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Depressing lack of friendship stuff...


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This is the first time in a while I've been so down... to the point that while I know only I can pick myself up, all I feel like doing is staying in my room and shutting myself away from everyone...

 

Today, I feel like I don't have any real friends. I know I've made mistakes in the past... not upkeeping friendships, because I kept feeling like I just didn't have the time or money to go out... and I know my social anxiety has contributed to this... but it's also the fact that for some reason, I've never had a "group" of friends...

 

...that is, I meet so many different types of people, and actually get along with so many different types of personalities (preppy, more anti-social people, people enraptured in their careers/school), that these people often can't get along with one another. Moreover, I fell out of contact with some of my high school friends because I felt they weren't maturing at the level I was maturing... except for one really good friend I've kept and see on a fairly frequent basis... and all of my university friends, I have a HARD time seeing, because they 1) came from abroad 2) end up going abroad 3) lived on the other side of the city, a good hour's drive away.

 

I had this mini-group of three friends... two girls and a guy... and we used to hang out in university. One of the girls was such a drama queen, that I didn't have the patience to deal with her anymore. As a group, we had a lot of fun though, and I still miss those times...

 

During my M.A. Program, I met a good number of like-minded people! We went out a few times as groups of 6-7... but once a few of them started to leave for elsewhere, it just so turned out that I was only close enough to one of the girls to keep up our friendship individually... and now she's in Europe -- and I miss her!

 

So a couple of weeks ago, I tried to get an event together with a whole bunch of friends -- many of which I haven't seen in quite a long time... and didn't get close to as many responses as I wanted. I know that schedules don't always meet up, but for some reason this hit me extremely hard. One of the reasons is because I really wanted to see this one guy I've met recently (friend of a friend)... who kind of have a crush on... and now that this party fell through, I can't see him on a one-on-one basis because I just met him... so basically, I can kiss the possibility goodbye for a good month. I also feel incredibly embarrassed that I wasn't able to get something together, and I wonder what he'll be thinking of me.

 

I feel like when I try to plan something, no one EVER comes... and I'm pretty sure it's because people don't feel any sort of obligation to come to anything I hold... because I don't upkeep meetups myself.

 

But I have friends from so many disparate places, that keeping something up with individuals is so much harder than keeping things up with a GROUP to begin with. Like... I can't justify travelling a good hour to meet up with ONE friend... not that often, anyway.

 

I don't know what to do. I feel like the solution would be to start trying to get a group together, but that doesn't seem possible... especially since my plan to assemble a group fell through...

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I know how you feel OP....I have social anxiety disorder too which I have been treating and although the difference is noticeable, I still struggle to establish proper friendships and groups. I do have a couple of friends from childhood (back home in England) but not many others and it is difficult, you have my understanding.

 

Most people don't even know of that torment when they look at me. My anxiety was terribly bad at one point that I struggled to function.

 

Anyhow, practice makes perfect. A therapist can help you with your techniques with regards to people. Have you considered joining a sports league or team? I did that here when I knew nobody and it opened a lot of doors as they did social events too. I then got access to a new network of people.

 

Also, do things that continue to enrich your own life so you are not uncomfortable around your own company. I have managed to achieve this, to an extent.

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Tackle individual relationships first, address groups later. If you strengthen your solo relationships, those are the people who will show up for you when you want to hold a mix.

 

It's okay to shut yourself in for a short time to lick your wounds when you're disappointed, but don't spiral it into feeling worse. View it as a time for regrouping, and come out the other side with a plan for stretching yourself. Be kind to yourself and reward yourself when you accomplish a piece of your plan--even if its as simple as deciding you'll only say positive things for a whole day, and you'll help one other person with something even if it's small.

 

Every day we each make a deliberate decision as to the kind of day we intend to have. Make your choice a conscious one, and you'll find it gets easier and more natural with practice.

 

In your corner.

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Sounds like what happened to me. Once I left High school, my friends started dwindling away. They will be replaced by other friends as you go along and mature. Some friends will be void for a long time then make a huge reappearance in your life. I'm really not friends with any of my old high school friends anymore (10 years later). Although I still keep in contact with a lot of them, we don't hang out. They all went on with their own lives. Now I just find people with like interests. Friends will come and go throughout life as you need/want them.

 

It really is a natural transition to lose contact with high school friends. How many people do you know that are 10+ years out of high school, but still hang out with all their old high school friends? It certainly doesn't mean there aren't one or two who will stick around.

 

I have one friend from high school that I only hung out with for a short while before we had a falling out. About 5 years later we ran into each other again. We are BEST friends now and have been for years. It's just the way things work with constantly changing and growing people.

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One piece of advice I received from my grandfather when I was a kid was "don't expect the world to be your best friend." Over the years, it's been really good advice for me, as I can also be anxious when meeting new people that I like and wondering if a friendship will develop.

 

One point of this advice is that it will either happen, or it won't - you can't force it or try to make it happen. The other point is that some people will just me marginal friends - you get along, but you're not BFF's - and that's perfectly okay. Take it for what it is, or don't.

 

I like catfeeder's advice. Work on individual relationships first, and then the groups are likely to happen. It sounds like you're young (at university) and people are highly transient at that age. College only lasts a few short years. Just relax and enjoy the people that are around you. Before you know it, you will have developed a few lasting relationships - ones that you know you'll be in contact with for the rest of your life.

 

I wouldn't worry much about not being able to get an event together. People have busy schedules and it sounds like some of your friends are a significant distance away. Don't worry about it. If you're feeling down about it, I would take time to spend with my good friends. Drive that hour to lift your spirits - it will be worth it.

 

As far as the crush, can't you talk to your friend and ask if you can be included the next time they will be going out together?

 

You didn't mention where you are meeting new people. Are there any groups at your university where you can meet a lot of people with common interests? That's potentially a ready-made group right there.

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