Struggling with Loneliness

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    • #112512

      Lately I’ve been really, really struggling with loneliness. I’m in my late twenties and back in college. Over Spring Break I told myself I was going to go back to school and try to be more friendly and sociable since my social anxiety seemed lessened lately. Now I am regretting trying. My social anxiety has fired up in a big way and I can’t stop thinking about the things I said and how they may have turned people off to me. Every time I get like this my brain reminds me of all the times people won’t respond to my emails or texts and how I literally have no friends. Not one or two… I have none. It feels like I have the power to repel people. I guess I just can’t shake the feeling that something is very wrong with me and I will always be that lonely girl at the lunch table that no one wants to be around. At some point I thought maybe aging would help me with all of these feelings. I am an adult with adult responsibilities and a semi successful life and family, so why do I feel this way? Why can’t I just be content with myself when I know I will never be like everyone else? Anyway… I’d love some thoughts and/or advice.


    • #112575

      I struggle with this too. I don’t have any friends either.
      My mom is my best friend & we talk nearly everyday. My husband is also my best friend. But, I get you…’s not quite the same. It feels like it’s harder to get to know someone nowadays or bc I’m ADHD/ASD, maybe I can come off a bit intense.
      People see me socialize & think I have alot of friends bc I have alot of acquaintances—but that’s simply not true.

      I’ve also run into BIG problems, when I did not screen the person well enough or I thought they were a quality person—when they indeed were not.

      I wish I knew what the answer was. I go to University online, so I’m not around college kids. But, just thinking about social pressures gives me anxiety—people can be so “clicky.” I joined this forum in hopes of making friends w/more likeminded/similar people.

    • #112582

      Dearest Sierra and Skypa, I’m a mom of a son with ADHD and he struggles to make and keep friends. He doesn’t understand why, but I do. My heart breaks for him as sometimes I feel that no one else can see the amazing humor and heart that I see! I don’t know either of you, but it’s possible you ARE turning people off by giving the wrong social cues. When my son meets people, he glances at them but doesn’t hold eye contact, he mumbles, his shoulders slouch over, he often talks at them instead of with them…too concerned with what he’s projecting or wants to say than with listening to the other person. I know he would get so much further socially if he stood tall, shoulders back, wore a smile, sustained eye contact, LISTENed actively to the other person and then asked wondering questions…or responded to their questions with clear, honest answers. Body language, eye contact, a friendly smiling face. Try that. Fake it ’til you make it:-) even if you’re not feeling confident. And remember, so often if someone doesn’t respond well to you, it’s not about you. Everyone is going through their own battles…you’re not the only one who feels insecure and imperfect. You can’t know why sometimes people aren’t open to new friendships. But if you’re giving off the right, positive vibe…just keep doing it! Things will come around.

    • #112593

      Yes, I hear what you’re saying, but social cues aren’t something I struggle with. I work with clients on a daily basis as a successful hair colorist & I carry myself with real confidence. I like and know who I am. I run the salon & I can virtually talk and find common ground with anyone. People do like me & respond to my style–which I would deem friendly & genuine.

      I find my biggest problem, is that my expectations and standards I set for others are too high and no one that I’ve met in the last year has really been able to meet them. I have little to zero tolerance for people who are not conscientious or intelligent. I think in order to have friends, at some point in the relationship, you’ll have to tolerate parts of their behavior & this is hard for me. I get along better with males. I’ve literally just accepted that this is how it is.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by Skypark962.
      • #113382

        Dear Skypark,
        you have in this very post answered your own question,defined your expressed problem, if you will.

        The issue is one of attitude and expectations or standards, not one of genuine inability in the social arena, misunderstanding or sending/giving off counterproductive “vibes“ [nonverbal communication or body language] alone.

        I emphasize this bc most often in truth the latter actually leads to the former and the combination of both eventually make the individual miserable.

        But I digress.

        On a more helpful note:
        One way to try and get out of this auto – isolation (as I have come to label it) is to begin to challenge or question yourself on specific points of your own statements.

        An example:
        You write that you absolutely can and/or will not tolerate socializing with anyone lacking “intelligence“.

        Now, what would [most likely] be your reaction if, for instance, I were to declare right here and now my absolute unwillingness to continue communication with you bc those 2 texts of yours I’ve just read have decided me as to an absolute lack of intelligence – as I personally prefer to define it – on your part.

        Obvious questions?
        How do you define intelligence? What’s the “minimum IQ required“ for socialization with you? Is this an arbitrary line you draw? Or else, can you trace and ideally rationally defend both its origin and placement?

        Can you see how even just this one point might induce other people to view you as arrogant and thus unfit for close relations or at least fairly unpleasant company?

        Do you sincerely WISH to change this?

        The same kind of “drill“ could then be enacted with regards to the term “conscientious“.

        One possible solution to [part of] the dilemma

        How about creating an outer and an inner circle of friends and acquaintances [ a bit like we read of Christ Jesus having acted throughout the New Testament (the triumvirate – consisting of Peter, John and James; the Twelve – consisting of all the apostles and so forth! :-)] as a method of, well, kind of including both your higher standards AND opening yourself up to a greater variety of different people at the same time!

        Ugh. And now, I ‘ve just lost my train of thought.
        I will therefore have to get back to you. That is, off course, if you’re interested in my further relating more or less helpful tips and hacks tested during the past 36 plus years.

        Additionally I sincerely hope that my straightforward way of “calling the beast by its name“ did not in any way hurt or insult you for that has very definitely NOT been my intention!

        Aaron 🙂

    • #112677

      I am a 55 yo man who struggles with this… I have very few friends because of social anxieties. I am introvert and I do have some emotional hyperactivity in which I can overreact to some situations and some might think me as odd. Or my inattentive and distractibility has a factor. I can be talking to someone but at the same time an item in the rooms distracts me…

      • #112703

        Windyhill—I too am an introvert. Some people find this shocking, since I have to be extroverted with my job & if put into a social situation–I can be extroverted. I’ve scored both intro/extro on the meyer’s briggs.

        NOW, my salon partner is a definition of extrovert & this is how I truly know I’m not one—he gets energy from other people. I get drained & have to go “crawl into my space.” to recharge.

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