If you’re like me you might sometimes feel insecure and fearful everyone is off having fun without you.
But, if you’re like me you’re also laser focused on your career/passions and have tons of commitments which might make you seem unavailable. Even when your friends ask you to be available to meet them on a specific date and time, you are not always available. If they do this repeatedly they might assume you are too busy for them. In reality, you’re just not available at that specific time and date.
In the end, it might seem like people stop reaching out to you, and ultimately you start to realize your friends have grown distant.
Sometimes our isolation is not one sided, unbeknownst to us, and I am here to tell you and me what we need to do to stop disappearing from our social circles.
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1. Choose a specific date and time.
People ask me to meet them and I can’t, but as I am writing this article, I realize that I don’t always ask people out.
I may ask them to accompany to me a show or a movie, but how often does that happen? So, be deliberate. If you can recognize that you are never available when certain people that you actually want in your life ask you to be available, try suggesting a time and date for when you can meet. If they say no, keep trying.
I’ve even feared that if someone didn’t answer my text one day in December they never want to speak with me and I let that relationship die. But, who knows what happened? They were mad at me in December, but it’s March now so maybe they’re less mad and I can try again? The text didn’t go through? Their phone was turned off that day and they didn’t get the message? They forgot?
Anything could have happened and I can be mad at them for not answering that text that one time, but what if they still want to hang out with me? I can try again. At least once in March? Once in April. And if I am ignored still, well, at least I made the effort!
Meetup.com is a thing. A place where you can join a group for people like you. A MeetUp for left handed people. A MeetUp for introverts. A MeetUp for left handed introverts. A MeetUp for people who who want to dissect Lana Del Rey lyrics. There is a place for you.
If you’re like, “I don’t want to hang out with people” but also feel sad that no one wants to hang out with you reevaluate your thought process. Do your actions match what you want out of life? If you feel isolated, move past your discomfort and join a meetup.
Or a facebook group. There’s even a facebook group for people who have MoviePass so you can literally just go see a movie with a stranger. Not something I recommend if you’re 12, but at least in New York we meet up with random people all the time. Try doing it in public spaces if you’re nervous.
3. Go to that after office hangout.
I know we’re supposed to technically keep our work and personal life separate and that’s all well and good if you have a personal life, but come on. Many of us see our coworkers more than we see anyone else in our lives. If you like any of them, say yes to after office drinks. “I don’t drink.” Ok. And? There are non alcoholic drinks at bars, right? Order a soda. Order a lemonade.
If you don’t like your coworkers find a job where you do? Or spend time at places where you like the people? Church? Temple? Dance class? Book club? Dungeons and Dragons? Take the time to get to know people. “No one’s gonna like me.” Of course, they won’t if they don’t know how awesome you are.
What I am saying is we can’t always blame others for our isolation. Sure, it’s partially their responsibility to keep you in mind, but it’s also your responsibility. The cool thing about taking responsibility is that it gives you power. It equates to self sufficiency. It’s taking charge of your life experiences. You don’t have time? Who is in charge of your life? You. Make the time.
I remember I would see people post, f you ever feel alone you can reach out to me.” I thought those were empty words. But, do it. Reach out to your friends and say, “Hey, I feel incredibly isolated from everyone right now and I wanted to know if we could hang out. Today. Right now?”
They may say, “How about Tuesday?” Great. You have plans for Tuesday. Say yes. Then show up. Then go reach out to another friend and another friend another friend until someone says, “Ok. I’ll meet you in ten minutes.” We don’t have to be alone.
Being social takes a lot of work. Go outside of yourself to live the life you want. It doesn’t have to be Paris. It can be as simple as, “I want to do friend things at least twice a week.” Whatever it takes to get you to feel a part of the world. Just remember to keep it up!