How to Socialize an Adult

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I’d go out much more often if the world was full of bubbles. Something to think about.

Okay but the world isn’t full of bubbles. And I’m not 4, so its not socially acceptable for me to blow bubbles everywhere I go. Socially acceptable – Yuck – I hate that.

See, I was not properly socialized when I was little. I was not exactly raised by wolves, no, I think wolves would have done a better job.

So what is an adult to do, when she finds herself in her forties, wow, yes, forties now, and completely alone? I have never learned to make friends, not really, not the kind that lasts or that will be helpful and supportive. I have only learned to blend in, hang out, be a part of a group. When I start actually getting to know people, or letting them know me…stuff goes all wonkers.

So a quick recap, thanks to neuropsych dude, I know I have never felt safe, and I have these rules and alarm bells for how I operate to keep myself safe. Even though I may not need to be so strict now, these rules and bells are hard wired, they formed in my brain to help me grow up. Am I doomed to always be alone because of them?

I have been taking first steps at genuine friendships. Face to face was way to scary, so I have been using a variety of online friendship apps. I find that behind the safety of my phone or computer, and the delay of texting, I can calm down those alarm bells and proceed further with people than I can in real life. In real life, I shut down or run away, not great friend making skills.

I’ve been using friendship apps that have a no flirting, no dating policy. I’m actually finding genuine people this way, instead of the multitude of creeps I was finding online at the other sites, even when I would say I’m not interested, BAM an unsavory pic sent to my text. No thanks, goodbye.

I’m starting to believe there are good people out there, but so far I have not found any near enough to me to meet for coffee or whatever. But I am patient, and building skills. And more important, people are reaching out to me with kindness, showering me with it. They check in on me, encourage me, and also get me to do some tough thinking to help me get unstuck. One is helping me to find my spark, my words, get me to start writing and painting again. They are becoming…true friends? wow.

I am so grateful.

Maybe I can do this

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8 thoughts on “How to Socialize an Adult

  1. My success with local friends isn’t great. I’m blessed to have my sister nearby. I just spent 10 days with friends I first met online, at the Lord of the Rings fan site. I’ve known them for up to 15 years. I met some of them for the first time 9 years ago at an LOTR event, the same one I attended recently, only it was #4. I missed 2. I wish I lived closer to them. I’ll see them again in 3 years. In the meantime, we interact on social media. Go you!

    • Thats wonderful you found a way to connect with similar interests. That is what I am trying to do, and I would be so happy even if I only got to see them on occasion like that. I’m craving real connections with real people. I feel like it will happen if I keep trying, put out my energy and patience like with everything else. and in the meantime, I don’t know what I’d do without an internet. I must get enough meaningful interactions somehow because my grief is lifting, and I am healing, which would not be possible in solitary.

  2. I think you can do this too!
    I love bubbles too, but agree as a long-term strategy it probably isn’t your best bet.

    Try popclogs.com ? Many of us there used to be on the old 43things.com . I can’t recommend the new one, although there are a chunk of people there I know as well, but the software and handling of it got me to quit, as much as I could. They extracted part of a post of mine and made it my “headline” on my user page. I couldn’t edit it and then I couldn’t delete my account, so I deleted all the content I could. That said, popclogs.com has a efficient privacy filter, almost too efficient. Sometimes it’s hard for people to see you or your content that you want them to!

    If you want more info, let me know and we’ll figure out some way I can get you more in a PM or something.

    • Thank you! I just checked it out, looks like something I could use in my life right now 🙂 I feel like I’m starting over and my list of goals can be overwhelming to stare at alone, but blogging here can be too much at times too. I really appreciate the lead.

  3. I love the bubbles. I share them with grandkids. My kids accuse me of doing stuff with them just so I can do kid stuff again. Of course I am. 🙂 The whole friend thing takes time, energy and vulnerability. I am usually short of one of the three at any given time. Thankful for my sister who happens to be close by.

    • You always understand perfectly. Thank goodness for the kids in our lives that allow us freedom to play. And what a fantastic way to phrase that – short of one of three at any given time – well isn’t that the truth? I’m always so hard on myself, focused on my goal, and then your response allows me to soften up and be gentler on myself, remember to smile too. Thank you for that.

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