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Am I better off alone? Reaching out to people who don't reach back.
#1
Long time no talk. I really think I need to start visiting this forum more frequently. I've been dealing with depression due to loneliness. Long story short, I do not have many friends. I have a small circle of about 6 people I talk to on the phone, three of which are family members. One of the persons I called my best friend - I cut off a few weeks ago. I just realized I was being used and his negative attitude was rubbing off on me. I am starting to become very upset as I see I am always the one getting in touch with people first or calling and checking on them. I am starting to wonder why I even have a phone because only about 10 people have my number and of the 10, only 3 call.  When I was working, I made it a goal to make some new friends. I made friends with 2 of my coworkers that I trusted, one of which I was close to. However, I don't hear from either one of them now that we don't work together anymore and both of them have my number. When I do call, the conversations are always short.

I get that people have their own lives. I get that. I know no one has to be my friend. I'm not trying to sound whiny. All I'm saying is it would be nice for someone to check on me or just have a small conversation with me. I keep a lot of things to myself because I truly have no one I can talk to. I deleted my Facebook account for these same reasons and the fact it was expediting my depression. I really sometimes feel like an outcast and that people won't miss me until I'm gone. All I have is my daughter but she is only 3 so I cannot tell her the things I feel. Why are real, true friends so hard to come by nowadays? I am tired of putting effort into my friendships and not getting any effort in return.
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#2
I see what you mean. It ain't easy or fair. Out of my few acquaintances that are not from here, I got one that is the first to talk every now and then, who however disappears some periods every now and then. Always equally happy to hear from people, and I know they got their own lives which must seem more interesting to them. However, I still hope some day someone would show up that I could consider a close friend. I have never had any, unless I count mother Big Grin

Don't give up ^_^
Are you sure we're on the right way, Yoda?
Off course, we are.

The snow angel was imperfect but so is everyone. It was there, and that is what matters. Maybe someone would see it, and smile.
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#3
I'll share a part of my story with you. Right now all of my friends are people I've met online, and are people I only get to see and speak with through voice or video chats. Right now I have 6 people I truly call my friends, 3 from here and the other 3 from a gaming site I used to use a lot (though actually one of the ones from here I met on that gaming site, so I guess it would technically be 2 from here and 4 from that gaming site). Outside of the internet I have no one to call a friend anymore. I used to have 3 people I thought were close friends, people I had known for at least 15 years, but for whatever reason we just grew apart. One of them I haven't seen or heard from in I would say 2 years now, another I haven't heard from since June (and before that it had been a year since we spoke), and the other I do talk with rarely but not nearly like we used to.

I've honestly got to the point where I don't even try to make friends anymore. I just can't seem to keep friends, and I just can't seem to make them anymore so it seems pointless to try. I'm sure my depression scares a lot of people away, and it seems like the only ones willing to be friends either deal with it now or have dealt with it in the past. I mean I would love to offer my friendship to everyone I see, and honestly I was doing that for a while I was just giving out my Skype ID to anyone willing to chat, but lately I don't bother and I even removed my Skype ID and email from being public here since it doesn't seem to matter anyway. I won't send PMs or reply to anyone anymore with the intention of trying to become friends, because lately it just doesn't happen so I just gave up.

So don't feel bad, you definitely aren't the only one. In the past I would have offered to try becoming friends with you, but like I said I just basically gave up on meeting new people. You can message me if you want, I don't mind.
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#4
I had a "best friend" for about ten years (we met at work). Even after we stopped working together, we still saw each other pretty often. She moved to Florida and the calls (or returned calls) became more and more infrequent. Finally, about three years ago, I just stopped calling/emailing. It bothered me, but it's not like we suddenly stopped talking, so it wasn't that bothersome. She'd changed cell carriers and moved so the only way I could contact her was via email.
Well, out of the blue, about three months ago, she called me. I was like...wtf?
We talked for a bit but so much had changed, and I really had no interest in telling her about the last three years of my life. I let her talk about her life for a while and then she said to email or call her (she gave me her new number). I emailed her a couple of days later. That was two months ago. Nothing from her. I have to say it bugs me more to have wasted my time emailing her than it did when she dropped off the face of the Earth. I know she leads a busy life and it's OK that she doesn't have time to keep up with someone in a different state. I've had times in my life where I couldn't keep up with all the demands for my time, especially once I had my daughter. I don't get mad at people like that anymore. In fact I'm happy not to have to be the one always having to make the effort.
It sucks to lose friends, but I'm not so sure it's always a bad thing I guess.
“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
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#5
Gemmy I really hope you can find someone you can trust in your life. Your child deserves that. I can't find much helpful advice but keep banging your head against that wall I'm sure you will get something positive in the end.
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#6
Honestly, i don't know what the "secret sauce" is in that regard. I have a lot of acquaintances but i don't seem to know how to go from that to a true friend. You can try to be different. Happy, outgoing, bubbly, friendly, etc, but there are simply some people who attract people and some don't. I would love to have a big gaggle of friends but I live a much more quiet life. I have learned to be OK with that. And, that i don't need to put myself out there all the time only to get smacked down.
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#7
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Honestly, just from reading your posts, I really just need to learn to accept that it's ok for me to be to myself. I think reaching out is just making me feel more lonely. At this point, I'm probably just gonna stop. I'm almost 24 years old and I'm still learning that people just come and go. It sucks but it's life I guess.
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#8
I feel a bit similar. A few years ago I had about 30 friends in real life and about 90 facebook friends.  But over the last few years I have been scaling them back and though on the one hand I feel like it is a good thing, on the other, I get scared there is something wrong with me and I will find myself in bad situations.

  • At work an event happened where I was shocked to find that people I thought were friends... were not. I cut them out of my life. Then, I started noticing how others used me in similar ways. I cut them out of my life. Soon, I sat in my office alone all day and hardly talked to anyone. And there was loneliness in that I felt bored and wishing for someone do do things with but then, I also felt better. I didn't have to worry about opening my mouth to the wrong person. Didn't have to listen to people "weigh" me down with what was bothering them.  Secretely I feel so much better -- but also worried that maybe someday I will need people. 

  • At home I had a close group of friends on an internet message board. I thought they were my friends but the election happened and it became obvious that they were just looking for their opportunity for me to stop contributing. But beyond that… I just realized how little respect I have for them. Maybe I have changed but I just feel like I hang with them out of habit. I haven’t talked to them in 30 days. A poster who almost never posted before has talked EVERY SINGLE DAY… and I just feel like there is no point talking to them anymore. 

I feel like I should be more concerned about the fact that I have zero friends or support at work or out of it. That I want to withdraw from basically everyone. But I also feel like I am just legitimately surrounded by people that aren't worthy of my spending my time with and if it means not having friends... that is what it means. 
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#9
I've sometimes had the same problem and I think it comes down to numbers. Trying different people until you find the ones who can be more than just a fair-weather friend or an acquaintance, or those who are more motivated to go and do an activity together. No amount of attention will turn someone who's just not that invested into a best friend, but as long as you're not falling into that trap I think you're good.

I agree that life consumes people at times and if there's something keeping people together, outside of the place they work, the place they live, the ways they communicate... maybe it will last longer. Even my friendship of 10 years tapered off eventually due to my depression and our physical distance, and how much our lifestyles changed before and after college.

When I was depressed, what was there to talk about really? I couldn't feel much of anything. By the time it lifted we'd been living apart for years with a different circle of friends (or lack thereof) and different goals in life. I miss her a lot, though.

But I also think people tend to get settled into social groups as they get older so it's just more difficult to find someone. At 17, all people focus on is school, friends, dating. When you're in your 20's and up you're competing with full-time jobs and children for time and attention in many cases.
A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.
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#10
It seems like nowadays many people tend to pull away if they think of you as socially desperate. Don't ask me the definition of that term, but I herd it years ago when a girl was describing another girl who she claimed was calling her all the time. I am sure you have not been calling people all the time, so please don't think I am referring to you by saying what some people may be thinking. The other part of reality, and you have nothing to do with it (plus I don't know your friends), is that lifestyles have become so insanely busy and people are so sick of being pulled in every possible direction, that they find it nearly impossible to get any time for themselves and so they just stop communicating any more. This has been largely blamed on social media and the internet overall and I have seen it in my own life quite a bit. I have found that if I stop keeping count on how often I reach out to my friends versus how often they reach out to me, I am still able to enjoy the friendships, and I accept that the time they give me is what they can currently afford to give me. Just like you have done, I may disconnect myself from a person who chooses to constantly complain without taking any action to change their life.
Being somewhat secluded has its benefits. You become more independent. At the same time, it does not prevent you from being able to call the right person when you need help. Being with your own self allows you to learn things you have never learned before and use your time to your own advantage. And time is our most valuable asset as we can never ever get it back. I assure you that you will be able to start a spontaneous friendship along the way. And you checking on your friends only tells me that you care for them.
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