Feeling a bit disconnected

disconnectedA lot of things have changed over the past couple of years and I’ve gained a lot of self acceptance. But even though I’ve started to see my introversion as a strength, there are still times when I struggle with wanting to be different. This past weekend triggered this feeling a few times.

I went on a weekend camping trip with a few friends and acquaintances. During the trip, I was able to reconnect with an old friend I hadn’t seen in about a year. We spent a few hours catching up. During our conversation, she updated me on some of our mutual friends. One of my friends had just gotten engaged. Another had moved to Australia for work. I wasn’t aware any of this had happened and I started to wonder if I should be doing more texting/emailing in order to stay current. Some of my friends are constantly texting, which is probably why they know so much about everyone.

On the last day, a small group of people went kayaking. My friend was invited but I wasn’t. I would have loved to go kayaking, but because they didn’t invite me, nor did they give an open invitation to everyone, I didn’t say anything. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me. But it does hurt when I’m overlooked for an event I’ve already expressed interest in. Sometimes I will invite myself, but most of the time I’ll let it slide.

Finding the balance between being social and getting the necessary alone time is hard. I want to do things with people, just not all the time. In a perfect world, I’d have invitations to everything, then get to choose which activities to show up for. In real life, things are different. If I decline an invitation, I get invited to things less often, even after I’ve explained myself. Or I’ll be invited at the last minute when I already have plans for the day.

I know I need to speak up more and be more open with people. But at the same time, I refuse to be that pushy person who invites themselves to everything. I’m still working to find a balance.

Have you had similar experiences? Do you have any tips or insight?

Image credit: “talking while walking” by micagoto is licensed under CC by 2.0

 

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16 thoughts on “Feeling a bit disconnected

  1. Warrior Freya says:

    I wish had words of inspiration, but this is something I still struggle with. Firstly, because my group of friends is still extremely small compared to what it used to be, which is saying a lot since as an introvert it was pretty tiny to begin with. I’ve been trying to branch out and establish a new social circle, so currently I don’t really have anyone to invite me out to things.

    The closest would be my roommates when they’re playing games, and I don’t feel bad about declining their invitation, or telling one of them to hand over the controller when they lose. They’re pretty introverted themselves so they don’t mind when I say no, and they are more than willing to include me when I feel up for it. In fact they most likely prefer it when I don’t play because I kick everyone’s ass at Soul Caliber, but I digress.

    When I was going through college I missed out on a lot of ‘group events’ because no one ever invited me. It was always after the fact when asked, “Why didn’t you go?” that I had to explain that I was never given an invitation, or in some cases never even knew about the event.

    The chances of me saying ‘no’ were pretty high, but it hurt to not feel included with my peers. It would have been nice to know that people still thought of me and wanted to give me that .0000009% chance to be social. Maybe that’s selfish and unfair of me, because when I say no I’m sure it feels like rejection.

    “Hey, hang out with me because I like you and I think you’re cool.”
    “Um… naw. I’m going to hide under a rock because that sounds like more fun.”

    As introverts we get it, and know it’s not personal. Most of the population doesn’t understand the need for space though, and it feels personal when I pass over chances to be social. And no matter who you are, rejection sucks. So I understand why invitations come less and less.

    That hurt / rejected feeling is even worse for me when I feel disconnected and try to reach out to people, and they have plans or turn me down. It’s like soul crushing rejection for me, which I know it shouldn’t be, and from a logical standpoint understanding my initial response is purely emotional and irrational helps later on. But in the moment, if I’m detached I’m most likely already fighting with depression and am looking for help and support. Being turned away makes it that much harder for me.

    When I ask for something it’s normally my way of screaming out at the top of my lungs, “Hey there’s a problem. Please help. SOS.”

    In this regard I have learned that being more up front and less subtle tends to work.

    “Hey, I’m feeling sort of down and need some company. Would you be up for hanging out or grabbing food with me?”

    It lets them know it’s not a standard social call and that I’m in legitimate need of contact. There are very few people I feel comfortable enough to say something like that too, but the ones I do understand what I’m asking for, and if they can’t hang out right then we’re normally able to arrange something for later, and that gives me something to hold on to and fight back the detachment and alienation.

    It is a balancing act, and it’s one that I don’t think can ever really be mastered. All situations are different, and we all need different things at different times, so there’s never going to be a cookie cutter solution. What I have found is that having people who genuinely understand me, and being direct / honest with them, helps. It’s still rough sometimes, but it’s been better for me now than it was in high school and through college, and I think it’s better mostly because of the people I choose to be my friends, and the way I have learned to interact with them.

    That makes my circle pretty small, but it’s a dependable circle and I know that I can turn to them without judgment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      Thank you for the encouragement. I’ve been working to slowly expand my social circle, which is where my problems start haha. Thank you for sharing your perspective and some of your own experiences. They mirror so many of my own and I’m grateful for your response.

      I think you’re right. There will never be single solution, but rather the solution will differ depending on the situation. I have a small circle of friends who really understand me and what I need. But when I venture outside of that circle, things become more challenging. I guess I’ll just keep on moving forward!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mm172001 says:

    I’m with you on the open invites, I do have a friend that does almost always open invites with no expectation. But unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world and people don’t understand that just because we like to be alone doesn’t mean we want to be alone all the time and stop inviting us, we have feelings too

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sepultura13 says:

    Most of the time it doesn’t bother me. But it does hurt when I’m overlooked for an event I’ve already expressed interest in. Sometimes I will invite myself, but most of the time I’ll let it slide.

    Finding the balance between being social and getting the necessary alone time is hard. I want to do things with people, just not all the time. In a perfect world, I’d have invitations to everything, then get to choose which activities to show up for. In real life, things are different. If I decline an invitation, I get invited to things less often, even after I’ve explained myself. Or I’ll be invited at the last minute when I already have plans for the day.

    I know I need to speak up more and be more open with people. But at the same time, I refuse to be that pushy person who invites themselves to everything.

    I know the feeling…it was especially difficult when starting a new job, for me. I wanted to socialize with my new work-mates, but I had the added inconvenience of not having my own vehicle. Trying to make it to events was difficult enough, but appearing as if I were begging my co-workers for a ride home would add to my anxiety. People always *seemed* to be understanding of my situation at the time, but…the reality was always different.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I feel the same way. Only after I’ve gotten to know someone well, do I feel comfortable asking them for favours/rides/etc. Otherwise I feel as if I’m imposing. Personally, I don’t mind being the one driving people around, but it definitely takes more time/effort. And unfortunately, a lot of people get irritated/annoyed by this, when the person asking for a ride already feels awkward.

      Like

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