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No one ever asks how I am

MidnightThinker
Community Member

Hi this is my first time posting. I felt like venting a bit where there was no chance of anyone knowing who I am, or having anyone I do know find it.

I have pretty bad depression and anxiety but I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good with managing it most of the time but there’s one thing that constantly weighs on me and that’s the fact that no one seems to be very interested in me at any capacity. 
I live with my partner and we have these family dinners and every single time no one who comes over ever asks how I’m doing or about anything new in my life. It’s like I’m just sitting there in the background. I try to involve myself by having a laugh as everyone jokes about and I try to contribute to conversations as best as I can but no one really ever acknowledges what I’ve said. Typically the subject will change as soon as I’ve spoken and I just glance at my phone to hide the fact that I’m hurt. 
I was hoping that after making some big accomplishments (for me) that maybe someone would ask about them. For example I just got a new job after 6 months of unemployment and no one even acknowledged it, let alone asked about it.

 

I know it‘s probably stupid but I can’t help but feel like I just don’t mean anything to people at all. Not even enough to have a pretty surface level conversation because no one has ever cared to bother uttering the words “how are you?” Or “what’s new?”

I ask everyone how they are of course and they’re more than happy to answer but I never get that same courtesy. Maybe it’s stupid if me to be upset by it but you’d think after almost 10 years that people would start to care at least a little, but clearly they don’t.

 

Has anyone else experienced this? How did you get through it without feeling kinda worthless in the world? I’m really struggling with this because I don’t really have any friends that I can see somewhat regularly, and I’m not super close with my own family either. 
I just wish someone would care but it honestly feels like there must be something fundamentally wrong with me to have not a single soul beyond my partner give a flying turd about me and my existence.

5 Replies 5

sbella02
Community Champion
Community Champion

MidnightThinker,

 

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, and I'd like to extend a warm welcome to our forums. We're happy to have you here.

 

Yes, I know the feeling. Particularly back in high school, I felt like nobody cared to ask what was going on in my life, or nobody was really that interested. 

 

As I've gotten older, I've become a lot more of an oversharer, and will often just tell those around me what's going on in my life without them necessarily having to ask. Once I do share, they'll ask questions and express interest, but I'll often make that first move in terms of opening up about my life with people I care about. 

 

I noticed that you mentioned how you'll ask people how they are and they don't tend to reciprocate. That can be disheartening, I know. I'd like to argue that it doesn't necessarily mean that they don't care or aren't interested. Sometimes people may simply forget to ask altogether, or they might be immersed in what they're talking about and it slips their mind. Perhaps they're used to people opening up without them having to ask questions. 

 

You've also said that you try to contribute to these conversations but feel like you've not been heard or that the subject changes. Does this change depending on what you contribute, or does it seem to be in response to everything you say?

 

Have you talked to your partner about this? If this is their family, perhaps they have greater insight into what might be going on and can either reassure you or offer you some explanation. 

 

I hope this is somewhat helpful, you can definitely keep chatting with us if you feel like having a vent. We're here to listen.

 

And also, congrats on your new job. Huge achievement. 🙂

 

Take care, SB

Hi sbella02,

 

Thanks for welcome and your response. How do you just say things without being asked? I know that might seem like a silly question but I mean how do you bring it up specifically without it coming across like really random or weird?

 

It is a bit hard to believe that they just forget because they all seem to ask each other but just not me. That’s what makes me feel like it’s intentional/lack of care even though that in itself isn’t exactly hard evidence.

 

With the subject changes it seems like they only engage if I ask them a direct question, but if I have any other form of input, like anybody else would, I just get a bit of a funny look and then they’ll keep talking like I didn’t say anything at all or completely change the subject altogether.

 

I have spoken to my partner about it a couple of times and he says that’s just the way they are and some other stuff that doesn’t really make me feel any better about the whole thing. I feel bad bringing it up because I don’t want him to think I’m just bagging out his family so I keep my feelings to myself majority of the time.

 

And thank you for the congratulations. I’ve struggled with finding suitable work so it’s nice to have some acknowledgment there 🙂

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi MidnightThinker

 

Human nature's such a fascinating thing, that's for sure. Trying to figure out why people behave the way they do is the kind of thing that can, at times, take us to the brink of insanity, anger, stress, depression, frustration, intolerance etc.

 

I've found there can be basically wonderful people and intensely wonderful people and people who fall somewhere in between. For example, you can have folk who might basically wonder how you are by simply asking 'How are you?'. They don't necessarily want the truth as to whether you feel like garbage or whether you're stressed or depressed, they're just basically interested. Then you can have folk who hold a genuine sense of wonder, where they seriously do want to know how you are, no matter what. They'll also wonder about why you think or feel the way you do about certain things, such as current affairs etc. Then there are intensely wonderful people who'll wonder about pretty much anything, such as how you are, what you've been up to, what you're opinion is when it comes to a variety of stuff, on top of leading you to wonder about certain things. They're the kind of people who'll bring out the best in you. They can bring out the philosopher in you by wondering 'What do you feel the purpose of life is?'. The can bring out the analyst in you by asking 'If you took all emotion out of that situation, what do you think the most logical explanation is for it?'. They can bring out the seer in you by asking 'What do you see, through your imagination, as the best way forward and what do you see as the worst way forward?'.

 

Personally, I live with 2 different types. While my husband has a seriously limited sense of wonder, my 21yo daughter and 18yo son are jam packed with wonder. While I can struggle to hold a conversation with my husband at times, I can easily talk for hours with my kids. From the nature of politics, through to the nature of people and all the way through to the nature of reality, we're a chatty and curious wonderful bunch.

 

I imagine you to be both a sensitive person and someone who is full of genuine wonder. If this is the case, I challenge you (next time you're with your partner's family) to get a sense of whether his family lacks the kind of wonder you have. Do they wonder all that much? What are the kinds of things they refuse to wonder about (perhaps the kinds of things you're interested in). Doesn't make those things uninteresting, just means they don't challenge themselves to wonder about them all that much.

 

Sensitive wonderful people can be so much easier to get along with, in my opinion. If your partner happens to be the black sheep of the family, might help explain why you find it so much easier to get along with him.

 

Stay wonderful and sensitive and more power to you 😊❤️  Btw, I can't help but wonder how the new job's going and what your favourite thing about it is.

 

Hello therising,

 

Thank you for responding. I really found the idea of having a sense of wonder quite interesting and I think you may be onto something! I do tend to be quite sensitive (although I don’t always like to show it), and definitely wonder a lot. I’m the kind of person who thinks of a question and heads straight down the Google rabbit hole to learn about it because I don’t like unanswered questions where I can help it.

I’m up for the challenge or trying to get a better sense of their wonder the next time I see them.

 


My partner is definitely the black sheep of the family, he is still quite close with one of his family members and they talk to each other on a regular basis. He is definitely the most sensitive but just like me, he doesn’t necessarily show that. We have a lot in common which is what brought us together in the first place. I love him a lot but I believe one person can only take on so much which is why I long for friendship. 

Thank you so much for your kind words 😊

The new job is going quite well so far and my favourite thing about it is probably the freedom it allows me to have as it’s not a typical job, which I also enjoy!


Wishing you and your family well ❤️

No such thing as a silly question, everyone learns at different paces. 🙂

 

It's taken me a while to gain the confidence to do it, if I'm honest. If I think of something relevant to say and there's a slight break in conversation, I'll add in my thoughts. For instance, if somebody's talking about the weather being nice, I'll chime in with something like "yes it has, I went for a walk the other day and the sun was lovely" or something to that effect. Terrible example, but it's sometimes just that simple. It may feel intimidating to do this, but the more you challenge yourself to do it, the more you'll get used to it.

 

I've learnt a lot of my social skills from my mother, who seems to have such a way with words and a conversational manner that draws people in. Something I've noticed her do if there's a lull in conversation is ask somebody in the group a direct question following up on something that they were talking about earlier. Letting people know that you're listening and interested in what they're saying may also encourage them to take more of an interest in your thoughts and ideas you'd like to put forward. People will generally listen to somebody who listens to them in return.

 

I'll also mention that these approaches definitely won't work for everybody. It takes time to develop greater confidence in conversations, and it can be hard feeling like you're not being listened to when you're actively trying to contribute. 

 

Even if this is just the way your partner's family generally respond, it still does hurt to not feel like you've been heard or acknowledged. Perhaps if you'd feel comfortable raising it with your partner again, letting him know that you've been thinking about it and are wondering how to approach conversations with them in the future, you may be better prepared for next time. 

 

At the end of the day, if people won't take an interest despite your efforts to take in interest in their life and contribute your own thoughts and feelings, I think it reflects more on them and their character more than it does on you and yours. There are always other people who will be open to hearing from you, and will ask you how you're feeling.