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Hardly any friends

topic posted Fri, February 9, 2007 - 3:01 PM by  Lisa
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I am really close with my family, especially my sisters. My sisters are my best friends. I have one best friend who lives out of state. I talk to her once a month. I basically I have no one else besides my family. It gets to me sometimes, especially when others are talking about their friends. I sometimes wish that I had more friends. But on the other hand, I like my alone time. I would not like to feel lke I have to go out every night. I enjoy just being by myself. I still get depressed though, wishing that my life were different. What do I do? I have always sucked at making friends. I am 26, and I feel like sometimes it is pointless to change now. I wish I could either accept myself the way that I am or change. I feel like I am constantly changing my mind on whether to change, or just accept myself. Can anyone else relate, or have any advice. I am too chicken to go into therapy. I feel like I already know what a therapist will tell me.
posted by:
Lisa
Michigan
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    Re: Hardly any friends

    Fri, February 9, 2007 - 3:24 PM
    Wow. That could have been written by me. I am, in fact, at my sister's house right now. This is my friday night out ritual.

    I have online friends, and that is all, really. Up until recently, my best friend was my S.O.

    He just broke up with me, though, and I am confused like you are.

    I wish I had more to offer...
    • Re: Hardly any friends

      Fri, February 9, 2007 - 7:16 PM
      Although I've got several really close, deep friendships...they are out travelling, being busy and just living their lives, so I'm not connecting with them a whole lot.

      Sounds like you're going through a bummed state...S.O. breaking up with you has you looking at your life.

      What's been helping me lately is going to counselling. I may know what they'll say, but what's coming up for me is profound. One big block I can have is the core belief no matter what I do it won't really make a difference. So I "accept" being alone, lonely, having a life that feels smaller and more constricting until all I'm really doing is existing.

      Talking with someone is making it so clear the kind of life I want and what's holding me back from believing I can and deserve to have such a life. Grieving is helping me see I can have the life I want. It is possible and I deserve it.

    • Re: Hardly any friends

      Sun, April 11, 2010 - 1:07 AM
      wow thats like my life in a nutshell im 18 and have only one bestfriend known here for 10 yrs im very close w my mom i love her but it gets too me the fact im soo alone kids my age party/club i dnt im just in my house reading or drawing and i get so sad/jealous when i hear others having a goodtime im trying to overcome this uhhh even my bestfriend called me painfully shy
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    Re: Hardly any friends

    Fri, February 9, 2007 - 9:53 PM
    Sometimes I feel as you do Lisa,and other times for some odd reason I just don't let it concern me.Mabe it's me,I don't know.I've had close friends off and on through out my life,but sadly we've all moved on and drifted apart and changed so much.That and to be honest I can't say I was ever really close to anybody,some part of me always wanted to keep an distance.I'm close to my family,and enjoy being with a few people outside of the net.But for the most part I've always felt isolated and on the outside looking in most of my life,and feel frustrated that I don't have more people in my life that I interact with more often that means more to me than just small talk.I don't know what the solution is,counseling can help to a certain degree,but mabe I'm just plain solitary by nature and simply prefer the company of those closest to me rather than a ton of people that make me feel even more alone in a crowd. For me having friends online has helped to some degree,but it's frustrating because in some ways it just can't make up for everyday out in the world interaction.And that to me I simply couldn't deal without.Even if I have to some how force myself to at least smile and make small talk when I'm scared to death of it,that beats not bothering at all.It's rough,but even a smile from a stranger or a laugh beats all.It doesn't happen enough and I feel like sometimes I've wasted my time,but I feel better than if I hadn't.I'm sounding more depressed than I actually feel,mabe for me it's an kind of boundary,and only a select few are allowed past it.I think the problem comes in when that boundary to keep others out becomes a prison,so that you let no one in.So theres an need to be more open to others and letting them know you care and enjoy them in your life,without of course smothering them by going too far the other way.I guess the solution would be in trying to balance that,so that you'd feel more secure with yourself and also allowing for relationships to flourish without feeling trapped or ignored or empty.I'm not sure wether this is much help,but I hope it helps some.
  • Re: Hardly any friends

    Fri, February 9, 2007 - 11:11 PM
    I experienced what you experienced for a very long time and things have really turned around recently. I've made friends from a depression group I frequent. Also I'm trying to be more assertive when I sense someone is cool to initiate a friendship. Most times I expect that of others. Another problem I had in the past, getting overly attached to people and sulking when my needs were not met. That drives people away. Now I don't make such a big deal if a person doesn't call me back right away or cancels meetings every so often. I'm trying to be less intense and more private about my emotional problems, something I made the focal point of conversations with people I felt close to. What I grew to learn though is people are self-centered and want to have light conversations. Fortunately I see a therapist twice a week where I'm able to vent my frustration (in addition to Tribe). Also I decided to becomed more learned on different subjects and a better story teller including tidbits in converations on interesting points. My past manner of converation was to ask alot of questions of the person, something that gets boring after a while. Several months ago a ery close friend whom I had known for ten years decided to abruptly end the friendship after I expressed my irritation with her controlling behavior. I made it clear she didn't do it often but in an incident where she didn't get her way in having me do what she wanted me to do she became increasingly inconsiderate. Well she ended our friendship, aggravated at my pointing out a weak aspect in her character. What became of this is a jaded outlook on my part when it comes to people. Jaded and more detached. People are fun and interesting to be around. But in the end you can't really count on anyone. That experience helped me to give less importance to people and in giving them less importance for some reason more importance or attention has come my way. Hope my experiences have helped.
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      Re: Hardly any friends

      Fri, April 6, 2007 - 8:06 PM
      thanks for posting this. I"m just going through this thread, amazed there are others who really get my issues, and can offer insight:-)
  • Re: Hardly any friends

    Sat, February 10, 2007 - 4:46 AM
    Thank you for all the comments. It helps just knowing that I am not alone out there. There are other people experiencing the same things that I am. Who knows, maybe one day I will be brave enough to try counseling. Lately I have become more accepting of the fact that I am not a person who has a ton of friends, and it is okay. Some days I am just more confident and self assured than others. I really like the suggestion to find interesting stories or tidbits of information. It is true for me that I just ask questions and am totallly uninteresting around new people. Thank you for all you responses.
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      Re: Hardly any friends

      Sun, February 11, 2007 - 4:41 PM
      I have a small circle of close friends - I've never wanted to be part of a large social group - It doesnt make wierd or maladjusted. I love my friends dearly - I enjoy their company - their spark etc.

      I feel that social relationships are crucial - they keep you sane - they provide you with a strong support network and most importantly, they enrich life.

      Making friends is a difficult process - finding people with similar interests etc - Its worth the effort though. The people you want to meet are out there. You just have to find them.! Get out there girl!
  • Re: Hardly any friends

    Wed, February 14, 2007 - 12:13 AM
    Hi Lisa

    I have no friends really besides my S.O. and a couple old school friends that I email now and then (they dont live here). That's it. I feel like I'm weird but I wonder how many people are in the same situation. I'd like to have friends just to hang with, know what I mean?

    Its been this way for me for over ten years. That is a long time to have no friends(besides my S.O.'s).
    • Re: Hardly any friends

      Wed, February 14, 2007 - 9:36 AM
      I know that feeling. I use to deal with major loneliness (and still do to some degree). Who knows if it could happen again. My relationships seem so fragile. Have you thought to see a counselor or therapist to work out these issues? What the heck is your S.O? Is that your relationship? In that area my life is super lonely.
      • Re: Hardly any friends

        Wed, February 14, 2007 - 11:25 AM
        Many people deliberately choose to only have a very few friends.
        I like many many, but when all is said, there are only a few I keep in touch with regularly.
        I have always preferred being lonely if that is the way it is, rather than force something uncomfortable for both myself and someone else.
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          Re: Hardly any friends

          Sat, February 17, 2007 - 9:34 AM
          I know what you're saying Scott,me I prefer quaility over quantity in the end.And at times it's frustrating how disconnected I can feel from others,on the outside looking in.I'd rather be alone than lonely surrounded by people who don't give a damn,they just say they do.I'm being cynical,but sometimes it's hard not to.I'm trying to be less harsh though.
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    Re: Hardly any friends

    Sat, February 17, 2007 - 10:12 AM
    <--- zero IRL friends

    meh
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      Re: Hardly any friends

      Sat, February 17, 2007 - 11:32 AM
      Oh gosh. I'm sure that's not entirely true!

      Most of my friends are online, but are a collection of people I've met through my life, and that I just stay in contact with online.

      Some others are purely online friends that I've acquired because they are similar to me in some obscure way (and I often think that the bonds there are tighter than any random *real life* friend).

      The rest are family, or people I've known so long, they are practically family. I just don't see the need to invest emotional energy into every breathing person that bebops my way. That's not to say I'm against making new friends, and I do from time to time, but...

      My *issue* stems from something I *learned* as a young person. Having moved from state to state (approximately once every two years), I learned that most people aren't worth the trouble. There are those that will drop you like a hot potato at the first sign of trouble, those that will drop you like a hot potato the second something more interesting comes along, etc., etc. TRUE friends are hard to find.

      As shy introverts (as I'm assuming most of us on here are), we only have so much emotional energy to invest, and it's potential loss can send us in a downward spiral, so we aren't willing to offer it to just anyone.

      Just my two cents.

      ~autumn
      • Re: Hardly any friends

        Sat, February 17, 2007 - 11:36 AM
        "There are those that will drop you like a hot potato at the first sign of trouble, those that will drop you like a hot potato the second something more interesting comes along, etc., etc. TRUE friends are hard to find." TRUE THAT. Especially sensitive persons like ourselves are especially taken advantage of.
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          Re: Hardly any friends

          Sat, February 17, 2007 - 11:44 AM
          This thought is not fully formed, so don't attack me if it sounds odd, but I feel like I there's a neon sign over my head that says "black hole for emotional dumping right here!"
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            Re: Hardly any friends

            Sat, February 17, 2007 - 11:47 AM
            ooops!

            Sorry for dumping.
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              Re: Hardly any friends

              Sat, February 17, 2007 - 11:51 AM
              Lol, no! That's not at all what I meant. Do you find that people will often come to you for heavy and extensive advice complete with emotional support, sapping your energy, and then disappear when they don't need it anymore/you need it in return?

              THAT's what I mean. Not worded well the first time, I know. :-p
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                Re: Hardly any friends

                Fri, April 6, 2007 - 8:12 PM
                yes, that happens to me too. then they act all weird the next time I see them when I try to be friendly. er, sorry, I guess I was only there to listen to all your problems randomly that one time....
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        zero IRL friends...

        Sat, February 17, 2007 - 11:46 AM
        sad but true...

        I got hurt at work about three years ago and became the now ex's ~hot potato~ also as a new guy in town with no friends or family to fall back on and gimped beyond social activity, pretty much don't care anymore.

        I work graveyard shift as well as weekends with very little people contact so in addition to being relatively shy, the possiblity to *do* much about any of it doesn't really exist.

        So again, meh.
      • Re: Hardly any friends

        Mon, December 24, 2007 - 12:53 PM
        I am so with many of you here, as I am in the same boat, although likely older than many.
        Was just pondering this recently, as my husband and I relocated back to San Francisco after
        12 years away. I have kept in touch with a few distant friends online, have joined many Tribes here,
        have reconnected with a few old friends that we had before we moved away, but have not really made
        any new friends since being back, for many of the same reasons that others have posted on this thread.
        Although I can't say for sure, I'm likely older than many on this tribe, at age 60.
        It's at least nice to know that I'm not alone in my sentiments.
  • Re: Hardly any friends

    Wed, February 21, 2007 - 6:41 AM
    No worries, Lisa. I'm in pretty much the same boat myself. While I do have a handful of really close friends, unfortunately over the years they're moved away and now the closest ones are a hundred miles away. Even my SO lives a hundred miles off. We see one another on the weekends, but until we resolve our geographical differences it makes for some pretty lonely weeks sometimes.

    I'm fortunate enough that my parents and sister still live in the same town, and Sis and I are very close. Still... sometimes it'd be nice to have some other people to be able to hang out with now and then.

    I'm still trying to figure out how to resolve that as well. I was happy to discover that a little coffee shop I like to go to now and then is going to start having a "game night" for people to play chess, checkers, dominos, etc., and since I like playing chess I thought that might be a good way for me to go out and meet some new people, who are hopefully a bit more like me than the folks I generally see in bars when I go to listen to live music somewhere.

    Something else that seems to work fairly well for me is to go and take some kind of class in something you're interested in. Sign up for dance lessons or karate classes or something like that. They're usually structured, so you don't have to worry about what to say or do, and since you're all in the same class doing the same thing you already have a fairly easy topic for conversation. I've made a few friends that way, but of course they all moved away, too.

    That's one of the downsides to living in a military town. Many of the people you meet are military people, and in three years they're leaving to go somewhere else.
  • D
    D
    offline 0

    Re: Hardly any friends

    Wed, February 21, 2007 - 7:21 AM
    It's hard to make friends once you're out of school. At least for us that suffer from shyness/anxiety. It's like, that was the only forced social interaction we had to endure, and in the process, make some friends along the way. Once that door is closed, it's very hard for us. I suffer from social anxiety and it's impossible for me to make friends. I just can't do that whole small talk and can't think of ANY questions to ask to a stranger or how to start a convo or.. the whole thing seems alien and just wrong. Asking a stranger about their day, prsonal life... It just feels, unnatural? I'm not close with my family. They take pride in thinking that they raised me to be a good person. They are in denial. When I was little, they didn't spend much time with me and I was mostly raised by my grandparents. They sent me to some private school and worked out of state to make money so they can afford to give me a good education. To make up for all that, they bought me toys and things that really didn't matter. As I was in high school, we moved alot, maybe once every other year. It was frustrating and didn't help with my anxiety, knowing how hard it was for me to make new friends and go to a new school and new environment. It's like everything was temporary and make belief, nothing was solid and it felt like I was not grounded. I just thought I was weird for feeling this way before seeing a commercial for Paxil on TV and looking up the word "social anxiety" and there is was. All the symptoms I had, soon after that I found forums and chats with similar ppl suffering from the same thing. I can remember that day being one of the more memorable ones because I was not alone. It felt great but at the same time, I was amazed that so many ppl were on medication. At 1st it felt like the answer but it's not, all it does is make you a zombie and they are not true antidepressants. They just make you numb. My parents took pride in the fact that I don't drink, smoke and live a healthy lifestyle. They are too quick to take credit. I've done drugs and I think they'd be devastated and it would shatter their make belief world. I do live a healthy life style and I've never abused drugs, only used them for spiritual insight and basically try and find out my purpose and reason for being in this world, etc. Except for smoking and drinking, that was for social acceptence. What a joke. I have no friends and I've learned to accept it. I've learned to like my alone time. I feel like I'd rather be alone than be around all these sheeple. But then again, I know there are some good people out there who are on the same wavelength. Only if I can connect. I find it easier to socialize with ppl on the internet than in real life. All the friends I make have no voices or faces. They are just text. Maybe this is the brave new world.
    • Re: Hardly any friends

      Fri, February 23, 2007 - 5:43 AM
      D: "I suffer from social anxiety and it's impossible for me to make friends."

      Nope. Not impossible, just difficult. There's an important difference...
    • Re: Hardly any friends

      Thu, March 1, 2007 - 9:23 AM
      <It felt great but at the same time, I was amazed that so many ppl were on medication. At 1st it felt like the answer but it's not, all it does is make you a zombie and they are not true antidepressants. >

      Speak for yourself, Tom Cruise. Medication does really help people who do suffer anxiety and depression. HELPS is the main word; it's not the panacea for all of life's woes. No one gets out that easy.
      • Re: Hardly any friends

        Thu, March 1, 2007 - 10:15 AM
        Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I seem to meet more people whom drugs have not helped than otherwise. Some people take naturopathic meds. I take stuff the psychiatrist gives me for the time being. I'm agains censorship. Tom Cruise may belong to an extremely odd cult but he is still entitled to his opinion.
      • Re: Hardly any friends

        Thu, March 1, 2007 - 10:44 AM
        I'll have to side with Heather on this one. I think the idea behind medication is to get people up to a level where they can deal with their problems enough that they won't need the medicine anymore. The medicine isn't the solution to the problem, it's just a tool to help get to the solution. And of course it's not the right tool for some people. Aspirin isn't for everyone, either.
    • Re: Hardly any friends

      Sun, April 11, 2010 - 1:16 AM
      wow D i can relate to that i never went on the meds though bc idk i never liked the idea of them but i have forced myself out of my shell and its gotten a little easier
  • Re: Hardly any friends

    Thu, March 1, 2007 - 10:13 AM
    Where do you live in Michigan? I have a very cool, nice friend in Michigan you could meet. She is widely traveled and an art shool major
    • Re: Hardly any friends

      Thu, March 1, 2007 - 11:49 AM
      that is meant for Lisa
      • Re: Hardly any friends

        Sun, March 18, 2007 - 6:19 AM
        I'VE BEEN ON MEDS FOR 8 YRS NOW i'M TRYING TO GET OFF THEM i REALIZED THAT THEY NOT REALLY HELPING ME OF, COURSE i DON'T HIDE MYSELF IN MY ROOM ANYMORE FROM MY UNBERABLE SOCIAL ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION BUT WHAT i DON'T LIKE ABOUT IT IS THE FACT THAT THEY ARE TOXINS TO MY BODY AND ALSO THEY DON'T GET RID OF THE PROBLEM THEY MAKE ME FEEL LIKE IT'S NOT SO DRASTIC BUT THERE NOT THE SOLUTION.

        THE ONLY SOLUTION IS TO FACE THE PROBLEM AND DEAL WITH IT.

        PILLS DON'T GIVE ADVICE AND THEY SURE AS HELL DON'T TURN YOU INTO A CONFIDANT STRONG OUTGOING PERSON-OR WHATEVER PERSON THAT YOU THINK YOU SHOULD BE. THE ONLY THING THAT DOES IS YOU!
        OR SOCIALLY ACCEPTED PERSON-- THE DOGMA YOU GET FOR BEING A MEDCATED ZOMBIE WEIRDO OUTCAST IS BY FAR WORSE THEN YOUR ORIGINAL PROBLEM TO BEGIN WITH-- TRUST ME i KNOW ANYTIME i GOT A LITTLE EMOTIONAL AROUND PEOPLE MAINLY MY (LOVING FAMILY MEMBERS) I WAS ALWAYS ASKED IF i TOOK MY PSYCO MEDS! BECAUSE HEAVEN FORBIDE THAT i HAVE A OPINION THAT PEOPLE DON'T AGREE WITH. ALSO WHEN YOUR ON STRONG MEDS PEOPLE KNOW IT BECAUSE OF THE WEIRD ZOMBIE LOOK YOU GET IN YOUR EYES IS A TOTAL GIVEAWAY, IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT YOU NEED TO GO VISIT A MENTAL HOSPITAL AND YOU'LL SEE THAT LOOK IN THE EYES OF ALL THE PATIENTS! ANTI-ANXIETY AND ANTI-DEPRESSANTS GIVE YOU THAT LOOK EXPIECALLY HEAVY DOSES!
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          Re: Hardly any friends

          Mon, March 19, 2007 - 8:16 AM
          I have to say I agree with you on the meds,every person I've known that is on anti-depressants,etc generally isn't getting better,it's creating more problems and they are feeling worse.It's a moneypit in my opinion.Some of these individuals have scared the hell out of me when they've missed taking their meds or tried to get off them...some shouldn't even be in the occucaptions that they are,yet it's all legal because an doctor prescribed it.I've been through depression off and on,had serious hard knocks in my life and yes have trouble making friends out in the everyday world...I don't see where a little pill would cure all my ills.I deal with it all one day at a time,I accept my feeling and find positive outlets,and strive to enjoy life as best as I can.I'd rather feel pain and joy than to feel nothing at all,or stuck in a fog drifting through life.In some cases,severe ones I'm sure it's necessary for their own safety and that of others around them...but don't you think our society is more than alittle obsessed with all these so-called disorders,creating problems worse than the ones suppossedly being treated? Surely there are other more safer options that help deal with and fix rather than mask or repress.As anyone knows what goes down must come right back up,usually with an vengance.
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            Re: Hardly any friends

            Mon, March 19, 2007 - 10:00 AM
            If you've noticed that they start falling when they're not taking their meds, shouldn't that be a clue that the meds do *something* to help?

            I have depression. I take medication. Not everyone that takes medication is depressed or needs to be taking it, and not every medicine helps everyone, and some medicines do screw some people up, but don't you think the above was an extremely broad and stereotyping thing to say?

            I have to agree with you on the idea that doctor perscriptions have too much power. I think they should be limited more than they are. There's a book with an interesting theory in it that I want to recommend for you, but the author's name elludes me at the moment... I'll look for it. You'd like the message behind it. Anyhow, it basically goes through the transition from freudian psychology to chemical psychology, going over who benefited (and still does) and where the checks and balances are.

            Hope I didn't offend, but my medication does help me feel better,

            ~autumn
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              Re: Hardly any friends

              Fri, April 6, 2007 - 6:12 PM
              I am also close with my family but have very few friends. I have five who live elsewhere and one who lives in the same city as me. I used to have others but it seems like everybody is slipping away. The friend who lives here is extremely busy. I see him very rarely. I am jelous of him because he seems to really have it all together. One of the ones from out of town seems to have his own life there and doesn't seem to really have time for me. I only really have anything in common with three of my friends. I really admire two of them but they have other friends and I feel like I often get left out. With most of my friends it seems like I call them way more than they call me. I hate leaving messages because sometimes they don't get returned. I only have one friend who I really feel fully comfortable around. Although our views differ on some issues I feel like I can relate to him and we joke around and generally have a good time.

              I always have acquaintences but 90% of our interactions don't go much further than "hey". I feel uncomfortable calling people by name for some reason wich makes things more akward. It is a huge leap from acquaintance to friendship. I've known all of my friends since elementary school. I think that I may be too old to make any new friends. Getting numbers is nearly impossible. When I do get one I will call them 3 or 4 times. Usually they never call me so I assume that they're not really interested. Often messages will not get returned. School or work would seem like a good place to meet people, but I find the institutional setting intimidating for some reason. I am more likely to talk to people from work or school if I see them in another setting. Outside of these venues I don't really know of legitimate ways to start conversations with people. In any situation I always feel like I don't have an "excuse" to talk to people. I guess that I could try joining a club or taking up some sort of organized activity but I haven't had much success with this in the past.

              Several people mentioned in this post that their only friends were there S.O.s. For me friends would be nice, but I would be happy with only a girlfriend. The problem is that most girls wouldn't want to go out with somebody who has no friends. I do enjoy my time alone to a certain extent. I would be happy with one outing a week (now it may be months in between outings). I do find it kind of funny how some people will not be seen alone in public and feel that they need a friend to come along for every activity (shopping, for example).

              "As I was in high school, we moved alot, maybe once every other year. It was frustrating and didn't help with my anxiety, knowing how hard it was for me to make new friends and go to a new school and new environment. It's like everything was temporary and make belief, nothing was solid and it felt like I was not grounded."
              I moved several times when I was young which caused major problems. One move at age 12 was very difficult and came at the wrong time. I subconciously push people away because I feel like they are just going to leave anyways. It seems like everybody is always slipping away. The town that I was living in from ages 7-12 was a nice community. I was relatively normal kid there and had a good network of friends. Several months before I left I started thinking that my friends didn't like me anymore and distanced myself from them. I now see that this was a coping method to make the separation easier.

              As to pharmeceuticals, I have never used them. While I am sure that a very small number of idividuals will benefit from medication, I think that drugs are way overprescibed. It's all about sedating people and keeping them under control. I think that "brave new world" is the most important book for our time. Television serves the same purpose as drugs in this sense. I know several pharmeceutical industy victims. I think that environmental factors in all types of mental illness are overlooked. The problem lies much more in society than the individual. I only use one type of drug for one purpose. I use natural psychedellics for insight and personal healing and spiritual growth. This has likely made my social problems worse as I tend to see myself as being very different from others. The drugs did help me in many ways, but the problem is that the world that they revealed was a perfect utopia. A major problem for me is that I am a perfectionist. I often see other people as being shallow. I tend to just give up when things don't work out perfectly. I guess that I ask to much of other people. I am too trusting and become too atached to people too quickly. Things seem to disintegrate and I become disillusioned.

              As to "socializing" on the internet, I find it very inadequate. I mainly just use sites such as this one to vent and ramble on about my problems. Thank you to anyone who took the trouble to read! Many people just use internet discussion boards to argue and be complete a**holes as they can't behave like that in real life without getting beaten up. I find that this tribe is not like that though.
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                Re: Hardly any friends

                Fri, April 6, 2007 - 8:18 PM
                I think it's a BIG step for you to come on here and *rant*.

                That's what I meant when I mentioned having an online "life;" it certainly does pale in comparison to a *real* life, but it's a big step for me to put myself out there at all.

                Perhaps the bigger step (of moving from acquantinces to friendships in real life) will follow, but for now, I'm proud of me for communicating with the real people online (read: the people who are not on here just to be A-holes). I'm proud of you, too. Be happy with the little steps, and look forward to taking a few of them, looking back, and seeing how far you've actually come.

                ~Miss Autumn
                • Deb
                  Deb
                  offline 1

                  Re: Hardly any friends

                  Sat, April 7, 2007 - 4:44 AM
                  Hi. I'm new to the tribe and joined this tribe for obvious reasons. I just wanted to add my 2 cents. I've been reading these posts and wanted to say that I agree with Miss Autumn. It's the little steps that add up and help. I've spent years suffering thru the shyness and the anxiety that comes with it (and i've done the meds too). I've learned to enjoy the little steps. Each one is almost a celebration! Enjoy them like they're great victories!! It's hard to take the risk of putting yourself out there for the possibility of rejection (which is one of my fears) but with the little steps and the little victories it gets easier a bit at a time and isn't so overwhelming.

                  I also recommend a previous suggestion. Take a class of some sort that is interesting to you. That's a great suggestion. I started a 13 month course back in September and it's helping me a great deal. Not only am I learning about what interests me, but i've also met some really great people (ok and some not so great people too). Although I don't like everyone in the class, I've met 2 new friends and sometimes hang with them on the weekend. What's funny is that my newest friends are in their early 20's and i'm nearing to the big "50". So the age difference is nothing! They like hanging out with me! Crazy huh?? :-)

                  I guess I just wanted to say it's those wonderful little steps!

                  Well, that's my 2 cents. Thanks for "listening"!
                  Peace in your hearts!
                  Deb
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                    Re: Hardly any friends

                    Mon, April 9, 2007 - 11:56 AM
                    Great idea Deb and welcome! I agree about ages and generational differences not mattering when it comes to making friends or finding common interestsOne of my friends from the church I go to is up in her 80's now and another woman who's always been close to my family and heart is 93.On the other end of the scale I've had friends 10 years younger than me and got along with them fine.If two or more people really enjoy each others company and learn from each others experience and wisdom,respect and common ground...isn't that what matters?There will always be difference in perception,etc but that makes life and people interesting and fascinating.
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    Re: Hardly any friends

    Mon, April 9, 2007 - 7:15 PM
    Well, after reading all the posts on this message board, I've decided this is probably the best for me. I'm pretty much in the same boat as the rest of you. I've always been painfully shy but the lack of a social life never really disturbed me until the end of my middle school year. I've never had more then four friends at a time, at least in middle school, in high school I was lucky to have even one friend. My last year of middle school was spent pretty much alone or as the ignored tag along with a group of girls I really had no interest in whatsoever. I was divided from my friends and then I later went to a different high school. I made no attempt whatsoever to socialize. As much as I like to believe that I don't care what anyone thinks about how I appear or how I express my opinions, I feel mortally terrified of ridicule and rejection. I've had ideas shot down in projects at work and school and I was fine but I think if I were rejected for being myself I'd crumble. So I remain silent and speak only when spoken to which isn't very often, if at all. Even in classes I attend at my college, I must mentally plot out what I'm going to say or how I'm going to answer a question before I open my mouth and if I'm not certain my opinion/answer is correct or at least moderately good, I won't say anything. Still, all my muscles tense and I feel like my face was just doused in boiling water. I don't even want to know if I change colors. I have, in the past year or so, had some brave soul attempt to converse with me but as much as I desire someone else to share with, I slam up a wall and become hostile to the new person making an attempt. My answers are usually kept short, I don't look at them in the face and if I do I'm pretty sure my expression is anything but pleasant (based on how quickly the other person stops talking completely.) This only happens when I'm socializing, though. I work in a funeral home and when I'm in contact with the grieving family and the clergy or whatever, i'm fine. for the most part.
    My sister is the complete opposite of me, a social butterfly with more friends then she can keep track of. I never want as many friends as she does because I'd rather not have as much horrid drama in my life as that poor girl has to deal with but I do envy the close relationships she has and the fact that she can actually escape the house to do things with people outside the immediate family. still, I just scan a room and if I find someone to be interesting I merely think "huh, he'd/she'd probably cool to hang out with" and leave it at that. Apparently, as I'm finding out, my silence freaks people out. Strangers have told me I look ready to murder someone or completely depressed when the truth is that I'm really fine. I don't feel depressed, as far as I know, and I'm not angry at anyone.
    I have one close friend-online-but some of my interactions with him leave me thinking that my complete lack of socialization is probably a good thing. Over the years I've become more volatile and at this rate, whatever friends I might make will very possibly run away screaming.
    Well, that's my share of psychological drama for the evening and after reading it, I've come to realize I'm an incredibly depressing person. Sorry all!
    • Re: Hardly any friends

      Tue, April 10, 2007 - 7:22 AM
      I'd hardly say that you were depressing. "Deep, reserved, and thoughtful" maybe, but not depressing. I'd also say that you are definitely not alone.

      One of the hardest things for me when it comes to making friends is how different I felt from everyone around me. The nice thing about tribes like this is that you realize that while you may be different from most people, there are still a lot of other people out there who you have more in common with, and that's a pleasant thought. Unfortunately, we tend to be a quiet lot, so finding one another IRL can be a challenge.
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        Re: Hardly any friends

        Tue, April 10, 2007 - 1:25 PM
        I have yet to find one of the silent people. The friends I had in the past were really outgoing, annoyingly so but still good friends. I need to build some sort of radar to find more quiet people.
        • Re: Hardly any friends

          Wed, April 11, 2007 - 5:25 AM
          <nodding in agreement>

          I'm still working on that myself.
          • Re: Hardly any friends

            Wed, April 11, 2007 - 8:10 AM
            Hmmm... a quiet friend would be nice! Keep me posted if you come up
            with any good ways to find one.
            I've moved to a new part of the country and am very far away from old friends
            and with a corporate restructure most of my friends at work have left.
            I know I have to make an effort to make new friends ... but I'm almost ready
            to give up. Instead of making friends I seem to spend my time avoiding
            people who talk too much or who I find too intrusive. I'm wishing I could
            get more tolerant .... but so far failing -:)
            Anyone else rather be alone than with people that are 'in your face' the
            whole time?
            • Re: Hardly any friends

              Wed, April 11, 2007 - 1:11 PM
              Hmm..."in your face" family members really bother me alot, but when it comes to friends just about any type sounds good to me right now. The only thing that bothers me are judgemental people that don't get me or read me as being something that I'm not. I mean, it's a real bummer to be around people that totally dislike you. Sounds obvious, but I think it effects a person more than they think.
            • Re: Hardly any friends

              Thu, April 12, 2007 - 9:56 AM
              You're right on--because more talkative people are so out there it is easier to meet them but often it's the quieter people I want to get to know and get along better with! I haven't quite decided whether it is better to hang out with people who I don't really like or spend time by myself, but usually when given that option I choose to do things by myself rather than with people who are, in your words, "in your face." Maybe we quieter people need to be more sensitive to each other in order to recognize other like-minded individuals and gain the courage to approach them.
              • Re: Hardly any friends

                Thu, April 12, 2007 - 2:23 PM
                Making friends with the quiet people probably has alot to do with self love because with those people, you probably can't tell if they like you. A little more effort and brainstorming is probably what is needed, like really trying to figure out what similar interests you have and then using that as an excuse to hang out. Isn't that silly? These days we need an excuse to hang out with people. When I was five years old it was alot simpler...."Hi I'm Wendy, it's sunny out, I'm here, you're here, let's ride bikes, you have any cool toys?". Thats all we needed as children.
                • Re: Hardly any friends

                  Sat, April 14, 2007 - 7:47 PM
                  I'm five today; younger some days.
                  :)
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                    Re: Hardly any friends

                    Sat, April 14, 2007 - 8:00 PM
                    EXACTLY! I'm into something called ageplay, that probably will scare a lot of you. It's not sexual, it's not incestuous, it's not, well...

                    I am just like you described a five year old.

                    I think it's a lot of my problem with people, because it's suddenly not OK to be blithely happy and smell the flowers and lay in the grass.

                    You can all run screaming now.

                    ~autumn
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                      Re: Hardly any friends

                      Sun, April 15, 2007 - 7:51 AM
                      Sometimes it's good to let one's inner child out to play,it's too easy to forget what it was like to be a kid.I'm not into ageplay,but I know what you're refering to,it doesn't scare me,it just isn't my thing.But I've never seen where it could harm anyone...people are just way too grown up and serious sometimes,just my take on it.
                    • Re: Hardly any friends

                      Sun, April 15, 2007 - 9:56 AM
                      <runs screaming toward Autumn> HaHaaaaa!
                      :)
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                        Re: Hardly any friends

                        Sun, April 15, 2007 - 7:29 PM
                        Aww, you two are great. Thank you.
                        • Re: Hardly any friends

                          Sun, April 22, 2007 - 7:00 AM
                          New to this tribe but just had to say ... Miss Autumn, I think everyone needs to go back in time now and then. As we get older we begin to really appreciate what being a child was all about. Too many people are anxious to act their age, I think sometimes we all need to do things a bit childish and have a bit of fun.

                          Lisa, I can totally sympathise, I have three sisters (one identical twin) and they are my best friends, I also have a brother and my sister in law is like another best friend to me. Outside of that social network it's difficult to make friends, I "know" a lot of people through work and from being from a large family, but actual friends? Very hard to find when you have sisters, in my opinion.
  • Re: Hardly any friends

    Sun, April 22, 2007 - 3:42 PM
    I can relate to how most people feel on this tribe ;)

    I've always been very shy...so shy in fact that I would never go out with school friends on weekends - i preferred to sit in my favourite tree and read - and would NOT talk to them on the phone...so they stopped calling lol (naturally) THAT WAS A WEIGHT OFF MY MIND! However...@ 17 that's not quite normal is it hehe. I wish I had brothers or sisters...that must make it easier lisa =)


    I have 2 online friends here & that's 1 more than i know in RL :-/


    I find myself torn btween wanting friends and being fearful when I am with anyone xcept my best friend/b/f & my mother. Is this a common feeling...being torn between the two?? Wanting them but not wanting them at the same time lmao





    • Re: Hardly any friends

      Mon, April 23, 2007 - 12:32 PM
      Common for me :)
      • Re: Hardly any friends

        Fri, August 17, 2007 - 12:11 AM
        dont think that this is a shyness issue...most people cannot claim to have too many or any close friends. We all have acquaintances..but friends, as in that person you can call and count on for ANYTHING..are few and far between in our lives and it has nothing to do with shyness...My husband has no such friends, and me and my best friend have not talked in a while because life has taken us in seperate directions for now...and probably more so in the future now that we are older and miles will be seperating us...SHE HAS SEEN THE WORST OF ME..
        and you know what? She knows me better than my own family.
        Family...just because you are related does not mean you are best budds..
  • JR
    JR
    offline 0

    Re: Hardly any friends

    Wed, January 7, 2009 - 9:09 PM
    I used to have a lot of friends when I was on the "party scene" but now I only have one or 2 I can trust including my family. Let me tell you, having friends isn't all its cracked up to be. Most of the people who "hang out together" have not much in common but there vices, such as going out and drinking. Once I stopped going to the bars and parties, I realized I had nothing in common with these people and they are still doing the same thing while I have a good family life, a business, healthy lifestyle and a clear head. Yea, times get lonely and you wish you could be out doing stuff with your friends but in this day and age you have to cherish having a healthy lifestyle and a good family. Friends are bullshit for the most part and if you really look deep into it, these people have fake friends. Just look at facebook or myspace...all you ever see is people getting fucked up together. Your lucky if you make 1 true friend in life besides family and thats the truth.
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      Re: Hardly any friends

      Wed, January 7, 2009 - 9:41 PM
      Yes, quality over quantity. I understand that 'party scene' and the 'party friends'. That's all they were, I later realized.
      If someone has one 'true' good friend, I agree your fortunate.
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        Re: Hardly any friends

        Wed, February 4, 2009 - 4:17 PM
        It's hard for me to consider anyone truely close anymore.I like people,but there's so much that to me is too vulnerable to reveal so I shut others out.So it's an double edged sword,can't tolerate shallow friends,and want to keep those I care about close.Yet people feel I don't care and am too distant and pull away,thinking I don't need them.How do you find a balance? Giving just enough without going overboard? I mean,I can feel like I'm 'swamped' by people and their problems sometimes and I get irritated,then angry.And find it difficult to get the flow in their direction (asking for anything,etc).Can anyone relate to this?
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          Re: Hardly any friends

          Sat, February 7, 2009 - 4:19 AM
          I believe I can relate. I wish I knew the answer to help you balance yourself in these situations.
        • Re: Hardly any friends

          Sat, February 7, 2009 - 6:48 PM
          I can certainly relate to that.

          No great advice, I'm afraid, but I sympathise.

          -G
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            Re: Hardly any friends

            Mon, April 20, 2009 - 7:56 PM
            Both wanting to be around others and wanting to be left alone. I guess that sometimes I feel almost suffocated or in someway overwhelmed when I'm around others for a length of time.Yet I can't stand being alone,and that drives me crazy.Sometimes honestly I feel ok being more of a loner and yet even I have to admit that I really do need others but don't know quite how to feel comfortable with them.Perhaps that's it, liking people, yet wanting things on my own terms and not being willing to recognise that I need to give and take,compromise, be more receptive and understanding.
  • Re: Hardly any friends

    Fri, April 24, 2009 - 8:21 PM
    I am 26 too, and have mostly the same situation, except my sister is estranged. I have one best friend, and my other friends are all current or past boyfriends. People wonder why I stay friends with my exes...and I don't want to tell them it is because once I've invested that much, I can't afford to lose the friendship! But every time I try to force it (join clubs, etc.) it doesn't work out. I think we are just the types of people that get lucky and meet the occasional person whom we're close to. I think maybe you are being a little too hard on yourself. I rarely go out, either, and I've become totally fine with that. Hanging out with people I don't really like is much worse than watching TV with my cat!
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      Re: Hardly any friends

      Wed, May 6, 2009 - 7:18 AM
      " I like people,but there's so much that to me is too vulnerable to reveal so I shut others out"

      I do it and I did it. Becomes overwhelming to the point, I withdraw.
      • Re: Hardly any friends

        Sat, May 16, 2009 - 12:29 PM
        exactly, i think the issue is about trust, but who says that every friend has to be THE perfect friend for you, nobody is perfect there's liable to be ups and downs and those kinds of perfect or good relationships evolve over time, like with sisters and family members,
        even introverts can have friends, I can go through periods of having a clique of friends and then periods where I don't want to talk to anyone for a while,

        plus, not every relationship needs to be deep sometimes you just need someone to connect with in between the times that you feel like being alone, I have a few people I would consider friends that I talk to every now and then but if I can smile when I think of them, I do consider them a friend, as far as really close friends, well, like i was saying i have to really concentrate on opening myself up and trusting myself to be able to deal with the ups and downs and work that it takes to really make a good friend out of myself, which would turn into me finding a good friend, i have given my vulnerabilities too much power and unless that changes, unless I heal those areas, I can never be comfortable enough to stay around to get to the closeness that follows the superficial stage,

        i think it's ok to be hurt or go through difficulties in an effort to get the kind of life I really want, and you can always find something to learn from, even when you've been hurt, it just makes you wiser for the next time, but you can come back and try again whenever you want

        here's to making friends and BEING a friend, and enriching our lives
        • Re: Hardly any friends

          Sat, May 16, 2009 - 1:17 PM
          i had forgot to mention meds in my post but, i think that anything that the meds can do for you, you can really do yourself over time,, i don't think people should be addicted to depression medication, i would use it for a real hard time, but i know that my depression can be cured if I were to dig to uncover the problem, medical doctors prescribed them without doing the groundwork that it takes to get to the emotional problems underneath the depression, and so some people can just become dependent on the medication and leave the problem unresolved, so just be careful and don't be afraid to do the internal work for yourself,,
  • Re: Hardly any friends

    Mon, May 18, 2009 - 3:39 PM
    I was in your boat when I was 15-22 or so. It was rough. I didn't fit in anywhere, and I had OCD.

    Back then, in the late 70's and early 80's, a psychiatrist could jump on social isolation so as to call one schizophrenic and get reimbursement for treatment. They can't get away with that much nowadays.

    Social phobias are said to be easy to overcome. I did. Gradually. And with the help of antidepressants, which can fight anxiety.

    I see friends as like stocks or valuable coins; assets to have in rough times. Don't be poor!

    Coffee shops can be great places to make friends, I find. Wish they were around back when I was young. The internet, too!
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      Re: Hardly any friends

      Wed, May 27, 2009 - 9:35 AM
      It's getting better for me lately I've noticed.There's days I don't feel I have to force myself to be more approachable,and it's spontanious not thought about beforehand.Those are the days that if the conversation with so and so goes well- great.If not I don't obsess over it.But I do notice that regardless I find I feel better when I 'take days off' from socializing and just stay home.It grounds me more and when I do go out I'm friendlier and more upbeat,not feeling hassled or forced.It's more of a choice than an obligation.I guess that's the difference.Finding that balance and being there for others without being/feeling over extended.

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