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Dannigan

Shutting other people out

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Hello,

A childhood friend of mine moved back here several weeks ago.  I told her about my former gaming addiction, and thankfully she was very kind and understanding.  After I told her about it, I didn't bring up the subject again.  She promised to be a good sounding board if I ever slip back into that habit of gaming, if I felt comfortable confiding in her.  So far I've been feeling good about my life without video games taking over precious time. 

The problem I'm having is that I think I'm shutting myself out from other potential friends.  I do attend a few odd Meet-up groups for hiking and crafts, but I haven't felt comfortable lately with the people I'm meeting in these groups.  In fact, the most enjoyable and meaningful moments are when I'm with my close friend, even if we don't see each other often due to our work schedules clashing and that I'm just too tired to exert that much energy after a long day at work. 

Has anyone felt this way?  I think I'm just closing myself off and accepting the few friendships that I have nowadays because these people are 'familiar', and we've shared some emotional stories with each other over the years.  I feel like my close friends are like family, and I'm happy just to have this small circle of them.  But, that also makes me feel less motivated to meet new people who could become better friends over time. 

Problem is, these group meet-ups are difficult.  It's hard to develop rapport when it feels like I'm competing with the largeness of the group setting. 

Should I just focus on nurturing the friendships I have now, and ditch the thought of making new friends elsewhere?  I find this way easier, because I'm not over-exerting myself to meet strangers and waiting for the moment to possibly connect with someone in person.  Whereas, I can just hang out with the people that I know very well.

Is this healthy?  Or am I just shutting myself off from potential friends?

I appreciate any feedback or advice.  I don't know if I can be objective about this.  :(

 

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I don't think that there's any objective answer to that question. I've met people who are happy with a lot of not-very-close friends, others that thrived because of only one best-buddy-for-life and those who have a few very close friends and some not-very-close friends. Just don't try to force anything - try to find out what works for you.

As a former social anxious person I'd say having a close circle of friends is something you should nurture. These friendships (like the one friend you wrote about) are what really brings connectedness into a life (at least it was the case for me). But at the same time shutting yourself off from other people isn't really healthy and you'd probably miss out on amazing opportunities. Trying to find smaller groups that share the same interests if you don't feel comfortable in larger groups may help.

 

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Much appreciated, Philipp

lol....maybe I have agoraphobia.

I don't like large groups of people.  Even when I played an MMORPG, I preferred the smaller servers.  My current workplace is smaller too, thank God.   I guess bigger groups make me frustrated because there's too much to take in.  I get really frazzled and I could care less about connecting with people when it's too much noise and hustle.  Sometimes I feel like I want to escape and seek shelter.  It's not that I'm socially anxious, it's just that it's like sensory overload.  Hope that makes sense? 

I really do enjoy my friend's company.  I don't see her that often but when we get together, it's like time never passed.  I can be myself around her, and she knows so much about struggles I had in my past and sometimes I still struggle with certain things.  But around her, I feel no judgement and I don't have to re-explain everything.  It's been really tough for me to connect with people I've met recently.  And I noticed that it's just about personalities that clash.  I am a quieter person compared to most people, introverted, and an observer.  I'm only outgoing with people that I know very well.  The other friends I am close to are my in-laws.  Like my brother-in-law is my best male friend and of course my two sisters are friends for life.  We hang out as a group and it's been that way for years.  It's comfortable and....safe. 

I'm content in my life with a smaller social circle.  Maybe that's all I need right now.  I don't need multiple friends.  I can also appreciate my solitude, a MUCH NEEDED break from the energy of other people, even those I am closest to.  If I had enough money, I'd purchase my own island where I can go whenever I feel the need to 'get away from it all'.  When I watched the movie Castaway....I felt envious!  lololol.  Even though he was in complete isolation, I was like, "WTF dude, enjoy it for a little while!". 

Anyway.  I'm happy as a clam right now.  I'll still put myself in social groups like Meet-ups and such, every once in a while.  I only joined the hiking group primarily because it's safer to explore new and tougher  terrain and hiking areas instead of going there by myself.  If I find the large groups too overwhelming, I typically just branch off to the side and enjoy a quiet walk by myself, or talk to one or two people every now and then.  Very low key and no pressure to talk to people.  Sometimes I just want to enjoy the nature in silence.

 

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