Living In An Antisocial Society
Living In An Antisocial Society
Am I Standing in a Crowd All Alone?
Question – We have moved a few times in the past and usually have lots of friends. But in our new location, we have a hard time finding friends. We are labeled and uninvited to gatherings; we hear rumors about our family. We are told to our face and online that we do not belong. We tried a lot of different things to change this but I feel we are just different than “most“ of the people in our new life. Is it just us? What can we do to really feel we belong?
Answer – We do live in a time where so many people are more mobile. It may be because of the refugee movement or it could be that we live in a more mobile life style than there has been in recent history. But we are complex people and no real single reason exists for being without friends or not being accepted into a new society. So to keep this short, we will just hit on a few ideas and share some possible solutions in order to perhaps find a solution or even an acceptance of reality. A couple of things to consider is, what part of the problem are we? Or is it that others lack the understanding or ability. Other may not have the skills, time, or energy to include others into their circle.
Some more insight to think about:
Shaming Privately or Publicly- We live in a time when we can and maybe have been shamed or humiliated in public or private. Our society at times struggles with that thin line of just having fun or making serious accusations. We can feel this shame at such a deep level because we are bombarded with social media, the radio, TV and gossip. With all of the ease of publicity, we risk losing our reputation and respectability almost instantaneously. Our standing can fall so fast that we have no opportunity to share who we really are before our good reputation is gone. We even have a name for this type of risk and abuse-cyber bulling and harassment. We have all felt the emptiness of wanting to belong and feeling that something is wrong and life can become unbearable. At times we believe that people have little compassion and concern. The consequences can be irreversible because humiliation is a much stronger emotion than either happiness or even anger. Stop: do you feel it- the depression or weight of such a thought process?
Here is the time that we need to take a step backwards and reevaluate the situation and ourselves. We are all in this world together and we all share the same fears the same struggles and the same need to belong. We are all more than just our online reputation or more than what we even may appear.
If we do not take the opportunity to get to know people and look for the good in them, we may never know if they could be our new best friends. They just may have what is missing in our lives. It is okay to speak our mind in a loving kind way and it is okay to listen and learn to love and accept people not because of their mistakes but because they are human just like we are. We are all the same value. We have more alike than we have different.
Perception – How many times do we think that everyone else is already in a closed group of friends? The lonelier a person is, the more he or she tends to only notice extroverted people who have fun any place or any time- funny how we are one sided sometimes. Somehow our mind becomes blind to all others who may be as lonely or even lonelier than we are. According to the “Journal of Nature Neuroscience,” it reveals that being lonely and isolated for too long does change the brain and prolonged loneliness can change the brain to make one more antisocial. But our brain can be changed back when we socialize again.
Gwenyth Paltrow told about her experience in a film she made; she had to wear this very convincing and extreme fat suit. She said later that she wore it out in public a few times, and she commented at how “invisible” she felt. No one said hello; no one made eye contact. How many people live a life of quiet desolation?
Yes, there are those groups who have their established circle and no matter how you try you cannot buy your way into it. In reality, do you want to be a part of that group? Everyone is craving for more close and loyal friends; so don’t be envious or disappointed by that group’s appearance. Easy to say, right! You may want to consider some of the following ideas in your own perception.
- Did friends hurt you in the past?
- Are you viewing these pains as scars or your classroom?
- What new skills do you need to learn? New customs, new food, new social norms?
Disappointment – It is a common ere for someone to get psyched about a social event and then quickly get discouraged or very disappointed because others aren’t very responsive or they even give off negative vibes. You really can’t count on just one social interaction to decide if it is really a negative experience. They may just be having a bad day. You have two choices to make in these interactions.
- they really are out to make you miserable.
- they are struggling with some of the same fears you are.
If you really know that they do not want to be friends, then you can still choose to be happy and look elsewhere for friendship. You do not have to choose a thinking process that is destroying your own self-worth. Do not make a guess that is not to your own best interest.
Reasonable Expectations – One big realization we need to be aware of is that we are the new people here and we should not expect people and places to be the same. The world and its people are beautiful in part due to the amazing variety.
The second expectation is cruelty and non-acceptance of others is nothing new. A reasonable expectation might even be that you know there will be some differences. Be aware of that when you are moving to a new location. Do some research about the customs, or the food, the schools, the local laws, and maybe even the social norm expectations.
A third expectation point to remember is that every one of us has differing abilities. There really are people out there that are not capable of reaching out and loving others outside of their own circle of family and friends. They may be the ones that need a friendly hello from us. Confucius tells us “The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.”
Questions to ask yourself:
- Am I asking something of someone else that I would not do myself?
- Am I prepared and willing to understand and act without expecting a return? (In order to have someone care about you, you must first care about them)
- Find peace in the fact that you did what you could even if it is not reciprocated. Your value does not depend on their ability to be a friend.
- Remember that a really good friend is one who will kindly let you know when you need to make an adjustment. Listen and evaluate your own thought process. Are you the one that needs to make the adjustment or are you the one who needs to let it go, or in a loving way do you need to address the issue?
If you are struggling with overwhelming feelings please reach out and get some help. This can be a very hard time and a very good time to learn to be stronger and believe in your own value. Start with a free download to find out your real friends and to help in knowing if you are the toxic one.
Choose to be the friend. One step at a time.
Core Living Essentials