difficulty with group socializing, or just snobbery?

Postby calvinTO » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:21 am

Here it is, a Saturday night. I've just finished a team game in a league I've been part of for 10 years. (Every year, the teams are scrambled, so you get to know a lot of the regulars.) And as usual, some of the guys go out for drinks after. Anyone can join in. So what do I do? Go home.

In some ways, I dread these group situations where the conversation is light and the banter is friendly with an emphasis on "fun." Me, I'm a more serious guy and I don't do "superficial" well. I will say that I can socialize well, I know how to make small talk, I've introduced myself to strangers at parties, all of it. But after a period of this kind of "fun" talk I feel absolutely lost and just want to go and hide. It exhausts me.

Part of the dynamic is a talent bar. It usually works that in this league there are a number of very good players and, yes, it plays out like high school, where the jocks are cool etc etc. (I'm in the mid range of talent.) Some of these guys (not all, by any means) perhaps unwittingly (or wittingly) play out those high school dynamics, where the only thing that recommends them is the skill in this sport. Otherwise, they're nothing special. So, yes, there's a "pecking order," implicit or otherwise.

I know that I can easily join these guys and put my best foot forward, ask questions, be interested, laugh at their jokes, and so on. I've done it. Some of these guys (not necessarily these A-list players) I am friends with outside the league. Yet I envy, deeply envy, the ease by which some people can just engage in these group situations. I chide myself repeatedly about staying in because, yes, I'm often lonely, and I want more friends.

I just want to really kick myself in the a**. I get so angry... I know what I need to do and how to do it. But going home and curling up with something to read with good music on the radio is almost always the preferred option. I feel protected.... until, well, I'm not, and the lonely blues rise up and tell me what a fool I'm being for not going out.
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#1

Postby tokeless » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:22 am

Sounds like you just need to socialise with like minded people who don't do the 'superficial' stuff. You can't be who you're not so find others who you are more like. Also, there's nothing wrong with being alone but maybe just find a balance to stop the loneliness.
Best wishes
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#2

Postby seeingthelight » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:32 pm

Depends on the group. If you're dealing have a group of people that are rotten to the core, you can't blame the individual for not socializing with them. On the other hand, if you have a group of good people, then the person who isn't socializing is the problem. I have a lot of good supportive friends, so I usually won't waste my time with rotten people
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#3

Postby TheCloud » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:32 am

People often imagine themselves doing things that will make them more popular, more attractive, more influential, more dignified, and more interesting. And more often then not, these people end up not accomplishing anything thereby. Why don't they? I think it's because of the superficiality of these desires.

You mentioned that there was a highschool dynamic going on. Highschool is where teens often play primitive games of dominance and popularity, acting out our least evolved social instincts. You appear to recognize the primitive nature of these games, but have not yet surpassed your own primal nature. The way I see it, you're in a contradictory state of wanting to be popular while mocking others who want the same thing, which creates the further complication of you indirectly mocking yourself and your own desires.

Instead of this, it would be more beneficial for you to grow into a more advanced form of relating to others. I'm not able to say precisely how this might be accomplished for you, but a simple metric is to be more open than you are closed. That is to say, the more "open" you are toward others, the more your ability to relate will blossom. The more "closed" you are, the more your ability to relate regresses, and the more highschool politics you'll find yourself avoiding.

Of course, the goal isn't to haphazardly allow people into your depths without being able to take responsibility for what they find there. That will absolutely happen, and out the window will go all the dignity and poise you were hoping to be seen as possessing, but it's not as if every interaction will be like that. Most of them will tread on ground that you are at least tentatively aware of. If you keep pushing the envelope, you'll keep finding new ways to relate to people. Eventually, your worries about drinks after a game will fade to nothing.
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#4

Postby laureat » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:54 am

When ppl do strange things they call " cool " the Question is why do they do thay? Why would someone feel a need to do strange things, why not be ordinary guy? Whats wrong about being ordinary?

Mostly are ppl with low confidence who try to do something " special " so they can compensate for their believes and how they feel
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#5

Postby calvinTO » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:12 am

TheCloud wrote: Of course, the goal isn't to haphazardly allow people into your depths without being able to take responsibility for what they find there. That will absolutely happen, and out the window will go all the dignity and poise you were hoping to be seen as possessing, but it's not as if every interaction will be like that.


You've really nailed it here.Sometimes I'm quite open and things are going well, and then for some reason -- in an effort, I suppose, to perhaps be funny or amusing (not an attempt to be "popular") -- I'll overreach and say something that I think was dumb or lame or something; and then I think, Oh, I just have just shut up, and I withdraw.

Part of it, I've come to realize lately, is that I have a PhD and I teach in uni, and most of the guys I know don't have that advanced an education. And that's fine. I'm NOT snobby about my education at all; I come from a blue collar background, and I know from snobby. But I wonder if that sometimes people are intimidated by that, that they may shy from having certain conversations with me because I have this degree. Hard to say.

On the other hand, as I've discussed above, I was out once with some of the guys, and the most talented player (who's also extremely handsome and knows it) came along.... I was introduced to him, and his hello must have been the most coolly dismissive greeting I've ever heard, seriously. I know I know, it's not about me, that's all about him. But it baffled me. I thought, How does this a**hole have friends? Don't they see this? Or maybe it is that his friends are a-holes too, who knows?

Regardless, I don't want to be popular; I just want to belong.
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