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user 190653

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May 11, 2023
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I just wanted to share some of my experiences, or rather problems with socializing, even if it doesn't include solutions someone may have experienced something similar and may feel less alone.

I have all but given up on love on dating and pen pal apps, so the last few days I have tried to just make friends on those apps, updating my profiles accordingly, but I realised 90% of people say that but really want a relationship. It all ended when someone who expressly stated they just wanted to chat and wasn't interested in a relationship, ghosted me when they found out I live too far away 😪 Once again the words that I wrote with such care fell to the ground empty. I'm so tired of the bs.

Anyway, after abandoning the sinking ship that is my attempt at digital connection, I tried to go out in my area and meet people, or at least get exposure to real interaction, even just by being out there.

As a result of my distaste of people I find myself in a rural setting, 40km/25miles from the nearest town. I stay in a wood cabin on a large farm and there is no one else around, except for the occasional monkey that climbs on the roof, but that is the wrong kind of primate.

So I thought I would go to a restaurant in town and have breakfast, just to get the ball rolling. Problem was when I arrived the place was packed, and I experienced alot of anxiety, so I just sat outside in my truck for a while, then drove all the way back home empty handed (empty stomached?).

I have experienced similar situations before, and strangely it's better if I arrive early, and more and more people arrive over time. That is normally the only way I can eat at a restaurant. Somehow walking into a crowded place is just impossible.

So today I tried something a therapist recommended a few years ago. I pretended I was an actor, playing the role of a very confident and attractive man that goes to a restaurant where he has a lovely time.

I arrived in town at about noon and there were already many people in the restaurant. I sat in my car again, looking at the people through the window; they seemed so carefree and happy. So I just forced myself to play the best actor role, and somehow it worked. I got out of my car and walked straight to the entrance. My posture was good, no slouching like usual, and I kept my sunglasses on (Normally I take them off if people are around, remembering my mom's words "don't try and be cool"). So as I arrived at the entrance one of the waitresses stepped forward. I took my shades off and gave a movie star smile in one smooth motion. She smiled back and took me to one of the few open tables. The place was crowded but I kept up the act, smiling and even making eye contact with anyone that looked at me.

So I (fake me?) had a lovely meal, even a drink. Normally I struggle to eat in a crowded place but my movie star persona just loved the setting. I asked for the bill, and as the waitress left she turned around and asked why I was so quiet, which I found slightly strange. After she came back, I payed, and was surprised when she wrote her number on the receipt with a small heart. She left and when I stood up the man at the table across the isle smiled at me and said: "I think she likes you". I just frowned. Immediately the movie star spirit left my body, like a demon being exorcized in a movie, and only a trembling weakling remained. I immediately felt overwhelmed, feeling everyone was looking at me, and the feeling pulled at my stomach bending my spine, turning my Hollywood posture into that of Quasimodo. I just looked down and walked/lurched out. I forgot the receipt.

I find it all so tiring. As I'm writing this, I'm laying alone in bed, no I love you's on the phone, no numbers to dial, no one to hold or miss, just regret, listening to the Jackals howling outside, like they are just waiting for me to give up completely. I realise its all my fault; I have brought me here. This begs the question: Is this just who I am? And then: Should I make peace, or fight me?
If you just want some friends, why not try gaming? Speaking from experience, it's the easiest thing to make friends if you play certain online games regularly. Eventually, it just happens. Even if you're not a particularly extroverted person, you don't have to look no one in the eyes, you don't have to expose yourself in any way. I've made dozens of friends this way along the years, some with which I still speak to this day.
Go back to the diner and get that number back.

Don't go there to eat. Just walk in, look for her. If you don't see her, say, "is so and so here?" And if she isn't, leave your number with a coworker. And if she is, tell her, "I'm extremely shy and was so overwhelmed by my bill the other day, that I forgot my receipt. Do you have another copy?" (we are stating plainly, while also, making light of the situation, for brevity (it eases tension and saves face for both parties)).

If she pulls a, 'too late chump, you had your chance.' Well, then you'll be where you are right now, perhaps with one less unforgiving person in your life; at ALL.

If it goes well. You may not be so lonely. And you can figure out love and war and such..

I'm sorry I can't let you off the hook for losing a number like that. Remediate the setback, if you can, and if not, after trying, then you can ruminate.

Good luck.

I can't say I'm not equally foolish in my own ways; but, man..

side note: also, she may not know the reason why her gesture seemed to have gone ignored. She may feel just as crummy as you, thinking she was rejected. Even if it doesn't pan out, at least you can explain, so she knows.

All your therapist did was give you a fancy, 'fake it till you make it;' a caring suggestion. You did all that. You won't be a movie star over-night. And you might never be. And _that_ may be the very reason she gave you the number in the first place. Because you _are_ who you are; not because of why you erroneously spend so much time thinking, _you aren't_.

We die to our yesterday-self every day, and wake up a new person. Tommorow-man never comes. He's always right HERE.

Whether you make peace or war, don't matter. Peace rarely ever is to be had, and when it is, it's never long enough. And fighting is the struggle to live. We struggle to live the life, we know we need to make peace with, because it's temporary. The trick is balancing those two forces. That's why people do silly things like see gurus, go to church, and do P90 workouts, hot yoga, therapy, whatever...

Okay, thnx for reading. Good luck! Quit thinking about these words, and start taking action.
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Pretending to be something you are not is not only tiring, but will inevitably blow up in your face in one way or another. You can, however, improve on who you are. Become the person you want to be. Learn to recognise your faults and work on bettering yourself. You can learn confidence building skills, listening & comprehension skills, reading body language (not 100% exact science), coping skills, and so many other things that help you better understand your own psyche, that over time make it much more easier for you to better negotiate various social interactions. We aren't born with these skills, but learn them in a myriad of ways, each person at a different pace, so it's totally understandable that some people are better at socialising than others - but we can all learn to be better at interacting with others and forming relationships. The question is, how prepared are you to put in the effort to better yourself and your situation?

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