Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
PandaPrincess

Feeling Alone

Recommended Posts

PandaPrincess

Do you ever just feel alone even when you are surrounded by people and have friends?  I have more friends than I did 4-5 years ago, but I still feel alone.  I compare my friendships with other people's friendships, and it seems like other people are closer to each other than I am to my friends.  I really don't understand how that happens, but it feels lonely.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Peridot

I don't think there's a real escape from it. It's just the way life is. I think a lot of people are kind of "mindless" and they make a lot of noise and to them life "just makes sense" and everything is to be taken for granted. If you're like that then you're going to be acting a certain way but if you're an actual person with feelings and thoughts and opinions then life tends to be a certain way where you feel and think all sorts of things and it's not necessarily easy. I don't have any "friends" at the moment meaning I have zero companions. I work alone and I live alone but I don't feel isolated. If I were to spend time with people I'm not supposed to be with I would feel lost and alone like in a desert far from home. If I was to spend time with people I am supposed to spend time with I'd be more balanced but that "being alone" would still be there. Life works a certain way and it's just the way it is.

Here's a good song... Nevermind the ultra long, 20+ second intro and gaming footage.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nesf

Yes, and I've always felt that way. I can't connect and tap into a friend group, and I don't fit in. It's like I'm behind a glass wall. People connect by sharing emotions. When they talk, they aren't just communicating in words, but also in emotions, and they use both verbal and non-verbal language to do so. I'm receptive only the the words and get little of this emotional to and fro, so for me, It's just like watching TV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sanctuary
54 minutes ago, Nesf said:

Yes, and I've always felt that way. I can't connect and tap into a friend group, and I don't fit in. It's like I'm behind a glass wall. People connect by sharing emotions. When they talk, they aren't just communicating in words, but also in emotions, and they use both verbal and non-verbal language to do so. I'm receptive only the the words and get little of this emotional to and fro, so for me, It's just like watching TV.

That's very well-put Nesf and I feel very similar. It's possible to be with two or more people, to get on well with them but always sense the others have a stronger connection to each other and so to some degree one remains an outsider. As you say most (neurotypical) people seem to make this emotional, non-verbal connection. It's like they are on one wavelength and we are on a different one - both valid but not compatible with each other. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willow

Sometimes I feel like I am close to people, but then something will happen and I realise that maybe they've just been tolerating certain parts of me and I wonder how close I really am to them. And that can make me feel alone :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HalfFull
12 hours ago, Nesf said:

I'm receptive only the the words and get little of this emotional to and fro, so for me, It's just like watching TV.

I love the watching TV analogy. I can connect to some extent in some friendship groups I'm in, but you've just reminded me of one of my lunchbreaks at a work placement I started last week. About 3 women came to sit at the table I'd chosen. They all chatted among themselves but not to me. I think the one opposite me looked at me a couple of times when speaking maybe trying to include me, but they were talking shop and I couldn't relate, so I really did feel like an observer, as if it was "Bring your child to work day". There might as well have been a glass screen there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RiRi

I feel like an outcast when I'm surrounded by people I don't know but when I'm surrounded by my closest family members, I don't feel that much of an outcast. 

If it was like an Asperclick meet-up, I'd probably feel like an outcast. Heck, even when I was in a chat that @Willow hosted, I kind of felt like an outcast when I was there. I actually felt like a total outcast when I first entered because no one said hi. I had to actually say hi first for people to notice me and some members totally ignored me. But, I'm through with seeming like I'm a normal person so sometimes I rather people don't talk to me. But the irony, they start talking to me. :wacko: 

Edited by RiRi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sanctuary

I've certainly been at many social events where I've been sat with people and barely said a word and barely had anyone speak to me or even seem to acknowledge my presence. It's almost like becoming part of the furniture. Sometimes I chip in a comment or am briefly drawn into the conversation but mostly these are very awkward events and I can't wait to go home. In part this is my own social reticence - not just anxiety but perhaps giving the impression that i don't really want to be there and therefore not making an effort to get involved. More socially confident or motivated people also sometimes find themselves in these kinds of situations but present themselves differently. They are more adept at slipping themselves into the conversation but even if they don't speak much they are better at showing non-verbally that they are part of the interaction - they clearly seem to be listening, they're nodding or otherwise acknowledging others' comments and this can also mean they're more likely to be invited into the conversation. I suppose my presence at many events is rather inert and inactive and in those circumstances it's easy to blend into the background and become a "non-person".  I do feel that when someone is a newcomer to a group or organisation (as HalfFull mentioned above) the established members should make more effort to engage and make welcome the new person - that person may still choose to take a low profile but it's important to try to draw them in. It's an irony that supposedly socially-skilled people will often ignore newcomers, perhaps so confident in their social status and existing groups that they feel no need to reach out to others.

I think it may have been Peridot sometime ago who likened himself (and maybe others with ASD) to extras in a movie. We are often the ones who just seem to be part of the scenery or crowd whose words and personality can be overlooked. Among friends or acquaintances our status rises to bit-part actors or even to "supporting actor" but rarely do we become the stars or even "central performers".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nesf

Another barrier I have to participating in group conversations is that I don't process fast enough. I'm always a second or so behind everyone else and by the time I have taken in what they are saying and thought of a response, someone else has already responded and I miss the opportunity. If I wait for a gap, that gap never comes, the conversation moves on and I don't get to speak. Or sometimes, I start to say something at the same time as someone else starts to speak, and the group all listen to them and not to me. I feel like I don't have a voice. I also have the issue that my mind wanders and I find it hard to keep myself engaged and listening to the conversation. If it's not on a topic that interests me, I get bored very quickly and my mind wanders.

1 hour ago, Sanctuary said:

I do feel that when someone is a newcomer to a group or organisation (as HalfFull mentioned above) the established members should make more effort to engage and make welcome the new person - that person may still choose to take a low profile but it's important to try to draw them in. It's an irony that supposedly socially-skilled people will often ignore newcomers, perhaps so confident in their social status and existing groups that they feel no need to reach out to others.

This is partly a cultural thing - in some countries I have been in, they really make the effort to draw new people into the conversation, but in other countries they make little or no effort. Here, it is up to you to join in and nobody will ever make the effort to include you. It means that newcomers or shy people often find it hard to join in and can feel excluded. In some ways it's better, because I find it hard work, tiring and awkward to converse, it's a huge effort, both because I'm speaking a foreign language and because of my Asperger's. Someone trying to be polite by including me or engaging me in the conversation by asking me lots of questions about myself or small talk is very difficult for me, I actually prefer to be left alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sanctuary
2 hours ago, Nesf said:

Another barrier I have to participating in group conversations is that I don't process fast enough. I'm always a second or so behind everyone else and by the time I have taken in what they are saying and thought of a response, someone else has already responded and I miss the opportunity. If I wait for a gap, that gap never comes, the conversation moves on and I don't get to speak. Or sometimes, I start to say something at the same time as someone else starts to speak, and the group all listen to them and not to me. I feel like I don't have a voice. I also have the issue that my mind wanders and I find it hard to keep myself engaged and listening to the conversation. If it's not on a topic that interests me, I get bored very quickly and my mind wanders.

This is partly a cultural thing - in some countries I have been in, they really make the effort to draw new people into the conversation, but in other countries they make little or no effort. Here, it is up to you to join in and nobody will ever make the effort to include you. It means that newcomers or shy people often find it hard to join in and can feel excluded. In some ways it's better, because I find it hard work, tiring and awkward to converse, it's a huge effort, both because I'm speaking a foreign language and because of my Asperger's. Someone trying to be polite by including me or engaging me in the conversation by asking me lots of questions about myself or small talk is very difficult for me, I actually prefer to be left alone.

That's a very good point about processing time. It's harder for people with ASD to respond quickly in conversations or to respond to oral questions so the opportunity to contribute might be lost. Another possibility though is that the person with ASD (or social anxiety) is too anxious to contribute and makes a weak or poorly-considered contribution. Sometimes it's better to keep silent or sparingly contribute to avoid this problem. I would also say (at the risk of seeming pompous) that a lot of social conversation seems banal to me and makes me reluctant to contribute. It also often covers topics of which I have little experience or interest although they are fascinating to others.

You're right that being invited into a conversation can be a double-edged sword. Sometimes we'd rather just sit on the sidelines or not be there at all. However on occasion we are looking for an opportunity to get involved and that invitation is welcomed. It's a social skill to recognise when someone might welcome being drawn into an encounter or conversation and when they'd rather not get involved - it's a difficult skill but on the whole I welcome someone who shows that sensitivity to reach out to others and break out of the social "bubble" that some groups become. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.