Is putting ~100% of the effort into friendships normal?

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SpreadsheetMaster
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

Joined: 3 Apr 2017
Age: 25
Gender: Male
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Location: Seattle WA

19 May 2017, 11:39 am

I've had this issue since high school. All the friends I've had will never contact me of their own initiative, with maybe 3 exceptions who will do so once in a blue moon. It feels very odd that I have to put all the effort into hanging out and messaging all or almost all of the time with anyone. Many of these people are friends with each other, so I wonder how do they ever talk to each other if I have to put all the effort into talking to both of them? Do they really not like me that much and just tolerate me contacting them? I have no idea what to make of it. Does this happen to anyone else?



shortfatbalduglyman
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

Joined: 4 Mar 2017
Age: 33
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19 May 2017, 10:39 pm

yes, when i was an undergrad (18-24) i used to do that a lot. b/c i did not have friends. instead the closest thing i had to friends were precious lil "people" that passive aggressively put up with me. and i wasted a lot of energy interacting with them. while they did not do the same. but whatever. i was not in their "in" group. that is not a good or bad thing. i was just not similar to them. cisgender and neurotypical. big deal. whatever.

in your case, i would imagine your friends see you as desperate. or maybe you are reducing your status by putting all that effort. but maybe you are also increasing your chances of interaction.

cost benefit analysis

of course i do not know if putting all that effort is "normal". and i used to do that. just not anymore.

and of course i ain't normal.



SpreadsheetMaster
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

Joined: 3 Apr 2017
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Posts: 50
Location: Seattle WA

Yesterday, 9:21 am

It's weird, when I first talked to them they were all nice and enthusiastic, but none of them ever bothered to contact me for any reason other than wanting something from me later (again, with very rare exceptions). The fact that I went to alternative school where almost everyone else was very flaky, unreliable, and generally had something off about them probably didn't help.



banana247
Raven
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Joined: 5 Mar 2012
Age: 25
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Yesterday, 10:19 am

I wish i had a solution or an answer. I feel the same way about almost all of the relationships i've ever had and have for a long time... I think it must be some kind of social cues, body language, or something that I give off without realizing.

Nearly ALL of the people who become my friends ultimately tell me that they thought i didn't like them when they first met me. I can't quite figure out what it is that makes people think that, but a LOT of people say that so it must be something that I do. They usually say it's just because i'm quiet, but they're not totally sure, so think I must give off some kind of "bug off" vibes or something. I was thinking that maybe it's those "vibes" that make people think I don't want to be invited or included, even though I might act friendly sometimes. I think that putting up these barriers without intending to do so may be part of that 'self sabotage' thing that is a defense mechanism for avoiding being hurt in the future if a relationship gets too involved and then i screw up.

So yeah, hearing you have the same problem makes me think that it's gotta be something that we somehow unintentionally communicate. Do your friends know about your as/social anxiety disorder or whatever it is that you deal with? I don't tell people about mine, but a mentor recently advised me to do so because she said that people really do want to understand. She said that especially in cases like this when they show contradicting behavior, like when they seem like friends but then don't invite you stuff, it's probably because i'm giving them mixed signals and they are unsure and confused and maybe even have their feelings hurt. She said that they won't be able to make sense of the mixed signals if the are missing half of the story (the missing half being my as/anxiety) so it might be really helpful to disclose my issues with people that i begin to befriend so that they can make more sense of how i behave. I've yet to disclose it to anyone, but i think i'm gonna try because at this point, there's really nothing to lose anyway. Ha!

I'm clearly still exploring this issue as it is something that has been eating at me for a while, but i'll let you know if i have an revelations. Lol.



SpreadsheetMaster
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

Joined: 3 Apr 2017
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Posts: 50
Location: Seattle WA

Yesterday, 9:39 pm

I have both Asperger's and social anxiety. I'm fairly free about sharing it but only once I've known the person for a while. Although new people in my writers group tend to find out immediately since it comes off in my writing. I hadn't considered the mixed signals angle. Maybe I should ask some people how I come off. So no one ever contacts you either?

Although honestly I didn't quite give the whole story. In this writers group I've gone to since the end of 2015 there is one girl who will message me unprompted a decent amount; the one in the group I'm closest to. Two others have messaged me twice (I count it). It might just be about finding the right people, I dunno.