SRS Figured I'd throw this out for comments v. all my hobbies are solitary

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by deusexaethera, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I grew up in a little Old South town where the important people in town were the people who could trace their lineage back to before the Civil War. I was not one of them. In fact, I moved there in 1989 and lived there until 2000, obviously because that was where my father found work.

    Because of the culture in the area, we were never accepted, not really. My parents weren't invited to any of the nice parties, my father never got a promotion, and my mother couldn't sell any paintings despite her talent because we weren't "kin to anyone". I was pretty well ostracized in school, partly because of that and partly because of behavioral problems, to the point that I was the kid the losers in class made fun of. Good times.

    Well, I don't live there anymore, and I went to counseling for the behavioral stuff years ago, and time heals all injuries, so none of the stuff I listed really matters anymore. But the fact that I spent my life from age 6 to age 18 effectively all by myself has had one major, lasting effect, in that everything I like to do are things that I do by myself. Biking, workshopping, programming, gaming, fixing my car -- I mean, they can be done in groups, but there's not much interaction to speak of, so they can't really be considered group activities.

    As such, I've lived in Northern VA for two and a half years now, and the people I know are the people who live on my block and the people who work in my office. That makes about twenty people, two of whom are my age and neither of whom are terribly interested in anything I like to do. So here's my question:

    How does one go about building a social life completely from scratch, with effectively no common interests to share with people? I mean, I'm friendly enough, I get along well with most types of people, but I just don't know where to find anyone to hang out with, short of walking up to random people on the street, which never has the intended effect. I'm sick of being lonely all the time, but I quite literally don't know how to stop.
     
  2. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    So you like to ride a bicycle? Join a bike club....talk to your local bike stores or google and you should find one to fit your style of riding. I used to race bikes and it's a great way to meet people. In fact, I'm prolly going to join both a casual bicycle club and a motorcycle club just to meet new people.

    Not sure what workshopping is but programming, join a local computer or gaming club. If you don't have one, start one. Have lan parties or XBox parties or whatever.

    My sis has moved around a lot and she used church to meet new people. She's never lonely for long and actually has a lot of good friends quickly.

    Want to take on a new hobby? Instead of starting solo find a club. Be a joiner. This is a great way to meet new people with common interests.

    All of these activities will prolly force you to move outside your comfort zone. That IMO is a good thing.
     
  3. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    start drinking
    meet girls
    profit

    Or just join a bike club.
    ask friends/coworkers you like to do something on the weekend
     
  4. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Most of those activities you listed are by nature, somewhat solitary. Yes, I suppose you could do them in groups, but they're still single activities.
    Even biking...

    So how about finding new activities that align along the same axis but involve people.

    You seem to prefer to do technical things, solving challenges, etc.

    I don't know that you can just continue the same activities and somehow transform them into social activities. They, by nature, aren't.

    Or they generally attract isolated personalities who you'll find difficult to interact without outside the context of the activity.



    So....How are you at sports?

    What about some obscure sport like curling?

    You might find similar like-minded people at lesser known pastimes since I'm guessing I won't see you highfiving other players down at beach volleyball this summer.



    I'm suggesting starting off this way because it's easier and lower-risk.
    You can participate at your leisure, and after all those years of being alone, I think your social skills are probably rusty.

    Your tactic of randomly approaching people, and then basically slightly scaring them tells me all I need to know about your social finesse.
    Someone with loads of charm and charisma could do the cold approach and have people find it cute and disarming. You're not that person.




    Now understand this isn't dissing you in any way.

    It's just being realistic about what is a suitable entry point for you. Social skills can be developed.

    So try that first before joining your work friends afterhours.
    Cause having work mates thinking you're strange (even mistakenly) can be difficult and I think you don't need that hassle.
     
  5. mrchina

    mrchina Guest

    If I were you, I'd make a Facebook account (www.facebook.com), list the city that you live in and go from there. List your interests, music, movies, books... photos of yourself, etc. That'd be the easiest way to find people that like similar things as you, as once you list your city (known as a network) you click on your interests and it'll link you to other people that like them as well... but you have to make contact with them, don't just sit around and wait for people to find you.
     
  6. Wanderlei

    Wanderlei New Member

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    I know to meet and interact with people that program there are usually user group meeting for specific languages. I go to a .NET users group in my area. It would be an opportunity to socialize and get some technical knowledge at the same time.
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Ahh, so THAT's what Facebook is good for. I was under the impression it was another self-absorbed "social networking" site like MySpace. That's good to know.
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Okay, good, so my perspective isn't somehow flawed. To be honest, I was a little concerned that people were going to say "what are you talking about, you can totally do that stuff with lots of people around!" Call it paranoia, I guess.

    That's a definite yes.

    I'm not exactly in the running for a Heisman, if you know what I mean. Frankly, a lot of sports just bore the hell out of me -- but then you've noticed by now that I'm more of a mind person than a body person.

    Heh...it's a thought. I doubt it's terribly popular in the Southeast, though, due to the temperature.

    Actually, I do think volleyball is fun. It's a two-hour drive to the beach, though.

    Understood. Actually, I get along with people just fine once I have a reason to talk to them. It's coming up with that reason that's tricky.

    That was a joke; I don't actually do that, because I don't much feel like finding out that I'd suck at it.

    No offense taken.

    Oh, they already know I'm strange. I don't keep myself to myself at work. I do try to take the approach of being strange in funny ways, though; it's the whole Shakespearian "stinging words in the mouth of a fool" approach, I guess.
     
  9. Sybill

    Sybill New Member

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    Do you play chess? You could look into clubs in your area. It's more a "mind oriented" hobby, which you seem to prefer, and it'll give you a chance to meet people who also play. Or maybe take a class in something interesting.

    But honestly, I think most hobbies/activities tend to be solitary with the exception of things like tennis, etc. But think about it, jogging, swimming, reading, skiing, just about any hobby I can think of is mostly solitary. Nice if you can find someone who also likes it but in the end, you do those things alone.
     
  10. Viper

    Viper OT Supporter

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    Where are you at in Northern Virginia?

    There's another site that's pretty good: www.meetup.com (or is it .org? I can't remember try one or the other).

    Go to church.

    Get a part time job.

    Join a gym.

    Joing a biking club.

    Try new things and new interests and see if there's anything you like.
     

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