I need some advice on life and how I live mine...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by PunkBillCarson, May 9, 2018.

  1. PunkBillCarson

    PunkBillCarson SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    242
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Location:
    Paragould, AR
    Okay so here it goes... I'm mostly a loner. Have been for a very long time. I have a wife, but when it comes to friends, I have VERY few of those. Maybe 2 at most, and the rest of my time goes to my pets and family when I see them on the weekends.

    I've never had a problem being this way. I've always enjoyed ME time and have for as long as I can remember. Recently, I've had two friends hit me up who want to make music and jam. We were friends about 12 years ago until we basically just grew up, got jobs, started families, and went about in life. Well, the thing is, I work at least 40 hours a week in a factory, so even in my free time, I spend a fair bit amount of time recuperating and spending time with my wife and my pets and such.

    I've tried telling them many times that I am a homebody and I don't entertain much unless it's on my terms. My wife and I have went through some personal losses in the last few years and we really don't have much of a tolerance for compromise these days. That sounds short-sighted I know, but it also keeps away all the bullshit that people bring along with them. So they keep messaging and messaging, and I keep telling them that it'll have to be when I'm not busy.

    Here's the "issue": I'm always busy. And I don't mean busy as in working on something. I mean busy as in spending time with my wife and shutting out the world unless I'm on the Internet on forums and Discord and Twitch. Honestly and truly, I'm most comfortable when I'm not around more than a few people. I don't know why I feel this way, I just always feel that being around people is draining for me. I can talk about deep subjects all day fucking long but I absolutely HATE small talk. You know what I'm talking about, the kind of obligatory talk that people do just to break the silence.

    I've been told by people that this is unhealthy and I have to disagree, because I would think that it would be better for my overall and mental health in situations where I'm content, even happy and enjoying life. What's your guys' take on this?
     
    IGC and IbanezDaemon like this.
  2. Necris

    Necris Bonitis.

    Messages:
    4,311
    Likes Received:
    557
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    Somewhere in New York
    If you're genuinely happy with how things are, then there is no problem. If the people who contacted you were friends 12 years ago and you haven't kept in touch at all in that time it's essentially identical to being approached by strangers, as far as I'm concerned. Unless you're really interested in making music, why bother? There's no reason to keep the company of people you aren't interested in maintaining any sort of relationship with just because some third party thinks it's "healthy".
     
  3. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

    Messages:
    10,825
    Likes Received:
    1,400
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Location:
    Southend-on-Sea, Essex, U.K
    Totally with you. There is a lot of stigma on introversion. Most people don't really get it. My situation is basically exactly the same. My best friend visits every now and then, that's always nice. Aside from that, I'll see the rest of the gang a few times a year - did so just the other day actually and it was lovely. But I'll pass on the biweekly bar outings and such almost every time. Because indeed, I am 'busy' - busy getting that days necessary 2-3 hours family+alone time. Generally social opportunities for me are not music related, but I would not take up on it if they were (aside from the odd meet with a long distance guitar friend). I'm very realistically aware that working on my own music alone is more fulfilling for me and a LOT more productive.
    It's not that I don't enjoy being social, I do, almost always. But it's a case of priorities. I barely get enough time to feel recharged and do what I want to do as it is, so doing so almost always takes priority.

    Nothing unhealthy about it if you're happy - and you have a family, it's not like you are a complete hermit (not that there's anything wrong with that either, if you're happy!).
    We could equally say it's unhealthy to not be able to entertain yourself and to constantly require social stimulation - but it's not, people are just different.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
    Exchanger likes this.
  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    14,763
    Likes Received:
    2,684
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    I'm the same way, too. I had been able get out and play music with people, but honestly, the people who are my closest friends who also happen to make music tend to do their own thing, and the people with whom I make music are people I respect a lot musically, but I don't spend much time hanging around with them socially - it's more like we bullshit at practice or when we bump into each other around town. My life has been a blur of being busy as far back as I can recall, and being busy is a lifestyle and mostly a choice, since the vast majority of us have the freedom to choose what we wish to do with our time, at least at a high level. This last few months, I've gradually shifted my priorities more to focus on my wife and family, as opposed to trying to juggle three very different careers.

    I don't see anything wrong with your approach. You have to set your own priorities. I know people take it pretty hard when they learn that you don't set them as the highest priority, but, seriously, if you haven't heard from someone in 12 years, they had better be a close relative if they expect you to make a hole in your schedule for them.
     
  5. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    That's something I always have trouble wrapping my head around, given how there often seems to be more introverted than extroverted people around, in general- or at least that's how it appears in some circles, maybe? It's like there's a disconnect between the expectation and the reality of the average person's social life. Lots of people I know do more or less the same thing: stick to themselves except when in very specific social situations. Jamming with the band. Working obviously involves coworkers. Holidays often become family time. But otherwise, do people really spent all their free time socializing, like TV and things like to suggest? I don't think that's an accurate picture for many people.

    But I'm with everyone else so far on this-> I have zero interest in forced social time with anyone. I don't want to just "hang out" with people with no purpose or goal to that interaction. I don't want to visit family just so I can check "visit family" off the todo list. I'm 100% happy sticking to myself. I'll even go out of my way to avoid socializing with people at times. I just don't want to. Why would I want to? If I have nothing in common with someone, no shared goals, nothing to talk about, it feels like a waste of time.

    Of course there's a flip side to it though, in that there's still a weird desire to make meaningful connections with people, which is something that doesn't really happen when you don't feel like giving anyone the time of day. It's like you want any connection with people to be meaningful, or just not happen at all. And certain activities just feel like they should involve other people. Like if I go see a movie (and I'll go to movies alone all the time), when the movie is done there's a missing element of being able to react to it socially and immediately, to be able to turn to your friend and go "maaaan that movie was [whatever]" and you can argue or agree, etc. But that element is missing when you go it alone.

    I actually kinda find consuming media can be a bit depressing because of that element. When you finish a movie or a book or something..... that's it. You're done. No discussion. No bouncing your interpretation off of someone. It's just you, and an empty room, your thoughts about what just finished, and a feeling of "ok now what?".

    Anyway... kinda rambling now. Don't know where I'm going with this.
     
    Winspear likes this.
  6. Dcm81

    Dcm81 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    83
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Location:
    Victory Castle, Germany
    Another +1 here. I used to be extremely social, going out with friends every weekend and also meeting up during the week for whatever.
    Over time though and the older I got, I found nearly all "friendships" started to seem like work......I started feeling obligated to meet up so others didn't feel left out or felt like I didn't give a shit about spending time with them. They started feeling like relationships with a needy little girl.
    It's true what they say; you have to nurture a friendship. But that can be hard work and I'm now far too lazy and egotistical to give a shit anymore.
    Just me and the wife now and I basically do whatever the hell I want in my free time with absolutely no obligations to anybody - and I love it!
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    I actually get pretty annoyed when someone demands my time without a good reason. I recently have been getting into weird confrontations with family who complain that I don't visit, but who also are unwilling to take the effort to invite me, or provide any incentive for me to invite myself given that we have nothing in common. They want me to just invite myself over without reason and without them having to ask. And.... that's kind of ridiculous. If you want me to be somewhere, invite me there. If you can't be bothered to reach out to me for an invite, I'm not going to do it for you. And I have zero interest in sitting around in your house providing you company while getting nothing out of it. It sounds selfish, and it is, but I get nothing out of those interactions. There's no common ground, nothing to talk about, nobody is interested in the things I might talk about, etc. So it feels like a waste of my time.
     
    IbanezDaemon and Winspear like this.
  8. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,746
    Likes Received:
    675
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Location:
    Londonderry, N.Ireland, UK
    Another one here in a similar situation but with the twist that my wife wants more social interaction than I do. Not that she wants to be out all the time and so on, just hang out with friends from time to time. Having two young kids and living away from family doesn't help but know that both my kids are in an age that don't immediately need their mom, I can look after them for a few hours if she wants to go out with friends.

    If I have a choice of going to a bar or stay at home and play guitar, watch a movie, cook and eat something tasty then there is no contest. I do like to socialize when I'm in places I can speak and if there's also tasty food being serves like in a restaurant. I don't drink much and I hate loud music, unless it's music I enjoy and I go specifically to enjoy that.

    I do prefer meaningful conversation and I get tired with small talk. It doesn't have to be intricate subjects but if I feel I'm forcing a conversation then it's not worth it. And I rather spend time with my family. To paraphrase Monty Pythons "I don't know much about life but I know what I like" :D.
     
  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    14,763
    Likes Received:
    2,684
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    That where the internet has saved my sanity.

    Read a random book and loved it or hated it - don't know anyone else who read the same book - go on the internet, and search for the title of the book - find book discussion - participate in discussion - feel better.

    I've had friends from elementary school that I've tried to reconnect with later in life, and it usually ends up with us deciding there's not enough common ground to really talk about anything more than what can be discussed in a few minutes on the phone or over a cup of tea or whatever. I think that's where I get conflicted and feel most socially awkward - when I care about a person, but don't really have anything to discuss with that person other than how they are doing and how I am doing. At 5 or 6 years old, it was easy to make friends over whoever had the coolest GI Joe or He Man toys. At 15 or 16, there's less to talk about unless you have common hobbies or like the same music or movies, but you also still probably have similar situations, i.e. high school. At 25 or 26, there's still the hobby and music/movie aspect, but a lot of people are having families of their own by then, and a lot of people are not, so it can get hit or miss making a connection. By 35 or 36, most people have started their own families, and those who have not might feel excluded from conversation, since those with their own families tend to talk a lot less about music/movies and hobbies than about family stuff.
     
  10. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    I find talking on the internet to be a very different thing though. It's not very immediate. There's still something missing from it, and I don't want to be glued to a screen all the time.

    I'm thinking for example, I saw a movie last night in a theater. If I had gone with friends, the drive home would have been full of discussion about what the movie did right or wrong, any weird in-jokes we may have come up with during the outing, that kind of thing. But last night's drive home was more or less in silence. Just me, in the quiet of the car, pondering the whole "book was better than the movie" thing, and having no real outlet for any emotional impact of the media. It's a very different experience.
     
    Winspear likes this.
  11. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    The more I think about it, not just in the context of this conversation, or this topic, but just in general-
    I think there's a large subset of people who just can't wrap their heads around the fact that people don't share their lifestyles and values. And it leads to thinking that anyone who falls outside of that lifestyle is doing something wrong - to the point of needing to point it out.
    "You don't socialize the way I do? What's wrong with you?"
    "Your diet isn't the same as mine? That can't be healthy."
    "You don't share my interests? You need to get out more."

    It's frustrating. At the same time, I'm sure I've done it too.
     
    steinmetzify likes this.
  12. PunkBillCarson

    PunkBillCarson SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    242
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Location:
    Paragould, AR
    I appreciate all of your responses. I feel I should elaborate on one detail in that when we were friends 12 years ago, we were nigh inseparable during that time and had been friends for a few years. However, like I'd said before, we'd grown apart and every once in awhile, we'd have a conversation in Wal-Mart and nothing against them, but halfway through, I was looking for an excuse to bail on the convo and just go home.

    Another contributing factor is that I'd hung out with one of them quite a bit when I was 19. But it was EVERY single day for a whole year. I'd just gotten my first vehicle and he thought that we had to hang every day. Well, I went a couple days without seeing him or talking to him and he told me that it's not good to be by myself, and I basically told him that it's not good to hang out with someone and stifle them every day of the week. At first, he kind of laughed it off, I guess because in his mind, there was nothing wrong with hanging out every day when to me, it was just suffocating.

    I think that that may also be a contributing factor as to why I don't make time for them anymore being that I'd spent quite a bit of time with them already. I honestly feel as though if I were to hang out with them, it would be completely obligatory on my part and these days, I value my time. Awhile back when one of them messaged me and I told them that I was a homebody and don't get out much, he said he felt like I was coming up with excuses and that I was "politely trying to tell him to fuck off" and then I responded with "no, I'm basically telling the whole world to fuck off."

    I am glad to see that there are others who are like minded, because I've been taking a hard look at myself lately and I've sort of been wondering why I feel the way I do when I'm around people excessively and I guess that this pretty much answers it.
     
    Demiurge and bostjan like this.
  13. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    It's normal for people to drift apart after a considerable amount of time. I have maybe one or two friends that have stuck around since I was 16-17-18-ish, but since then I mostly just socialize with coworkers and band members. And in my case, the person who has stuck around the longest also works in the same office as me now, so.... that still just counts as socializing with coworkers, to a point.

    There are also people that I considered friends when I was younger that I just don't have any interest in spending time with anymore. And that's fine. It's awkward maybe, when they ask to do something and I have to find a nice way to say no, but really.... it's my time, I can do what I want with it.
     
  14. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon has body parts lying around

    Messages:
    579
    Likes Received:
    481
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    If you have a wife, that’s your first priority...and it’s good to be somewhat of a loner, and friend circles work just as good when they’re small...unhealthy?, well...I’d say that anyone saying that being a “loner” is unhealthy is putting social convenience over quality of life. Lots of friends and spreading yourself thin time-wise aren’t necessarily a good thing for relationships, neither is buying into TV stereotypes that imply that couples should have lots of “friends” and separate hobbies and “personal space” (guys/girls night out, “phone trust” issues lol)...do what makes you feel good. I spend EVERY weekend with my wife...won’t work weekends. My wife is also in law school so we have limited time throughout the week to relax so our weekends are usually airtight. Camping, hiking, dining...whatever feels fun. I was watching ‘The View’ one morning and the “happiness” and relationship advice these weirdo’s were giving out was stomach turning -to think people at home might actually be listening to these sycophants relationship advice was mildly saddening. What you’re going through is normal...intelligent people get older and their priorities change. Embrace it
     
    IGC and watson503 like this.
  15. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,746
    Likes Received:
    675
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Location:
    Londonderry, N.Ireland, UK
    Just to make a flip argument on the loner non socializing way of life, which doesn't really apply with the OP's situation, is that engaging and meeting new people can end up gaining new meaningful friendships. I'm not suggesting of course to go out all the time with people you don't care about but every once in a while it is worth it. You end up meeting worth while people that share your interests every now and then and that can make it rewarding for the other subpar encounters. I have made some good friends like that which I wouldn't have any other way but that was a few years ago.

    Having said that I'm quite lucky to work in a company and department that has intelligent people with various interests and have good conversations with them for various subjects at work. Even when joking and teasing gets interesting with them so it's an engaging environment. I don't go out with them but only because after a day of work and running after two young kids leaves me drained and the few hours I have to rest I prefer to have them with my wife or do something that relaxes me. Not that before the kids I would go out as much but now it's even less.
     
  16. PunkBillCarson

    PunkBillCarson SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    242
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Location:
    Paragould, AR
    Well the thing about me is, even with the friends I DO have, I find myself being drained by them as well. It's not them, because we get along great, it's just that I'm not someone who likes company for long periods of time. Hell, when the two friends I do have come over, I tend to signal the end of the visit by saying "well I think I'm going to hit the hay" and then I usually end up staying awake for about 6 more hours watching TV with my wife.

    I'm not proud of this, but there have been times where an MMA event has come on and my friend wants to watch it with me, I'll blatantly ignore his messages and watch the event while I relax simply to me being very comfortable. Like has been mentioned before, so many people see introversion as something with a stigma. When people invite me to things, I simply say I can't go, I'm busy. If I told them that I just don't want to go, it would go far less easier on me and put me in a potentially awkward conversation as has been done before.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, it really doesn't matter what interests people share with me. Even people I bond with tire me out. I feel like adding even more people to that list would just add more people that I have to juggle.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  17. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    I'm sure it's a balance thing - sometimes I might feel like I need or want to be more social, and other times I want to be left alone - but I think there's something to be said that not all social interactions are the same. I might want to go out and be social in the sense of talking to strangers, or going to a show or what have you, while at the same time having no interest in entertaining guests in my home. Visiting family is not the same as going to concert, or entertaining people, or going on date, or joining old school friends to see a movie, or something as simple as shopping around and interacting with the employees or something. It's perfectly legit to want or need more of one kind of interaction and less of another.
     
  18. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon has body parts lying around

    Messages:
    579
    Likes Received:
    481
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Nothing wrong with being a troglodyte lol...as long as you’re not depressed or feel you’re missing out on enriching moments...sounds to me like you just like to spend time with your wife. Most women would love to have a guy with your “problem”
     
    IbanezDaemon likes this.
  19. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon has body parts lying around

    Messages:
    579
    Likes Received:
    481
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Shit...I get tired of MYSELF sometimes :shrug:
     
    Sollipsist and TedEH like this.
  20. M3CHK1LLA

    M3CHK1LLA angel sword guardian

    Messages:
    5,614
    Likes Received:
    784
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    orbiting caprica
    i would really like to hang out in here and read what you guys think, and discuss it, but honesty im too busy and don't wanna socialize because we don't have anything in common.

    to put it bluntly...i need some me time.
     
    IbanezDaemon and Winspear like this.

Share This Page