Making socialization satisfying

Submitted by freedom on
Printer-friendly version

I try to fit in socializing when I can. It's mostly as an outsider because I bounce around and try different events. I'm in an intellectual and at times disconnected city. I have some places where I'm a regular. Regular or not, socializing isn't satisfying. Maybe I'm looking for something that isn't there. I know someone is going to say that's why people find a partner to spend time with. I agree. However, it's still useful to make good use of socializing. It seems something is not as it could be if socializing isn't satisfying. I'm not sure if socializing was ever satisfying for me. Yet, I still go. Something must be working on a level I can't process. Times of constant socializing, say when in a foreign country with others have been ok. Although even then that has tended to be due to connecting with a particular person. It still felt a little forced under the circumstances and the satisfaction remained pretty low.

Socializing is a good way to build a life that works and attract a partner who happens to enter that reality. That doesn't seem like it will happen from the model I'm using. Perhaps I'm just in the wrong physical place. It's hard to know because when I've been elsewhere not much has been different. I do wonder why I don't give up and accept my loaner tendencies.

Given how poorly things seem to work in many settings over many years, I'm puzzled and assume I need to tweak something. One thing might be to let others know I'm open to hanging out. That's tough when not close to many people any more. There was a period as a kid when I had somewhere to go almost every weekend just because I asked. I'm not sure how satisfying it was, but it got me out of my box. I also might try doing less and doing what I do better. I don't know what that looks like given that many socialization options are rather shallow in various ways.

I often don't

have a lot of fun socializing, even though I do quite a bit of it now that I'm in a relationship with a pretty social woman. I'm an introvert and I look at socializing as an exercise/stretch for me; I seem to want to keep at it, as though I'm reaching for something I haven't experienced yet.

I know what you mean about

I know what you mean about trying to be more extroverted. I've found life flows better when not trying to do that. For example, I recall reading something on introversion and then going to an event. I didn't try to chat with the larger crowd. I let my ability to observe many conversations and interactions at once just process. The room partially faded out as my brain was tracking all these people. Then some people approached me who thought they knew me. Maybe chance...maybe not. Then in a smaller group people also started talking to me. Somehow the topic turned to facebook which is often intriguing when one person is a holdout and the others are on it. I can BS my way through most light socializing. I don't like that part of socializing. I'd rather have deeper conversations and connections.

Have you checked out Meetup

Have you checked out Meetup.com? I found a group on there that I'm really wanting to try to be active with. They're into the kind of outdoorsey stuff that I am. You should see if there are any groups on there that share your interests. Also, I would suggest going to a matinee movie once a week either alone or with somebody. First, it gets you out of the house and into public. Second, it's relaxing. Third, when you do go to a social event, you will be able to ask the people you meet if they have seen (whatever movie you just saw). It's great conversation starter because people either respond with "yeah! I saw it, what did you think?" or "no, but I've been wanting to see it. What did you think?". Also, I would suggest doing things on your own. Take a day and drive to another town that's an hour away and do something there, like have dinner or check out a bar. Just a few suggestions. I think socializing is something that takes some getting used to for people. I know it takes me a while to get warmed up to people. The other thing to keep in mind is that if you are around of group of people who don't know you, they are about as intimidated by you as you are of them. They have the advantage of knowing other people around them which gives them a sort of security blanket. But the more time you spend around the same people, the more they will be comfortable with your presence and start to adjust accept you. I'm not educated in any of this. I just have theories and some experiences. I've found myself in many situations where I needed to make friends too. It's tough to be the outsider, but if you just be yourself, and be a pleasant person to be around, you'll make friends.

I've tried plenty meetups. I

I've tried plenty meetups. I used to go to movie matinees as a child on my own. The movies lately don't interest me. I have free tickets I haven't used. I probably wouldn't be able to name one movie of the past few years if people didn't mention them or drag me to them. I could drive around. Now and then I might get into eating out. Overall, I'm not the type of travelers that likes checking out restaurants or bars. Food is just to keep me going. I find bought food less and less appealing.

I'm not sure it's a not being calibrated problem. Sure, we could all always do better. I'm not especially interested in connecting I guess and that is manifesting in the outcome of feeling unsatisfied. I see more and more humanness and yet it doesn't inspire me to connect most of the time. I could make more superficial acquaintances. I've had more at other points in life. If I'm out there people often latch on and start talking to me. I don't need a bunch of halfhearted how are you doings. Smiling at a stranger in a store is more satisfying and seems more genuine.

Your suggestions are good. I'm just not sure how to apply those ideas to me right now.

I got ya. You have to do

I got ya. You have to do whatever makes you happy. My opinion is that you can't really get to the deeper friendships until you get past the superficial stuff. Most people don't let down their guard for people they haven't known and had an opportunity to build up trust with. It takes a long time, and effort to connect to get to that point. I think it's easier to do if you can find something that interests you, and then find people who share that interest.

For example, if you take 5 strangers and put them around a table with nothing but a cup of coffee, and then ask them to become friends, nothing much will probably happen. They'll probably exchange small talk and pleasantries and maybe even have a decent conversation or two. But if you do the same thing and instead put a game on the table and ask them to play the game together, you'll probably end up with a bunch of people who have a great time together and want to do it again. (Assuming they like the game.) My theory is that people need something to connect on. Something to bridge the gap between acquaintance, and good friend. It may be superficial, but it works. Just my opinion. Like I said, I you have to do whatever makes you happy, within reason of course. You seem like a pretty good guy to me.

It's hard to say as much

It's hard to say as much depends on what we mean by friend. I can get get into some pretty meaty conversations with people pretty quickly, even from a random meeting with a stranger. It's not that hard to build rapport. Just be comfortable being vulnerable and others will follow. I don't often follow-up...I even chatted with one such instant acquaintance about how she also doesn't follow-up. I'm not drawn to many people even if the conversation is good. Perhaps they have to be more intriguing than my inner world and that isn't a realistic standard. It's harder with those in their 20s than with those 30+. Maybe I'll age into the world well.

From whatever number of people I've interacted with in my life, the number I've become acquainted with is small and good friends almost non-existent. Even those that have been good friends are not as good a friends as I'd like to have.