wilde_stallyn: (Fall Out Boy - the red hair!)
[personal profile] wilde_stallyn
I've been pretty down the last couple of months, partly regarding my continued unemployment, but also largely around my social relationships.

I've always been quiet and fairly introverted, but I used to have a much easier time making friends than I have in the last few years since I moved to Vancouver. I've become so awkward, like to the point where that's my foremost feeling in pretty much any social situation these days.

I think there are two parts to the reasons behind my awkwardness, and the first is that I suck at making conversation. Conversation was never really my strong suit, particularly in groups, but I think I used to be reasonably engaging one-on-one at least. Now it's like I didn't really talk to anyone for the first year I moved out here and I've forgotten how. Also, it seems like the older I get, the more people want to talk about day to day life and how things are going, and honestly, I really hate talking about my life . Especially when it feels like I'm have the same conversation over and over again with everyone I know. (I don't mind hearing about other peoples lives, though, I just don't like talking about mine all the time.) I'd much rather talk about more abstract things. I mean, I can go on at length about fandom stuff, or fiction, or science, or horses, or sociology or the logistics of some crazy plan to like... become pirates or assassinate Bob Villa or something, but I rarely seem to have those sorts of conversations anymore. And when someone asks me about real life stuff, I tend to forget to reciprocate and ask them about their life, even though I know intellectually that's how the conversation is supposed to work, because I have a hard time imagining anyone actually wants to talk about how their life is going. And thus I fail. /o\

The other piece is around social boundaries of others. I'm constantly worried about overstepping other people's boundaries. This is largely an over-generalization of a decision I made sometime around the end of high school to make a conscious effort not to make others uncomfortable. Though it may surprise people who have only known me for the last few years, but will not surprise anyone who went to high school with me at all, I'm actually quite a touch whore. My personal space bubble is small and quite permeable, and I enjoy cuddling and casual touch with most people I generally like. However, at some point I realized that most people have significantly stronger boundaries around touch than I do, and in an effort to keep from making anyone uncomfortable anyone I decided not to touch anyone without explicit invitation. And because I'm not the most forward person, that basically meant that I stopped initiating touch pretty much entirely.

Over time that became ingrained in my psyche and expanded to all sorts of other social boundaries. Unfortunately, while "I will respect everyone else's boundaries" looks good on paper, it's really hard to form close friendships with anyone if you're not willing to initiate contact outside of whatever context you originally met them for fear that you will be overstepping the bounds of your relationship. And since I rarely speak in large group situations it's not like there's much reason for anyone else to be interested enough in me to initiate contact themselves.

...Yes, I do realize all this is a really just a highly rationalized fear of rejection, but uh, this is generally how it manifests itself in my brain. :P

But navel-gazing aside, the real point of this post is that I've been a pretty bad friend the last while, either because I haven't thought it was my place to get close enough to people to be a good friend or because I've failed to respond to people trying to get in touch with me because I really don't want to talk about my life, as the case may be. There are definitely those of you who will be getting a separate personal apology but I'm sure I've not been a good friend in other cases without even realizing it. If so please let this post be both an apology and an invitation to give me a kick in the pants and tell me I've been a jerk.

Date: 2008-04-19 06:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thegiantkiller.livejournal.com
I still haven't bought tickets for B.C. because I've been panicking over finishing papers and the possible transit strike in Toronto this week. I will have to either do that soon or let it wait until end of June. Hopefully the former, as I really do miss you lots. It will be good to see you and talk to you about whatever you want to talk about. <3 <3 <3
(you can email me or bug me on msn or aim anytime you want)

Date: 2008-04-19 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greek-amazon.livejournal.com
But navel-gazing aside, the real point of this post is that I've been a pretty bad friend the last while
I don't think anyone feels that way - we've just been worried. I know when I stop posting and the like, it means I'm excessively busy or extremely downtrodden. I know you're less addicted to the internet than me, but still. Concerned.

Also, on the personal boundaries thing; try pushing them a bit. People who don't like touch and stuff will let you know, either as obviously as I do, or in more subtle ways. People who do like touch will be grateful. :)

Also, it seems like the older I get, the more people want to talk about day to day life and how things are going, and honestly, I really hate talking about my life.
I know I ask cause I don't see you, and I don't hear about it, and so I can't take for granted that I know what's going on. Because I'll often miss very major events in people's lives if I don't ask, I always ask about people's lives first, so that topic can get out of the way before we move on to other things. ...In case you were wondering why I always ask. (Another way to word it is that we used to be a major part of each other's lives, and now we're not. So that 'general life knowledge' isn't something that can be taken for granted anymore. If that makes sense? It's not that I'm more or less interested, it's just that I'm not right there anymore.)
Well, that I have that thing where I always try and make sure that my friends are treating themselves as well as I think they ought to be.

In the meantime: Omnomnomnom.

Date: 2008-04-19 09:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wilde_stallyn.livejournal.com
To be honest, that really wasn't aimed at you or anyone you know. There have definitely been at least a couple of cases in which I treated people in ways that I would have been hurt by if they did it to me.

I started writing this post before you emailed me, just fyi.

Um, if I could just turn around and do that I would have by now. It's not rational anymore, it's neurosis. Just emailing someone who is not expecting a specific email from me is anxiety inducing at this point.

Again, I wasn't really addressing you there. I get why people from Winnipeg, who I don't see regularly, want to know what's going on. But even when I do see you, you talk about that stuff less than most of the people out here who I see on a regular basis. And not all that much has changed since Christmas, so it kinda feels like I've had the same 3 conversations over and over again. I remain unemployed. I have been talking to everyone I know about being unemployed for the past four months. The last thing I want to talk to anyone about anymore is being unemployed. Other than that... I've been procrastinating writing my Big Bang fic and playing a lot of Minesweeper. Not really anything worth reporting. I'll let everyone know when I'm no longer unemployed and actually have something to talk about.

Date: 2008-04-19 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thegiantkiller.livejournal.com
Everything Maureen said I say too. Especially the omnomnom.

Date: 2008-04-20 05:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyexmeetsxeye.livejournal.com
Thanks for the Martyn Joseph. It's hard to find someone else who is a fan with the exception of a whole gaggle of Witches I know, but don't know enough to raid their cd collections.

People get weirder as they get older. They get more small talkish, and less on the "hey! lets sit down and discuss the meaning of life" and other random things. All in all, I don't think it's an unfounded apprehension you seem to have with meeting people. I know you're not the most foreward person either, and your policy on touching is a good one, there's just a point where it needs to be broken. But that point is hard to discern when appropriate. I myself find it harder and harder to meet people as I get older. And there seems to be a stigma where the older you get, the less you should meet people, except at certain preordained times. Maybe it's something I'm making up in my head though.


wilde_stallyn: (Default)

February 2012

567 891011

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 05:47 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios