It seems I can't successfully keep friends and it's my fault

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KittenRN
Emu Egg
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Joined: 30 Apr 2021
Posts: 2

30 Apr 2021, 12:47 am

Yes, I feel this way.

It’s tough. 90% of the time I prefer my own company. 10% of the time I wish I had more people in my life who understood me. I think it’s hard to build friendships when you don’t have a high level of interest in people or a high level of empathy for others.

Someone made a comment about a few weeks going by and almost forgetting about a new friendship. I feel this way because I’m not an overly social person. If I had a desire to go to a party I would be contacting friends more to do so.

Mainly I like to be at home w my loved ones when I have free time. Doing projects that interest me.

I think find the things you want to do and then see if anyone you know wants to do that. There are definitely activities that have a lot of socialization built in (like a bowling league).

I recommend getting a pet, I don’t know what I would do without mine.



DuckHairback
Pileated woodpecker
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Joined: 27 Jan 2021
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 183
Location: Dorset

21 May 2021, 5:29 am

Yes, at 42 I can count the number of people in my life I consider friends on one hand. Actually I don't even need that hand. I have none.

By friends I mean someone who would text or call me just to say 'how are you doing?' or 'want to do something?'

I don't count my partner or her friends who are who I mostly socialise with, on the rare occasions I socialise.

I only seem to be able to forge friendships in high-intensity situations, where I'm working with someone else on something specific and spending a lot of time with them regularly. In that context I have made what I consider friends, but once those circumstances go away (e.g. a job ends) I don't see those people again.

I've joined groups for things I'm interested in and made what I thought were friends but always people let me know they don't want to see me outside of those things.

I do actually try to maintain friendships, but I always find that if I don't reach out to people they won't seek me out. Which makes me think that I might put more value on these friendships than others do - maybe they see me as just someone they worked with whereas I'm thinking 'friend'.

I did have a friend once but he moved to Australia. We still text occasionally but I also find out he's been back in the country and has made no effort to contact me while he was here.

I do feel like there must be something I'm doing that makes people feel that I don't like them or that they don't want to be around me, or maybe that I don't want to be contacted. If I knew what it was I'd stop it!



Valforwing
Tufted Titmouse
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Joined: 16 Jun 2021
Gender: Female
Posts: 33
Location: Arkansas

16 Jun 2021, 11:14 am

I had a nice group of friends and a friend who I considered my husband and he considered me his wife before the pandemic. Things had gotten a little strained with my husband about six months before the pandemic But I had plans on doing stuff with him to make up for it. Those plans never came to pass and when the pandemic locked us in but still forced us to go to work everyday rather then try to spend some quality time with us and our one year old son he chose to play video games non stop and expect me to clean and take care of our kid. Before the pandemic we had a sense of schedule for cleaning we would work sat-wend then Thursday we would clean the house or do shopping and Friday our friends would come over for cards or anime or just to hang. After they stopped coming over he stopped cleaning and kept putting off everything. I’m still waiting for the pandemic to end so I can hopefully see my Real friends in person again. I don’t know whats Going to come to pass with my husband, several months ago he cheated on me with a coworker because I wasn’t giving him enough quality sex anymore. I think he’s got his own problems but he really changed into someone completely different after I had our baby, I just really miss the kind careing individual he used to be before the world went to crap. I feel so bad for my young son who knows something is wrong. My parents have recommended I come back home with my son, but part of me wants to wait it out because I still love my husband and want it to work out despite the fact that I still love him and want him to be happy. The woman who he cheated on me with used to be a really close friend but now I think she was definitely using me. I think she’s using him for sure As she doesn’t have a drivers license and has my husband take her everywhere even when it’s completely stupid. I just can’t seem to be able to keep female friends, either they move away and we loose touch or they become a bully. Even after all this I tried to stay friends with her because at the time my husband was in love with both of us but after he told me his feelings for me (or hers either ) weren’t coming back I broke my silence to a few friends and my mom. Then one of my coworkers found out because I couldn’t stop crying at work. apparently everyone in the store already knew something was going on. All I had told them was that he had fallen for someone else. They all knew exactly who it was and a lot of them confronted her about it. I stoped talking to her a week after he told me his feelings. I forgave them for the sex and cheating but the fact that she still is repeatedly taking advantage of my husband makes me hate her, she made him miserable constantly, played with his feelings constantly, had him Help her move her back and forth between Apartments. I just don’t know anymore. The pandemic stole my friends from me. And it’s really scary trying to find replacements because everyone we’ve let in has caused problems and this one was/is the worst.



QFT
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Joined: 27 Jun 2019
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,099

16 Jun 2021, 11:59 am

Fish Girl In Goth Nets wrote:
I also tend to cut people off rather quickly too, for anything that doesn't sit right with me.


I was wondering: are you able to articulate the reason why you do that? Because if I read the rest of your post, it sounds like you really want friends, so it almost as if you are doing it against your will. So does it happen to you that you do something without knowing why you do that, yet you can't help and still do it?

The reason I am asking this is because it touches upon my own life in two different ways:

a) When NT-s reject me I often tell them I will change but they don't believe me. When that happened it felt as if they didn't believe that I have a free will, and I am puzzled as to why not. Now, if what "appears to be" lack of free will is a lot more common than I think, then this might answer my question why others attribute this quality to me.

b) Oftentimes others tell me that its not that they don't believe me but rather they "can't help" their emotional reaction to me. This, again, is hard to believe. But now that I hear that you can cut people off while you really don't want to, I might start to consider the possibility that others did to me something similar.

c) You mentioned that you do it when "something is off". That is the reason people cut me off too (and said those same words). But this made me wonder: does this expression suggest that people expect a certain pattern (such as a song having those specific words or a meal having those specific ingredients)? But, if social interactions are to be similar to a song or a meal, then were is the room for uniqueness and individuality of each person? Maybe I am just not understanding something and this expression is a code phrase for something others can relate to and I can't (since I didn't interact with enough people). Can you give me some examples of where things seemed off? That way I will get better idea what you meant by it.

I guess in my case I am a deep thinker/analyzer. So I won't cut people off for reasons I can't articulate. On the contrary, I would be able to write many page essay for why I did what I did in any given situation. It is usually other people's behavior that confuses me, never my own. Thats why the expression of someone "not understanding themselves" always confuses me. So I am glad you wrote about it because, hopefully, if somehow you can articulate this for me then I would be able to understand this concept.

Maybe my living in my head so much is the reason for all this? As in, if I spend all day analyzing myself, then "of course" I would know why I did what I did to the minuscule detail. And, at the same time, this self-focus is at the expense of paying attention to other people, and thats why their behavior is so confusing to me.

One thing I was wondering is this: since other people don't spend in their head nearly as much time as I do, could it be that they learned social behavior on an automatic level, as a social dance kind of thing? And is "cutting off people when something seems off" part of that "dance"? But then again, the fact that you are still thinking about it (as evident by you writing a post about it) seems like its not "just a dance" the way it seems. So maybe I am not understanding something. Something I wish you could explain.