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scarletpeaches
09-24-2009, 03:40 PM
So I was out with a friend this morning and we got talking about a mutual acquaintance. I referred to the last time the three of us were together and made a throwaway comment like, "I thought it was funny when we [the guy and I] started talking about a particular author's back catalogue and you were confused as to what we were going on about."

Now I didn't say this in a mocking tone, or at all in a cruel way. I was merely referring to the frown on her face while me and this man were talking about a particular author. My friend had heard of the writer but isn't a fan.

Anyway, she told me I had to realise not everyone was into the same things I was and I said, "I know...I was just commenting that it felt as if me and him were...not ganging up, but forming our own little bookworm club and you didn't know what we were on about." Just...acknowledging that we'd been away in our own little world talking about a writer of whom we're both fans, so she knew I wasn't completely oblivious to her presence there.

She went on to say, "After all, there are things I know about that you don't, and vice versa."

I started to defend myself and tell her, "I know we all have different interests; I was just acknowledging the fact-" intending to add, "-we may have excluded you."

Well by this time she was in her stride. "After all, how often do you go out?"

"Huh?"

She asked again.

"Well...every day."

"No you don't."

"Pardon me? Yes I do!"

"As often as me? I don't think so."

I asked her, how does she know how often I go out, then she asked do I go out a lot, or do I read a lot. I said both. She said "You don't read when you go out. You can't have it both ways."

"Yes I can. I go out of the house. And I read."

"Well then you're not meeting people are you? If you just want to spend your time reading you may as well stay indoors. There's no point going out if you're going to spend all your time reading."

"Uh...change of scenery?"

"But you're not talking to people if you go out and sit alone, reading."

"Maybe I don't want to!"

"Then why go out?"

*sigh*

Upshot is, she prefers to go out and meet people whereas I never go out (how she knows this I don't know) and when I do, I take a book with me and never talk to people, so there's no point in me leaving the house. This is the same person who told me months ago if no-one ever reads what you write, you're not a writer. Basically, you're not a writer 'til you're published. I have a lot of respect for her; she has oodles of integrity but...damn. Some people just don't get it.

I'm not a people person but if I never meet people and never talk to them, how did I manage to get into a debate with a mutual acquaintance about a particular author in front of her? I was about to apologise for excluding her from the conversation but she thought my apology was what excluded her, as in - emphasising that me and our male friend were readers, and she is not.

She's not a reader, see, because she's always out of the house, here, there, everywhere, spending time with her family, doing things, working and so on...and she insists, downright insists, that she goes out more than I do. And I never meet new people because I've always got my nose in a book.

The thing is, I do meet new people. I meet people all the time. I just don't see why I should waste my breath on them if we're not on the same level. Take tt42 for instance. Now, we've never met but we will someday for sure (beware of that day, folks. Beware). I also know for sure that if I said to her, face to face, "Christ, I need some me-time, I'm off to my room," or "I'm going out, I want to write a few thousand words," she wouldn't take offence or see that as a snub. She'd probably think, "Oh thank God. Thought she'd never piss off."

See...it's not a matter of writers being anti-social. It's not even a writer thing, I think. It's a matter of knowing what you like in other people, what you're willing to put up with, what you're not...and finding people who agree with you on that.

I believe too many people form friendships because of proximity. "You live near me so let's hang out." Fuck that. I'd rather have no local friends than pootle around town with folks I have little more in common with than the city we inhabit. Friendship by default? No thanks. I'd rather spend time with folks I like.

I guess I'm just thinking out loud, rejigging a few ideas I have about my social life and how I spend my time. I sincerely believe that writers are misunderstood - we're seen as anti-social, as I've said, even though we're people-watchers. We have to be. So we're on the outside looking in much of the time.

Added to which my attitude to people regardless of my occupation is, "If I don't like you, fuck off." Life's too short to socialise for the sake of it. I don't see why I should flit here there and everywhere just so people won't call me anti-social, say I have no life or accuse me of 'never going out'.

I do go out, but when I do it's not to be visible. It's to go out with a purpose - pay bills, meet someone (yes, really!), have lunch, change of scenery, write, read, go for a walk. Sometimes on my own, sometimes with a friend. But people I count as true friends don't need to be in my face all the time, talking at me, being in my business. I prefer companions whose company I can keep with no pressure to be 'on'. People who are as accepting of me as I am of them. I'm a writer, not an actress. If you want someone to perform, go to the theatre. This is my life, not a stage set to entertain you.

I'm sick of being expected to work the room when I just don't want to. Hell, if I was that awful a person I'd not have any friends at all. I'd never have chatted with aforementioned acquaintance about Jane Austen, the Brontes, Dickens, Plato and the like. I'd never have talked to the hunky librarian about Anais Nin and The Torture Garden.

So please, more visibly sociable folks - stop thinking that because my interests are quiet, they are not true interests at all. People do connect over books. And just because I have fewer connections than you does not mean they aren't as deep.

Perhaps because I have fewer, the ones I do make are stronger, by virtue of my not spreading myself too thinly across a wide-ranging, numerous social circle, built on nothing more than a desire to say "Look at me! I have friends!"

That is all.

Oh, and...thoughts?

thethinker42
09-24-2009, 03:49 PM
Yeah, I'm right there with you.

I joke that I spend my days alone in my house, talking to people I've never met, writing about people who don't exist. But the fact is, I like it that way. And after my recent trip to the States, I like it even more. I like having human contact besides my husband and internet friends, but my god, I have my limits. We saw so many people in Seattle, were so busy, and were CONSTANTLY around other people...it was exhausting. I wanted to hole up in the bedroom with my laptop and write. (After 2 weeks, I finally did...I couldn't take it anymore)

I don't know if writers are antisocial by nature, but I'm definitely finding that I am. I like being around people in moderation. When I'm alone with my thoughts and my keyboard, I'm happy. When I'm around other people, it's hit or miss. I don't seek people out (which is why, after a year on this island, I've made ONE friend), I don't start frothing at the mouth if I go days on end without seeing anyone but my husband and cats. I just like being ALONE.

And, like SP, I do have a small group of close friends...mostly made up of people who understand that I'm eccentric, a little offbeat, and that it's nothing personal - or negotiable - when I want to be alone. Fortunately, my husband also understands these things.

Alpha Echo
09-24-2009, 03:58 PM
I'm the same way, SP. I don't know if it's because I'm a writer or because of who I am. My ex-husband was the complete opposite and couldn't understand my desire, my need, for a night in. I'd rather be at home reading, writing, or even just curled up watching TV than out and about doing something. He always wanted to be doing something, and not at home.

The guy I'm with now is not a writer, but he is an artist. He's a contractor with his own business by day, and he builds furniture from scratch in his spare time. Just as I enjoy watching my characters grow and change, he loves the feel of the wood and watching it take form and making something with his hands. I wouldn't say either of us is anti-social, but we both appreciate...neither of us likes to be surrounded by crowds of people. He doesn't even like concerts very much, and he never wants to go to a live football game even though we love watching it on Sundays.

I'm rambling. My point is that maybe it's not just writers, maybe it's artists? I don't know. But I'm loving that now I'm in a relationship where I can sit and write, he can do his own thing, we can not say a word and be perfectly happy. We have a small group of friends, family means a lot, but we'd rather just...be alone.

scarletpeaches
09-24-2009, 04:01 PM
I think I'm moving into a time of my life when I'm more accepting of who I am (although I've a lot of work to do on figuring out what or who I am as well) and less tolerant of idiots and timewasters. I used to try to fit in, so people would like me and I'd force myself into social situations because...that's just what you did in your teens and 20s.

So yes, I'd like true friendships - who wouldn't? And to be in love. Who wouldn't? But on my terms. Maybe that makes me selfish...but I know it's possible to have a marriage with someone who is either like you, or accepting of who you are, because both you ladies have done it. And it's possible to have similar friendships - I've done it.

Lisa Cox
09-24-2009, 04:10 PM
I was having a conversation very similar to this the other day. I think I said something along the lines of (and I apologise in advance for how self-centered this all sounds):

I'm at the age where I need to evaluate my life and my circle of support, especially with the career I've chosen. I'm not going to spend time with just anybody for the sole purpose of adding to my 'collection' of friendships (collection is the wrong word, but I'm icky sick and can't think).

These days I choose friends, not hang on to everyone I meet -- and in the past two weeks I've walked away from two different ladies who could have been friends. I met them, I spent some time with them, I got to know them a little, and I ultimately decided they weren't for me. One I had nothing in common with, and the other gave off mild waves of selfishness. Not my idea of a solid foundation.

The people in my life are there because we work. The vibes are good. The chemistry, etc. We're on the same wavelengths. Friendships -- like any relationship -- require a certain amount of effort on either side to keep them strong. And if the new friendship doesn't have a lot going for it to begin with, then what's the point?

/random rant

Perks
09-24-2009, 04:11 PM
I thought you were an utter pain in the ass, the way you wouldn't lift your snout from the crotch of that novel you were into. It was like a pig rooting truffles.

Oh wait. None of that happened. If you had a book, I imagine it was in your bag. You were present and engaging. I've got no complaints. I think you've processed this speed bump properly. Don't fret, luv. You're alright.

scarletpeaches
09-24-2009, 04:12 PM
Ah, good. I'm normal then. Well...by yous guys' standards...

Um. Great.

thethinker42
09-24-2009, 04:14 PM
Ah, good. I'm normal then. Well...by yous guys' standards...

Um. Great.

I accept you as you are. Especially since you're so much like me.

I'll let you decide if that's a compliment or an insult.

scarletpeaches
09-24-2009, 04:14 PM
"Learn what you are - and be such."
-Pindar

CaroGirl
09-24-2009, 04:36 PM
Every relationship takes effort. Not just romantic relationships and marriages but every relationship, including those with family and friends. I have friendships that take very little effort because we have a lot in common, they show up on time when we meet, I don't have to censor what I say when we talk, and so on. It's comfortable and easy most of the time.

I also have friendships that take more effort. Maybe we don't have quite as much in common, or I don't always agree with their opinions or goals. But, for whatever reason, I've decided they're worth the extra effort to keep as friends.

I've also had friendships I've had to end because the effort was too much. For example, I had a friend who I felt belittled me and didn't make me feel good about myself. I distanced myself from her and we are no longer in touch. If a friend consistently takes more than she gives, I usually pull away.

My relationships are important to me because these people will be there when I need them, just like I'll be there when they need me. Not just when things are hunky dory but when things are bad too. I'm an introvert by nature, and a bit of a social-phobe, so I have to work hard to talk to people but the enduring friendships I've cultivated are worth it.

Tepelus
09-24-2009, 04:52 PM
I've always been the shy, quiet type that has had a hard time making new friends. I tend to be a homebody, wanting to spend time in my flower gardens, write my stories or draw/paint my pictures. I don't like to go out, in the last couple of years I have become very anxious in large crowds, never had that problem when I was younger. I don't like going to big events with lots of people, especially those with rowdy crowds, they make me very uncomfortable. I prefer to dwell in my imagination, and put what I see in my mind onto paper or canvas. My boyfriend, however, is the complete opposite. He loves big crowds, the rowdier and bigger, the better. He hates being at home, every day he has off from work he wants to spend being out of the house, doing something. He has no creative side to him, so he gets bored easily and must find something to occupy his mind. He knows a lot of people, and has a lot of "friends". I quote friends, because many of these people he calls friends don't ever call to say, "What are you doing? Wanna go do something?", or whatever. He thinks I'm unsocial because I have no interest in talking to his friends, who I have no similar interests in, except for one only because he shares some interest in gardening and landscaping like I do. My boyfriend wants me, forces me to be friends with this friend's wife, who I share nothing in common with, and though I am friendly with her, she acts like I am a bother when I do try to socialize with her. When me and the bf go to their house, and are at first the only ones there, as soon as someone else shows up at their doorstep, said friend's wife puts me on ignore. So, how can I be friends with someone like that? I can't, and even though I have told my bf what she does, he still insists I try to be friends, cuz after all, she is his best friend's wife.

Anyway, since moving to Ohio from Michigan, I haven't met anyone here that I could call a friend, someone to hang out with, tell secrets to or just share things with (especially my art work and writings). My friends, the few that I have, all live in Michigan. Sometimes I wish I would just move back, where my friends and family are and get away from all the snobs here. I have yet to meet anyone who shares any of the same interests that I do, or any one that even gives a damn, and the boyfriend sure doesn't give a crap. Well, actually, there is one person that shares the same gardening interests as me, but I wouldn't exactly call her a friend, just an acquaintance. Maybe in time, but it seems like whoever I would like to be friends with, the male other half in my life doesn't. Not just the current one, all of them I have had. Maybe, I was destined to live my life, alone.

Barb D
09-24-2009, 04:56 PM
My teenage daughter thinks I must be unhappy that I don't get out much. No, really, I like my quiet life of reading, writing, and knitting! (That was not a sarcastic statement, BTW.) And I do get out, just not as much as she needs to for her own personal happiness.

Granted, if my health was better I probably would get out more, and if my finances were better I would absolutely travel more, but given my circumstances I've created the best life for myself that I can imagine.

scarletpeaches
09-24-2009, 05:00 PM
My teenage daughter thinks I must be unhappy that I don't get out much. No, really, I like my quiet life of reading, writing, and knitting! (That was not a sarcastic statement, BTW.) And I do get out, just not as much as she needs to for her own personal happiness.

Granted, if my health was better I probably would get out more, and if my finances were better I would absolutely travel more, but given my circumstances I've created the best life for myself that I can imagine.What a great way of putting it.

You've also reminded me of the time I mentioned to a friend (I really should relegate these people to 'acquaintance' in my posts) that I'd been to see such-and-such a movie at the cinema at the end of my street.

"Who did you go with?"

"Oh, no one."

"You went alone?" [said with expression of horror]

"Well...yes."

"Oh, you should have said. [Daughter's name] could have gone with you."

"But...I didn't want her to. Otherwise I would have asked."

[Expression of deeper horror] "You can't go to the cinema on your own."

"Uh...I just did. And I do at least once a week."

Namatu
09-24-2009, 05:00 PM
I wouldn't call it anti-social, more introverted. I don't like to hang out in crowds, I don't like to be rushing around all the time, doing things. I need quiet time to myself to write, think, relax, and just be. At times I find myself surprised at how social I can become, but that's more a reflection on my current circle of friends. None of them take offense at my throwing them over in favor of a night (or weekend) in. They accept me, and they don't feel badly if I say something they don't understand, and I never come away from them feeling irritable or misunderstood or somehow in the wrong for being myself. I got rid of those friends long ago. :D

Some of those old friends I really liked (mostly), but it was no longer worth the energy to come away from our encounters having experienced what you described, SP. The frustration isn't worth it. I'd rather have more me-time!

Ken
09-24-2009, 05:02 PM
"Civilization is what makes you sick.”
- P. Gauguin

thethinker42
09-24-2009, 05:02 PM
[Expression of deeper horror] "You can't go to the cinema on your own."

I can't go to the theatre alone.

Not because I can't watch a movie alone. Rather, because I need someone there to keep me from doing something that might get me arrested when other people insist on talking during the film.

scarletpeaches
09-24-2009, 05:02 PM
Hell is other people.
-Sartre

Namatu
09-24-2009, 05:03 PM
[Expression of deeper horror] "You can't go to the cinema on your own."I've gotten that, and "you went shopping? by yourself?" Yes! I'm independent! I like it!

It's interesting how different people can be. Some people are naturally just very social, and some are maybe more hung up on constantly being around someone to... um, I really can't fathom why. To not feel alone? Because alone is bad somehow? We're a very relationshippy society.

scarletpeaches
09-24-2009, 05:04 PM
Oh I'm not against relationships...love 'em. When they're genuine. I'm just growing out of that need to have 'make up the numbers' friendships, I think. It's very liberating, though at the same time tiring when it comes to explaining to people that no, you don't want them to go shopping with you and yes, you do like going to the cinema alone.

Probably a slight derail - well, more of a thread evolution I think, but...do you think it's jealousy in a way? Or awe? That there are folks out there who can do things (to use an Oprah-ism) 'with themselves'?

Exir
09-24-2009, 05:09 PM
Oh gosh.

In psychology, being anti-social has got NOTHING whatsoever to do with being shy in social situations.

Exir
09-24-2009, 05:10 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD or APD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as "...a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood."

Namatu
09-24-2009, 05:10 PM
Oh I'm not against relationships...love 'em. When they're genuine. I'm just growing out of that need to have 'make up the numbers' friendships, I think. It's very liberating, though at the same time tiring when it comes to explaining to people that no, you don't want them to go shopping with you and yes, you do like going to the cinema alone. I meant "relationshippy" more in "I can't possibly do anything on my own because that means I'm lonely" or something way. I agree with you!


Probably a slight derail - well, more of a thread evolution I think, but...do you think it's jealousy in a way? Or awe? That there are folks out there who can do things (to use an Oprah-ism) 'with themselves'?Or fear. The same person who expressed horror at my going shopping or to the movies alone and read lonely into my small dining room table has always kept herself so busy that she rarely has a moment to herself. Maybe she's totally fine with that, but I'd go crazy. Alone does not equal lonely, but some people think that it does.

Ken
09-24-2009, 05:11 PM
“Nowadays, we're more into staying in our rooms and reading Nietzsche.”
- Jimmy Page

scarletpeaches
09-24-2009, 05:11 PM
I'm not exactly shy in social situations myself, I just see many of them as timewasters.

Also, I was thinking (out loud again, I know)...my ability to do things alone can hinder me too, because both men and women have said to me, "You're so independent already; what can I bring to the table?"

A few folks think because I can get by independently of anyone else, that's the way I want it to be and that's not always the case. True, I'd rather be alone than spend time with people I don't like just to avoid aloneness, but I'd like to meet folks too - but only if they're on my level.

Rarri
09-24-2009, 05:19 PM
Oh I'm not against relationships...love 'em. When they're genuine. I'm just growing out of that need to have 'make up the numbers' friendships, I think. It's very liberating, though at the same time tiring when it comes to explaining to people that no, you don't want them to go shopping with you and yes, you do like going to the cinema alone.

Probably a slight derail - well, more of a thread evolution I think, but...do you think it's jealousy in a way? Or awe? That there are folks out there who can do things (to use an Oprah-ism) 'with themselves'?

That sounds slightly rude...

I think there's a lot to be said for going 'out' on your own; my hubby frequently goes to the cinema on his own but it's not something i'd be all that happy doing. I think part of the problem is that some people can't comprehend that doing something alone can be a choice, rather than the result of being 'anti-social'.

I'm thankful that i've got good friends and i don't know, somehow they just work. But i have to admit, they aren't exactly 'local'; one just sort of flings herself around the planet and every few months lands back in Scotland but she's one of my closest friends, we just pick up where ever we left off; another is a thirty minute drive away but it's worth the distance because we get on so well.

Eurgh. I'm having a day of pointless rambles. Somebody kick my ass back to Word. Please...?

Bubastes
09-24-2009, 05:29 PM
Or fear. The same person who expressed horror at my going shopping or to the movies alone and read lonely into my small dining room table has always kept herself so busy that she rarely has a moment to herself. Maybe she's totally fine with that, but I'd go crazy. Alone does not equal lonely, but some people think that it does.

Your friend would probably have a heart attack to hear that I travel alone. Travel! Like, in a new city, for days! By myself! [/sarcasm]

I'm glad that I don't have "friends" who judge how I live my life. I'd like to think I chose well. :D

I agree that alone does not equal lonely. There's a big difference between loneliness and solitude. I adore solitude.

Ken
09-24-2009, 05:33 PM
I'd like to meet folks too - but only if they're on my level.

... take some night courses at a college by you. I'd bet you'd really like that. Doesn't have to be a writing course. Could be anything. And if you're ever in the States drop me a line. I'll be doing lots of book learning between now and then so I'll be at a pretty good level, intelligence-wise.

scarletpeaches
09-24-2009, 05:38 PM
:ROFL:

We can go for a beer and discuss Dostoevsky.

*cracks open Crime and Punishment as prep*

Namatu
09-24-2009, 05:40 PM
Your friend would probably have a heart attack to hear that I travel alone. Travel! Like, in a new city, for days! By myself! [/sarcasm]OMG! Heh.

Ken
09-24-2009, 05:48 PM
... sounds great :-)

fringle
09-24-2009, 06:04 PM
Your friend would probably have a heart attack to hear that I travel alone. Travel! Like, in a new city, for days! By myself!

Me too! Well, usually I have my little kids w/ me. My husband works a lot and I can't stand to be in one place for very long, so I hop on planes often. A lot of our friends like to travel in groups. Sounds awful to me.

I'm a very strange sort of hermit. When I'm at home, I never want to leave the house. Like Lori, I'm an expat. I don't know how she feels about Japan, but I can't stand the city I live in. I've been living here for 10 years, my entire adult life. I will do just about anything to avoid leaving the house. But then I get sick of the housekeeper, so I invent reasons for her to leave the house so I can be alone. Oddly when I'm on vacation I'm a totally different person, always on the move and out and about.

thethinker42
09-24-2009, 06:08 PM
I'm a very strange sort of hermit. When I'm at home, I never want to leave the house. Like Lori, I'm an expat. I don't know how she feels about Japan, but I can't stand the city I live in. I've been living here for 10 years, my entire adult life. I will do just about anything to avoid leaving the house. But then I get sick of the housekeeper, so I invent reasons for her to leave the house so I can be alone. Oddly when I'm on vacation I'm a totally different person, always on the move and out and about.

I love where I live, I just don't like people (particularly the ones on base...). I do like to get out and explore, take pictures, etc...but my preference, my default setting if you will, is home.

Sophia
09-24-2009, 06:13 PM
Probably a slight derail - well, more of a thread evolution I think, but...do you think it's jealousy in a way? Or awe? That there are folks out there who can do things (to use an Oprah-ism) 'with themselves'?

No, I think it's simply that they are people who are warmed by doing these things with others and assumed you were the same, and so wanted to help you. The assumption isn't that you're not strong or independent, nor is it that they recognise a weakness in themselves that they don't want to acknowledge, and are trying to knock you down a peg.

I'm someone who would on most weekends walk into the city centre, wander around the shops and be back before my housemates were awake, and would go to the cinema by myself if no one was interested in the film I wanted to watch. I also went to concerts by myself. I did also socialise with my housemates, and although it was usually great (I love clubbing, and that was done with them) I did occasionally find myself in situations I wanted to get out of but couldn't. I've learned that I need to not be dependent on anybody to leave, and not be obligated to stay once I want to go.

One of the best situations for me was when I was a graduate student and I would socialise during the day during breaks with all the other students and staff, and then on Friday nights with them all in the pub. There was no pressure, the night could be as short or long as I wanted, and I could be myself. I love feeling that I'm part of a group, and miss it. Being alone is fine, but in my daydreams, it's always as part of a loose but friendly group of people that I imagine myself.

scarletpeaches
09-24-2009, 06:16 PM
No, I think it's simply that they are people who are warmed by doing these things with others and assumed you were the same, and so wanted to help you.Ah, but that's the thing. The assumption that people on their own need help.

The woman I referred to who offered up her daughter to go to the cinema with me? She never does anything alone and actually called me brave - yes, brave - for seeing a movie by myself.

thethinker42
09-24-2009, 06:17 PM
Ah, but that's the thing. The assumption that people on their own need help.

The woman I referred to who offered up her daughter to go to the cinema with me? She never does anything alone and actually called me brave - yes, brave - for seeing a movie by myself.

Maybe she was just concerned about the likes of you going out in public without adult supervision.

scarletpeaches
09-24-2009, 06:18 PM
Shut up.

Toothpaste
09-24-2009, 06:25 PM
Well I am the opposite. I am the person who goes out a lot, who loves to spend time with people. But I think it's fine when others do not. In reading this thread I just wanted to point out the other side, that just as not every person who likes to be alone is a loner, not every person who enjoys going out and spending time with friends, is insecure and incapable of spending time by one's self.

I go to movies by myself, out for coffee by myself, but I happen to adore the company of my friends. And I have a lot of friends. Again, just because I have a lot of friends doesn't mean that those relationships are superficial. I've never had a frenemy in my life (don't even understand the concept), and while I will always work at relationships I never have to work too hard because the people I have around me are always awesome. I hate drama, I need rational friends, and I am very choosy myself, I just happen to meet a lot of people who fit what I'm looking for.

Not all writers are that stereotype of the anti-social nose in book thing, and it kind of makes you feel a bit of an outcast within your writing community when you are not. So strange really, that people who are frustrated about being misunderstood and feeling like outcasts because of their love of being alone, turn around and can be just as judgmental about those of us who are the opposite.

I think it is important to treat everyone as individuals and not generalise. If people are happy in their life, what else matters?

Also, and this isn't quite the same as what happened in your situation SP, but I was once on the recieving end of the later apology and it is a bit frustrating. You see I had gone out with my girl friend and two boys. They were both obviously hitting on her, and it was pretty funny. I wasn't interested in either of them at all (and I mean that, if you knew these guys you'd understand completely). A couple months later all four of us were remembering the outing, and one of the guys said, "I felt so bad for you that night. I mean we were both hitting on her and not paying any attention to you." And that made me a little angry. He was feeling bad for me for not having been hit on, and was giving me his pity? When I didn't care in the first place? Also they hadn't been paying attention to me? I had thought we were all getting along fine, just that my girl friend was getting more attention from them. It was just . . . well was a pretty mean thing to say and point out. Why was it necessary? It felt like a fake apology: "So sorry for leaving you out because we liked her more." Ick.

Now in your situation SP, it sounds as if the girl actually did care about the initial time you hanged out and talked books, considering her response. But there are times when one brings up an incident, and points out how worried one was that someone else was left out, when they didn't feel that way, and then they feel like, "Oh all this time they were feeling sorry for me, nice."

Anyway, might explain a bit about her defensiveness. Not that you did anything inherently wrong, but I kind of get it from the other POV.


ETA: Also don't forget, her pointing out that you like to read and she likes to go out is her trying to make herself feel better. She felt left out of a conversation because she didn't know what you were talking about, so she wanted to point out something to you that she thought you had no knowledge about. It was petty and silly, but that's probably why she did it. It had less to do with you, and more to do with her. I wouldn't let it get to you that much.

Phaeal
09-24-2009, 06:33 PM
If writers weren't comfortable spending a lot of time alone, no writing would ever get done.

Relationships are contracts in which one of the principal clauses is mutual respect. If either party violates the mutual respect clause, the relationship is null. The parties might drag on, spending time together, but their bond is a facade or even, sadly, a galling set of shackles.

Toothpaste
09-24-2009, 06:40 PM
Except I get tons of writing done, and am very social. It just depends on the individual.

Phaeal
09-24-2009, 06:41 PM
I used to go to the movies alone all the time, if no one else wanted to see the particular movie. No big deal. Nowadays, I have Netflix, so I can watch all those movies at home and save some money.

Interesting, but I never go to the theatre alone. I feel live action drama is a more social event, somehow, so I want people along. But if I couldn't get anyone to go see a play I really really wanted to see, I'd go alone.

Dicentra P
09-24-2009, 06:44 PM
I'm married to an extrovert and am an extreme introvert. He loves to go out at night. I'm content to stay home with the kids. It works for us. Now and then I like to get out with select small groups of friends and be with adults but otherwise I never seek out social activity for its own sake. We have friends who keep trying to set up social occasions for me to "balance things out" as if I am being cheated out of something. Now if they'd take the girls and let me spend a night with my husband that would be grand. But until I realized what they were doing I used to drag myself out to occasions which were OK but I didn't really enjoy -- because they were my friends and I didn't want to disappoint them.

Its really not that I don't like people -- I prefer them in small doses that's all.

Phaeal
09-24-2009, 06:51 PM
Except I get tons of writing done, and am very social. It just depends on the individual.

But do you spend a lot of time writing? And when you're writing, are you alone?

Doesn't matter if you spend a lot of other time being social, or planting daisies, or flying jet fighters, or defending your clients in court. That's irrelevant to my statement.

Could be you write while socializing, and/or get tons done in a very short time. Okay, then you'd be an exception to the rule. So what? I always leave plenty of room for exceptions, because, Tigger-like, they tend to bounce around a lot.

I love Tiggers.

;)

Toothpaste
09-24-2009, 08:18 PM
Yes but there are many jobs which must be done alone. Being a lawyer requires a lot of research. Being a doctor requires tons of paperwork. Doing data entry, well that I can tell you from personal experience can be terribly isolating. And you can't do these tasks while hanging out with buddies. Aside from the service industry, most jobs require such focus. I just don't think writers HAVE to be lonely creatures. But I don't think there is anything wrong with them when they are.

I dunno, I just see writers bonding so much over being alone, and at times inadvertently dissing people who are more social (like asking if we are jealous that you can spend time by yourself - implying that a) our responses are just jealousy and b) we can't be by ourselves at all) and wanted to point out that that is equally as judgmental as those people who think people who like to be alone are pathetic. It's about choice. And not being judged on the choice you have made.

And no I am no Tigger. Though I love him too. :)

scarletpeaches
09-24-2009, 08:21 PM
I have a Tigger lunch bag. :)

willietheshakes
09-24-2009, 08:31 PM
I'd like to meet folks too - but only if they're on my level.

(Arches one eyebrow. Smirks slightly, but oddly charmingly.)

Hey. Come here often?

Phaeal
09-24-2009, 09:12 PM
I have a Tigger lunch bag. :)

Well, it's proven, then. You rock.

Phaeal
09-24-2009, 09:14 PM
And no I am no Tigger. Though I love him too. :)

Hmm. If you're not Tigger, who are you?

Me, I'm the offspring of an unholy marriage of Tigger and Eeyore. So when I bounce, my tail falls off, and then I sulk about it.

cscarlet
09-24-2009, 09:22 PM
To answer your question on Page 1, with girls there is ALWAYS a level of jealousy or cattiness or what-have-you. Women are evil, conniving creatures as a stereotype. That's of course not to say this applies to everyone. It's a label, just as "bookworm=antisocial" is a label she's given you.

I don't care if it sounds rude or not, but I've come to realize that the majority of people in my life are not true friends, they are acquaintances. When my life lines up with their life, we are best buds. When our lives do not line up, we are strangers. Of course I still consider many of them friends and hang out on occasion, but the truth of the matter is, people get wrapped up in their own little worlds and tend to put themselves and their direct loved ones first.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

My best friend is my husband, and the few friends I have who would die for me, I consider family.

This doesn't make me antisocial, it just means I don't have enough time to spend with people who really DO matter to me - so I don't stress myself out on wasting time with everyone else. The occasional get together with them is fine to fit apparently both my and their lifestyle. There's nothing wrong with that. And I love meeting new people. We have huge get togethers and we invite new people over all the time to expand the friend group. But they're still not close friends, no matter how you slice it (of course some of them may BECOME close friends, but that's another story).

And also, I think it's stupid that someone would think that connecting over books is not an adequate way of meeting people. EVERYONE clicks because of some kind of connection. Books may be yours, drinking coffee or liquor may be hers. She's still connecting over common ground. If you connect with people through books, then you have a social group with those peers.

I dunno... I'm babbling. I guess my point is: In the real world (outside of college) I think the expectation of maintaining a huge circle of friends is not only unrealistic, but completely unnecessary to live a fulfilled, happy life.

geardrops
09-24-2009, 11:00 PM
Just to iterate: antisocial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder) != introvert (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraversion_and_introversion#Introversion). They're not the same. We're writers so let's use our words correctly :)

And being an introvert does not mean you're shy. It means you just get tired from being around people too much.


Introversion is "the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one's own mental life". ... They often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, drawing, playing musical instruments or using computers. ... An introvert is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people, though they tend to enjoy interactions with close friends. They prefer to concentrate on a single activity at a time and like to observe situations before they participate. Introverts are easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation from social gatherings and engagement. The introvert tends to think thoroughly before verbalising their thoughts.

Introversion is generally not the same as shyness. Introverts choose solitary over social activities by preference, whereas shy people avoid social encounters out of fear.

Also, I have the same issue.

People? They are draining. But when I find someone I can exchange ideas or share interest with, I'm energized.

It's a matter of energy and priorities. I work full-time, I'm a master's student, working on being a writer, and I have far too many hobbies (reading, kendo, fire eating/breathing/staff, singing, gaming, etc). My time is precious, and I don't let people waste it :) If people call me names, I don't care. I've got bigger shit to worry about.

JoNightshade
09-24-2009, 11:24 PM
I think dempsey's got the right of it. It's introverts vs. extroverts. Being around groups of people is really draining for me, but when I meet the right person, it's great! I guess I think of myself as shy because social situations overwhelm me, but really I am perfectly happy to discuss my life with anyone who is interested.

I think this thread is making me realize I need to relax and not be so hard on myself in the "friend" arena. I'm quite comfortable going out to eat alone, shopping alone, traveling alone, going to the movies alone, etc. But I've been really really REALLY trying to make friends here. It was so easy in college because there are so many ways to meet people, but out here in the real world - and particularly where I live - it's difficult to find other women with common interests and philosophies. In the past the right people have just sort of appeared, one at a time, when I needed them. But with the baby on the way I've been thinking "OH NO, what am I going to do when I'm a mom and I have no female support?" But maybe I just need to relax and trust that it will happen. I really don't want to end up with a bunch of "acquaintances," because it really is just exhausting. Maybe it's okay just to have me and my husband.

BenPanced
09-24-2009, 11:25 PM
Without going into full detail, I've given up socializing. I've put myself out there and too many times have gotten back less than what I put in. I don't have much energy or desire any longer to really go out amongst people because I can redirect the energy in more productive ways. I really don't miss the discussions on where we're going for dinner or what movie we're going to see.

Wordwrestler
09-25-2009, 12:04 AM
Jo, I hate to break it to you, but making friends is even trickier with kids. If your parenting styles and house rules clash, it tends to eclipse anything else you have in common. If the kids just don't get along with each other, every get-together with your friend can become exhausting.

My advice is to go ahead and befriend ladies you meet who are in the same stage you are, dealing with the same pregnancy/infant issues, and whose company you enjoy. Sometimes moms really need someone to talk to about that stuff that bores everyone else. But don't be surprised if the relationship has to end once the kids are older.

JoNightshade
09-25-2009, 12:17 AM
Jo, I hate to break it to you, but making friends is even trickier with kids. If your parenting styles and house rules clash, it tends to eclipse anything else you have in common. If the kids just don't get along with each other, every get-together with your friend can become exhausting.

My advice is to go ahead and befriend ladies you meet who are in the same stage you are, dealing with the same pregnancy/infant issues, and whose company you enjoy. Sometimes moms really need someone to talk to about that stuff that bores everyone else. But don't be surprised if the relationship has to end once the kids are older.

Well, I joined MOPS. Hopefully that will help? :)

I'm not really thinking in the long-term anyways, everyone always moves or I move. I'm not planning on being here in another five years, so if it's just while the kids are babies that's fine. :)

scarletpeaches
09-25-2009, 12:47 AM
Just to add - I know what anti-social means. I know what introverts are. I'm anti-social in the sense of I just don't like socialising for the sake of it. I'm not a serial killer. Honest.

Introverted? I don't think so. I'm not primarily concerned with my own mental life. It's not a matter of being shy in social situations - it's just my preference to avoid them if I can. I'm not scared of people. I just don't like most of them.

Sorry for using tt42 as an example again; you guys will be sick of our mutual appreciation society. But it's a fact that I very rarely come across people like her who understand it's just me, when I say, "I need a nap. Bye." Others would say, "That's rude. You should accommodate others." Well why bother when there are people like Lori in the world who don't make me change to fit in with them, because I already do fit in?

I've spent so long hating myself; it's just nice to contact people who think I'm pretty cool the way I am.

And I say that as a woman who's just spent the evening with a bunch of douchebags thinking, "Why the hell am I doing this?!"

S.J.
09-25-2009, 01:11 AM
I believe too many people form friendships because of proximity. "You live near me so let's hang out." Fuck that. I'd rather have no local friends than pootle around town with folks I have little more in common with than the city we inhabit. Friendship by default? No thanks. I'd rather spend time with folks I like.

That seems like a healthy (and brave) stance to take, but I think writers tend to take it to extremes. Because we often watch people rather than interacting with them, we judge people before getting to know them, and therefore don't bother to get to know them. I'm not saying that you do - but I certainly used to, before I realised that I could have some friends I talked about writing with, and others I shopped with. It doesn't help to be TOO choosy about one's friends, really, because then one is excluding so much of the population.

Popular people are not all seeking attention - they might have lots of friends because they enjoy socialising, because they don't like being by themselves, or because they genuinely find other people fascinating. If we want extroverts to stop pigeonholing writers/loners, then we should really stop doing the same to them.

That being said, I hate it when I tell someone I'm staying in on Friday and they think I'm a loser. No I'm not: it's a choice. It's not because I'm too shy or because I don't know what I'm missing.

Strange Days
09-25-2009, 01:17 AM
Nah, you're not anti-social (as we all may very well see on AW :D )... And being picky about friends- is a good thing, not a bad thing... It's like that Chinese saying about the fact, that a good person should not be loved by everyone or hated by everyone. A good person should be loved by the right people and hated by the bad people... (primitively speaking)...
As for "Basically, you're not a writer 'til you're published..." - I apply the same idea to myself. Before anything of my work is published- I'll never introduce myself as a writer. But if any of my friends states the opposite about him/her -self- I would never disagree or try re-persuade. "Being a writer" (or "being anyone" for that matter)- is not an absolute thing, but rather subjective, a matter of personal opinion, actually...

scarletpeaches
09-25-2009, 01:19 AM
That seems like a healthy (and brave) stance to take, but I think writers tend to take it to extremes. Because we often watch people rather than interacting with them, we judge people before getting to know them, and therefore don't bother to get to know them. I'm not saying that you do - but I certainly used to, before I realised that I could have some friends I talked about writing with, and others I shopped with. It doesn't help to be TOO choosy about one's friends, really, because then one is excluding so much of the population.Oh I agree; it's certainly a danger. We all have ways of filtering out people we don't like and sometimes, we get so used to filtering out most people, that we do it out of habit and lose out on potentially great friendships.

I have what I call an 'idiot filter' and the mesh is quite fine on that one. So it's a choice I have to make - take more risks, perhaps 'waste time' getting to know people I end up not carrying on a friendship with, or spend more time 'between relationships/friendships' but truly value the ones I form when I do form them.

Popular people are not all seeking attention - they might have lots of friends because they enjoy socialising, because they don't like being by themselves, or because they genuinely find other people fascinating. If we want extroverts to stop pigeonholing writers/loners, then we should really stop doing the same to them.Oh I agree. The reason I started this thread was of being tired of being pigeonholed myself. So it's more like the incident this morning was 'the straw that broke the camel's back'. I do know people who can't do anything on their own and see stopping in at the weekend as EPIC FAIL. Not every sociable person sees it that way, and it's cool. In fact, one very good friend of mine, now deceased God rest her, said to another person of me, "She's not anti-social or sociophobic. She's just not a people person." I think that's a good way of putting it.

I can be a people person. It just takes me a while to get there.

Strange Days
09-25-2009, 01:26 AM
It's also a question of age, I believe... I'm significantly less inclined to go socializing now, than when I was 18-20... (In Russia where I grew up drinking age is 18)

bettielee
09-25-2009, 01:34 AM
There is no way I would ever get past sparklepeaches idiot filter.

I don't do well in group situations. As a matter of fact, there are too many people in this thread for me to feel comfortable.

Oh, and what BenPanced said:


... I've put myself out there and gotten back less than what I put in too many times. I don't have much energy or desire any longer to really go out amongst people because I can redirect the energy in more productive ways. I really don't miss the discussions on where we're going for dinner or what movie we're going to see.

Wordwrestler
09-25-2009, 01:35 AM
Well, I joined MOPS. Hopefully that will help? :)

I'm not really thinking in the long-term anyways, everyone always moves or I move. I'm not planning on being here in another five years, so if it's just while the kids are babies that's fine. :)

In my opinion, MOPS is a great way to meet a bunch of moms, and hopefully find a good friend or two among the bunch.

MsGneiss
09-25-2009, 01:38 AM
I go out, meet people, spend time with family, travel to new places, cook dinner, blow-dry my hair, go to class, go to work, do a gazillion other things, and I read. A lot. It's my favorite and most time consuming hobby. Perhaps your friend has some time management issues if she thinks that being an avid reader precludes you from doing anything else, or living a full and happy life. Seriously.

And even if all you do is read and don't meet new people, so freakin what. There's actually nothing wrong with being anti-social, and that's my not-yet-professional opinion. I think your friend probably just feels insecure about the bond you have with the other friend, and that's how she manifests her insecurity. If you want to avoid confrontation, just don't use words like "book club" or "inside connection" or anything of that sort. That's probably what aggravated her, although I agree that you were not in the wrong.

scarletpeaches
09-25-2009, 01:42 AM
There is no way I would ever get past sparklepeaches idiot filter.Too late. This:
I don't do well in group situations. As a matter of fact, there are too many people in this thread for me to feel comfortable.already got you through. :D

MsGneiss
09-25-2009, 01:43 AM
Ah, but that's the thing. The assumption that people on their own need help.



I am a very social person, but I need a great deal of alone time to survive. Sometimes, that comes across as a bit strange, especially to those folks who prefer constant companionship. So, I do understand what SP and several others mean.

I have a few (single) friends who are like that. The thought of eating dinner in a restaurant alone is probably the most horrifying thing in the world to them. I think it's just a sign of insecurity, although some people have those sorts of personalities. Frankly, I think that needing to always be with somebody is just as pathological as needing to always be alone. But, somehow, "social butterfly" has positive connotations, while "loner" doesn't.

Cassiopeia
09-25-2009, 01:44 AM
I keep coming back to your thread, Scarlet-hunnybunchesofO's and I
think I finally have decided what I want to say and HOPE it makes sense to you.

Your friend, (of course this is my picking through your impressions too) seems to be suffering under the illusion that her world is the only correct one. Her comments are prejudiced by her own perceptions. And I'd say ignore her and leave it at that BUT for one thing.

I'm not real crazy about her need to turn around and attack you like she has. She seems to be bring up things that are a point of contention with her that are not about her, but rather what she thinks is about her.

When in reality, her little tirade is all about her. These sort of confrontations are always about the aggressor really. She has an agenda in spouting off at you. Whatever that might be, this---is her problem. She's clearly insecure and if I were you, I'd look at what she's said and weigh it carefully before continuing any association with her until she clues up.

I don't know why friends have such expectations of one another to become each other.

One friend of mine that I've known for 25 years and I were JUST talking about this yesterday. We go through periods of time where we don't even speak but she knows and I know if one of us is in trouble, we don't call, we show up to each others homes. Like yesterday, I woke up, had this feeling and went to her house to find her struggling over the death from suicide of her son and her recent loss of her mother. We raised our kids together pretty much but we have completely different parenting mindsets. Still we never got into fights about our differences.

We don't share the same passions. She's an avid quilter and quite gifted. I can't stand to do more than simple patch quilts. I write.

She said to me yesterday, "There's no way in hell I can relate to your passion for writing but I can tell you this, I admire you for it. I don't want to do it but I'll back you up EVERY step of the way."

She loves to go out shopping so yesterday we did. I HATE shopping but I stuck it out in the store longer than I normally ever would, for her sake. She doesn't ask me to go anymore, I asked her this time. Last time we went shopping together was 5 Christmas seasons ago and we were in the mall for three hours (record for me) and I totally lost it at the end. She found me by a circular clothing rack hanging on to it and zoning. I wouldn't look at anyone but just waited for her. I was a bit teary eyed (not overly so because I hate showing emotions like that in public). I was hot, overwhelmed from the lights and noise and the overcrowding of merchandise. I had no control over it. I remember her looking into my face, touching my arm and saying quietly, "I never understood till now. You really can't control this can you?" We went outside and in five minutes I was myself again.

I don't hate people or what not but I don't have the ability to filter out alot of noise and temperature and lights all trigger problems in my brain due to my sensory integration problem but in a smaller and less constrictive and temperature controlled area, I'm good as gold. She's lowered her expectation that I'm her friend that shops with her. She's got tons of friends that are happy to do that with her. But I'll go hiking, walking and biking with her when I can and she is happy to sit and read what I write and talk about it with me.

Anyway, my point is that, she and I have learned, we don't have to nor do we want to be EXACTLY like each other. What we do require from our friendship is that we have get each other and we have respect for each other. We don't always agree, but we get that and respect that.

If your friend needs someone to be exactly like her, I'd wish her well and send her on her way. The way I see it, if I wanted to have someone EXACTLY like me, I'd stand in front of the mirror all day and talk to myself. :D

scarletpeaches
09-25-2009, 01:46 AM
You ever turned down an invitation only to be told you've got no right to complain about not having a social life?

I did that the other week. And I was like, "I want to meet people my own age, with similar interests. I don't think I'll get that at a kids' talent show."

I mean, who the fuck thought I'd be glad of spending a spare evening with children? ME?!

ETA: Oh, that was directed at sleepysleepybahbahsheeps. Cass, I don't think the friend I was referring to meant anything malicious by it...I honestly don't believe she's like that. I think her worst sin is being as blinkered as she accuses me of being. She has this idea that as an only child, I'd have more of a problem learning to share than someone with siblings. I said, "No, I have problems with people touching my stuff WITHOUT ASKING. That doesn't come from being an only child; that comes from having my boundaries crossed as a child, time and time again."

I'm territorial about my things. Books, CDs, you name it. Because they're MINE. And her observation that "You snatch things back out of people's hands and say THAT'S MINE," felt like a criticism. As far as I'm concerned, don't put your hands on my stuff and I won't snatch it back. She puts it down to being an only child. I put it down to just being the way I am. And I tired myself out trying to explain to her that there's nothing wrong with that. I just hate being told, "You're like THIS because of THAT in your background." Maybe sometimes it's true, maybe not...She's done so much for me and been loyal in other areas; it's just the whole writing thing, how territorial I am with books, how much time I spend writing or on my own at the cinema...she just doesn't get it and because she's wonderful in other ways it hurts that she doesn't understand - or TRY to understand - what's most important to me.

MsGneiss
09-25-2009, 01:50 AM
You ever turned down an invitation only to be told you've got no right to complain about not having a social life?



Not sure about Europe, SP, but in America, you have a right to complain about anything and everything, and that's the way it ought to be, dang it.

Cassiopeia
09-25-2009, 01:50 AM
You ever turned down an invitation only to be told you've got no right to complain about not having a social life?

I did that the other week. And I was like, "I want to meet people my own age, with similar interests. I don't think I'll get that at a kids' talent show."

I mean, who the fuck thought I'd be glad of spending a spare evening with children? ME?!I've recently been invited to what was first told to me to be a neighborhood barbecue. Turns out it's a church function for couples.

Now, I'm a single woman. I'm not going. I don't want to. Know why? Not because I'd feel odd being there without a man, but because every freaking time I attend such things the women get all upset with me cos their husbands talk to me.

I HATE IT. I want to shout at them if maybe they'd smile once in a while and actually listen to the man they're married to he might like talking to them too. But as you can imagine, that wouldn't go down very well so I stay home. :)

MsGneiss
09-25-2009, 01:51 AM
Your friend, (of course this is my picking through your impressions too) seems to be suffering under the illusion that her world is the only correct one.

I agree. But I still think the biggest reason for the way she acted was jealousy over the bond you had with the other friend.

scarletpeaches
09-25-2009, 01:53 AM
Particularly as she was the one who introduced us.

S.J.
09-25-2009, 01:57 AM
I have what I call an 'idiot filter' and the mesh is quite fine on that one. So it's a choice I have to make - take more risks, perhaps 'waste time' getting to know people I end up not carrying on a friendship with, or spend more time 'between relationships/friendships' but truly value the ones I form when I do form them.

I hope your 'idiot filter' doesn't work across the internet... haha.

And yeah, that's the thing. It's a risk either way, because on one side you waste time, and on the other you miss out on potential friends. Personally, I don't think it's a waste of time to talk to random people, even if we won't have a deep and enduring bond. If I don't like them, I can use them for a character or something. :)

Cassiopeia
09-25-2009, 02:00 AM
I don't like people touching my things that are strangers and my kids know, there are certain things that they do NOT touch. I totally believe in having things we do not have to share. I've told my kids they didn't have to share everything with their siblings.

Who ever made up the rule that we must share everything was decidedly wrong in that. I have had such a lack of boundaries in my life in the past, I'm most vigilant now about maintaining them.

It is hard when someone doesn't understand why we do what we do and how important it is to us. It might be that she's jealous of your time away from her. She might want more of your attention.

geardrops
09-25-2009, 02:05 AM
A kid's talent show?

Nobody should be sincerely invited to a kid's talent show unless it's their own kid on stage. That's just mean-spirited.

Cassiopeia
09-25-2009, 02:06 AM
A kid's talent show?

Nobody should be sincerely invited to a kid's talent show unless it's their own kid on stage. That's just mean-spirited.I agree. Just like I think it was short sighted of my well meaning neighbor to invite me to a couples dinner.

MsGneiss
09-25-2009, 02:08 AM
Who ever made up the rule that we must share everything was decidedly wrong in that. I have had such a lack of boundaries in my life in the past, I'm most vigilant now about maintaining them.

I absolutely agree with that. Personal space is so important, as are boundaries. You don't need to justify it with any past experiences or personality traits. It's totally reasonable for you to NOT want other people to touch your stuff.


It is hard when someone doesn't understand why we do what we do and how important it is to us. It might be that she's jealous of your time away from her. She might want more of your attention.

Whenever anyone criticizes you for the way you are living your life, they are wrong. There is hardly any way around that. Your choices are your own, and as long as you are not hurting anyone else, it's really nobody's business what you do with your time.

cptwentworth
09-25-2009, 02:10 AM
Interesting topic. I have no friends, not one. I go to the movies by myself. I read for hours at night. I go to work in the day and meet new people every different job I take. I attend church and have people I say hello to. I take my five children to meetings and clubs, and while the other moms chat, I sit to the side. My husband is my best friend, I suppose.

Am I anti-social? No. Am I introverted? Yes. But that isn't the reason why I don't bother to "socialize." I'm perfectly comfortable with my life the way it is and feel no need to extend myself beyond the current boundaries I've set. For myself. I recognize the need for each individual human being to have a level of the outside world that they can tolerate or appreciate.

It does bother me when my sister is constantly hounding me, "How can you stand to sit at home, all the time!" Well, aside from that being untrue, my reply to her could be the same, "Why on earth can't you ever sit still and just be?" To each his own. But there's nothing wrong with my genetic make-up. If a time comes that I feel the need to stretch outside myself, I'm aware of how it's done.

Sounds selfish? No one says the extrovert is selfish for *needing* time with other people. Introverts have been looked down on I feel.

So if you write and are extroverted or write and are not, more power to you.

scarletpeaches
09-25-2009, 02:10 AM
My habit is to justify myself. In some stupid way I guess I'm trying to bring the other person round, to make themselves accept that I have my own life to live. Logic tells me I can't do that, but it's like a reflex.

Ah well. I'm not in this thread for hand-holding and validation, just to see what other folks think and it's certainly interesting. Good to know I'm not the only one. I'm not saying my way is right and anything else is wrong, but like I said - good to know.

Cassiopeia
09-25-2009, 02:13 AM
My habit is to justify myself. In some stupid way I guess I'm trying to bring the other person round, to make themselves accept that I have my own life to live. Logic tells me I can't do that, but it's like a reflex.

Ah well. I'm not in this thread for hand-holding and validation, just to see what other folks think and it's certainly interesting. Good to know I'm not the only one. I'm not saying my way is right and anything else is wrong, but like I said - good to know.

You just said something very important that we don't always realize. We get in this habit of justifying what we do. Why is that? Usually because we are still in the process of accepting who we are. Others find it much easier to accept us when we've already done so. We are more at ease and these sort of conversations just seem to disappear.

aadams73
09-25-2009, 02:17 AM
I can be very outwardgoing and enjoy being social. I can be very quiet and enjoy the heck out of my own company. What's important to me is balance. I do neither to excess and that works for me.

As long as you're not miserable with your social situation, I see no problem or any need to justify it to anyone.

geardrops
09-25-2009, 02:19 AM
My habit is to justify myself. In some stupid way I guess I'm trying to bring the other person round, to make themselves accept that I have my own life to live. Logic tells me I can't do that, but it's like a reflex.

Meh, more than can't, why should you?

When I'm confronted with the folks whose opinions I know I won't change, I just smile and say, "Okay." I'm perfectly comfortable being the only one in the room who thinks I'm right.

Unless you enjoy arguing. Then go right ahead :)

jennontheisland
09-25-2009, 02:23 AM
I've come to realize I'm kinda similar. When I was younger, before I got married, I used to do things on my own all the time. Museums, art galleries, music festivals, dinner out. Alone. Was fun. Something special, all mine.

My now-ex was a bit of an isolationist, and I ended up not going out with him, and not going out alone, for a good part of our time together. Toward the end, the only way to get out was to go with other people since he didn't understand why I'd want to go anywhere alone.

I'm working my way back up to doing things by myself. And let me tell you, it's taking some getting used to. Grocery shopping alone for the first time in almost 13 years was actually kinda scary. I'm okay with that now, and I'm looking forward to the days when I can go catch a flick on my own, or take myself out for italian. I liked doing that. I want to do it again.

I don't think going out alone is anti-social at all. I think it's a tendency of people who are introverted, but not necessarily a trait of all introverts. And I've come to realize I am an introvert. With a low tolerance for smalltalk and superficial interaction. Very choosy about who I socialize with. Mostly end up doing it online.

(and I have a friend who does the "need a nap. bye" thing, too. why anyone would take that personally is beyond me.)

Cassiopeia
09-25-2009, 02:24 AM
Meh, more than can't, why should you?

When I'm confronted with the folks whose opinions I know I won't change, I just smile and say, "Okay." I'm perfectly comfortable being the only one in the room who thinks I'm right.

Unless you enjoy arguing. Then go right ahead :)And of course we know dear, you are always right. ;)

scarletpeaches
09-25-2009, 02:26 AM
(and I have a friend who does the "need a nap. bye" thing, too. why anyone would take that personally is beyond me.)All I'm gonna say to that one is, when I say it to tt42 it means something completely different.

Move along, madam, nothing to see here...

geardrops
09-25-2009, 02:39 AM
And of course we know dear, you are always right. ;)

Not always. There was that one time I was wrong... back in... um...

Well shit. I am always right.

Except just then, when I said "not always."

Oh crap, what have I done?!

Cassiopeia
09-25-2009, 02:46 AM
Not always. There was that one time I was wrong... back in... um...

Well shit. I am always right.

Except just then, when I said "not always."

Oh crap, what have I done?!Indeed. :D

Ken
09-25-2009, 03:04 AM
... my friends do the "need to take a nap, bye" thing too. Only they relate it a little differently, e.g. I'll be speaking with them on the phone and all of a sudden they begin snoring. Never one to take a hint, I continue to converse.

GeorgeK
09-25-2009, 03:22 AM
Antisocial: A term made up by selfish twits to explain why you refuse to be manipulated by them.

GeorgeK
09-25-2009, 03:39 AM
... church function ....
every freaking time I attend such things the women get all upset with me cos their husbands talk to me.

I HATE IT. I want to shout at them if maybe they'd smile once in a while and actually listen to the man they're married to he might like talking to them too. But as you can imagine, that wouldn't go down very well so I stay home. :)

Why do I keep hearing in the background the Monty Python crew screaming, "She's a witch, burn her!"

Cassiopeia
09-25-2009, 03:51 AM
Why do I keep hearing in the background the Monty Python crew screaming, "She's a witch, burn her!"ahahaha! Maybe because that's how it feels. :)

Rowan
09-25-2009, 04:20 AM
I hear you, Scarlet... :) I hate it when people judge you by the number of friends you have or how "social" you are at office functions and the like. Me, I'd rather have a few quality friends than a bunch of acquaintances I don't even have time to keep track of, etc. Of course not having oodles of contacts sometimes causes problems during those background investigations!! :Wha:

willietheshakes
09-25-2009, 05:15 AM
Not sure about Europe, SP, but in America, you have a right to complain about anything and everything, and that's the way it ought to be, dang it.

Only in the US, sadly.

Here in Canada, we're required to say something along the lines of "Sorry, would it be too much bother for you to back up a couple of centimeters and remove your car from my foot? You know, if it's not too much trouble." That sort of thing.

Cassiopeia
09-25-2009, 05:25 AM
Only in the US, sadly.

Here in Canada, we're required to say something along the lines of "Sorry, would it be too much bother for you to back up a couple of centimeters and remove your car from my foot? You know, if it's not too much trouble." That sort of thing.There are places in the US like that. :) I think it's like that in the border states. ;)

Salis
09-25-2009, 05:42 AM
Anti-social.

Xelebes
09-25-2009, 06:04 AM
It's asocial, not antisocial. Antisocial means you are doing things against society like beating the elderly up or abandoning little kiddies on the side of the street. Asocial means you're not participating.

Sorry, have been in many discussions where this clarification was needed, especially on autism support boards.

As a mild autistic, I know that I don't go out to socialise as often as others. Maybe I go out once every two months to talk to someone, but I do go out in the summer everyday or try to for a walk around the town. In the winter it's once every two or three days. But whatever.

I'm just saying that I'm comfortable having everything spread out as text. It's easier for me to hear what's going on as I can't quite hear everything in a conversation and I have a hard time speaking.

Phaeal
09-25-2009, 06:13 PM
It's asocial, not antisocial. Antisocial means you are doing things against society like beating the elderly up or abandoning little kiddies on the side of the street. Asocial means you're not participating.

Good point. Antisocial personality disorder IS a very serious matter; it's unfortunate that "antisocial" has become a widely accepted synonym for "asocial" or "introverted" or "loner" or just plain "likes to be alone once in a while, damn it."

"Anti-" carries a primary meaning of "in opposition to," as opposed to the more neutral "a-" or "not."

So I didn't issue a word geek alert. You're all writers -- your eyes shouldn't fall out of your heads. ;)

Claudia Gray
09-25-2009, 06:35 PM
When I take Meyers-Briggs personality tests, the final three categories always remain the same -- but 50% of the time I get introvert, 50% of the time I get extrovert. So I'm in the middle. I find it's important to nurture both sides of myself: Sometimes that means forcing myself to go out to a party where I'm not sure I'll enjoy myself, and sometimes that means realizing I've been going out a lot and need some hibernation time. For me, at least, either extreme is negative. If I'm out too much, I feel drained all the time; if I'm alone too much, I get broody and lack direction.

Alpha Echo
09-25-2009, 06:45 PM
I've always been the shy, quiet type that has had a hard time making new friends. I tend to be a homebody, wanting to spend time in my flower gardens, write my stories or draw/paint my pictures. I don't like to go out, in the last couple of years I have become very anxious in large crowds, never had that problem when I was younger. I don't like going to big events with lots of people, especially those with rowdy crowds, they make me very uncomfortable. I prefer to dwell in my imagination, and put what I see in my mind onto paper or canvas. My boyfriend, however, is the complete opposite. He loves big crowds, the rowdier and bigger, the better. He hates being at home, every day he has off from work he wants to spend being out of the house, doing something. He has no creative side to him, so he gets bored easily and must find something to occupy his mind. He knows a lot of people, and has a lot of "friends". I quote friends, because many of these people he calls friends don't ever call to say, "What are you doing? Wanna go do something?", or whatever. He thinks I'm unsocial because I have no interest in talking to his friends, who I have no similar interests in, except for one only because he shares some interest in gardening and landscaping like I do. My boyfriend wants me, forces me to be friends with this friend's wife, who I share nothing in common with, and though I am friendly with her, she acts like I am a bother when I do try to socialize with her. When me and the bf go to their house, and are at first the only ones there, as soon as someone else shows up at their doorstep, said friend's wife puts me on ignore. So, how can I be friends with someone like that? I can't, and even though I have told my bf what she does, he still insists I try to be friends, cuz after all, she is his best friend's wife.

Anyway, since moving to Ohio from Michigan, I haven't met anyone here that I could call a friend, someone to hang out with, tell secrets to or just share things with (especially my art work and writings). My friends, the few that I have, all live in Michigan. Sometimes I wish I would just move back, where my friends and family are and get away from all the snobs here. I have yet to meet anyone who shares any of the same interests that I do, or any one that even gives a damn, and the boyfriend sure doesn't give a crap. Well, actually, there is one person that shares the same gardening interests as me, but I wouldn't exactly call her a friend, just an acquaintance. Maybe in time, but it seems like whoever I would like to be friends with, the male other half in my life doesn't. Not just the current one, all of them I have had. Maybe, I was destined to live my life, alone.

My ex-husband was just like you describe your bf. Just like him. Don't worry. If you're not happy with him, one day you'll find someone more like yourself. I did. And I have never been so happy and content in a relationship.

Sean D. Schaffer
09-25-2009, 09:02 PM
Oh, for goodness' sake. You? Anti-social? Not hardly!

I used to go through the same thing. People told me that because I did not go to football games, hang out with the other guys, and whatever else "Everybody" does, there just had to be something wrong with me.

But I've since learned that Anti-Social refers to a serious disorder, and has nothing to do with choosing your friends or who you talk to with greater care than others do. Choosing your friends carefully is a good thing, because all too often you can find a so-called "friend" who will readily give you the shaft if they think it will benefit them. I had such a "friend," and I finally had to tell him to get lost some three or four years ago. It was the best thing I've ever done for myself, and it taught me a good lesson about how to choose my friends.

And I've made several good, close friends, who are closer to me than a brother or sister, through being choosy. This leads me to believe that not befriending every person under the sun is a far superior life than becoming friends with every person who comes along.

Those are my thoughts. I hope they help you out in some way. Blessed Be. :)

scarletpeaches
09-25-2009, 09:04 PM
I was just thinking about you this afternoon and you pop up!

Are you psychic?! :D

Sean D. Schaffer
09-25-2009, 09:05 PM
I was just thinking about you this afternoon and you pop up!

Are you psychic?! :D


Drat! I've been discovered! :D

backslashbaby
09-25-2009, 09:10 PM
I'm another who needs both ways (Extroverted and Introverted) in my life, so I'd be silly to condemn either way :)

People do not need to be just alike. How boring would that be? Do what pleases you, and as long as it doesn't hurt others, you tell nay-sayers to bite you. Simple, really :D

GeorgeK
09-25-2009, 09:12 PM
Drat! I've been discovered! :D

shoulda seen that one coming

ishtar'sgate
09-25-2009, 09:27 PM
So I was out with a friend this morning and we got talking about a mutual acquaintance. I referred to the last time the three of us were together and made a throwaway comment like, "I thought it was funny when we [the guy and I] started talking about a particular author's back catalogue and you were confused as to what we were going on about."


Oh, and...thoughts?
Truly? Some things are better left unsaid. You hurt your friend's feelings - hence the rant.

tjwriter
09-25-2009, 09:38 PM
I'm a little of both, though the older I get, the more introverted I become. That or I just prefer my online friendships (like you guys!) to most of my real life encounters.

I've always been an on the fence kind of person, though. All those personality tests and stuff show me very close to that point where everything intersects. I'm always near that point.

frimble3
09-26-2009, 11:07 AM
sniffle, sniffle, I love you guys so much. I work all day in a big room filled with chatty, social people. At the end of the day, week, world, I just want to come home, shut the door and not have to interact. I can shop by myself, watch a movie by myself, read by myself. Alone, not lonely. The trouble is explaining this to the people who want to fill my time with themselves. You are my people, and I sincerely, lovingly hope I never meet you. :)

MGraybosch
09-26-2009, 07:37 PM
Oh, and...thoughts?

I agree with every word you posted, but I don't mind being called "anti-social". In fact, I wear it as a badge of honor, just as I do the terms "bastard", "asshole", "prick", "loner", and "freak". I'm introverted to the point where psychologists have mistakenly diagnosed me as having schizoid personality disorder (which isn't the same as schizophrenia, by the way).

I don't apologize for my introverted nature. I don't apologize for being a bookworm or for preferring to have a specific purpose when I go out. I don't apologize for ignoring people when I am concentrating on something of concern to me.

I'm choosy about my companions. I've met most of my friends and acquaintances online. Hell, I met my wife online and spent two years talking with her before we finally met face to face.

Can I be sociable with strangers? Of course I can. I just need a minute to put on the appropriate persona, and then a few hours alone when I'm done.

There was actually an article about introversion in The Atlantic. Have you read it? (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200303/rauch)

scarletpeaches
09-26-2009, 07:48 PM
What a fantastic article. It's genuinely like reading the inside of my own head, especially:
can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talkand
winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be niceand
Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not. Introverts are also not misanthropic, though some of us do go along with Sartre as far as to say "Hell is other people at breakfast." Rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring.I'm really enjoying reading this. Thanks again, you anti-social arsehole. :)

MGraybosch
09-26-2009, 07:50 PM
What a fantastic article. It's genuinely like reading the inside of my own head, especially:andandI'm really enjoying reading this. Thanks again, you anti-social arsehole. :)

You're welcome.

AnonymousWriter
09-27-2009, 03:09 AM
Trying being an introvert in high school.

It's pretty hard.

MGraybosch
09-27-2009, 03:13 AM
Trying being an introvert in high school.

It's pretty hard.

Been there, done that, got the scars to prove it.

Red_Dahlia
09-27-2009, 05:18 AM
I guess my point is: In the real world (outside of college) I think the expectation of maintaining a huge circle of friends is not only unrealistic, but completely unnecessary to live a fulfilled, happy life.

I'm in college, and I have to admit, I don't think having a large circle of friends is that neccessary here, either. Granted, I do have a several groups of friends I hang out with, but I only have a few people I'd consider close friends, and I'm fine with that. Usually by the end of the day, I'm worn out from spending time with people in class all day and want nothing more than to hole up in my room and read, do homework, or write. Fortunately, by this point most of my friends have gotten used to the idea that I need more alone time than they do, and have stopped worrying that I might be either depressed or lonely/homesick. :)

MrWrite
09-27-2009, 08:28 AM
What a great way of putting it.

You've also reminded me of the time I mentioned to a friend (I really should relegate these people to 'acquaintance' in my posts) that I'd been to see such-and-such a movie at the cinema at the end of my street.

"Who did you go with?"

"Oh, no one."

"You went alone?" [said with expression of horror]

"Well...yes."

"Oh, you should have said. [Daughter's name] could have gone with you."

"But...I didn't want her to. Otherwise I would have asked."

[Expression of deeper horror] "You can't go to the cinema on your own."

"Uh...I just did. And I do at least once a week."

I used to go to the cinema alone a lot too. I was wuite happy to do so. No having to compromise with what you go to see. Go whenever you want. Of course the down side is having no-one to talk to about the film afterwards. Now I'm happily married. We tend to stay home a lot too. We have friends but we're perfectly happy with each other's company.

Cassiopeia
09-27-2009, 08:51 AM
I used to go to the cinema alone a lot too. I was wuite happy to do so. No having to compromise with what you go to see. Go whenever you want. Of course the down side is having no-one to talk to about the film afterwards. Now I'm happily married. We tend to stay home a lot too. We have friends but we're perfectly happy with each other's company.anti-socialist. *snerk*

*runs for her life*

MrWrite
09-27-2009, 05:35 PM
Yeah you keep running!!! :poke::wag::e2tomato::e2poke:

MichStephens
09-28-2009, 08:45 PM
I think I'm moving into a time of my life when I'm more accepting of who I am (although I've a lot of work to do on figuring out what or who I am as well) and less tolerant of idiots and timewasters.

Exactly. There simply isn't enough time to waste on people you don't truly connect with.

If I'm going to invest myself and my time into a relationship, it better damn well be genuine and worth it.

I'm made plenty of acquaintances over time, but besides my husband, no honest close friends. Once a potential friend approaches me and I get that wave of irritation just seeing them, I know it's not going to work. And I'm fine with that.

So add me to the list of perfectly happy people who like solitude (and husbandtude - because he gets me).

MGraybosch
09-30-2009, 02:08 AM
I think I'm moving into a time of my life when I'm more accepting of who I am (although I've a lot of work to do on figuring out what or who I am as well) and less tolerant of idiots and timewasters. I used to try to fit in, so people would like me and I'd force myself into social situations because...that's just what you did in your teens and 20s.

I have to say that this was my attitude while I was in my teens and twenties. I had no use for people who bored me, and refused to have anything to do with people who were worthless to me.

scarletpeaches
09-30-2009, 02:12 AM
My mid-twenties were when it started; when I realised actually, I don't have to try to fit in. My 30s are when I realised I was always going to offend people no matter what I did...it's just that I care less. :D

MGraybosch
09-30-2009, 02:15 AM
My mid-twenties were when it started; when I realised actually, I don't have to try to fit in. My 30s are when I realised I was always going to offend people no matter what I did...it's just that I care less. :D

I realized by the time I was 13 that no matter what I did, I wasn't going to fit in. At that point, I simply stopped caring, and decided that if it was going to be me against the world, then I might as well get used to it and learn to enjoy the challenge. I'd say the odds are almost fair.

Xelebes
09-30-2009, 08:28 AM
Trying being an introvert in high school.

It's pretty hard.

It was easy for me. If only because high school was lighter on me than junior high.

truelyana
09-30-2009, 04:58 PM
I think I'm moving into a time of my life when I'm more accepting of who I am (although I've a lot of work to do on figuring out what or who I am as well) and less tolerant of idiots and timewasters. I used to try to fit in, so people would like me and I'd force myself into social situations because...that's just what you did in your teens and 20s.

So yes, I'd like true friendships - who wouldn't? And to be in love. Who wouldn't? But on my terms. Maybe that makes me selfish...but I know it's possible to have a marriage with someone who is either like you, or accepting of who you are, because both you ladies have done it. And it's possible to have similar friendships - I've done it.

And you have every right to be the way you are. :) Keep going, you are shining. :) I think it is only fair to make the choices you make, as it is your life at the end of the day and you know what you like, and don't like.

I think people come and go out of our lifes all the time, and it is up to you how you would like to interpret that experience, and take something from it. (like this experience that you have shared with us) I think people enlighten others, however the experience may be and help us to understand what our deeper values are, by questioning our motifs. This is another form of help, as we begin to question our values and beliefs and dwelve deeper into what we are/who we are. I think it really helps. Even if we may not like what we hear, we hold onto what people say and we make a connection with how we feel and think, and see whether that is true. I think it is part of our natural growth, reconnecting or remembering who/what we are.

Thank you for sharing your insightful experience. :)

We all appreciate it.

truelyana
09-30-2009, 04:59 PM
My mid-twenties were when it started; when I realised actually, I don't have to try to fit in. My 30s are when I realised I was always going to offend people no matter what I did...it's just that I care less. :D

I am happy that you came to that realisation. :)

I always knew I was different, therefore I never fitted in, so I didn't bother trying.

tjwriter
09-30-2009, 05:43 PM
I was tormented starting in third grade. By the time I got to high school, I didn't care at all.

MGraybosch
09-30-2009, 09:17 PM
It was easy for me. If only because high school was lighter on me than junior high.

It was harder for me in elementary school because I still thought that it was bad to fight. By the time I was in high school, I had finally learned that sometimes violence is the best answer.

I used to be such a sweet, sweet thing till they got a hold of me... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZnhuOEUFXA)

scarletpeaches
09-30-2009, 09:35 PM
I honestly can't remember the last time I hit someone. I don't like doing it. Words, on the other hand? Perfect weapons.

MGraybosch
09-30-2009, 10:40 PM
I honestly can't remember the last time I hit someone. I don't like doing it. Words, on the other hand? Perfect weapons.

I've gotten excellent results by using fists in conjunction with words. There's nothing like beating a bully to his knees, kicking him in the face so that he's on his back, planting a boot on his chest, and warning him that if he lays a hand on you again, everything he does to you you'll do to his little sister.

scarletpeaches
09-30-2009, 10:49 PM
I think I'm in love.

MGraybosch
09-30-2009, 10:54 PM
I think I'm in love.

Not with me, I hope. I've already got a good woman to play with.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m29/ProgrammerCat/meandmywife.png

scarletpeaches
09-30-2009, 10:55 PM
I say love. I mean uncontrollable hate. Now. Where'd I put my barman's comb...?

MGraybosch
09-30-2009, 11:16 PM
I say love. I mean uncontrollable hate. Now. Where'd I put my barman's comb...?

I've got it. I had to deal with some Jehovah's Witlesses who wouldn't leave, and I had lent out my tire iron.

talkwrite
10-02-2009, 01:47 AM
Such a great thread.
Instead of being called introverted how about: socially selective?
I spent so many years around people who could not talk about or get excited about or relate to writing and other passions of mine and I know I was starving my soul bit by bit.
I also think being exposed to certain people can kill my inspiration to write, and the quality of my writing whether or not I discuss it with them. Inspiration needs a certain environment to surface.
Don't get me wrong, I am entertained by extreme personalities and they will show up as my characters, in fact I love eavesdropping at airports and restaurants and bars.
But if wishes were horses I'd surround myself with creative, sensitive open minded people. Until that commune is founded I will stay home.