I am in my 50s and get terribly lonely.
I have a knack for being forgotten or overlooked. Although I have a few friends, I have never been asked out to coffee, dinner, movies...the things girlfriends do together. I am the one who rings them and then it is just a chat on the phone, usually they are too busy etc.
My friends have dinner parties, go out, "do coffee' etc. and I am not invited.
There is obviously something very off-putting about me to have this effect on people.
I try not to feel sorry for myself, but just get so lonely. I have 2 teenage children and a husband who has a very full social life, lots of friends who ring him, ask him out to coffee etc.
I feel like a misfit and struggle to understand any real worth I bring to any of this.
Hi Shooster, welcome to the forums. Good to have you on board.
Feeling ostracized is uncomfortable. Sorry it seems to be part of your reality at the moment. Any idea at all why this is happening ? Do you find it difficult to relate to people ? Do you easily participate in conversations ? Do you enjoy fun activities ?
Perhaps it is time to take the initiative and invite people (coffee, a meal, an outing etc...) instead of waiting to be invited. See what happens. Thought of joining a group or club involving activities that interest you? Volunteering to visit lonely people ?
Meanwhile, joining these forums is a great start. Navigating them will reveal an array of possibilities. I hope you'll enjoy the company, may it be for amicable banter or serious discussions. Try the Community Board threads for light-hearted entertainment or find others to discuss the social isolation experience...an often broached subject here at BB.
Thank you for sharing your concerns. Quite a few of us will relate to those as the feeling of isolation is a by-product of mental/emotional unrest. I hope you will keep posting, so that we can make better acquaintance and help you get to the bottom of this loneliness.
We're here for you.
Hi Shooster, Welcome!
I can relate very strongly to loneliness at the moment. It's something that is upsetting, isolating and it feels very painful.
Sometimes I feel like being social, other times I don't. Some of my friends have left me because they don't understand this but there are a few who understand.
Regarding what you've written, are you able to step through a few situations where you've been with friends and watch as if you are an extra person watching. Can you see anything that would make the group dynamic difficult hard to relate to how you're feeling? Is there anything as that third party observer that you can see you'd like to change about how the group interacts?
You mentioned your husband has a very busy social life - can you join in with this?
Do you have a hobby that you could join a group with? www.meetup.com is a great place to start. any topic you can think of and there's a group. Most of the groups meet in real life and enjoy the common cause and theme of the group. Sewing, meditation, sightseeing, religious groups, you name it!
What are your thoughts Shooster?
I have tried many times to ask people out to coffee, suggest a movie or just get together. They usually say, yeah sure I'll ring you and if I suggest a time , they say they are busy.
It is embarrassing because it seems to me, that they don't want to go and I really do not want to put someone in a situation of feeling obliged.
I have a friend from my school-days whom I thought was a close friend but we only have breakfast together every month or so. She actually has dinner parties and get-togethers at her home which I have never been invited to and she and her husband have gone away with other couples.
I have realised that although I know her family, I do not know any of her other friends. And now, instead of going to her home and then walking down to a restaurant for breakfast, she has suggested I meet her at the cafe. She literally books me in for an hour or so and that's that.
No one ever rings me and that is literally true. If someone rings to talk to my husband, and they ask after me, he might offer to put me on the phone and they say they have got to go. I have asked my husband for feedback and he used to sort of laugh, shake his head and say he honestly doesn't know.
I have even volunteered with the hope of meeting people but now they have put me in an area where I am isolated from the other volunteers who get together for coffee, lunch etc.
Do you think there are people in life who are just destined to be on the periphery? and then just fade away?
That's how I feel
Sorry you are getting the cold shoulder treatment, a painful position to be in. My heart goes out to you.
I agree that there are people destined to live on the periphery. Usually, their ideas and aspirations are different from the majority's. So others feel uncomfortable around them as they have trouble relating to them.
Other than that, it is difficult to know what keeps people away, particularly if no one is prepared to let you know openly how they feel about your company. Many depression sufferers for example have isolation issues as others fail to understand their fluctuating state of mind. Pessimistic views or defeatism also tend to push people away. In fact, countless different reasons may cause social isolation. But there are always reasons...may they be superficial or of a deeper nature.
Have you thought of asking someone who knows you well (your husband for example) for an honest opinion ? If those around you are not prepared to suggest possible causes, what do YOU think ? Do you feel, act, respond differently from the majority ? Other than yourself, only those close to you could come up with answers to the why question. If this is not possible, have you considered seeking advice from a professional counselor ?
I hope you can soon get to the bottom of this isolation so that a solution can be found and you can enjoy more social interaction. Meanwhile, we're always happy to chat with you via these forums...although it doesn't replace face to face communication.
Have a good day.