|11-11-2011, 01:13 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
Should friendships be like this?
I recently graduated and have been back from uni and living with my parents for a few months now. During my years at uni, I made lots of close IRL friends, and several close online ones too. After graduation, though, I fell into depression over my joblessness, lack of a social life (I've always found it difficult finding people I relate to over here) and general lack of direction. My boyfriend from uni, who I was in a long-distance relationship with, also broke up at me at around this time, which naturally didn't help matters. It's all getting better now, as I have a job (it's not a job I enjoy, but it fills my time and stops me feeling like a defunct member of society) and it's been some months since the breakup, so I do feel better about it. But basically, at that point, I really needed to be surrounded by supportive friends.
For the first couple of days after the breakup, I talked to lots of people, just because I was desperately lonely and sad and needed reassurance. I even joined a dating site and talked to randomers on there just out of an intense need to feel wanted. After a few days, though, I just... stopped being able to really reach out to my friends about my innermost feelings. I've had this feeling before, of needing to clam everything up out of fear of being judged as a ridiculous and overanalytical person by people I like and am close to. I think it could partly stem from the fact that one my fairly close Internet friends has accused me in the past of talking too much about myself and my problems, not reciprocating her friendship/giving her enough of my time. When I first talked to her about my breakup/generally negative feelings about life, she started off being sympathetic, but eventually told me I was being ridiculous and should just get a hobby or something. She later apologised, saying that she'd been very busy and very tired, but it didn't change the effect that her words had had. This has happened several times with this girl, and always seems to occur just when I'm daring to be more open with friends about my really deep feelings and desires. And it's made me feel like I must be in the wrong. I do feel like I listen to other people - I'm not constantly talking about myself, and I ask how other people are, help them when they have problems, etc - but I'm now stuck with this pervasive feeling that talking to my friends about myself makes me a bad person. If I talk to them, it's almost like I'm keeping a tally in my head of how much I say about myself and how much they say about themselves and making sure it stays roughly even or biased to their side. It doesn't help that I feel a tiny hint of resentment towards my uni friends, as they're all smarter and in more interesting and fulfilling life situations than I am. And I just don't feel like I want my negativity to rub off in their lives, so have basically stopped keeping in touch with most of them (except one who I have IM conversations with during my lunch break... she doesn't take my feelings very seriously if I express them to her, though, and I don't think she's aware of the extent of the darkness of my mind). I wrote to loads of the others a while back, but haven't got a single reply... so I guess they don't really care, or are too busy with their lives to bother keeping in touch. I also resent the fact that it's always me starting IM conversations with people.
At the moment, I'm only talking about my problems to people online who I don't know, such as through posts on here or message exchanges on the dating site I'm on. I feel like that's more "morally correct", somehow... people I don't know don't have any obligations to me, and they're either a) nice people who I like, but am not sufficiently attached to to be unduly upset if they call me an idiot over a computer screen, or b) people I don't really click with, in which case our conversational relationship will die a natural death. There's no need to really invest emotion in that. If I feel like I'm in danger of hurting the other person in some way, or start to worry that I'm being selfish in my interaction with them, I can be direct and pull back before anything goes wrong.
I've become an expert of sorts at keeping up Internet conversation. It's like a technique I've honed over many years of practice. And it takes a really high level of really deep online conversation spanning months to get me to feel a measure of attachment to the person I'm talking to. And even then, I'm never sure if it's friendship or just... attachment to someone who's putting up with my company. I'm starting to get comfortable with this arrangement in a lot of ways. I do feel wistful sometimes, because I'd quite like to have some really close, permanent friendships, particularly ones that haven't developed purely over a computer screen. But the fear of trusting in someone to be a friend and then being abandoned by them trumps that desire. And I've started to ask myself a lot of questions - like do I really need friends? Why should I need people to understand and accept me? Am I selfish - do I just want people I get along with and can hang out with and vent to in my life because they're useful to me? Is everyone in the world selfish - do they all view friendships like that? Alternatively, is there something fundamentally wrong with me as a person that I'm capable of feeling so hollow, callous and cynical about my friendships and interactions with other human beings? And ultimately, is it worth trusting someone and being truly open with them only to have them throw it back in your face?
Sorry if this has all made me sound like a really horrible person - I just wanted to get it off my chest and get some opinions/advice.
Last edited by ZannityZan; 11-11-2011 at 01:30 PM.
|11-12-2011, 11:07 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
I'm definitely willing to try and get there, and I am trying. What worries me, though, is more the idea that I've become too contrived and am therefore unable to relate to anyone as a real friend regardless of how positive I may grow to feel ab9ut other aspects of my life. It's like the more I think and the more steps I take towards getting to know myself, the less capable I feel of taking risks with other people who will inevitably prove to be unworthy of my trust. I just wanted to know. if anyone else on here has ever felt similarly and could help me figure this out...
See, that's what I think. But then I worry that those are superhuman standards, as I can't think of anyone who's met them consistently. Perhaps the fault is mine, and I've somehow made myself unreceptive to true friendship?
|11-13-2011, 06:31 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2011
I'm struggling with the same thing. It became easier to handle once I realized a couple things:
- Rumination's not going to get me anywhere. It's just a merry-go-round of self-doubt and self-fulfilling prophecies. Once you get going, it's easy to write a book with the same thoughts and worries on every page. All that does is decrease your mood and quality of thinking, as well as create the scenario you fear the most. I've been there too many times to not know this.
- After trying, trying, and trying again to connect with people around me, I'm ready to just say I'm not a good fit for my immediate area. Two options: I can either move to a city that is a better fit, or I can continue to look for folks who are more my type. The flip side of loneliness is that you're still in a fresh spot for positive relationships...much better than being caught up in a web of toxic ones because you tried to "socialize!!!" with incompatible people too much.
I think you're on the ball with keeping higher standards. Plenty of people think that forming friendships means allowing boundaries to be violated, which is never the case in positive socializing.
Last edited by Ciergan; 11-13-2011 at 06:33 AM.
|11-13-2011, 01:58 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
The mind creates logical standards but never compares it's logic with life. It can't...the mind is a logical process, not an intelligent awareness. Logic is a tool to create an idea then the idea needs to be tested and the results watched by the consciousness to learn something new. In unconsciousness, logic is there but not the "watcher" to assess what it true from the real life results. The ideals of society and religion are formed in logic without any concern that the results are not there. For how smart society and religion appear to be, the results are not there to support their ideas of life.
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