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  1. #1

    When you have no one to talk to....

    what do you do to get through the tough times? Who do you turn to? As in the other thread, music, exercise, reading, journaling, etc came up. But sometimes you need to just talk to another human being about what's going on (either to get some advice or to just talk your problems out). As much as the former things may help, we are social creatures and need the latter.

    In my case, I've tried the other things and they do help at times. But there are other times when I just need a listening ear, someone to bounce ideas off of, or someone to just give me some encouragement.

    I've never been good at making friends. I have a few but they are just people I hang out with. I've tried opening up to them but they seem closed and want to change the subject when I do. I had a difficult childhood emotionally speaking (due to my emotionally closed off family) and I think that is what led to the interpersonal difficulties I have. I'm not close to my sibling (they would tell their spouse everything we speak of and I don't like that). And while my parents will often give encouragement, it's blind encouragement meaning without even understanding what I'm going through they say "you'll be ok". They say nothing different despite the different situations I may bring up. And so I have stopped talking to them about my problems, which has pretty much led to me not talking to them at all.

    Not having anyone to talk to hurts me so much because I feel like I am always there for others if they want to talk. But no one cares about what is happening in my life. I'm serious...not even my parents care to know. I swear I could die and no one would realize it for several weeks if not months.

    I'm not depressed and don't want to (and wouldn't be able to afford to if I wanted) seek any professional help. It's not that that I need. I just need a friend.

  2. #2
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    Maybe you can contact a local helpline in your area for free or low-cost support services.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by taichiklf View Post
    what do you do to get through the tough times? Who do you turn to? As in the other thread, music, exercise, reading, journaling, etc came up. But sometimes you need to just talk to another human being about what's going on (either to get some advice or to just talk your problems out). As much as the former things may help, we are social creatures and need the latter.

    In my case, I've tried the other things and they do help at times. But there are other times when I just need a listening ear, someone to bounce ideas off of, or someone to just give me some encouragement.

    I've never been good at making friends. I have a few but they are just people I hang out with. I've tried opening up to them but they seem closed and want to change the subject when I do. I had a difficult childhood emotionally speaking (due to my emotionally closed off family) and I think that is what led to the interpersonal difficulties I have. I'm not close to my sibling (they would tell their spouse everything we speak of and I don't like that). And while my parents will often give encouragement, it's blind encouragement meaning without even understanding what I'm going through they say "you'll be ok". They say nothing different despite the different situations I may bring up. And so I have stopped talking to them about my problems, which has pretty much led to me not talking to them at all.

    Not having anyone to talk to hurts me so much because I feel like I am always there for others if they want to talk. But no one cares about what is happening in my life. I'm serious...not even my parents care to know. I swear I could die and no one would realize it for several weeks if not months.

    I'm not depressed and don't want to (and wouldn't be able to afford to if I wanted) seek any professional help. It's not that that I need. I just need a friend.
    Not sure if you're a churchgoer, but priests are often great ears when you just need someone to talk to.

  4. #4
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    That's actually a really good idea. Any faith-based community tends to be a good source of support and a great way to make friends.

  5. #5
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    I can relate to the OP in some ways. Feeling isolated seems to be more normal nowadays, and its more common than people think.

    Its very important to be seeking out friendships with people who can open up to you. People do need to talk to others, because I don't think exercise, journaling, listening to music is a cure-all for loneliness, or a replacement for true friendship. They are temporary boosts.

    How to go about finding these friendships? It can be a challenge, but you can often find people just in the process of going out and being social. I love hearing about others lives, concerns, good and bad at any time - just as long as thats not the only things they talk about.

    I think there are ways to talk about concerns in a light-hearted way too, so that family and friends are more receptive to giving you sound advice.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by soulllfulvirgo View Post
    I love hearing about others lives, concerns, good and bad at any time - just as long as thats not the only things they talk about.

    I think there are ways to talk about concerns in a light-hearted way too, so that family and friends are more receptive to giving you sound advice.
    Excellent points. I have written a lot of people off, because when we get together, all they want to talk about is themselves, and if I want to share something about my life, they change the subject.

  7. #7
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    My family, particularly my parents, fill this void for me. If I need spirit-boosting, somebody to vent to, a clearheaded person to listen and advise. I've never really been one to lean on friends in this manner, I tend to isolate myself from friends when I'm down, actually. My family is definitely who I turn to, no matter how far away I am. I tend to do return the favor as needed, so it works out well.
    "Even when I've f*&%ed up, I've spun it into a learning experience that's brought me to bigger and better things."

  8. #8
    I get a ton of support from online message boards. It may sound silly, but the internet is so vast that you can always find a stranger to help.
    Q: What do you get when you cross a postmodernist with a mafia boss?
    A: An offer you can't understand.

  9. #9
    therapist

  10. #10
    Thanks for all the replies and advice. I've thought about how social a church group is but I'm not religious so I can't go that route.

    "I think there are ways to talk about concerns in a light-hearted way too, so that family and friends are more receptive to giving you sound advice." - I would love to learn this. What are the ways??

    "I have written a lot of people off, because when we get together, all they want to talk about is themselves, and if I want to share something about my life, they change the subject." - I've stopped talking to these kind of people in my life as well. There is no point in talking to someone who just doesn't want to listen to you and turns every conversation into one about themselves.

    wordsmith - you are a very lucky person to have your parents to confide in.

    FishOutOfWater - I've used this and other boards in the past and have found some people to talk to. That is definitely an option again. I guess that is partly the reason why I decided to post this thread, perhaps to find someone who would want to reach out. I really do appreciate all the support.

    soulllfulvirgo - i'm sorry that you feel isolated too but it is nice for me to hear that someone can relate to even a portion of what I'm going through. I do go out and am social but if I'm having a good conversation with someone, it usually ends in "we should hang out sometime" or "we should go do x, y, and z" and we don't wind up talking about things that matter. I'm definitely more of an introvert and have a hard time making small talk so whatever I do talk about turns out to be more on the serious side. Maybe that's what scares people away. Anyone have tips on small talk? I find talking about the weather, celebrities, reality tv, etc a waste of time and prefer talking about religion, politics, important issues of our time, etc. I think I'm an old soul. But is the former the way to go with small talk? What do you all generally talk about?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by taichiklf View Post

    wordsmith - you are a very lucky person to have your parents to confide in.
    Believe me, I know...I've known enough people (SO, SIL, cousins, good friends, etc.) who have varying degrees of dysfunction in their relationships with their parents...everything from childhood abuse and neglect to ongoing psychological warfare well into adulthood, to just complete and total lack of identification with one another. My parents have had their share of hardships, more than their fare share, really, but one thing they can be really proud of is that they've always stepped up to the plate and been outstanding, unfailingly supportive parents, regardless of what was going on with them. Excellent examples of how to raise a family well. I definitely don't thank them enough for that, and should.
    "Even when I've f*&%ed up, I've spun it into a learning experience that's brought me to bigger and better things."

  12. #12
    Correction - I have no problem making small talk with strangers (I'm fairly decent at this and it makes others think I'm a very social person). I think the problem is small talk with friends (don't know if this makes sense to anyone). Besides the what's up, how was your day, I don't know what else to say unless the conversation morphs into something more serious like the things I mentioned before (current events, politics, religion). I like TV, movies, music, and books too but don't find people talking a lot about this either.

  13. #13
    Wordsmith - thank your parents today! what a wonderful thing to do

  14. #14
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    I know you have said you are not religious but what about exploring the Unitarian Universalist church? I have heard a lot of positive things about this congregation, and that they don't really follow a "God" per se and are open to everyone and everything who are interested in exploring a spiritual background in general.

    I know there are a few posters on this board who belong and have mentioned the positives they have received from the experience.

  15. #15
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    Taichiklf. We sound a lot alike. I attended an open house for school recently where I was required to meet and discuss my goals with faculty, students, and staff and did so with ease. For me, small talk in a "networking" or professional context is a cinch. Job interviews, are the same - I handle them with ease. For me, the challenge - like you - comes when trying to make small talk in social settings with "casual friends", i.e. acquaintances who I see regularly, but am not close to.

    I am currently trying to master the art of compartmentalizing my friendships. I've concluded that it seems the best way to go for right now.

    I love to discuss movies, music, politics, religion....but these are not exciting topics to everyone in casual settings, even if you hold similar views with them. I've accepted this. Everyone doesn't have the same interests/views as me, and that's fine.

    One thing you might try, is when you feel like taking the conversation in a serious direction - just ask the person more about themselves - "So, how are your parents?" "What hobbies are you taking part in now?"

    It can be a challenge, I know. I'm an "old soul" too.


    Quote Originally Posted by taichiklf View Post
    Correction - I have no problem making small talk with strangers (I'm fairly decent at this and it makes others think I'm a very social person). I think the problem is small talk with friends (don't know if this makes sense to anyone). Besides the what's up, how was your day, I don't know what else to say unless the conversation morphs into something more serious like the things I mentioned before (current events, politics, religion). I like TV, movies, music, and books too but don't find people talking a lot about this either.

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