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a conundrum!

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For the past few months, I've been pushing myself to go out, do things, get involved in hobbies, etc. And I have. I'm taking a pottery class (which I truly do enjoy). I have gotten involved in SCA things and actually have started to meet people. But when people really seem like they want to include me in things or do things with me, I pull away or I feel like running back into my little "hole" to hide out. I'm not sure if I am really a social person or not.


Like tonight, there was a baronial household meeting for newcomers. They have that once every month and you learn about different topics concerning the SCA. This is the second meeting I've been to. There was quite a few people there, and if you want, you can ask questions. So, I asked a question about costuming. Got some good feedback, and after the meeting ended, a girl came up to me and asked me about my Ren Faire experience and about costuming and we talked a bit about it. I told her that I didn't know how to sew, and she offered to show me with a sewing machine and basically told me that if I was interested to learn, I could come hang out with her and her friend I was a bit taken aback. She is really nice and I found her easy to talk to, and it would be fun to learn how to sew, but my first reaction (internally) was "uh, not sure, not sure if I really want to meet new people, hang out, etc". Just getting myself to go out and do more things has not been easy. I tend to like my own, old routines, where I spend most of my time alone, etc.


But, that's no way to make friends and get to know people. So I push myself to go out there. I do have her email and I probably will email her. I am curious about learning how to make my own simple costume.


I am also probably going to go to "War" this Labor Day weekend. I talked to some people and they said the best way to start is "newcomers camp. Going to "war" involves camping out for three days at an encampment (I went and checked out "war" when they had it during Memorial Day weekend - it was really cool). People have said the best way to meet people is to volunteer a few hours for it (to help out). I dunno. I really want to go to this thing because it is a way to socialize, but then part of me is also wanting to go back to my old ways and just do something "safe" which would entail going to Las Vegas with my mom for three days. She has told me she would be up for that, and she'd pay for it. Going with my mom would be a semi-relaxing weekend, and I would get a lot of "alone" time since my mom likes to play slots by herself, and I'd just go and wander around.


I am pushing myself out of my normal bounds, and I'm not sure if I'm happy about it or not. I tend to like my routines. And sometimes I get afraid to meet/interact with people and my first instinct is to run and hide and be by myself.


I have a hard time pushing myself to go out and do things.


Is what I am feeling, weird?


Part of why I am also doing this, is I do want to find a bf again soon. I miss having someone to share my life with.

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I guess i do the same type of stuff alot. I guess for me i stay away from people most of the time because i get stressed out easily by most of the people im around. I also know i have some deep rooted issues with abandonment so idk. I think the best advice is to try to find a balance. I dont think u need to spend all your time socializing because that might just be too much for you to deal with. I think alone time is good for anyone just some people need it more than others, especially introverts.


The whole new people and running thing im not really sure to say. Its good that you dont throw yourself at them but its also helpful if your trying to meet new people to be somewhat approachable. Its hard and it probably will take some getting used to but if thats what you want then these seem to be good steps that your taking already. I kinda seem to get stuck with wanting to do stuff like this and then going back to my old habits and its like a constant back and forth.

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I know how that can feel. Are you shy at all?


I used to be very shy, and when I was invited somewhere my first instinct would be to not go, because it scared me.


However I found pretty much every time I accepted the invitation, I was always glad I went. Even if the night wasn't amazing, I felt proud of myself for getting out there and doing something.


Now I am much less shy, but I still feel a bit apprehensive before a night out. However, once I get out I have lots of fun, and the apprehension goes away completely.


Though I was (and am still a bit) shy, I am more extroverted than introverted, and I like people and socializing very much. It might work a bit differently if you are VERY introverted.


My advice is to make a deal with yourself to go to the next few things you are invited to. Don't give yourself the option of saying no.


Go, reward yourself afterwards no matter how the night went. It should get easier with time, once you have gotten more accustomed to socializing.


Good luck, and good for you for making so many positive changes in your life!

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I don't think it's a conundrum, just a very normal level of ambivalence when a person pushes himself/herself out of the comfort zone. It's the same as dragging yourself to the gym when you don't want to go, and then often feeling great once you start working out. It's fine if you choose not to venture out there, as long as you then accept the downside of that decision. Venturing out there also has it's downsides and risks, you just have to decide on balance what's the greatest benefit to you. Perhaps you will realize that while you thought you "should" be more social and "should" seek out a potential romantic relationship you are truly happier not doing those things. If that is so, nothing wrong with that as long as you are honest with yourself and not choosing something from a negative mindset.


I do notice that you tend to gravitate to a comfort zone that involves people (like your mother or your best friend) who often treat you poorly. That might be something worth exploring.


Good luck and have fun.

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I tend to like my own, old routines, where I spend most of my time alone, etc.


You need only to look up your past posts here about how lonely you've been when you are doing your old routines and spending a majority of your time alone.


I think all of us tend to romanticize the past and resist change when we are faced with new challenges and unpredictable outcomes. Right now it might seem like you were fine with spending time by yourself, but you did seem very unhappy when it was actually happening. Now, you have the chance to make real connections with new people and I think you should seize the opportunity.


I also agree with Batya that it's worth exploring why you favor familiarity (relationships with your ex and mother) over being treated well. I know it's scary to change. Everyone resists it to some degree. But there's a good chance that these new potential friendships will be healthier and more satisfying than the ones you cling to now.

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i think that this is an excellent point. yes, you do tend to gravitate towards people who treat you poorly. maybe you are so used to it, you don't know anything else? the girl with the sewing machine sounds really great, she and her friend already sound a million times better than your current 'best friend.' and your mom sounds really mean. quite frankly, i think a weekend spent sewing with these girls sounds a lot 'safer' and more gentle on your ego rather than 72 hours of your mom's comments.


i think you should go and get to know these new people, and yes, volunteer during the weekend. i think it will be good, and you'll get to meet new people. maybe make some better friends.

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Annie, and others, thanks for chiming in. I think I am going to go to that campout thing over Labor Day weekend (I've already asked my brother to borrow his tent). It would be a bit different than going to Las Vegas with my mom. Our local SCA group has a "messageboard" where one can post questions and get answers, and I am thinking of asking how to volunteer at "war" so I can also meet people and make friends and stuff.


I'm going to email that lady that I met yesterday and take her up on her offer to show me how to make a simple costume for myself, also partly because I have no idea how to sew, even with a sewing machine, and it's good to learn. Also, maybe if I get to know her and her friend, maybe we can join up and camp out together at that Labor Day weekend event. I dunno. I know the two girls are new to this area's SCA. They just moved into town.


I also want to join another SCA group that has to do with cooking. The guy who heads that group was doing a demonstration last night on how to make cheese, and he said that people could join his group, even those who don't have cooking skills but want to learn. It would be learning how to cook foods from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance period. Interesting stuff.


It is not easy for me to push myself to do this. Most times, I have this strong urge to just stay with what I am comfortable with. For example, some nights, I have to push myself to go to the art class (not that I don't enjoy it, I DO), but because I feel like "hiding" away from people. I also have to push myself to go attend SCA events (and I usually enjoy it once I get there), because I also feel fearful of stepping out of my comfort zone. I didn't always used to be like that. A few years ago, I spent two summers working at Ren Faire as a greeter/survey taker and that required that I go out and be sociable, and ask people to fill out opinion surveys about their experience at Ren Faire.

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ren, growth is painful. i know. and i know that things can be awkward in the beginning. i know that you are used to your mother and T. but i think as you get to know these SCA people and hang out with them, they will be more and more familiar to you, and you will feel more comfortable. definitely, borrow the tent, volunteer at that weekend, and have those girls teach you how to sew a costume. make some female friends, they are so important. and i'm sure you'll meet tons of eligible men at the campout. maybe ask the girls to help you sew a flattering costume, maybe one that shows off some cleavage?

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