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Author Topic: I have a lot of trouble with friendship...
moonlight bouncing off water
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This really doesn't have anything to do with sexuality, and since this is a sex ed website, I hope it's okay bringing it up here, but since this is a place I feel really comfortable, I just wanted to get it out.

I have a lot of trouble making friends. I always have. Part of it is that I march to the beat of my own drum, I have never been just like everyone else, I've never been a clone or a typical [whatever]. And I love myself for it, but it makes it really hard to get along with people.

I'm the girl who cringes when the teacher announces a group project and who actually has to (or at least I used to) have the teacher put me in a group with my unwilling classmates. I sit in class with my nose buried in a book and hope that no one will notice me (or at least, in some classes).

Then again, I have friends, kindof, that I hand out with. We're sort of friends because we're the outcasts. Some of those friends are great, and some, not so much. But I never really hang out with them outside of school. My best friend, I've only hung out with once outside of school and it was supposed to be a group thing, but we were the only two who ended up being able to go. (Actually, that friend has simular friend making issues, so it's probably why we A) we're best friends and B) we haven't hing out much outside of school).

I just feel like I only have one real friend in the whole wide world, beyond my family that is, and I only ever see her at school and thus cannot confide in her much. Plus she's in a new relationship, her first relationship and she is, understandably spending a fair amount of time with her new beau. It doesn't help that I'm not all to fond of her boyfriend, he's a nice enough guy, just not someone I'd ever even talk to if it weren't for her (or my other friend who is his ex, but that's a whole other kettle of fish that I don't want or need to get into). I guess it kind of hurts, too, that I have a best friend again and now I need to share her. But I don't resent her or him for it.

On a related side note, I'm pretty darn good at school and my friends are well, not. So it's also hard that I have no one to talk to about school stuff because they dismiss anything I say and I get labeled as the smart one. I have to watch my words and not say anything to intellectual or else be told that they don't need a smart explanation for it.

Not having many friends, or many close friends, or many friends I feel comfortable with is really painful. It makes me feel lost, unwanted and outcast. And it's been like this pretty much my whole life, sure I'll have a social circle, but I won't really feel at home there, I'll just feel like I'm there because I really have nowhere else to be. I'll have a best friend, but I won't feel like I can be frank with her or I'll feel like I have to act think or be a certain way around her. Or due to radically different view points on [whatever] I'll feel like I can't express myself fully, lest I should hurt her feelings (I'm usually the one with the less common view point and it's usually expected therefore that I don't express myself fully, for example I don't believe in God).

I just feel like shit about this. I was finally starting to feel good about my friend situation but now I'm feeling bad about it again. This happens all the time, I think that for once I've got a group of friends where I am happy, but then all of a sudden I realize I don't or that I'm not happy.

On the flip-side of all of this: I'm a club president and I'm a leader in a club that helps grade nines. I participate in lot's of stuff and I'm a member of the choir. There's not a ton of people I can't hold a conversation with (although oft-times I'm so uncomfortable I feel like crawling out of my skin). I also talk the most in class (but this creates lots of issues, like the "smart girl and nothing but" perception).

I just feel a bit lost in this area. I don't understand why I have so much trouble with this. I'm comfortable around my family (although my sister and I fight, a ton) and around adults, but I cannot function within teenage society (of that makes any sense).

How can I make and keep friends? How can I feel better about this? Is it sound and healthy to feel this way, or is there something wrong with me?

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Robin Lee
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Hey Moonlight,

No, there isn't anything wrong with you. I was nodding my head constantly while reading this. This is, I think, how it is for a lot of young people who are smart, or who have something different about them. Fitting in is tough. Somehow, school becomes this tight little enclave where people aren't "supposed" to be different, even though almost everyone is in some way.

You mentioned your clubs and choir. I was going to ask about that; if you did things where you were with people who have common interests and maybe even think similarly to how you think. Are you friendly with anyone you know in these activities?

There are some people who are "social butterflies"--who have a lot going on and are always with people. There are other people who just want to have a few close friends. And of course there are lots of variations between and outside these two examples. What do you think would feel good to you?

Also, I'm wondering: How would it be to take the initiative with your one friend you see in school and suggest you do something outside of school?

I want to assure you that there really is nothing wrong with you for feeling awkward about this.

Robin, who was head of her class in high school (in Ontario, by the way!) and always felt a little on the outside of things.

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Robin

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Thank you, it's reassuring to hear that you don't think that there's anything wrong with me.

Yes, I'm friendly with people in some of those activities. But only while I'm there, I don't ever really see them outside of those activities.

I definitely will never be comfortable as a social butterfly, it's really just not me. Having a few close friends is what would feel best.

I think I will, eventually, take the initiative and ask this friend to hang out. I just get scared of how people will perceive me, so I find it hard to do stuff like ask people to hang out. I'm afraid of rejection as a friend.

And with all of this I have gotten better, in some respects, than how I used to be. I used to sit rigidly in class, afraid that if I moved this way or that, or reacted in this way, or didn't react in that, that I would convey something I wasn't trying to convey. I'm pretty much over that now.

I think that, maybe, if I did invite my best friend over, that I might be able to talk to her about this, because I know that she has expressed feeling alienated in terms of friendship as well. It'll be a while, though, until it's even practical to hang out with her since it's exam time and every spare second it spent studying.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Redskies
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Hi, moonlight. I don't really have answers to what you were actually asking, so I don't want to blurble on and get in the way, but just wanted to let you know that I really, really hear you on a lot of this, and it's not just you. And I really enjoy your "company" on the boards here.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Thank you Redskies, I enjoy your company on the boards too!

I'm starting to feel a bit better about this today. I'm not sure how I'll feel tomorrow, but today at least I feel comfortable in my own skin (for the most part).

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Sans
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Hey Moonlight [Smile]

It's been almost a month since this thread was posted, so I hope that I'm not replying too late, since I just stumbled onto your post today. I really wanted to reply since I can personally relate to almost EVERYTHING that you stated. [Smile]

Unfortunately there is no sound or practical advice I can give since I am in a very similiar situation.

I, too, am someone who is extremely independent, and "march to the beat of my own drum," as you put it. I also have had trouble making friends; no matter far back I go, or how old I get, this never seems to change. On the surface, I may be the classmate who can engage in amicable social interactions to some degree, but my interpersonal skills are cut short there....anyone who expects anymore from me usually ends up disappointed.

The part where you stated the fact that you are good at school while your friends aren't really resonated with me. Indeed, I've always felt (whether correctly or incorrectly, I'm not sure) that the difference in academic prowess (or in devotion to academics) kind of creates a barrier between many of my school acquaintences and I, since I don't have a "social life" outside of school and piano practise. To others, I must seem like an isolated hermit. [Smile] Besides being able to totally relate to the "smart girl and nothing but" perception, I'm quite well-known in my school for my eccentricity and obsessiveness with anything under the category of "arts". [Razz]

I also have but one best friend, with whom I interact solely in school. She invited me numerous times to her house, along with her other friends, but I always shy away....I can't stand the idea of hanging out with a group of people I barely know for some reason. It is definately true, for me, that she is my only real friend in the world. Like yourself, I also feel that I have to "share her" with others, since she is somewhat of an extrovert and manages to make friends left and right, an ability that I am often amazed at. [Smile]

Alas, I cannot talk to her about many things either, since she is very strongly opinionated on many sensitive issues and isn't prone to discussion, to the point where I sometimes feel that I don't fully understand her in the first place. Which is very sad. I don't even think I deserve the title of "best friend". [Frown]

I'm quite glad, though, to know that I'm not alone in feeling lost. [Smile] And you're definately not alone either. ^.^

I'd love to exchange some "intellectual" jargon anytime. >.<

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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moonlight bouncing off water
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I'm having trouble formulating a response to this, but I wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your response.

This "best friend" that I have is now someone who I've grown apart from, and recently began to be quite annoyed by due to her generally apathetic views on the world, her lack of drive to do, well, anything and some things I learned about her past behaviour. She's someone who's been a good friend, and is still a friend, but she is certainly no best friend anymore. I guess that makes me best-friendless, but I've been in that position too often for that to really get me down.

Since I last posted on this topic, I've been to a friend's house once for a get together with a couple of friends. The night wasn't super fun as it was spent in it's entirety playing a video game in which I had little interest (as is the case with all videogames). None the less it was nice to get out of my pattern of not doing anything with friends. I also have someone coming over to my house for a brief period of time to complete the write up for a chem lab. Sure, it isn't a break through in my social awkwardness, but it is certainly something.

As per exchanging intellectual jargon, I'd be glad to. Although I've realised as of late that most of the time that my friends tell me that my answer is too smart I'm genuinely being an *** and trying to rub my intellect in their faces in some way to compensate for feeling inadequate. If that makes any sense. I'd say it's typical inferiority complex. And it has helped my to stop and think, is it really necessary to take this moment and incorporate an achievement or obscure tidbit of knowledge, if it means that I have to go out of my way to do so? The answer is usually no because incorporating this info doesn't actually help me, only make me seem like a smart *** and a snob.

And I can't help but feel like a snob when I do stuff like the above, because well, I am being one. I feel sometimes like all my worth is my intelligence and then I feel inadequate because, though I often do tremendously well in school, I'm far from being a genius. I'm just good coping with the limited approach to teaching that we are presented with every day. There are lots of people who are smarter, much smarter than me, though it pains me to think about it. And I know that there are lots of people who are smarter than me who would perform worse on certain tests than me, but they are still smarter. Intelligence is relative and I feel, inadequate sometimes.

On the whole though, I think and hope that I am doing well. I'm always concerned that there is something wrong with me, I wouldn't know if something wasn't as it "should" be, since I feel the way I feel. Or something like that.

I'm not sure all of that made much sense, but it does feel good to get some of the things that have been rattling around in my head, out.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Sans
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Hey Moonlight [Smile]
Glad to hear from you
I was afraid that, since it had been a month, it might've been a little late but it looks like I wasn't too untimely after all. [Smile]

Before I respond to your post, I just wanted to apologize beforehand if I made any generalizations or misinterpreted anything which you stated above. I think I got a bit carried away at the time I found this thread, since I was so elated to read about someone whose experiences appear to be so very similiar to my own that I dived in without a second thought. I guess part of it stems from the loneliness of having no one around me at the moment with whom I can talk about these things, maybe? ^^""

And don't worry, everything you said made perfect sense. [Smile]

I've also grown apart from my best friend with every day that passes, although it's for the complete opposite reason; I've been annoyed by her extreme close-mindedness and unwillingness to consider or think about anything that she happens to disagree with. Don't get me wrong; I love it when folks are strongly convicted about an issue and are up for some passionate debate, but there is no leeway with someone who is perpetually convinced that she is always right. I've tried to bring up some topics of interest in order to discuss them with her before, but I've felt nothing but exasperation and just gave up after a while.....

Regarding your experience playing videogames at a get-together with friends: I haven't played videogames with friends before, but I'm not interested in them either. [Smile]

On the other hand, I consider most of the time I spend with my so-called friends to be quite awkward and not fun at all. For one, a lot of my friends are taking International Baccalaureate (I don't know if you have heard of it before, it's similiar to Advanced Placement or Gifted) which I, too, had taken but later dropped out of. When they get together, the majority of the conversation tends to revolve around IB, the courses, the teachers, etc. Since I am no longer in the program, I have only a very minimal understanding of the discussion and am unable to participate. This leads to me feeling extremely out of place, awkward, as if I should be somewhere else, anywhere else. [Frown]

Also, I feel the same way pertaining to what you said about being intellectual, smart, etc. A lot of the times, when acquaintances ask me about my interests, what I like to read, etc. they are usually taken aback by my subsequent reply because, well.....many of them consider it unusual (some even go so far as to consider it unhealthy) for a person my age to love Classical music, Shakespeare (cheers for Henry the VI! My favourite history play!), and to not watch TV. I personally don't see anything wrong with all of the above due to the fact that different people are interested and sparked by different things (and as a result choose to spend their time with what they like), but most of those with whom I've interacted with seem to share a completely opposite opinion. I am labeled as being "weird," "crazy," "socially inept", "The Loner," "smart-and-nothing-but," and "Really Really Weird" (how's that different from weird? Beats me). O.o

So, the point of the extensively drawn-out rant is that I understand what I think you're conveying, and you're DEFINITELY NOT a ***. Since I genuinely don't believe, based on what you've stated so far, that you showcase your knowledge for the purpose of making others feel inferior to you, there is no reason for you to feel like a snob. This is also due to the fact that a snob is someone who is purposely condescending to those who don't share the same opinion or taste regarding something (issue, field, etc.); you don't sound condescending or disdainful to me, you sound like someone who just wants to be able to engage in a conversation about subjects that you like and care about (e.g. school). So, no. I don't think that you're a snob.

Given the above definition of "snob" (which I verified from the Oxford dictionary just to make sure I'm providing accurate info), your preoccupation with your intelligence is not a characteristic that categorizes you as one. And, also, I can totally relate to what you said about "coping with the limited approach to teaching that we are presented with everyday" because it summarizes my school experience wonderfully. I don't consider myself intelligent in any conventional sense; I simply recognize that I have the skills to adapt to my school environment and excel in it, even in courses that I am naturally weak at.

Again, based on what you said in this post and in your initial one, you definitely haven't done anything that would warrant such a negative response from your "friends", especially one that draws on misconcieved stereotypes. I think that friends, true friends, that is, who care for you, would do their best to support you in pursuing, studying, and talking about whatever it is you are interested in, even if they themselves don't know much about it. They would make time to listen to your concerns, even if they can't relate to it. The "friends" you associate with right now sound very uncaring to me; not only do they not possess the slightest care for your interests and concerns, they demean you because of them in an attempt, perhaps, to assuage their own insecurities, as you said. Due to my aforestated deductions, I wouldn't consider the opinions of individuals like that to be something that you should get worked up about.
So, please, be yourself and ignore the meaningless verbal jabs of others. [Smile]

I vehemently disagree with your belief that your intelligence is your only redeeming point. From what I've seen here at Scarleteen alone, you seem to be a person who is very emphathetic, compassionate, and sensitive to the needs of others. I beg of you to think much more highly of yourself, for you deserve it. [Smile]

I would say more, but I have this thing where sometimes I would press the wrong key on my keyboard, and my message would be lost. So I'm going to hurry up and post this before anything slips up. [Smile]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Oh don't worry, you didn't make any generalizations or assumptions beyond what one might assume based on the limited scope of what one can gather from written text alone. [Smile]

And what I meant by being a snob and the intellectual stuff is that I do it and I know that I do. I say things not because they are relevant but because they will show that I know things. To be sure there are also times where I simply state things and have them be read as wordy or intellectual when my actual attempt is to just state what I feel or think. And that is pretty darn annoying.

As per these friends, everyone is flawed. I know that a lot of what they say and do can be hurtful, but still I stay with them as friends.

And thank you for stating that my intelligence is not my only redeeming point, though I know it is not, it is hard to feel that it is not. It is great to hear (or rather read) someone else say it. [Smile]

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Sans
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I'm glad that it didn't come across to you as being generalizations or assumptions, although I think that it could've because written text, presented alone, can be so easily misunderstood. [Smile]

Anyways, back to what we were discussing. Even after being enlightened with your clarification regarding the reasons for your feeling snobbish, I still don't quite agree with the fact that you are a snob. Why? I will explain in the following paragraphs.

For one, if I'm (hearing) reading you correctly, you appear to highly value your intelligence and, yet, at the same time, you are insecure when comparing your intelligence with those whom you percieve to be "more intelligent." You also stated in the previous post that you sometimes think that your intelligence is the sole factor that defines your worth. If that is true, then is it possible that you may be projecting the aforementioned belief when you interact with others?

Your affirmation in the latest post that it is difficult to persuade yourself that you have other redeeming qualities can be seen as a supporting point for my deduction. From how I see it, if you believe and feel that your intelligence defines you with conviction, then that belief might become evident to others around you. When you converse, as you implied in your first post, you feel as if you have very little in common with your friends, thus leading to feelings of inadequacy on your part, if my interpretation of your sentiments is correct. Since your intelligence, as I percieve based on what I've read so far, is the only quality within you that gives you a feeling of adequacy and worth, it is what you fall back upon in social situations, even when it may be seen as "unnecessary" or "uncalled for". I think that people like to talk and act in ways that make them feel comfortable in their own skin, so to speak (and I don't think that's wrong in any way). And due to the fact that you appear to be comfortable in your intelligence, your intelligence is what you project. To others, it might come across as being snobbish. But, if you see it this way, it's really not. Based on my reasoning, do you see perhaps why I don't agree with your belief that you are snobbish?

Following my train of thought: what I believe might improve your image of yourself is if you think about your other qualities that are excellent, besides your intelligence, because you, as a person, should not be comprised of your intelligence alone (as admirable as your intelligence might be). You don't have to relate to people and yourself solely through your intelligence, because you have so much more to offer, and so do they. (For starters, I left you something in the "Go on, fish for a compliment section". I don't know if you have seen it.)

I apologize for my presumption, or if I come across as "playing therapist" in some way. Feel free to ignore my long-winded post if it's far-fetched, or a jumble of words that you can't relate to at all. [Wink]

And your welcome. [Wink] I'll say it again: I don't think that your intelligence is your only redeeming point, although it is certainly an appreciable quality. [Smile]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Jill2000Plus
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quote:
Originally posted by SansNom:
Also, I feel the same way pertaining to what you said about being intellectual, smart, etc. A lot of the times, when acquaintances ask me about my interests, what I like to read, etc. they are usually taken aback by my subsequent reply because, well.....many of them consider it unusual (some even go so far as to consider it unhealthy) for a person my age to love Classical music, Shakespeare (cheers for Henry the VI! My favourite history play!), and to not watch TV. I personally don't see anything wrong with all of the above due to the fact that different people are interested and sparked by different things (and as a result choose to spend their time with what they like), but most of those with whom I've interacted with seem to share a completely opposite opinion. I am labeled as being "weird," "crazy," "socially inept", "The Loner," "smart-and-nothing-but," and "Really Really Weird" (how's that different from weird? Beats me). O.o...

...And, also, I can totally relate to what you said about "coping with the limited approach to teaching that we are presented with everyday" because it summarizes my school experience wonderfully. I don't consider myself intelligent in any conventional sense; I simply recognize that I have the skills to adapt to my school environment and excel in it, even in courses that I am naturally weak at.

To the first paragraph: THANKYOU. The amount of grief I get for my geeky interests (lots of animation and comics), I get so sick of people who can't seem to accept that not everyone has the same hobbies or finds the same things interesting, when I was a kid I had my more contemporary geeky hobbies alongside my liking for some of the stuff that adults love kids to be interested in because it means they're "cultured/intelligent" and so the other kids thought I was a nerd and a snob and the adults clearly disapproved of my animation and comics otakudom. It's always nice to meet someone who doesn't believe there's something wrong with me because I'd rather read a manga than one of those books that Alice doesn't like that don't have any pictures, or because I'd rather watch an anime than CSI or Eastenders or Top Gear (or much of the sampling of foreign live action drama that I've seen on BBC4, seriously, The Killing has such a boring translation for the subtitles (or maybe the dialogue really is that dull?), however Spiral/Engrenages was pretty good, and while it totally falls into the critic bait!-because-it's-respectable/serious/arthousy/independent category through no fault of it's own, I liked that korean drama they showed about the two sisters who go to live with their aunt, hate that italian detective series they're showing though, it's crudely exaggerated, and I don't know why they won't show Fullmetal Alchemist or The Tatami Galaxy). I accept that there's nothing wrong with you for liking what you like, so thanks for showing me the same courtesy, because it's disappointingly rare.

Edit: Just to be clear, this was not me ranting about people who like the stuff I don't like and being all "look how alternative I am", I'm not having a go at people who like police procedural shows or soaps or shows about cars/sports, I was just making a point about how people have differing tastes and that is not a problem, in fact part of my point (though it didn't come across very well) is that I enjoy a mixture of stuff that is percieved as "highbrow" and "lowbrow" and people often either assume that I'm a pretentious snob or that I'm stupid and "childish" (hate that ageist term), depending on their own biases and other assumptions.

To the second paragraph: I really identify with that, because I spend a lot of time wondering what my strengths and weaknesses are, what kinds of intelligence I have. I constantly worry about losing skills and abilities I have, like I'm going to stop being capable of all the things I've esteemed myself for being good at. I don't define my worth through my usefulness or my supposed genetic talents, but I wish I could figure out a way to stop sort of panicking and feeling like I'm discarding knowledge in order to stop being bullied by my brain (I have intrusive thoughts), sort of like throwing out the baby with the bathwater? I know this isn't exactly what you're dealing with, but I guess I'm explaining my experience of defining my worth by my abilities and of trying to understand them and retain and develop them even as I understand that they don't define my worth, because they are still useful and/or rewarding/enjoyable.

Incidentally, of the fraction of Shakespeare's works that I've read/seen, my favourites are Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth. I keep meaning to watch more of Akira Kurosawa's films based on some of his works, and I have visited The Globe 3 times, I saw AMND and really enjoyed it, and I left in the middle of the other two, one because they were talking too quickly and quietly and the other because it was The Taming of the Shrew, and that thing is cringe-inducingly sexist. I'd kind of like to find out about what differences there are between Shakespeare's historical plays and what actually happened, I probably know some of it (I live in the u.k.), but brushing up on my knowledge would be interesting.

[ 02-19-2012, 05:08 PM: Message edited by: Jill2000Plus ]

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Thank you SansNom,I really feel like you've summed up a lot of things that I've been trying to put into words, really well. And it does come across like you're playing therapist, but it is really helpful so don't worry [Smile] .

I think part of the issue with me leaning on my intelligence in social situations is that I do it, even when I have no clue what I'm talking about, if it seems like I would know more than the others in the situation. So then if I turn out to be wrong about whatever I say, I come out of the situation feeling really stupid and really embarrassed.

Since posting this and realizing that I use my intelligence as a crutch, I've tried to stop doing it so much (but I by no means act dumb, or at least I try not to) and it has helped quite a bit.

Another thing that I do sometimes, that is going to seem in complete contrast to everything that I have said before, is I act stupid. I act like I don't know something and pretend that I'm stupid in essence. Or I'll intentionally say the wrong thing, or I'll ask a question I know the answer to. I'm not really sure why I do this although I suspect that it is motivated by the same feelings of inadequacy that I feel when I act smart. I guess that it's like, if I act stupid, then I know that I'm so much smarter than how I'm acting, so what happens in whatever situation I'm in, doesn't really have any bearing on how I really am. (NOTE: I would never do this on a test, this is something that I do in social situations). I guess it's like, if I don't really try and I fail, then it's not really a failure, I could have succeeded, but I didn't try my hardest and so I failed. It's that but with a social twist I guess. I didn't perform at my intelligence level, so if I make an arse of myself or in some way fail at the social situation, it doesn't really mean I've failed I guess.

I just feel so pathetic sometimes. I feel like everybody else has it all figured out and I'm the only one struggling. I feel like I'm the outcast, like I'm anathema to the world. My brain tells me that this isn't true, but my instinct says it is.

PS, I'm not depressed, I don't think. I'm not always sad (although when I start to think about this stuff I sure do get pretty darn sad). I have a really great family (mostly my immediate family, the extended family is great too, but I not as close). There's lots of things that I'd love to be able to talk to my family about, but that I don't because I put up a wall and simply don't feel like I can talk to them about it. But they're really great and I can talk to them comfortably, just not about the stuff I'd really like to talk about.

Not sure how much sense that made.

Thank you for your help with this, it is very much appreciated [Smile] .

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Sans
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Hey Moonlight [Smile]

Glad that my spiel has been helpful [Smile]
Thanks for the compliments, they brought a smile to my face as I was reading your post [Wink]

Part of the reason why I find that I can relate to you so much is that, a few years ago, I had acted and felt in a similiar way to what I believe you described. Except for my intelligence and factual/philosophical knowledge, I had no other means of relating to people. When my friends were engaged in heated discussions about a popular movie star/pop star/model/facebook etc., I would interrupt, untimely, and ask for the discussion to be diverted to a topic that I found interesting in my monthly issue of National Geographic. *sweatdrop*

Needless to say, no one felt closer to me for that. [Frown]

I don't believe that you are pathetic at all. Quite the contrary. When I first found your thread, I got so excited that I couldn't stop myself from replying ASAP on the spot. XD

I also don't believe that any of us have gotten ourselves all figured out (if anyone has, feel free to let me know!), and, therefore, there's no reason for you to feel bad because of that. I think that the mystery and anticipation that comes with not knowing all there is to know about ourselves is what makes life fun, since it's a continous journey of discovery. XD

I, for one, prefer a fair dose of adventure. If it helps to know, I struggle with certain aspects of myself ALL THE TIME. [Smile] But often I can look back later, and understand my struggles in their rightful context. My weaknesses, mistakes, and struggles doesn't reflect upon me as a person (they just make me human, that's all, and not a being who's got everything together). Everyone has weaknesses, and make mistakes, and struggle with things.

You mention that you feel like an outcast; by whose standards, may I ask? Just because you may not identify as being "normal" (which is a VERY relative term) in comparison with your friends doesn't mean that someone else will think the same way about you. [Smile] From what I believe you have conveyed, I see many qualities of myself in you, and many qualities that I'd love to see in a friend (for one, I enjoy a good discussion/debate! And from what it seems to me, so do you). If you are an outcast (which is also a VERY relative term), then so am I, and so are many other people who can't seem to fit in neatly into the general status quo! (For me, at least, I don't WANT to fit in because I believe that I am special and deserve my own category [Smile] ). To me, there is nothing wrong with you! In my opinion, your struggles do not take away from you as a person, contrary to what you appear to believe about yourself. Sure, it might not seem that way right now, but just know that there are plenty of people who go through struggles as well (including me!), plenty of people who question themselves, and plenty of folks who might think that they won't find someone who will accept them and like them for who they are, but who end up finding that person anyway, even if it's over the Internet. ;P

Hehe. [Wink]
I also vehemently disagree with your belief that you are an anathema (someone detested/loathed, someone who is a curse, if I understood you correctly). May I ask you why you used that particular word to describe yourself?

(Meh. I originally planned to post a short, sweet reply, since all my previous posts were so long, but I ended up playing therapist again.)

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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naplement
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I have also been in a similar situation once, altrough I was more lonely... So, if you want feedback about how this seems from the point of view who is working on similar problems on her therapy, there's my 2 cents:

-depression =/= being explicitly sad all the time, just to know

-sociologically, you might have exceptional interests in that school, so some of that feeling-out maybe IS realistic, but this is a good thing in the long therm, because then there is a hope to mingle with more like-minded people of your own choosing at college and later, without the limitations of school

-the social anxiety you describe sounds serious, and you said that you use the intellect to protect yourself, as if there wasn't anything lovable besides the intelligence -> this sounds like lack of self-esteem - if there is any possibility to see a counselor, use it

-I did spent some years of my life trying to be friends with people with whom I haven't had much in common besides the fact that they tolerated me, now I have some relationships based on that we actually think of the other that they are awesome, these are not very dep relationships, but they are still so much easier and more satisfying - don't lower your expectations and lose hope

-a common method of self-protection when anxious is to belittle the people we are afraid of ("I don't want your approval anyway, your opinion doesn't count"), at least in my case it's clear that the more in peace with myself I were, the easier I could accept diversity in others.

-a good exercise is to think about what other people might like in each other or what you lie in them, and what they can like in you - if there is a double standard, it's an other sign that something isn't working well.

I hop I didn't dump too much things on your head. Good luck!

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Okay, first off, SansNom, yeah, about using the word anathema, that was kind of a silly use of the word and I mostly used it because, well, I'm actually not sure. I guess it's like I like the feel of a word and I adopt it and mould its definition to fit what I want to say or something. And while I do feel detested and loathed quite often, I'm getting better and it was probably pretty stupid to use that word.

Oh and to note on the enjoying a good discussion or debate, I love it! There was a class I wanted to drop (actually, the one I'm writing that essay in) but as soon as the teacher mentioned debates (plus an essay on anything I wanted) I knew there was no way I could drop it.

As per feeling like an outcast, I don't know I guess by my standards.

From the outside I know that I probably look (or rather I appear to the observer) like I'm fine. I'm involved in lots of extracurriculars, I'm the president of a club, I do really well in school and I actually have someone to talk to in every class this semester! But on the inside I'm not so good all the time.

Today was actually a really great day! I got lots of things done and I had a friend come over to work on a project together. I was really comfortable having her over, because there's not really much that can go awry socially when working on a project. It was pretty fun and even though we didn't have any time to actually hang out, I liked it. We shared some laughs and it was fun.

Naplement, you've hit the nail on the head with a lot of that (and um ,I guess that's a weird saying, what I mean is that you're very right about a lot of the things you said).

I always look forward to meeting like-minded friends in University, but i also fear that I won't. But at the same time I don't want to always be living in the future. I want to enjoy the present.

I most certainly have a low self esteem. This is going to sound stupid but I feel like it's my fault that I have a low self esteem. I remember not having low self esteem and telling myself that I should and then feeling bad that I had good self esteem. I know that is really stupid. And I feel like that made me start thinking negatively and have bad self esteem or something like that. I dunno, I don't think that I actually ever sat down and said that I wanted to have bad self esteem, but I feel like I made it be that way none the less.

Would you mind expanding on what you mean when you say social anxiety?

I feel afraid a lot of the time and I try really hard to work on it but I still feel afraid.

I feel like because I'm not in some full blown crisis that I must be okay, that the way I'm feeling doesn't warrant attention I guess.

As per a counselor, I'd love to be able to talk to one, but I'm afraid of telling my parents I want to. I guess that when I want to talk to a counsellor bad enough, I'll make it happen. I know that I would actually be able to talk to a counsellor for the same reasons I can pour my heart out here on Scarleteen: feeling safe, knowing what I said would have no bearing on my life outside that situation, and being able to walk away from the situation and not have it affect the other parts of my life (or not much anyway).

FYI I feel like everything I've written above is going to come across as some much worse that it really is.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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naplement
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oh, don't fall in the recursive guilt about having low self-esteem! [Smile] Before getting help, I thought that I can explain my problems in two ways, supposing that they are biologic and there is no hope, or by my own fault,which means that I must get guilty. But there are much more useful and realistic theories out there. A metaphor I like is seeing myself as a snail who had grew a thick and strangely-shaped house,because that was the most logical thing to do when I was little (and I might have misinterpreted some things, but I couldn't know better). For a period, my strange house was just what I needed. But my situation has changed, and right now it's an unnecessary weight and limitation, so I am trying to rebuild it.

Noone wants to have a low self-esteem, but not everyone has the conditions and support to develop a healthy one. And it's not about blaming your parents, either: even if we leave on side the influence of the rest of the world on you, and focus just on them (and I don't know them), it's perfectly possible for them to be perfectly good-willing and doing the best they could... and it still not being enough. Also, there are random factors like birth order and the time/day they have to work etc, they didn't have the power to control everything.

I don't try to convince you that you have Serious Problems, it just seems like you would be ashamed of having any, so I try to help with the shame part, but it is not a campaign for making your problems look bigger, either.

Also, if you can't resolve your own problems, it's nothing to blame you for, your possibilities are limited by having them, I salute the people that can, but don't feel guilty.

You said that you have a good relationship with your family, so I'd like to ask, could you ask for more support from them? or just more of their time, for spending more time together, because if I understand correctly, you can be at ease with them? There is this idea that teens should spend all their time with their peers and wanting to be with family is not that cool, but you probably will leave the household soon anyway, so if you feel good in their company, you could use this occasion to the max? (keeping in mind, of course, that this doesn't mean a defeat, and you do have all the chances to have more non-family friends in the rest of your life.)

I am, again, throwing stuff in your general direction, maybe some of it will stick by coincidence.

(also, you caught me at "social anxiety", I was just trying to make it sound more serious, without knowing anything about what this phrase means for a professional, sorry. )

[ 02-21-2012, 01:16 AM: Message edited by: naplement ]

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moonlight bouncing off water
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I love spending time with my family and I do every chance I get, but between my parents work schedules and my homework there isn't as much family time as I would like. And it never feels like defeat to spend time with my family, they are the people I care the most about and that I like spending time with the most. As per asking my family for more support, I don't really know how I would do that (ie what I would say). I put up lots of walls and there is certain stuff I won't talk to anyone about, no matter what. I don't know why.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Jill2000Plus
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quote:
Originally posted by naplement:
oh, don't fall in the recursive guilt about having low self-esteem! [Smile] Before getting help, I thought that I can explain my problems in two ways, supposing that they are biologic and there is no hope, or by my own fault,which means that I must get guilty.

This is something I've really struggled with, I've had a similar feedback loop for years:

Why haven't you accomplished X (and Y and Z) yet? Is it because you can't (which means you should give up hope because there is no chance of accomplishing it), or because you aren't trying hard enough (which means it's your fault and you should feel bad)?

Arrgh! Dratted brainworms! (Like earworms, but depressing and anxiety inducing on top of being annoying).

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moonlight bouncing off water
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So now my circle of friends is starting to split in two. I can see a huge fight, a schism, a split, on the horizon. And I don't know what to do. (ps, sorry about the swearing, there's a few words that I have put *** in for some of the letters, but I just thought that it was better to keep those words in since they the most sense in context, please, if is too vulgar, I'm welcome to editing it out)

So, C has told me in the past that R (that sort of best friend from prior posts) told her something horrible and insensitive after her mother (C's mother) died 4 years ago, which basically amounted to R telling C that she had no right to be sad or depressed since her mother had died. What R said is absolutely atrocious and it makes me really question her value as a person. BUT C could have lied, and told me that for whatever reason, but I don't think it likely. Also, even if R said that, one moment isn't necessarily the defining moment of one's life or character as a person. But at the same time, that moment could indicate if someone is a truly atrocious person. Since that incident, C says that she has had a very low tolerance for R. That is totally understandable, but sometimes C is just downright awful to R. I find myself being rude to R as well. R can sometimes be annoying, but she's well intentioned enough and I feel bad about being rude or mean to her. But at the same time I feel like, if what C said that R said is true, that R really doesn't ever deserve the benefit of the doubt, ever.

C can be a really, really mean person. Not only is she rude to R but she is rude to just about everyone. She's one of those aggressively apathetic people who's basic stance on life is "I hate people" and who doesn't aspire to anything in life beyond getting by. Yet at the same time, she is my friend and we have had some good times, but it is really hard to just cut a friend out of one's life, even if she is a b**ch, since I have friends who she is remaining friends with. And since some stupid part of me likes her despite all this and wants desperately to be accepted by her, it makes it even harder.

C and another friend, G are best friends. As of late they have been spending more and more time together.

G finds another friend, the last to complete this horrid friendship pentagon, L to be annoying and self absorbed. L is in G's words "a camera wh**e" and I cannot say that I disagree that, at least in the past, she has been annoyingly attention hogging. But at the same time, she is really nice, and isn't too bad about that anymore, I don't think.

Sometimes, too, the romantic relationships people are in just make me want to stay away from them. L is not too bad about talking about her BF, nor is G. Both of them have BFs outside of school who have already graduated, and their BFs don't really add any complication factors to the issues described herein. R on the other hand is in a relatively new relationship (maybe 2 months at the most)and it is her first relationship. And she almost never stops talking about her boyfriend! It just gets really annoying and I really don't want to talk about him. It doesn't help that I really don't like her boyfriend. Also, R's boyfriend is C's ex. C's very new boyfriend (2 weeks maybe) is someone who seemed nice enough at first, but now just seems vulgar, clingy and downright creepy. I just don't feel comfortable being around him. But C is very apathetic about her relationship, not really paying attention to her BF. But he follows her around like a lost puppy. I can't stand being around him anymore.

I feel like, around L, I can be very honest, and very open. I feel like she is the person in this group with with I identify the most. R was my best friend for the better part of the last 4 or 5 months, and she is very nice and well intentioned for the most part. But she can be annoying and close minded. G was my best friend in grade 10, and she and I were really close. But lately her attitude is just too much to handle. She is very strongly opinionated and just doesn't get that not everyone agrees with her, and that she's not always right. And C, well I'd be happy to stop being around C, but that's really not possible.

You see, myself along with everyone everyone of my friends mentioned above, plus C's boyfriend, are in a Dramatic Arts Class together. Due to the nature of the class, we are in groups together very often. Also, I have another class with G and C. They are my only friends in the class, and I don't want to be friendless in the class.

C and G like to take the lead, put all of us in a group (except C's boyfriend) and decide what we're doing. R and L have noticed it and it is really getting on their nerves, and it is bothering me too. L is being sort of resistant to their "lead" while R and I are being apathetic and basically accepting what they tell us to do. Part of why I'm doing this is because I've never taken this class before, but my friends have taken two classes that lead up to this before, so when I got in there I just sort of wanted to see how the class goes and get my bearings before I was, well more self sufficient. But now I feel like crap about it.

R and L were talking to me about this today at lunch (C and G do not eat lunch, or eat it where they aren't supposed to) and I could tell that pretty soon a fight between the two emerging factions is going to ensue. (An emotional battle as it were, not a fist fight). They were asking me how much input I was having into the decisions that G and C were making on the behalf of all of us, and I was ashamed to say that I had none at all. I feel like I need to pick a side, but I don't want to. Picking a side will occur if I remain complacent and obey the orders of G and C, or if I stand up with R and L and say 'Hey, these decisions affect us and I want a say in them!'

I just don't know what to do. Thank you to anyone who actually managed to read all that, and I hope it made sense.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Sans
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Hey, Moonlight [Smile]

Wow, this friends situation appears to be pretty complicated from what I read!

Unfortunately I, due to my self-percieved lack of interpersonal skill at the moment, cannot think of any potential solution to help with this conflict that arose, my apologies. [Frown] BUT, I just wanted to say that it doesn't sound too pleasant to have to choose sides, to either remain "complacent", as you put it, or to speak up and get your two cents in. Having other people make decisions on your behalf like C and G is doing also does not sound like a cool place to be in.

Btw, in your Dramatic Arts class, you mentioned that C and G are your only friends. Have you tried to form groups with other people, or have you found that impractical at best?

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Actually, in my Dramatic Arts Class, all of the people listed above, and a few more are my friends. It is a different class altogether that has only C and G in it, and that they are my only friends in it.

But as if this doesn't just make it even more complicated, today it was like nothing had even happened! Tomorrow is the last day before we have a week long break from school, so I think, given how today went, that a huge blow up is less likely, though it's kind of like a small dose of antibiotics has been given to a disease and it will assuage it temporarily, that is, it seems like this problem will fester.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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teller of tales
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Hey Moonlight,

maybe I can help out a bit. First let me say that I feel you. This situation sounds terrible even if it has calmed down for a bit. I don't like conflict much, but simmering resentment seems even worse.
Interpersonal relations (and the necessary skills to manage them) didn't come to me naturally - this is why I started to read this thread in the first place. My situation at school was pretty similar to yours, friendless for the longest time, hard time making friends (and keeping them), the perpetual outcast (book-loving introvert characterizes me just nicely) and so on. Even now that I'm at university with a couple of close friends, I sometimes still feel like a child in terms of social skills - I'm still trying to figure out how everything works and you know what? That's okay. I don't have to know or understand everything right away, I can make mistakes and most importantly I can be my strange self that still loves to be on my own for days on end (or not, if I so prefer).
I hope links are okay, because I'd like to point you in the direction of CaptainAwkwards advice column that deals with all the weird, lovely or worrying things that happen in everyday interaction between mammals of the human persuasion. http://captainawkward.com/2011/12/19/question-153-how-do-i-make-and-keep-friends/ Her credo (and mine too) - use your words! I know as a self-professed overly self-reliant person that it is hard (and scary) to ask for help. To have a good hard look at your insecurities is not for everyone and you've already shown here, that you are more than capable of it so you can add (if you like) brave, curious and awesome to your assets. Because you are.
Now back to the friend situation - maybe you'll find that some of the following apply also to your circle of friends http://www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html.
What would you like to happen right now? You said you felt like you had to choose, but you seem to want to stay out of this (correct me if I'm wrong) - so ideally, how do you see this resolve in a way that helps you stay connected to the other parties involved?

Well, I hope this is helpful in some way.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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quote:
Originally posted by teller of tales:
book-loving introvert characterizes me just nicely

Oh I love that! If you don't mind me saying so, that actually describes me pretty darn well too!

quote:
Originally posted by teller of tales:
I don't like conflict much, but simmering resentment seems even worse.

That's exactly what seems to be happening. Another instance of this too is that pretty much everyone (except perhaps, L) seems to be pretty disapproving of R's relationship. I agree with them, as I said above: he's all she talks about and they're intense yet detached in a bizarre, annoying way. But regardless of how I feel, it's one more thing to keep tabs on, to listen to people complain about and to stress over.

quote:
Originally posted by teller of tales:
I know as a self-professed overly self-reliant person that it is hard (and scary) to ask for help. To have a good hard look at your insecurities is not for everyone and you've already shown here, that you are more than capable of it so you can add (if you like) brave, curious and awesome to your assets. Because you are.

Thank you so much. That made me smile so much when I read that.

quote:
Originally posted by teller of tales:

What would you like to happen right now? You said you felt like you had to choose, but you seem to want to stay out of this (correct me if I'm wrong) - so ideally, how do you see this resolve in a way that helps you stay connected to the other parties involved?

You're correct, but the thing is, I don't see how this can be resolved and still have me be connected to them. I'm sort of caught in the middle by the sheer nature of the situation and I have to pick a side (and doing nothing whatsoever would ultimately just result in picking a side anyway).

I feel like alliances are shifting everyday and everything is completely unpredictable.


I guess I can't really know until the next week is over, since we have a week long break next week.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Redskies
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Hi, Moonlight.

Personally, I can't abide this kind of political stuff in relationships and friendships. I really, really don't like it, and I don't think I can actually Do it, either. So that's where I'm coming at this from, and maybe that makes me completely not the right person to help you right now.

What really strikes me as I read all this is that you seem really bothered by your position in a situation that seems mostly created and controlled by other people. You seem really unhappy and uncomfortable with it, yet you're going along with it in your mind - at least in your writing here - as if there isn't any framework for this other than the complex politics run by others.

I'd suggest stepping right back from this mire of sides and alliances and who-said-whats, and thinking about what You want. Think about what your priorities are. They could be anything - a friendship with one particular person, something you want to do, a particular way you choose to live your life, a particular way you want your relationships to be, a particular kind of person you want to be or not be or trait you want to have or not have. For some people, "not rocking the boat" would be one of their priorities - but I think it's much better that that's an active decision than a default position.

Sometimes, in a situation like this, one person refusing to operate within the politics of it can diffuse the situation. Not always, but sometimes.

Have any of the rest of you tried voicing your ideas and opinions to the people who usually make the decisions? Sometimes these things can just get established as a pattern. For example, if you have an idea for a drama thing, you could just share it, and not give two hoots about who usually makes the decisions and who's unhappy about that - just say what you want to say, do what you want to do, and take it from there according to how people react.

In terms of "who-said-what", personally, I'd back well away from that one, as it seems impossible to make an educated guess, as it's impossible to know if anyone is remembering correctly or has a reason to lie.

If you had a class without any friends in, that wouldn't be So bad, would it? It's not fun, sure, but it's do-able?

I guess I'm saying, don't "pick a side". Say what you want to the person you want, when you want (given that your wants are reasonable and in usual acceptable bounds of human interaction [Smile] ) Sometimes people don't grasp it at first, but usually, people who are decent people and want to be our friend will accept that this is how we're operating and begin to have a friendship with us more on those terms. If they can't, are they actually rewarding to be friends with?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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teller of tales
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I'll just second everything Redskies wrote. The last paragraph is gold.
People who like you and want to be your friends? They are not going to resent you if you back away because you don't want to get caught in this mess you didn't create in the first place. You get to draw you boundaries wherever you want and need them.

You can apply this for example to the complaints concerning R's relationship. You can tell them e.g. that you'd rather speak about something else, change the topic or even walk away. You don't have to stick around and bite your tongue.
Unless you have legitimate reasons to fear for R's safety it is/doesn't have to be any of your concern (you referring to you personally and your friends). You also get to tell R that you can't listen to any more talk about the boyfriend.

That said I'm also wary of anything resembling hierarchies in friendships. It's usually a sign that something is off. There shouldn't be one person/a few (especially among peers) who somehow manage matters that concern the whole of the group.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Thank you Redskies and teller of tales, you've both given me a lot to think about, so I will most certainly give a more in-depth response later, but I wanted to let you know that I'd read both of your posts and that I really appreciate what you're saying there.

quote:
Originally posted by Redskies:
What really strikes me as I read all this is that you seem really bothered by your position in a situation that seems mostly created and controlled by other people. You seem really unhappy and uncomfortable with it, yet you're going along with it in your mind - at least in your writing here - as if there isn't any framework for this other than the complex politics run by others.

Exactly. But I really feel like I can't escape it because it will affect me in the drama class.


quote:
Originally posted by Redskies:
I'd suggest stepping right back from this mire of sides and alliances and who-said-whats, and thinking about what You want. Think about what your priorities are. They could be anything - a friendship with one particular person, something you want to do, a particular way you choose to live your life, a particular way you want your relationships to be, a particular kind of person you want to be or not be or trait you want to have or not have. For some people, "not rocking the boat" would be one of their priorities - but I think it's much better that that's an active decision than a default position.

You're absolutely right, I need to figure out what I want. I really don't know what it is that I want. I'm going to do a lot of thinking about that, I'm glad that I've got this week before school starts up again to get this all figured out.

I am so deeply entrenched in this that it seems like I can't step away, but I guess, when I think about it, that is possible. I associated with a group of people in grade nine that I really didn't like, and that I was very bored in, but I took charge and stopped associating with them and I am so happy that I did. I think that I really need to stop getting wound up in what other think about me and start caring about more important things. And I think that if someone is talking about something that I don't want to hear, and they don't stop when I ask, I'll just get up and say something like "Well, bye, I really don't want to deal with someone else's shit". Or maybe something a wee bit more constructive.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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polyprotic
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(I'd just like to say how awesome this thread is. This is such a rarely open and honest discussion on an issue that I'm sure is very close to home for a lot of young people.

I have also been having some self-esteem issues revolving around my lack of social skills. This thread reminds me (and I'm sure many others here) that I'm not alone in this.

Although my social situation has gotten a lot better in my past two years in college, it is something I struggle with. I met many more "outcasts" here and have formed lasting friendships with some of them, but I continue to feel alienated sometimes.

The good news is that I think by examining our past mistakes and the circumstances we can't change right now, we grow in our capacity to do things differently (and maybe better) in the future. By reading your posts, I am also reminded that maturing socially is a process rather than a punctuated equilibrium.

A big thumbs up to you guys, and I would be honored to have friends like any of you!

P.S. Moonlight, if you have any questions about university social life, please don't hesitate to ask as the time draws nearer)

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