"But you're so outgoing..." and still feel lonely

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    Apr 21, 2009 1:36 AM GMT
    Perhaps it's just the space I'm in of late, but I've been feeling really ALONE lately.

    I have a great group of friends, a varied group who I see often. My job requires a high level of social interaction, both in person and on the phone.

    And I feel very lonely.

    I'm extroverted, love meeting new people, trying new things, am always up for an activity, or to meet for a coffee, or whatever - and often get invited and take people up on that.

    I can travel by myself, I work by myself, I'm fine with all that.

    It's more, and I'm not quite sure where it is.

    And when I share how I feel, I get "But you're so outgoing..."

    Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions? (FYI I am already on an SSRI and in therapy weekly.)
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    Apr 21, 2009 3:00 AM GMT
    I can relate and this is a hard subject for me to talk about. Used to be that I wanted to be alone. I was happy with that as the people I used to know just were not good people and it soured me on friendships. This went on for a very very long time. I'd drop a friend and another sour friendship would happen. Just a never ending cycle. Even my ability to be in a relationship has suffered from it. I have many acquaintances but no one I can just call up and talk to. When loneliness sets in I just console myself that at some point this will change. I just know I am going to be the one that has to do it and I'm not sure how. I'll be damned if I continue that cycle.
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    Apr 21, 2009 3:14 AM GMT

    "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."
    - Henry David Thoreau, 1854

    I think its a human condition, loneliness...its not dependent on how outgoing you are or not. Both an introvert or an extrovert can experience loneliness...I don't think there is anything wrong with you or me. It's a natural human state of being that can come and go. Hang in there. icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 21, 2009 3:18 AM GMT
    it's not how much you talk, or whom you talk to; it's what you talk about and what you get from it.
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    Apr 21, 2009 3:27 AM GMT
    We've all experienced this. I'm in a similar spot myself. It helps me to think of it as something revolving, i.e., periods of empty that get filled up periodically to periods of overflow.
  • DrewT

    Posts: 1327

    Apr 21, 2009 3:30 AM GMT
    know_wunder saidit's not how much you talk, or whom you talk to; it's what you talk about and what you get from it.


    I agree. Having just one friend that you can talk about anything, and I mean anything, about is the best blessing ever. I have one such friend, and we don't talk regularly, but when we do it always lifts my day.
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    Apr 21, 2009 3:49 AM GMT
    i experience the same feeling. I have several good friends and a great family. I interact with people all day at work. At the end of the day, whether going home or returning to the hotel room, its just me. I don't have that someone to turn to to talk about whatever needs to be said. All of my friends have lives of their own and I feel that I don't want to burden them with my problems. Funny how they always say "it must be so great to be single and live a simple life..."

    My solution has been to do as many great and interesting things as I can. Thanks to a lot of frequent flyer miles I have been on some amazing trips around the world. Oh, and i spend my money like its going out of style. I guess that is the shallow side of me trying to keep depth out.
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    Apr 21, 2009 4:01 AM GMT
    i'm usually outgoing too, but lately i've adopted a 'alone is the new together' philosophy. kinda dumb, but i've been just wanting to get from things around me.

    collectively i've taken a break from men (dating scene is horrid in Albany,ny anyway), stopped going out to bars and stuff, and have settled in on more ordinary activities ( working out, bettering myself mentally, better diet etc).

    I don't have many friends ( well most of them moved to nyc for school and things of that variety), so i've just been doing things solo, kinda like that episode of 'sex and the city' where Carrie's dating the city.

    but i know things will get better, everyone has slumps, it shall pass.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Apr 21, 2009 4:22 AM GMT
    Congrats on the weight loss. From field of dreams- It you build it they will come or cum. " It " meaning your bod. Men are shallow!icon_idea.gif
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    Apr 21, 2009 4:28 AM GMT

    The only way I could explain how you could be outgoing and still lonely is if you aren't using this ability for express personal gains. Sure you are outgoing for work and to make your current friends feel envited, but obviously that isn't enough so I can only suggest you find what it is you want to be outgoing towards and get cracking.

    What is it? What hobby have you been wanting to take up or group have you been wanting to get involved with. If you don't know, maybe the answer is to go n a bit of a journey, maybe not physically leave you town, but try new things: get involved with activities that will expose you to new and different people.

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    Apr 21, 2009 4:31 AM GMT
    Next time i see you out, illl remind you that you own a bulldog.

    Seriously how alone can you feel when a bulldog is around?
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    Apr 21, 2009 4:46 AM GMT
    You are going thru a normal progression in a person's life. ...Just as we expect babies do to certain things...like roll over and sit up...at certain ages, well, that process doesnt stop at early childhood. There are fairly predicable changes thruout a person's life. The most famous or infamous is the mid-life crisis in the mid-40s. But there is a "crisis" in the mid-30s, too...and that's what you are feeling now. Gail Sheehy, in her book Passages describes it as: "The Catch 30s -- illusions shaken, it's time to make, break, or deepen life commitments." You are feeling that desire to "deepen life commitments." Understand that what you are feeling is normal...but also hard to go thru cuz you want to deepen your life's commitments.

    Now that you understand that, maybe you can think of other ways that you can deepen your commitment to other human beings...volunteering at a hospital? ...tutoring?....just a couple of thoughts.
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    Apr 21, 2009 10:49 AM GMT
    COJock, the question you have raised is truly profound.

    I agree that this experience of loneliness happens to a lot of people.

    But I guess we have to ask where this loneliness is coming from.

    Personally I feel that the more centred I am on the "me" or "I-ness" of my existence, the more "loneliness" there is. By forgetting the 'me' and doing something for another, the loneliness disappears. Somehow I have to forget the 'me'.

    In the end, I think the feeling of loneliness begins from the thought of separateness or a separate existence. This feeling can be there despite there being interaction with people at a physical or mental level. In fact I tend to think that excessive interaction with people may not give us the opportunity to have that moment of quietude - which is the only time that any insights can come to us and liberate us from suffering.


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    Apr 21, 2009 2:07 PM GMT
    *sigh*

    I'm extroverted online and with friends, but yes, it is simply another 'shield'. I have difficulty expressing sadness or loneliness with other people because they've always viewed me as the 'crazy guy'. And perhaps I derive comfort in that, that they'd never suspect I also feel lonely. Because if there's one thing I loathe the most, it's pity.
  • TallGWMvballe...

    Posts: 1925

    Apr 21, 2009 6:02 PM GMT
    As a fellow extrovert myself with lots of people I interact with regularly at my volleyball club and in my career where I meet and work with new people often, let me offer this observation.

    Most people assume when they see an outgoing very social person that he has many close friends and confidants when most often it is quite the opposite. I will confess that it really hurts and makes me feel separated and lonely when I am in a group of people I thought I knew well like my Volleyball club and they are all buzzing about going to eat later or other social things but talk around or through me like I am not there and never invite me, but these same people don't hesitate to ask for anything I can do for them.

    Perhaps in your work or social groups it is the same. Often the leaders are called upon for anything to help others but no one wants to simply be your friend ... possibly because they assume you are on top of everything?
    Perhaps they think we so socially active we are unapproachable for friendship.

    Thank you for this oft ignored topic. I would be very interested to see what others think as well.

    -- Ron
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    Apr 21, 2009 6:39 PM GMT
    COJock1974 saidPerhaps it's just the space I'm in of late, but I've been feeling really ALONE lately.

    I have a great group of friends, a varied group who I see often. My job requires a high level of social interaction, both in person and on the phone.

    And I feel very lonely.

    I'm extroverted, love meeting new people, trying new things, am always up for an activity, or to meet for a coffee, or whatever - and often get invited and take people up on that.

    I can travel by myself, I work by myself, I'm fine with all that.

    It's more, and I'm not quite sure where it is.

    And when I share how I feel, I get "But you're so outgoing..."

    Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions? (FYI I am already on an SSRI and in therapy weekly.)


    Lots of guys hit andropause and deal with this. Get to the doctor and get your testosterone tested. It could very well be the cause of your depression.

    It's part of the human condition to feel isolated from time to time. You just have to change things so you don't feel that way. Exercise, network.

    Low blood sugar will reek havoc on your mood. Might wanna' check into that. It could be you aren't eating right.