Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Response to Josh K.

On my last post you asked me a few questions:

Some other questions?

Do you do the things that you are asking of others?
Do you take the time to fInd out how those around you are doing?
Do you set the tone of the conversation, or do they?
Do you care about those around you?

An answer to your question maybe, and that is;

Maybe you're not a people person.
Maybe, just because others feel the need to always have companionship or people around them, all the time, doesn't meen there's something wrong with you.

Go with the flow. Just be.......

Just, my 2 cents,

My purpose in answering these questions is twofold. Mainly, it is my belief that nothing can be truly understood until it is broken into smaller pieces and digested one bit at a time. By answering your questions, I am hoping to break the greater issue into smaller chunks in order to isolate the root(s) of the problem. Secondarily, since you asked the questions at all, I assume you might take some interest in their answers.

Q: Do you do the things that you are asking of others?

A: What am I asking of others? I do not necessarily think that I am asking much. I am not asking anyone to take an interest who is not genuinely interested. That is not something that I have any control over. Essentially, I figure it must be something that I am or am not doing that makes me less appealing than other people. If I were more interesting or whatever it might be, then they would take more of an interest in me.
For the majority of my life, I have not had to look for friends. They just came to me. I did nothing, and people walked up and made friends with me. Thinking back, there are certainly explanations for it. It has nothing to do with how interesting or uninteresting I was, but the fact that every last one of us at the time was part of a captive audience. In the school system, people who otherwise would not interact with one another are forced to congregate in a space where it is impossible not to meet someone. And because I was and still am a very agreeable person, people seemed to have no problem spending time in captivity with me. In being stuck together, some people got to know me and liked who I was.
Outside of that world people have complete control over who they interact with. Now, I do not even know where to begin. I have no idea how to go about building a relationship because every friend I ever had spoke to me first.
I have thought about what it takes to make a relationship quite a lot in the last couple of years and what it seems to come down to is reciprocation. No one likes to be the one who is always planning things to do, or the one who always calls everyone else. There needs to be effort from both sides. Unfortunately, insecurity sometimes comes across as lack of interest and when I never called anyone to get together, it was not because I did not want to, it was because I did not think that anyone actually cared enough to want me around.
Finally, I have managed to get a little better at that, and people seem to enjoy that neither one of us is doing all the work.
Suffice to say, I feel like I am doing a pretty good job of trying to reciprocate. I care deeply about the people around me and I really do want to get to know them better...but my insecurities make me wonder if anyone really wants me around as much as I want them around.

Q: Do you take the time to find out how those around you are doing?

A: I work in customer service. My last three jobs have been jobs in which I stand on the opposite side of a counter and help every last person who walks through the doors. In some ways working these jobs has helped me to understand how hopelessly flawed we all are. Because no one is perfect, no one is too scary to talk to. But at the same time, I see so many people in a day that it is hard to feel genuine as the one-hundredth "Hello, how are you today?" is coming out of my mouth. Of the people who I see outside my job, I really do try and find out how they are, but as they rightfully should be towards someone whom they do not intimately know, they do not feel the need to spill their guts to me. Again, the age difference paves the way for an immediately parental relationship in which I am no longer on equal intellectual ground.
I honestly want to know people. When I ask how someone's day is going, I genuinely want to hear that story and listen to everything they have to say. It has often been my biggest disappointment that no one is as fascinated by my stories as I am by theirs.

Q: Do you set the tone of the conversation, or do they?

A: When I am at work, it is usually me who starts and maintains the conversation. Outside of work, it is usually other people. I do not have a lot to tell. Other people have a lot to say. I do not mind listening and contributing, but they can talk about whatever they want with me.

Q: Do you care about those around you?

A: Yes. If there is one thing I believe I do too much, it is care for other people. Which is also why it is painfully difficult for me to feel so disconnected from everyone here. If I did not care about the people around me, I would not necessarily need to know them at all because it would make no difference to me. But because I care, I am lonely.


  1. From my own personal experiences, seeing our own blind-spots can be hard. Sometimes what is need is an outside observer. Someone who's not going to tell you what they think you want to hear.

    On that note are you an adult or a child, just because someone is older than you doesn't automatically give them authority or make them an authority figure. Respect your elders doesn't mean do or agree with everything they say. Your life experiences have just as much value as theirs, and there's an assumption in that statement that they have lived any kind of life to began with.

    After saying all that I only know you through your writing, and I'm still trying to figure out if this blog is where you go to vent and get it all out and move on, or if this is just another way to worry and beat your self up.

    I say life to short to worry,

    Ps. If I cross a line or you get tired of hearing from let me know and I'll move on. Ok?

  2. Also, you didn't have give me the answers to the questions, they were for you. I am interested, but in this exercise that is beside the point.