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#51820 - 07/07/03 09:38 PM Re: How do you form friendships?
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Jimmer,

I'm sorry for your bad experiences of late.

jer


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#51821 - 07/07/03 10:52 PM Re: How do you form friendships?
jimrh Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Roswell, GA
Ok guys, first of all, I apologize sincerely for asking this question as I realize now it is one better suited for someone like my therapist or maybe some self-help books.

Where or how do we get the moderators to remove posts like this one?

I'll back off, I understand that I should not have posed this question because it is completely unfair to the rest of you. I also should not have posted all that crap about myself. I am really sorry guys.

All the best to you all.

Jim


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#51822 - 07/07/03 11:10 PM Re: How do you form friendships?
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Jim - I support Lloydy (Dave) in the way he suggests making friendships. This is a formula that works for me. You can make friends with those who share something in common. It can be with another survivor BUT your focus of the friendship will be connected by your CSA. You need wider circles. Like Dave shared, something in common could be chess, sports, reading, study group, religion, hikers - whatever 'floats your boat'. Then build from that foundation of common interests. Some of those friends may click with you - therefore they become good friends, etc. etc. One level at a time. As you share your interest (things you know and are comfortable with), your relaxed interaction will help you step further in friendship. Go as slow as you want, share as much as you are comfortable sharing. NOTE: We survivors usually have boundary problems. When we begin making friends we share too much, too soon and either scare them or ourselves. Play it cool and take your time.

Hope this helped!!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#51823 - 07/08/03 05:22 AM Re: How do you form friendships?
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Gosh, I'm sorry, Jim, I got a little carried away trying to be funny. You were hurting and I must have sounded like some kind of nut.
You should be asking questions like that and no apology is needed for telling us about your trials; for God sake, that's what this forum is all about.
I don't know what I would have done if my wife had layed me so bare before a potential friend; tearing up the house would have been the least I would have done.
Please know that I do hear you about the importance of friendship and I don't take it lightly.
Please call so that I can apologize in person. That number is good day or night--I have more time during the day, however.

Your friend,

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#51824 - 07/08/03 07:09 AM Re: How do you form friendships?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Jim
Quote:
I'll back off, I understand that I should not have posed this question because it is completely unfair to the rest of you. I also should not have posted all that crap about myself. I am really sorry guy
Don't even think about it ! there's nothing wrong with your post at all.

Sharing our 'crap' is how we lighten the load, so do what needs to be done Jim.
You share - we listen - we share - you listen. That's the way it works here.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#51825 - 07/08/03 07:35 AM Re: How do you form friendships?
jimrh Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Roswell, GA
Guys,

I'll see if I can get it right this time. What I did was play the "whoa is me" victim card once again and I should not have done that.

Ron is right, this is a haven for survivors, not hospital for victims. I was trying to get that across earlier by apologizing for doing what I did and it didn't quite work as I can see from Dave and David's posts.

I was trying to explain that I indeed shouldn't have posted anything about my feelings = of shame and remorse (trying to agree with Ron).

That is not something that can be seen as anything other than whining and I need to leave my feelings to my therapist and my journal. Maybe, or rather hopefully I've explained myself a bit better this time around?

Jim


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#51826 - 07/08/03 08:36 AM Re: How do you form friendships?
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Jim,

I am sorry. I should not have said "don't come here with shame and remorese". I have no right to say that. I am really, really glad you are here, and in my rant never meant to imply that you should go away. I guess I was just sensing you were displaying a little of the "poor me"'s and just had a knee jerk response.

I do understand your sense of powerlessness having to deal with all this crap alone on the other end of the computer screen. Regarding the subject of making friends, I think it is a load of crap to imply that there is a "formula" for doing this, and the insinuation by a therapist that one is flawed because thay can't do this is not helpful.

Making friends is something that happens naturally between two people. It is a decision that two people agree upon together and they are built upon mutually decided terms of endearment, either spoken or unspoken. Building friendships has to do with building trust between two people. This takes a huge chunk of time out of a person life.

I have a lot of acquaintences but only two very close friends and guess what, they are female. I think of all the males I know, and I realize that they are very good men, but Jim society is not made for ones like us. We have a different orientation than the average male. We have different needs than the average guy. Still, feeling friendless is a very lonely feeling.

I see the establishment of this website for us male survivors as important as the establishment of AA for alcoholics. The fellowship we get here, we cannot find anywhere else. I know it is just cyberspace for now, but I think it is important to not minimize the importance of being able to have a place like this be part of our daily life. Hey I would rather dance in cyberspace with a bunch of other ghosts than dance alone inside my head.

I don't know you Jim, but I have a great feeling of compassion concern and love for you. If it were possible, I would be thrilled to be your friend, a part of your daily life. O wow! aren't you lucky?! All kidding aside, I really hope that you are able to find satisfaction with what MS has to offer while you work toward excavating the potential that you have for building friendship in "real" life.

Your brother in the struggle,

Ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#51827 - 07/08/03 05:24 PM Re: How do you form friendships?
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Jim, I believe that your question that started this thread is one that a whole bunch of us has asked ourselves. It is a good thread.

Sometimes we need to whine. I used to go to cardiac rehabilitation. There was a sign there that said: NO WHINEING! One of the guys getting rehabilitation turned it around and announced loudly--"I will whine all I want, I pay for the privilege to whine." We all laughed, including the staff.

Whineing is good now and then. And it is good to recognise, I have been whineing--at least for me it is a terrific motivator.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#51828 - 07/19/03 08:01 AM Re: How do you form friendships?
jimrh Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Roswell, GA
I think I may have stumbled upon the reason why it seems it's hard to make friends (at least for me). What I'm about to say applies to both the dynamics here on malesurvivor.org as well as many other online groups and also my experiences in the real world.

So, I start out in a conversation with someone (another guy) and during the course of the conversation I may begin to reveal some personal issues and maybe ask about him and his situation. We may seem to hit it off, seem interested in continuing the conversation and may even have a rather emotional or intense conversation (like has happened to me here many times).

We get back together online at some point in the future and the kicker is I ask about him and how he's doing, trying to be friendly and empathetic, but low and behold, I either get little to no response, or in some cases I get a response that tells me this guy totally forgot what we talked about just a short time ago.

I think the problem with forming friendships is that I start out with some level of expectation when in fact I believe I should approach human interaction with zero expectations. That way, if I talk to someone and then pass them in life in the future and they don't remember me, then it's no big deal because I never expected them to remember me in the first place.

I have found that conversing with numerous guys here on ms.org might lead you to believe that most guys here are kind, considerate, empathetic, understanding, etc. In fact, everyone here has enormous issues and I can't expect anyone to be the least bit empathetic to anything at all.

It's the same thing that I've been met with on another online group where I've actually been told in person that they have too many issues of their own to be able to hear anyone elses issues or through emails, being told that others can't listen to you because you're whiney and you need some tough love, so toughen up, big boy!

So the ultimate in the dichotomy of forming friendships is if you attempt to do so with a hetero male. You have to play the normal, tough, macho, non-emotional, non-drama, talk only about baseball and football beer drinking, Hooters going kinda guy!

In the end, expectations need to be reset to zero.

Jim


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#51829 - 07/19/03 08:48 PM Re: How do you form friendships?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Jim
I can't say I agree with you entirely,

Quote:
I think the problem with forming friendships is that I start out with some level of expectation when in fact I believe I should approach human interaction with zero expectations. That way, if I talk to someone and then pass them in life in the future and they don't remember me, then it's no big deal because I never expected them to remember me in the first place.
Don't go back to "zero" that's a bad place to be, I think that if we go there it's saying more about our lack of self esteem than what we expect from others.
I agree we shouldn't expect the whole shooting match from other people until we're very close to them, but we should expect something.
For us to 'expect' nothing gives the impression that we dond't 'deserve' anything; and they're two entirely different things. We DO deserve.

Quote:
It's the same thing that I've been met with on another online group where I've actually been told in person that they have too many issues of their own to be able to hear anyone elses issues or through emails, being told that others can't listen to you because you're whiney and you need some tough love, so toughen up, big boy!
I'm so pleased that you don't say MS does this, I truly believe that we dont. And it's such a shame when other sites descend into this kind of thing, it reinforces the doubts we already have.
If someone told me "you're whiney and you need some tough love, so toughen up, big boy!" I'd probably respond with violence, we don't need that crap.


A lot of the times when we don't get a responce it's dissapointing, and when we're feeling low that feeling is doubled and then some. And I bet we all feel that, I still do after the amount of posts I've put on here, if I think I've put an interesting reply to someone I check that first to see the responce. And if there's none my first reaction is "why ?" I'm as vain as the next man in that respect.
But it's not that the guys are ignoring me, although after all this time I might well understand that, it's more likely that what seems important to me isn't recognised by others as something they can respond to with anything usefull or with any experience.

Quote:
In fact, everyone here has enormous issues and I can't expect anyone to be the least bit empathetic to anything at all.
Again, we can't expect it as a 'right' but I do believe we get it 99% of the time. We all have enourmous issues for sure, but we have a lot in common as well.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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