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>> No. 26542 Anonymous
28th April 2018
Saturday 3:25 pm
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This time last year I was on the dole, friendless, and miserable. Now I have a job, I'm friendless, and miserable. I've been trying to go to some meetup things, and they're (mostly) okay as far as they go, but they're just fleeting social contacts. The big problem is that I have no idea how to establish more meaningful relationships, especially romantic relationships. Social matters have never been at all intuitive to me (I didn't have any friends in primary school either).

When I was a BRILLIANT teenlad I'd tell myself that this didn't really matter because I'd surely have killed myself by a such and such an age, it's not the case. The real horror is that I'll actually continue to live an unsatisfying life forever.

I don't know why I'm posting this. I don't expect a solution. I'm just tired of this, and I want to complain.
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>> No. 26543 Anonymous
28th April 2018
Saturday 4:02 pm
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Establishing meaningful relationships in our lives is a challenge for everyone, and as cliche as the phrase has become, loneliness is an epidemic (in my opinion as a direct result of a number of political, economic, and cultural factors that I won't bother talking about here).

Don't worry about not finding social interaction intuitive. In fact a lot of it is incredibly counterintuitive, and everyone struggles with one aspect or another. Some people are effortless public speakers but dread being alone in a lift with someone, for example.

I'm not qualified to offer any in-depth advice, but I have come to these points:

1) Living your life on the basis of your sincere interests. This sounds wanky and vague, but what I mean is: meetup groups are great and all, but it's a bit of a pot luck whether you meet anyone you really have much in common with. People usually rely on making friends via work, simply because they have that starting point of having work in common, but there are many routes if you're really out there and chasing after particular goals. If you're really actively pursuing something you're passionate about, you're going to run into people who have developed that same passion. By default, I think this a better bet for a stronger friendship.

2) Once you've met those people, you'll keep sharing your mutual interests, and then with a few of those you'll strike on some other parts of your identity that you share. I've developed unexpected deeper friendships on the basis of academic subjects, politics, music, sexuality (not necessarily having sex with them, but being of the same orientation), and sometimes just being in the same life situation.

3) Becoming more open. I suspect .gs is full of some fiercely private people, and I include myself in that. But at some stage, the more you talk to people, the more you will invariably end up revealing about yourself, your habits, how you see yourself, how you really live both externally and in your head. Learning to share this with the right people is the central challenge of developing meaningful friendships. You can share a sense of humour with people, and have loads of acquiantences, but once you narrow it down there may only be a few you an get on with on this level.

4) Tolerating them as human beings. Even the sweetest and most well-meaning people on this earth will get on your tits eventually. I have friends who I consider close as brothers/sisters, and yet just to name the habits of a few of them, they're: late to events eight out of ten times, perpetually broke, prone to being a smartarse, always driving like a twat, committing to something regular for all of four weeks, always indecisive, on and on and on... It sounds silly, but a little tolerance in those early stages of getting to know someone can be the difference between making a lasting friendship or not. I'm not saying "be a doormat", but it's healthy to realise you will have flaws too, and a tiny bit of patience goes a long way. Even better if you manage to find the very few people able to talk about it, but that's quite rare.

I hope this helps, for what it's worth.
>> No. 26544 Anonymous
28th April 2018
Saturday 4:25 pm
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Go to the same meetup-type event every week. Make an effort to chat to people and don't be shy about asking their name if you've forgotten or haven't been properly introduced. Once you start getting to know a few people, invite them to the pub afterwards or on a different night. You don't have to be the life and soul of the party - being an attentive listener and showing a genuine interest in what someone has to say is more than enough. Exchange social media details or mobile numbers. Message them a couple of times a week to ask them how they are, to tell them about what you've been up to or just to share an article or a TV programme you think they might be interested in. If you don't click with someone and things fizzle out, don't take it to heart, just try again with someone else.

Have a go at online dating. Accept that it's a numbers game and that most of your messages will just be ignored. Put your best foot forward and present your best qualities, but be open about the fact that you're a bit shy. If you seem to be getting on, invite them for coffee. Don't get carried away with expectations of finding your true love, just try to enjoy the process of meeting people and getting to know them. Be aware that a lot of women use online dating sites as an ego boost even if they have no intention of moving things forward, so be prepared to cut your losses if you've been chatting for more than a week or two without making progress towards meeting up.

If you think that anxiety might be an obstacle for you, ask your GP about a referral for CBT. It's a practical, solution-oriented intervention to help you overcome your fears and make progress towards living the life you want. It's not the right fit for everyone, but about half of people who try it experience a change for the better.

Keep in mind that these things take time. Don't beat yourself up about your current situation, just focus on making small steps towards your goal. If you find yourself getting disheartened, take a few minutes to list all the positive steps you've taken and the good experiences you've had. We evolved as a species to focus on possible risks and dangers, so sometimes it takes a bit of conscious effort to notice the good things about your life.

Do let us know how you get on.
>> No. 26545 Anonymous
28th April 2018
Saturday 4:49 pm
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Making friends as an adult is difficult. Really difficult.

I graduated almost a decade ago and I haven't developed what I'd class as a meaningful friendship since then; a few former work colleagues I'm on good terms with and sporadically still contact, but that's it. Most of my friends haven't widened their friendship circles since then, either. A few have succeeded, which seems to stem from things like dog walking, playing live poker, getting new housemates and the like.

I'm not very good with new people or at making small talk but I've learnt from bad experiences in my first couple of jobs, where I ended up ignored or would be told about things that happened whilst I was there but they'd forgotten I was, that it's up to you to go and talk to people rather than waiting for them to come up to you because chances are they won't. I used to have a bad habit of having things in my mind to say to join a conversation but I'd wait too long and the moment would pass so now I just blurt it out and it seems to be working.
>> No. 26547 Anonymous
29th April 2018
Sunday 8:25 pm
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>>26545
>it's up to you to go and talk to people rather than waiting for them to come up to you because chances are they won't.

I hate this, I've been on both the in and the out side of this and it takes no effort for someone to go "so, newlad, what do you make of all this then?" but I seem to be one of few people to understand this.
>> No. 26551 Anonymous
29th April 2018
Sunday 9:35 pm
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>>26547
I always do this, but it's ingrained into me from the Masons. Newbies can feel isolated after they are no longer the centre of attention and everyone wants to meet them, so I bring them into my circle until such time as they out grow us. They never forget it and you've got a grateful friend who'll, hopefully, pay it forward in kind.

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