|10-24-2011, 06:49 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2011
"Finding my tribe" in the wrong places?
Right then, another thread about loneliness.
This is a difficult thing to write about because I've been so used to not talking about it. Not expressing this gave me some needed strength over the past two years as I tried to distance myself from my toxic connections. It worked--I'm more physically fit and emotionally stable. I'm effective at what I do thanks to improved independence and a better ability to read where other people are coming from. So now I have a master's in social work, a potential full-time job coming down the line, and a marathon and triathlon behind me. At 24, I'm legitimately successful.
But. I still don't have any real friendships with my peers. This is the thing that's always been floating around me and has been my main obsession for nearly my entire life. Elementary school through college constantly shifted between purgatory and hell because I never really connected with classmates on any common ground. What "friendships" I did have amounted to me being the passive tag-along to anti-social types. It never occurred to me until it was too late that maybe the immediate people around me weren't exactly pleasant personalities.
Then again, of course I knew. I'm a liberal Democrat who has grown up in red state small towns for most of his life. I abstain from alcohol and drugs and like to research random stuff in my spare time. My heroes are non-violent resistance leaders like John Dear and Gandhi. I'm the walking definition of supposed weakling in this conservative environment. Even though I try and try and try again to reach out to others through what appear to be like-minded events, I've been rebuffed every time by people who were just there to meet drinking buddies anyway.
Despite this post, I try to keep the stick out of my ass as much as possible. I'm friendly to others. I'm genuinely interested in what they're doing. I try to get conversation going in a good direction. It's just that at the end of the day, I feel like I've accomplished nothing because I can't find truly like-minded people. I don't want to be around the hayseeds anymore than I want to be around the smirking hipsters who are equally anti-social. Is it asking too much to find truly kind peers my age who want to do something constructive and meaningful? Not just sit around and kill time in a clique, actually doing something fun, something creative, try to go out and accomplish something great.
Maybe I'm just saying that because I'm an INFJ, but who cares. I refuse to give up on this.
Last edited by Ciergan; 10-24-2011 at 07:05 AM.
|10-24-2011, 10:28 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2011
I can only speak from my own experience, and i think that when you place so much importance on something, you could be sending out some really strong vibes and that could wig people out. I'm not saying that you are, but it is something to consider. I appreciate it is difficult not to overthink it when you are feeling lonely but try to shift your focus to enjoying yourself rather than the task of making friends. I find the most enjoyable company to be ones that feel natural and easy as opposed to something that feels forced.
Congratulations on your success and all the best.
|10-24-2011, 07:44 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
Woah! Completely relate to that!
Keep looking. The 20s are the age of peer pressure and the desire to be in a group.
You have to ask yourself what is more important:
Being your own person alone, or being someone else with others.
Ultimately, you'll find your people. They might be on your road for a short time, they might stand out in a grey crowd, they might come to you and ask you to hang out.
Be open to the possibility of friendship and kinship.
Different times of your life will bring different people. Maybe right now is a time of introspection. One thing I've noticed is that making friends is effortless with the right people, and a pain with the wrong people.
|10-24-2011, 09:40 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mississauga, On Canada
I think that you are on the right track and perhaps have to zero in better with the right groups so that they are just 'drinking buddies'. Also if I may suggest, don't limit yourself to your own age group either. Once you have finished college, you will find that social opps can present themselves over much wider age groups than you were exposed to during your college days.
As people get older, there will be less satisfaction with the partying and drinking scene so you will also find socializing with perhaps a wider age range more attractive in your case too. Common interests can have a way of getting people of a wide age range together.
I have friends from late 20s all the way to retirement age and I find each has its own appeal and rewards.
Keep your general strategy but perhaps widen the targets a bit.
|10-29-2011, 02:39 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2011
Thanks for the encouraging words, everyone. I had to take a few days to ponder stuff over...I think the main thing is to learn, really learn how to network for my own ends. Not just do it through generic conferencing, really go through my own alleys and pathways. Just thinking about it is actually rather exciting.
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