The strangeness

Submitted by freedom on
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While I have been replying to posts, I haven't felt much like blogging. I seem to have entered an intellectual phase which others have commented on. I want to push back into more feeling so maybe I can blog in that direction.

I'm encountering some frustrating social interaction. I've not had many friends in my life because there are very few people with whom I can be myself. I have friends of friends that sort of accept me as I am but also see me as a bit of a freak. I learned to be very selective about who I would even attempt to be friends with and limited my social interactions. Most of my friends chose me based upon something I did and them liking that and it then developing over a long time. I'm not sure I've ever had a friend that I chose on my own based upon something they did for me. I've got a few people now that are close to this, but for various reasons, the relationships are flat lining or not getting off the ground. At least I know what is possible. This old dynamic is still going on in most interactions. I'm trying to put myself in more social spaces at least. People are attracted to me. However, I seem to be getting two types of responses which revolve around depth, smarts, thinking, and intensity. Some people think this is great and want to do things again or seem to at least in the moment feel connected and even inspired. They will comment on not often meeting a deep or thinking person. It's a bit one way, but I'm used to that and slightly ok with it. Ideally I'd like more in the sense that I want to be attracted to them and not just a receptive. Others initially show comfort with me because I'm comforting. Some even get to rapport/attraction. Then as I get deeper, show my own vulnerabilities, and gently nudge at any cracks and conflicts the person reveals. It all falls apart in a similar way that roughly goes with varying adjectives "you're smart and nice, but I'm not the person to go to these places with you." I think some of these people will in the future be different from their brief interactions with me. I'm a changer not by changing others, but by inspiring and motivating them to change themselves. I don't ask or expect anyone to do anything other than be who they are. I seem to be projecting something that is repelling people after initial attraction. This might not be anything new and perhaps this is what has always happened to me with prospective friends. But there are only so many people like me and it would be nice to have some more typical friends even for a little while. People seem so afraid to try to be friends. We're not friends from hanging out a few times anyway. Can't they give it a chance. People like me but seem too intimidated even though there is nothing intimidating about me.

Something is going on with written communication. It feel like I've evolved to the point that I should just avoid written communication because it gets too intense. If they were with me, I think it wouldn't get that way because I would sense their resistance and they would feel comfortable from the bonding. Or I've got to somehow modulate my writing better. I write way too much to everyone. It often seems like a bit of a waste of time. I don't even know why I do it. Perhaps this is my communication style. How did that happen?

People who are more intuitive pick up on the fact that I do not expect anyone to reach the ideals I discuss. However, the bar must be high otherwise there is little point as there is nothing to strive toward. People seem afraid to be genuine because genuine is not always happy, especially at first as I'm experiencing now. They comment on my being deep and dark or making them feel a little depressed or that they are "sort of" happy with their status quo. I'm writing nothing dark. They could never handle my version of dark. I couldn't handle my dark because while I'm not dark, I know that if I became dark it would be much too much. I'm an optimist who just happens to be a realist and cynical at times, but in jest.

This all ties into a post I'm working on about loneliness based upon a book I'm almost done with. I feel like I need more friends to get beyond the point that I'm at but that is amazingly challenging. This has nothing to do with social skills. It is personality based. I'm meeting more people like me and they all say the same things...hard to find people to connect with at their level. I'm not taking it personally as I see these rejecting people as afraid and respect the fear of genuineness we all have. I'm a little surprised that they react this way to what is essentially an outstretched hand. I've been looking for this my whole life. I'd think it was super. But I guess I'm not typical in this regard. Despite understanding, it can still leave me lonely and it is slightly unpleasant to invest time and energy in people that can't handle me. I know it is them and don't feel freakish, but it makes me more aware of just how difficult being social for me might always be. And yet, I refuse to go back to the isolation of my past. I haven't even gotten into the topics here. That would go over like a ton of bricks.

Ultimately, I feel very strange at the moment. I feel like I'm in the eye of a tornado. I'm calm, but I don't have much room to explore without hitting the howling winds. I'm not being very productive. I'm just being and not doing despite a lot of things I need to do. I have too many "need" to dos and not enough "want" to dos. I have to find ways to recharge, but in this frustrating world that is not easy for me. I can see more clearly how survival-based PMO use was for me because just being social in the typical sense doesn't do anything for me. If anything, it gets me more down. At times like this the cues are stronger. I need to get back to my basics and do whatever I started doing to get here. Or perhaps start thinking about developing more plans to keep chugging. I feel pretty testy in my mind and can see how it would take only a slight lapse to relapse. I have little physical urge, but my mind is not cooperating. Hopefully, this is some sort of lull before more breakthroughs. Maybe this is for me the roughly 8-week transition that I haven't yet noticed. I march on into the unexplored wilderness of abstinence. At least I never minded doing things alone because if I were the way I am and a typical person socially, life would be unbearable. Thank you all for your ongoing support.

Comments

Support

You're welcome for our ongoing support.

"Hopefully, this is some sort of lull before more breakthroughs."

I hope so too. I'm rooting for you to "keep chugging."

I know what you mean about the difficulty of finding friends who are intimidated by deep discussion and intellectual intensity. Itseems as though the socially-acceptable way to act is to get hammered, dumb yourself down, and just gossip about other people, haha.

But I have faith your socializing will continue to improve. Also, remember it`s about quality, not quantity. Having a few good friends who can handle an intense discussion from time to time is much better than having a million friends who are shallow. I think. Haha. I think I`m Dr. Phil or something. I don't know all the answers, but you have my support.

Good vibes,
8)

Absolutely quality over

Absolutely quality over quantity. I know that and it's in my coming forum post. I'm holding off to finish a related book. Yet, I feel at the moment that I need more exposure to varying people. They won't let me in because I don't want their shallow stuff. Someone the other day was saying the world needs the shallowness of for example the party scene and movies to find commonality. I disagree with this. I would be entirely content if it all (sports, party scene, even music and the arts) went away. I'd miss certain things, but overall I would be fine. I don't need any of this to be genuine. It's all in a sense fake anyway.

The problem I think is I have no interest at all in shallow talk. I'm not a sports person. While I like movies, I can't tell you the name of one movie out now. In the past year plus, I've only seen I think two movies in the theater and maybe a few at home. I don't follow any pop culture. I've even let some silly hobbies and sites I used to check slip into the past. It's like I'm too real to connect without genuine connection. I still have broad interests and I can usually relate to what anyone does and who they are in ways they are not used to. I'm a better BSer than I let onto or maybe I just have absorbed enough over the years to pretend as long as it isn't at the shallow end.

Don't worry about answers. There are no answers to most of my thoughts. People only need to listen and discuss as a form of biofeedback to my silly brain. I need social context and biofeedback as much as anyone else, but I need it in the way that works for me. I wonder what makes some like me and most not like me and why it is so hard to cross the line. I'm tired of seemingly being from a proverbial other planet.

Thanks for the vibes.

I resonate with a lot of

I resonate with a lot of your thoughts here.

"I seem to be projecting something that is repelling people after initial attraction. This might not be anything new and perhaps this is what has always happened to me with prospective friends. But there are only so many people like me and it would be nice to have some more typical friends even for a little while. People seem so afraid to try to be friends. We're not friends from hanging out a few times anyway. Can't they give it a chance. People like me but seem too intimidated even though there is nothing intimidating about me."

This especially. However, I have to add a ray of light to this as this is something that I have been struggling with for a long time myself. In my twenties, I identified most with 50 year old guys for some reason, most of the guys my age seemed too competitive and insecure, but I felt like I was missing something too. What was all of this shallowness and insecurity that most guys are engaging in that makes me so repulsed to them and them to me? Over time being at school, I made less of these older friends save my professors and became more isolated.

As I continue to mature and start becoming rooted in myself and own my own power for the first time with starting to get a handle on this addiction and depression, some doors have opened up socially. The confidence I have gained in dealing with people has started to reveal a whole new world I think. Instead of meeting a shallow kid now, I am starting to see someone to go on adventures with and enjoy their youthful qualities, all the while not losing my ground. Naturally, all people can respect a man who has some control over himself, so things do not get out of hand and degrade into immature competition. But the maturity on their part definitely helps with the relationship. And the same for spending time with older men too, you have a natural respect for guys who carry themselves and respect themselves, and you learn from them.

Of course there are parallels with relating to females, but that's a whole other story, and something I tend to fuck up pretty quick. But I wont get into all that, Im getting better though.

Its a struggle no doubt. You end up with less friends for a time, but really learning to respect yourself and getting out into the world helps as youve discovered. People are people and most turn out to be pretty genuine in their later years, usually after gaining a family. I feel that once we get through our own insecurities related to people, these kinds of issues will drop like flies, at least that's how it feels when I am really taking care of myself.

I totally hear you though. You are craving genuine social interaction.

If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature's way.
-Aristotle

Did you interact with older

Did you interact with older people as a child? I was a little adult in many ways and interacted with older people. I also get along well with older folks, but I've not tried to become friends with any. Maybe I should as lately it seems most people I connect to at all are a little older. I also connect to just about no one at school. I'm so habituated that it doesn't even seem weird. It seems weird when someone drags me to get a drink. I'm surprised people even talk to me at times. Sometimes they talk to me strangely as if they can't figure out how to relate. Maybe this is why some girls just smile at me and don't bother to communicate. I almost always initiate communication.

The moments of clarity from

The moments of clarity from recovery have shown me "what can be". And "what can be" is ease of social interactions without getting stumped. I feel that its possible to maintain integrity, focus, and genuineness while dealing with nearly anyone. The more connected you become with yourself, the less power these "barriers" have on our interactions. We are more confident and at ease with ourselves. Less agitation and discomfort naturally lead to more camaraderie and easy natural interactions. When we are not stuck in whatever form of anxiety, we are more open yet discerning about who and what we let into our space, we can gently steer a conversion or interaction into a healthy supportive direction. Its hard to do all of this in the anxiety of withdrawals.

When I was a kid, I seemed to be fine with other kids my age, even though most of them were always a little older. Its when I started getting into my 20's that I started feeling the pain of certain social interactions. in part this was a way of not dealing with the pain of my dealing with things that most people in their early twenties deal with, like dating, being social. I didnt realize it at the time, but I had a lot of insecurities in these areas and it made it hard for me to meet new friends and be challenged. Not to mention I generally thought I was better than most of my peers at the time as I was a musician and thought the world would just love me as long as I played good music. I had friends my age, but I liked to hide and escape a lot, I did this by latching onto religious groups and feeling some social stuff in the context of a doctrine, in other words, i didnt have to figure it out myself, another way of avoiding responsibility (sly addict I was even way back then!). I later hid in the intellectual sphere in a kind of "analysis paralysis", and this seems to be a phase that I am slowly thawing from now.

Fortunately, a lot of these issues you are having will resolve themselves over time as you do some of the deeper recovery that starts to touch aspects of your personality that have been affected by this addiction in the past. Maybe going for a drink with someone wont seem like such a chore in the future. These things are painful and laborious to us at this point, but practice makes perfect and you will only find these kinds of things becoming easier for you.

If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature's way.
-Aristotle

Just wondering

Do you analyze people when they haven't asked? Sometimes people aren't yet ready to be "seen," and they become uncomfortable.

The classic advice is, "Don't give advice. Only speak in "I" statements." Share your story or your insight. Let them decide if it applies to them. Maybe you are already doing this, but just in case...I pass it on.

Of course, we violate this rule all the time around here, and sometimes it works out quite well. But an anonymous forum is "safer."

I share my story. Sometimes

I share my story. Sometimes people give an opening and I'll weave that into my story in a vulnerable way. Or I'll ask them to help me better understand their experience or how they think about something they said. I try not to give advice because that doesn't work too well. Something about the combination of trying to be genuine and asking good questions about them sends them into a tailspin as they see a crack of light in their world. They are not ready to be seen and my seeing them even gently is too much. But what to do? Just ignore their obvious openings? I'm not saying they should do anything or analyzing their life. I'm just relating to their openings. They put those out there.

I think it does hurt me a bit that I write so much here. I probably do communicate a lot like I do here. So I might say to them I've tried X and you might like experimenting to see how that works for you. Or do you know of this place because you might like it. I don't judge or openly analyze. I do present my opinions even if it is contrary to what they are saying, but seems like it will resonate with them in a deeper way. My effort is to guide them. I don't gain anything by writing my story over and over. I would think my making myself vulnerable would help them open up. I don't do this in the first contact. It takes a little while to get a sense of them.

All of these people are clearly very conflicted and seem afraid I might light a fire in them. Oh well I guess. They are losing out. There are billions more people on this planet.

Freedom

Have you ever taken one of those Myers-Briggs personality tests? You can take the test for free on-line~

I'm just wondering because it was a godsend for me to learn *why* I am the way I am. There is something comforting about reading about your personality type and seeing that it's just the way you are, it's just the way you were born and there are also others like you.

rediscovered

Yes, I was and still am

Yes, I was and still am INTP. There was a debate about me being mischaracterized and a discussion about how others have tested other than their true type. Several here who had tested the wrong type felt based upon other variables such as writing style and underlying motivations that I am more likely NF. Apparently NF is very hard to test. NF can also be influenced heavily by environmental factors such as strong personality family members. On a recent test I am trending toward INFP. I'm also trending toward extrovert. I see that in myself, but that shift wasn't as debated as the T-F variable. I agree it is useful to know ones type, but only if that type is accurate. Myers-Briggs claims 75% accuracy.

Frankly,

I think you're an amazing human being, freedom. And I think you know your next step. The fact that you're getting into the hug business makes that clear. Remember, oxytocin does things for you that change the way you see the world.

So, how you are in your "under-hugged" state may not be how you see yourself once you're hugged up. Could even shift your M-B. Wink

Thank you. I'm letting

Thank you. I'm letting myself be seen here much more than in my normal world. I need to wok on that. As I do so slowly, things are changing. I keep getting a big push back from being me. Adjusting from under-hugged is easier said than done for me. I'm not very huggy with most people beyond my family. I'm a good hugger within my small circle, but I kind of need to feel closeness to be myself at it. If I'm really feeling it, people will comment on my hugs being excellent. Yet, I'm a long way from the hug business. I'm barely at the wanting to be in the hug business stage. And I don't particularly like the all too rushed hugs most people give. I feel like my energy comes up and the person is gone before I can send it. Then I have to reprocess that energy. I should come up with a name like the "30 second hug" so that people will be forewarned.

The company that administers M-B does a seminar periodically for professionals. Someone is going to let me know when the next one is because they thought I'd enjoy it. If I go, maybe I'll ask them if they've looked at the statistical correlation of hug frequency on test results. That should get some far out looks. Perhaps if I hug them they'll get it. Or they might go back and seriously look at that.