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Why do we self-isolate?
#1
For those of us who actually isolate ourselves by not attending things, or just dropping out of touch and not maintaining relationships with people, I'm curious to know why others do it?

For me, it often comes down to the fact that after 35 years of living, there are just not a ton of people left who I feel uplifted around or supported by.  Also, if the social gathering in question involves lots of people, I find it to be really difficult to have the kind of interactions with people I find valuable.  You see a lot of people, but don't get time to really connect with them, because there's a lot of "mingling" happening and so the conversation is just relegated to small talk, which I am not a fan on.  I have one BFF who is an amazing human being.  We GET each other, I think is what it really is.  She is also a "lone wolf" who wants to be "alone together."  Same with my husband.  I have a couple more people who live far away from me, but we are close and if we got together one-on-one it would be meaningful.  I like interesting, detailed conversations.  So I know in my intro post I lamented that I haven't been invited to the "townie reunion" which is a bunch of my high school friends getting together for dinner and drinks around the holidays.  Well, I probably don't get invited anymore because eventually I stopped going.  Which is totally my fault for isolating myself. 

So, why do other self-isolators isolate themselves?
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#2
For me it's the fact that whenever I've tried to amend my social situation by attempting to make friends, it always resulted in pain, frustration and disappointment. When I focus on accepting myself as a loner I actually start to feel better about myself.
'When the pack rejects their weakest member, he learns to adapt and to find his own way.  He is the lone wolf.'
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#3
(12-24-2018, 06:58 PM)hewhowalksalone Wrote: For me it's the fact that whenever I've tried to amend my social situation by attempting to make friends, it always resulted in pain, frustration and disappointment. When I focus on accepting myself as a loner I actually start to feel better about myself.

That is a valid point. Fair weather friends are way more common than true friends who will actually care about you as a person. I have had to filter through a lot of fair weather friendships. Friendships are very conditional, of course, but it seems like fairweather friendships hinge upon both "friends" being very performative. If performing social rituals doesn't come easily to you (like it doesn't for me), those relationships are fairly transient. I think that's why I have like 2 friends left from my younger years. So be it, I'd rather have two quality friendships than a bunch of fair weather friends any day!
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#4
I don't isolate myself anymore. I did it in my teenage years, primarily cause I felt unwelcomed pretty much everywhere. I tryed to come to the latino American dance class party, cause I wanted desperately to try and socialize. It was awful, one of the worst experiences of my life.

Now I'm isolated cause people don't really invite me anymore. So I decided to be the one who organise things. So far I have organized 3 dinners, which had a good success and I'm looking to built a good social circle. Somehow D:
"The journey never ends"
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#5
I just figured out another reason I self isolate (speaking more about friends than family). It's to protect me from rejection and hurt. I have experienced social rejection quite a bit for most of my life, despite going through a bit of a social phase during high school and college (mostly because of the extracurricular activities I was in - the other misfits in those would gravitate towards one another). I misread people and am terrible at performing social rituals. So many friendships I thought were going to grow turned out to be superficial, transient ones. Why emotionally invest if people are just going to forget about me? Emotionally investing myself in another person is something that's very laborious and exhausting for me, so I only want to do it for very exceptional people who are going to be my real friend. I'm very sensitive to the rejection because the emotional investment eats up a lot of my bandwidth, so it's quite difficult for me to just "brush it off." As I get older, I find I want to take that risk less and less. I understand the importance of community and having a support network, but I'm finding that I lack the energy to put myself through the trail and error of it all.

There's another aspect to my aversion in terms of making new friends: the fact that highly emotionally dysfunctional people tend to be attracted to me as a friend candidate. I had to end a rather long friendship (which went back to middle school) in my 20's. The long and short of it was what started off as a bond between two misfits ended in me having to completely go no contact because she demanded my time and emotional energy at all times, including late into the night, and would essentially stalk me if I was unavailable at any given time. Her methods of getting attention and sympathy from people escalated over the years. It was an entirely one-sided relationship with her taking and me giving. It was a difficult and painful decision to make, and she made sure to punish me for it. It was the right decision, and now my hackles are raised in terms of fending off that personality type. I may even be hypersensitive and sense red flags that aren't even there, perhaps, but I can't go through another nightmare like that with a friendship ever again.

(12-25-2018, 01:58 AM)Unix Wrote: I don't isolate myself anymore. I did it in my teenage years, primarily cause I felt unwelcomed pretty much everywhere. I tryed to come to the latino American dance class party, cause I wanted desperately to try and socialize. It was awful, one of the worst experiences of my life.

Now I'm isolated cause people don't really invite me anymore. So I decided to be the one who organise things. So far I have organized 3 dinners, which had a good success and I'm looking to built a good social circle. Somehow D:

It's a process! Smile I hope you are able to build some solid friendships!
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#6
I isolate because a lot of people are dicks and/or a waste of time. Honestly, it's done me more good than harm. Got my family and the few friends I really want. The rest, well...good luck in your future endeavours lol.
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#7
When it comes to physically going places, if I feel I have nothing to offer I just don't go. If I should go, then I tell myself excuses such as "there's going to be someone who would like you to buy a meal" or something. Just an incentive. I seem to spend a lot of money based on my feelings lol.

When it comes to internet relationships... People come and go, and I just don't attach much anymore. I can go weeks without contact from someone, and I don't get worried about their well being. And I tend to expect the same from the people who are in contact with me. If I don't have it in me to offer anything, I won't offer anything. Screen life isn't worth the heavy attachment I used to give to it.
"You are as you are until you are not"

[Image: CooperativeWigglyArieltoucan-max-1mb.gif]
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#8
Hi Amy

I get what you're saying about attaching. I think I've invested a lot of time into it in the past only to be let down. I've always felt like my relationships have been one sided with me doing all the giving and it's exhausting  Toungue
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#9
You're all cool, though Smile
'When the pack rejects their weakest member, he learns to adapt and to find his own way.  He is the lone wolf.'
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#10
I think for me it came about largely because I retreated to a bed following a heart attack and chronic depression and generalised anxiety. The fatigue is now terrible, just doing basic tasks takes everything I’ve got.

But I think say 5 years before that I probably lost faith in people, I had a good career and some good times (money) up until I was say 40 years old. But when the bad times roled, I don’t think people were interested or there for me.

But at a top level, I don’t think people like me, I’ve never really had friends and often the relationship with my family has been strained. I just don’t think I’m a likeable person. At best ‘marmite’.
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