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I'm putting much effort these days in being social and meeting new people. I enthusiastically invite the acquaintances I know from class to go to events or activities . These people act really excited in person, and then when it comes to actually going/motivating, they always flake! They always have excuses like "I'm feeling a bit sickish" or "let me check my schedule" (like they are looking for something better) then they never get back to me, or often, they don't even reply to my initial messages about the event/meetup times, etc. and say "So sorry, I totally forgot"

I've signed up for meetup groups online. These are big meetup groups (of like thousands) and only 2-3 people register for most events, and then it is cancelled due to not enough attendees...WTF? Why even join the group if you don't attend any events?

Is it just me, my age group (30-45), typical city living, or are people just horribly flakey/unthoughtful/too busy all the time now? How do you make quality connections? I want to give up. My efforts are completely futile. Humans only seem to care about themselves.

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Oh,Blah! I know what you mean! I have always found socializing/trying to build relationships really difficult and puzzling. I definitely think it is a "sign of the times" that people won't or can't commit to even the simplest social engagement.  And sometimes I feel like I have to always do the inviting.  I have only recently -in the past few years -started to feel satisfied with my social situation.  (And the feeling definitely comes and goes. But I  seem to be bouncing back quicker from my bouts of doubt. And the bouts aren't coming as often). I  attribute my progress to not having given up even when my depressive/anxious mind was screaming at me to. And time (I am going on 52) and luck and therapy and antidepressants and exercise... But mostly not giving up.

It sounds like you are really trying and that is great! It's actually enough. Some ideas that I have are maybe inviting one person for a  spontaneous cup of coffee or making plans to meet someone to exercise (an exercise class or walking or whatever). And then try to just go and do what you like even if it's alone. (I know that can be hard. At times I have found it impossible due to low self esteem and anxiety ). Just do what you can. And maybe give yourself credit! It's amazing,the steps you have taken even while feeling so down! Really! (I forget to do this a lot but it really helps shift my perspective when I remember it). :)

I wish you all the best!

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2 hours ago, Blahblah said:

Is it just me, my age group (30-45), typical city living, or are people just horribly flakey/unthoughtful/too busy all the time now? How do you make quality connections? I want to give up. My efforts are completely futile. Humans only seem to care about themselves.

I'm in that age group. I've gone on sites like MeetUp too and had similar experiences. People join up in a fit of sociability and then later forget all about it. I wonder if people have up and down anxiety like I do, and if that explains the behavior. Or if it's just, organizing social gatherings through the internet is inherently unnatural and a little stilted. It feels sometimes that people in our age group have already found their really close friends and they've kind of closed up shop when it comes to meaningful friendships. 

I agree @amskray - sometimes exercising is a great way to meet people because you're all there with the same goal, that you're already dedicated (?) to continuing with. I just wish there were more Lady Gyms around! And particularly, women-only pools. It's sad that I allow men in these spaces to keep me away - to keep me from doing what I know would be best for me. Any advice on how to get over this?

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19 hours ago, Mogli said:

It feels sometimes that people in our age group have already found their really close friends and they've kind of closed up shop when it comes to meaningful friendships. 

I agree @amskray - I just wish there were more Lady Gyms around! And particularly, women-only pools. It's sad that I allow men in these spaces to keep me away - to keep me from doing what I know would be best for me. Any advice on how to get over this?

Agreed. Many people are fortunate to have close friends they grew up with, made in High school or college. I've moved around way too much. Once you don't have regular proximity with people (seeing them everyday or every week) The connection dies...people don't want to have to make any effort!

I've always been part of a gym, gone to variety of fitness classes and have never met any friends this way. IME people just show up for the class and then leave immediately, or they are in a tight 3-person "clique" that you cannot join. If you are early, you may have like 5 minutes for superficial chit chat. In all the years I've gone to gyms I've never made any friendships that way. I know there are "Lady Gyms" just for women around, I can't remember the name but that could be a better option for you? Or specific classes like Zumba that only ladies go to.

I'm sure it is very different if you live in a smaller friendlier town & not a big city.

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6 minutes ago, Blahblah said:

Agreed. Many people are fortunate to have close friends they grew up with, made in High school or college. I've moved around way too much.

Same here. My parents moved across the country halfway through high school and I never retained the friends at either school because I left and started my own tour of the country after that. When you get in the habit of starting over, maybe you just get tougher and better at surviving without close friends (to our own detriment).

That's too bad that you didn't find exercise classes to be a good way to meet people. I did do a MeetUp once where I went jogging with a group and several people struck up a conversation. I think because it was a group that did a weekly jog which ended at a pub where they ate and caroused afterwards. That aspect of it probably made the difference. Plus, smaller city.

14 minutes ago, Blahblah said:

I know there are "Lady Gyms" just for women around, I can't remember the name but that could be a better option for you?

Yeah, there used to be a Curves here which was for women, but it went out of business. That may be what you are thinking of. I have tried Zumba over YouTube but I'm so damn uncoordinated. I just have to keep trying random things I guess. Or I might hire one of those people I've heard about called "gym buddies" which are like trainers but without the knowledge, so they are cheaper and all they do is be your buddy at the gym. Feels like paying for friends but... whatever. :-)

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5 hours ago, Mogli said:

Or I might hire one of those people I've heard about called "gym buddies" which are like trainers but without the knowledge, so they are cheaper and all they do is be your buddy at the gym. Feels like paying for friends but... whatever. :-)

This makes me recall an article I read about people in Japan that are employed as "paid friends." Too bad this hasn't caught on in other countries. Maybe people would feel less isolated and alone.

You can pay people to hang out, do activities together, talk/listen, they reply to your texts & phone calls when needed, etc. There was a particular story about a gay guy who brought one of these "paid friends" to his parents house and pretended she was his fiancee, because they kept pressuring him about having a serious girlfriend. Another story about a girl who paid some people to be her bridesmaids at her wedding because she had no close friends to ask and was ashamed.

Sad world we live in these days! Although it won't be long before Apple uses AI to create some sort of "robot friend" you can buy and customize...maybe like in the movie "Her" where the guy falls in love with his very human-like computer Operating System.

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9 hours ago, Blahblah said:

Sad world we live in these days! Although it won't be long before Apple uses AI to create some sort of "robot friend" you can buy and customize...maybe like in the movie "Her" where the guy falls in love with his very human-like computer Operating System.

Ah I just got this movie from the library but had to return it because I didn't get to it in time. I will have to get it again and see it now! These are strange times indeed. How about "Lars and the Real Girl"? That one looked a bit weird or kinky but it's actually a really cute story and funny. The people in his family pretend the doll is real because they know it will help him eventually be able to date a real girl. I don't know if this is a sound method for mental health buuuuutttt.... in the movie it worked.

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This STILL keeps happening...again, and again...!! I am left feeling angry and constantly disappointment in people. Just the other night I invited 2 separate people to an event. They both confirmed they were excited & coming. I provided all of the pertinent information and checked in with them the day of. After I had arrived at the event/venue (under the impression that both of them were on their way) they both cancelled with no excuse. After I had already arrived! Nothing. Basically I was fully stood up! These were 38-year old women.

Is this normal now? Do people often stand you up after you've arrived at a party (where you know no one) with no excuse? One of the girls lived within a 10 minute walk to the place. I believe they just got lazy. Of course, I'll stop contacting them or inviting them anywhere...but the problem is, people I meet are ALWAYS doing this. Flaking out, OR just saying they are interested in doing something with me then they don't respond. I am always the one that initiates & does the inviting, all of the work. I have no problem doing things by myself, but I am someone who is social and looking for connection, people to meet up with sometimes. Is this too much to ask? If I had a great hobby, i would just hole up in my apartment by myself - thing is, I don't enjoy doing solitary activities.

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2 hours ago, Blahblah said:

I have no problem doing things by myself, but I am someone who is social and looking for connection, people to meet up with sometimes. Is this too much to ask? If I had a great hobby, i would just hole up in my apartment by myself - thing is, I don't enjoy doing solitary activities.

Have you ever tried volunteering?......Before I became almost totally housebound due to my MI, I volunteered for a dog/cat rescue group in the past, and developed many friendships through the rescue people...Some of these friends still call me occasionally to ask how I'm doing.

If working with animals isn't something you'd like, there are probably some other local organizations looking for volunteers.

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That really sucks, Blah! That must have been so demoralizing and such a let-down. It's like people don't see commitments as important anymore. 

I haven't put myself out there in a while. I commend you for doing so. Maybe you're just getting extremely unlucky. Don't give up! :-/

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I’ve been stood up, too, and by people I’ve done things with before. I’m ok with initiating things, to a point, but I get tired of it. Right now I have two friends I’ve done things with before but been too busy to call them, and haven’t heard from them at all. And once they get married or in a relationship, forget ever hearing from them. It seems a problem as I get older, especially since some good friends have now died. Surely there’s a way to develop friendships as we move on in life?

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2 hours ago, CrazyRedhead said:

Have you ever tried volunteering?......Before I became almost totally housebound due to my MI, I volunteered for a dog/cat rescue group in the past, and developed many friendships through the rescue people...Some of these friends still call me occasionally to ask how I'm doing.

If working with animals isn't something you'd like, there are probably some other local organizations looking for volunteers.

Yes. There are a couple volunteer groups but they rarely have meetups. They are once every 6 months kind of groups, or only holiday season food drives. I've looked around the animal shelters here do not allow volunteers for some reason. I also live in a foreign country (i don't speak the language well, but learning) so this is a huge barrier.

9 minutes ago, sugarsugar said:

I’ve been stood up, too, and by people I’ve done things with before. I’m ok with initiating things, to a point, but I get tired of it. Right now I have two friends I’ve done things with before but been too busy to call them, and haven’t heard from them at all. And once they get married or in a relationship, forget ever hearing from them. It seems a problem as I get older, especially since some good friends have now died. Surely there’s a way to develop friendships as we move on in life?

I just don't get it. I am married too, yet I am still proactive, friendly, I extend invites & take initiative (more than anyone I've met)!! People don't contact me and even if I send emails to past friends (they live far away) - they rarely respond. I wouldn't care so much if i had at least 2 good friends to talk to, but I have NO ONE. I'm starting from scratch again...I meet acqaintances and I'm unable to form any regular contact with them or any kind of real friendship. I just end up wasting my little energy feeling completely disposable, invisible, like I don't exist. This feeds my depression.

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1 hour ago, Mogli said:

That really sucks, Blah! That must have been so demoralizing and such a let-down. It's like people don't see commitments as important anymore. 

I haven't put myself out there in a while. I commend you for doing so. Maybe you're just getting extremely unlucky. Don't give up! :-/

Have you not put yourself out there because you already have a couple close friends? How do you keep from feeling isolated, bored or lonely? Maybe I'm a weird anomaly, but I simply cannot just live, eat, breathe my spouse and depend on him for everything you know? He is like the only person I have contact with that knows me.

It is a frightening thought to realize that I could die or become gravely ill and only he and my mom (who lives a million miles away from me) would know or even care...I never have anyone check on me, ask how I'm doing..not even once a year on holidays or my birthday. Yet i continue to reach out anyway. If I reflect on this too much, I feel suicidal. I often feel as though I do not exist..why bother living when nobody connects with you and you gain very little (if any) pleasure out of being alive?

Edited by Blahblah

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2 hours ago, Blahblah said:

Have you not put yourself out there because you already have a couple close friends? How do you keep from feeling isolated, bored or lonely?

Nope I don't have any close friends. I am single and I live with my older brother who I'm not very close with. I've met people here and there but I always sink back into isolation. And yeah I get bored and lonely. I just keep telling myself once this new medication gets going, maybe I'll feel more like "myself" and not so awkward. (...and this just keeps happening as I try one med after another, of course)

So I sit here and try to pass the time and try to read up on things and "improve myself" and wait to feel better, to feel like I'm not a thousand different people inside. I want to socialize now, and I think I desperately need to be around people, but the anxiety and the awkwardness get in the way. Also, I get suicidal too and then it's "what's the point?"

 

2 hours ago, Blahblah said:

I often feel as though I do not exist..why bother living when nobody connects with you and you gain very little (if any) pleasure out of being alive?

Yeah that's a doozy of a question/conundrum. When I think about this in terms of my own self, I always am looking through the lens of, everybody else is living in a world that is about to crumble and then it will all just be chaos sooner or later... because I have this persistent view that the modern world is like a house of cards and we are really on the brink of disaster. This view tends to put my own situation in a different light. So I'm waiting to feel better, or for the apocalypse, whichever comes first. 

Do you think the modern world (and all the alienation it engenders) is to blame for your feeling a lack of pleasure in anything? The way that modern technology has made us so fragmented and isolated from each other? 

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I used to have close friends, and I miss that a lot. Then I had “lunch” friends but even they have drifted away. I have no one I can talk to about MI or personal issues, it’s more work or current events. I have developed some online and email friends that help a lot. Mainly one email friend, one online friend I email. They are as close as it gets and it’s been years with them. One I’ve never met in 10 years. It does give me a connection and I recommend it as at least one kind of friend. I so miss having close friends, I really get what you are saying. I don’t think it’s just me, but I can’t seem to find a way to better connect, either. I’ll keep trying. I did have close friends when I was married but my friends tend to drop women friends once they pair up with a partner. Can I change how I do things?  But to what?  Maybe that would help. Thinking out loud here. 

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19 minutes ago, Mogli said:

 I have this persistent view that the modern world is like a house of cards and we are really on the brink of disaster. This view tends to put my own situation in a different light. So I'm waiting to feel better, or for the apocalypse, whichever comes first. 

Do you think the modern world (and all the alienation it engenders) is to blame for your feeling a lack of pleasure in anything? The way that modern technology has made us so fragmented and isolated from each other? 

I do think (ironically) that modern technology (smartphones, social media) has increased humans' feelings of isolation, yes. I don't know if it's to blame for my depression, per se. but for sure it's a factor that I cannot seem to control.

My feeling is more like: why is everyone else so content and happy? Why are others so engaged & busy that they don't have time for a simple conversation? Why does everyone else have friends, family, children, houses, careers and I feel like the alienated freak that can't make these things happen for myself. I can barely get through the day without feeling tormented, bored, worthless and unhappy. This feeling is magnetized everytime I go on Facebook or even take 5 secs to look at Instagram. I know it is not a true reflection of others' lives, but even the people I encounter in real life seem pretty damn content and well-adjusted! Social media makes me sick to my stomach but I cannot bring myself to quit FB and then have no connection at all to other humans.

I only WISH an apocalypse would happen - maybe that would motivate people to bond together, if it were the last day of Earth!!

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2 minutes ago, Blahblah said:

I only WISH an apocalypse would happen - maybe that would motivate people to bond together, if it were the last day of Earth!!

I think this sentiment is why I enjoy "The Walking Dead" so much!!

That sounds like an awful place to be. I don't think you are a freak. I just think you're seeing a select group of people who are all really good at staying busy. Maybe to purposefully avoid the larger questions in life. That's what I think sometimes. 

I don't want kids or a spouse or a house or anything like that. I wouldn't mind being on my feet financially and have a stable job and be able to travel, but I don't want any of that permanent stuff. I do feel a little freakish because people just assume that everybody wants those same things. And then I think, maybe I only think I don't want those things, because I am so depressed? Who knows.

So do you truly want those things, or do you WANT to want those things? lol... if you feel like elaborating

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Sure, I do want to be happy with spouse, a homeowner someday, with a community/friends or family I feel connected to. career and hobbies I enjoy are important. I envy that you can be OK with not having these things. I agree, travel can fun, but travel alone won't fulfill for life. I'm getting a bit metaphysical here, but overall purpose and relationships drive my life, something to hope for/live for beyond just existing....eating, breathing, sleeping, working...rinse, repeat...

If I cannot build meaningful relationships, my life (in my mind) is a failure.

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15 minutes ago, Blahblah said:

Sure, I do want to be happy with spouse, a homeowner someday, with a community/friends or family I feel connected to. career and hobbies I enjoy are important. I envy that you can be OK with not having these things. I agree, travel can fun, but travel alone won't fulfill for life. I'm getting a bit metaphysical here, but overall purpose and relationships drive my life, something to hope for/live for beyond just existing....eating, breathing, sleeping, working...rinse, repeat...

If I cannot build meaningful relationships, my life (in my mind) is a failure.

I think I have a bit of the grass-is-greener syndrome. I think if I get out of this culture, if I travel and see the world and meet people living differently, alternative lifestyles or something (like living in communes or ecovillages) that I will find community and people I can truly communicate with and somehow build real relationships with. 

I know what you mean even if I don't think I've ever had a "meaningful relationship" - if I don't figure out how to have one, that would be sad. That would be like a whole chapter of life unwritten. 

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Relationships are one of the hardest things to conquer in life, imho.

I can usually start relationships, but I have trouble holding on to them because of my mood problems.

Quote

I do think (ironically) that modern technology (smartphones, social media) has increased humans' feelings of isolation, yes. I don't know if it's to blame for my depression, per se. but for sure it's a factor that I cannot seem to control.

Yes, and Yes.  

I know it is, I experience it too.

Sometimes finding Neutral ground is the best way to get social interaction.  I get it from work.

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