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how do you fix social isolation?
February 16, 2005
8:00 pm
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balancesekr
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I feel isolated a very large portion of the time, is this a common thing? Does this come with being an adult? I find that I haven't made very many new friends in the past few years. I have changed jobs a few times and moved as well. I almost don't know how to make new friends.

Sometimes I feel more intelligent than most of the people I meet and I just wind up by myself. Any thoughts on meeting some new people and not feeling like this?

My ex was always surrounded by people, constantly. Maybe I felt threatened by that? Another thing I noticed is I do more when I am not involved with someone. But as soon as I am involved I make fewer plans.

I feel like the friends I have are busy with their own lives. Many of them claim they have no money when it comes to doing things... so I have nobody to even go on a trip with if I wanted to plan one, which I do!

February 16, 2005
8:10 pm
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addicts wife
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maybe grab a local paper, and pick out a local band to check out, do listen to some music, a comdey club, Or a spoken word/ open mike night club kinda place??? throw yourslf out there, and start with a simple "Hi." There are continuing education classes as well, maybe take an art class for beginners, and meet people there, or go to a coffee house.a cafe in a bookstore???

February 16, 2005
8:23 pm
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Rasputin
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Dear balancekr,

I face the same problem as yours. I believe this is the price we pay for becoming more educated and smart. I feel the more educated, smart, mature, wise, the more difficult it is to find friends... I mean true friends from both sexes.

But there is always hope. Try to hang out where there are intellctuals. Starbucks take a book with you, coffee shops, like AD mentioned, libraries, colleges, universities, churches, community ceters.

My prayers are with you!

February 16, 2005
9:40 pm
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CAMER
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i agree with all of the above!! and keep saying Hi to people you know and don't know, who knows it could spark up a conversation. Just be open and kind to people, treat people how you want to be treated and know that its going to be ok.
Sometimes having just a few good friends is better than having 20 or so associates/fake friends.

February 16, 2005
10:17 pm
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sdesigns
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Hi Balance: I too have the same problems. One thing I started doing years ago though is taking trips by myself. I go on tours where you can go as a single (costs more to have your own room) but then you can travel in a group and still get to go places. There are usually many single women on these trips doing the same and I have met several women who I have become friends with and have taken other trips with them. I am going to India later this year w/ a gal I met on a trip to Egypt 2 years ago. I have shared rooms w/ strangers before but that is a crap shoot- can put the damper on a trip if you're not comaptible. I also go to Mexico once a year by myself- feel completely safe there. I got tired of waiting around for other people to have the money, or they didn't want to go where I wanted to, etc. I am so glad I started doing this as I have been some great places I wouldn't have otherwise seen. It is great fun. Maybe try that. SD

February 16, 2005
11:51 pm
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balancesekr
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hi addicts wife, rasputin, CAMER & sdesigns,
All good advice. I have thought about taking a trip alone. I just wonder if when I get to my destination I will not like being by myself! To go on a tour do you go to a travel agent to find out about that kind of thing?
I guess there are lots of people around me, I just notice that I don't put in effort to befriend many of them. I always have to put the effort in, it seems.

What is good is I realize my part in feeling isolated and I am not just sitting here being sad about it like I used to 🙂

February 17, 2005
10:38 am
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addicts wife
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Doesnt it feel great ot notice your growth???
I know in my town community center they have trips to New york city, casino's, and day trip "things" tht arent too expensive, and a great way to get yourself out of the house.
I often grab our free local paper to see what;s going on, like art exhibits, or local bands, new restaurant openings. etc. the importsnt part is to start saying "Hi" and it may spark up a conversation. It does take work, and effort, but you're worth it, and worth talking to as well, so... Think of it that way.

February 17, 2005
11:16 am
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celenie
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I think without family and long term connections around you it can be difficult. I think people who dont hook up easily also have an internal filter that causes them to reject people and not give them a chance. At the same time I know people who make friends easily, but then friends dont work out--one turns out to be a child porn addict, another goes to jail for running over his sister in law--Also friends are time and money. I think its good if you can socialize with people at work somewhat. You have to spend so much time with them anyway. I am Italian a librarian divorced 4 children--my two daughters are very popular, have lots of friends and dates, but my sons are isolated and depend on me a lot. They are intelligent successful attractive--one is an artist the other a muscician both planning to go to graduate school. (32 and 27 does anyone want to see photos of them?)
I myself feel that it is my own doing--not having a social life--and take responsibility for that--its a kind of a choice. I think I need solitude--and it is difficult to strike a balance. Just as it might be difficult for a really sociable person to really make quality down time for himself. We cant be and do everything. Appreciate yourself for what you are first, appreciate your ability to be independent--some can't be that. Of course, you need others--but don't feel bad about yourself because you arent in the cast of "Friends". If you arent a bar kind of person, get into groups, join clubs people sharing goals and leisure time. There is a lot out there. Just remember it is work--and you have to be willing to do the work and give up something of yourself. I think we all have an ideal of a kind of social flow that we want to be in--all of us or most of us have experienced it at one time or another. At the same time you might have experienced a kind of loss of self--where you were immersed in a group experience, were enjoying it but, at the same time wanted to escape. To be human I think is to live with these contradictions. We are always striving for a balance. I think: look for the beauty and goodness around you always--the world is beautiful--you are beautiful. Dont forget that and seek the highest level of existence for yourself always--whether alone or with others.

February 17, 2005
11:23 am
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sdesigns
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Hi Balance: To go on a tour you can go thru a travel agent(probably a good idea for your first one- then you have someone to ask questions). I have found most of mine in the travel section of the L.A. Times- they feature dif trips every week. When you are on a tour you are rarely alone as you are travelling all over the place, going to dif sites, having meals in the hotels (usually buffet style) and people tend to mingle. When I went to Turkey last year there were people from all over the country so it is interesting to talk to all of the dif people. In fact it is hard to be alone on a tour. Just pick out somehere you'd like to go and make some calls. You can go on the internet too but that can be confusing sometimes and inflexible. I like to see what the proposed itineraries are and then go read a book about the places. Its fun to see what sort of shopping there is, what the local cuisines are, etc. I also bring things home for the house and gifts for others (fun to go before Xmas). Check it out- where is somewhere you've always wanted to go? SD

February 17, 2005
12:19 pm
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sdesigns
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I just wanted to add that going on trips has been beneficial to me also because it gives me something to look forward to. I too am isolated and don't have a very exciting life so this has helped tremendously. It also gives me a goal- saving up money to go, preparing for the trip, the shopping, packing, researching, etc. It really opens up the world and you end up with new experiences and memories to hopefully enrich your life and give you new perspectives. I hope this helps.

February 20, 2005
7:37 am
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CODA_Mom
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Celenie,

I found your post quite interesting...I am also an Italian (actually, 2nd generation American-Italian) mom with 4 kids; 2 outgoing, 2 withdrawn. They are all bright, warm people but the difference is that 2 of them save their "outgoingness" for us. I have always regarded this as differences in personalitites. The quiet, shy ones want to have friends but have a hard time knowing how to do it. Sometimes just coaching them and practicing with them helps. My son is very "right-brained" and logical (poor guy, with an emotional, Italian mother) so I help him set concrete goals, such as, try to talk to at least 1 person you don't know today.

The difficult part for me (and what brought me to this site) is to know when to let go of trying to control their lives. Do you struggle with this, too? I don't want to hinder them in any way or have them become so over-dependent that they need substances to lean on when I'm not around.

Oops, gotta go, take care,
CM

February 21, 2005
2:35 pm
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balancesekr
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awesome post celenie, I am working at getting comfortable with all the contradictions! And trying to strike a balance between knowing what I want and letting things happen, I think its important to do both in life, so hard.

and sd, I am going to call a travel agent and find out about some tours, I really want to get away for a while.
xoxo
balance

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