"God's teasing me, just like he teased moses in the desert"

In which I realize my social life has issues…moreso.

As some of you might know, I don’t have much of a social life. I have 6 friends total, only half of which live in the area. I’m not good at intiating conversations with people, which rather makes it hard change that much.

Most of the time I’m good with this, though sometimes there are attacks of depression and loneliness, where upon I wish I had more of a social life.

Unfortunatly, I’ve gotten my wish…and it’s backfired. My Sister, who goes to the same university, apparently eats lunch at the same time and lately has been joining me for lunch so we can talk. We don’t see each other much since she moved out to live with her boyfriend near campus.

Now I realize I don’t miss her much. We’ve been having lunch together for a week now and I’ve realized that we have very little in common, and thus 90% of our conversations are intensly boring to me. She mainly talks about three things: Working Retail, her friends and her boyfriend.

I appreciate she hates her job, but I’m rather sick of hearing her complain about the customer and co-workers. Ditto the 2 bijillion friends she has and of whom, I can identify 3.5 when she mentions the name. And her Boyfriend, who she loves but to me, it’s just most recent in the 30ish people she’s called “Boyfriend” over the years, whom I have just enough interest in to learn the name. I’m rather sick of hearing about him all the time.

I don’t think she yet realizes this, even though I’ve been subtly hinting at it by responding to everything she says with “Yay”, regardless of context.

A friend who I met in my first class at College and I ocasionally share another class with, has begun hanging out with me. And it’s good, except when it’s not. The problem here is somewhat different. I like him and am interested in what he has to say, but I can only take so much of even my best friends. I have what I’ve dubbed “Social Fatigue”(because I don’t know if there’s a real name for it), in such that I’ve noticed long before this that if I spend a couple hours with people, even those I do like, I begin feeling run down. After a day with a friend, I basically don’t want to spend time with anyone for at least a few days.

Withy my college friend, I spend from 1/2 hour to an hour a day talking to him. He’s interesting, but frankly, I’m starting to notice the same effect. Starting yesterday I didn’t feel like talking to him much, and it was worse today. He also wants to play GO, which he says he’s addicted to. I have little interest in it, know he’s much better then me at the game, and we rarely get to finish a game because of time pressure. Consequently, I don’t so much as play as end up placing pieces randomly. If it was once or twice a week, it wouldn’t be a problem, but day after day and I’d rather be by myself.

When I’m talking to either, I can’t concentrate on reading or do my homework, which is what I’d kinda like to be doing, more and more as this week has gone by. And I’ve gotten to a point where, I’m kinda missing the loneliness, because at least then I could get some reading/homework in.

So now I’ve got to figure out how to deal with this.

I’m basically reaching a point where I don’t really want to talk to my sister much anymore. I’ve thought about hiding from her(staying away from where I know she’s going to be), ignoring her when she’s talking(though it’s hard), bombarding her with stuff she cares nothing about and hopes she gets the hint, or just tell her “I don’t find most of what you say interesting” (which may not go down very well).

Much the same with my friend, but I just want to talk to him less, not give up almost all contact.

So now I’ve bared my soul and, judging from my other threads, I’ll have to bump it before anyone notices it. And when that happens…Advice from dopers would be useful.

I have no advice for you, but I really want to comment that I understand exactly what you’re saying about “social fatigue”. I’m the same way…I like to go to parties or out to dinner with friends or out to the bar, but usually within a few hours, I just want to go home. My “social well” is fairly low-volume and it fills up quickly.

Wow. As I read that I actually caught myself asking when I posted that, so close is it to how I normally feel.

It seems a cruel contradiction to be an introspective loner and to belong to a social race of creature.

I’ve tried every trick I can think of to get some people to understand that I don’t always feel like talking, or listening to inane minutiae of their lives, or sharing mine… and it’s generally gotten me branded as surly and dour and mean, and even arrogant.

In the end, it serves my purposes because people leave me alone. But there are those times when that base urge for social interaction nags at the back of my brain like an addiction. Invariably, the itch is scratched (raw) within a few hours, and my pool of social energy is tapped.

Fortunately, I’ve found something of a niche in my life that allows me my freedom from people, with just enough interaction to keep me sated, but it probably isn’t the answer for anyone else but me.

The options are rather bleak: develop a social personality, or withdraw yourself from society. Sadly, neither are ultimately desirable, nor easily achieved. If you can find a way to join the two in a satisfactory manner, please let your fellow sufferers know :slight_smile:

Well, back in the Roman days, certain men would go off in the wilderness and become hermits because they wanted to get closer to God.

Unfortunatly, that didn’t really work, because people would think “Wow, he’s going off into the wilderness to get closer to God, so maybe I should too”. So soon enough he’s got people coming and wanting to be alone with him, which rather defeated the purpose.

But I’m not likely to be mistaken for a holy man.

What follows is my opinion, nothing more so I don’t have to insert imo everywhere
with the assumption that you want to maintain a relationship with your sister

In the first case (hiding) you’re just avoiding the issue; if you pursue that course of action nothing is likely to change. Actually, it’ll probably just get worse when you do run into her and have to explain why you weren’t at lunch.

The action described in the second case is just plain rude. It might be okay if you want to cut off contact with your sister, but I assume you don’t want to do that.

The third course of action is far too subtle. It isn’t easy to go from “He’s talking to me about stuff I don’t want to hear” to “Oh, so that means I’m talking to him about stuff he doesn’t want to hear”. The connection just can’t be made without knowing the problem in advance.

The fourth action is insulting, and, as you pointed out, it probably won’t go down well. Though it would probably be successful, it wouldn’t be very good at maintaining the relationship.
As for what you could do instead…
First: Is there a topic you’d rather talk about? Try bringing up something else. Don’t talk about stuff she doesn’t care about, but mention something that you do care about. See if you can get a two-sided conversation going.

If that doesn’t work…
Then ask yourself if you dislike her company. It sounds like you don’t mind her company most of the time, so I’m going to assume that the problem is that you don’t want as much of her company.

I would, first, make sure you’re in a private setting. Second, explain to your sister that you find her choice of topics rather non-stimulating, and try to come up with something else. If that fails (or wouldn’t work) then you may have to explain that you need time to yourself, and would like to eat lunch alone. Explain that you get tired of social situations, and really don’t want to insult her or say something negative.

Of course, it’s easier said than done :wink:
Again, just to reiterate, this is how I would handle a situation such as you described**