Maybe it’s in my makeup (2)

19 Aug 2022
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Back on 30th April I wrote a blog entitled ‘Maybe it’s in my makeup’ and I thought I would explore that a bit more.

I find that I feel envious when I walk past people who are deep in conversation on their mobile - it makes me think that they are obviously connected to someone (though it could just be the plumber.)  I look through cafe windows or see outside tables with people sitting together, chatting and I wish that I had somebody to have coffee with.  

The honest truth is, I do!  I meet up with a friend most weeks and we walk our dogs together, then go for a coffee while we’re out.  But, we don’t call or text between times, except to arrange time and place for the next walk.

There are friends I could call, but I don’t make time and no one calls me - which is also untrue, but it is quite rare that my phone rings. My OH seems to have loads of emails, texts, social dates, which I don’t begrudge him, but it does make me feel lonely.

We’re coming up 2 years in our new house and, though we know quite a few people in the village, we haven’t really socialised. There always seems to be an excuse for me to avoid inviting people round.

There’s a group that meets in the local cafe on a Monday afternoon and I can go and join them.  It is pleasant enough, but I’m not ‘friends’ with any of them and would be unlikely to socialise outside that setting.

I hesitate to phone people in case I disturb them, so I just don’t feel I have anyone to chat to. Then again, if I tried I don’t think I’d know what to say. I spend my time doing all the little chores or on my tablet, to avoid thinking or making the decision to call someone - cos no one calls me, so I figure they don’t want to talk to me, or I’m too stand offish.

I volunteer once a week at our local Food Bank, but I’m inclined to just walk in, do what I am there for and leave as soon as I can. I don’t really chat to anyone, unless they engage with me. They are all very kind, but seem so ok in their own skin - though I’m sure they all have their own worries etc.

I’ve run out of steam again. Do let me know, are you the ‘chatty’ type or quite reserved.

Writing the above has left me feeling quite sad.  I hand wrote this last night and woke up this morning in tears. Perhaps I’m getting somewhere with working out how I feel.

Another Sally

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

Daisy

Aug. 20, 2022, 4:53 a.m.

Dear Another Sally I thank you for your blog I think the world has change and people don’t phone as much anymore and also are overwhelmed with emails text WhatsApp etc. my home phone rings every couple of months usually with some scam caller. I miss the rare message on it as the answer machine is in a cupboard They say that friendships can have a lifespan and people come and go in your life and it is natural. Certainly the mistake I have made is when I have stayed friends with people I don’t really connect with I think people also have a natural number of friends. My number is low I have been through times when I have a large group of friends and a wider circle of acquaintances and other times when I have few friends If you keep trying then you will find people. Equally some very confident and positive people I know have just a couple of friends— they are happy with that and are not wanting more Take care and have hope

Reply

Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 2:15 p.m.

Hi Daisy, thanks for taking the time to write - ditto all below in case I don’t get round to you all. I do have a fair number of acquaintances and could do a bit more to get to know them better. Take care. AS x

Mimine

Aug. 20, 2022, 5:41 a.m.

Dear Another Sally, What an honest and well articulated blog. Thank you as it resonates with me. When our daughter started proper school I found myself very lonely. I come from another country (France) and had put all my energy into raising our two young children without a lot of support (my husband is an only child and has a very small .family). I am the youngest of four children and I had been used to lots of people around me but mainly family rather than lots of friends). I was yearning for friends so much that I had what I realise now what a nervous breakdown. Solitary confinement is used as a punishment as we are social animals. Solitude for me was extremely hard and it has taken me the last twenty years to redress that balance. I have worked very hard at it and I think I now feel I have a few good friends and lots of close acquaintances. I joined several local groups ( Twin Town association, Rotary Club, a food cooking group for people in difficulty or just lonely, I worked part time teaching French to keen learners rather that practising dentistry which I realised wasn’t my calling, I became part of two groups of French mums who wanted to promote French in their children’s lives, etc.) I think because I am highly sensitive (I am preparing a blog on this), a perfectionist and feel things so very deeply, it takes me much longer to really feel someone is a true friend. It has been a worthwhile journey though but I realise friendships take nurturing, regular contact both ways. I do agree phone calls or meeting in person are still best but new technology is a bonus if used reasonably as it can take so much time. I also think if you have a partner in your life who is at home (my husband is now semiretired) it can be tempting to not make as much effort meeting other people individually. I think both in the couple spending time with their own friends is still so important. You never know if you are some day going to find yourself on your own and I imagine that is particularly when you need your close connections. I will keep investing time in fortifying my relationships with friends although I realise I also need lots of us and me time too. Good luck with your ongoing journey which is well worth while!

Reply

Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 2:21 p.m.

Bonjour Mimine, merci pour la reponse. For a long time I did feel as though most of our social contact was with friends of my OH, but through that I have benefitted from the company of two couples, who also have caravans in the same park as us and we socialise well when all down there at the same time. One of the wives did become a good cinema partner, when we wanted to see a move our hubbies were not interested in, but sadly she is succumbing to dementia and I’m not sure she could follow a movie nowadays. We still go to theirs for coffee and meet for meals out though. AS x

Ana

Aug. 20, 2022, 6 a.m.

I am reserved just chatty when one gets to know me, maybe being reserved is a problem, I relate to this it's so important to find connection yet hard to find meaningful connection. I have no idea how you find social company! But wish you happiness.

Reply

Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 2:22 p.m.

Thank you Ana. I wish you happiness too. AS x

Adam G

Aug. 20, 2022, 6:19 a.m.

Hi Sally, that was a very moving post. I have many acquaintances but very few real friends; however, I am perfectly content with that. In fact it’s a running joke in my family that I count the mechanic who services my car and the plumber as ‘friends’! If you saw me through a cafe window you would think I’m highly connected - a chatty type - but appearances can be, and often are, deceptive. I am actually very reserved but have learnt to ‘perform’ with all sorts of people in all sorts of situations. Perhaps, as with me, you find it hard to really connect with others on a deeper, more meaningful level? I think it takes time, some luck and a willingness to be (gradually) open and vulnerable, which I find difficult. I wonder if you might find like-minded potential friends at a club or group connected with a hobby or interest that you have? If volunteering at your food bank is anything like mine, it is a pretty intense few hours and probably not the ideal environment for making new friends. I hope you find some answers, personal contentment and a friend or friends soon. There will be people out there who you connect with; maybe serendipity will play its part!

Reply

Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 2:25 p.m.

Hi Adam G, serendipity did visit the day I sent my blog to Caroline. An acquaintance/friend emailed me and suggested I go round for coffee. I was at her house yesterday and we had a good catch up. I will get something in the diary so that she can come here and see my new house. AS x

Frankie

Aug. 20, 2022, 7 a.m.

Hello Another Sally. How lovely to see your name! “They seem so ok in their own skin” .... the key word here is “seem”. I read once “Never compare your inside with everyone else’s outside because you are not comparing like with like”. I wonder whether you are sensitive and caring, and therefore a sympathetic listener? That’s my impression. In which case plucking up the courage to ask people how they are, then how their week is going, and giving them the space to talk about the highs or lows of their week would be a start. Gradually people would share more with you. It takes time. It also takes courage to persevere. The easy option is to stay at home and numb the loneliness with mindless tablet time. Perhaps consider making one social arrangement a week. Start small, a coffee or a walk - no need for a cordon-bleu five course dinner party! I agree that these days people don’t ring for a chat like they used to, but you can have text conversations which can ease the way to making an arrangement to meet. I have become somewhat isolated as a result of the pandemic and needing to shield and feel as if I have lost my nerve - the tablet is too easy to hide behind! Perhaps we could each aim to work on this and share the results - feel free to ask Caroline for my email address if that would help. And very well done for being so honest with yourself - such a huge step. Frankie x

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The Gardener

Aug. 20, 2022, 8:47 a.m.

Frankie, you are right about courage. I think I have loads of 'real' friends, we meet up after 50/60 years friendship, so something must work. Also making new friends, some desperate, our town so unwelcoming, I have compared myself to a large friendly dog who gets kicked occasionally - usually looking back the people were 'touchy' and did not want friendship. Or 'blew hot and cold' x

Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 2:35 p.m.

Hi Frankie, good to hear from you. How are you doing. It must be difficult having o be extra cautious, needing to shield. The friend I mentioned above that I used to go to the cinema with, is 10 years older and not in robust health, so we have been cautious about socialising with them. But she did say the other day, that she is quite enjoying a quieter life. If we meet up as two couples, it is just right and makes for a very pleasurable meal out. I do feel as if I am gradually emerging from my shell. Take care Frankie. AS x

Bearofliddlebrain

Aug. 20, 2022, 7:03 a.m.

Morning lovely Sally, As you know, I am quite a chatty person - but can sit back and be reserved in some social situations, but that is when I ‘see’ what’s going on in the group’s dynamic: who craves attention, who wants to be too dog and who sits quietly and wants to contribute but can’t get a word in edgeways!! I’ve settled in to our new village and have made friends - meet up with some of them outside the group setting and have gone to a couple of the homes of some of them. I’m still nipping back and forth to visit old neighbours and friends from our old village - but that’s getting more difficult to juggle those visits when new activities and friendships are being built here….and funnily enough some of the older neighbours and friends can often say "Oh we haven’t heard from you" and I want to say - the phone line goes both ways….but I can’t - not in me too have a go back at them. You are a sensitive soul AS and there’s always going to be some people easier to talk with - when next in a group setting see who it is that you’d like to engage in conversation and initiate some simple chat - there’s nothing to lose but much to gain….and you never know what new friendship might evolve from that. And how kind you are giving time to the food bank - maybe at the end of your shift - hang back and suggest a cuppa with one of them? Love, thanks for writing such a moving blog and gentle Bear hugs x x x

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The Gardener

Aug. 20, 2022, 8:50 a.m.

Bear, real echo here, grumbles about lack of contact - one in particular will not have e-mail, others just will not pick up phone. I usually do the phoning, either answering machine or 'We're terribly busy'. Do they REALLY want the contact! x

Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 2:42 p.m.

Ah, lovely caring Bear, I don’t know how you fit in all your caring, plus doggit walking and swimbling. This is where I envy people I see walking the dog together (can’t complain I can do that) but meeting someone to swim with would be quite nice. I know several faces but don’t really stop to talk - always have to be home for the doggit walk! I’ve been swimming at the summer pool for over 30 years now and have not yet met a swimming buddy. Ho hum. Hugs to you Bear. AS x

Teg

Aug. 20, 2022, 7:21 a.m.

Oh AS I empathise. It is easy to know lots of people but have no real friends. I know more about some of my Moodscoper friends than the people I play bowls with every week. It has always been the same for me. I can walk into a room of people and say hello to dozens of them but not speak to them again for several weeks. Do we like our own company/privacy too much? You always have your OH (when he is not conversing with others!). I would not worry about it too much. Stay sociable, stay with Moodscope. Thanks for raising this interesting subject. Have a great weekend whether you see many others or not. Txx

Reply

Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 2:48 p.m.

Hi Teg, I just realised I have taken your Sategday slot, sorry. (There I go apologising for usurping your space and I only found out last night that Caroline was going to put my post on today) I have had so many lovely, caring replies. It’s going to take me ages to respond to all of them. My weekend is going ok and seeing family for a bbq tomorrow. It is lovely to spend time with the grandchildren. Thanks Teg. AS x

Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 2:48 p.m.

Hi Teg, I just realised I have taken your Sategday slot, sorry. (There I go apologising for usurping your space and I only found out last night that Caroline was going to put my post on today) I have had so many lovely, caring replies. It’s going to take me ages to respond to all of them. My weekend is going ok and seeing family for a bbq tomorrow. It is lovely to spend time with the grandchildren. Thanks Teg. AS x

Teg

Aug. 20, 2022, 6:31 p.m.

Hi AS Don't fret. I do not have a regular Saturday slot. Caroline and I try to fit in one of my Posts fortnightly. I think you have found a common theme for Moodscopers today. It was so brave to admit your feelings about friends. I suggest you take your time with replies. Txx

Liz

Aug. 20, 2022, 7:38 a.m.

Hi Another Sally. You sound lovely. I understand your hesitancy. The world has changed so much in terms of friendship, especially with the technology which can aid and abet it. I have friends that I write longer emails too, friends on What's App, the odd group on What's App and messenger as well as the good old fashioned phone call - my older friends . The latter is probably where I do my meet-ups. Like you, I thought oh no one seems to message me so feel the fear and go for it. You have nothing to lose. It sounds like "your tribe" (of potential friends) are out there. I have recently made two absolutely lovely friends, whom my husband first got friendly with (both love their photography which he does) and that has been such a tonic for me because they are such kindred spirits. My fear stops me sometimes, because I can be quite intense in terms of being so passionate about things. I can talk too! But sometimes I am quieter and more reserved. On here, in Moodscope, I feel I have found many kindred spirits who don't chide me for writing reams and so many lovely and different characters... and people who, as soon as they write, I know who they are before scrolling down and reading the name at the end. Let them give you courage too to go out and make more friends. Interestingly of late, rather than knowing lots of people, I have made my circle smaller and I think that is quite a good thing, personally. I don't dilute myself then and if I feel that I have to around people, or not quite be myself, then they are not for me. It sounds harsh but I am better at working out who will be a good friend, and I try to be as good a friend back. I think it is also important to be a good friend to yourself and give yourself time, and spend quality time alone doing things you love. I wish you what you would wish for yourself and do blog again. Much love and hugs from the Highlands xx

Reply

The Gardener

Aug. 20, 2022, 8:54 a.m.

Liz, I get scared of talking too much. But meet so many people with so much in common. I love it when people say 'How has two hours gone so quickly' when the just popped in to say 'Hello' Especially the ones who say they are in a hurry and can only stop a minute. Wonder what was so urgent?

Orangeblossom

Aug. 20, 2022, 7:53 a.m.

Thanks for your honest blog Another Sally. Knowing who to trust & with whom you can be comfortable is important for a continued sense of welbeing.

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Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 2:58 p.m.

Hi OB, I absolutely agree with what you say. Our continued sense of wellbeing, ah, something to be worked on. Keep on , keeping on. AS x

Tutti Frutti

Aug. 20, 2022, 8:04 a.m.

Hi Sally I know what you mean about feeling lonely while your more gregarious husband has loads of people to talk to. I have no difficulty chatting in some contexts when there is something obvious to discuss. For example I will sit down at lunch in the office with whoever happens to be in the canteen when I get hungry and will have no problem chatting even with those I don't really know in advance. But I am bad in other situations. For instance I have been in my current choir for about 5 years now but I wouldn't say that I have really made friends even though the people are pleasant enough. And as for situations requiring small talk... Indeed I sometimes refuse invitations to big scary events where I am invited as a plus one, so I can hardly complain about my husband being busier socially than I am. I don't know what to suggest but I really hope things improve for you. Love TF x

Reply

Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 3:05 p.m.

Hi TF, I get the choir thing. I was in a large choir a few years ago, and enjoyed the singing, but when we stopped for coffee I would go and sit in my seat and watch all the other people chatting away. There were one or two people I was acquainted with, but was generally too reserved to engage in conversation with them. I felt too lonely in the end and I left. There is also the time commitment. They met at 8.00pm and it was not easy at night, in winter, parking abysmal, plus the cost of membership and lyric scores. Singing in the church choir will have to suffice. Take care TF. AS x

the room above the garage

Aug. 20, 2022, 8:08 a.m.

Hello AS, I love that you feel you could write about this, it’s really similar for lots of us, and thank you for it. I don’t have any sweeping answers, but, I find writing these things out is sometime all it takes to start a cog. You’re digesting your thoughts on paper, and that can change things just a tiny piece at a time. Might you pursue an avenue you are drawn to and that might bring you into people who share a similar outlook to you? From there, more meaningful friendship might begin. I appreciate todays blog very much, thank you.

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Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 3:13 p.m.

Hi Ratg, talking of things that might change. In my reply to Adam G above, I mentioned having coffee with a friend and while I was there she mentioned U3A which has quite a big network in our town. I looked it up when I got home and have applied for a membership pack. There are few lines of activity I could look into. As for getting things down on paper, I often get the idea that I want to write, but I stall because I don’t know what I want to express. Room for another blog… Thank you for appreciating my blog. I have had so many long replies today and all very supportive. So thank you everyone. AS x

Valerie

Aug. 20, 2022, 8:26 a.m.

Oh Another Sally,this is so moving.Firstly,I have met you.I found you to be open and genuine,good company and not at all stand-offish.There is some element of shyness about you,but that is rather sweet,not at all "odd". At one time I had a lot of friends,some very close.I learnt the hard way that I can't handle that kind of intimacy,I have history of falling hard and fast for some men,and in friendships I drop my guard too quickly. Now I am am a lot like you.I am very chatty,but I can go months without contacting some friends.The people I call my friends now are much the same as me,shun social media,don't throw dinner parties or have guests at home often. We are all different,and we can change with age as well.You are having a level of social contact that you can cope with at the present time.If you start to feel you want more,you have the basis to work on.Sending you a big hug.***

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Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 3:16 p.m.

Hi Val, thanks for the hug - hugs back. I’m just on my way out from a mild bout of covid. More tiredness than anything else and still need a daily nap, but feeling much more normal now. Mood considerably boosted by all these lovely responses. Best wishes. AS x

Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 8:55 a.m.

This chimed with me, Another Sally. I have plenty of friends to do things with, but no one to do nothing with, or who drops in for a chat . I don’t always want a meal, cinema visit, shopping trip, or museum or gallery meet up. If I’m feeling sorry for myself, I reflect that I’ve not got a best friend . However, in a way, I’ve chosen that. I’ve deliberately spread myself a bit thin , so that I can say I’m busy if my MH is playing up, and quite frankly don’t want to have to explain. My sister moved up here 7 years ago, so I no longer have a long weekend bolt hole to hers, or spend much quality time with her. It hasnt worked out perfectly …we’ve had our differences, as we are very different. She moved too far out for it to be accessible and it’s a one and a half hour round trip for a visit. Her choice. I sense in your words that just possibly, you are missing one dear person who is no longer around…your late daughter…Always going to be a sense of loss there, perhaps it’s an area you prefer to skirt round with new friends , who knows. Just a thought. I know that it’s always a knife edge thing for me, whether to mention my son in a Care Home , or not. Lots of people only ever ask me about our daughter anyway. And, having met you, I know to be sociable, easygoing and friendly. I’m sure conversation must flow, given the right set of circumstances and the right ( congenial) people. I must say though what perfect ice breakers are, I thoroughly enjoy the gap-bridging, topic-wise , which walking a dog gives me. You become known as So& So’s owner/ minder, and it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 3:30 p.m.

Hi Sally, I must be walking the dog in the wrong place, because I rarely meet people to chat to. There is one person whom I avoid as they are not good company and their dogs are so evil that if mine knows they are in the vicinity he turns round and heads for home. We do often go to the recreation ground, but do not seem to overlap with chatty dog owners. Also, my dog is over 8 now and getting a bit grouchy, antisocial in his old age. Not that he acts old. My SiL seems to make friends when she is walking, I do envy that. You might be right about my late daughter. It is a difficult time of year and seems to invade our minds even without our conscious effort. Just recently I saw that her partner is now an expectant dad and, though I am thrilled for the lad, it fills me with regret for what might have been our grandchild :-( I can imagine the difficulty of bringing your son into a conversation, it carries such a lot of explanation and I suppose personal detail. Hugs to you Sally and warm, uplifting vibes over the airwaves. AS x

Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 4:22 p.m.

Thanks, AS. By the way DO join the local U3A. I did 10 years,ago,and it's boosted my friendship circle no end. At first they start out as acquaintances, gradually you " put down roots " with them. Especially if you join a small group like, say, Creative Writing. Nothing too much is demanded,no judgment or expected standard, topic set,or your own. Choice is yours. It's helped me get things / feelings off my chest,test myself on paper a bit, given me occasional surprises ( I wrote THAT? ) And exchange with nice people who have ideas too. I've even written one or two poems that rhyme...and believe me, I am not a natural. But it happened. Give groups you think you might enjoy a try... I belong to the Middlers walking group as well. Walking and talking is great. ( unless it's uphill!!!) Bonne chance! Xx

Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 4:32 p.m.

Oh AS, that is hard,about the partner being an expectant dad. I can well imagine. And I think this time of year must be especially poignant , when everyone is having fun seemingly, holiday time, and those feelings just can't be repressed. Talk and talk, I'd say. Treat yourself with care. Tomorrow is the 22nd anniversary of my mum's death in 2000. My daughter will be going to Grandma's favourite NT place,as she does every year, to commemorate her beloved Grandma who died 2 days before her 18th birthday. Those 2 were thick as thieves, and my daughter really distraught at her death...

The Gardener

Aug. 20, 2022, 9:03 a.m.

AS, permament fascination on what makes you 'introvert' or the opposite. I do have loads of friends, and making more. Sadness of age, because of having to give up driving in UK several people I could not see recent visit because of their health and transport problems (SE England, oh boy!). Two factors at base of my ability to make friends. My father's business threw me in the 'deep end' of coping with strangers from age 13. Then, on a train, in a gathering, people would tell me their life stories, troubles, fears, frequent tears. So I joined the Samaritans. So it's anybody's guess whether I am genetically inclined to open-ness (did not come from my Ma) or being thrown in I found I liked it. When we first married Mr G was a bit scared of my gregariousness, then found (I do not think it was by default) that he enjoyed it. Thank you, very stimulating (right word?) blog. ***

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Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 4 p.m.

Bonjour TG, comment ça va? I think being throw into having to cope with strangers at that age most probably made a difference. I think it gives one confidence in different social interactions. I hope your visit to the UK went ok otherwise. I haven’t been keeping up with the comments for the past few days. I think the parties / gatherings, you have mentioned on line previously, sound amazing and I wish I could have been there for some of them. I hope that your area has had a bit of rain to relieve the drought. Our lawn has only had a drop of overnight rain, but is already starting to green up. Thankfully as the season progresses the garden is getting more shade and so needs less watering. Been thinking of you. And what you say about transport problems in SE England. We are never very far away from a motorway in our beautiful corner of Kent. If you can get away from road noise, there is always air traffic or, worse, leaf blowers , chain saws, lawn mowers etc. Bother mechanical devices! Sending virtual hugs and a ‘salut’ - cheers, TG. Love, AS x

Catherine

Aug. 20, 2022, 9:24 a.m.

Thank you for your blog AS. It’s a really important one. As lots of others have said, we are all so different and you have to keeping trying until you find the right fit and mix for yourself, and not feel despondent if it takes time. I’m naturally a loner and love nothing more than my own company. I don’t feel lonely when I’m alone but I can feel lovely in a room full of people when I don’t want to make the effort to engage with any of them. I would much rather be on my own, crafting, reading, writing (or at the moment just resting as I have ME and Long Covid). But when in fine fettle physically I’m just the same. If you spoke to anyone about me who doesn’t know me really well they would say I was a very chatty, friendly, outgoing person, and they would assume I love socialising. In my job I was with people 100% of the time, I can chair meetings and I can speak in public without anxiety. I know I’m very, very lucky. I can ‘do’ socialising very well, but it leaves me drained. For anyone who has done the Myers Briggs questionnaire, I’m an introvert. It has a slightly different meaning in their work, introverts get their energy replenished from being alone and extroverts get energised by being with other people. I guess where we fit on the spectrum of introversion and extroversion can also depend on our mental health at any given time. But for me I think the huge change with friendships and how they work has come with social media and the internet. My most deep friendships are ones I made at school and are well over 60 years old now. These are the people who will tend to phone and have a chat - but not necessarily regularly - but it will be more frequent if one of us is having a difficult time. Everyone has different seasons in their life. They may have had times of heavy family commitments when it was just a birthday card/present and a Christmas card, but I value these particular friendships more as I get older, as we have so many shared memories, and know each other’s families, relations, pets and past histories. But with these older friendships we tend not to communicate via social media (unless this is because I don’t really do social media) - Possibly because the origins of our friendships were made when we had a phone in the unheated hall of our parents’ homes, phone calls were billed by the minute, and our parents were keeping an eye on the bills, and telling us to be quick! When we went off to Uni we had to write letters to keep in touch, and this we did, and I still prefer sitting down, getting out some beautiful stationery and my favourite fountain pen, and writing a letter. I also prefer to send ‘real’ birthday cards rather than using say Moonpig or Jaqui Lawson, although the JL cards are stunning and give people a lot of pleasure. I ‘met’ someone on EBay last year. I was selling some beautiful things from a hobby I’d had to give up because of arthritis in my hands, and we just ‘clicked’. I sent her a hand written letter and she was obviously just like me - loves beautiful paper and pens. So now we write - but only very occasionally - and with no pressure. I feel such pressure from emails. I can instantly reply to a text, but emails sit in my inbox accusingly whilst I feel weighed down by them. I think I’ll make a start on my inbox now ;) ….. Wishing everyone the best day they can have today and I hope no-one is feeling lonely. As so many have said before me, just pop on here if you are, and there will be someone to talk to, although I realise it’s not the same as person to person in the flesh if that’s what you crave. Thank you again Another Sally x PS Just a thought… are there any lonely old people in your village who would love a chat and a cuppa? Inter-generational friendships can be so enriching, so long as you have clear boundaries and don’t end up becoming a carer/dogsbody. It’s a matter of finding the right fit - as always in life

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Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 5:44 p.m.

Hi Catherine, thank you for your interesting reply. I can’t see it to reply, ooh, yes I can if I tilt my tablet the other way! Silly me. I too love real cards, though I have had a few lovely Jacquie Lawson cards and thought of signing up to them. I keep notelets in store to write little. Toes to friends occasionally. I have a school friend who only lives an hour or so away, but we don’t meet often. And a college friend in Canada. We picked up after several years as though we’d never been apart, but we don’t really phone or write, apart from Christmas to birthday cards. As for an elderly person in the village, I quail at the idea of making a commitment, because my time is so scattered and random, I’d hate to let someone down. A major conundrum for me. Also, you mentioned eBay, I did find a lady who was selling jigsaws and I could do a swap with her. She had some lovely ones. My problem is having space to leave one out, Thanks for your reply Catherine, food for thought. AS x

Vivien

Aug. 20, 2022, 10:22 a.m.

Hi AS, as I read your blog, I felt as though someone had 'hit' me. Everything you said resonated with me. I think at times, I am my own worst enemy. Imagine that other peoples conversations are about me (why they would want to talk about me, I do not know) and that just makes me crawl back into my shell. I only text when necessary - if I see someone I want to talk to, I make the effort to go and talk to them. As per my recent blog about 'social media' and the like, I think people use it to hide behind. Like many of the replies above, I too have acquaintances but a few close friends. Those close friends are people I can have a proper conversation with - though in fairness, one of them has been texting me when the 'Athletics' is on the tv! I like to write letters and tend to do this with Birthdays and Christmas. Oh and I send proper cards - I love going into the shop and choosing a suitable card. That for me says, I've taken the time to care and think. So keep going, keep breathing (it does help!!) but above all, just remember, Moodscopers are hear, and although you may not see us face to face (who want's to see my ugly mug!) we are hear to listen, chat to and help. Take care xx

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Patricia

Aug. 20, 2022, 10:56 a.m.

Dear Sally, Thank you so much for your blog post. I could identify with all of the things you said. I think it is the first time I have ever heard anyone describe the kinds of social experiences I have most of the time. I too have the feeling that no one ever calls me and hesitate to call other people because I’m afraid I am bothering them. I feel that I do not have anything worthwhile to talk about unless I am proposing something like a movie or lunch. My husband seems to find calling people very easy and quite a bit of my social life is just hanging onto his coattails and being friends with his friends. Sally, you have given me quite a lot to ponder about. Thank you.

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Lexi

Aug. 20, 2022, 1:15 p.m.

Oh Another Sally. Your blog had me tearing up and eager to reply. I haven't read the other posts yet (just woke up). But what you are describing sounds so much like how I used to feel. And for me the cause was that I didn't think I was good enough to have friends, be a good friend, ask for help. If you could only see yourself as the amazing person you really are and how much you contribute. My therapist helped me see that I always felt like I didn't belong ever since I was a little girl. For me, I carried that misplaced thinking all the way into adulthood and after a lot of work realized that we are all, all of us, beautiful souls with amazing things to contribute to the world. The other takeaway from your post that I got and please forgive me if I got this wrong is that you are someone who probably needs lots of alone/quiet time. And there is nothing wrong with that! I am a chatty Kathy, love to talk to my clients and whoever I meet in my path. But I also need equal parts in my room, alone, reading, doing crosswords, napping, writing. I need that recharging in order to do the other stuff. And there is nothing wrong with that! We are all different in our amazing ways. I hope you are feeling the love from all of us today - you deserve it xoxo

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Patty

Aug. 20, 2022, 1:35 p.m.

Dear another Sally, thank you for the blog. I am sorry that you feel sad. I can relate in that I have not been the chatty type at this time. Usually I am very much the chatty type, being told that I talk too much and sometimes getting tod that at work but am retired now. In school I always got told that "Patty talks too much". I have had the opposite problem. I just Like to talk and am just that way. I have felt self conscious for that. The opposite of your situation. I have not been that way so much lately since I retired. I seem to avoid people at this time which is not good, because it is not my nature. I hope these conversations today help you. May you feel better reading them and have a nicer day.

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Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 4:01 p.m.

Need my iPad for tonight’s recipe, so any further replies will be delayed. Thank you all for your sympathetic responses and kind wishes. Love, Another Sally xx

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Another Sally

Aug. 20, 2022, 5:47 p.m.

Aargh, sorry folks. Our daughter has been round for supper and we are going to repair to the living room now, so I won’t be able to respond any further. Thank you one and all for your lovely reactions to my blog. Waves and hugs to all. Another Sally xx

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Anonymous

Aug. 20, 2022, 8:25 p.m.

Hi Another Sally, Thank you for sharing.I hope you had an enjoyable evening.I salute you for helping at Food Bank - no doubt there are many visitors who feel desperately lonely... and although your circumstances are unique, try not to feel alone but get out when you can and may be here or there, you'll find a kindred spirit to share your loneliness...just take one step at a time...

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Ach UK

Aug. 21, 2022, 5:45 a.m.

Hi Another Sally, Your blog of Saturday struck a chord with me, I'm sorry to hear you feel low on friends. I have not read the replies yet and have bookmarked it to read when I feel able.xx Ach.

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