19 April 2017

Sometimes I hang out and everything is ok and I am not troubled by anything, but then something snaps and I look around me and think - who are these people? What do I have in common with them? What are we even talking about here?!

The following rant is a result of a couple of months filled with interactions with certain people (all from the goth scene, if it makes a difference) that have left me confused and/or with a negative feeling. It's not like something awful happened, but little by little my patience for certain behavior was filled up until it exploded this weekend into a heavy feeling of loneliness and confusion.


Maybe it's me - maybe I have an issue with communicating with the world. Maybe I expect too much. When I was in my late teens I have promised myself to never build any expectations for people in order to not get disappointed, and here I am breaking that promise. I am most disappointed. I feel lonely. I feel like nobody cares about me. I feel that if I will disappear from this earth - and by that I mean disappear from Facebook, from attending weekend goth parties and other subculture related events - no one would even notice. No one would care. Except for Boris and 3 friends, no one would.

Because the issue that I have does not concern my friends. This is not about them at all. The issues is concerned with people I see on a regular basis - people with whom I have more than 1 thing in common. People with whom I have the potential of chatting at a party, just sitting around talking about stuff. Just nice people to have around, for the most time.

So what's the issue? Nobody asks me how I am.
This is honestly so pathetic and sad that a grown ass person needs to write how lonely she is because nobody asks her "how are you?". But it's true. Whenever I meet acquaintances and we enjoy a simple talk - I always ask how they are, but nobody asks how I am doing. Nobody asks how my studies are going, how's my work, how's my band search (which has not beared fruit, to say the least).
I always ask how they are - how's the job hunt, how's work, how's the music going....
A little small talk can go a long way. Just a simple "how are you" can open a huge window to a conversation. I am the last person to talk about myself and complain in front of people, but sometimes I just want to share what has been on my mind that week. But no one actually cares.

It has happened with people that are more than just "that random familiar person you see at parties". These are people I say hello to every single weekend; actively follow them on Facebook where we exchange in some kind of interaction....
Not to mention the people I meet even more often. I might not consider them my friends but all they talk about is themselves.

It frightens me to know how many grown up people are lonely out there just because no one has smiled towards them. No one told them they're pretty. No one said that it's going to be ok.
I'm not talking about helping each other move house or engage in hours of long post-breakeup pillow talk. It's the little things we say to each other that count. Looks like I've been trying too hard being nice to everyone that it got me so lonely in the process.

Turns out no one cares. I might as well not ask you how you are. Fuck you. I've realized I have zero chill for people I have nothing in common with. I don't need to be nice to everyone, it's a quality that gets me far but can also shoot me in the leg. I don't need to waste my energy on people who don't care.
But when I try to give attention and communicate with people that I do care about and consider them somewhat as friends, even if not close friends - I get nothing in return. What's wrong with a friendly conversation? It's not just being polite. I feel like just asking how you are can go such a long way...


Boris has been comforting me through this for the last 48 hours but I just felt like sharing this here. I feel so embarrassed writing a classic teenage blog post but honestly I feel so mad at the world that I don't know how else I should describe things.
The only thing I can do is hang on to my real friends and reach out to them when I have a problem, especially a mental one. Just like I am trying to help them when something of the sort happens.

I am walking with a constant feeling of heaviness and I don't want to do anything besides just lying down. In a "scene" with so much unifying potential even a mere "how are you" is a stretch. Even in a conversation that comes to a halt, where it's only basic and natural of the other person to ask me how I am... Nothing - silence.

12 comments:

  1. The following may have zero relevance to your particular situation and if so, I'll apologize in advance for wasting your time...

    In my family, we don't ask "How are you"? It's just a given that we will say how we are. When my mom calls me on the phone, she tells me how she is; how things are going in her life. When she's done, I tell her about my life. There is little or no asking of questions. I assume that if she wants me to know something about her life, she will tell me.

    In your last sentence, you say "Even in a conversation that comes to a halt, where it's only basic and natural of the other person to ask me how I am... Nothing - silence." In my family, when a conversation comes to a halt, one person will start sharing another story or talking about a different topic. Instead of "How are you?", it's "Let me tell you about..."

    A few years ago, I met the sister of my boyfriend. She asked me about my job; I answered her. She asked me about my hobbies; I answered her. She asked me about my house; I answered her. And so forth. (I felt like I was being interrogated.)

    My boyfriend later told me that his sister had been offended because I hadn't asked her about her job or hobbies. It had never even occurred to me that I would need to ask. I had assumed that I would tell her about my job, for example, and then she would reciprocate by telling me about her job. When she didn't tell me about her job, but instead asked me another question, I had assumed she didn't want to talk about herself.

    Later, I met his parents, who lived in a different city. I expected them to talk to me, to tell me things. Instead, they asked, "So, what would you like to know?" This put me on the spot and made me VERY uncomfortable. I didn't know I was supposed to have questions prepared.

    After those encounters, I realized that my family's style of communication was not necessarily the norm and that I'd probably been offending people for years without knowing it. I have since made an effort to ask people "How are you?" or "How was your vacation?" or whatever... even though it feels unnatural to me. It makes me uncomfortable because I feel like I am prying. (If they want me to know about their vacation, they will tell me, right?)

    Sorry that was super long-winded. And it may not have any relevance to your situation. But I feel (with some shame) I could have been the friend who didn't ask "How are you?"... not because I didn't care, but because it felt awkward and intrusive to me.

    I regret almost every conversation I have because I look back and think that all I did was talk about myself. Even though I am trying to behave differently, it's extremely hard to change the style of communication ingrained in me and reinforced every time I talk to my family. I often tell myself to just shut up... but maybe other people perceive my silence as a lack of caring. This bothers me because my intention is actually the opposite - to give the conversation over to them, with the freedom to talk about whatever they want and without the pressure of answering my questions.

    And now I really will just shut up.

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    1. Thanks for sharing the story. It has occurred to me, as well as experience with people of different cultures has shown that me expecting to ask how I am has a lot to do with my culture as well. I dunno if it's my family's thing or a Russian thing in general, but if you constantly talk about yourself - it's interpreted as rude and self centered. Of course there would be situations where I just have to share something and engage the other person in the story. But when it comes to personal matters such as feelings - the other person needs to suggest their motivation for wanting to get deeper. It's like what you said but the other way around - if they're not asking me, they're not interested.

      Still I believe it is second nature to ask how you are. It's not like you're diving into a depth of psychological manipulation or endless stories about your troubled past. It's just a damn general question that is necessary for a reason.

      I asked myself however if it's a German thing to just tell about yourself. Maybe it's me again - maybe I expect something that isn't there. Maybe I expect attention from people who are not interested in providing it for me, and that's totally ok?

      Sometimes we live social situations without the blink of an eye and when we suddenly question them - things turn upside down. And that's the feeling I hate most.

      Thanks for commenting again, I enjoyed reading your point of view. You shouldn't feel guilty for communicating a certain way. Like you said, it's something we often cannot control!

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  2. I have similar experiences to Bane. My family is super secretive, a question 'How's going?', even coming from another member of my family, will always result in 'Ah, as always.' and then the topic changes completely. I, too, am not taught to ask people how are they, and asking it feels very prying to me.

    Another thing - I rarely talk to people, so when I'm in situation like this, I usually panic internally and cut the conversation short as soon as possible. It proabably wouldn't happen with people I know on a bit better level than just recognizing their faces as familiar, but still - I don't like to talk about myself and I don't like to pressure people to talk about themselves. I'm more comfortable talking about random shit and when I get passionate about it, I forget to ask the person about THEIR interests.

    But then again, this is coming from a very socially-impaired person who doesn't even greet people verbally.

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    1. Shyness is a completely different topic which infuriates me. As an extrovert, not verbalizing things drives me mad, especially in a situation where silence makes things worse.

      I love to talk about random shit. It's fun! But it occurred to me that this is the only thing I talk with people about. I would just like to make things a bit more heartwarming and get away from being casual for just a moment.

      Whenever I feel shy or none communicative I feel guilty. It's like I haven't shown my best to that person, it's like my personality was handicapped at that moment. I don't even think that people don't want to question other people about their personal matters. I think people just don't really care or want to know. It's ok for things to be this way, but sometimes it makes me heavy, because I crave for more.

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  3. first, don't feel bad about "writing a classic teenage blog post", cause loneliness is a problem we all suffer from, no matter at what age...
    I agree with the few first sentence of the commanter above me - I usually assume people would tell me what's up with them, without me asking, probably cause that's usually what I do when I'm comfortable enough with someone. though, if they directly ask me "how are you" or "how's your *something*", I'll make sure to ask back, and if I know for certain there's something new in someone's life, I'll make sure to ask about it, too.
    Is this something the people around you do? Cause there're many ways to ask "how are you" without actually saying it. If not, well, then fuck'em. you need people in your life that care. That's one of the few privileges of being an adult - we can choose the people around us, most of the time. So you deserve people who care as much as you do.
    And when it comes to numbers - so what if you have only a few friends who care about you? they care! honestly, I never really got why people want a lot of friends, except when the loneliness strikes. I think a good, small group of close friends you can talk and hang with is all you need, but that's just the way I see things ^^'' You and I are different people, after all.
    Anyhow, cheer up dear! I it'll help, I'll try to comment more and send email and such =]

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    1. I got mad about it because I do have something new going on and I wasn't asked about it. I mean, in the course of a few months.
      I don't need to have many friends. I love my friends and I know they care, I don't need more. I just thought that a basic conversation with other acquaintances might involve them asking me how I am and since this is second nature to me, I was surprised this wasn't happening.
      The issue is with people I meet in real life. Communication is different on the internet. I would love to talk more with your regardless, I miss you!

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    2. Yeah, it's also second nature to me, so I can understand how you feel... I swear, people can be so... inconsiderate at times. it is quite surprising. I guess I just learned not to expect much from people I don't really know. I mean, I still try to give people the benefit of doubt when I first meet them, but I guess I won't expect them to be all too polite. Than again, I still live in Israel ;]
      Dude, I miss you to! we should totally talk more, but I'm still hella nerdy so I have no idea what we should talk about ^^''

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  4. I personally don't care for when people ask how I'm doing... It's usually an empty gesture. My close friends don't ask because they know I will tell them. If one of my friends looks unwell or seems off, I'll ask, but otherwise I don't think they'll appreciate my being nosy. If you're going to wait for another person to ask, you might be disappointed. If you've got something to say, just say it... Also I find when you volunteer information, they will realize that is a safe topic to talk about with you and will ask next time. One guy in my circle told me he was writing a novel...I always ask about it when I see him.

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    1. "Empty gesture" is a good way to describe the typical American "How are you?". It's more of a slurred declarative statement used as a rote greeting: "Hihowareyou." And the expected response is "Fine,thanks. How are you?" If you say anything else, the other person immediately becomes impatient.

      Personally, I HATE THIS. Don't ask me how I'm doing unless you want an honest answer. I get "How are you?" ten times a day, and not a single one of those is a genuine question. No one actually cares how I am.

      Anyway... it's fascinating how the simple phrase "How are you?" has vastly different connotations in different cultures.

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    2. I guess I need to take the initiative sometimes to vocalize how I am. Maybe I am expecting a gesture that for other people is empty and I just need to tell people how I am. It is difficult for me since that translates for me as something very self centered. On the other hand - maybe other people just see the question "how are you" as formality and I don't.

      I need to work on taking things to heart and being more lighthearted. I guess this is a result of many months communicating with people that generally don't make me feel too well.

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  5. Hello, I've been following your blog for some time, and I've always identified myself with many things. But this text touched me deep down, because I share this same feeling, people's lack of interest in each other scares me, it's distressing. Half of so people feel alone. Or when a conversation happens, feel in a monologue where you are just the viewer.
    Reading her text is comforting and I did not feel alone.
    Thanks
    PS:I'm sorry for the lousy English

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    1. Hi, thanks so much for commenting, and don't worry about it! I am happy you identify with what I write, happy that this time it wasn't different, though I really wouldn't want anyone to feel as I felt when I wrote this post.

      After talking about this with my mom she suggested to have a different perspective on the situation. People generally don't care much about other than themselves, but good friends will, and they are the ones who deserve your attention. Moreover, some people might like you and won't really say it to your face, they might express it in a different way. If they don't ask me how I am it doesn't mean they don't care. That's what my mom said and it made me feel better.

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