When you're the one to blame...

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cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,626
1,701
113
#1
So here's something I've started thinking about, all of us have certain personalities and preferred ways of doing things. Most of the time there are both positive and negative sides to whatever approach we take towards something,whether it be making new friends, preparing for a trip or a big life transition, or just how we communicate (or fail to communicate) in our daily lives.


So my question, my musing, is what do we do when we have to confront the negative effects of the way we are/ the way we have chosen to be? Do we try to change our approach(and has anyone successfully done this in their life)? Do we just kind of resign ourselves to the fact that everything costs something and these negatives are the price we pay to do things the way we want? Do we whine and complain about how unfair it is that the rest of the world won't conform to the perfect ideal in our head?


For people who need a more concrete example of my above theorizing it goes something like: I have few real life friends and I don't like that, but I'm not really motivated to try to make new friends, because past experience has been that most relationships end up being rather one-sided and draining for me, but I guess maybe that's because while I'm very willing to help someone else out with something small, I don't ask for help until I know I'm completely beaten by an issue or problem. (And me being me I could probably continue this and go into why I don't ask for help, falliability of people making them unreliable, etc. etc. ) But by this logic, as long as I continue to not ask for help, I'll probably continue in this state of feeling like friendships are more work than reward and suffering the attendant loneliness of being disconnected.


Anyone else got anything like this going on, where you may feel trapped by yourself, but have no idea how to practically make a change?
 
S

sevenseas

Guest
#2
oh I have plenty of internal conflict and you are not alone

I am responsible for some of my angst but not all of it God knows

Ever come across this verse from Psalm 139?

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; verse 23

I get so fed up with the unreal expectations people put on you and even the ones you carry for others

I think David is asking for a reality check in that verse and I have prayed it myself

about the only thing I can think of to do and what helps me, is just being as honest as you can possibly be with God

He has a way of getting into your heart issues and helping you resolve them

I am pretty restless by nature and I don't like routine so I have not had the easiest time of it, but it is what it is and in the end it is ourselves we wrestle with, kind of like Jacob with the angel

I don't have pat answers and honestly, I don't think there are any
 
U

Ugly

Guest
#3
I spent many years like that, off line, in regards to how I come across. I was once told about it at work. I had no idea what I had done to cause people to view me that way (it also wasn't the first time I'd heard this) and no one would tell me. Regardless I listened to the specific complaints and worked very hard to change what people felt. Over a month later and people were still saying the exact same things. I was hurt, confused and frustrated. I had to just give up and accept it.
It's kind of mixed generally, though. Some things I work at, some not so much. It depends on how serious I think it is and how capable I feel at changing it.
 

zeroturbulence

Senior Member
Aug 2, 2009
23,822
3,485
113
#4
So here's something I've started thinking about, all of us have certain personalities and preferred ways of doing things. Most of the time there are both positive and negative sides to whatever approach we take towards something,whether it be making new friends, preparing for a trip or a big life transition, or just how we communicate (or fail to communicate) in our daily lives.


So my question, my musing, is what do we do when we have to confront the negative effects of the way we are/ the way we have chosen to be? Do we try to change our approach(and has anyone successfully done this in their life)? Do we just kind of resign ourselves to the fact that everything costs something and these negatives are the price we pay to do things the way we want? Do we whine and complain about how unfair it is that the rest of the world won't conform to the perfect ideal in our head?


For people who need a more concrete example of my above theorizing it goes something like: I have few real life friends and I don't like that, but I'm not really motivated to try to make new friends, because past experience has been that most relationships end up being rather one-sided and draining for me, but I guess maybe that's because while I'm very willing to help someone else out with something small, I don't ask for help until I know I'm completely beaten by an issue or problem. (And me being me I could probably continue this and go into why I don't ask for help, falliability of people making them unreliable, etc. etc. ) But by this logic, as long as I continue to not ask for help, I'll probably continue in this state of feeling like friendships are more work than reward and suffering the attendant loneliness of being disconnected.


Anyone else got anything like this going on, where you may feel trapped by yourself, but have no idea how to practically make a change?
I feel exactly the same way when it comes to friends and not having any. We are true introverts. :rolleyes: Not like the pseudo-introverts of today that think they can love socializing and still be an introvert just because they need alone-time to recharge.. :p
 

IDEAtor

Senior Member
Aug 15, 2012
827
19
18
#5
It would be great to find a friend who will confront those perceived or real quirks and tendencies.
For me, I begin to get deep with someone and then he, she, or myself let up on the communication--
so it remains a friendSHIP that drifts. Sure, if I am stranded on an island of concern, I can call on a number of people (and God of course). But the day-to-day walking buddy, or brainstorm pal-- I have yet to find.

Church experience has been vast and varied, hit-and-miss, and ever-changing. I am learning to make the appropriate adaptations for where I am. But this would be a better experience if the people I met on ChristianChat were nearby. You guys are awesome! (So are the people who attend where I do, but the communication is something else. Not bad, just different.)

But back to the point of this thread: I see ways to improve.
One way is to intentionally pray, Lord, show me how I may be a friend to someone locally, today.
And then go out and work and stay tuned for God's answer.

He's already doing this.
But I don't experience the depth like I desire.
I praise Him, regardless.
He is Enough.

(Still, I look forward to that close friend who will walk, really, with me.)
 

88

Senior Member
Nov 14, 2016
3,517
74
48
#6
So here's something I've started thinking about, all of us have certain personalities and preferred ways of doing things. Most of the time there are both positive and negative sides to whatever approach we take towards something,whether it be making new friends, preparing for a trip or a big life transition, or just how we communicate (or fail to communicate) in our daily lives.


So my question, my musing, is what do we do when we have to confront the negative effects of the way we are/ the way we have chosen to be? Do we try to change our approach(and has anyone successfully done this in their life)? Do we just kind of resign ourselves to the fact that everything costs something and these negatives are the price we pay to do things the way we want? Do we whine and complain about how unfair it is that the rest of the world won't conform to the perfect ideal in our head?


For people who need a more concrete example of my above theorizing it goes something like: I have few real life friends and I don't like that, but I'm not really motivated to try to make new friends, because past experience has been that most relationships end up being rather one-sided and draining for me, but I guess maybe that's because while I'm very willing to help someone else out with something small, I don't ask for help until I know I'm completely beaten by an issue or problem. (And me being me I could probably continue this and go into why I don't ask for help, falliability of people making them unreliable, etc. etc. ) But by this logic, as long as I continue to not ask for help, I'll probably continue in this state of feeling like friendships are more work than reward and suffering the attendant loneliness of being disconnected.


Anyone else got anything like this going on, where you may feel trapped by yourself, but have no idea how to practically make a change?
****that is why we need Wisdom from God---- people can drain us and distract us, so we need guidance from God on time management and who to make friends with and who to disengage from---- as far as changing yourself if you pray everyday change me concerning an issue He can intervene---- you then might be more open to accepting help...
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,805
3,044
113
#7
For people who need a more concrete example of my above theorizing it goes something like: I have few real life friends and I don't like that, but I'm not really motivated to try to make new friends, because past experience has been that most relationships end up being rather one-sided and draining for me, but I guess maybe that's because while I'm very willing to help someone else out with something small, I don't ask for help until I know I'm completely beaten by an issue or problem.

Anyone else got anything like this going on, where you may feel trapped by yourself, but have no idea how to practically make a change?
This, for me, hits the nail very squarely on the head.

I once spoke to a very wise CC member who made the observation that when we are young, we desperately want to "fit in" and make friends--so if all the other kids go out to play dodge ball, we'll most likely go and play dodge ball right along with them, even if it's something we don't like.

As we get older, we have more independence and freedom of choice, so we might come to realize that, "Hey, I hate dodge ball. Wow... I'm at a point now... where I can choose to be doing something else..." But all too often, it also seems that we are going to be doing whatever else it is we choose--by ourselves.

I liked what Ugly was said about getting feedback about things we're doing wrong and then having a choice of whether or not we're going to work on them. Certainly, we all have traits we can work on improving.

But sometimes, I truly believe we're not doing anything wrong. We're just being ourselves. For instance... As most people here know, I tend to write. And one of the reasons I write is because in real life, I usually never get a chance to say hardly anything about what's actually on my mind.

First of all, let me say, GOD BLESS PARENTS, and GOD BLESS SINGLE PARENTS dearly. But I've been in situations all my life in which numerous parents have told me countless stories about child-rearing (I won't even go into all the sordid facts they volunteered about potty training--in all stages, including every last possible detail) that, unfortunately, I have nothing to reciprocate with in return. And so, I wind up listening... and listening. And listening.

And I want to be there to listen to them, and to pray for them. But the problem is, even introverts (and sometimes, most especially introverts) need two-sided relationships for our own health and well-being, and it seems increasingly difficult to find the older you get.

A while back I caught up with "an old friend" who, in the 45 minutes I had to talk (which I'd told her at the start of the conversation), told me all about her life and her kids straight on through, for pretty much 42 minutes of the entire conversation. She never once asked about me, or my life, or what I was going through, until the very end, when it was time for us to hang up. And such was the regular pattern of our entire long-term "friendship".

I suppose it's just as well, because I never know how to tell people what's bothering me anyway.

If I told them what was really on my mind--"So what's new with you, Seoul?" "Well... I'm in this prayer group and there's an older married guy asking for prayer... and to be honest, I feel as if God's telling me he's struggling with pornography. I have a lot of sympathy for him and pray for him on my own, but when he tries to pull me aside and asks to pray with me just by myself, I'm finding every way to decline, because I want to respect his wife."

I do understand. What could someone possibly say to that? But I get so frustrated, because I was dealing with several different angles--Am I judging this man too harshly? Am I wrong? Should I quit the team?--but I never said anything to any of these potential "friends" in the past because even when I did, they'd usually just act like I hadn't said anything at all, and would just direct the conversation back to themselves.

People may have noticed... that I ask a lot of questions.

My "dream friendships" (and praise God, I do have a few of them) are ones in which people ask ME meaningful questions in return, and actually respond with engaging answers of their own. You know. So we can actually have a conversation... And one in which I don't always feel my role is just to be shiny mirror thar always reflects their best image back onto them.

Otherwise, the game of "making friends" feels a lot like one big game of dodge ball. After all, when it came to dodge ball, I was always the last one picked, and most likely, someone who got pelted with the ball. :p

As isolating as it can be, I've just found that there are about a million and one other ways to spend that scarce free time.
But I do ask God... If maybe I could run into a few other people... who were never very interested in dodge ball either. :)
 
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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,805
3,044
113
#8
Oh my goodness, I just re-read my post and, aside from all the typos, it might make it sound as if I'm somehow downing all parents!!!

Not at all!!! I've definitely encountered a mixed bag and by no means do I ever mean to somehow put down or target parents at all!!!

I have nothing but respect for hard-working parents and, a long time ago, longed to be one of them. One of the reasons I wanted to be there to listen to them was because I know parents are especially drained. I'm sorry that I used parents as my example--some of my past encounters just stuck out right away when I sat down to write, but certainly not every parent I've run into is like that at all!!! Some of the people who have been the very kindest to me are very much raising families of their own (and have taken me in as part of the family... how cool is that!)

Please allow me to apologize in advance if I've inadvertently offended any of our hard-working, long-suffering parents out there. You guys rock. :)
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
17,142
4,220
113
#9
Four thoughts:

1. "Blame" implies somebody did something wrong. As Kim said, sometimes it's just something we do that's different from how most people do things.

2. If you want to change how you do stuff, but not bad enough to change, maybe it's not worth it to you. The result of change has to be worth the effort AND the loss of the way you do things now. There's a few things I would like to change about myself, but I haven't yet because I haven't had a good enough reason to change them.
Something like the following:
IF value (current status) > value (new status - effort of change)
THEN no change
IF value (current status) < value (new status - effort of change)
THEN change

3. The thread title reminds me of some lyrics from "Gridlock" by MOC.

At the worst time, someone up in my face
I'm thinking they should back up before they catch a case
Or maybe *I* should back up and not cause a case
Once again there are two options to face
One, show no love, just let them go
Two, reconcile and handle it like a pro
Although there's some that anger me so
I'm sure many times I'm the one that needs to grow

4. seoulsearch about your example... in defense of the people you might tell about that prayer meeting, I would have no idea what to say about such a situation. Except next prayer meeting, maybe bring a taser, can of mace, maybe get an audio recording program for your phone and turn it on before you walk in the door.
 
Y

Yahweh_is_gracious

Guest
#10
I did with this the same as I have done with most everything else in my life - I gave up.

When I have to face the consequences of my poor decisions, I say to myself "that figures". I've got a hefty dose of learned helplessness going on, and while I don't necessarily look for everything to go wonky on me all the time, I am seldom surprised when it does. I am shocked when things go well, and THAT is when I look for something to blow up.

I don't try for self improvement. I realize I have some serious flaws in my personality, not to mention my overall character as a human...and I've got a chip on my shoulder bigger than a mountain. I don't care to change them though. I've never been able to see the point in it. A whole lot of effort for...what?

Admittedly though, my attitude, personality, and decision to not try and be "better" definitely influences my actions and how I interact with people. I treat most everyone and most every situation like it just doesn't matter. Certainly not what most people would consider healthy by any means, but it is, to me, authentic. Authentic is where I need to start from. I need to be able to see myself for all of my faults, and to see them on my own through my own eyes/"eyes" before I can take the time to decide whether or not keeping them serves me. Thus far, the negative aspects of "Jon" have served me better than any of the few redeeming qualities I possess that I try to keep under wraps.
 

mar09

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2014
4,801
1,146
113
#11
Cinder,
I have not had the chance to reply much to you and others who posted in this thread, but i can quite see and feel where you are. As a wife and mother, most of my focus the past few decades has been my family, to the point that some relatives think i am too 'devoted' that i cannot often join events when theres conflict with my own family's needs or skeds. This way, i have sort of isolated myself from meeting and building relationships w/ more ppl, as in weddings, sports tournaments and others which they also value and go to whenever possible. Elder sibs, for example, expect us to be there when they invite for lunch or dinner, but our skeds and lifestyles are so different that we cannot always accommodate their invites. We are early to bed, early to rise ppl, they are not and some love things like karaoke and dancing wc arent bad, but wc arent much part of our life.

This makes others think we are not very sociable, as when not allowing the children join out of town trips when there are classes, but we have reasons they may not understand, idk. This also makes it appear we do not care that much abt other family, and friends/neighbors but we cannot always give in, and it's our fault this and that happens bec. we do not join them always... I am actually multitasking as i reply and this is a going a bit off tangent. But i would like to come back if time permits-).
 

CatHerder

Senior Member
Mar 20, 2013
3,551
77
48
#12
I feel exactly the same way when it comes to friends and not having any. We are true introverts. :rolleyes: Not like the pseudo-introverts of today that think they can love socializing and still be an introvert just because they need alone-time to recharge.. :p
Hey! I resemble that remark!

outrage.jpg
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
17,219
9,428
113
#14
... So my question, my musing, is what do we do when we have to confront the negative effects of the way we are/ the way we have chosen to be? Do we try to change our approach(and has anyone successfully done this in their life)? Do we just kind of resign ourselves to the fact that everything costs something and these negatives are the price we pay to do things the way we want? Do we whine and complain about how unfair it is that the rest of the world won't conform to the perfect ideal in our head?
I was (and still am) an introvert, though I'm much more sociable than I used to be. When I was a teen, I had almost no empathy or social skills, and a horrifying sense of self-importance, due to my success in school. I honestly didn't care what anyone else thought, and consequently didn't get along with many people. A course failure my first year of university and some interest from a young lady started to break those moulds.

After I became a Christian, I started to notice people around me who were socially awkward, and noticed that I didn't like how they made me feel. It took about twenty years and a divorce to bring the lesson to bear fruit. Now I'm much more sensitive to how people feel (when I pay attention to it... it takes effort and focus!) and have learned a few social skills. I still commit faux pas, and flagellate myself mercilessly for them. Because the hardest person to forgive is ourselves, I make effort to avoid making those mistakes. The time I spent with a Christian counselor helped quite a bit too... it's a bit humbling to have a seasoned professional look you straight in the eye and say you have control issues, and they knew it within the first session.

I do care what others think, because I've learned that I prefer maintaining relationships to repairing them. I generally make effort not to offend others, or come across as something less than what I hope to become. I'll probably always be more task-oriented than people-oriented, but at least I'm more aware of it and can make a choice rather than simply operating by default. Smiling at people is almost automatic now. Almost. :)