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Hi, everyone! Sorry I've been MIA for some time. I've certainly been living up to my socially inept status, eh?! But between work, the ginormous snowstorms we've been having these last couple of weeks (and they're relentless!), and managing to drive my car into a nosedive into a median on the highway (I and the car are both OK, luckily), I've been too busy to BUST! But I've finally had to catch up on all the posts here, and lots of interesting stuff, as always!

I see that many of you have written about the oh-so-pleasant experience of being ordered to "smile!" Believe me, if I'd saved a dollar for every time that's happened to me, I'd probably have a nice li'l stash of cash by now. And in my case, just like the rest of you, the perp is always a male, and often a stranger. When I was younger, it used to catch me by surprise and I'd automatically grant the fuckwit the favor of flashing a quick grin. Eventually, though, it became a real thorn in my side: Just because I'm not grinning, doesn't mean I'm upset, angry, whatever, and anyway, why is it some random man's job to be the boss of me when it comes to how I shape my facial expression? So I started coming up with various tactics. If some passerby in the mall said it, I'd just stare right through him and totally ignore him (and of course not smile). If a client at work said it to me, I coudn't get away with that, as I was up close and personal with him. So with those people, I'd take on a different tack: I'd say, "My grandfather died." I like to think that maybe people who got such a response thought twice before they told a woman to smile again.

My mother is one of those women who go around with a smile on her face. All the time. Even at funerals--I kid you not. This is because when she was around 13/14 years old and somewhat sulky, HER mother told her, "If you don't put stop moping and put on a happy face all the time, you won't have any friends and [most importantly] you'll never find a man who'll want you and you'll end up an old maid." So my mother took this to heart and has been smiling ever since! The whole thing reminds me of the Little Drummer Boy special that they show on TV every year at Xmas, where they paint the corners of his mouth upward to fake a smile because he doesn't really have one. The whole thing sickens me. mad.gif

I am Jan: It's too bad that you have to interact with those bitch aunts of yours--they sound like total assholes. When I was younger, I had to experience put-downs to some extent with relatives on my dad's side of my family, but at least they lived in a different state so I only had to put up with their shit for a few days, a couple of times a year. To this day, it just baffles me that the fact of being blood-related seems to give some people the perceived license to be mean to family members. I know that whatever my nieces do as they go through life, I won't be assassinating their characters or telling them that they're losers or that there's something wrong with them; I'm going to just unconditionally love them and listen to what they have to say, without judgement.

Oh, and beware to ANYONE who berates me for my choice not to have kids--they *will* regret it!
anna k
I attended an Asperger's support group tonight. It felt good to listen to other people's stories of feeling socially awkward and feeling as if they have different wiring in their brains, having to learn social graces and gauge other people's reactions. However, I was creeped out by the socially awkward, unattractive men who would make me feel squicky if I was standing close to them. One guy talked in a wheezy nasal voice and sounded immature and annoying, and another man sitting behind me kept sniffling, like sucking his snot up his nose. I would give him tissues, and continue to listen to his snot-sucking noises.

Friday I plan to attend an art gallery opening, and go to some live literary readings this month.
ratgrl, I tried, "'My grandfather died.' I like to think that maybe people who got such a response thought twice before they told a woman to smile again."
It was right after my dad died, my boyfriend and I broke up, my grandmother died, I began to have seizures, and my brother was in Iraq. Some man told me to smile, just the same way. I started crying, and he wouldn't stop telling me to smile even when I said my dad had died and please excuse me if smiling wasn't within my power that day. Some people have no shame.

Um, so hi everyone.


I think it is really really important to remember that guys in the street who tell you to smile are not reacting to something they perceive as different or less social about you, they are just harassing you.
Ratgirl: Thank you for the much needed side-splitting laughter. I fully intend to use the grandfather response, it's freaking perfect laugh.gif Also, glad you weren't injured in the car mishap.

QUOTE(ratgrl @ Feb 14 2008, 03:55 AM) *
it just baffles me that the fact of being blood-related seems to give some people the perceived license to be mean to family members.

Okay?!? I swear, they have this assumption that, because I don't constantly air out my dirty laundry to the entire cast of shady characters of which my family consists, that my life is easy breezy. And so they run with that and literally make constant pokes at me. In what really, really reeks of an attempt to get me to feel bad, (like they ASSume I don't already.) Just during the time between Thanksgiving and now, they have criticized: my choice to not have kids, my choice to live with a guy instead of marrying again...and the one that's really starting to get me down: my body size (they're always talking fat talk, to which I'm not privy, and apparently since I'm not fat, my height is called into question on a more and more regular basis, comments about how short my legs are, "are you wearing high heels today? cuz you look taller than usual", "you can't weigh more than what, 100 lbs soaking wet?"). It's to the point where I'm so stressed and anxious before going around them that I'm shaking. Even after relaxing to the best of my ability.

(Meanwhile, I'm kinda like, 'wha-who? [snapping head quickly behind one shoulder & then the next] jealous of ME? , are you SURE? cuz WOW, you must really be down then. I mean, even I do imagine a tad more than the digs I've got going on, whew, I mean, dream a little dream people~

anyway, I'm going to take this over to the dysfunctional family thread, or depression, or whatever.

But real quick: I can't believe how many of us are harassed with the 'smile' thing? How irksome. Ophelia, that's horrendous!!
I seem to get the impression that men think the 'smile' thing is verging on being a chat up line :/. Almost like a modern day wolf whistle. Thats the context i seem to get it in most of the time anyway. As though upon them saying it I'll suddenly break into a cheesy grin and admire their witty observance. purlease...
My relatives don't deliberatly offend me but sometimes it seems they cant help but blurt out something quite hurtful. The reference to me as a 'hermit' a little joke about me being in my room so much perhaps if theres a silence that needs filling. *rolls eyes*. It's strange because I'm actually out quite a lot. I go to uni most week days, shopping if i have free time, the odd social liason etc etc. What they really mean is I'm just plain unsociable and it's just not normal in their opinion. But at least they try not to be so frank...i guess :/...
The roller disco was good thanks Knorl smile.gif. It was fun and a way to be social without having to socialise too much if that makes sense. and thanks for the advice on where to find out about different events. I'll keep my eye out...
It was valentines today but (due to various reasons) it wasnt spent with my boyfriend. Still had a good day catchign up with people around campus and then went to a dance show in the evening. It was at my old school in their hall so i ran into a few old faces which was a little awkward at times. On the whole it was a good night though and made a refreshing change
Hope everyone's good smile.gif
I think the wolf whistle is another classic harassment tactic. No one actually thinks its going to work.

But more so the smile thing. I think it is controlling, and hostile. It is so pervasive. And it is, in essence, saying, I don't care what is happening in your life, your job is to smile at me. No one will convince me its intended to be anything but demeaning.

I ended up having to go to a meeting tonight and Mr. Dusty went home to his place because he wasn't feeling well. But one of my friends in the meeting called it Loneliness Awareness Day. I liked that.
anna k
I went to an art gallery tonight, and had a nice time. It was an exhibit of photographs by Albert and David Maysles, the directors behind Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter, full of screen shots and 1950s photographs. I had a long conversation with an older woman who started talking to me when she sat down next to me on a bench, as the gallery was getting crowded. She was very interesting. She hated being photographed and hated this photographer at the event who kept snapping pictures of everyone, seeing him as creepy and invading people's personal space. She also didn't like Albert Maysles for exploiting the Beales as oddball eccentrics on the "poor" side of the Bouvier family in comparison to Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwell. I said that I thought Little Edie Beale had glamour and elegance, but seemed strange because she was living with her mother at an older age, to which she said, "It's a free country, live and let live."

We talked about various things, she told her that her great-grandparents were Russians escaping the Bolsheviks and were hid by Christians in Russia, and her great-uncle got to America first and later brought his family over. She was very sweet and encouraging, and told me that I made her evening.
Hey everybody...

About a month ago, I took a (solo) trip out of town for 3 days. When I was there, it felt oddly, it felt normal and fine for me to feel "out of place." Whereas, here, in the town I grew up in, surrounded by 'family and friends', not so much.

More and more since that trip, I've been thinking of moving out of town, just to try it for a while. I've absolutely nothing to tie me to this suburbanishly-rurally midwestern town, and nothing to lose.

Is this a desperate attempt to 'run from myself'? I've asked myself that question. No is what I replied. (Unless my subconscious is keeping this information hidden from me.) That said,

One of the things I hate about this place is that I'm such a sore thumb sticking out. Again, the area I live in is suburban/rural, there's really not much of a 'single, no-kids' culture here at all. Most everyone is a family with 2.5 kids, a 9-5 job, loves sports. There's not much of a public transportation system. Not many places to walk to, sit alone where there are other individuals to provide background company when I'd like.

It's also something I've always wanted to do, as I've never, ever moved or lived anyplace except here.

The prospect of moving seems to offer some very promising aspects. For one, my mom has been pushing me again to go to her fundamental Pentacostal church on a regular basis. Yeah, I know all the responses I could give her to respectfully decline, but you don't understand, she's not going away. It's going to have to mean she and I not speaking to each other if things keep on, she'll not stop, and I ain't going.

The other thing is, I feel it would take me away from the negativity brought on by unhealthy family relations which are exacerbating existing health issues. The BS is really starting to get me down and I feel enveloped by it. I understand it's my reactions to what's going on that I'm dealing with. But I'm real uncomfortable with my reactions. It's not that I even want to get along with any of these people at this point, cold as it may sound, I'd just like to be out of their lives and them out of mine.

When i was out of town, I felt sort of good/okay being an outsider. I could walk into anyplace I wanted by myself and felt like "yeah, of course, who else would I be with? I don't know anyone here, so this is completely normal for me to be going it alone." At times, it even made me feel like reaching out to others more, for some weird reason?

If anyone knows of any communities where there is more of a single-culture, I'd be very interested in finding out about it. I don't have any solid idea of where I'd go, although Chi-town sounds interesting?

Even if I decide it's not for me and come back, I'm cool with that. But I'd just like to entertain this notion and see where it takes me?

P.S. Hope everyone is doing well and had nice weekends.
Hey everyone
I think moving out of town is a great idea! I often find that I get on much better in situations where nobody knows me and find it easier to make friends too. It's hard to make any real change when everyone vaguely knows you and have preconceptions. For me personally i can feel more shy around people i know. I dont mean friends but, for example, family i havent seen for a while or people who I've worked with but never really spoken to. It's like when you go on holiday and have less inhibitions because you know that these people dont know you and probably wont see you again. I dont know exact locations but perhaps it would be good for you to move just outside of a big city? That way it wouldnt be dauntingly different from where you live now but thered still be new faces and you could get a job and join groups etc in the city. Even if it doesnt go to plan itd be an experience and give you a few stories to tell im sure smile.gif. The only thing youd have to worry about is those dreaded visits home in the holidays lol
I have most of the week off from uni so Im planning to make teh most of it. Tomorrow Im going into london (i love in the UK) for some major retail therapy. I love shopping there because theres so many people that hardly anyone notices me and i can just do my own thing without feeling overly paranoid. Plus theres less chance of running into someone I know (unsociable but meh). Im going to spend money i dont have and then people watch from an overpriced coffee shop. I'll have to get back to you all on the plans for the rest of the week. Oh, I also have to attend a smallish family gathering tomorrow evening, which I'm sure shall be..eventful?

QUOTE(starship @ Feb 17 2008, 10:46 PM) *
I often find that I get on much better in situations where nobody knows me and find it easier to make friends too. It's hard to make any real change when everyone vaguely knows you and have preconceptions. For me personally i can feel more shy around people i know.

This is me as very strange how it's actually easier to be around people we don't know? As you say though, I have to think it's easier to lose your inhibitions around people who have no known expectations of us. Thank you for the encouragement. I'm going to be doing some research into different cities in the next weeks and see what I can find out.

Oh, you're going to London shopping! Sounds like a blast, enjoy your week is great because you get to be among lots of people, yet remain anonymous, comfortable!

And...enjoy well.... How *promising* these occasions can be.

I had to share this with folks in this thread: I have just finished watching the second segment of Pride & Prejudice. Although I love Elizabeth Bennett for all her strength of character, grace and integrity, alas ladies, I discover many of us can actually relate more to Mr. Darcy. Darcy is of course, Mr. Social Ineptitude if ever there was! Because he does not smile, the expression on his face is one of general disdain, and he does not "perform for strangers" (in his own words), he is considered by all to be "arrogant, conceited, and ungentlemanlike." (warning: spoilers ahead): of course, he is actually in love with Ms. Bennett and wants only to secure her good graces. But his manner, body language and facial expression betray all that he feels and thinks on the inside. (Imagine!) rolleyes.gif
Howdy socially-inept Busties. I've been hiding from friends lately, and didn't notice it. It seems like I've gotten into a rut where I hang out with the boy and nobody else. Which is such a bad trap to fall into, at least for me. I don't hang out with anybody, then I wonder why I don't get invited out, so I stay at home instead of going out.

I didn't go to my coworker's party, and I think that was a very good thing. I can handle her in small doses, but she tires me out. And I work with these people over 8 hours every day -- I'd like to be done with them at some point during the week.

I_am_jan - As long as you're not running and hoping that things will magically be better, it can be a very refreshing thing. I used to have a job that moved me around the country three or four times a year, and it taught me that the move can give you a wonderful fresh start, but you have to seize the new life. The move itself won't provide friends and activities and good hummus without effort from you. I found that I would move to a new place, hoping that I'd found the *right* town, only to be disillusioned in a few months when I'd recreated the exact life I'd had in the previous town. That said, Chi-town is wonderful. The Andersonville neighborhood is so... neighborhoody.

Starship- in regards to running in to people you know -- do you dread it, even if you kinda like the person? I was just in this situation the other day, where I saw one of my favorite coworkers out of town before she saw me, and I pretty much ran. I just didn't want to deal with the stress of the interaction. And it struck me that other people *gasp!* might not feel the same way; they might look forward to those situations. Good luck at the family gathering, and I hope you get a good seat for the coffee-shop-people-watching. Sounds great!
anna k: sounds like you had a nice time, that's awesome. i love unconventional conversation with individuals who are not like me.... such a great opportunity to gain perspective and learn something new.

i_am_jan: i feel your pain. my aunts werent very nice to me growing up either. the only reason they treat me with any respect now is because i dont allow myself to be affected by their ways. i've always been the outsider in my family as well. and believe me it was hard where i grew up too because it's mainly older people and families. all the kids i went to school with were all friends from birth and i came into the mix in fifth grade from a place where the people that live there are referred to as "river rats". i'm sure that's why i was so drawn to the Scene in detroit. i think we all tend to surround ourselves with people or go to places we feel comfortable in. i can understand the appeal of being incognito in a new environment. no one knows you, and so you can just go about your business unnoticed. it is very liberating. and refreshing i'm sure. i've considered moving to seattle, because i've heard the culture in that city is very rich. it's definitely not a family themed place. chicago yes. new york. denver. and many other places that may not get as much hype. if you're feeling the urge to move and there is nothing holding you where you are, i'd say go for it. seriously. you would be so much happier and could be around other talented and intelligent young people like yourself.

starship: i'm jealous you have the freedom to 'just go to london' for retail therapy. tongue.gif that sounds like fun! i'd be traveling to so many interesting places if i lived where you live. do you go out and about often?

obelix2: i do the same thing... but it's usually just the acquaintences that i avoid, not my core friends, when i'm dating someone. because all of my attention is focused toward dude and friends, i kind of just let the casual friends fall out until i feel like getting involved in something. i hate it when i almost blow off some people for current beau and then we arent as cool anymore. but whatevs. sounds like it was a good thing you didnt go to the party. i totally understand what you mean about wanting to be separate from your coworkers. i've never been one to hang with people after work either.
obelix- yes! For some reason I hate running into people unexpectedly. Even people whom I like or spend time with anyway. If Im going somewhere I usually subconsciously run through in my mind all the people I could possibly bump into there. If i see someone who i expected it wont be too bad but if I see someone who I hadnt expected i get kind of panicy and feel unprepared (thats kind of an unusal word to use:/)
And thanks everyone who asked- I had a great time the other day smile.gif. Shopping was good. Although does anyone else find that in certain shops you feel uncomfortable. The way some are laid out means that the assistant just stands and follows you round the whole shop with her eyes. I hate those places and usually get out as quick as possible. But overall I had a nice chilled out day and just did my thing
Knorl- Its a great place to live but quite small compared to other places around the world so after living here most of my life some of the novelty has worn off i guess. I dont get much time off lately but when I do I sometimes love to just get on the tube and go to some random place. Theres usually something interesting going on and because theres so many tourists/businesspeople about you dont feel out of place if youre alone or have no particular place to go. I like the anonymity and diversity that big cities have about them.
The family thing was Ok too. Im closer to some of my family than others. Ive lost count of the number of times ive been refered to as 'the black sheep' in the past. Usually by people who dont particularly know me or my family which is odd. Although completely true. At certain family parties everyones been sat in groups chatting and Im just left feeling awkward and wishing the ground would swallow me up
Lots of people here who are outcasts in their families, or have nothing in common with them? (I personally feel that my family are what drove me to hate social situations!)

On the family tip again: don't you love it when you become engaged in conversation with a member of it, and they comment on some aspect of your life that you weren't aware they knew about? Like ~ you never told them. Or just told like, one other person. Arg I hate that! I feel like going "oh, wow, I guess I must have a spokesperson? Gee, next time someone steps up to report my business...can I pick who it is? (like, can it be someone who *likes* me doing the reporting?) Yeesh.

Sorry not much positive stuff to report. I broke up with the "boyfriend" and his dad proceeded to die immediately thereafter at the age of 60. I feel terrible, he says he hadn't talked with his dad the last couple days before the death because we were 'fighting' (I had broken it off ~ yet once again~ he refused to accept that, though it's been coming...I've been so very honest with him about me not being relationship-ready right now. It shouldn't have been a big deal, he made it that.) Anyway, he's trying to pressure me to be with him but I'm not stupid enough to commit to that, knowing I can't do it and don't want it. I was only with him because I knew he wasn't right for me but I haven't been able to get away from him. In the meantime, he's very heavy. And taking advantage of the fact his dad died. I am not heartless, by the way. I'm just in a place where I can't handle it. He just continues to try to suck something out of me that I don't have without letting up on me.

Again, sorry for the negativity, I'll report back when the tide has turned a bit. Thanks for always listening everybody, and sorry about the downer.
I consider myself an accepted outcast within my family (i-e many issues and uber aware of being 3rd of 3 in ranking of parental sibling favorites- with the standard rebuttal of ' but you & your mr are so solid! dad & I never have to worry about you like we do _ & _. ' yah, THAT makes it all better! )

have been reading here but still antisocial.
the insight and depth of here is so thought-provoking!
there's much I see that is my frecklette, where she'd much rather choose to sit alone at lunch (or to talk w/ an adult) than to have to listen to the shallow teenage crap of her peers. I always worry she is lonely but she said she prefers it this way. give her a good book or a notebook & pen & she's completely Zen.
I was always more outgoing than that at her age, but was intensly/abnormally shy when I was much younger so trust her enough to believe she is ok. she has friends in school, but none in her lunch this year. (guess that makes me the Tree & her the Apple in terms of inheriting the ineptness? cool.gif )

also, through much retrospective, I realised something: as a Group Leader I am completely (minus pre-event stage nerves) at ease & In Control. I have virtually no problem being in charge & friendly & outgoing.(altho once it's over I do deflate somewhat.)
but where I am now, w/ the mr's work situation causing fairly frequent situations where I have to interact w/ other spouses, I am so freakishly out of my element. apparently I don't know how to be 'one of the crowd' and feel tremendously vulnerable at them. I get so nervous I literally get sick to my stomack w/ panic attacks beforehand & often BOLT from them as soon as they adjourn so there's no akwardness of not having anyone to socialise with when everyone else is mingling.
le sigh.
re reading this just makes me sad. I want more close friend's, but then get irritated with them when they try to get too close. or maybe I just want a few select friend's to live closer? or maybe to be the ones to Call Me some time for a change?

I'm sorry everyone, I'm going to eat more chocolate now & hopefully better my mood~

(((((( i_am_jan)))))))
sounds as if you are doing exactly what you need to do, breaking up w/ him.
it's not your fault his dad passed, and I'm sure your reasons had nothing to do w/ him anyway so it's really low of ex bf to try to play that card to get you to stay. emotional manipulation is just not ever pretty.
keep your chin up & know we are all here supporting you ---
Freckleface was spot on IamJan...You dont sound heartless at all so dont let his manipulative behaviour get to you. You broke up with him for good reasons and his dad dying after was totally unforseeable and out of your control. Youre smart enough to know what he's trying to do so just stay strong and he'll soon stop. If all else fails, come rant to us smile.gif

Im comfortable being unsociable but at the same time Im human and do need some sort of interaction. I hate social situations when youre forced to make friends and mingle and converse. I prefer to make my friends through more natural situations. Im not sure how Id feel if I had children who turned out like me. I certainly wouldnt wish for it as i know it makes life more difficult than necessary. at the same time i dont think id feel dissapointed or guilty or anything. As long as anxiety isnt heireditary Ill be happy. I think Ive learnt from experiences that have effected me in my life and will do my best to make sure history isnt repeated. But if I do and they still turn out like me Id be fine so long as they were content being that way (like frecklette sounds freckleface).

Im definately the odd one in my family. sometimes its an issue, sometimes its not. Not because theyve intentionally segregated me but i just have a different personality/ambitions/views and so on. They all seem to be more or less different versions of the same person. Similar jobs, experiences and just lives in general. Im the outsider. Sometimes i feel like a burden to some of them. They wouldnt be friends with or know me if we weren't related and forced into a relationship by default.

Has any of you been travelling? like on a gap year or perhaps for a few months? Im starting to think about planning it for after Ive graduated so Im interested in how anyone else like me found the experience. Do you think it would be a positive thing for me?
starship, I appreciate your words, thank you.

as to traveling, we've lived overseas twice and traveled there in a fair amount.
first was Panama & the mr was gone constantly & we lived in the Capital City & I had no choice but to emerse myself in it in order to survive.
after 5 months we moved to base housing & the situation changed, but I honestly would not trade those 5 months for anything. I was often alone and learned so- crazi- much. I joined a local english speaking threatre group & met some of the coolest people yet.
then we also lived in Germany & admittedly were a lot more insulated, but still took a few road trips w/ girlfriends to Poland and the Rep of Cz, aside from the trips the mr & I took frecklette on. day trips to Begium (it was closest), vacations to Paris & Ireland.
I realise that's probably not the same thing you are talking about (at least the european time anyway) but yes yes! I was much more at ease w/ myself alone in a foreign country than I often am here.
you'll grow in ways that will likely take you years to feel the impact of; kind of 'get you outside yourself' while at the same time focusing all your stregnths too.
for an introvert, it's good fodder for deep rumination and reflection.

where are you thinking about traveling to?
(((I am jan))) If his father has just died and you want to get away from him...well, that's a pretty good indication that you shouldn't be with him, and you can't change that.
I just had a thought:

have any of you, or how many of you, have taken the Meyers-Briggs Personality test before? I've taken it a few times over the years and have consistently remained the same, despite being at very different periods in my life.

I think I will look it up later & post whatever I can find. (used to be you could do a mini-test for free as I recall)

might be interesting to see how we all compare.
Best question ever! I just re-took it, and I'm INTJ, but I swear when I've taken it before I've been ISTJ.

I can't wait to hear everybody's answer.
Here's my results....

Your Type is INFJ

Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging

Qualitative analysis of your type formula

You are:
distinctively expressed introvert

moderately expressed intuitive personality

moderately expressed feeling personality

moderately expressed judging personality

Hi, again.

Even though I've gone out a few times, I've been more reclusive than what's healthy for me lately. Last weekend was the first time I went to a bar in months--it was to see AZ Guy's friend play in his band and I had a good time. Talked a little to some people I knew through AZ Guy (who was in town that weekend) and hung out with some acquaintances after the show. Ended up going back to my place and drinking with AZ Guy and his friends, and we had fun. I met these people before and actually felt comfortable enough speaking up, even though alcohol makes me even more reserved than usual. Normally, my weekends involve a book, some tea, and maybe a couple hikes, and while I like these things, it'd be nice to find other people to do it with. My parents were in town for a couple weeks earlier, so I got to play tour guide; that went fine and now it's back to having a quiet life again.

I can see a lot of where I get my social skills from in my parents. My mom is quiet, reserved, and would rather read than go to a party. She has a few friends, but they are ones she's known for a very long time, she's not one to strike up a conversation with a random stranger. My dad does that, but he doesn't have many friends either, he's more of a loner as well and I think he has trouble developing friendships. Unfortunately, I inherited both their dorky personality traits. I don't have any brothers or sisters, and my extended family is all up in Minnesota, so I didn't have that influence on my life. I miss my parents, but I don't really like the area where they live. I've never really felt like I fit in there, and well, I don't feel ready to move back to the Midwest, I want to move around some more. Maybe I'm looking for some place where I'll meet other people and feel a little more accepted, but I know that won't happen unless I learn to accept myself and that is a bit of a problem.

Starship, I took a couple years off between high school and college, then took a semester off during college and ended up living in Montana, Arizona (northern Arizona, not where I am now) and Alaska. They aren't too far-flung, but I liked the experiences, definitely learned a lot, and managed to make a few friends in each of those places. The only reason why I didn't end up going overseas is because of the cost, and even with that I'm seriously considering signing up for a couple of college courses in Ireland this summer. If you can, then go for it.

I had to take the Myers-Brigg for a class a few years ago, and I was an IFNP. The only one that wasn't borderline was the Introverted score, which isn't surprising.
INFP - Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving but only slightly introverted, and almost borderline sensing/intuitive.

I have been doing some career counselling.
the thing i hate about taking those personality tests is the grey area.... and how looongg they are, which probably is to make up for the grey area.

job is cool. people are chill. i've not felt any pressure to be overly nice or outgoing. there are quite a few other quiet people in the office too, so i'm not the total outcast. it's just through a temp agency anyway, so it's not as if i'm expected to form any strong bonds with anyone. we're all there for the same reason: job, money.

what do you ladies feel about poetry readings? i've only been to a few, but my favorite are spoken word poetry slams. the energy and passion in those things is amazing. and i love the flow most poets bring. i think i want to start getting more involved.

anyway. just sending a helllooo to everyone. and hope everyone is having good days.
Just wanted to say hello to everyone here. That is about all for now as i continue with lovely current events. Also wanted to let you guys know how much your support means, just having people who 'know' me, my past, having that understanding means a bunch and, obviously, you guys are some of the only folks I feel that with so.

Everyone have a good weekend and take care. I haven't had time to read through the posts yet, I'll need to catch up later but I really, really hope everyone is doing well.

P.S. Also, I can't wait til I get a moment to take that test! right now, I have no computer. I have to use the library computers and I only get a certain amount of time, have to make a reservation, etc.
QUOTE(knorl05 @ Feb 22 2008, 02:32 PM) *
what do you ladies feel about poetry readings? i've only been to a few, but my favorite are spoken word poetry slams. the energy and passion in those things is amazing. and i love the flow most poets bring. i think i want to start getting more involved.

anyway. just sending a helllooo to everyone. and hope everyone is having good days.

Love love love poetry hun. I used to be somewhat of a novice writer. LOL I haven't written anything in God knows how long. But it would be lovely to go to a poetry or spoken word cafe type place. I wonder if there's any of those around here.

Yall have a wonderful weekend! I've got to go now and prepare the house (a.k.a. clean up) for a bible study gathering we're hosting. Hope it turns out okay. SMOOCHES!
I scored in as a ISFJ :44%/25% / 25%/ 22%
Protector Guardian: their shyness with strangers is often misjudged as stiffness, even coldness, when in truth these Protectors are warm-hearted and sympathetic, giving happily of themselves to those in need.
Their quietness ought really to be seen as an expression, not of coldness, but of their sincerity and seriousness of purpose. Protectors are quite content to work alone; indeed, they may experience some discomfort when placed in positions of authority, and may try to do everything themselves rather than insist that others do their jobs.

that really is or Was me, in all the Leadership stuff I used to do. it still comes back occassionally how Type A I was when I'd take on a task; I was terrible about delgating bc my own standards were insane and I had little faith (based on past experience) in anyone else.
and maybe my issues now stem from in the groups I go to bc I don't trust the new authority's leadership either? and sinse I am unwilling to take a large leadership role on at this point (I turned one down a few months ago based on my own lack of complete understanding of the unit structure and function; ironically I had stepped forward to seek a more active part initally, then realised I knew I wasn't ready.) all this leads to crazi insecurity on my part all around.

knorl: never been to a poetry reading so don't know.
sounds interesting maybe?

konphusion- have a great time at your gathering!

(((((i_am_jan )))) just bc. smile.gif
Just a quick post to say Hi to everyone...
Thanks for all the advice about travelling. Ive been saving up without actually knowing what for but i think this would be the best way to use it. I love the sound of around the world trips but Id like to get more of a real experience of the places i visit rather than being like the average tourist. So Im thinking of maybe picking 3 or so places and spending a few months in each. I have friends who have taken a year off and packed in as many places as possible. While it sounds exciting Id like something a bit different. There'll be plenty of time for week-long visits to all the 'must see' places on vacations when Im older...

The test sounds interesting. Ive never actually heard of it and my googling skills are failing when it comes to finding it sad.gif. Anyone got a link?

Hope any weekend socialising you guys have planned goes well smile.gif
The bible study was great. Only a few people showed up but it was the usual suspects lol We all learned alot! I just hope that we can continue getting together. Its really helping me come out of my shell. Its lovely. Maybe now I wont be so nervous in this wedding!! LOL
kon: i havent mentioned it yet, but i love your avatar. smile.gif i've also written poetry, rather amatuer poetry, through the years. i remember some of the styles i was taught in an english as a second language class in high school (dont ask) which has allowed me at least some direction in my composition. what i love about spoken word is that it is so powerful. and real. and right on. everytime i watch a spoken word poet perform i get all teared up. one because they present their words so passionately, and two because i can empathize so heavily with what they say. i think this goes along with my social ineptness, but i always seem to lack confidence in myself when putting myself in situations that feel unfamiliar. i'm going to have to say though, that i think most people are this way, which is why so few people expose themselves to new things. hmm.

i'm glad your bible study is going well. it's so great to be involved in activities with people who share our thoughts and feelings about life because i think that lends a sense of community. good to hear!

(((socially inept busties)))

on second thought i dont know if it's just unfamiliar circumstances that i feel uncomfortable in, as it is situations in which i feel i am being harshly judged. just an irrational fear i realize. most people i'm sure dont give two shits about me. you know? being self conscious means that i think people even have any opinion about me whatsoever, and that's rather self centered. we're all just people. k. i'm done.
i have this friend who's like, 120% personality, the kind of person who goes to clubs and knows the bartenders, or goes to clubs and befriends the bouncers, the kind that gets these social rewards for being so frickin' outgoing. and i just think, that kind of personality is a lifetime in the making (re: previous convo in this thread of nature vs. nurture). and i also think how i wish i could cultivate that, but it just can't be done, and how i got my own personality that's for me. but that doesn't make me not envious. make absolutely no sense?
I went to a party this weekend;
ok so it was a home-based sex-toy business kind of thing, but it still qualifies as a social gathering right?
once again, the closer it got to the date the more I was sure I Didn't want to go, but had invited my gym friend to go w/ me so was committed, and we ended up having a lot of fun.
when we got there, and I saw how potentially raunchy it could get, I got a wine cooler and it made me relax enough to enjoy myself. only once do I think I embarrassed myself by shouting out ' oh I know what That stuff is bc we already have it!' and I had a small buzz going rolleyes.gif .
that though, was small compared to some of the other "things" that were learned about the other women's personal lives. ( I am totally private about those things normally.)
a small bit of drama when I learned hostess friend had invited a past nemisis of mine, bc this woman & I just have Bad Energy, but she arrived late, saw I was there, and then left early w/ no interaction and I am just bitchy enough to recognize & savor that she backed down and left.
- maybe I should drink socially more often? laugh.gif

anyway, after the party my friend & I went to a waffel house for hamburgers & PIE and it was a very good night.
QUOTE(knorl05 @ Feb 23 2008, 04:30 PM) *
kon: i havent mentioned it yet, but i love your avatar. smile.gif

i'm glad your bible study is going well. it's so great to be involved in activities with people who share our thoughts and feelings about life because i think that lends a sense of community. good to hear!

(((socially inept busties)))

Awww thanks hunny!! I thought it was a groovy lil photo (its not my legs of course LOL) but it's just sassy enough to represent the inner me HAHAH!

Our lil bible study is about to grow too, I've heard so many people at church that weren't there talking about it. Its awesome I think. It was really just supposed to be my lil circle of friends, but other young folks are wanting in on it. WOW! I love how all this is coming together.

Oh man, I'm supposed to start driving this week. I'm so friggin nervous. I've never had a license and at 27 i feel like a dork just now trying to get it. I have my permit now. A license is a must have for me, so i can get a job and go back to school.
you are in nc as well yes?
not to scare you, but there are some TERRIBLE drivers where we are, and the public trans here sux so yes, you do Have to have a car if you want or need to do anything.
just remember, as long as You obey the traffic rules, odds are the insurance claim will be for your favor. terrible but true. people here are freaks, and I've driven all over the world including on the autobahn. just be careful and watch out for the blind spots. (that's how my one and only minor accident happened a few years ago, and then the woman I hit jumped out & started shouting 'I'm not paying for this!' and I was all ' I KNow I KNOw it was MY FAULT!' which apparently you are Not supposed to admit to, but um, it WAS My Fault, even tho I DID LOOK and even had a witness. )
le sigh/shrug.

not my intention to scare the livin' daylights out of you sweetie, you'll make a Great Driver and will Rule the Road!!!!
not much going on social-wise for me right now (too much work, acht) but sounds like a lot of you guys have been having a great time smile.gif.
The party sounded fun Freckleface! Even the shyest of people would have trouble staying in their shell at a sex toy party wink.gif. And your bible study group is making me want to take up religion konphusion- it sounds ideal and perfect for a bit of low-stress socialising. Knorl- I tend to find that if i feel out of my comfort zone it starts to seem like everybodies attenion is completely on me. Then I start to worry that Im looking anxious and so the paranoia attracts further attention. Like you said, i doubt in reality anyone pays much attention to me at all. I hate when you first meet people and you know that they will construct an impression of you based on a matter of minutes. This annoys me because I know damn well that my true personality never shows until I feel comfortable around someone. Its even more annoying when I like the person Ive just met but feel that theyve already dismissed me. ah...
I was just wondering what all your thoughts were on spontaneity?? Personally I get all anxious and turn invitations down if people dont give enough notice. is this just me? I think I just like to know what Ill be doing a bit in advance so I have some time to worry and visualise all possible scenarios lol...
Hey!!! yes I'm in North Carolina, Freckle... I thank you for your thoughts and well wishes. I need them. I think I'm stressing myself out for nothing as I've actually driven a few times successfully. I guess I'm just scared crap-less of getting into an accident or making a mistake that may cause one. You know?? There are some absolute idiot drivers around here & I dont want to be known as one of them. LOL SOme folks should NOT have a license period!

Hey Starship, that sounds like a good idea. It's really cool, and not only am I gaining friends who believe like me, but i'm learning SO friggin much. For me grasping faith concepts is not always easy to come by. It really helps being around like minded people and we sharpen each other. Good luck to you sweetie!
Well, I didnt have that much fun last night. It was HOT and smoky and a bunch of teenagers were in there. The music in the 21 and up section of the club sucked. But the 20 and under section was so packed there was barely standing room. I smelled like an ashtray when i got home at almost 4am. Then had to get up at 9 for church. LOL The girls I went out with are on the choir and they looked beat down this morning!! LOL

OHhhhh, let me tell you gals about the hooker-looking chicks we saw last night. The first hot mess we saw was about 6 ft tall, with a thong and a bra on a fishnet dress with the hem coming mid-butt cheek; she kept tugging at it as if she was being exposed. Oh my gosh, you could see straight thru the damn thing anyway why bother?. She looked like she needed a pimp. Then, this other chick (out of many more) - had on this really short tight halter/shorts jumper; I have to admit i was a bit envious cuz she had a nice body - but she looked very slutty in her lil outfit and stilettos. And she was dancing and grinding on every man that looked her direction. Alcohol is a helluva substance.

I didnt enjoy myself at all. I guess I'll have to quit trying to hang with the younger girls and find some friends my age. lol


wannabe- social butterfly - Kon26 smile.gif
at least you tried it kon, and now you know wink.gif just not for you and that's ok. i used to love the club scene, but i've found as i've gotten older, my fascination with it has faded. i still love good music and dancing, but not nearly as much as when i was a kid.

starship, isnt it funny how once we realize how we're reacting it seems almost absurd? i've wasted way too much time and energy on feeling imperfect or being self conscious. we're all a mess to some degree in some way shape or form.. i think what matters more is just accepting the fact that we are going to fuck up, leave a bad impression, make a fool of ourselves, say the wrong thing, or do something else that causes us to feel inferior. but that doesnt determine the entirety of whom we are, and we just have to take it in stride. even if other people get the wrong impression, know that they dont know the real you, and so it's all good. too bad for them if they dont allow themselves the opportunity to get to know you...... xo.
I occasionally went to clubs when I was in college, and I remember a couple times when I enjoyed it, but now I just feel like they're a waste of my time. Plus, I feel like if I want to be a part of the club scene here, I need to get plastic surgery, dye my hair, lose 40 pounds and act like I'm perky. I don't want that, I just want to be accepted for myself. If I want to go out to a bar, I'd much rather see a good band, or go earlier when it isn't so crowded. In some ways, it feels like I've been there, done that, now let's do something else.

I don't think it's so much an age thing, though, but more of where one's interests lie. I've met a couple people my age and older (!) who like going out to night clubs, think it's a blast, but I've had more fun dancing around with a bunch of teenagers at a punk show (that made me feel OLD) than going to a night club. That sort of music is more my cup of tea than what they normally play at clubs.

I did go out Saturday night, I found a Firefly fan group in my area, went to their meeting and had fun. Played some board games, and afterwards some of the members went to Applebee's. I'm hoping to go to their "shindings" more often, it's nice to meet people who are just as dorky as I am. tongue.gif
totally understand lilacwine13.. . i've gone and done just about anything that peeked my interest in the detroit scene and feel as though i've almost exhausted my options. techno was such an amazing experience when it was new to me but my interest in it has been fading as of late. i miss the days when i could extract joy out of socializing. now the only thing that gets me out is something specific that i want to see or support. think my problem is that i'm losing passion for the city, and feeling like an outsider in places i used to feel welcomed. maybe it's that to some degree i think because i'm getting older i'm supposed to "grow up" and have some shit of my own. or maybe it's just that my interests have changed and i've not yet found a place that is conducive to nurturing what intrigues me. hmm. maybe i need to travel more. but in order to travel more i need more money. and in order to make more money i need to have a better job. damn. it's totally perpetual. i should stop making excuses. .......... sorry ladies. frustrated tonight. always feel like my life is just beyond my reach.
Well I have been a total hermit over the past few months wacko.gif Not sure why but me and bf have just been hanging out on the sofa and watching TV every weekend . I find the only reason I go out is to buy groceries or cigs. We even had the chance to go see a friend of BF band play a few weeks ago and for what ever reason we just didn't go. Last weekend I got up early Saturday and cleaned the whole house ( washed down walls etc..) cooked a big dinner and watched movies all day Sunday. Money has been tight but thats not all of it for some reason I just can't motivate my self to get dressed and go out and do anything. Monday I had half a day off so I went to dinner/movie with bf and my dad. The only reason I went because my dad as been a little down and my mom asked me to .I just haven't been in the mood to be social .
I completely understand life being out of reach, knorl. I sometimes wonder wonder when almost everyone my age became a grown-up. I really wish I had money to travel, but of course, I don't, and getting a better job means switching my career goals...

Before I left the town I went to college in, I felt like I'd seen everything in it and was ready to move on. Here, I just have trouble finding stuff that is interesting that isn't outdoors or outside the city. I love Arizona, even like parts of the Phoenix area, but there's this nagging sensation in the back of my head that maybe it's time to try something different. I think that's one of the reasons why I want to get into archeology, I've met people who've managed to move around a bit, and maybe I might meet some people I can befriend. I know that's part of the restlessness, trying to find someplace where I belong.
QUOTE(lilacwine13 @ Mar 7 2008, 04:04 AM) *
I know that's part of the restlessness, trying to find someplace where I belong.

you are the bestest lilac biggrin.gif

i think what i've realized, is that i am probably going to be an outsider till i die. but i've learned to find the benefits in it... sounds ubercheezy and dorky, but hey. here goes. first. i'll always be an individual, i wont get all wrapped up in what groups or cliques are doing. second. i have the freedom to travel into whatever social scene i want. third. i dont always like people and i need my alone time, so this way i'm able to do what i want when i want. i guess bottom line is not belonging, isnt so bad. i mean who said we need to belong anyway..? i've found what matters most to me are the strong connections i've got with the genuine people in my life, and with that, i feel i belong any where i want to be. not that i necessarily do or do not, but it helps to draw on whatever we can to live our lives. you know, being aware of myself as an individual, i dont have to be as concerned with fitting in or conforming to social norms. knowing that i may never really fit in anyway, negates any sort of need to try. feel me? i'm able to just be myself and that's something i really value. so yeah. rock on with your quirky self lovey. xo.
I like being different and a dork smile.gif. Being different isnt necessarily a bad thing. It's all relative to what you're different to. (late night typing-excuse lack of clarity:/). If I wanted to be the same as other people and thought their way was better than mine then I would. It's just the anxiety that bugs me. I find that the best thing for a bit of a confidence boost is to push myself. Going out of my way to do something that I'm tempted to avoid. I think it's necessary sometimes because although i do enjoy alone time I wouldnt want to get to the end of my life and regret not making the most of it. If I didnt make the effort Id probably barely leave the house at all
The weather here is miserable so its a good excuse to indulge myself and snuggle up with a dvd all evening smile.gif. I dont have to feel like a loser because Im pretty sure the whole country is being a dork right now smile.gif...There's a lecture at my university wednesday evening followed by a small party/social thing. There'll be alcohol and food but Im pretty sure it's going to be more low-key than the typical student party. Lots of the professors will be there so Im predicting plenty of small talk and networking (eek). I doubt Ill have much time for socialising in the next few months anyway (exams etc) but Im looking forward to summer. Im gonna try as many new things as possible just for the hell of it. Maybe some travelling too
konphusion, i take my hat off to you smile.gif. Considering youre a member of this thread, you always seem to have a pretty hectic social life
touche starship. you brought up good points. especially regarding the anxiety. i was just exploring that aspect of my day at work today. where does the anxiety come from? what is it that i "fear"..? and i guess past experiences of people being rude or disrespectful toward me have left me with a bad taste in my mouth around 'normal' people. i kind of expect them to be shitty toward me. if they're not, all the better. most people, if given the chance, will be a jackass toward an individual they regard as different. most people are so uncultured and sheltered, they dont understand that different does not mean stupid, bad, inferior..etc. there was a program on tlc about a woman who was unusually tall.. i think around 6'2". she said what bothers her the most about how people react to her is the way they talk about her right in front of her. she said she feels like turning to them and being like, "i'm tall, not deaf". a lot of people are prejudice and have presuppositions about others based on their own limited experiences. i guess i get anxiety when i feel the people i'm around dont understand me or life the way i do, which leaves me feeling isolated and alone around them. then i'll feel self conscious knowing i cant fully be myself. and then i'll start to turn my thoughts in on myself and feel there's something wrong with me. now that i recognize what it is, and where it comes from, i'm able to put myself in another place and remember we're all different. and even if people try to be oppressive toward me, as long as i maintain my self awareness i wont let them get me down. i further realize that many of these issues are the result of being hypersensitive to my environment. but whatever. starship i like what you said about challenging yourself.. i too feel that's so important in learning anything new in life which can be very beneficial to the mind body and soul...... blaa. i'm wandering. late. tired. irritable.
knorl, so much about that anxiety, yes yes! I think I fear rejection and judgement from strangers so much sometimes, that I reject them first to save myself any possibility of it whatsoever. I think it's why I've been described as 'icy' before, and then people are totally suprised to find that in reality, I'm a total Dork. ( and occasionally I believe that discovery is a leftdown to them, bc I'm a lot of things, but "cool" ain't one of them. tongue.gif )

I signed our family up for a meetup group of dog-lovers in our area.
our pupp's are still too young as far as shots yet to get them around other dogs, but w/in another month we should be cleared for it. it seems to be a pretty active & large group so I'm optimistic.
there's another breed-specific group that looks interesting, but no one has so far stepped forward to head it up and I don't think I'd even want to sinse I never have before but I wish they would.

anna- I know you've gone to a few meetups before, how does it go? how friendly are people generally?

ps to knorl: our best friend is from detroit and trying to move back there.

freckle: yeah i used to be like that too....and i just came off as bitchy or snobby to people, which would cause people to react unfavorably toward me until (or if) they got to know me. thru the years i've discovered what this elusive "cool" really is. it's different for everyone. some people think it's cool to be in a gang, some people think it's cool to listen to top 40, some people think it's cool to own an expensive sports car, some people think it's cool hang out at frat parties, some people think it's cool to go to poetry readings, some people think it's cool to wear trendy clothes.ETC. the point i'm making is "cool" is different for everyone. as long as you're true to yourself and what you like, imo, you're pretty cool. especially if others dont agree>> f*ck'em. i know most people are way concerned with being cool, or smart, or attractive, or wealthy, or strong, or whatever... so much so that it makes them no better than me. we're all trying to be something, even if what we're trying to be is nothing. you know. just gotta void out the bullshit. something i have to continuously remind myself of everyday. that's why interests help tremendously. when we're involved in what we love to do, what others think about us really doesnt seem to matter as much. it's awesome that you're going to be meeting with other dog lovers, that should be a good time and opportunity to meet people with similar interests. smile.gif

and...i've been trying to move out of detroit. actually just had a convo with a friend about it today. there are so few opportunities in detroit, i think that adds to my anti-social nature. let me know if they make it back here and if you come for a visit. that would be fun!
youre fab knorl smile.gif
I think 'cool' people are the ones who are themselves even if that sometimes means going against the popular perception of cool. I cant stand people who try too hard. they change their style, their personality..basically anything they can to please those around them. I think most people can be forgiven for this when theyre younger, abit mixed up and just want to fit in; but once you get past a certain age its just damn pathetic. Its why Im not bothered about being a quiet person anymore. Its just the way I am and Im fine with it as are plenty of other people in my life. Loud people who dont shut up usually irritate me after a while anyway so why would I try to be one. Im not really sure if im talking about the same thing as you guys at all but heyho
I do come off as stuck up and rude to some people i thinkk. But others just think im shy. And as i dont look particularly intimidating id guess its probably the latter mostly.
Hmm. Saying all that, its kind of contradictory to still be so self conscious and nervous around new people. I dont get how I can be comfortable with who I am and yet still be that way. Id like to know what the hell Im afraid of so i can stop being a walking contradiction...
I think maybe things have escalated from when I was less comfortable with myself. Is it possible for anxiety and awkwardness to become a sort of habit that continues even when you are happy with who your are?
Ive never heard of a dog lovers meet up before. sounds great smile.gif
If I knew how to be comfortable around strangers and people I don't know too well I'd be a lot better. I've found that it takes a long time for me to open up to others, and I'm sure this has to do with being too trusting in the past, and saying stuff that, while I thought it was funny, went right over people's heads. I'm okay with being a dork, but I know others aren't, and are threatened by someone who's different. I've been told I'm intimidating, which I don't completely fathom. I'm not someone who smiles a lot, I'm not a girly-girl, yet this somehow gives off the air I'm going to kick someone's ass. (In reality, I'm a bit of a wimp who hates fights.) I've tried being someone I'm not, and that always falls apart. Now I'm just trying to remember not to babble on when I get nervous... sad.gif

I don't think I've come across as stuck-up; rude, yes, but I have trouble being polite to people who bore or irritate me.
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