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Old 01-11-2018, 09:51 PM   #1
WeepingWillow23
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Default 'Sz' and making new friends

[ETA: I'm really freaking out that this guy will find this and my post is too identifying and he will know who I am, and then I will never be able to come here again. So I've deleted the specific story, but maybe we can still talk in generic terms about making new connections when you've been diagnosed with sz?]

...But basically this whole thing has me in a thought spiral about how tf am I supposed to make new friends when I've lost my abilities to read people, have interest in people, respond in an emotionally acceptable way?? I have been properly freaking out about this since it started; over a month now! And how am I ever going to handle dating, which I'm not yet contemplating, but need to soon-ish if I ever want a shot at having a family??? Forcing myself to do things clearly got me into this situation with this guy.

------------------

Ok, tl;dr

How do you make friends when:

- you have no interest in people or socialising
- you cannot read people or situations so well anymore (I though a lack of gut feeling meant this guy was ok, but it must've meant my intuition was broken or the apathy was stronger than my gut was??)
- you frequently cannot control your emotional expression (usually blunted, but sometimes anger or uncontrollable crying will happen out of nowhere)
- you cannot cope with frequent texts and requests to meet (I even tried telling him once a month max was all I could handle)

A medal shall be awarded to anyone who reached the end! Sorry guys

*Willow*

Last edited by WeepingWillow23; 01-12-2018 at 01:10 AM..
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:06 PM   #2
WeepingWillow23
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Here's your medal:

'Sz' and making new friends

*Willow*
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:57 PM   #3
Findingreason
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Iím sorry you had that experience with this guy. I did read your whole message. Iím heading to bed in a few minutes but tomorrow evening I will compose a more complete reply to your message.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:03 PM   #4
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I have no interest in making new friends, nor going out with any friends hardly. I would be perfect for one of those people that could live on a space station, reading books, as long as i also had solid internet to publish my stuff as side work, so I understand your lack of interest.

I would tell him up front that you just didn't feel chemistry between you two, and then wish him the best. I think it's great you put yourself out there though! Good for you What i found that helps a connecction with me is i cut straught through the ******** of questions like, 'so how about this weather?" and go straight into the deeper questions, like what's your passions and hobbies? Or ask qquestions in a guided way to make a generic question more profound and poitive by asking sommething like, "So what's good in life?" Or ask them, what's the favorite part of themself? From all my years of socializing, I've come to the conclusion that people love to talk about themselves, and the more you tap into what makes them unique the more you two cut through the static and really get to know the essenstial other person.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:46 PM   #5
Alice_WonderlandCat
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I canít help you much but I will try. I also donít have friends. I think that starting the conversation might be helpful. I usually observe before acting. But I donít think you intuition is extremely impaired. I think itís more of lack of knowledge about socializing. So I guess starting random conversation about interests.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:56 PM   #6
WeepingWillow23
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Quote:
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Iím sorry you had that experience with this guy. I did read your whole message. Iím heading to bed in a few minutes but tomorrow evening I will compose a more complete reply to your message.
Thank you, Finding. I appreciate that. I know it must be late with you as it's almost 6am here, though idk what the time difference is.

*Willow*
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:21 AM   #7
WeepingWillow23
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DT - Thank you for your reply DT, I appreciate it. Do you actually have no interest, or do you want to have interest? I think that if I didn't want to have interest and make friends deep down, it wouldn't really be an issue. I could just be a hermit. The problem is that I want to feel connections but can't seem to somehow...

I don't know what "chemistry" is. My understanding is that it's a word sexuals use to mean sexual attraction with another person?? I'm asexual so I have never experienced sexual attraction to anyone. I can find people aesthetically appealing, but that doesn't seem to mean the same thing to me as it does to sexuals. I am demi-romantic though which means that it takes me a long time (the demi-part), but I do experience romantic attraction. Only when I know a person pretty well though, which takes me months because I like to go slow and reflect a lot in between contact.

I told him, before we went for coffee, that I had zero interest in dating him or anyone else, and would only meet for coffee if he was ok to meet as possible friends only. In almost those exact words. How could I have been any clearer?? I would gladly take suggestions on that if you have any because I really don't want this to ever happen again.

Wrt to how to talk to people: I don't have an issue with that. I have taught myself to talk to all kinds of people about all kinds of things because I had/have a bit of social anxiety. People seem to connect to me. As a medical student it was great because patients would be open with me about things they wouldn't with anyone else, and I always got great feedback for communication skills from my observing tutors, so I don't think that's the issue. People still seem to connect to me. Random strangers tell me personal things about themselves, like on the bus and on PMs online. I don't really know why, but it's always happened, and I guess it's nice in a way that they trust me enough to open up. This guy said he "cared" about me after speaking just 3x! I don't know if that was true or not: I don't understand how it can be though. If he did actually care, it must be about the person he thinks I am because he actually knows nothing about me after 3 chats!! But people seem to connect to me. The Myers-Briggs thing says that's a trait of my type, but idk if that's really true or it's like horoscopes and they say all kinds of generic crap that makes people feel good about themselves. But maybe that's why he thought I was romantically interested when I wasn't at all??

The issue as I see it is that I don't know who I've spoken with to take it further with because I don't really feel anything much about speaking with others. And I can't fully trust my intuition. Does that make sense?? So they might connect to me and want to talk again, but I don't know who that's worth doing with. I think that I used to feel a connection to others, like a 'I really enjoyed that' or 'they're really interesting' and want to chat again. But now there's no real wanting, so how do I know?? Is that supposed to be a negative symptom if I want to want to connect with people?? Idk.

Thank you for your response DT

*Willow*
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:26 AM   #8
WeepingWillow23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice_WonderlandCat View Post
I canít help you much but I will try. I also donít have friends. I think that starting the conversation might be helpful. I usually observe before acting. But I donít think you intuition is extremely impaired. I think itís more of lack of knowledge about socializing. So I guess starting random conversation about interests.
Hi Alice. Thank you for your post. I think I probably covered most of it in my reply to DT, so I won't repeat myself. I'm sorry that you don't have any friends but I think your suggestions are a good way for you to try to make some. I also like to observe and reflect a lot, so I don't do well with people who demand instant decisions about things. Often I don't know what I think or feel about things until I've had a chance to mull it over; examine it from all angles. I like to make friends slowly over the course of months, giving me plenty of time to reflect on my getting to know the other person. But I've always been like that and I do have some friends, so I'm sure that there will be people out there who will allow you to go slowly in a friendship.

*Willow*
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: 'Sz' and making new friends

I find socializing a tricky business for me. But I learned in coping strategies for my mental health that having connections was a necessity; despite not being good at social cues, reading people, or coming up with things to talk about. I tend to hermit a lot, and live on the internet. But I've found in my own experience that screening people out online and then eventually meeting up in person allowed me to make connections with controlling what happened. Also, making connections with people who go through similar things makes matters easier for me, because we often have common ground in background and experiences.



When I moved to Connecticut in 2013, I realized a lot of people would start talking to me out of nowhere in the middle of public, which made me really uncomfortable. Eventually I assumed that it was because I left myself too ďvulnerableĒ in how I hold myself. So, I started giving off a ďtough auraĒ about myself to keep people to leave me alone in public. Since moving to Finland, people leave me alone (very introverted culture).


Even then, friends Iíve made in Finland (met online first), Iíve had about 50% of them not work in the best way, and I get this impression I am missing something in the social cues part. Itís tough because I always have been bad at reading people, but it seems to be getting worse as time goes on. I donít know when someone is upset at me or not. Getting people to contact me in the states during my visit was a 50/50 miss or success as well.


The only way I know how to deal with someone that makes me uncomfortable is to tell them straight up if something is making me uncomfortable. And if it doesnít work (in person, or online), I will ghost and disappear without another word in sight. Itís the only method I know that works. Itís rude yes, but I do what I gotta do.


I hope this gives something useful; I found it really difficult to organize my thinking here. If you do want to talk at some point, I am available to message. 😊
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: 'Sz' and making new friends

I can only answer the following:

Quote:
Originally Posted by WeepingWillow23 View Post

How do you make friends when:

- you cannot read people or situations so well anymore (I though a lack of gut feeling meant this guy was ok, but it must've meant my intuition was broken or the apathy was stronger than my gut was??)
Intuition can sometimes be wrong, especially if you are feeling strong emotions.

Every friendship that I have formed slowly. I rely heavily on what the person tells me and how they behave over a long period of time. E.g. Are they consistent? Do they keep their word?

I also give a person a chance, especially if their first impression wasn't that great.

Quote:
- you frequently cannot control your emotional expression (usually blunted, but sometimes anger or uncontrollable crying will happen out of nowhere)
Apparently I am not very expressive, at least nonverbally. I know this scares people off, which can be good in a way, because it helps filter out people NOT worth knowing or spending effort on at all.

I'm not sure how to answer the anger and uncontrollable crying. I usually don't reveal those emotions to people I am not comfortable with. Is there a way you can restrain those emotions when around people that don't know you on an intimate level?

When I feel upset in public I find a quiet place to hide from people, while I calm down.

I've never had much success with friendships until I got into clockmaking and machining. I think it is mostly due to the type of person those trades attract. Many are introverted and awkward, just like me. We also have a common interest, which makes it so much easier for me to converse with others.
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