Do I want friends or not?

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Do I want friends or not? Empty Do I want friends or not?

Post by Chickpea Sarada on Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:57 am

I still remember when my Dad bluntly pointed out how I don't have a circle of friends (well, actually he just plain said I don't have friends).  And how it hurt.  It just made me feel like something was wrong with me.

I'm an introvert who likes to spend most of her spare time doing her own thing at her own pace.  Although I'm on the shy side, I do at least have enough social skills to get along with people I have a reason to talk to.  (And by "have a reason to talk to," I mean there's something relevant to talk about so I don't have to awkwardly try to think of something, and signs tell me that they are interested in a conversation too).  It seems to be mainly social energy that I'm lacking.

Some days I feel like I could be the life of the party.  Other times, the customers/patients at work and family at home (which I'm expecting will change when I move out to my own place in a few months) are all the human contact I can handle for the day.  I haven't gotten in touch with my old best friend from high school for a long time.  I joined a gym so that in addition to getting in better shape, I could meet some people in exercise classes, but now I just use the exercise machines with my headphones in.  I get along well with most people I meet, but there's practically no one I feel close enough to to call a "friend."

I feel alone, but not really lonely.  And I don't know what to think about it.
Chickpea Sarada
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Post by Andrew Corvero on Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:13 am

First things first: you're the one who decides how many friends you need, no one else. I get that your father probably had good intentions, but he doesn't get to police your social life. Only you do.

Secondly there's nothing wrong with what you do unless it makes you feel bad or make others feel bad. If you don't feel like socializing some days that's OK. If you feel good being alone, that's also OK.

That said it seems to me that you're probably an introvert, since socializing drains your energy instead of giving you energy. Nothing wrong with that either, it's just the way you are, and when you really think you don't want to socialize you shouldn't force yourself.

When you do want to socialize you should feel free to do it at your own pace.
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Post by Andrew Corvero on Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:25 am

That said, you mention that you get along with people you have a reason to talk to, and who interested in having a conversation with you.

So when you do feel lonely maybe you should try to find some people who share your interests, and with which you can have a reason to talk and interesting conversations. Also if you discover something new that really interests you, you could try to practice it in a place where you can find like-minded people. Be open to some new experiences that look fun and interesting to you.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with you. Just like everyone you have some things that catch your attention and others you don't care about. You might be more selective than the average, but that's by no means a bad thing. When you will find someone you think it's interesting to talk with (and I'm sure you will) you'll probably have much more fun interacting with them than forcing yourself to speak to someone that just you don't have reasons to talk to.

Meanwhile, enjoy what you like, take care of yourself, and maybe explore something new if you feel bored.
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