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Malaise
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04 Dec 2015, 9:55 am

I feel like I've learned to have a "public face", avoid what may be rude, etc, but that it's all automated instead of understood. At this point in my life I don't get many negative reactions because I've been practicing and trying to get how to talk to people for so long. I feel stiff when talking to new people, even though I'll ask someone I trust and they won't describe me that way.

Essentially I've managed to adapt in a sense, I just don't really understand how I'm doing it or what vibe exactly I'm giving off. Just how to avoid disasters. It's frustrating because when I'm trying to understand people better or make friends, I don't really know how to read them or adjust myself beyond being more or less talkative, open, etc. I used to see myself as a very compassionate, friendly person deep down, but I've had to accept that I'm very limited with it in practice. Which feels partially like a loss of self.

Does this make any sense?



LogicOrNot
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04 Dec 2015, 7:42 pm

That makes perfect sense. I think of myself in a very similar way. Only, unfortunately, I still feel that I am accidentally rude more often than I would like.

It strikes me that making real friends in life is actually quite hard and involves a lot of luck. I am starting to think that a lot of the interaction that people have with one another on a daily basis takes place at a very controlled, superficial, and safe level. It seems to me that the purpose of this is to maintain autonomy, to save face, and to allow people to get along who have different views and perspectives. It is limiting, but it allows people to live alongside others without getting in one another's way.

I know some people who I think relate to others very well. They seem to stick to very safe topics and to keep things upbeat and lighthearted. They seem to be able to show sympathy while respecting boundaries.

It may have to do with age / phase of life. In highschool I had a number of close friends, and we would talk about almost anything together. Now that I am older, people seem to have their own lives and space and their own agendas. I still talk to a few of my oldest, closest friends. When we get together, we feel comfortable sharing more. But even with them, I think we are more careful to respect space now.



Malaise
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05 Dec 2015, 2:16 am

LogicOrNot wrote:
It strikes me that making real friends in life is actually quite hard and involves a lot of luck.


I think so, that and being in the right place at the right time. Even people I trust to be honest with me on this say it's something that happens, or it doesn't--it's not really controlled or made to happen. I might be having lucky moments, but I'm certainly not "in the moment" when it's happening so maybe that doesn't matter then.

LogicOrNot wrote:
I am starting to think that a lot of the interaction that people have with one another on a daily basis takes place at a very controlled, superficial, and safe level. It seems to me that the purpose of this is to maintain autonomy, to save face, and to allow people to get along who have different views and perspectives. It is limiting, but it allows people to live alongside others without getting in one another's way.


A conclusion I also came to... but I've seen what happens when people start getting openly opinionated at family gatherings. It's not pretty.

LogicOrNot wrote:
I know some people who I think relate to others very well. They seem to stick to very safe topics and to keep things upbeat and lighthearted. They seem to be able to show sympathy while respecting boundaries.


The theory I've heard is that some things pretty much everyone can relate over, like food. The woman who told me that was one of those people who relates to others very well. It's a good strategy, but feels limited to me in the end.

LogicOrNot wrote:
It may have to do with age / phase of life. In highschool I had a number of close friends, and we would talk about almost anything together. Now that I am older, people seem to have their own lives and space and their own agendas. I still talk to a few of my oldest, closest friends. When we get together, we feel comfortable sharing more. But even with them, I think we are more careful to respect space now.


I thought it might just be me feeling it, and if it's true it's very sad. Close friendships are useful lifelong, but people probably get busy, tired of bad experiences, etc. I certainly don't feel like I want it any less than when I was 16, but I guess I can relate because I look at it with some wariness, expecting everything to be hard and not liking that it's always out of my control.



LogicOrNot
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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05 Dec 2015, 12:49 pm

Malaise wrote:
... but I've seen what happens when people start getting openly opinionated at family gatherings. It's not pretty.


Haha, I can relate to this. It sounds a lot like my family gatherings.

Malaise wrote:
The theory I've heard is that some things pretty much everyone can relate over, like food. The woman who told me that was one of those people who relates to others very well. It's a good strategy, but feels limited to me in the end.


It feels limited to me too. A few years ago I was reading books about introverts. I have always identified as an introvert. Some of the things I read said that introverts prefer conversations that delve more deeply into things. I chalk some of this up to the introvert / extrovert ways of approaching things.

Malaise wrote:
I thought it might just be me feeling it, and if it's true it's very sad. Close friendships are useful lifelong, but people probably get busy, tired of bad experiences, etc. I certainly don't feel like I want it any less than when I was 16, but I guess I can relate because I look at it with some wariness, expecting everything to be hard and not liking that it's always out of my control.


I think it is true, and a bit sad too. But there are pros and cons. If you find some goal you enjoy pursuing, people may be more inclined to let you have your space to pursue it. I think it can also help reduce the amount of drama one has to deal with.



Malaise
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05 Dec 2015, 7:31 pm

LogicOrNot wrote:
Haha, I can relate to this. It sounds a lot like my family gatherings.


Good old holidays...

LogicOrNot wrote:
It feels limited to me too. A few years ago I was reading books about introverts. I have always identified as an introvert. Some of the things I read said that introverts prefer conversations that delve more deeply into things. I chalk some of this up to the introvert / extrovert ways of approaching things.


Yeah, it's a little hard for me to decide what's what. I know other people who are introverted who feel the same way, but in other ways we're different so I don't know what to make of that. There's having Aspeger's, there's being introverted, there's being isolated, and there's being just plain odd.

LogicOrNot wrote:
I think it is true, and a bit sad too. But there are pros and cons. If you find some goal you enjoy pursuing, people may be more inclined to let you have your space to pursue it. I think it can also help reduce the amount of drama one has to deal with.


I've noticed this and wondered whether it's my age or my personality. I spend a lot more time on my hobbies now than I did when I was 16, but I also don't really spend time with or trying to meet people so I'm not sure it's all about the hobbies themselves.

Some days I definitely feel I escaped drama when I read other people's stories online.