#1  
Old 03-23-2020, 03:43 AM
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I am running out of friends.


One of the many downsides of this problem is that I have no friends to commiserate with. I had what I thought were a lot of friends, once upon a time. Some were the ex's, so she got them in the breakup many moons ago. Others drifted away. Some moved. I moved too, and the physical distance eventually translated into an emotional one. I tried keeping in contact with some, even if they became like strangers to me, their emails like a Christmas mailing list catching me up with their family members, their spouses & children, some of whom I had never even met.

I moved from a northern, semi-liberal city to a small southern city, and failed to make besties right away, which was unfortunate. I quickly came down with a disease that, at first, made it difficult to go out and meet people, then to hold a full-time job, then to hold a part time job. After years of caring for my sick mother, and a lot of time in and out of the hospital myself, I now I spend most of my time in a wheelchair, without the money or means to go anywhere. I haven't dated in 15 years, and I never will again.

I have one real friend left, whom I've known for 30 years. He, somewhat ironically, lives in that semi-liberal northern city. Best friends. We got along great, vacationed together, etc. Like brothers from another mother. He started listening to talk radio in the 90's, and then when Sept 11th happened, he went full Fox News. I wasn't political at the time, but he's my friend, so I started listening to Rush and the local Rush wanna-be, then later, watching Glenn Beck. Whereas he bought into them wholeheartedly, I did not. I found holes in their logic, leaps of logic, assumptions, etc. They were angry, and wanted me to be angry too, but they never sold me on it.

Our political divide has been problematic for a long time, and the physical one probably doesn't help either. Sometimes it's just hard to fully communicate when you're not in-person. About 10 years back, we had yet another argument and I cut off contact, exasperated, feeling at last that it was a lost cause. Our worldview had diverged too much, and I grew tired of him arguing viewpoints I thought he should have dismissed as foolish at best, politically/economically motivated lies at worst. A couple years later, for reasons, we started talking again. It went pretty well, but I tried to insist that we not talk about politics. Unfortunately, it seems now that EVERYTHING is politics, and he supports our president, whereas I am no fan of his. He keeps bringing up sensitive political subjects - which again, seems to be everything these days - and getting mad when I ask him to stop, or I argue with him. He says I'm, "triggered."

He has his beliefs, I have mine. I take great pains to not bring up mine, but him, not so much. I feel like we make each other miserable. When we avoid politics, we still get along great, be we can't for long. If one of us doesn't tell the other to piss off soon, I think were just gonna drift apart anyway. I don't want this, but short of letting him spout incorrect/potentially damaging nonsense uncontested (something I'm morally against), I'm limited in options. I don't know what's worse - continuing with this sad shell of a once-great friendship, or cutting things off and going it alone. Neither are appealing.

So there you go. My bitch-fest. Thanks for being my. . .surrogate? Single serving? . . . friend.
  #2  
Old 03-23-2020, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Face Intentionally Left Blank View Post
...He keeps bringing up sensitive political subjects - which again, seems to be everything these days - and getting mad when I ask him to stop, or I argue with him. He says I'm, "triggered."
That isn't what I'd call a friend. Better alone that in bad company (yeah, easier said than done). IMO, one aspect of maturity is learning not to be afraid to let go of relationships like that. Everyone changes with time. Either he's become more difficult or you've become less tolerant of bullshit (or both). Sounds like you're remembering the good times (harmony) and he's insisting on conflict.

I dunno, try one more time, speaking to him with sincerity and patience. If you feel that he would apologize and change if he only realized what he's doing, then you have to give that your best shot. Don't get your hopes up, be prepared to let it go, and don’t be surprised if he reacts with indignation.

You can't ask for respect, friendship or love. All you can do is be honest with yourself, do your best, and when things aren't working, cut ties and move on.

Last edited by jerez; 03-23-2020 at 04:23 AM.
  #3  
Old 03-23-2020, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Face Intentionally Left Blank View Post
He keeps bringing up sensitive political subjects - which again, seems to be everything these days - and getting mad when I ask him to stop, or I argue with him. He says I'm, "triggered."
He can recognise that but hasn't the manners not to harp on about something you're sensitive to? It sounds as though he's contacting you deliberately to pick a fight with you. That is not friendship, that's a power play.

I am sorry for your situation in general, but not knowing how things work where you are, I can't really offer any practical advice about finding a social network nearer you (Facebook groups for local residents? Do the local media or local government have information on social groups and activities?). But one way or another, you need something to diminish his significance in your life.
  #4  
Old 03-23-2020, 05:30 AM
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Some of us on the center left have lost friends to them going full blown Bernie. Everything is a political issue, go out to eat dinner, the server forgets a condiment and it’s the fault of corporate Democrats and Wall Street.

You’ll have to move on, I know it sucks.
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2020, 10:17 AM
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He can recognise that but hasn't the manners not to harp on about something you're sensitive to? It sounds as though he's contacting you deliberately to pick a fight with you. That is not friendship, that's a power play.
Hmmm. Shit, maybe you're right. Maybe he's bristling under me telling him I don't wanna hear it, and like a petulant child, he's trying to see how much he can get away with. I just thought he was being an obtuse asshole. Nah, it's probably the obtuse asshole thing, but its worth thinking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickLondon View Post
I am sorry for your situation in general, but not knowing how things work where you are, I can't really offer any practical advice about finding a social network nearer you (Facebook groups for local residents? Do the local media or local government have information on social groups and activities?). But one way or another, you need something to diminish his significance in your life.
Heh, now's a great time to look for a social life!

AFAIK, the only social groups and activities are the bowling alley, the bars, and the churches. Back when I could still walk normally, I almost got into a fistfight with a guy who, while I was pumping gas, tried to get me to come to his church. He must have been behind in his quota, because he was very persistent, and eventually, very mad. His buddy had to drag him away. . . I digress, but I gave myself a chuckle remembering that, so it was worth it. "Come to my church, dammit!" Nothing NOT weird ever happens at gas stations or in parking lots.

To jerez:
If I talk to him one more time, it would be just to assure myself I tried everything. It wont' work. He knows I'll walk away if he pushes my buttons enough. I've done it before, for exactly this reason. Pity it's all happening again, but it was easy to predict, I suppose. (sigh) I can't ever get ANY breakup to stick the first time, and I always regret it.


To dalej42:
It's easy to say, "Move on, I know it sucks", but look at me bugging strangers on the internet, because other than him, there's no one else to talk to about things. I'm thinking about it though, or I wouldn't be venting here. I'm getting to the point in my life where, if I get rid of something, I won't be getting another. Happened a bit sooner than I thought, to be honest.
  #6  
Old 03-23-2020, 10:21 AM
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Sometimes that happens; it's sad. I know someone the same way, the same situation... and we just grew apart. Last summer a mutual friend died suddenly... and I saw him again at the wake.
There was much coolness involved. I tried to brush it off. Later, I was starting to say hello to a different friend standing next to him (who was ok with me saying hi ) ... when that 'old friend' started with the drama-queen overly dramatic turning of his back towards me BS.

It's a shame, but... some people grow up... and other people just grow down.
  #7  
Old 03-23-2020, 11:42 AM
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It's a shame, but... some people grow up... and other people just grow down.
I think, for me, politics are a necessary evil and a means to an end. I think, to him, politics are a group to belong to. I'm happy not to talk politics - happier, even - but it bugs him to to get far away from it for too long.

Last edited by Face Intentionally Left Blank; 03-23-2020 at 11:42 AM. Reason: I
  #8  
Old 03-23-2020, 05:31 PM
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Are there any activities that you like that would be possible to pursue online? For example, playing mafia, or online rpgs. If you joined some of those, you might find more kindred spirits. Depending on your interests, there might be meet ups in your town. I realize joining an in person meet up won't work now, but it might be possible in the future. Does your town offer disabled transportation?


Another thought is getting a pet. Either a cat or dog to keep you company. There's some additional work for you, but they really expand your emotional life I find.


Here on the Dope there are a few places where people connect regularly. The MMP thread, the Reading thread, the Raves thread, the Rants thread. I'm sure there are others.
  #9  
Old 03-23-2020, 06:08 PM
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Just thought I'd mention that The Virus is the perfect excuse to stop contact with any pseudo-friends who don't really care about you as a person.

...or so I've read.

(Ha, who am I kidding? I'm digging this "Splendid Isolation". Talked to no one today, went nowhere. When it's all over, I'll reconnect with one or two Real Friends)
  #10  
Old 03-23-2020, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Face Intentionally Left Blank View Post
I think, for me, politics are a necessary evil and a means to an end. I think, to him, politics are a group to belong to. I'm happy not to talk politics - happier, even - but it bugs him to to get far away from it for too long.
I've been having the same struggle with my wife's stepfather over the past few years.

I've known him for 30 years, and he's a sweet guy. But, he suffered several strokes about a decade ago, which definitely changed his personality (and not really for the better). Since Trump's election, all he wants to talk about is how angry he is about Trump, how disgusted he is over various things he's heard that Trump has done, etc., etc.

Mind you, I don't disagree with him...but lordy, I don't want to sit there and talk about it for hours, especially not at family gatherings. It's fallen to me to try to politely ask him to curb those conversations after he vents for a while -- he'll give me a wry look when I ask, and he *does* stop for at least a bit, but it's very clear that he's annoyed that I've asked him to not pursue his very favorite topic of conversation, and he'll then look for ways to steer the conversation back to Trump. (At which point, I leave the room. )
  #11  
Old 03-23-2020, 07:18 PM
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Call and talk to me.. I hate politics and would rather talk about almost anything else.. ( I'm serious.. PM me the number if you wanna take me up on it)
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  #12  
Old 03-23-2020, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
Are there any activities that you like that would be possible to pursue online? For example, playing mafia, or online rpgs. If you joined some of those, you might find more kindred spirits. Depending on your interests, there might be meet ups in your town. I realize joining an in person meet up won't work now, but it might be possible in the future. Does your town offer disabled transportation?


Another thought is getting a pet. Either a cat or dog to keep you company. There's some additional work for you, but they really expand your emotional life I find.


Here on the Dope there are a few places where people connect regularly. The MMP thread, the Reading thread, the Raves thread, the Rants thread. I'm sure there are others.
The disabled transportation has failed me two of the three times I've used it. I did everything right, got a confirmation number and everything, and then when the day came, they didn't show. When I called, they said they were working on getting someone for me. What? What is the confirmation number for? When you confirm something, it's set in stone, usually. It shouldn't mean,"We'll look into it and maybe we'll find someone to pick you up."

I use Uber now, but it's money I can't spare, really. I only use it for my PCP appointment every month.

I'd love a dog. I'd dearly love one. When I had to go into rehab for almost a year, I had to give up my beautiful American Eskimo dog I adopted from the pound, but I really couldn't care for one now. I'm badly allergic to cats, unfortunately, or that might be an option.

Hanging out more on the Dope might be in my plans now. A lot of my interaction with my friend is through a gaming clan forum. We've got pretty small over the years, as we stopped keeping up with the latest games, and stopped recruiting. A member, someone I liked, passed away several months back, and now the clan consists of me, a couple guys who love Trump, and someone who dislikes Trump, but often complains about Antifa (what a stupid and awkward word). I feel like the clan just isn't a fit for me anymore, but when I look around, most other clans are right-leaning as well. I don't understand - where are the center/left people gaming? Are they not joiners or something?



Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
I've been having the same struggle with my wife's stepfather over the past few years.

I've known him for 30 years, and he's a sweet guy. But, he suffered several strokes about a decade ago, which definitely changed his personality (and not really for the better). Since Trump's election, all he wants to talk about is how angry he is about Trump, how disgusted he is over various things he's heard that Trump has done, etc., etc.

Mind you, I don't disagree with him...but lordy, I don't want to sit there and talk about it for hours, especially not at family gatherings. It's fallen to me to try to politely ask him to curb those conversations after he vents for a while -- he'll give me a wry look when I ask, and he *does* stop for at least a bit, but it's very clear that he's annoyed that I've asked him to not pursue his very favorite topic of conversation, and he'll then look for ways to steer the conversation back to Trump. (At which point, I leave the room. )
That's rough. It seems like a lot of older folks go into rant mode, stroke or not. At least, from what I've read on the internet, that seems to be the case. Either they rant about Trump, or about Obama, Pelosi and the demoncrats. My stepfather got like that towards the end - hated teh republicans. I was always proud of him for not falling into the Fox News trap, as he seemed like their target audience.


Quote:
Originally Posted by janis_and_c0 View Post
Call and talk to me.. I hate politics and would rather talk about almost anything else.. ( I'm serious.. PM me the number if you wanna take me up on it)
Thank you so much. That's a kind offer, and probably the best one I've had, or will have, in ages. I'll keep that in mind, but over the years, I admit that I've become more of a forum/keyboard person. Even my best friend that we're talking about, we almost never phoned each other(we live about 1,000 miles apart). In good times, we'd talk about once a week in Discord while we gamed.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:30 AM
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Well, that's done, i think. I hope that's it, anyway. I hate it when things drag out. So begins my exciting friendless experience in a time of plague.
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"As any discussion grows longer, the probability of it turning to politics approaches 1." - Face's Law of Political Inevitability.
  #14  
Old 03-25-2020, 05:02 PM
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I just dont get it. Most times I'm with friends or family we rarely bring up politics.

Suggestion: find some hobby and make friends thru that.
  #15  
Old 03-25-2020, 09:12 PM
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The title of the thread made me think of my Dad. He lived until he was 96 and literally ran out of (out lived) all his friends. And it wasn't like he only had friends around his age, but its not unusual for people to die in their 70's (20 years his junior).
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:01 PM
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Suggestion: find some hobby and make friends thru that.
Did you note this line in the OP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Face Intentionally Left Blank
I now I spend most of my time in a wheelchair, without the money or means to go anywhere.
  #17  
Old 03-26-2020, 02:58 AM
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It's sad to let politics come between friends. IF (and its a big if) you can get to a mindset where you can give him enough rope to be wrong, and not to care about that dope's opinions, then why not make a game of it? One up him at every turn. He makes a bold claim, then you so say "yes, and...[go one level of crazy higher]". It will be a good brain training game, keep you on your toes too!"

"So the browns are coming in a gang to invade our borders."
"yep! And they say their Mexican Hell's Angels gonna rape our US Hell's Angels, Brietbert said it"
"You don't say?!"
"I do, and not only that...etc."

Last edited by Isamu; 03-26-2020 at 02:58 AM.
  #18  
Old 03-26-2020, 07:29 AM
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Thanks all. There are a few factors at play here. One is the way he started listening to talk radio in the 90's, then Fox News, especially post 9/11. He listened to it all day at work, came home and watched Glenn Beck, and then whoever was on after crazyied himself off the air. When you listen to this stuff for hours a day, I'm sure it soaks in, and your brain becomes trained to think of politics all the time. I mean, when you've spent so much time thinking of a subject, surely that becomes your default setting, your point of reference for everything. When all you have is a hammer, etc etc.

Another factor is that, these days, everything IS politics. Try having a conversation of any importance and see how long it takes for it to bump up against something overtly political. This should be a corolary to Godwin's law. If it isn't already, I'd like to coin it:

Face's Law
"As any discussion grows longer, the probability of it turning to politics approaches 1"

I tried to come up with name that made a good acronym, but failed, so I went with something succinct.

Lastly, I have to acknowledge my own shortcomings. I can avoid politics, and have for years when talking with him, but I'd be dishonest if I didn't admit that I read quite a bit about it. I try to vary my sources, check quotes, and fact-check, but in all this time, I have developed a distaste for right-wing politics, and I can't let what I believe is a biased, incorrect statement or assumption lie. I didn't argue with him - historically, that ends badly - but, being me, of course I couldn't let such statements go. I insisted, time after time, he stop bringing it up. After awhile, i became angry about it

He was unable to stop bringing up his politics, and I was unable to let it go. We just became a bad match over the years. Pity. We got along great for so many years.

All of my social interaction is online in one form or another. I used to enjoy gaming, but that seems to have lost its shine lately. I tried getting into a free-to-play MMO, but I didn't see any I like, or else they had a weak guild system with which to meet players to game with (Destiny 2, I'm looking at you.) Forums are another social outlet.

I looked into support groups, but I'd have to travel an hour or more to the next major city. That's a bit problematic. Yay, shithole little town.
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"As any discussion grows longer, the probability of it turning to politics approaches 1." - Face's Law of Political Inevitability.

Last edited by Face Intentionally Left Blank; 03-26-2020 at 07:30 AM.
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