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I wish I wasn't empty.

SlainbylichSlainbylich Registered User regular
edited February 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
The title says it all. I've been sleepwalking through life until this point, accepting things as they are and going with the flow. I was happy, I guess, if not happy then at least content with my place.

It was always school. Always. Focus on getting your degree and then you'll be in a better position to make something of yourself. You'll have something to offer, to add to a conversation, to a relationship. So big fucking what; I'll have a piece of paper to staple to my chest as I kick the chair from under me. Big fucking deal. I look up and around and realize how alone I am, social troglodytes don't get friends, or more.

I look in the mirror and I'm empty; a god damned shell of a person. There's nothing there, NOTHING. I sat through class today, took most of my willpower to keep from just standing up and throwing my shit on the floor as I leave the room. What's the point? I've been learning this shit since highschool, I was told to focus on it then too, look where I ended up you stupid fuckers, a god damned troglodyte. ARGH. This shit means NOTHING if you don't have people to share it with. I haven't even kissed a girl/woman yet, much less gone any further. Hell, I don't even have any female friends(which I would be cool with; that's another point). I can count the amount of friends I have left on one hand. One Fucking hand; I'm not even using powers or multipliers.

This isn't to say I don't like my current friends, I do. Life is flying past me as I waste time not living it, all for a god damned piece of paper. What am I going to do with this shit anyway? Regurgitate it for people, like some fucking zombie computer. I want to be able to survive outside of the scholarly environment, fuck, I haven't even experienced that. Scholars talk and interact with real people, I'm a meat computer. Brzzt, data entered, paper shat out. Next task please.

Zero. The amount of parties I have been to. The amount of new people I have met, and built any sort of relationship with. That number describes me; the meat computer zombie. Just ask for some information and go, that's all I'm good for anyway.

The worst part is, I've learned enough to know this. I know that I am nothing(a nothing). I'm not asking for fame, glory, power. Just, something, growth, love, anything at this point. Having neglected the necessary skills to acquire any of that, makes it near impossible for me to get that.

hahaha, the idiot finally realizes the island is melting. Theres shit all he can do about it.

So here I am, angsting on an internet forum. Having little other recourse, I chose this option. So, being an advice forum there should be a question to all of this. How does a social troglodyte with zero experience in anything social fix himself?

Slainbylich on

Posts

  • CryogenCryogen Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Years from now, when you are in the workforce, you'll come to realize why you spent the years in schooling. It does make sense in the end. However, that doesnt help you now, i know.

    It sounds like the main problem you have is boredom and a sense that you are missing out on the fun.

    Theres two things i'd advise. First is, I hope the angst in your post doesnt carry into the real world. People dont like associating with negative people. This will hamper your ability to build a bigger social circle. This will be very hard to fix at first, but as you do, you'll find the changes will continue to fuel the process. You'll meet people who will like you, you get happier, you meet more people that like this happier person, you get happier, etc. I'm not saying you need to be a bubbly cheerleader on crack, but you definately cant present yourself in life the way you present in your post.

    Second thing is, you have to get yourself into places where you CAN meet people. Clubs and sports are a great place to start. Do you find yourself being asked to attend parties/events/whatever and you turn them down because you convince yourself it wont be your 'scene' or similar reasons? Stop that if so, just make yourself go along. Few things are ever REALLY as bad as your mind makes them out to be beforehand. Even if you dont currently even get invited to things, like i said just start with some social groups at school and take it from there. It is hard at first as you feel a bit alone, but unfortunately nobody else is going to improve your life for you, you have to make it happen yourself. This is true throughout life.

    Cryogen on
  • WuckFarcraftWuckFarcraft Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Why don't you get involved in some extra curricular activities that your school offers? Is there really nothing that they offer that interests you? Joining a club / doing a intramural sport might be a great way to meet some people.

    WuckFarcraft on
  • garroad_rangarroad_ran Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Man, it's honestly not as big or unique a problem as you might think it is.

    My advice is the following:

    Go outside, walk down the street, visit a bar, see a live band, go to a movie, or whatever. While you're there, say hi to every single person you meet, and interest yourself in finding out more about them.

    Do this often.

    garroad_ran on
  • SlainbylichSlainbylich Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I suppose it would help if I didn't live in a social backwater(go go lancaster, pennsylvania). I don't usually present myself like this in real life, I try hard to avoid it. I know that people don't like downers, that's just a fact.

    It doesn't usually get to me but this time was different somehow. I'm not sure maybe its because I'm 23; i figure i should have done something with my life at this point besides school. Interacting with people I don't know, even on some weird social tangent, is difficult for me. Having done nothing with myself I feel as if i have nothing to offer to the conversation, so I avoid it. No one wants to hear about how I spent my day studying/playing computer games. So the cycle builds on itself and repeats.

    The fact I'm majoring in history doesn't help the matter any, in my mind. Oh well. I'll take the common sense I have been offered, it's what i came here for anyway.

    Slainbylich on
  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I suppose it would help if I didn't live in a social backwater(go go lancaster, pennsylvania). I don't usually present myself like this in real life, I try hard to avoid it. I know that people don't like downers, that's just a fact.

    It doesn't usually get to me but this time was different somehow. I'm not sure maybe its because I'm 23; i figure i should have done something with my life at this point besides school. Interacting with people I don't know, even on some weird social tangent, is difficult for me. Having done nothing with myself I feel as if i have nothing to offer to the conversation, so I avoid it. No one wants to hear about how I spent my day studying/playing computer games. So the cycle builds on itself and repeats.

    The fact I'm majoring in history doesn't help the matter any, in my mind. Oh well. I'll take the common sense I have been offered, it's what i came here for anyway.

    You need to find something outside of studying/playing computer games that makes you happy and proud. For me, it was developing a guide and selling it, producing video lessons, and participating in the gaming industry, etc. I also played trumpet a bit and performed in high school/early college. The truth is...get involved in something that makes you feel good. I know that in a worst case scenario, there's a ton of shit I would love to do (peacecorp, jet, join the ECA, etc) but have no time for at the moment.

    Pick up some hobbies and run with it...Aikido is really fun, if you're into martial arts.

    SkyGheNe on
  • langfor6langfor6 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Don't be afraid of rejection. It hurts for a little while at first, but eventually you get used to it, and when you aren't rejected, it's a rush. Positive reinforcement and all that.

    Plus, rejection isn't really any worse than what you're experiencing now.

    langfor6 on
  • vash11vash11 Registered User
    edited February 2008
    I personally like to be spontaneous when i start thinking like that; just walk around downtown, wander into museums/art exhibitions, eat at a small cafe, and watch people and cars go by.

    Most importantly, try to be zen about it. Whatever it is that separates you from other people, own it. Do you think your world view does? If you think about your experiences, your traits, your personality long enough, eventually you will become at peace with yourself.

    Thats what happened to me; essentially, once i became at peace with the situation i was in, i suddenly became very... aware, i guess you could say, of how easy it was to change it, because my situation wasn't even really that bad. I wasn't stuck like that in any way; i just convinced myself i was.

    I think i was one of those people that was afraid of new things, but i didn't know i was. Once i realized it, things changed.

    Since then i haven't been nearly that unhappy; I now don't get depressed, instead it's an odd mixture of loneliness and content; it's a very odd feeling, but i think it's when you have emotions like that instead of pure joy that give you a better perspective of things.

    vash11 on
  • Screaming RavenScreaming Raven Registered User
    edited February 2008
    SkyGheNe wrote: »
    You need to find something outside of studying/playing computer games that makes you happy and proud.

    Firstly this, Great place to start, I recently re-discovered my love for music after "wandering" about life, it has helped me re-discover myself and also express myself in ways I was incapable of before, also it has allowed me to meet new people who share a love for music.

    vash11 wrote: »
    I personally like to be spontaneous when i start thinking like that; just walk around downtown, wander into museums/art exhibitions, eat at a small cafe, and watch people and cars go by.

    Secondly, Another great idea, I find if you don't worry about being out and about on your own and just go for a ride or a walk or anything like that you'll enjoy yourself and more than likely meet somebody on your way around the place.
    I recently on a whim decided to take up skateboarding again and it helps me get outside a lot more often, plus I will occasionally run into someone at the skate park that can carry a good conversation which is good it's helped me over come my dire social anxiety that kept me in doors 24/7.

    Screaming Raven on
  • WuckFarcraftWuckFarcraft Registered User
    edited February 2008
    How many hours a day do you spend on the computer (not doing anything productive IE reading forums) / video games / TV a day?

    Also....
    The fact I'm majoring in history doesn't help the matter any, in my mind. Oh well.

    What the hell does this have to do with ANYTHING.

    WuckFarcraft on
  • Phil G.Phil G. __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    You like history? If it is possible, join a reenactment group. If you aren't interested in that sort of history join a local history club/society. They both have friendly people in them and offer a chance of more conversation and travel.

    Phil G. on
    I kind of wish pi day would take off like 420 has. I could back a "eat pie at 3:14, erryday" movement.
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way: life won't come to you. A person that doesn't know you exist can't invite you to a party or go on a date with you. You can't make friends with someone that isn't there. Do you see what I'm saying? You're not destined to be alone or without a lot of friends, you've chosen this. And if you really try getting into the social circle, which I don't think you do, and it isn't working out, keep trying. Try new things, talk to new people. Get a hobby that involves other people. Practice a martial art, that can build up a lot of comradery and you can make a lot of close friends. But the most important thing is that if you don't try, no one else can try for you. People tend to help those that can help themselves. If you want to be an insignificant lump on the floor, nobody is going to force you to be something else. Get out there, and make it happen.

    Zombiemambo on
    JKKaAGp.png
  • WuckFarcraftWuckFarcraft Registered User
    edited February 2008
    This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way: life won't come to you. A person that doesn't know you exist can't invite you to a party or go on a date with you. You can't make friends with someone that isn't there. Do you see what I'm saying? You're not destined to be alone or without a lot of friends, you've chosen this. And if you really try getting into the social circle, which I don't think you do, and it isn't working out, keep trying. Try new things, talk to new people. Get a hobby that involves other people. Practice a martial art, that can build up a lot of comradery and you can make a lot of close friends. But the most important thing is that if you don't try, no one else can try for you. People tend to help those that can help themselves. If you want to be an insignificant lump on the floor, nobody is going to force you to be something else. Get out there, and make it happen.

    Exactly...

    WuckFarcraft on
  • Screaming RavenScreaming Raven Registered User
    edited February 2008
    This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way: life won't come to you. A person that doesn't know you exist can't invite you to a party or go on a date with you. You can't make friends with someone that isn't there. Do you see what I'm saying? You're not destined to be alone or without a lot of friends, you've chosen this. And if you really try getting into the social circle, which I don't think you do, and it isn't working out, keep trying. Try new things, talk to new people. Get a hobby that involves other people. Practice a martial art, that can build up a lot of comradery and you can make a lot of close friends. But the most important thing is that if you don't try, no one else can try for you. People tend to help those that can help themselves. If you want to be an insignificant lump on the floor, nobody is going to force you to be something else. Get out there, and make it happen.

    Quoted for great truth, "Leaving it to destiny" won't get you anywhere if you want it you'll chase after it

    Screaming Raven on
  • SlainbylichSlainbylich Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    How many hours a day do you spend on the computer (not doing anything productive IE reading forums) / video games a day?

    Too damn long. I get up around 7am on mon,wed,fri and am at college until 3:00ish. Monday-Thursday I try to hit the gym, that eats about an hour and half or so. When I get back from the gym I try to study, but this doesn't hold up well, after about 45 mintues I end up on the comp until I go to sleep around 9. So, about 5 hours a day on MWF. It gets worse on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as i don't have class then. I try to drag myself to the gym on those days, and most of the time succeed.

    On the weekends(friday evening + saturday evening) I work night shift on sanitation at a local bakery plant(woo pepperidge farm), so that kills my days, I'm usually asleep and when I'm awake it's only for a few hours before I go to work.

    So, on average 5 hours a day. I never actually looked at it like that, but I'm essentially throwing an entire day away every week.
    You can't make friends with someone that isn't there. Do you see what I'm saying? You're not destined to be alone or without a lot of friends, you've chosen this.
    But the most important thing is that if you don't try, no one else can try for you. People tend to help those that can help themselves. If you want to be an insignificant lump on the floor, nobody is going to force you to be something else. Get out there, and make it happen.


    Nail -> Head. I've told myself that roughly in the past, but hearing someone else reiterate it helps. Thank you.

    Slainbylich on
  • DekuStickDekuStick Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way: life won't come to you. A person that doesn't know you exist can't invite you to a party or go on a date with you. You can't make friends with someone that isn't there. Do you see what I'm saying? You're not destined to be alone or without a lot of friends, you've chosen this. And if you really try getting into the social circle, which I don't think you do, and it isn't working out, keep trying. Try new things, talk to new people. Get a hobby that involves other people. Practice a martial art, that can build up a lot of comradery and you can make a lot of close friends. But the most important thing is that if you don't try, no one else can try for you. People tend to help those that can help themselves. If you want to be an insignificant lump on the floor, nobody is going to force you to be something else. Get out there, and make it happen.

    This has been quoted a couple times already because it's really perfect. You've gotta get out there and make opportunities to find people. Coffee shops, clubs, wherever people go. But you just can't sit there thinking about doing it, you need to get out there or nothing will change. Your school might be a good conversational piece if you've got nothing to talk about. Quick example "I haven't had much time to be social, I've been burying myself in my studies". This leads to people getting interested. "Oh what are you studying?" and so on. I think you'll do alright if you just get out there. And if you don't meet anyone your first couple times out don't worry about it too much because the important thing is, you're out there.

    DekuStick on
  • zombie0047zombie0047 Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Most every one here has the right idea. If you like something I'm sure there are other people who like it too. Find a club if there isn't one, fuck that you can start it. Me and a friend have tried to throw our own parties but it wasn't really our thing but, then we inviting people to play D&D and quickly it expanded to other activities like bojutsu, wood chopping, gaming and wood carving. No one else was doing it so we did and others joined.

    zombie0047 on
  • Rubber DuckeyRubber Duckey Registered User
    edited February 2008
    I am in almost exactly the same situation as this fellow, and for me at least (I have no idea how the topic creator feels), most people seem to be missing the point.

    I too am extremely socially isolated, and would love to get out more. I mean, I'm in talk therapy and all sorts of stuff, and I talk to a few good friends I do have about these things. Everywhere and everything tells me to go outside, to get off my computer and my ass and go meet people. Great, wonderful, love to. The problem is not that I can't go drive to a coffee shop, or to a club, its what the hell I'm supposed to do once I'm there.

    I know I can't sit around and expect everything to come flying my way. But it feels like there is some sixth sense that people have that lets them instinctively know what to do in social situations. I want to get out there and change things. I'm not stupid, I know this. But no one has ever told me how! How do I talk to someone I don't know? Its fine and good to go to a coffee shop or something, but what do I do once I'm there? I mean, its actually a bit baffling to me. What am I supposed to do at a coffee shop except, you know, order coffee, sit down and drink it. I don't see how this leads to getting to know people. I'm not making the connection.

    I love to write as a way to express myself. At first it was incredibly liberating. It still is my true love. However, though I know I shouldn't feel this way, It all seems so pointless. I don't have anyone to read my work, I don't know any other writers to talk to about this stuff (though I would LOVE to.) I have intrests and all, but I'm still unable to make the connection between hobby and other people. I'm living at college for crying out loud, I can't understand how everyone else does it. How do they make these connections? How do they meet one another?

    I'm just confused. I can handle difficult college courses, but I can't figure out how to talk to people! It's absolutely insane.

    Rubber Duckey on
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I am in almost exactly the same situation as this fellow, and for me at least (I have no idea how the topic creator feels), most people seem to be missing the point.

    I too am extremely socially isolated, and would love to get out more. I mean, I'm in talk therapy and all sorts of stuff, and I talk to a few good friends I do have about these things. Everywhere and everything tells me to go outside, to get off my computer and my ass and go meet people. Great, wonderful, love to. The problem is not that I can't go drive to a coffee shop, or to a club, its what the hell I'm supposed to do once I'm there.

    I know I can't sit around and expect everything to come flying my way. But it feels like there is some sixth sense that people have that lets them instinctively know what to do in social situations. I want to get out there and change things. I'm not stupid, I know this. But no one has ever told me how! How do I talk to someone I don't know? Its fine and good to go to a coffee shop or something, but what do I do once I'm there? I mean, its actually a bit baffling to me. What am I supposed to do at a coffee shop except, you know, order coffee, sit down and drink it. I don't see how this leads to getting to know people. I'm not making the connection.

    I love to write as a way to express myself. At first it was incredibly liberating. It still is my true love. However, though I know I shouldn't feel this way, It all seems so pointless. I don't have anyone to read my work, I don't know any other writers to talk to about this stuff (though I would LOVE to.) I have intrests and all, but I'm still unable to make the connection between hobby and other people. I'm living at college for crying out loud, I can't understand how everyone else does it. How do they make these connections? How do they meet one another?

    I'm just confused. I can handle difficult college courses, but I can't figure out how to talk to people! It's absolutely insane.

    This is me minus the writing bit. I just don't get how people be social, it's like I missed a class in elementary school or something. The only time I've ever clicked with people beyond my very few close personal friends is at PAX, where I have absolutely no trouble fitting in. I just wish I could transfer that comfort level and skill into everyday life.

    Raiden333 on
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  • zombie0047zombie0047 Registered User
    edited February 2008
    I get what you mean but the thing is you didn't miss a class in elementary school. Everyone can be social but that doesn't mean having a fucking train full of friends. Personally i think if you have that many friends you are probably giving friendship status to acquaintances. You don't have to go to a coffee shop to meet people because people are everywhere go do things you like the humans you meet there are usually going easier to talk to. I have had this problem and the way i got over was by going somewhere usually with a friend and pretending to know people as though i performing some sort of act. I would stare at someone excited and spout something nonsensical like "hey how ya been .....oh right we don't know each other" then i would immediately walk away this got me over my fear of talking to people i didn't know and occasionally lead to some strange explanations as why i doing this in a mall.

    zombie0047 on
  • SpecularitySpecularity Registered User
    edited February 2008
    If you like writing and are at college, check your English department. They almost always have some sort of reading series going on (poetry, short stories, whatever). Try going to one of those and just interacting with the other writers, or at least just getting out there -- you're bound to socialize. If you don't want to go there immediately, maybe check out the Writing Assistance Center, if you've got one. You know there'll be people there who share your interest.

    I don't usually go to a coffee shop alone unless I just want to sit and study, read, something like that. See if one of your friends would be up for getting coffee with you, and head down to one close to your campus. You might see people from your classes, or people you've seen around, and they'll be easy to strike up a conversation with, or at least just to exchange greetings.

    I think you're thinking about socializing too much! You don't really go out with a gameplan. If you keep talking yourself out of going out, you'll never do it. But, say, going to a club. That's probably something you'll do with a friend, and then you guys just go and chat or dance or whatever. Something easier to do alone is definitely a coffee place, or a diner, or a club or organization at school -- for example, I started taking tae kwon do at my school without knowing anyone else there, but now I've met some really cool people that I probably wouldn't have associated with otherwise. When you're learning how to defend against chokes or to ground fight, you learn pretty quickly how to get along with the other person involved.

    Stop thinking so much!

    Specularity on
  • AnteCantelopeAnteCantelope Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    If you have trouble talking to people you don't know, there's one thing that worked for me that might help you: get a job in retail. I know, I know, working retail is not exactly fun, and it lowers your opinion of the average person, but every day you are forced to repeatedly interact with strangers. The good thing is, each interaction is relatively short, if you are selling a product you know then you generally won't get lost in the conversation, and you can start off very superficially (hi, how are you, that's $20 thanks, have a nice day).

    I'm not sure how this would work for anyone else, but it definitely helped me.

    AnteCantelope on
  • DopeskiDopeski Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    If you have trouble talking to people you don't know, there's one thing that worked for me that might help you: get a job in retail. I know, I know, working retail is not exactly fun, and it lowers your opinion of the average person, but every day you are forced to repeatedly interact with strangers. The good thing is, each interaction is relatively short, if you are selling a product you know then you generally won't get lost in the conversation, and you can start off very superficially (hi, how are you, that's $20 thanks, have a nice day).

    I'm not sure how this would work for anyone else, but it definitely helped me.

    Hmm, I agree. The thought of getting a job scared the crap out of me, and not to mention one that involved working with people (I worked at a grocery store for just over a year). Somehow I made it passed the first day and after that it was all just a learning experience. You interact with so many different people on a daily basis, eventually you'll get used to talking with people and you'll definitely learn some social skills or two (I did anyway). :-)

    Dopeski on
  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I hope things get better for you. I have a friend in the exact same position as you (except instead of school, it's video games... heh) and he won't listen to me at all when I tell him that he has the choice to go out and meet people. Instead, he prefers bitching about how he doesn't have very many friends/hasn't kissed a girl/had a girlfriend.

    I learned this lesson hard too. I missed out on so many opportunities because I wasn't ready to get life into my own hands. I just assumed something will land on my lap that I can take. Which is almost never the case.

    So please take the advice in this thread and change. You're not a bad person at all, and you should experience everything that you want.

    urahonky on
  • CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Sleepwalking through life sounds familiar, I'm in a similar situation just a bit younger. I know it feels like you're the only person in the world going through this shit but you aren’t. I've started to turn it around though mainly by just saying to myself that taking risk and failing isn’t as bad as the horrible empty life I had before. My advice to you is; are you still living with your parents? If so move out. It's the best decision I ever made, I also started talking more with my Friends Friends getting a bigger social circle which also introduced me to some women. Now I know a couple of girls that I go to gigs and drink with. I know it sucks having to learn how to interact with girls at this stage in your life when it seems like everyone else mastered this crap years ago but its one of those things that you only loose your fear of by doing it more. Trust me when I say the only thing worse than learning to do these things at 23 is having to learn them at 28 or 36 ect. One trick that helps you with this is to stay the hell out of your own head when talking to new people. Like everyone else said going to clubs and taking up musical instruments is a good way of getting an excuse to talk to new people. :wink:

    Casual on
    i write amazing erotic fiction

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    Winky wrote: »
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  • QuillbladeQuillblade Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Being a student is challenging. When we learn, we give up a part of our own identity to accept the learnings of others, to see things in the way others do.

    This can be a very hard time, very much so for those who go immediately into schooling without having a chance to discover their own identity first. Patience in this is a good thing, once youve learned the rules, the habits and methodologies, once the requirements are burned and reburned into yourself, allow time for practice.

    Practice is boring, because not much new learning is talking place. It is hard to hold to focus in these times. Practice now, even though it seems mindless, will allow you to accomplish these things in the future without effort, without thinking. This means that you can achieve more when place into real situations, for as others struggle with the basics, you will accomplish the same tasks effortlessly and be able to challange situations completely, competitivly and more effectively than others around you.

    Stay curious, eyes to the future. Time will pass as it always does, and these little trials will come to an end.

    Quillblade on
    Owl cocked his head and asked,"What should I inquire about?"
    Raven said, "Good start".
  • WiseguyWiseguy __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    Hey man, I like your writing style. The OP was a good read. Looks like angst but it was much more genuine than an adolescent angst - you seemed real disorientated and dissatisfied, real genuine sad stuff.

    Anyway, hm, what advice can I offer you? Well, for one thing, stop pluggin' so many hours into the machine and how about spending some of that time reading good stuff? Hunter S. Thompson, Joan Didion, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Kerouac - I'm not sure how this is gonna help you in the social department, hell, it might be even more of a socially ascetic thing to do. Well, it's productive time spent.

    There's a lot of wisdom in those books, ya see? Great intelligent characters have managed to communicate some of their experience and wisdom in written word and it's there for you to absorb. It has helped me find myself a lot (whatever that means) and I'm pretty damn content and exhilirated to breathe, even in this surreal bizarre world with issues and a maniac with world power.

    I think what I'm trying to say is that these books have passion in them and an exciting perspective of life and of the wonders that living as a human being has to offer you, so you'll feel a little bit of a tingle in yourself after reading this good stuff. Perhaps enough to drive you to live in the fullest sense.

    Also, go to bars, yada yada yada, shows and say hi to people, I don't know, but it's popular advice. Take it if it works for you.

    Good luck with the great hunt for meaning.

    Edit: Oh shit, how did I forget Vonnegut. Most definitely read Vonnegut. It'll mellow you out a bit.

    Wiseguy on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • BronzeDuckBronzeDuck Registered User
    edited February 2008
    For all those in this thread talking about feeling like you've missed a class in "how to be social". Think about it like this, when you're "out" the other people who are out are there to meet people usually as well. That means that they're all in the same boat you are.

    Find something you like to talk about, and talk to people about it, other people will be doing the same, so don't think you have to carry the entire conversation yourself. Be willing to run with any topic people bring up in conversation be it: work, politics, cars, music, drinks, anything. Even if you hate the topic, you must have some passing knowledge to bring to the discussion, elsewise play off your ignorance and learn more. Also, learn the list of common questions for meeting people your age and bring them out if there's a lull in other conversation.

    If you're at a pub and can or can learn to play pub games, go with that, joining games with random people is a great way to make initial acquaintences. If you're out at a place like a coffee shop and you happen to overhear a discussion you can interject yourself into somewhat gracefully, do so. Yes it's scary, yes occasionally people will tell you to fuck off and yes it will feel(and be) awkward, but you can't make any progress if you don't put yourself out there ever and it will get less awkward the more you practice.

    BronzeDuck on
  • TheGreat2ndTheGreat2nd Registered User
    edited February 2008
    I second joining an intramural sport or clubs that interest you.
    Maybe some intramural that meets every day, get some exercise, and you can meet plenty of new people.
    Plus, exercise. Plenty of fun to be had :D

    TheGreat2nd on
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    I'm Jacob Wilson. | facebook | thegreat2nd | [url="aim:goim?screenname=TheGreatSecond&message=Hello+from+the+Penny+Arcade+Forums!"]aim[/url]
  • Sheep Have WoolSheep Have Wool Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I remember feeling like this during college at some point myself. I clearly felt like I was missing out on all of the fun that other people appeared to be having, and I often asked myself, "How is it that everyone else just seems to meet people?" Obviously the common sense answers are correct (just go talk to people, join a club, etc.), and they work, I just didn't see how to apply them - which I think is the problem most people have in this situation. How DO you just go up and "talk to someone?" Starting a conversation seems to be the biggest problem.

    Since you're still in school, there are plenty of chances to meet people. The best way I've found is to sit next to someone that appears friendly and ask to borrow something, like a pen/pencil. Make certain to thank them, then have a question prepared to ask them. "Did you understand that last assignment?" or something similar is a great conversation starter, and will require them to respond with more than a single word answer.

    Questions are a great way to keep a conversation flowing, especially if you don't feel your social skills are up to par. As an added bonus, people, for the most part, enjoy the company of people that seem interested in what they have to say. Listen carefully. Smile. If you act friendly and interested, people tend to respond in kind.

    You don't need to hit a home run the first time you talk to someone, either. If a conversation goes well, sit next to that person the next day. If not, talk to someone else. The goal here is to hone those social skills and perhaps make a "class buddy." Offer to exchange notes if they miss a class. If you meet enough people casually, you're bound to find a few that stick. It's important to target people that look like they're friendly - they're bound to know other people that you can meet through them.

    Appearance matters. A sad truth, but one you do need to take into account. It seems like you're headed to the gym fairly often, which is always good, but make sure you dress nicely. Rolling out of bed and throwing on a wrinkled T-shirt doesn't change who you are, but it does affect how others see you. As others have said before, try to look friendly. Make eye contact and smile. The more confident you are in your appearance, the more confidence you'll have in yourself, and the easier it will be to talk to others.

    Good luck, and despite the fact that you feel like you haven't accomplished anything, your life is hardly over at 23 - you've got time left. Someone once told me, "Don't ever be complacent." It was some of the best advice I ever received, and it took me far too long to appreciate.

    Sheep Have Wool on
  • SlainbylichSlainbylich Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Thanks everyone for your time and suggestions. I hope others that posted in this thread looking for help found some as well. I've been acting on some of this advice already; no more angstfishing for me. I know that looks are a big part of first impressions, so one of my objectives will be to develop an actual style that fits me in personality.

    Slainbylich on
  • SpecularitySpecularity Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Good for you! Too many people "ask" for help, but totally ignore it, but actually wanting to change/what have you (as it looks like you do) is a big step toward getting to where you want to be.

    Specularity on
  • CaswynbenCaswynben Registered User
    edited February 2008
    I would like to bring up another issue that I had to get over when I was in a similar situation. It is really easy to get down on your socialization and find it daunting if you base your opinions of what is socially acceptable as being part of society on what you see on TV, movies, and the internet. This led me to feel that anything less than going out to parties and finding happiness with complete strangers wasn't enough, because that is what is described. It is important to realize that there are groups of people out there who are into the same things as you, where you don't have to go too far outside of your activity comfort zone in order to meet new people. There are clubs for anime, gaming, shooting guns, acting, TV, writing, drawing, dancing. It took me a long time to come to the realization that the time I spent making TV shows at my school with the student tv station was just as valuable as the girls I would see and hear about going out to clubs on the weekend.

    Caswynben on
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    So, a few points from someone who was in the same situation and pulled themselves out of it (I even majored in history).

    There's a saying thats probably a cliche, but it works well for this situation. "If you keep on doing what you've been doing, you're going to keep getting what you're getting" Basically, if you want to change your situation, you have to change your behaviour.

    A place to start would be to concentrate on convincing yourself that you are doomed to continue to be socially isolated and lonely by some cosmic form. You have the power, and indeed, the responsibility to determine how your life goes. Thats not to diminish the fact that changing your life might not be somewhat nervewracking. Theres probably a lot of fear of rejection hanging around in a situation like this. However, you can overcome that fear, and the rewards are worth it. You're not happy with how things are now, so there's not much here to lose.

    Some suggestions on how to change things:

    1) Pretty much any college or university has a free counseling service. Go use it. It may not provide you with the secret of life, but just having an uninvolved person to talk to may help.

    2)You're probably feeling depressed. Exercise is a good short term relief for this, and will get you out of the house a bit. Start going to the gym, sign up for a recreational sport, join an active type club at your school, like a hiking club, or a martial arts club or something similar. Just make sure to actually talk to people while you're there. If nothing else, you can always ask them about themselves. People in general are a narcissistic lot and we love to talk about ourselves. ;-)

    3)Talk about what changes you want to make in your life to someone you trust, whether its a friend, sibling, parent, cousin, priest, counsellor, or whatever. Making that commitment public will help you stick with it, and give you someone to talk to about things.

    4) Academic wise, it sounds like you're maybe a bit lost with what you're doing. Think about why you like History, and what, if anything you want to do with it long-term? You may want to talk to a professor about it, or talk with someone at your school's career centre. It may help you find some more meaning in your studies if you have a long term goal in mind. Its also fairly normal to feel a little burn out with your studies if you've been at them for a few years. Not sure what year you may be in.

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
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