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I feel trapped


DaXMan
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I don't like writing a "woe is me" thread like this, but as the semester comes to a close, I realized something last night. Aside from my few real close friends, every other relationship (with both guys and girls) - no matter what I do - goes down the very same path every single time. Keep in mind this is "during the day" interactions in classes and clubs; not at parties:

 

-In classes, I have struggled getting past the "acquaintance" stage with just about everyone (guys and girls). I'm a talkative person and try to spark conversation with other people near me (in smaller classes). I always try to keep things light so everyone is in a good mood. Unfortunately, this never translates to anything outside of the classroom. I do collect a few numbers and call when I feel the time is right, but nothing ever materializes. When I merely suggest anything outside of class, people act as if that's scary.

-People assume I'm a show-off because of my physique. Atleast it seems this way. Two years ago, I was really skinny. In an effort to improve myself, I began hitting the gym hard, and it's shown. I don't take any sort of supplements, I just work out b/c I get a chance to improve myself and it's "alone time" for me to relieve any stress. The problem is that when people see the difference between now and two years ago (Facebook helps), they conclude that I must have "cheated," and that does irk me a little (its a compliment but they also think I don't work very hard). I'm not humongous! Fit, yes, but nowhere close to a cartoon character. Secondly and more importantly, they think I only lift for show, very rarely does anyone say "do you work out a lot?" or, "what workout do you do?"

With girls...I must not hit the right chord in conversations. I like to make funny, witty remarks. I like drawing laughs. Over time, I've become more energetic and outgoing. If someone tells me something, I'll remember it and use it for following conversations. However, the girl always seems like talking to me is some sort of torture. I'm not mean, I don't just fire away questions left and right, and I don't babble on. While I try to be respectful and polite to anyone I meet, I don't mince words and I "tell it as it is." Regardless, it seems in my classes especially, I can't sustain a positive connection with a girl for very long.

 

Overall, I feel like a hampster running around one of those wheels in the cage. Whatever changes I make, everything always happens the same, and it's frustrating. Moreso with girls, it seems I'm walking around with a giant warning label on my shirt. In no way am I perfect - I'm headstrong, sometimes I'm too laid-back in my demeanor (so people don't think I care when I really do), sometimes I can get arrogant (more about things im arguing for, not about my abilities) and I go at 100mph, and I can be a little tense at times (not fully relaxed). There must also be something I'm doing with girls that ignites the volcano inside of them...the second something doesn't go perfectly right, I either get blasted or I just end up never seeing them again (maybe they feel creeped out?). Aside from my good friends, rarely is anyone calling my phone to hang out, grab a drink, etc. Usually I always am the one calling, and not a whole lot actually gets done.

 

Are there any suggestions on how to get people to open up around me (through conversation and such)? It's not for a lack of trying on my part, I just can't make it work. I make my presense known (not in an obnoxious way), but I can't stick in anyone's mind. Do you have any advice on getting people to warm up and also stick in their mind when it comes to hanging out?

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I know this was a bit of a vent, but if anyone has any suggestions, it would help.

 

I feel things are very different when I have momentum and when I don't. When things are going well, everthing seems to be going well. My confidence is very high and everything goes smoothly. On the contrary, when things begin to go wrong, a lot of things seem to fall apart, namely in this field I mentioned in the post above.

 

Maybe it's a temporary drop-off in confidence, but the issues I provided I feel remain. Perhaps this explains things...the reason things socially are either great or not-so-great is because nothing sticks!! So I ask the question again, do you have any advice on getting people to warm up and also stick in their mind when it comes to hanging out?

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Although it's true you can't have too many friends, you have to understand that some people aren't looking for new ones.

 

I was talking to a good friend of mine, and she was telling me that she did not want to make the effort to make new friends because she already had all friends she needed, in regards to roles. She has a few best friends whom she could talk to of anything, a few friends that love to party, some friends that are motivated in their careers enough to be contagious to her, and of course, her boyfriend for that emotional and sexual aspect of her life. Maybe some of those acquaintances you try to warm up to don't have a void to fill.

 

If not that, these acquaintances may just not feel compatible with you. I can recall numerous acquaintances I've met in my classes whom I converse with easily. Yet, whether it be because we don't like the same music, don't have the same major, etc., we know that this relationship wouldn't expand beyond the campus.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about any of this. Just keep doing what you're doing and eventually things will fall into place. Maybe ask these acquaintances to grab a bite after class. Eating is a great situation when you could warm up to someone and progress a relationship. It's a bit tough to just hang out with someone outside of class if the ice isn't broken through friendly conversation over food, homework or waiting for the next class. Oh, and stay away from any politically incorrect jokes and topics, as a given.

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There must also be something I'm doing with girls that ignites the volcano inside of them...the second something doesn't go perfectly right, I either get blasted or I just end up never seeing them again (maybe they feel creeped out?)...

 

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Do you ask them why they are upset and blasting you and what you did to upset them? It'll probably upset them more that you can't figure out what you did. maybe just tell them your not very good with people and any personality trait that causes friction you would like to correct; it doesn't hurt trying..

 

I wish i could help more but i'm in the same situation. I'm acquainted with a whoping 5 people but nothing outside of school. Have you tried student groups? the cafeteria? maybe share a table with someone when its crowded? intramural sports?

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Both good points. There are some things I hadn't thought about on here, but it makes sense.

 

Jonathan - Maybe it's just me, but I've never closed my "making new friends" door. If I meet someone and we click, I won't try to limit how far things could go. You do provide a good point about some of these people not having a void to fill. I know here in college, after the first few weeks, the social circles close rather quickly and if you're on the outside, it's tough to get in. I could definitely try asking one for a bite after class sometime. I had a friend Freshmen year who I did this with, and we got along real well.

 

Txblues - hmm...asking why they're upset. That thought never even crossed my mind, but it may be good to try this, especially when they blow up unexpectedly. A couple times, a friend of mine may have done something a little crazy, and the girl turns on ME? Might be good to know why. Othertimes, maybe it's the attitude I give off, even if I don't mean to (i.e. I know on one of my class projects, I was paired with a control freak, and I'm very laid back yet also a bit stubborn, so that didn't work real well). I am in a club outside of classes that I do a lot with. I get along pretty well with most of the guys there, but they're all 21 and go to bars (I have a few months to go).

 

I guess one reason this is all frustrating is b/c outside of school, I do a great job clicking with people. I've had two internships since I got to college. At the first one, everyone was only a few years apart, and I even became friends with the people there! At the other one, I worked with a lot of people in their 30s and 40s, but my boss gave my straight A's on the inter-personal part of the evaluation (they don't take these evaluations lightly). What I'm saying is, I don't think all of it is me. There are likely some things I'm doing wrong, but there's a lot I'm doing right as well.

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I can't see anything you're doing wrong from what I've read. I will say however that I also had problems making genuine friends in university. I had enough to keep me going - ie. people have to lunch with, occasional social stuff with, but most of my good, solid friends are from high school or work situations... People can be so competitive and single minded at university for some reason - that was my perception anyway.

 

But nonetheless, keep trying, it's good you have other external social groups that you enjoy spending time with and you realise that you have no difficulty with friends, it's just these select people at university.

 

Ammy

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Smart, I like it.

 

 

 

No one EVER CLOSES the making friends door, and honestly it sounds like you are doing really well and just being super hard on yourself. I took 45 classes in college. If I had 1 friend from every class that would translate to hanging out with each of them once every 1.15 weeks. making it 1.06 times per year. Even having a dozen friends makes seeing them almost impossible in a year because frankly we all work and/or go to school

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