A Final Word on Rebuilding a Social Life
For those that have followed my posts on the struggles to rebuild a social life here in Kingwood, Texas, I’ve come to some unlikely conclusions today based on my experience over the last 24 hours after interacting on a local message message forum regarding this struggle and talking to a couple of friends. As a reference for those that didn’t see my first two posts on the subject they are here and here. (UPDATE – I had to password protect one of these posts. If you are unfamiliar with it and want to read it, send me a message and I will respond with the password). Here are a few conclusions I’ve come to:
- While my interaction on this local forum was painful and ridiculous, it’s a poor representation of the community. The online forums were much worse than what I deal with day to day.
- The struggles my wife and I are having with connecting to people may very well be the same struggles that anyone in their mid-thirties with kids, jobs, and busy lives would have regardless of their beliefs.
- The struggles we had watching friendships fade away were mostly mutual. We lost what we had in common and had trouble relating to one another. We may have very well not been the only ones who felt like victims. If I should be angry with anything it should be the ridiculous ideologies of the religion that caused the problems… not the friends. Some of the friendships potentially faded for other reasons also. Sometimes people just get busy.
- Being outspoken about anything automatically has a limiting result in your friendships. If you’re an outspoken religious person, for instance, you limit yourself to probably only religious people having an interest in hanging around you. In this case it wouldn’t cause a problem because much of the community is religious. In my case it is actually problematic because if I choose to be outspoken, I will limit myself to finding only a few friends who agree with me. Learning this balance between being too outspoken and too timid about my thoughts is for me to work out personally. Currently I’m only outspoken in environments that welcome it. If I intend to keep relationships with people for my family’s sake then I should continue this approach.
- Much of the feelings we’ve had around this subject could probably be blamed on our sensitivity to the subject. Because we lost some friendships we worry that this will happen with new friendships. While this may happen, maybe this won’t be the norm. Perhaps we just had this experience before because the majority of our friendships were with people we met through churches.
I could be wrong about some of these conclusions, but I think it’s time I just start making an effort to establish some of these friendships and stop feeling defeated. I may very well be creating a bigger problem than what actually exists. In a very weird way, the nasty experience from the online forum has made me ultimately feel better about the situation. I think it’s because I got to see how stupid and mean people could be and I realized I don’t have it that bad. People in my day to day life don’t act like that. Things are better than I thought. It was very meaningful to have the conversations today with a couple of friends.