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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Something has to change

And i fear that something has to be me.

Friends.

I have one girlfriend who I see once in a blue moon and spends the entire time talking about herself and how the gay scene is terrible and how she is bored in her relationship of 10 years but cant be bothered to get out. I have another friend who is going though a mid life crisis at the moment and having just blown 5 grand on breast enlargements for a girl he met on the internet now wonders why she has disappeared when before the op they were talking almost every night (he has a wife and two kids by the way) and everyone else are just work colleagues. I get on with people at work but - other than the odd drink or two after work dont go out with them socially.

Then theres flatmate. Thats not going particularly well at the moment. As he said he didn't have anything planned, I asked flatmate if he fancied doing something with me this Sunday. To which he gave me the impression that doing something with me for the day would only happen if he hadn't found something more exciting to do by then (he obviously didn't say that - thats the impression I got from the conversation). It was very hurtful, particularly given i'd just struggled home on a bus with a bike I had given to give to him for free from a guy at work. sigh.

I'm feeling rather taken for granted to be honest and taking advantage of by pretty much everyone I know. I try to be nice and do things for people and i guess i shouldn't because its seen as a weakness to be exploited. And I'm really rather upset by it.

All in all, its quite depressing and makes me wonder if people really like me at all for who i am or rather what i can do for them and also what on earth makes me so unpleasant? Or simply just not interesting enough for people. I guess I don't have much to talk about. I'm bored quite frankly and probably rather boring as a consequence. I dont have anyone to confide in over things at all. And in any case, I'm not convinced anyone would be interested enough to listen. I do feel rather invisible and I wouldnt be at all surprised if no-one actually noticed my absence at all for at least a week or so if I just packed my bags and left London for good. I suspect the first person to notice would be flatmate but only because he would be wondering where the cat has got to

I haven't just been moping around feeling sorry for myself. Self pity gets one nowhere fast. I did the culture group thing but after a couple of sessions decided it wasn't the crowd for me. I still thinking about going here ( http://www.iknit.org.uk/knittinggroup.html )- but I'm horribly shy. Social events are nightmarish to say the least. One-on-one I can cope with but anymore than three other people and I start to disappear into the wallpaper.

I have to do something though as my present 'social life' is pathetic.

I did ask flatmate what sort of person I was and he said 'lovely, but maybe a little too meek' - well, all I can say it I cant be that lovely if he doesn't really want to spend his Sunday with me. I guess its a bizarre question to ask and I'm not sure I know anyone else well enough to ask for a second opinion. Oh well.

Hmm. I am aware that its me that has to change here but I'm not entirely sure how as I'm not really seeing clearly though the fog of disappointment with myself. I think also I dont trust people to actually like me - I assume that they wont and am most surprised generally speaking when I find out otherwise,

Any insights (brutal or otherwise) much appreciated.

"FIV != PTS"
"SENIOR KITTIZENS ROCK! (between naps)"

Allie and Ridley

Toby - waiting at the rainbow bridge (2002-2011)
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 03:19 AM
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Allie, I wish I had some advice for you, but we sound kind of like peas in a pod, except for flatmat. I'm horrible in social situations. Fortunately, I like being a homebody. Or maybe that's unfortunately. I'd rather stay home with a good book or movie than go to a social event after work or on the weekend. For which I'm told I'll never meet anybody, to which to I think, good. Then I'm not stuck with a pinhead like the dork you're dating and constantly complaining about. (oops, too harsh!)

Flatmat should have at least been willing to share a Sunday with you - doing what YOU wanted to do - as thanks for the bike. Twerp!

I'm sure you'll get some good advice from other members who actually leave their homes on the weekend and have social lives.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 05:00 AM
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First of all, flatmate should be grateful and you deserve better than a friend who uses you for backup plans! Secondly, I also am too nice, too willing to do things for others and consider it both one of my best qualities and one of my biggest downfalls. I think you just have to try to cut out the people who take advantage of that, and it can be really hard to do that.

Now, on to how to get out there and be a social butterfly! First things first, try the knitting circle! Knitters are lovers, I'm sure they would welcome you with open arms. Along that same wavelength, have you ever considered taking a weekend class? I find I always meet really great people in classes, because they're easy to relate to. Try something fun, maybe something you've never done before like pottery, drawing, language, cooking, cake decorating (my mom's friend did this and loved it), knitting (hint hint nudge nudge) etc.

As for the coworkers you get on well with, is there any way you can develop your relationships with them from a professional/occasional drink relationship to a close friendship or someone to go out with? At my job in the US, a few of the people from our team got in the habit of going out to play pool and share a pitcher of beer once a week. We did lunch together, organized a team outing to a baseball game, and it was really great! I ended up getting really close with one of the girls and she came to visit me here over the Christmas holiday! Maybe scope out some restaurants near work and casually ask to your coworker(s) what their lunch plans are. Then when they say they brought a sack lunch or whatever, just mention the restaurant, say you keep meaning to try it and every time you pass it you get hungry and ask them if they'd like to try it sometime on their lunch break. They can't say no to someone as nice as you!

Hopefully others have some good tips as well. Another important thing is networking. If you meet a new friend and go out once, keep it up! Ask them about their plans and you'll get an invitation, then you meet their friends and that's how you get in with a crowd! If you take it step by step, it won't be so scary

P.S. Good for you Allie, for actively doing something to make a change!

Robin and...
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Well - sent a text message to flatmate saying I felt hurt but haven't heard anything back. Nor do I expect too sadly. He will just ignore it. Maybe I'm just expecting too much. After all, we are just flatmates. I'm not even convinced he considers me a friend to be honest in which case I would have no right to complain.

Which of course doesnt make me feel good because I was confident at one point. I assume, therefore, my general attitude has eventually turned him off. Urgh.

Perhaps I'll try the knitting circle next week. Tonght I'm going out with work colleagues - its a lab dinner thing (that I organised) but to be honest its the very last thing I now want to do. Oh well . Most definately not in the mood to socialise today simply because i'm feeling upset by the situation.

"FIV != PTS"
"SENIOR KITTIZENS ROCK! (between naps)"

Allie and Ridley

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 08:34 AM
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Allie,
As a relative newbie in this forum I want to tell you that you are one of the people who most stood out as being very interesting and intelligent when I first started reading the posts. I especially remember the post you made when you had the picture of Toby done.
I also am in a very lonely place in my life. My husband, while a decent guy, is pretty much a couch potato. My sons are wonderful college age boys who have their own lives and are rarely around. I find that in the child raising years I have not paid enough time and attention to girlfriends and now there is nobody to do things with. I am also very shy in social situations, so I have started to do things that will put me with people but not put me in the spotlight. Excercise class, learning Reiki, volunteering at a local cat rescue. Expanding my interests in the hopes that it will put me in contact with other people of similar interests.
Your flatmate sounds like a dead end situation and not worth your time. (Brutal) You, however seem to be a very interesting person with the gumption to improve your situation and seek your own happiness. Good luck to you in what ever way you choose to move forward.
Sue

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 08:57 AM
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Allie, I really relate to what you're saying. I've been single most of my adult life, and came to the realization that after about age 25, the great majority of adults are so inwardly focused on their families and small kids that they aren't really looking to do things socially. If they do something socially, they also want to bring the kids. As a result, I've always had jobs where I had lots of close friends, but absolutely no one to do things with on weekends.

I also asked myself -- of all the very close friends I've had in my life, was there ever a period when you had to try to be friends with them? Nope, it just happened. I don't think you can force stuff. The best bet would be to be open-minded when people suggest doing stuff, and don't be afraid to suggest stuff yourself. I'm still learning that lesson.

My sister is in a knitting group in Wisconsin, and it sounds like a really close-knit (excuse the pun) group. They do weekends together in some cabin up north, just sitting around gabbing and knitting all weekend. I don't know if that would be true in England, but it does sound like something worth exploring!


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 09:26 AM
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Allie (I have a daughter named Allie, so this is wierd), my sister's husband died in March 2007. She spent the last ten years as his caretaker due to his throat cancer. He had trouble talking and was embarassed to be seen by anyone, so she lost touch with everyone. When they moved to be closer to his parents, she had no one.
I'm so proud of her. She is following my mother's example and getting out and doing things. A new church. A photgraphy class, which lead to a photography group. She is starting to teach a young girl to be a stronger reader. I don't know that she will ever remarry - his retirement was excellent as a VP for a major oil company - but she is giving herself the opportunity to meet people.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by October
I also asked myself -- of all the very close friends I've had in my life, was there ever a period when you had to try to be friends with them? Nope, it just happened. I don't think you can force stuff. The best bet would be to be open-minded when people suggest doing stuff, and don't be afraid to suggest stuff yourself. I'm still learning that lesson.
Hmm. I tried that with flatmate and look what happened there. But he probably isn't the right person to ask.

The culture group thing was very disappointing for two reasons - I couldnt relate to the people there and I was too shy to open my mouth regardless. Since then I've been trying to plunk up the courage (and energy!) to try again with the knitting group. I shall try it and see how I get on.

But this isnt just a case of getting out there and meeting people. Its a case of not understanding why I'm so boring and/or unlikable. You never see yourself as others see you of course but when faced with the realisation that someone will only do something with you when theres nothing else worth doing, one begins to realise they have gone wrong somewhere. Bear in mind, flatmate and I used to get on really well so this was quite a shock.

But I dont want this focussed on the darn flatmate - its more a case of whether other people see me in the same light.

"FIV != PTS"
"SENIOR KITTIZENS ROCK! (between naps)"

Allie and Ridley

Toby - waiting at the rainbow bridge (2002-2011)
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by melysion
But I dont want this focussed on the darn flatmate - its more a case of whether other people see me in the same light.
I think flatmate is too used to you. He knows nothing will develop relationship-wise so why bother putting any effort into it. I really don't think it is a "you" thing. I think it is a "man" thing.

I cannot think anybody would see you in the same light he sees you. I think not enough other people are seeing you. That is up to you, to get out and involved more. However, were I in your same shoes I think I'd have a terrible time. I wouldn't like trying to make friends out of some group, or at a bar, or at work UNLESS I really connected with them. Most of my good friends were neighbors or classmates with a few I met through related activities like quilting and horses. I don't have many friends, but the friends I do have are true. Quality, not quantity. I am thinking the knitting group may be the 'thing' because everyone there will have that hobby in common.



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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 10:28 PM
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Always remember: It's their loss.

And just because other people have lower IQ's and rather silly priorities, it does not obligate you to be the same as them. It doesn't obligate you to share their views or think they're right. It doesn't even obligate you to put up with petty crap. A friendship should make you happy. It's not a one sided business!

Maybe try posting online or even on a bulletin board somewhere--"Here's who I am, I'm looking for X person for X activity". Maybe you can find a friend like yourself that way, and it does eliminate the social scene of putting up with idiots to find a non idiot to hit the social scene with!


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