Maintaining Friendships

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Daydreamer
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Maintaining Friendships

Postby Daydreamer » Sat Mar 19, 2016 5:54 pm

I'm sure this is a problem that most, if not everyone, here has had problems with, and I know I have most of my life now. I used to think I was weird when I was growing up because even though I cared about my friends, I just didn't really need to see them all that much. I would force myself into going out, simply for their sake rather than my own. Whenever I did need time to myself, I'd always use the 'my mom told me I had to *insert random chore*' card, and then I'd feel guilty that I had to lie in order to just have a little bit of me time. When I was around 17, I decided to be honest with my, then, best friend about it, and told her I just wanted to chill out at home, and well.... let's just say she didn't talk to me much after that. She took it as a slight against her, as though I had no desire to hang out with her in particular, but it was absolutely nothing to do with that!

I'd like to say that at 31 things are all sorted now concerning friendships, but they really aren't. I lost a great number of friends from my late teens and early 20s because I moved abroad, which I can't deny, was an amazing opportunity for some peace and quiet. I'm grateful that I married a fellow introvert and we love nothing more than just chilling out, doing our own thing, but away from everyone else, but naturally, we both have a few lingering friends.

The problem isn't that we have friends, it's how to hold onto them without them thinking they are being pushed away. I have one friend in particular, who I would consider my closest friend after my husband, and I haven't spoken to her in about 5 months now. We live in different countries, so we always communicate online, but even then I just don't feel the need for constant interaction, whereas I know she would happily chat away with me all night if I instigated it. I feel so guilty that I've been silent so long, I still sent her xmas presents for her and her fiancee, even writing her letters and so forth. I do my best to make her realize that despite the fact she rarely hears from me, I still care and think of her often, and still want her as a friend. She has never criticized me about my lack of contact, though I know she must be wondering about it, I am just uncertain how to handle it. Right now I've just been sticking my head in the sand, admittedly because I do not want a repeat of what happened when I was 17.

To be honest though, it is not only surrounding this one friendship, but many relationships in my life. I don't feel the need to see my family in person very much, though I love receiving emails from them and I will reply promptly, and same with my husband's family, I feel very awkward and mostly just sit there saying nothing. It doesn't help that there is a language barrier. I understand the language, but I go blank in group get togethers in English, so in another tongue, I go EXTRA blank lol I'm just not a social creature, but that doesn't mean I do not care about the people in my life.

Sorry to go on, this is my first post on the forum. It's wonderful to read about so many people like me lol I'd love to hear your opinions/ advice on how you cope/ deal with social issues like these? Thank you :)

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Daisy
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby Daisy » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:12 am

Welcome Daydreamer,

I relate to your story, my husband is also an introvert, and neither of us live close to our families, though we do keep in touch on-line. Friends seem to accept the fact that we aren't sociable.

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Daydreamer
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby Daydreamer » Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:30 am

Hey Daisy, thanks for the reply and welcome :D

My family live in another country, but my husband's family live on the same street, which is a little close for comfort, but to be fair, they do tend to leave us be. When we first moved in together, they used to just pop by without calling us first and such, but they soon realized we didn't appreciate it and called in advance.

And in truth, we have no local friends, they are all basically online friendships now. We had some friends stay with us last year, and even though it was lovely to see them, it was an extremely stressful week of having to be uber social, take them to all the local attractions etc. It was almost a year ago and I still feel like I'm in recovery lol Sad but true. This is, I think, one of the reasons that I haven't spoken to said friend online so much.

It doesn't help that my memory is pretty good, so for me 'recent' is anytime in the past decade.... I still have a tendency to say that my husband and I were only married 'recently' and when people ask when, I say 2010, to which they reply 'you call that recent?!'. And I think that's the issue, yes, it is recent for me. I can recall conversations I had with people ten years ago on random days, I've always been this way, so I am always under the impression that I had seen most of my friends 'recently', whereas in their opinion, they never see me anymore. It's difficult because while I don't want to force myself to be more engaged in hours of chit chatting and so forth, I also don't want to lose that friendship either.

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nicoclone
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby nicoclone » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:47 pm

Hello... i haven't even dated yet OMG.. Well, I am an misanthropic in real life.. so I don't really care to see my friends face or interact with them.. cuz my interest with them is different.. besides, they rarely response to someone chat in classroom chatting group... they only say like Happy Birthday to someone... rarely talk

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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby LilTampa » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:32 am

I've been married and divorced twice. Each time the friends that were "our" friends all seemed to gravitate towards my ex-husbands. Mostly because I cut them off. Now, years later I have about 7 people I consider my friends (excluding my man and my mommy and daddy). I don't really consider any of them "close". I try my hardest to keep current with them but usually I only see them once a month or so. I feel terrible about not seeing them more often. I would like to have more friends and at least one truly close friend. As a 36 year old I have no idea how to go about this. I don't drink and really can't stand bars. I have an aversion to music and noise (which is a whole nutha' issue). I am self employed. I am a process flow consultant. I usually spend around a month working with a company, primarily doing observation and working at home to develop processes. I work for both large and small companies. Due to the nature of my work, I have very little interaction with folks and I'm viewed negatively by employees because I am there to make changes to make the business operate better. I have participated in knitting groups, line dance classes, yoga classes and book clubs (to name a few) but I have an extremely difficult time connecting with anyone. There are so many times when I will see someone that I feel could me a friend that I feel like grabbing them and shaking them and telling them that I am a person who can enrich their life. That wouldn't be weird.

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ZaHEER
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby ZaHEER » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:29 pm

LilTampa wrote:I've been married and divorced twice. Each time the friends that were "our" friends all seemed to gravitate towards my ex-husbands. Mostly because I cut them off. Now, years later I have about 7 people I consider my friends (excluding my man and my mommy and daddy). I don't really consider any of them "close". I try my hardest to keep current with them but usually I only see them once a month or so. I feel terrible about not seeing them more often. I would like to have more friends and at least one truly close friend. As a 36 year old I have no idea how to go about this. I don't drink and really can't stand bars. I have an aversion to music and noise (which is a whole nutha' issue). I am self employed. I am a process flow consultant. I usually spend around a month working with a company, primarily doing observation and working at home to develop processes. I work for both large and small companies. Due to the nature of my work, I have very little interaction with folks and I'm viewed negatively by employees because I am there to make changes to make the business operate better. I have participated in knitting groups, line dance classes, yoga classes and book clubs (to name a few) but I have an extremely difficult time connecting with anyone. There are so many times when I will see someone that I feel could me a friend that I feel like grabbing them and shaking them and telling them that I am a person who can enrich their life. That wouldn't be weird.


Well, you have 7 I just have one

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ZaHEER
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby ZaHEER » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:41 pm

Daydreamer wrote:I'm sure this is a problem that most, if not everyone, here has had problems with, and I know I have most of my life now. I used to think I was weird when I was growing up because even though I cared about my friends, I just didn't really need to see them all that much. I would force myself into going out, simply for their sake rather than my own. Whenever I did need time to myself, I'd always use the 'my mom told me I had to *insert random chore*' card, and then I'd feel guilty that I had to lie in order to just have a little bit of me time. When I was around 17, I decided to be honest with my, then, best friend about it, and told her I just wanted to chill out at home, and well.... let's just say she didn't talk to me much after that. She took it as a slight against her, as though I had no desire to hang out with her in particular, but it was absolutely nothing to do with that!

I'd like to say that at 31 things are all sorted now concerning friendships, but they really aren't. I lost a great number of friends from my late teens and early 20s because I moved abroad, which I can't deny, was an amazing opportunity for some peace and quiet. I'm grateful that I married a fellow introvert and we love nothing more than just chilling out, doing our own thing, but away from everyone else, but naturally, we both have a few lingering friends.

The problem isn't that we have friends, it's how to hold onto them without them thinking they are being pushed away. I have one friend in particular, who I would consider my closest friend after my husband, and I haven't spoken to her in about 5 months now. We live in different countries, so we always communicate online, but even then I just don't feel the need for constant interaction, whereas I know she would happily chat away with me all night if I instigated it. I feel so guilty that I've been silent so long, I still sent her xmas presents for her and her fiancee, even writing her letters and so forth. I do my best to make her realize that despite the fact she rarely hears from me, I still care and think of her often, and still want her as a friend. She has never criticized me about my lack of contact, though I know she must be wondering about it, I am just uncertain how to handle it. Right now I've just been sticking my head in the sand, admittedly because I do not want a repeat of what happened when I was 17.

To be honest though, it is not only surrounding this one friendship, but many relationships in my life. I don't feel the need to see my family in person very much, though I love receiving emails from them and I will reply promptly, and same with my husband's family, I feel very awkward and mostly just sit there saying nothing. It doesn't help that there is a language barrier. I understand the language, but I go blank in group get togethers in English, so in another tongue, I go EXTRA blank lol I'm just not a social creature, but that doesn't mean I do not care about the people in my life.

Sorry to go on, this is my first post on the forum. It's wonderful to read about so many people like me lol I'd love to hear your opinions/ advice on how you cope/ deal with social issues like these? Thank you :)


My opinion would be do what you like ..I do stress out thinking what others might/will think sometimes and I don't like that feeling .. I remove that feeling my saying it to myself that I don't owe anyone anything ..they are happy in their life and I am in mine.

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LilTampa
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby LilTampa » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:08 pm

ZaHeer, pretty sure this isn't a "who has it the worst" contest

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ZaHEER
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby ZaHEER » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:13 pm

xD thought it will make you feel better

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SandWshooter
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby SandWshooter » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:00 pm

LilTampa wrote:ZaHeer, pretty sure this isn't a "who has it the worst" contest


It is now, winner gets a prize
Hi, mac!

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LilTampa
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby LilTampa » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:08 pm

Categories:
Number of close friends
Percentage of cancelled social events
Hours spent rehearsing conversations/interactions
Days/months/years spent thinking about better alternatives to conversations/interactions
Average time spent in social situations
Swimsuit category (bwahahahaha, like that's going to happen)

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ZaHEER
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby ZaHEER » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:33 pm

winner gets a new friend plus regular text messages to which replies are not compulsory ?

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LilTampa
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby LilTampa » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:41 pm

And a crown. A big ole sparkly crown. The best part is that the winner will be expected to make appearances, cut ribbons, kiss babies and be a strong representative of the introvert community. Just think of all the stuff you can promise to be attend. So many things to back out of!! ALL WHILE WEARING A GIANT SPARKLY CROWN!!!!!

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ZaHEER
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby ZaHEER » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:54 pm

Kiss babies ?! :/ Lol

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ZaHEER
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby ZaHEER » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:10 pm

this forum is super silent always .. I guess we need extrovert here

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SandWshooter
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby SandWshooter » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:53 pm

ZaHEER wrote:winner gets a new friend plus regular text messages to which replies are not compulsory ?


Nope, a small Texas flag and the most interesting thing I can find in my junk drawer
Hi, mac!

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ZaHEER
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby ZaHEER » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:00 pm

you've lost me

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SandWshooter
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby SandWshooter » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:02 pm

ZaHEER wrote:you've lost me


The winner gets a little flag, and the most interesting thing I can find in the junk drawer in my kitchen
Hi, mac!

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ZaHEER
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby ZaHEER » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:05 pm

oops ! thought it was a reply of my last post..

I would want your gun though

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SandWshooter
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby SandWshooter » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:14 pm

No it's mine
Hi, mac!

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ZaHEER
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby ZaHEER » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:19 pm

SandWshooter wrote:No it's mine

What can I say .. if you can't even give me your gun ..cant expect much from you xD

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SandWshooter
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby SandWshooter » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:24 pm

I don't think you quite grasp how expensive an M60 is
Hi, mac!

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ZaHEER
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby ZaHEER » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:44 pm

oh man : (

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SandWshooter
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby SandWshooter » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:45 pm

Like $37k
Hi, mac!

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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby Engage » Tue May 31, 2016 3:17 pm

I've managed to maintain the friendships I made at younger ages and in high school. We still see each other, but generally introverts are a lot less likely to maintain friendships because they just care a lot less. I remember years ago I was content seeing most of my friends every month or even every few months, in the meantime sitting in my basement writing music and designing things. Basically my family, especially my mother, spent years trying to make me an extrovert. Only now, with more friends, do I find myself spending more time being social.

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DC1346
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Re: Maintaining Friendships

Postby DC1346 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:14 am

At 54 years of age (just last year), I learned that there's a reason I'm a reclusive introvert. As it turns out, I'm on the high performing end of the autistic spectrum and I am genetically predisposed towards being a reclusive introvert.

I subsequently gave up the effort of maintaining friendships and I ended an engagement.

Instead of feeling depressed about this, I felt quite liberated. The effort of maintaining this engagement and these friendships was quite stressful and typically involved an inordinate amount of time which cut into my personal down time which (as it turns out) I need in order to have the emotional energy to deal with the stress of having to be out and about in the world regardless of whether I'm at work or running errands.

My life today is much more simple than it used to be. I have work and I have home. If I need to do errands, I do them on the way home from work.


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