I’ve felt adrift socially lately. Well, moreso than usual anyways. I’ve been in graduate school 4 years, but I never really managed to build up a core social support group. Nor even a reliable group of close friends.
This isn’t too hard to understand in a lot of ways. I simply haven’t really had any great passions or interests I’ve been pursuing with other people in my free time. And I’ve been too used to small places, where you can’t help but meet people. And the people you meet will introduce you to more people.
And it’s gotten worse recently. In the past year I’ve had several of my closer area friends move away. Some graduated, others got jobs in a new city, and one or two moved away to get married. And some just don’t seem that interested in keeping up a friendship with me compared to their other concerns.
And I’ve been left wondering what to do. I can’t magically make the city I live in small so it becomes easy to meet people. And I’m not going to start dating someone just so I can meet people. Further complicating things, in the technical circles I run around in I am unlikely to meet many females. This is a complication because I’ve been most successful getting close friends that are female, for whatever reason.
My gloomy, lethargic, apathetic, lackadaisical, self-critical, yet overly-complex-viewpoints demeanor doesn’t attract many friends, either. The people that can get past it I value immensely. But they usually guess at it. I won’t just come out and tell them, “Yeah, there are things I care about but I find caring about them much only gets me obsessive and upset. So I don’t bother to actively care about them often. Oh, and on any given topic I often don’t have a single coherent view but a small ecosystem of competing and occasionally mutually exclusive views. You weren’t looking for simple answers, right?”
So I guess I have some new goals for when I get back to grad school.
- Get involved in some area meetup groups of some form for things I’m interested in and which involve people I’d like to talk to.
- Make a point of meeting people and seeing if I can extend any friendships beyond the initial group. Figure out how to meet with them outside the group for something, nearly anything.
- Apart from that, try to be more positive, upbeat, outgoing and energetic in general. In that order of importance. (Or, rather, feasibility.)
- Make my conversations with people get less mired in seeing the forest through thinking about each individual tree. That just bogs down the conversation and annoys both the listener and myself. Unless there’s a specific reason for enunciating complexity, either boil down my point to a reasonable sound byte or simply don’t state it.