Monday, January 23, 2012

On other people.

I should probably want friends but I don't.  I have people I love and people who love me.  I find friendships to require a great deal of effort and mask wearing.  I enjoy very few conversations anymore and I certainly despise small talk.  It's not that I value my time so much or that I have better things to do, it just seems like the trivial niceties are burdensome and silly, pointless.  If I'm going to have a conversation with someone I want it to be about something that:  makes one of us laugh; that one of is really interested in learning and the other is interested in teaching... I was getting ready to make a list but that's about all I can come up with.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not rude to people I meet when walking Max (who seems fine again) or the cashier etc, I just don't see the point in chit chat.  I want conversations that mean something and those a few and far between.

I talk to John and at least one of the kids everyday but can go days without talking to anyone else.  If I add D, it can be weeks, and if I add P it can be months before I talk with anyone else.  This doesn't bother me at all.  When I do have conversations with these six people (and their husband and boyfriend) they are the kinds of conversations that really do mean something to me.  Sometimes if I miss a call (like I missed a call from P on the weekend, apparently I missed a previous call and an email) I feel bad for not responding right away.  Even if it's because I didn't get the message (the first call and the email).  I don't call because it's hard for me to pick up and dial without worrying that I'll be interrupting something, or calling at a bad time.   I don't know what to say and I hate awkward silences on the phone but then the longer I leave it, the harder it is to call back.   It becomes this little circle of "I won't call because I've got nothing to talk about" (no outings, no friends, no job etc.) then "It's been so long since I called, I wonder if she/he is pissed off." then "Now it's been so long, I'm embarrassed that I didn't call sooner and if she/he wasn't before, she/he most certainly will be pissed off now and I still don't know what to say" and finally "Yeah, well I won't call.  He/she probably doesn't really care anyway".   The worst is when I get a call with an invitation that I feel unable to accept.  I don't know how to say no without having the person be insulted or think "That's the last time I invite her to anything".  At the same time, I don't want anyone to give up on me and stop making the invitations, or calling me.  It's one of those ridiculous situations I get myself into with the circular thinking that will never allow me to win.  The funniest thing about this is that the person usually thinks I'm ignoring them or have forgotten about them but the truth is I'm thinking about them for much more time than the call would have taken if only I'd had something to say.  I know some people have given up on me already but despite everything, I know that my sisters are still there for me and still trying.  Thank God for sisters. 

When I used to watch t.v. (interviews, drama, documentaries, whatever) or read books or even see other people interacting in real life, I used to connect with the characters.  Like "I could hang out with that person." or "that person has a great sense of humour" or "If I met someone like that I would want to be friends."  Now I focus almost entirely on the stories.  The people seem phony, or like they are trying too hard to be liked, or trying to say what's expected and I have no desire to connect with them.  When I meet new people I try to be kind and polite but I can walk away without wishing I could see them more often, or get to know them better. 

For example this couple that we had dinner with at my sisters on New Year's Eve.  I really liked them.  They were both funny and intelligent and I had a really good time that night and if we were invited out with them I would go and I'm sure I would have a good time again.  But, if I never see them again that would be fine too.  I think that's why my social interactions are introductions by people I already know, or in group settings.  It's because I don't have the desire, much less the energy to make the effort myself of making phone calls, plans etc.  I don't know if this is fair to John, I'm not sure how he feels about socializing (pathetic that I don't know this after 24 years together and almost 22 years of marriage).  I don't know if he accepts this because it's the way I like it or if he likes it this way too.

I have a nice time when I meet people but the feeling doesn't linger or leave me wanting more social interaction.  Is that weird?  Is it wrong?  Does it make me anti-social?  Does it make me a snob?  Is it a function of my depression?  Sometimes I find it tough to get in the shower, socializing?  Way too tough every day.


  1. I don't think you have to worry about your socializing..or not. When you feel the need it will come naturally, until then enjoy your own company as I enjoy your company. As for John, he'll be fine as long as he has Big Red in his life. D

  2. I swear if I didn't know better, I would have thought I wrote this myself. You described me to a T! I'm not glad that you feel this way, BUT it DOES make me feel better to know that someone else on this earth understands how I feel. So many times I don't understand myself. I'm a hermit. I used to be such a social person. Not any more. There are many times that weeks go by that I don't leave the house and half the time I won't even answer the phone. Sound familiar? Sending you hugs....