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Being alone and being lonely
 

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BlueRose Views: 1,980
Published: 15 years ago
 

Being alone and being lonely


I've taken the Myers-Briggs test twice and both times tested as a strong introvert. Thus, I want and need my alone time as do all introverts. However, that doesn't mean that I don't get lonely and long for the company of a friend.
It's been a long time since I've had a female best friend and I do miss that. While I have my husband and appreciate the fact that he is not only my husband and my friend, sometimes I long for some female friendship.
When I was growing up, whenever you heard about someone who didn't have any friends, the assumption would be that they must be a disagreeable person. However, these days, it's not true at all. Why is it so hard to make and keep friends now? I live in an area that is very transient. Many times I will meet someone and strike up a friendship only to have them move. Once people move, they more often than not do not want to keep up the friendship. Being shy, it makes it all the harder for me to make friends. I know---we're all caught up in our busy lives. We have demanding jobs and/or young kids to raise and those are our first priorities. I do understand! But why do so many people not want to take a little time to keep and maintain a friendship? For example, is it so hard to answer an email? Is it so hard to return a phone call? Send a birthday card?, a "congratulations" card when the new baby arrives?, send a sympathy card when there is a death in the family?
I am not needy. Certainly, I'm not pestering people or making any unreasonable demands. In fact, I'm an independant person. I won't ask for help unless I'm in a real jam. If I can figure out a way to get something done myself, I will do it rather than impose on anyone. However, if a friend were to ask me for my help and I was in a position to do so, I would help out. But when the shoe is on the other foot, that same person often has excuses as to why they can't help out.
Some time ago, we took my elderly aunt out to dinner. As we were chatting during the meal, she suddenly said "you know I go days without having a conversation". I was so surprised because when I was young, she and my late uncle would often have dinner parties, inviting their friends and his co-workers. They, in turn attended their share of parties. I also told her that if it weren't for my husband, I, too, would go days without a conversation, which did surprise her! Another example-- when visiting my cousins this past summer, we mentioned that we are considering a move back to that area, if we could swing it. After returning home, I got a plaintive letter from my cousin's wife asking us to please move near them since she only had one friend plus her sister-in-law for female company.
I think we all should try to make connections with others. Chat with the sales clerk who smiles at you while ringing up your sale. Let them know if they've been very helpful. Pay someone a compliment. I remember once, when at work, a woman told me that she thought I had a nice voice. She made my day! No one had ever told me that before. We can, and should, try to brighten someone's day. Many times, I've had elderly ladies strike up a conversation with me. Unless I have to be somewhere in a hurry, I take the time to listen to them and chat. One lady, who recently lost her husband, thanked me for listening to her.
Now--I do have some questions about making and keeping friends. Do I have to lower my standards? I expect people not to take my kindness for weakness--in other words, don't take advantage--I won't put up with someone being nice just because they want something. Also, if I call you, I expect you to return the call, especially if I'm inviting you out to lunch, for example. If you told me something in confidence, I would respect that--you can trust me and I expect the same from you. So--am I expecting too much? Should I just accept the fact that I may never have a female best friend and accept that at most I'll have acquaintances?
Where I live now, one needs a car to get anywhere which can feel quite isolated. My hope is that we can move to the city again where activities that interest me are easily reached. That way, when participating I'll enjoy the company of others even if I don't make any friends.
I guess I want, in the end, is to have friends who care about me, as I will about them. Friends who will call and ask how I'm doing and I, too, will reciprocate. Is that too much to ask?
 

 
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