes, i completely understand what you mean.. especially about bettering yourself. i guess the reason we do it is for our own well being, independent of whether or not others will take notice, which i feel is the most enduring approach to take anyway. we're just driven to be, to live an authentic life, and perhaps we separate ourselves from the rest of society because most dont carry that same belief system or set of values. you know? it seems so many people live on auto-pilot doing what everyone else thinks is important. it's so hard to feel any sort of real connection with people when all many people seem to be concerned with is being better than everyone else simply for the sake of feeling better than everyone else.... not to be a better person. i'm now realizing this stint of isolation i've chosen could in fact be the result of an acquired cynicism that i've developed through many years of being so heavily involved in society. perhaps i'm (we're?) just unimpressed by most people and would rather not go through the motions of having meaningless surface conversation with them..?

konphusion26: i dont see it as sad, although i know you said that in jest. i just see it that you chose to have an intimate gathering of the people who mattered most to you at your wedding. personally if i ever get married i'm sure i'll do it the same way. who needs all that superfluous bullshit anyway? on the socializing tip, i think its wonderful that you're willing to compromise because you know that's what your hubby enjoys. i hope he's as respectful and understanding of your wishes as well. my ex used to get so irritated with me when i wasnt in the mood to go out; it was actually a huge problem in our relationship because at the time it was important for him to network due to his job. he hated that about me... funny thing is though now he's a hermit too because of work.

so glad to know i'm not the only busty who spends oodles of time by my lonesome and that you ladies really seem to understand the benefits (and drawbacks!) to being a loner. love and hugs.
QUOTE(knorl05 @ Dec 19 2007, 12:04 PM) *
so glad to know i'm not the only busty who spends oodles of time by my lonesome and that you ladies really seem to understand the benefits (and drawbacks!) to being a loner.

Yeah, me too. Lonely ~ yet not alone. Because we can at least come here and say what we want to say to people who understand...
QUOTE(i_am_jan @ Dec 19 2007, 08:39 PM) *
Yeah, me too. Lonely ~ yet not alone. Because we can at least come here and say what we want to say to people who understand...

Exactly, I think thats so amazing. I went to the mall to do some last minute shopping and it was a madhouse. For someone like me that haates (did i mention HATE) Large crowds of folks, it was a walking nightmare. There were so many people, I just felt claustrophobic for a minute. Needless to say I didnt stay long. Gaaah it was terrible.
anna k
I went to a dive bar in the East Village tonight to see a zine writer/singer do a performance. The band before her was this bad punk rock band, just loud and boring, though I liked that the drummer was wearing some kind of paper-bag mask that kept falling forward whenever he dipped his head.

Her music was nice, though I kept drifting off during her performances. It was music for Starbucks, coffeeshop singer/songwriter/acoustic guitar stuff.

I tried to push myself out of my shell by starting conversations with people. Two girls were talking to a guy next to me and said they were from Long Island, so I asked what part. It turned out they were from a town nearby me. After that I didn't know what else to say, and shut up. Later I thought of more things I should've said, but the moment had passed. I also talked to a guy sitting next to me, asking him how he knew the singer. That was the extent of the conversation, I didn't really have much else to say. It just felt nice to get out and do something different for an night.
anna k
I volunteered at a soup kitchen in the East Village this morning, courtesy of I enjoyed it. I got to make coffee, chop up vegetables, peel hard-boiled eggs, and meet some interesting people (a Hungarian man who learned English in Australia, a guy from East Berlin, a sweet old Japanese woman, a teacher from Texas, and an Armenian-American girl with a French name). I felt included and less lonely, meeting different types of people. I would do it again, I really enjoyed myself and liked being busy and preparing food for the homeless guys who were just sitting around drinking coffee that I helped prepare and chilling out.
Knorl, that sounds an awful lot like me. I want my space, but I want people who like me for me. Nice to see I'm not the only one who's practically a hermit. Most of the time I don't mind, but sometimes, especially when I go to see a band play, I'd like someone along to talk to, to enjoy the event with.

Right now I'm procrastinating on sending messages to some of my old high school friends on Myspace. I'm visiting my parents for Xmas, and I found out three people I hung out with are still living in the area, and I'd kinda like to see if I can get together with them while I'm here. I guess I'm scared that they'll say they don't want to see me or I'll say something stupid if we do get together, but that's a risk I have to learn to take.
how is everyone doing w/ the typical 'holiday festivities?' this can be a suckier and more stressful time of year for the socially inepts like us.

frecklette & I have managed to avoid the few party's we've been invited to this year; w/out the mr here, I am legitimately excused from attending his work- related fuctions even though it is still Strongly Encouraged. - yah. what. ev-a. ! if the roles were reversed, no Way would the mr go if he were me either.
as for the actual Big Day Holiday: frecklette & I have been invited over to a friend's to eat in the afternoon, but as said friend's were just here for a few hours and after the first I found it progressivley stressful (they have an ankle-biting offspring & a baby) and that I could hardly stand but to not push them out the door, it's a no go. and frecklette is relieved too!

is it bad to be passing down the hermit tendency you think?

anna- the soup kitchen group sounds terrific.
frecklette is still too young to volunteer in one, but when she is, we def will do that.
are you going to go back?
you are so inspiring at how you go all these places and do so much .

lilac, you won't know if you don't send those messages.
I'd give a lot to be back in a place of my choice w/ people I have an actual Past with that knew you when.
I hope you contact them and have great reunions.

((((((((socially inepts)))))))))
anna k
I'm spending the holidays with my family, and staying for New Year's in Raleigh to be with my sister, because she doesn't have any friends nearby. I also don't have anything going on for New Year's in NYC, so I feel better here. I plan to see this Ava Gardner museum nearby, and go to midnight mass tonight to see my mom sing in the choir. I don't go to church, but my mom is good to me and I want to support her and go to church for her.

I'd like to go back to the soup kitchen, I liked helping to prepare food and talking with the other volunteers.
I'm surviving. The big family gathering for my dad's side was yesterday, and I managed to get through it somehow. Talked to a bunch of relatives, played with my cousin's kid, and ate way too much. I've spent last night and today recuperating, though, just relaxing in my room and listening to some music, there were too many people for my taste yesterday and we ended up staying for longer than I would have liked. Today it's a visit from some of my cousins from my mom's side of the family, which should be slightly more mellow, less people. I have a little more in common with them than I do my dad's side, so I shouldn't feel so stressed out.

I did try to contact those people on Myspace, but apparently they haven't been checking their pages this month, so no replies. I'll try again next time I know I'll be in the area. I've kept busy with baking, reading, taking hikes and talking to my parents so I really don't feel horrible over it. In fact, I've been grateful that I've had time alone to relax. My parents are great but I'm not used to having people around me 24/7, so that's been a little stressful, as well as not being used to being at my parents' house for so long. I've taken a few trips to the area towns but there isn't much to do there except visit stores, see what's changed since I've been there last and get some coffee. I don't mind; it's a quiet area and it's a nice change from the city, plus the coffee is usually good around here and it's interesting to see how things have changed since last year. I go back to Arizona on Saturday, then back to work on Monday so I'm glad that I have a chance to take this vacation.
Let me just say that it's going to take me the whole day today to recover from it all, it just wiped me out. My aversion to socializing much is added to the already lovely problem that everyone has with the whole family thing, hostile relatives, nitpicky aunts, stupid people, drama created by women in the family, grumpy children running around. Sorry I don't have one good damn thing to say at this point except for this: glad it's all over and I'm sittin here in my apt. with just me and Winky. Glad to hear everyone else was able to get through it all.
Greetings fellow inepties! LOL I just came back from visiting my family and my hubby's family. OH MY GOSH. I didnt realize how much family he has. I was totally claustrophobic in that house. It was people everywhere. Not a room in the house that didnt have at least 6 people in it. I was overwhelmed. And I wanted out so bad. My sister-in-Law and her new boyfriend were hiding out in the living room so I wasnt trying to be in their faces. It was just uncomfortable for me. I didnt feel so bad about wanting to hide after I found out Sis in law was hiding from her OWN family. It was way too cold to hang out outside. Gosh I'm glad its over!

Looking forward to 2008!!!!
frecklette & I live only about an hour south of Raleigh; if you feel like Not going to 'see the big acorn drop' downtown (which I never understood; acorn? in this state of pine tree's and sand??) she & I are probably hanging out here at home.

we might invite friends over, but right now as I'm sick and 1/2 expect her to be by then too, we might not be great company.

we've seen the ava gardner museum but never gone in; it's in sanford I think?
nice little town.

after the debacle of the (soonly ex) friend and her husband coming over ( & not leaving) w/ their 2 small kids the other day, frecklette & I decided to do Xmas solo and still had a nice day.
a little loney maybe, but the mr called as did lots of family & we spent the day in jammies grazing on the turkey we made the day before. I much prefer a day like that over the mad chaos of being confined w/ large groups of extended family. as it is my b-i-l has the attention span of about a gnat when Forced to speak to us on the phone, and he's 100x's worse in person.
kinda makes you wonder why family's always Insist on getting togther you know? it's like why even Pretend?

when the mr is back & has re acclimated, we are going to have a make up holiday for the 3 of us. (& a weekend alone + the marriage retreat as well wink.gif ) it'll be low key & quiet, which will suit us ideally.
then, bc we really Cannot avoid it, we're going to to have to make a trip to tn to see family, but at least it won't be in the Calendar mandated retail holiday period. we'll take some presents up there and spend the fewest days possible, leaving when our marriage is right at the breaking point.
- let's hear it for Tradition! dry.gif
whooaaa tradition!! lol.

so my holidays were tolerable. i took current beau with me on sunday to my dad's side "to take the attention off me" wink.gif. it worked and he seemed to enjoy himself so all turned out fine. on christmas we spent it with my moms side, and i found myself grazing on food and playing with the kids to pass the time. my mom's side is huge, so it was much easier to just blend in and still be a part of the festivities. besides, they know me well enough to know how i am, so it's not really hard to keep to myself.. as though, there arent many expectations on me to be social anyway, so i dont seem to feel obligated to make any rounds or anything like that. i say my hellos, my thank yous, and my good byes and that seems to suffice.

yesterday i slept all day. literally. from about four pm until eight am this morning. and i loved it. but now of course i am feeling anxious to do stuff.. namely figure out my next place of employment.

what do my fellow socially withdrawn busties do for employment?
hey-o. so i had fun on nye. hung with good peeps. got drunk. i cant seem to stress the importance of being around people who are not only like us, but who also accept us for whom we are. even though i'm a hermit, i have found if i hang around other hermits, i'm not as inclined to spend all my time alone. just a thought. love hugs and kisses.
i've never heard of so many people like me before smile.gif. I have lots of people who would call themselves 'friends' but it doesn't feel like any really are. I've had really close friends before but have had to move a few times so none are really that close anymore. I know it's nothing wrong with me- I'm a nice, intelligent and funny person. The problem is that I'm usually too shy and nervous around people i don't know, so not many get to see the real me. People are usually suprised at my personality once i get to know them better. Lots of people like me and I always get invited out. The trouble is that it's usually to clubs/bars etc. Unlike most people my age I don't really like this scene so i tend to say no- i guess making me seem unsociable. It's weird because i could easily have a typical heaving social life of partying etc just like anyone my age, but i don't want to. I get nervous and uncomfortable in big groups so usually sit there saying nothing at all. I have lots to say but smalltalk isn't really my thing. I have a boyfriend who i thought was the same but I'm starting to think perhaps he was just being all macho about it because he didn't have any friends and pretending he didn't want any anyway. I think he'd love to have lots of friends to go out with to clubs and partys but is just shy. I doubt he'd admit this to me though as he'd hate for me to do the same (he recently flipped out because i went into a bar to use the toilet- wtf, right?). It'd be great if i knew more people like myself- trouble is, two quiet unsociable people are hardly likely to strike up a conversation or meet each other at a party are they. Perhaps that's the reason why a lot of my friends aren't the sort of people I'd really like to be friends with. Anyway, Hi !
QUOTE(starship @ Jan 2 2008, 03:52 PM) *
i've never heard of so many people like me before smile.gif. I have lots of people who would call themselves 'friends' but it doesn't feel like any really are. I've had really close friends before but have had to move a few times so none are really that close anymore. I know it's nothing wrong with me- I'm a nice, intelligent and funny person. The problem is that I'm usually too shy and nervous around people i don't know, so not many get to see the real me. People are usually suprised at my personality once i get to know them better. Lots of people like me and I always get invited out. The trouble is that it's usually to clubs/bars etc. Unlike most people my age I don't really like this scene so i tend to say no- i guess making me seem unsociable. It's weird because i could easily have a typical heaving social life of partying etc just like anyone my age, but i don't want to. I get nervous and uncomfortable in big groups so usually sit there saying nothing at all. I have lots to say but smalltalk isn't really my thing. I have a boyfriend who i thought was the same but I'm starting to think perhaps he was just being all macho about it because he didn't have any friends and pretending he didn't want any anyway. I think he'd love to have lots of friends to go out with to clubs and partys but is just shy. I doubt he'd admit this to me though as he'd hate for me to do the same (he recently flipped out because i went into a bar to use the toilet- wtf, right?). It'd be great if i knew more people like myself- trouble is, two quiet unsociable people are hardly likely to strike up a conversation or meet each other at a party are they. Perhaps that's the reason why a lot of my friends aren't the sort of people I'd really like to be friends with. Anyway, Hi !

Welcome! You sound alot like me.. Clubbing is just not my thing. And I avoid small talk at all costs. Usually cuz i dont know what to say to people. I don't really have alot going on in my life. The girls I used to hang out with, dont invite me out with them anymore -- they love going out clubbing and drinking. That's not me.
Ah yes, the job thingie. I've always struggled through office jobs ~ mainly because of the people. I mean, I love the show THE OFFICE and everything, it kind of shows how it sucks, but it's even worse for me with this social junk, I struggled through several years of being a legal assistant. Now I'm a temp who goes from law firm to law firm and temps while they find other people to work the position. Ever seen the movie CLOCKWATCHERS? About going from day to day not really being connected to anyone or anything, that's been me. I actually liked working with clients most of the time though, and talking with people over the phone. That's because I seem to need a "people fix" or a "social outlet" and if it's a structured relationship, esp. over the telephone, I will be less stressed/anxious, can handle it and even feel good about it. Like solving a problem for a client over the phone. Or directed someone toward a resource to help them. Like, giving people answers, helping them, talk with them mainly related to the work at hand, is okay. It's the other people in the office who bother me. Always wanting to do lunch and I always pack and bring a book, sit in the conference room and read. I don't have to tell anyone here how well that goes over with the other cubicle workers. Then, I don't like drinking. So I don't go out after work, to parties, pretty soon I swear everyone in the office has made up their minds I'm not okay and they start mistreating me. So I hate much of the office work. For a while, I was actually an exotic dancer. It was something to get me out of the office at a time when it was not possible to go back to school/switch careers to anything else, it was a chance to work on my own in my own fantasy, make my own hours, and just act fake. Couldn't do it for long though, it actually was more social than I thought it would be so I quit. I can only fake so far and then it makes me feel bad about myself cuz I really don't have any other stable relationships to support me. Am going to a 2-day writing seminar this weekend which I am hoping will stimulate me, give me some ideas, and to help move me in a direction where I can eventually make money doing something I like (?) To keep me afloat between temp assignments, I sell things on Ebay which I buy cheap from people I know or come across at antique/thrift stores and prepare for resale. It's great being at home trust me. The Ebay thing really keeps me afloat between temping so I don't have to actually commit to any one sucky job. Then I can have some free time to work on my hobbies(art?)/things I am interested in between assignments. I have no dependents so I can do this. Of course, I have to live poor and not buy anything. What does everyone else here do??
I actually have an office job. I do research/proofreading for an internet-based company, which pretty much amounts to getting paid to surf the web wink.gif. The turnover rate here is rather high, so nobody really makes friends or gets emotionally invested in the politics around here. This means there is very little socializing and I'm able to get away without being outgoing; fortunately people have never mistreated me for not being an exovert. Usually for lunch I either surf the web or go walking around the area around my workplace; it's next to downtown and a mall, sometimes I go to a local coffee shop and read (I wish we had conference rooms for me to duck into and read). We did have a Xmas party, but that was rather awkward since nobody really knows anyone aside from the two or three people they might talk to, so people pretty much kept to themselves. Somehow I've managed to find a couple people to joke around with, but I wouldn't call them friends, more like acquaintances.

My job I had before this one was data processing, the people on my shift were very social, and it took me a very long time before I decided to try to talk to them, it was almost all young guys. I didn't make any friends, but it made things bearable and they treated me with respect. I think I intimidated some of them since I can have a pretty sick sense of humor and I don't act all flirty and giggly around guys, but I didn't feel like I was looked down upon.

I want to get a job in archeology, and most of the people I've met in that field seem pretty cool, hopefully things will go well with that.

For some reason, I got stuck with customer service jobs when I was in college, mainly cashiering. I didn't mind that, I can deal with customers if there is a specific reason involved and I don't have to try to please them. I did mind being stuck in a position such as a barista, where being outgoing was a requirement; I'm not very good at being a social person, especially at six in the morning. Thankfully that didn't last long.
anna k
I went to a meetup event at a bar tonight, where it was the volunteer meetup leader's birthday. I talked with some people I met at the soup kitchen, and got to know an interesting girl, who is studying to be a social worker. We just got along well, and I liked talking to her. I gave her my number before I left. I talked to a guy I had met before the soup kitchen, and he sat next to me with his arm stretched behind me. I didn't know whether he was stretching to be comfortable or being flirty, but I didn't really mind. I stayed at the bar for an hour and a half, drank some Guinness, and made some conversation while listening to people next to me talk. It felt good to be social and be around a lot of people and feel normal and happy and comfortable for the time being.
Hope all the inept Busties survived the holidays.

On the job thing, I work in a factory right now. It's awful, and I loathe it. It gives me a chance to speak with and really get to know people from a lot of differnt walks of life. And I think it helps me be more social. I grew up working class, so I don't mind the physical labor, but it's never really mentally stimulating or challenging. I am a creative/artsy type, so it can feel pretty confining. I am working on starting my own business, where I sell crafts and what not. The idea of making a living doing what I love sounds dreamy but feels a bit unattainable sometimes. My dream is to publish a book, someday.

An old friend contacted me via the internet, and left me her phone number so we can catch up. I am excited b/c we used to be really tight, but nervous b/c I hate calling people I haven't spoken with in years. It's so awkward!! I never know what to say to kind of break the ice and all that. Wish me luck ladies.
I'm still finding it interesting to find out what others do and how they feel about their helps to see what might work for someone like me and what definitely won't?

I have sometimes wondered how much of my social non-prowess has to do with anxiety. Some of it does, I am an anxious person and my anxiety is a problem, without a doubt (not taking any prescription drugs though). I'm really thinking the social dysfunction was inherited though. My mom and dad had 6 of us kids. My parents tried to keep us away from the "culture" of our school and friends so they could teach us only their own traditions and ideas without too much input from the rest of the world (sort of christian/hippy-type people? mom would make our clothes on her sewing machine so as not to wear the slutty fashions and expensive crap sold at dept. stores). (Unfortunately, they raised a voracious reader so they weren't able to keep out ideas or even have their own ideas hold water cuz I do read/think.) But my point is, they kept other people out. I was not allowed to spend the night at friends' houses or go to birthday parties, skating parties, etc. I was not allowed to have other kids over to our house. When the phone rang, mom wouldn't pick it up, she wasn't a socializer and was busy with housework, kids. I remember her saying to us from a very young age these exact words: "we're loners." I never believed I was one, though. I remember HATING it when I was a kid ~ was lonely for other people and just wanted to do what everyone else did. I thought "as soon as I get out of this house, I'm going to go crazy with friends. My life is going to be filled with friends and acquaintances like one big party to make up for lost time." Wasn't the way it worked though. As you all can see, here I find myself. Right here, with the hardcore loners. Does anyone else here feel their social non-function is inherited/taught to them?

i_am_jan- I'm still a student but ive worked in retail which i found fine- it was a smallish group of staff and everyone was generally nice. Had to make lots of small-talk with customers too which actually was kinda useful and as youre always busy there's no pressure to make interesting conversation constantly i guess. I've also done a few placements in various office settings. How well i got along with these i think depended largely on who i was working with rather than where. Some had very cliquey groups which made me feel uncomfortable as they would all have conversations that were hard to anyone else to join- about experiences theyd had together, personal things, in-jokes etc. Other than that i don't have much experience of working life I'm afraid. I find being a student is great though as it's forced me to widen my circle and has given me the opportunity to meet so many types of people that I never had before. What sort of work do you do now/ would like to do?
I'm pretty sure from your description that your ubringing must have had some effect on the way you are today. I think for me it has a lot to do with anxiety and also that I've been naturally shy even since I was a small child. My mother is shy too and her mother could probably be described as unsociable so perhaps that had some influence on me. Nothing was openly said and i was always allowed encouraged to go out with friends but I'm still pretty sure that people's tendancies can easily rub off on you when you're young- even if unintentionally
ginger_kitty: *our lives sound pretty parallel. except that i think factory work would drive me insane.. but then again i've often wondered if i could just go into the job, zone out and do job, then go home, and if it may actually be something that would be good for me. .? hmmm. i think the environment would make me depressed though? sad.gif

i am jan: ditto to above*. my parents are also very religious and tried hard to monitor what i was exposed to in and out of the home. i've struggled with a lot in life, and yes i have tied much of it back to my upbringing (which in all fairness most people can, and why to truly become who we are, i feel we need to explore whats made us who we are). your post brought forth some interesting thoughts on the matter. first, if we were to be content with the lifestyle our parents had lived, then we wouldnt necessarily feel such an urge/pull to escape it. meaning. we would be fine with maintaining the status quo. second, i wonder if we had been raised in a different dynamic, whether or not we would feel that drive to be something more, learn more, discover more, and experience more? meaning. i think much of my thirst for truth, freedom, and passion is the result of feeling that i was somehow denied those things within the belief system i had known. finally, my parents are also pretty isolated people, focusing all their energy and intentions on work and the family. so all this said, i feel that it would probably be in our best interest to recognize it all for what it is, and simply focus our energy toward that which we would rather create in our lives............which i'm sure you do, just validating the approach.
knorl and starship: I'm convinced part of this is inherited from shy/non-social parents, it just makes sense. It's intriguing to find other gals who live the same kind of life you do after feeling like the a circus sideshow freak? For me, it makes me feel less lonely (and at times "in the wrong" in some way ... it's just there are questions, ya know? Like, why am I so different? It's helped me to finally get some input...have others help put into words the things you are feeling, it's like therapy for those of us who can't afford it. It's not that I'm wallowing or feeling sorry for myself. Not even that I'm trying to be more social exactly. But how to understand this weird barrier between ourselves and the rest of the world, let's face it, most people love being social. Like, why is loneliness necessary for me? Is it normal to feel this uncomfortable with 'friends'? Are there other options? You know the questions. I guess it's dead of winter in these parts and that's the worst time. During the other seasons, I ride my bike around the neighborhood and walk a lot so I get to *be around* other people which I realize now in the winter that I miss. Of course, it's been ample opportunity to work on my artful pursuits a ton now, so there has been payoff, bittersweet payoff blink.gif

Ginger-kitty: Hope that internet contact workout out, hope you felt comfortable enough, good luck if you're still trying to get up the guts
anna k
I feel lonely and depressed again. I hate trying to make things happen for myself. I got a new job, and enjoy talking to my co-workers, but am mostly a gofer told to do various tasks, feeling like just a temp. I talked to an interesting woman a week and a half ago at a bar, and gave her my number, but haven't heard back from her. I go out to shows and joined, but haven't found many meetups I'm interested in. I feel like a shy reserved nerd, trying to make the best of every day and not feel like a loser. I want to have friends and boyfriends and meet people through others and hook up with friends of friends and have a busy social life instead of trying to make things happen through my own way. I'm 24, and I didn't think I'd still be like this. I wonder what I did wrong. Earlier this year I worked at a PR company, and liked talking to my co-workers, and charming them with my music knowledge and being complimented as being "weird, but interesting." Or flirting at a party with waiters and me feeling happy and girly. That was in March, it feels so long ago. I just get tired of being lonely and trying to push things forward while being jealous of people who don't have to try as hard.

I've been sick of being different, or wanting to be unique in a socially acceptable way, like being an outspoken eccentric partier who is always busy and cool and hip and all of that. It's like this work towards jobs and being social and meeting people and wanting to be normal never ends.
annak: Have you thought about joining or starting a band? Just wondering because you say you enjoy going to shows and have some musical knowledge. Bands and music are a wonderful way for even the nerds to meet others. It's something I've done in the past during brief social-ish periods I've had. Remember that your art and your hobbies will draw others to you and you won't have to work hard to meet others. I also know a guy who had no musical talents but he did draw. He loved music and wanted to hang with musicians so he began (for free of course) volunteering to draw/paint their little handbills or posters advertising upcoming shows. You could also get a job at a music bar or at the door ~ or a music store or record store? If you're interested in crafts, you could buy supplies to make stickers or t-shirts and then advertise to bands, and make acquaintances/friends incidentally, at least enough for several people to recognize and talk to you at shows. Just a few things that came off the top of my head because it sounds like you're going through one of those things where you're trying and something's not working...but maybe as soon as you stop trying and just do something else, what you want may come your way. I hope I don't sound too idealistic. Remember you're lonely but not alone.
anna k. it sounds as if you're constantly making effort which would be enough to wear anyone down. you don't sound like a loser at all- infact you sound like a really interesting and friendly person. If people spend so much time trying to push for things to happen though it's usually hard to actually enjoy yourself. Maybe if your work isn't too demanding then you could join some sort of evening class or part-time course. I find that these sort of situations are the easiest to meet new people in. Everyone is in a similar position and usually keen to get to know everybody else whereas in working environments you tend to find that a lot of people already have their separate circle of friends and aren't interested in anything more than small-talk. Sounds like you get out&about quite a bit so I'd say just keep doing what you're doing without putting so much pressure on yourself. Easier said than done when you're a shy anxious person, i know. Keep doing stuff you enjoy and things will soon pick up:). You sound like me in the way you over-think things (sorry if that assumption's wrong) which i think is half of my problem too
IamJan. I think being shy and introvert is definately part of the personality we're born with- just like some people tend naturally to be loud/friendly/jealous etc etc. But i think it then depends on your unbringing how these traits develop. Like my sibling, who I think is more naturally extrovert and outgoing was brought up exactly the same as me and yet they're now very sociable and confident. It has to be a mix of both nature and nurture that combines and is what makes us all so individual
Wow. I was off of the board for a few months, and as I was reading through the posts since I was here last, I kept saying, "Oh! I need to tell so-and-so that I know exactly how she feels and I empathize so much!". But I was saying it about all of you. It's so nice to have this outlet.

I work in an office, doing database management stuff. It is an absolutely perfect job for me, because I get to make everything RIGHT and fix mistakes that other people don't even notice. I have had trouble with the social side of office work. I'm just recently coming to grips with the idea that I don't have to act nice-nice to everybody. I'm never going to be that person who walks down every hallway and says "hi!" to every person in my company. In fact, that person really annoys me. And that's ok. I have a few acquaintances at work, but I almost never join in the water-cooler chit-chat.

I feel that same vibe that I've gotten from so many of you on here. I desperately want friends, but I don't know how to do it, and when others start getting close, I push them away.

I_am_jan- I think there is a huge "nurture" component to this. My parents have very few friends, and never, ever hang out with anybody. It was refreshing to spend the holidays with them. There is no pressure to make small talk. It can be silent for an hour in my parents' house, and nobody notices. Their relatives, however, all seem to be chatterboxes.
My parents were never very social people. They had a handful of friends, who came and went over the years. My mom always made having friends difficult, she frankly discouraged my siblings and I from forming friendships, which I always found odd. My sister turned out very outgoing, though still has trouble making friends. My brothers is practically a recluse. And my other brother and myslef are kind of on the same page.

p.s. Haven't gotten the nerve to call the old friend, but sent a message to her asking when a good time to call was...I figure calling at the right time will help.
i am jan: thanks for that insight. I never really looked outside of myself as to reasons other than my own self consciousness/ anxiety to explain my social struggles. My older sister (2yr my senior) is a social yuppie, who doesnt seem to possess any marked disorders or ineptness. She's always been in long term relationships and has had very few close friendships. My eldest sister (9yr my senior) used to love to socialize but hasnt seemed to maintain any lasting connections with friends.. she's the type who is married to her job, which is social work. My bro on the other hand (7yr my junior) is a very fun loving, outgoing, sarcastic character who has tons of friends from all walks of life and tends to have serious relationships with pretty, down to earth girls.

My history is that I usually like having a handful of good friends, but I dont really relate to a whole ton of people. I used to be a party girl, turned underground socialite, turned recluse. And I'm pretty comfortable with that transition, I just sometimes wish I were a bit more acclimated to a normal life so that I would be able to hold a job, save money, and get ahead. I'm just holding out for a more individualized life, meaning, I'm more concerned with self reflection and fulfillment than I am keeping up with the Jones'.

So, full circle, I see how our parents' values and way of responding to the world has definitely shaped and affected ours as well. Now the question: Do we have the desire to reprogram ourselves, or would we rather continue to be this way?
QUOTE(knorl05 @ Jan 23 2008, 12:57 AM) *
I used to be a party girl, turned underground socialite, turned recluse.
Wow, that's fascinating...almost like an evolution ?? the underground socialite part sounds fascinating though. Like you maybe had some good times for a while? Got to know a lot of interesting people? Was it not something you wanted to continue?

But I'll answer your question first... Being as I'm shy, and I like doing alone things most of the time, I guess I'm okay with being the way I am for those reasons. Mbut, it's that I wish I felt at least COMFORTABLE in social situations on the occasion when I do decide to get in them, I feel I would be more outgoing if it felt better. So it's a hard question...yes, I think you could say I've had desire to reprogram myself. I'd love to get into and feel good in social situations. But I don't seem to come across well, partly because I'm so uncomfortable, partly because I feel I can't be myself and I need to act more outreaching and loud than I am (I'm quiet, shy, sort of unapproachable I think, not intentionally unless I really think about it~? but also I have other problems I think. I'm a bit of a control freak. That is why it is so hard to let go and relax and enjoy. It's also why I don't like to drink, cuz then I lose control. I like to stay very disciplined when it comes to getting certain things done as well. Also, I've had other issues such as having been bullied socially by older siblings, mother, school children, etc. so I'm pretty sort of out of the loop socially to begin with. I feel "beat down" socially, if that sounds familiar to anyone. But I feel like less of a dork than like, socially handicapped or something. But then, as others have mentioned here, I do have the occasional hook-up with someone, but if it starts to happen too much, I always push away, sometimes just unable to keep the contact up.?. It sounds horrible, and I assure you, it is. So you know it's weird. I'd love to hear what other people think regarding whether they really do want to make a change in their social habits or lacks thereof.
I am jan: It was a great experience, but that's because I was young. I still stay connected to the things that matter to me.. the people who matter.. the environments that I feel comfortable in. But I'm pretty much over anything that doesnt offer some sort of meaning or deeper connection with others. It's like, as much as we think it's better over there, it's not always. If you do something that doesnt reflect your true character, many times it will leave you feeling like a fraud or even worse, empty. So the way I see it, we can be swayed by, influenced by, or otherwise persuaded by things that appear to be better than the life we know... but truth of the matter is the only life we'll ever know is our own. And we've got to be honest with ourselves about who we are, what we like, and what we want from life. If faking it's not your thing, dont do it. If spending time alone creating art/music is your thing, then do more of it. If you'd like to be more social with people who share your interests, get involved in community settings where those people frequent. And to answer your question, yes, sometimes I do feel defeated by life and inconsiderate people, but what I allow that to do for me is to wake me up to reality. People are the way they are.. life is what it is.. we've got to figure out what works for us, and do more of it. So that's what I have to say about that... hope I havent derailed this convo. mellow.gif

lovehugskisses to my fellow reclusive busties
Okay, now that's something I could aspire to. so like, I could take the energy I waste wishing I were something else and put it into the things I DO have going on for me. That means potential to excel at something I'm already good at. Faking's not my thing...why do it? I really, really like that way of thinking. It points to something very positive: the fact that I do already know what I like and don't like, and I do have some idea of what I'd like to do with my time. So do it, and do it well. Isn't that the chief complaint of lots of others I hear anyway ~ they don't know who they are or what they want? That seems much worse to me than spending time alone fulfilling my aspirations. knorl,,I'm sure lots of us here can appreciate being pointed toward a new view of, maybe I wouldn't want to marry loneliness, but I could definitely think of it as a friend with benefits~?
I meant to post this yesterday but I didnt. I had a pretty good weekend. We hung out with a young adults group from my church. And even though I didnt say much I still had a good time laughing at them acting silly. I'm usually not very good with large groups and I try to make myself scarce as possible. They came to my place on Monday so we had about 15 or so people in this little 2bdrm apartment. Again, I tried to stay in the corner (of my home) LOL But I mingled pretty well and tried to make everyone feel welcome. We truly had a good time. maybe all I needed was to be around people who feel like family??! They're all supposed to be coming back here Thursday night for dinner. Wish me luck gals!!
I found this book really interesting on the topic of solitude. It has been a long time since I read it, so I am giving the amazon URL so that you can read the readers' reviews:
konphusion- good for you:). The hardest part is usually finding people who you feel comfortable around and it sounds like you've done that, so it doesn't sound like you need luck wink.gif

Knorl's question is an interesting one...I don't want to change in so far as going out more and being more sociable- I get plenty of invites but I'm the sort of person who enjoys time to herself and doesn't like being around people constantly. I think what i would like to change is my shyness and anxiety around people. Not because i want to become best friends with them and go to lots of parties but I think it would just make life a lot easier. I know that sometimes shy people can come across as rude or arrogant and i hate the thought of people thinking of me that way when it's not true. Plus i don't dislike socialising completely, so I'd like it if i could somehow learn to be more comfortable and confident in social situations. I tend to only be myself around people who I've gotten to know but it's kind of a circular problem because it's hard to get to know someone when you don't feel comfortable. I have a set group of friends which i dont really mind but it'd be nice to be able to expand my 'network' more easily. Even people like me who actually like spending time alone still need 'friends' to a certain degree. There are certain things I like to do or experience that you can't really do alone. I have family- but we are placed with them by default not because we necessarily share lots of interests etc; and i have a boyfriend but it's a long distance relationship; and i have friends but they tend to be 'friends from work'/'friends from university' etc rather than just friends. I do enjoy spending time with people but when it's a choice between being with people who i feel uncomfortable around or spending time alone I'd choose the latter everytime

I was wondering...Do you guys generally feel more at ease in the company of outgoing people who in a way take the pressure off us, or around people who are more like us and so understand our weird ways more?
QUOTE(knorl05 @ Jan 22 2008, 05:57 PM) *
Now the question: Do we have the desire to reprogram ourselves, or would we rather continue to be this way?

Great question! I spent years fighting against the reclusive side of myself. If I was home alone on a Saturday night, I'd be filled with self-hating thoughts about how I really should be more social. I've finally got myself to a place where being at home on a Saturday night is OK. This is me, and this is how I am, and this is ok. But the weird part of it is that being more accepting of my reclusive self has made it easier for me to actually go out and be social. Now if I'm out I don't panic as much about everybody noticing that I'm acting weird. I just accept myself as how I am and I have more time to really enjoy the situation.

QUOTE(starship @ Jan 23 2008, 01:48 PM) *
I was wondering...Do you guys generally feel more at ease in the company of outgoing people who in a way take the pressure off us, or around people who are more like us and so understand our weird ways more?

I find that when around the really outgoing people, I get so tired. When I'm around people like myself, I act more outgoing. It's as if I know that somebody has to take the lead, and if nobody else grabs the reins for a long time, I finally do it.

Congratulations, Konphusion!
And a question for y'all: Do any of you hang out in the "Ok" or "Kvetch" threads? I'm kinda scared to go in there. It sorta feels like in order to be a regular on the board, you have to post there all the time, but I just can't do it. It feels to me like a bunch of people pretending to be really close and hugging all the time, but I imagine that the vast majority of them have only interacted with each other on this board. I have a problem acting super-friendly to lots of people I don't know. Am I way off base on what it's like in there?
I hang out in Kvetch. I know I'm not a regular in here. Jump in, respond to the last three posts, and you're in. Or just lurk.

Are people being phoney about caring about people they have never met? No, I don't think so, I think if you talk to people online every day, then you come to care about them. After all, Roseviolet met her husband, Sheffield Steel, in Kvetch.

On the other hand, if you don't feel comfortable in that kind of situation IRL or online, you're still a real Bustie. smile.gif
i sometimes lurk in the Okay thread as that seems to be where most of the posting goes on. I don't think anyone's being fake at all, they've probably spoken to each other on here for some time and inevitably gotten to know each other quite well. I'm the same as you about posting in there though, obelix. Just seems like if you're not in the gang (sorry to sound playgroundish lol) then posting in there would be a little out of place. Probably because the conversation tends to be more of an ongoing thing rather than a discussion which can be hard to just jump into with any worthwhile input
Ironically, I believe the OK thread was created because people felt intimidated jumping in to the Kvetch thread.
what's real funny is that i never even knew about either.. i tend to post on bust by topic. if the topic doesnt grab me, i stay out of the threads. hmm*

i am jan: "..maybe I wouldn't want to marry loneliness, but I could definitely think of it as a friend with benefits?" I like that. Yeah I think sometimes we fear that our tendencies are who we are in our entirety and that this is what our lives will be like till we die. I think if we just change our perspective of things, then we can break free of self defeating patterns.

konphusion26: congratulations, that sounds super cool! i'm quite certain thursday will be awesome, especially since the ice has already been broken. a nice intimate gathering with good peeps is great for the soul. smile.gif

starship: i like that question..! I've found that it really depends on my mood and the type of person and conversation it is. Outgoing, peppy people tend to make me more quiet and withdrawn, but social people who are able to take control of conversations make me feel more at ease. I dont really like initiating things, and I will usually just kind of just go with the flow... unless it is a heated discussion, then I have to speak my piece and be heard. But typically, I like to be around people who are more like me because then I know they understand whats going on with me when I'm not talking. One of the things I've always hated is when people think there's something wrong just because I'm not all up in their face.

obelix2: i remember those self loathing feelings well.. i used to freak if i was home on weekend nights because i thought that meant i was really a loser. bleh. so glad that's all just a distant memory now. "..being more accepting of my reclusive self has made it easier for me to actually go out and be social." yep yep. because then we have less expectations on ourselves to be this that or the other. in social settings, once the initial weirdness wears off (thinking everyone notices we're uncomfortable) then things are usually fine. it's like, if we can just be patient and allows ourselves to adjust our feelings to the surroundings, then all is well. you notice that too?
dusty: Thanks for linking that book! I have reserved it at the library. It sounds intriguing in lots of ways. Actually it sounds like just the sort of thing I'm into right now...sort of a exploration of my inner space, in connection with trying to write and create. And trying to answer some questions I have. I'm excited about it.

starship: We sound very, very similar in our social habits. I'm actually not shy around the couple of people I know well, yes exactly, that whole circular thingie. But to answer your question, on one hand, it's easier to fake when outgoing persons are around, you just go with the program, jokes fly, yuk it up...I was married for a short time to someone who was *really* funny, seriously, like a natural comic. I would just let him go...stand in his shadow...blend in with everybody else while he went on. It was obvious no one knew I had a problem, they just thought I had decided he was the one with the great personality, so I was just laying back, letting him go. After we divorced it was weird, check it out: I had hid behind him for so long that I felt exposed!, esp. around my immediate family...I'm not really their cup of tea, never have been, but he sure was, everyone loved him and that's the most comfortable I've ever felt around other people ~ AND the most comfortable my family has acted with me. I'm actually still coming off that, trust me, after we split, I was faced with my wonderful true character again and the people just disappeared from my life actually pretty quick. But I do remember feeling exhausted trying to keep up with his energy all the time, even sitting there just laughing with folks. So I know what you mean Obelix...just the thought of all that social action makes me literally tired. I might 'grab the reins' too if it were just folk like us, although it sounds pretty ambitious, I always feel people are evaluating me on some level, even when I know they're probably not.

konfusion: Best wishes for Thursday night. Just remember to not get too worked up about it. Relax, that's how you got to this point, by not knowing what was coming, not caring too much, just being yourself. Remember not to think of it as a big party or get a lot of expectations. Relax, be patient with yourself, and remember that this may be the sort of social action that unfolds sloooowly for you. Just look at Thurs. as one little step, not your entire social future.

(so easy to give advice, so hard to follow it)...back to the fortress of solitude
so i realized... i almost feel as though it sounds like i'm trying to convey the idea that life is best when we stay in our sheltered little boxes of comfort and familiarity. and i dont mean that at all. i think we should definitely explore life and the things that interest us, and that we should really get to know ourselves through a process of experimentation and elimination. i'm just saying that i think we need to try to cut out the thought that we are somehow inferior or inept because we tend toward introspective activities. there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, and as long as we can be accepting of whom we are, i think we will be that much more at ease with unfamiliar circumstances. i believe, what many of us struggle with is the fear that somehow we dont belong..?
Back in the day, during my first Bustie meeting IRL, they had to explain to me what Kvetch is, that's how I ended up there.

I am rereading the Introvert Advantage, just because I have been doing some personality testing stuff around my layoff and career planning. Its kind of neat, it says that introverts aren't unfriendly, they just don't get their energy off being busy or being with other people. Its so true. I love interacting with people at work or in the elevator or in stores and stuff. I love skiing. But eventually I need downtime to recharge, and apparently, extroverts don't.

Saturday night is great for doing laundry in my building.
Wow I'd never thought of myself as simply an INTROVERT before. (?)

After all the bullying at home & school, from a very young age (before kindergarten) I suppose folks have had me convinced I'm a nerd/dork/social loser. But it's coming back to me now ... I've been thinking it over...trying to work it out, when it all started. It started with my big brother, who is an (extreme) extrovert, like he is notorious for having several roommates at once, *always*, *always* having people over his house, very, very prolific social life. It started with him bullying me because he *could*, I'm thinking. I wasn't that fun to play with as a kid, I only wanted to stay inside and read. Bro was a hellion, really mean and sadistic type of kid (he IS Nelson from The Simpsons), always wanting to hang out & play ALL the time. I was quiet and shy (bookworm) and couldn't speak up to anyone. People took advantage of that I think. And so all of this time, I really have thought there was something wrong with ME.

And now to think of myself as an introvert...someone who did NOT lose her way socially...but was simply born to be exactly the way I am. This is like a breakthrough for me. Realizing that it's not all been me being a social failure. It's me being born an introvert, and then other children reacting to that unfavorably. Not knowing what to do with an introvert but make fun of her i guess?

I really thought all that bullying mess was over. But now it seems silly to think I could have come off all that unscathed? I've always tried to simply FORGET about all that childhood business. But now to realize I've actually been dealing with it all this time, every day.?

Is it possible anyone else here feels that social bullying/ostracizing by other kids has made them feel there's something wrong with them?
Yep. Introverts are, apparently, a statistical minority, which explains why they are often made to feel 'wrong' or like outsiders.

The Myers-Briggs Inventory measures your personality type along four scales, andIcan'trememberwhattheyareoffhand, but in each category, my scores are on the less common side, the statistical minority, ie. introvert vs. extrovert, feeling vs. thinking. I thought that explained a lot.

When I was growing up, first we moved countries every five years, but also, my parents started me off in a french school so that I would learn french 'easily'. Not french immersion, mind, but a french school. So, if your idea of 'easy' means throwing an introverted child in a new environment (school) where she doesn't speak the language...yes, I grew up speaking French and too shy to speak much at all.

I hadn't really thought of myself as awkward for a long time, its just lately, I've been finding myself overthinking social situations, and I think it is just because I have been so active lately, in a kind of political way, that maybe I have been pushing my boundaries and not giving myself room to decompress.

For what its worth, studying improv and performance skills really really brought me a long way to not giving a shit what people thought of me.
Dusty, I am definately going to check out that book.

i am jan, I was never bullied in school. In fact when I was younger I was pretty popular, but as I entered my teen years, I started to whithdraw from the norm, and began to feel different. I didn't like trying to fight in and all that, I really began to do my thing. But I was/am naturally shy.

knorl, That is a seriously good question. Personally, I go back and forth. Sometimes I feel I should be more social, have more friends and all. But I always fall back on my solitary tendencies. I think I am truely happy alone 80% of the time. I feel jerky sometimes b/c I only want friends 20% or the time, so I keep people at a distance or don't even try to meet new people.

BTW, called the old friend and it went very smoothly. We chatted like the old friends we are, and it really wasn't a big deal. I am once again guilty of overthinking...
YAYY!!! My little gathering turned into somewhat of an event!! LOL More people than expected showed up and it actually turned into a ministry meeting. It was wonderful. We had a blast and learned alot in the process. I'm thankful for those folks. They're like family. Thank you ladies for the well wishes! I truly felt like I belonged to the group instead of just observing in my little corner this time.
i am jan: i also had a bully sibling. and i can empathize with the construct that there must be something wrong with me in order for people to treat me unfavorably. but the thing is, i am just part of a different culture, and if individuals are comfortable with others who are not like them, then they will be cool. if they are upset over people who are different than them, then they are going to overreact when dealing with others. like you said, "Not knowing what to do with an introvert but make fun of her i guess?" but it doesnt even have to be as overt as making fun, it could simply be disrespect or a condescending attitude toward, which pisses me off. i mean we already have certain prejudices against us because we're female, but to be an ostracized female on top of that, is hard. i've been amazed at the way so many typical or normal girls are nasty to the quirky/unordinary/weird girls, like it gives them some sort of power or something. all i know is that being a thinking person, i realize it's not their fault for being ignorant, because so many of our tendencies as human beings are the result of our make up, environment, conditioning, etcetcetc. i mean sure we need to take responsibility for whom we are, but if people dont realize there is anything 'wrong', they'll never feel inclined to change. i guess what i'm saying is that i really really dig chics and guys who are introverted, strange, unorthodox, and individual, so much so that the reactions of others dont seem to matter as much. as you pointed out, it is still a part of our subconscious, but i think all great creative types almost need that depth to add to their work. hmmm so much to be said...

ginger: i understand...

kon: awesome! happy for you biggrin.gif
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