[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:50 am

TW: frank weighing of what people can do for each other vs. ethical considerations. If that bothers you, you are very much like those who aren't bothered, in that you are under no obligation to read further or post or try to "help".

It transpired deep within a ridiculously long comment chain on yesterday's article that I may benefit from positioning myself to meet more (single) women. I've considered this, and it seems like one of the biggest obstacles to this (aside from so far having tried and very strongly disliked a list including but not limited to: group dancing, group exercise, alcohol, smoking, Tuesdays, M:tG, cilantro, and Doctor Who) is that I typically don't have very much social time available, if any.

I'll admit time management habits are part of this, too. I wake up much earlier than I need to for work and spend much of that time moping in bed; then I leave for work earlier than I need to and typically stay at work much longer. If I do manage to come home early, I spend an hour or two playing a video game before doing the housekeeping chore of the day and then check forums, fuss with playlists, etc. to wind down before bed. So, yeah, I do kind of waste my weekdays.

Weekends, though, always seem to end up getting packed with activities some friend-group or other wants me to do with them, or else some holiday thing my parents insist is absolutely crucial to continuing to be a happy healthy family or whatever. And since I already tried moving a couple thousand miles away from those parents and it didn't work, it seems like one of the few options remaining to me is to reduce the interactions I have with certain friends and acquaintances. This will inevitably mean losing some of them.

The unfortunate thing is that there aren't any immediately obvious choices. All are (IMO) good people with interesting sets of skills and perspectives and thoughts and personalities.

Those who are well-connected and would be less likely to miss having one more house-guest (or host or M:tG opponent or DotA buddy or whatever) are also well-connected to other people I know, so any perceived (or actual) slight could have rippling consequences. In best case, they'd almost understand why I stop making so much time for them, but still pretty much see me as a flake. Been there before, didn't much care for it; I stopped getting invited to stuff I actually wanted to go do and had to earn my way back by playing trading card games and watching movies I'd already memorized.

The less well-connected may not indirectly affect me as much, but...they don't have many other friends. In one case, any other friends. So that's right out.

But the thing is every single one of them is filling basically the same role: "pretty smart person who shares some of my hobbies and interests who is interesting to talk to and usually fun to spend time with". Individually, they're all well worth spending time with. But in terms of the ration of social time I have available, I'm living paycheck-to-paycheck. Makes it hard to go out and do even more stuff I don't enjoy just on the off chance I get run over by a purple unicorn.

Or put yet another way: I've got a zillion mind-mates and play-mates but any remaining relevant categories of need or want are totally unfulfilled.

Two somewhat recent exceptions to the "always doing stuff on weekends" thing: a Saturday where nothing much happened followed by a Sunday hanging out with exactly one very cool person and not trying to cram in tons of activities; and a weekend on which I got food-poisoning and sat in a bathtub puking for ten hours, thus having an acceptable excuse to not go out and keep doing other things. I occasionally need one of those kinds of weekends anyway, because going out and doing lots of things with lots of people is more stressful than work, not less; this is part of why I have been referring to "social time" instead of "time".

Anyway, I'm sort of trying to figure out some kind of plan for weaning people off me (and myself off them), but meanwhile, I thought I'd open the proverbial floor for thoughts/perspectives from any who wish to comment.
nearly_takuan
nearly_takuan

Posts : 1069
Reputation : 456
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by eselle28 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:34 am

I think one of my suggestions was among those you're speaking about, so yes, I do think that there are times that a person who's seeking a romantic relationship needs to carve out a little time for that seeking. I might suggest looking at it this way. You seem to deeply crave a romantic relationship, perhaps a somewhat serious one? There are a few women who are willing to spend almost all their time in the company of their boyfriend's friends, but they're rare. More likely, if you had a girlfriend, you would need to set aside some time on weekends to both spend alone with her and to occasionally see her friends. Given that, I think it's entirely fair and reasonable to allocate some of that same time to meeting women. Unless your life continues exactly as it is (which seems suboptimal), you will eventually have to make some of these choices.

In pulling back, I think I'd be inclined to prioritize people who were willing to work with me a little and who'd make an effort to keep in touch via email and text and continue to send me invites even if I was only able to accept them half the time. If I've got your age and presumably your friends' correctly, the next few years might see you starting to diverge in terms of the paths your lives take. If everyone is interesting and fun and valuable, I think there's something to be said for identifying the relationships that are most likely to last and giving those the most attention. It has the side benefit of requiring less effort per friendship than maintaining a smaller number of ones with people who aren't as willing to meet in the middle.

Because of this, I'd be inclined to take an experimental approach, where I either told some of my friends explicitly that I needed to put some effort into looking for someone to date or just occasionally excused myself from events on the grounds of pursuing whatever new thing I thought would lead me to meeting a partner (depending on how open I felt like being with the friend in question), apologized for what I might miss, and let them know how often I'd be available and what ways of keeping in touch might be good as at least partial substitutes for what I might miss. Then I'd see how people responded and give the most time to the people who demanded the least, while letting those who had very high expectations for my time commitment and who weren't as flexible make the choice for themselves.

A general point, but worth noting: If you use this general strategy, you actually don't end up dumping friends for no reason. Demanding so much of a friend's time that they have none left to pursue important goals is actually pretty uncool, especially if you can look around and see that there's no way for them to pursue that goal at the same time as hanging out with you. I'm not sure if your group has a case of Geek Social Fallacy #3 or if you've just gotten stuck in the role of the single friend who's always available as a party guest or if your friends just tend to be a bit disparate and all want to hang out every weekend, but this does seem like something that's worth getting in order even aside from the potential romantic complications.
eselle28
eselle28
General Oversight Moderator

Posts : 1994
Reputation : 999
Join date : 2014-09-24

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:25 am

eselle28 wrote:There are a few women who are willing to spend almost all their time in the company of their boyfriend's friends, but they're rare. More likely, if you had a girlfriend, you would need to set aside some time on weekends to both spend alone with her and to occasionally see her friends.
This surprised me quite a lot, because usually when I'm visiting or otherwise out with a friend, their spouse/fiancee/partner/S.O. is there as well. But, I guess since I'm splitting my time across multiple groups, and they might not be, it's possible (probable) that they're actually setting aside a lot of "couple time" that I'm not seeing.

eselle28 wrote:I'm not sure if your group has a case of Geek Social Fallacy #3 or if you've just gotten stuck in the role of the single friend who's always available as a party guest or if your friends just tend to be a bit disparate and all want to hang out every weekend, but this does seem like something that's worth getting in order even aside from the potential romantic complications.

A little of everything, plus our lives have already pretty much diverged; stuff feels pretty chaotic.




I dunno about being explicit about what I'm doing. :/ Maybe it's just me or maybe I'm not so great at reading that side of people, but these don't feel like the kind of people I could talk to about that kind of stuff.

Ironically, between what you've said and what else I've considered, the guy who once told me, "you say no a lot," is probably going to be the first I "fade away" from. McCoy thinks I still owe him for what he's done for my professional life, but Spock finds it unreasonable to assume that this should translate to infinity afternoons indulging his hobby that I don't actually care for, and Kirk wants to know the last time I ever decided I could stop owing a person.

Besides, you said the magic word. Experiments are fun!
nearly_takuan
nearly_takuan

Posts : 1069
Reputation : 456
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by Izmuth on Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:55 am

When I refuse an invitation of a certain person to an activity, I try to make sure to schedule another activity including that person, albeit far in the future (might be months).

It safeguards me from invitations in the meantime with that person, since they know we already scheduled a meet and I'll be busy in the meantime, and it prevents resentment from growing, since I'm also still "investing" a token amount into our friendship, however small it may be.

People generally accept you're a busy man in my experience, unless they are the ones always asking you to hang out and you are the one constantly saying no without ever reciprocating.
Izmuth
Izmuth

Posts : 145
Reputation : 81
Join date : 2014-10-02

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:37 am

Ooh, excellent idea! Thanks!
nearly_takuan
nearly_takuan

Posts : 1069
Reputation : 456
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by kath on Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:16 am

Also could you simply try to change the "established pattern of when you're probably available" - like put each group on a longer rotation, and stick-ish to that rotation. So go from being "nearly who sees kindof every week" to "nearly who sees kindof every month", etc, as appropriate for each group?

And when you're declining, if they're somewhat regular, you can say "I can't make X because I've got a lot going on, but are you guys going to be doing Y similar thing (or X if it's a regular deal) in Z weeks? I think I can make that!" - this isn't so much inviting yourself if it's a regular pattern of events you could sort of expect to be included in. Then make sure you do go to what you say you will.
kath
kath

Posts : 352
Reputation : 159
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by Enail on Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:24 pm

As well as the other things suggested, maybe you can try a bit of multi-tasking? Scheduling moderately compatible friends together, or else inviting friends to do things with you that might get you interacting with more women so that you get the friend-time in there (though be careful that it doesn't mean you land up mostly only interacting with your friends and thus not meeting many new people).

I get the impression your friends do most of the inviting and you're usually the invitee - it might actually help things to be more proactive and invite them to things more often while you're reducing the amount of time you spend with them overall. It puts more control in your hands and sends a message that you do want to be friends with them even if you're putting them in a longer friend rotation and seeing them less overall. (Kath, I'm glad to learn I'm not the only person who thinks about friend rotations!)
Enail
Enail
Admin

Posts : 4039
Reputation : 2278
Join date : 2014-09-22

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:32 pm

Enail wrote:
I get the impression your friends do most of the inviting and you're usually the invitee - it might actually help things to be more proactive and invite them to things more often while you're reducing the amount of time you spend with them overall. It puts more control in your hands and sends a message that you do want to be friends with them even if you're putting them in a longer friend rotation and seeing them less overall. (Kath, I'm glad to learn I'm not the only person who thinks about friend rotations!)

Good point. I used to do more of the inviting, but then when I started feeling like I wasn't getting enough Introvert Time I slowed things down until I pretty much stopped being an organizer of anything. Which was nice in its way, because I never did like asking for things, but as far as either further developing the ability to ask for things or actually getting to set aside time for my own stuff, that behavior is probably counter-productive.
nearly_takuan
nearly_takuan

Posts : 1069
Reputation : 456
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by nearly_takuan on Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:46 pm

Figured I'd just post here instead of making a new thread since it's basically the same subject:

So, after this weekend and reflecting in general on the last several months, I'm starting to think I may need to just go looking for a different set of friends. Most of my long-time and recent friends seem to be the sort who drink lots of alcohol pretty much every weekend, spring other surprise drugs on me, gradually turn short outings into a commitment to weekend-long adventures, and flirt with everyone we meet. So is everyone else they know, as far as I can tell.

It really sucks, because I like these people; they're definitely good people. And it's not that I have a problem with their life choices or any of that... except that maybe it is that after all. I mean, they are for the most part responsible and self-sufficient and capable of handling their substances, but because I don't want to use and because they do get a lot less interesting when they do, maybe we just don't fit together very well.

I've been thinking it's the whole city, just because it's everyone I know and most of the places I've gone. Coffee shops here are closed shortly after my work and just in general the "night life" seems to be 99% bars and (strip) clubs, so it will be difficult to find people who are at all like myself...but I guess I should start looking.

Still not sure how I'm going to set about explaining this to anyone. It's probable that bridges will be burned no matter what I do. But, I know I'm getting sick of going to hang out with a few friends for a few hours and then seeing that turn into waiting all day for either the driver to sober up or the people I drove to be ready to leave. And about as tired of being introduced to new people who seem really cool at first only to find out later that they are totally unable to handle their liquor.
nearly_takuan
nearly_takuan

Posts : 1069
Reputation : 456
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by PintsizeBro on Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:04 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:I'm getting sick of going to hang out with a few friends for a few hours and then seeing that turn into waiting all day for either the driver to sober up or the people I drove to be ready to leave.
I think this is what you need to tell them.

PintsizeBro

Posts : 307
Reputation : 233
Join date : 2015-02-13

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by BasedBuzzed on Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:24 pm

That plus having alternative plans at the ready of what peeps can do, or ways in which boozing/drugging can be combo'ed with an activity you enjoy that's within public transport reach/reach of someone who is also going home early and can deliver you.
BasedBuzzed
BasedBuzzed

Posts : 811
Reputation : 267
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by readertorider on Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:04 pm

Are there ways to separate fun thing you want to do from the filler activity? Are things longer/less fun than anticipated because you as a group spend time waiting around for everyone to be on the same page, or they want drinks with an optional <fun thing> and you want <fun thing> with optional (but no thanks) drinks, or does a something keep happening that strands you there, or...?

Because from here it seems like you can say, '<thing> sounds great, but I can only be there til <time><optional because>' and if they still encourage you to come, you go (with a get away plan that doesn't require any other friends) and then leave when you said you would. If you need the extra resolve, make your social plans for meeting people--meatup group, volunteer activity, tea tasting society, cooking class, IDK--before you actively know that friends want to do <thing> and then plan friend thing around prior commitments.

With certain friend groups there's definitely a sense that the people who around the most are the closest/regulars/inner circle and I think you might lose some of that if you do stay for shorter periods of time occasionally, but I don't think you'll be burning bridges so much as not actively maintaining them. Sometimes the rate of bridge decay is fast, but if you only deal with people who can't hold their liquor failing to hold their liquor once a month the situation might become more endearing than annoying.
readertorider
readertorider

Posts : 155
Reputation : 58
Join date : 2014-10-23

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:28 am

Hm, these are good ideas. I have been arranging more of the events to get a degree of control over what's going to happen (ensuring that 1. there is a plan and 2. I know what it is), but they still have a tendency to get away from me—I'll get talked into carpooling "to save gas", and then "we" get talked into going along for the next thing and the next and we end up at someone else's house with a bunch of inebriated women who apologize for everything. Seems like having go-to excuses prepped for abandoning ship on such occasions might be a decent next step, less drastic than refusing to go in the first place.

Naturally I'm left kind of worrying that it's unfair to them if I show up for the part they seem to not care so much about and leave before the bit they wanted to do. But on a slightly more rational level I am aware that they're adults who can decide for themselves if that's unfair and they can bring it up and we can deal with it.
nearly_takuan
nearly_takuan

Posts : 1069
Reputation : 456
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

[disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason') Empty Re: [disc] The Slow Fade (a.k.a. 'dumping friends for no reason')

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum