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Is it good that I 'showed my face'?

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Griff

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Jan 22, 2019
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Cardiff
So, friends I've known since Uni (about 4-and-a-half years I've known them) decided to meet up yesterday to go to an event. I was invited to join them but I declined. Not because I didn't want to see them, but because I just wouldn't have been in a conversational mood as I was experiencing a bout of low mood and I just get really anxious in certain social situations. So I just had a quiet night in and I just let them get on with it meaning they didn't hear from me as soon as the plans were made for that evening (they were made earlier in the week).

Yesterday evening, during their day/night out, one of my uni mates messaged me to see how I was doing, probably to make me feel like I wasn't missing out. I appreciated the gesture and we agreed to meet up the day after for a coffee and a catch up. I wanted to use this conversation to get some stuff off my chest, specifically how I feel like I'm a bit of an outcast and that I feel like my 'mates' don't like me all that much, like they only invite me to stuff out of pity.

This morning, the mate I agreed to meet up with said he didn't have the energy to chat one-on-one (they got completely drunk last night) and asked if I would see them and the rest of my 'mates' as well. As someone who likes to mentally psych myself well in advance for any social gathering, this threw me well off. I agreed to meet up anyway as I thought I would just show up anyway and just generally catch up with everyone. We spent a fair while of the afternoon in a pub just chatting and I was just slowly beginning to hate every minute of it. My 'mates' seemed to be more concerned talking about their wild night out; a night out that I wasn't there for so I couldn't see how I could've contributed more to the conversation than I actually did. I felt like I was in the background not saying much and that they didn't care enough to bring me into the conversation which only reinforced the feeling that these people just couldn't care less about me. And when I said bye to them and left, I felt low and really worthless. Because they had a good time without me, I can't help but ask myself whether I should still be in these people's lives anymore and I can't help but feel extremely distant from them.

I initially didn't mind showing my face to them but I was hoping for... more for this meet up. I kinda wish I never bothered if, in hindsight, I knew that they wouldn't bring me into any sort of meaningful conversation. I mean, it wasn't like the whole group invited me, one person just did it on a whim, I don't know. Did I do the right thing by showing up anyway? I'm just really confused by this whole encounter and I honestly don't know what to do or what to think. The mate that originally messaged told me that he's still up for a chat so I guess I can tell them how I'm feeling then? I don't know. Right now, my head is all over the place. Sorry for this ramble but I needed to get this off my chest.
 
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Nukelavee

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On the one hand -it's reasonable for you to want social encounters that suit you and your moods.

On the other - you can't, and shouldn't, expect everybody else to always cater to your preferences.

Part of people being more understanding of our moods, is we also need to be aware they have their own moods. Not everybody feels as intensely about interactions, specific or general, as anybody else.
 
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Griff

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
22
Location
Cardiff
On the one hand -it's reasonable for you to want social encounters that suit you and your moods.

On the other - you can't, and shouldn't, expect everybody else to always cater to your preferences.

Part of people being more understanding of our moods, is we also need to be aware they have their own moods. Not everybody feels as intensely about interactions, specific or general, as anybody else.
Reading your reply and reading back through my post, I feel terrible in the sense I come across as really selfish and self-centred. All I want is to feel like I'm part of a group that I don't find easy to be a part of in the first place. I don't know. I guess everything would be easier if I just kept my mouth shut... Maybe I just need to further reflect on all of this...
 
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Worriedyin

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Reading your reply and reading back through my post, I feel terrible in the sense I come across as really selfish and self-centred. All I want is to feel like I'm part of a group that I don't find easy to be a part of in the first place. I don't know. I guess everything would be easier if I just kept my mouth shut... Maybe I just need to further reflect on all of this...
Griff I think you were very brave to show face. I've been through a rough couple of years and have kept my distance from old friends but the more you see them the easier it gets, social skills are like muscles that improve with repetition and if you're dealing with any kind of anxiety it's incredibly brave to face it down and see them.

Just being there is good enough. Next time will be easier.
 
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Nukelavee

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Dude - I don't want you to feel more self conscious or alone.

I didn't mean those things as serious flaws in you. But, when we are stressed, like you in a social setting, or when we ruminate over encounters (God know I do it), we get very self-focused. And we project our fears onto events, tailoring our memory of the experience to match our mood.

All I meant is that everybody has their own agenda for how interactions should/will go - and they don't always match up. Don't always assume the worst.

Maybe your friend brought along another, and kept it light, because they were too burnt out and knew it, but didn't want to stand you up. Maybe they discussed their night out, in order to try and include you a bit, encourage you to come out more. After all, your friend did say they'd be up for an actual one on one meetup soon, right?

Reflection is good - not in the "what did I do wrong" way, but in the "is there a positive possibility for what happened?".
 
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Griff

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Jan 22, 2019
Messages
22
Location
Cardiff
Griff I think you were very brave to show face. I've been through a rough couple of years and have kept my distance from old friends but the more you see them the easier it gets, social skills are like muscles that improve with repetition and if you're dealing with any kind of anxiety it's incredibly brave to face it down and see them.

Just being there is good enough. Next time will be easier.
Griff I think you were very brave to show face. I've been through a rough couple of years and have kept my distance from old friends but the more you see them the easier it gets, social skills are like muscles that improve with repetition and if you're dealing with any kind of anxiety it's incredibly brave to face it down and see them.

Just being there is good enough. Next time will be easier.
I guess all I can do is try. You don't know what will happen if you don't try I guess.
 
G

Griff

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
22
Location
Cardiff
Dude - I don't want you to feel more self conscious or alone.

I didn't mean those things as serious flaws in you. But, when we are stressed, like you in a social setting, or when we ruminate over encounters (God know I do it), we get very self-focused. And we project our fears onto events, tailoring our memory of the experience to match our mood.

All I meant is that everybody has their own agenda for how interactions should/will go - and they don't always match up. Don't always assume the worst.

Maybe your friend brought along another, and kept it light, because they were too burnt out and knew it, but didn't want to stand you up. Maybe they discussed their night out, in order to try and include you a bit, encourage you to come out more. After all, your friend did say they'd be up for an actual one on one meetup soon, right?

Reflection is good - not in the "what did I do wrong" way, but in the "is there a positive possibility for what happened?".
Apologies if I misread any context. Today has just been a long day, I'm tired and I guess I'm naturally hard on myself. Because I tend to over-think everything, it's hard for me to perceive situations with a rational mind-set but that is something I want to improve doing. I wasn't mad at my friend for the sudden change of plans and I completely get that they were a bit low-energy. When I said bye to them, they did extend the offer of a chat so it's all fine in that regard.
I think what must've been the issue is that because my mind can easily wonder, I can get stuck inside my own head during a conversation and as soon as that happens, any sort of rational thinking goes out the window so I most likely imprint my fears and insecurities onto the situation at hand. When I mentioned reflection, I intended to mean how can I learn from that situation. And I think what I've just learned is how I need to remain as rational as I can. Thank you for your advice, I'm taking it on board for sure.
 
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