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#459328 - 01/24/14 02:26 PM Re: I just want to be able to make friends :( [Re: Magellan]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980
Loc: California

The most important statement I ever made in a small, organized group meeting happened when the leader of the meeting casually asked, "How is everyone?" Then for some reason he singled me out and asked, "Keith, how are ya?" to which I could only reply at that moment, "I hurt." It was out of the ordinary for me, and they were the only words I could muster at that moment, due to recent events at that time. I didn't disclose every private detail about the cause of my pain at that moment, but it changed the course of the meeting. It broke the polite, small talk and ended up taking that group to a deeper level of experience. Several people came to me and began forming friendships with me. Finally, they were interacting with a whole, real person rather than the hard-to-get-to-know guy they'd been polite to before this event.

I am a professional writer. I have worked with numerous actors of all abilities, and I have the utmost respect for what you actors do. I understand the courage and strength it takes to step in front of an audience with such raw vulnerability. Your classmates and instructor know this better than anyone.

I'm thinking,"Improv Class," "actors," "people who are training to get in touch with their inner self to create characters and honest responses in character...."

What do you think would happen, if, during a class exercise when the instructor is asking, "What are you feeling? What are you thinking?"....what would happen if you were honest and disclosed your feelings of isolation?

(I have a hunch several would think, "Wow, we have those feelings in common. I thought I was the only one!)
I have taken to the stand-up comedy stage to educate other male survivors and those who try to love them. I blog about my isolated religious upbringing where physical and sexual abuse were commonplace and I serve as a facilitator of a weekly support group for men who have suffered sexual assault.

#459332 - 01/24/14 02:45 PM Re: I just want to be able to make friends :( [Re: Magellan]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6361
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
i love what you say here, WriterKeith.

i tell anyone and everyone who is in my vicinity...
sorry, i don't do small talk.

if someone says "how are you?"
i answer honestly.
if the answer is "fine" or "great" or "excellent" then that is usually where that line of questioning ends.
but if i am not "ok" then i say so.
this has led to some amazing intimate conversations.
if that turns them off, or scares them away, all the better.
i have no interest in superficial shallow meaningless conversations.
if the person is uncomfortable with the way the words are going, i tell them simply, "don't ask me how i am doing if you don't want to know."
they usually say something like..
"i was just trying to be polite."
to which i reply...
"asking questions you don't want honest answers to is not a good way to start. if you honestly don't care how i am doing... don't ask. now let's get back to business."

this helps me separate the wheat from the chaff.


#459388 - 01/25/14 06:14 PM Re: I just want to be able to make friends :( [Re: Magellan]
Rustam Offline

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 474
Loc: UK
Hi Magellan,

I may be going out on a limb here but have you thought about the possibility of Asperger's, if only to rule it out, it might be worth investigating. I have a work colleague who only recently at age 40 found out that he has Asperger's, it was a relief to him as knowing about it helped him understand and accept himself.
There is nothing stupid or wrong about him he just has a different way of relating to the world.

Anyway I thought it might be worth saying, sorry if that does not fit.

#459433 - 01/26/14 10:55 AM Re: I just want to be able to make friends :( [Re: Magellan]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1585
Loc: California
I do not have aspergers.

Be careful of making suggestions like that to people you don't know. It can be harmful to someone suffering from low self esteem and self doubt with a penchant for thinking there is something 'wrong' with themselves. Like me.

@WriterKeith - I've fancied myself unloading this weight if isolation in one of my improv classes, but can never find the opportune time to do so. I do agree that this could be a space to do it; but I have no idea how.

I feel like I'm stuck in an inpenetrable bubble.

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