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Only Connect - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
Only Connect
Spent an ...interesting weekend about as deep in the Slough of Despond as I've been in a couple of years. I could expound at incoherent length, but it all kind of boils down to the revelation I had at the deli counter that my life is a party where I don't know anybody.

So, glorious Imaginary Internet Friends, how does one do all that heavy lifting of connecting with people IRL, and staying connected over time without letting yourself drift away out of a fundamental sense of being a basically uninteresting person whom nobody seems to want to stay connected to? Because I must have been out sick the day they explained that in school, god damn it...

feeling: morose morose

12 responses | moved to respond?
atlanticat From: atlanticat Date: May 19th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
I put in only the most limited effort at remaining connected to people, primarily via LJ, and assume that most people don't care and don't want to see me much of the time anyway. Then I'm less disappointed when my personal view happens to match reality.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: May 20th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
LOL, the ironic part is that you're actually one of the people I'm doing the best job of keeping up with right now... ;)
ladymajor From: ladymajor Date: May 19th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
God. I don't fucking know. Fundamental mystery of my life, frankly. I guess I mostly just spend a lot of time shouting down that voice in my head and trying to enjoy the people I'm with when I'm with them and remind myself that it isn't all about me. And trying very, very hard to remember that this feeling comes and goes based on the chemicals in my brain, and that sometimes it's OK to withdraw and be quieter than usual. Also, encourage the people in your life to connect with you in the cyber way as well as in real life. It helps.

I hug you.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: May 20th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Heh, "quieter than usual" for me would be invisibility... {sigh}
whitecrow0 From: whitecrow0 Date: May 19th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
I have the same trouble.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: May 20th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
'S the Human Condition, I guess. I think we're all of us hanging around online like this in the first place because the traditional social outlets are broken nearly past repair by now...
whitecrow0 From: whitecrow0 Date: May 20th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Definitely seconded; LJ is pretty much my social life. It became impossible to find new friends I really felt comfortable with after we all separated after college. (I've found a few in OKC in recent years, but I still don't see them often).
ashnistrike From: ashnistrike Date: May 20th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
I'm not very good at it because when I'm not working my first instinct is to recoup introvert energy, but every once in a while I just go ahead and call people. People are rarely upset by being called out of the blue by an old friend, or even just an acquaintance who's not trying to sell them something.

My long-term friends tend to be people who don't assume I no longer like them just because I haven't called in a while.

BTW, are you coming to Wiscon this year? (Cons are another good way for me, because I can do a lot of lifting in a spurt, and then crash for a couple days.)
robling_t From: robling_t Date: May 20th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Oh, lordy, I completely fail at Phone even when I have to call people, it's some sort of phobia I've never been able to figure out or shake. (I think a big part of my overall problem is that I'm actually a natural extrovert who's been conditioned to fear people... but that's a whole other 3am drunk-post about my nonstandard childhood for you.) I never even had this much of a social life until this whole asynchronous-communications medium came along...

And alas, no, budget wasn't there for WisCon this year either, and I think that had a certain amount to do with the Black Dog Du Jour, in that it hits both my "social life" and my professional aspirations to have this feeling that here I am sitting out yet another year. {grump} Have fun, though!
bibliofile From: bibliofile Date: May 21st, 2008 09:43 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
what you said.

re: what to do
LJ makes it a lot easier; sometimes commenting is a small thing where the real meaning is to acknowledge the connection/interaction and not what words you happened to use. For me, it helped to move away from a town where my nearest friend was a 20-minute drive away, and it took hours to cross town during rush hour. 20 minutes to cross town during rush hour helps a LOT.

Sorry to hear that things have sucked that much, lately.
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robling_t From: robling_t Date: May 20th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
I think that's how we ended up on each other's flists in the first place, and I wish I had had the wherewithal to come up and see everybody, I know missing cons certainly doesn't help my overall feelings of social invisibility...
the2wittybird From: the2wittybird Date: May 21st, 2008 02:44 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Life's always a party where you don't know anybody. I have that revelation from time to time and I think I have at least a couple very close friends. That's one of the prices we as humans pay for being alive. We're all alone. We're born alone, live alone and die alone. Being social creatures, we try to do things about that. Being complex social creatures, we need to interact more than mere mating. But the more complex the person, the greater the net isolation because how can 2 disparate souls unite? only a bit, like 2 intersecting circles.

So how does one not fall into that rut? one of 2 ways. One is ideal but near-impossible, depending on random luck as well as self-development. The other is much more successful, but hard for a truly independent person to stomach.

1) Find people like yourself. With your complications, complexities, interests and tastes. Deal with them a bunch, and make sure you listen a lot. This however, depends on there being people such as yourself to be found. Some have it easier, some much harder. Gotta find that happy medium, where your circles intersect as much as possible.

2) Settle for the lowest common denominator (LCD). Learn a lot of sports statistics. Be current in fashion and supermarket tabloid news. Watch a lot of reality tv. Now you have topics and subject matter to talk about with "normal" people. Play high school games of intrigue. Accept that you'll burn through a lot of friends along the way and you'll never have anything truly deep and meaningful. Fail to realize this on any deep level. Or simply don't care.

I haven't read any of the other comments as of this writing. Hope what I wrote helps. or at least helps clarify the wisdom of others.

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