People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

For problems with mental or emotional well being.
Forum rules
NEW USERS HAVE TO WAIT FOR THEIR FIRST POSTS TO BE APPROVED BY AN ADMINISTRATOR. Rules | Essential Information | FAQ | Support | Twitter

People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

Postby HelenAshby » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:31 pm

I'm 54 next week and I can't believe that I am so lonely and depressed. I really thought that by now, I'd have my life sorted. But I look around and, well, I am really very alone in this world

I am not shy, I can be very outgoing and sociable, but very, very few people seem to like me. I try my best to be liked. I am reliable, punctual, dependable. I try to be interesting and amusing company, I try not to offend. I don't fart or get drunk or tell dirty jokes. Yet the end result is, I have very very few friends, and those who I call "friends" are really just people I know, who want to see me now and again. To be honest, I think that some of them only see me out of some kind of "duty", or out of politeness. Many, many people have just "dropped" me, I suppose the ones that still see me are the ones who feel some kind of obligation, but I notice that even they are gradually reducing contact so that they only see me once in a while.

Same with my family. I have siblings, but only two of them are even on speaking terms with me, and they contact me about once a year and invite me on Boxing Day (never Xmas Day) with a whole bunch of other acquaintances, so, again, I know they only do this out of duty and that makes me not want to go.

My phone does not ring literally from one week to the next. If I take the initiative and actually phone a friend or acquaintance myself, they always give me the brush off, like say they will call me back (then they don't) or say they are really busy over the next few weeks and they'll ring me when they get some space in their diary (then they don't). So I feel embarassed to ring them, as it puts them on the spot and it embarasses me with hear them squirming and stuttering down the phone while they try to think of some excuse not to see me and to ring off. I have got some "friends" who live in the same town as me and they have not met up with me for over a year. When I make new acquaintances I invite them to come round for a cuppa but they just keep giving me the brush off till I give up asking.

Lately I have resorted to paying people to do odd jobs around the house, to give me a massage or do some cleaning, just to get some kind of interaction with "someone" (anyone). I have actually been toying with the idea of paying someone an hourly rate just to "be" with me - like an oldfashioned "companion" that Victorian ladies had. Not someone to wait on me, but to literally just act as a friend. The only thing that stopped me was being shy about and not knowing how to word the advert in such a way as to not look like a pathetic billy-no-mates who has to buy company (which I am). I also thought of paying someone to teach me conversational French, purely for someone to talk to.

It's funny, but some of my friends and former friends tell me horrendous tales of their other mates, who say and do really nasty horrible things to them, and yet in the next breath I hear they are going on holiday together or something! I never do anything horrible to anyone, but nobody wants to spend a holiday with me -- I have to always go on my own. I have not been a bridesmaid since I was 12 or to a wedding since I was 15. I have not been invited to a party for 10 years, and yet I have hundreds of acquaintances in my town (because I belong to many online local groups).

I did have a long term (10 yrs) boyfriend, so I didn't worry too much about not having heaps of friends, as I always had him for company and to phone and go out with and go on holiday with. But he dumped me last year. He said he was just bored of me, of us, and would rather be on his own than be with me. Losing him has been the most devastating blow. I went into a depression and cannot seem to get out of it. Because losing him has thrown me into looking at who else I have in my life, and there really is no one except a couple of pen pals. Sometimes I feel suicidal because if I haven't solved this problem by age 54, what is there in the future but a lonely old age?

Soon as my man dumped me I registered myself on eight internet dating sites. And in a year I have not found one man on any of them who wants me for anything other than casual sex.

I'm so desperately lonely that I sometimes phone the Samaritans just to talk to someone. As I said before, I cannot believe that I still have not sorted this out and I am nearly 54.

I am at home alone all day because I am not working. I have a couple of lodgers in my house but they don't want to spend any time with me, either. They stay in their rooms mostly and if I catch them in the kitchen or passing my door on their way in or out and try to engage them in conversation, they make excuses like they are in a hurry or busy.

What is wrong with me?

Helen
HelenAshby
Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

Postby HelenAshby » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:43 pm

Just wanted to add a bit more...

In the spring I went on holiday abroad by myself. It was a hotel-based package holiday. I cannot remember a time when I was so happy as those 14 days. I felt completely at peace, genuinely happy for the first time in I don't know how many years. I talked with people constantly - English singles and couples - and everyone seemed to like me and find me interesting. I was a social butterfly, having meals with different people, chatting to lots of different people for ten minutes or an hour or sometimes a whole afternoon at a time. I loved being looked after by all the cheerful, friendly staff, being served and cossetted and smiled at constantly. I was not lonely for one single second. When I left the hotel and walked around sightseeing and shopping I was sooo happy, I just smiled and chatted to everyone. I loved everyone! I loved life, I loved the world, and I could not stop smiling.

By the time I got back to my room at night I had had my fill of people and welcomed the solitude. In the morning I literally woke up smiling and looking forward to the day. I looked down from my balcony at the people already gathering on the terrace and around the pool and could not wait to get down there and start chatting to people again. I felt really good about myself, popular, and I literally never wanted to come home. I also had a huge burst of energy, and did a lot of walking and swam every single day, sometimes twice a day.

The day the coach came to take me to the airport I sat and cried.

Soon as I got back home the misery set back in and it's stayed with me ever since. When I wake up I instantly feel depressed and I force myself to get up. I have zero enthusiasm for life. Everything feels like a chore. I cannot be bothered to go out, to take a walk or do any exercise whatsoever. I am literally like a different person.

Several people gave me their email addresses and said to keep in touch when I got home, which made me feel really happy and wanted and liked. Mind you, what happened in practice was, we exchanged a couple of emails then they stopped responding, so I let it go. They all live hundreds of miles away, in any case.

So I am trying to work out why I was soooo happy there (even though before I left I was worried that I would feel lonelier abroad on my own than I do at home). Does this mean that I ought to go and live abroad? Or that I should take more holidays? I was wondering if maybe I should spend ALL my savings on going abroad every few weeks. Because without happiness, life is just not worth living.

Anyway, that is what I wanted to add.
HelenAshby
Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

Postby Ticktock » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:51 pm

The simple answer is that you are lonely, you strike me as a person who needs the validation of others approval, maybe this need makes you hard work as a friend with you coming across as slightly desperate?

At home you are surrounded with evidence of your failures (not that they are real failures but your depression blows them up) on holiday you can relax and be the person you want to be.

You do need a change but the idea of constant holidays though nice isn't sustainable (although keep an eye out for cheap Greek islands...)

You obviously live a house which is way too big for you, maybe is the time to downsize and look for a new place to be a new you, you may miss the income from lodgers but depression is often about the environment we surround ourselves with.
User avatar
Ticktock
Familiar Face
Familiar Face
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:01 am
Gender: Male

Re: People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

Postby HelenAshby » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:34 pm

Hi Ticktock. Thanks for answering me.

All this stuff about "being hard work" as a friend does not sound like me. In what way am I hard work? I never ask anyone to validate or approve of me. I just like to have a nice natter. I just like company. I don't see that as desperate in any way. I look around me and I see that everyone has a partner, family, friends. Do you call them "desperate" just because they, too, want company, love and someone who cares about them?

I am unemployed, so without the lodgers I have no income. If I downsized to a flat or something after using up all my savings to survive, I would have to draw dole money and £60pw or whatever it is would not even cover the bills. And I would have to live off the state instead of being self-supporting, which can't be a good thing for me or the country as a whole.

I don't have any choice but to stay and have lodgers.

Also I don't understand why you think that living alone would decrease my loneliness. At least I hear people around me through the walls and ceilings, and see them in the shared areas like the kitchen. How would getting rid of them make me less lonely?

I dont think my environment makes me depressed - it's a very nice house, nicely decorated and furnished to my taste.

Sorry but your comments just don't seem to fit me or solve my problem.
HelenAshby
Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

Postby snail » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:52 pm

Sorry you're having such a bad time, Helen :(

A few things that occurred to me as I read your post:

- You're clearly a bit depressed, probably (and naturally) as a result of the loss of such a significant relationship, even after this amount of time. Remember that depression powerfully colours how we see the world when we're in its grip.

- You clearly can socialise very well and get on with people, because you did it on holiday. I'm guessing on holiday you felt like you could be anyone you chose to be because they were all strangers, and this liberated you. So you know you can do it and people do like you.

- People don't ask grown-up siblings over on Christmas Day. Christmas Day is for husbands and wives, and parents and children, only. That's really hard for those of us who don't have any of those things, but it's just the way it is. Boxing Day is for other relatives, and I don't think you should assume that your family only ask you out of duty. They could just not ask you at all if they didn't want to see you.

- I don't think that anyone ever really has that many true friends. It's a bit like lovers - there aren't going to be that many people that we're really going to connect with in our lives. It isn't that easy to find them but, like lovers, if you keep looking you'll find one in the end. The vast majority of people that you meet won't be right as your friend.

- You talk about people not making good on their promises to get back to you, and holiday acquaintances not staying in touch. That's just human nature and to be expected in most cases - people are busy with their lives and many people are very unreliable and say they'll do things that they never do. If I find that someone's like that, I move on and look elsewhere.

- I wouldn't really expect your lodgers to be friendly towards you - they're all young, aren't they? At that age anyone over 40 is another species.

- Dating is really hard once you're over about 35- 40. My theory is that, by then, most of the decent men are already in relationships, so naturally the majority of those that are left are those who have problems maintaining a relationship (to put it mildly!). It will be a long-term job to find a new partner; knuckle down, keep at it, keep looking and eliminating. In my experience the free sites are the worst, and paid sites like Match are much better. Look also at local dating/singles groups.

Practical ideas:

- I think that hiring a companion probably isn't a great idea, as it will probably make you feel worse about yourself.

- I think that having someone teach you conversational French is a great idea. You'll have someone to chat to and learn a new skill as well.

- Do voluntary work, or study, or pursue something (or many things) that you're interested in. What is the purpose of your life - what are you here to do? Is it saving the whales, is it getting a PhD, is it helping the homeless, is it working to eradicate hunger in children? Find that, and leave the friendship thing to sort itself out. In the meantime, you'll have something to occupy you and will be spending time with other like-minded people.

- Make the effort to stay in touch with your family and remember birthdays etc, even if they don't bother themselves. Family relationships are important, and even if people aren't in that place in their own lives where they can return your efforts, they will remember them, and the relationship may improve in the future.
These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

Najwa Zebian
User avatar
snail
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4343
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:59 pm
Location: Your guess is as good as mine.
Gender: Female

Re: People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

Postby HelenAshby » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:54 am

thank you Snail for your message. You clearly put a lot of work into all your responses to everyone on here, so i thank you for that.

My thoughts on your comments...

i think I am very, very depressed. Each day i feel a little bit more lonely, unwanted and isolated. It's like my partner made me a worthwhile person, because someone is this world actually wanted to be with me, was devoted to me, and would be by my side for the rest of my life. So I could say sod the rest of the world, here is someone who truly loves me and will never leave me. i genuineely belived that and i am still in shock that he's gone.

Re the holiday your comment "you felt like you could be anyone you chose to be because they were all strangers, and this liberated you" makes it sound like I lied to people which is not the case. I didn't masquerade as a different person. I was just myself.

"People don't ask grown-up siblings over on Christmas Day."

Mine do. Christmas Day is held at my married brother's house and he invites our married sister every christmas day and all their kids and their partners and grandchildren. But I am only invited on boxing day. my brother and sister and their spouses also go on holidays as a foursome every year for the past 20 yrs and i have never once been invited.

"I don't think that anyone ever really has that many true friends"

"people not making good on their promises to get back to you, and holiday acquaintances not staying in touch. That's just human nature and to be expected in most cases - people are busy with their lives and many people are very unreliable and say they'll do things that they never do."

I can see that all the above is true.

"I wouldn't really expect your lodgers to be friendly towards you - they're all young, aren't they?"

They are 45, 37 and 30, The eldest is the least friendly, a very cold and formal German. The 30 yr old, the only female, is Russian and is the most friendly, but she works 7 days a week, does not get home till after 7 and just wants to go to her room.

"Dating is really hard once you're over about 35- 40. My theory is that, by then, most of the decent men are already in relationships, so naturally the majority of those that are left are those who have problems maintaining a relationship (to put it mildly!). It will be a long-term job to find a new partner; knuckle down, keep at it, keep looking and eliminating. In my experience the free sites are the worst, and paid sites like Match are much better. Look also at local dating/singles groups."

I totally agree about the men. Which just makes it even more painful that the man I had has left me. I have a recurrent fear that he will be my last ever boyfriend, and the thought of that makes me feel suicidal. To never again have a special person who cares about me, to never have the physical comfort of a man who loves me, the thought is extremely distressing and unbearable. There are no local dating groups. I have joined a few sites but they were all free ones. I have a certain disability and this is clearly putting off what few men there are who are worth having, so the only ones who contact me at all are either the totally desperate barrel scrapers who like you say have trouble with relationships or the ones who offer casual one off sex. Again they are just the desperate ones who will "s--- anything."

"I think that hiring a companion probably isn't a great idea, as it will probably make you feel worse about yourself. I think that having someone teach you conversational French is a great idea. You'll have someone to chat to and learn a new skill as well."

The two are the same to me. I don't have the slightest interest in learning French. That was just a "cover" for paying a companion so if i would feel worse about myself I still would, cos I know I'd only be doing it to buy someone's company. Might as well do it in my own language.

"Do voluntary work, or study, or pursue something (or many things) that you're interested in."

I am currently engaged in a very absorbing research project (in the field of history). I can spend all day losing myself by concentrating on that. but the eyes can only take so many hours of staring at the screen and as soon as I stop focussing deeply on my project and sort of come back to reality, I burst into tears. Until recently I used to tell my partner every single day at 6pm all the news aabout the project, and he took a very deep interest and was atually doing part of the work for me. So of course when 6pm comes, and I can't share everything with him, I feel a very painful, hollow feeling inside, and the loneliness hits me and reduces me to tears.

Sometimes I feel a realisation that I am only doing this project as a way of burying my head in the sand, escaping from my misery temporarily. But it all catches up with me when I stop and am cooking or showering or trying to sleep.

"What is the purpose of your life - what are you here to do? Is it saving the whales, is it getting a PhD, is it helping the homeless, is it working to eradicate hunger in children? Find that, and leave the friendship thing to sort itself out."

I can see what you are getting at here. And I think you are right: I put far too much focus on wanting and needing close personal relationships, and if I could somehow stop focussing on wanting friends and a partner, and start focussing on something completely different, like a cause or project, I will stop giving a dam whether anyone likes me or not. I can see the sense and logic in this, though I don't think it will be easy because i am, by my nature, someone who craves love, company, companionship, so it's a bit like asking a leopard to shed its spots and become stripey so it can pretend to be a zebra.

"Make the effort to stay in touch with your family and remember birthdays etc, even if they don't bother themselves."

I do. And they do. They never forget to send a birthday card, xmas card every year. But that isn't what I want, which is their physical presence,company, companionship, to be invited on holiday with them, or to be invited up for the weekend, or just one day but one-to-one... NOT just one day a year when they have a houseful of acquaintances and neighbours in and can spend no time with me anyway as they are too busy serving and chatting to everyone else and keeping all the grandchildren under control. Last month i phoned my sister and told her how desperately depressed i was and I asked if I could come and stay with her for a few days. she said she was expecting a phone call from her daughteer and had to ring off, said she would ring me back after. She rang me back 3 weeks later, and said no, I could not stay with her, no reason given. (She is 10 yrs older and lives 100 miles away. My brother is 15 years older than me and lives near her. They are very very close friends, which pushes me out more.) I want to ask them, what is wrong with me, why do you shun me, never invite me, but I just button my lip and suppress this urge to ask them why they exclude me all the time (and always have).

TBH I think the family thing is a total washout. They are making it crystal clear that they don't want anything to do with me 364 days a year so what is the point of keep trying to 'get in' with them? I think efforts would be better spent either looking for friends of my own or as you say forget all about having friends and throw myself into more absorbing projets.

I've lain awake all night again. Feel very low.

H.A.
HelenAshby
Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

Postby snail » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:02 pm

I hope you managed to get some sleep. Try and stick to a regular day-night routine as much as you can. Getting up early and getting a good start to the day makes me feel a little better if I'm depressed. (I tend to feel worse evenings and nights).

No, I didn't mean that you were dishonest with people on holiday, just that you felt more free to be who you really were, as none of your day-to-day baggage was around. I always feel a bit freer like this with strangers.

I think the free dating sites aren't very good if you're older. I didn't even find the 'free trial then pay' ones very good. It stands to reason that if a site requires payment, it will only attract people who are really committed to finding another relationship, and likewise, if it's free, many of the people won't be at all committed. (Although that doesn't then mean the committed people can maintain a relationship of course - but at least you start off from a better position).

I do think that learning French is different from paying a companion - it has a whole different energy to it, even if your main motivation is still company.

The history project will only help to a certain extent if you're doing it alone - you need to do something with other people. I do think if you had a job that you went to that you cared about, either voluntary or otherwise, you would feel much better. The best way to feel better in my experience is to feel useful and important to other people (or animals) - helping out at your local homeless centre or refuge or soup kitchen will achieve that. It's not just romantic relationships that make us very important to others and the world. If the first place you volunteer at isn't right, look for another.

If you're sure you're depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor and see what he or she suggests. There are also some good books on depression that help with learning a more positive way of looking at things.

But ultimately it's only you that can do something. So what is your next action going to be?
These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

Najwa Zebian
User avatar
snail
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4343
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:59 pm
Location: Your guess is as good as mine.
Gender: Female

Re: People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

Postby rufio89 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:37 pm

I cant offer anything especially helpful, but I was just thinking about what you said about not being interested in learning French - is there a language connected to your history that you could learn? Latin or greek or something?
rufio89
Taken Root
Taken Root
 
Posts: 2565
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:05 pm
Location: Nottingham
Gender: Female

Re: People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

Postby HelenAshby » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:45 pm

Cheers Snail.

I sufffer from the most horrendous early waking and 9 times out of 10 cannot get back to sleep. Today I hit a new low -- slept from 11pm till 1.15am then lay away the entire night. Dozed off about 5am and woke at 7am. and got up. I feel utterly shattered.

I do think if you had a job that you went to that you cared about, either voluntary or otherwise, you would feel much better. The best way to feel better in my experience is to feel useful and important to other people (or animals) - helping out at your local homeless centre or refuge or soup kitchen will achieve that. It's not just romantic relationships that make us very important to others and the world. If the first place you volunteer at isn't right, look for another.

I totally understand your sentiments Snail. There isn't anything like this in my town (it's a very small town!) All we have is a "Surviving Christmas" thing, which I did volunteer for last year. I rang them and they said they had plenty of volunteers, thanks, and only wanted me if I had a car to take people to the lunch venue. I do not drive.

If you're sure you're depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor and see what he or she suggests. There are also some good books on depression that help with learning a more positive way of looking at things.


I was instantly given a prescription for Citalopram. Got it made up (and I have to pay!) but on reading both the leaflet and an online user's forum that it causes sleepless nights, anxiety attacks, restlessness, the jitters and even panic attacks I became too terrified to put even one in my mouth!

So what is your next action going to be?

You've caught me on the hop there! Er, um, er, um .... maybe, try to enjoy just being alone? Try to revel in the luxury of being able to fart and belch loudly and scratch my melons and take up all the sofa now I don't have to take anyone else into account :-) Joking aside, that has to be the key: see the benefits in being alone. You know like that saying, "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade"? I don't know HOW to get to that point, but I know that is the point I have to get to. There can be no other way than to learn not to care.

An acquaintance is coming by tomorrow. She said she's not been well, so I am going to try my best to be the bestest friend, cosset and fuss over her, and make her laugh if I possibly can. I hope I am not too depressed to manage that tomorrow.

Cheers Snail.
HelenAshby
Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

Postby HelenAshby » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:45 pm

rufio89 wrote:I cant offer anything especially helpful, but I was just thinking about what you said about not being interested in learning French - is there a language connected to your history that you could learn? Latin or greek or something?


No, sorry, I am a Victorianist!
HelenAshby
Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

Postby snail » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:12 pm

Go back to your doctor and ask to talk about it again. Explain that you're worried about taking the drugs, and see what they (rather than internet forums) can tell you, and/or ask about counselling instead (much better solution if you can get it in my opinion).

There are other towns, and there are buses you can catch to them (I don't drive either, and I live in the country, in a small village). If it's not too often and it's really worth it for the benefit to you, a taxi is another option.

The thing is, we can post ideas on here and you'll always be able to think of ways in which they don't apply to you, but at the end of the day it's unlikely anything will change unless you do something, so you need to think of what you could do.

My other tips would be - exercise! (Join a class? But if not, do it on your own). And watch as much comedy as possible :P
These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

Najwa Zebian
User avatar
snail
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4343
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:59 pm
Location: Your guess is as good as mine.
Gender: Female

Re: People just don't like me (so I'm lonely)

Postby flashcampbell » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:41 pm

I know this post is very old but I could've written some of this post myself. I hope you managed to get the help you needed or pull yourself out of this depression.

Like you, I have friendly people I know whom I see now and then but am missing that bond of friendship, the closeness that most people seem to have. It has pretty much been a theme throughout my life with brief periods of reprieve. Also, I can totally relate to people who are not that nice with a huge posse around them. I don't know how they do it.

I am 44. I work part time and do have a husband and two children but the relationship can be rocky so I don't think you can really rely on one person to give you all you need and I don't want to become one of these eldery people who relies on her kids.

I have referred myself back to my counsellor and I'm hoping to get to the bottom of this problem as it is obviously me but I don't know what it is. I feel as if I just don't 'get' people.
flashcampbell
Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:59 am
Gender: Female


Return to Mental wellbeing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests