Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I tend to think of ME first, but don't consider how the other person is going to take me. I noticed over the years that my behavioural habits did make a lot people uncomfortable. I did want to be liked, but didn't work to make sure this happened. I just let it go somehow, so people kept on making the same remarks. How much can you expect from real people? Mom once told me I don't seem to understand the feelings of others, therefore they'll react to a certain degree. I've had close friends that expressed frustration towards me, like my inability to speak up and converse efficiently. I have only one BFF who loves me anyway. She's a foreigner from Delhi. Also, I met an Italian woman at a luncheon who told me to make eye contact, because people can see into my heart. LOL. If that's true. Anyway, I'm going to meet all sorts of individuals out there. I'll either be liked or I won't be liked. OK. I just have to open up more to others and put my face out there, and say something!
Those all sound like examples of good advice that I will work on too. Especially making eye contact more. I think I try too hard to take other’s feelings into consideration and lose myself in the balance - maybe finding the sweet spot between too much and too little is tough to master? Either way, I suppose we are more alike others than we think. I bet everyone struggles with these issues one degree or another. I consider myself lucky to recognize it. Have you met any of those people who just don’t seem to recognize that someone else may be feeling uncomfortable? It’s as if they don’t see it or don’t care. I would rather care too much than not enough because people deserve to be seen and heard.
I have a few friends, too, that get frustrated with how I interact with them sometimes. I can pull back emotionally sometimes and they think I’m upset or something is wrong, when the truth is I just need a quick break to gather myself.
You will definitely meet lots of new people along the way. It’s exciting because each one is like a mini science experiment about how you interact with them and how you feel about it afterward. I try hard to not let the “failures” get me down and to celebrate those inactions that feel successful - even something small as getting a haircut if I can engage in a little small talk is a success and it makes my day. Every victory, no matter how small, gives me confidence for the next one.
I practice a “script” of a few questions that I use when meeting new people: How long have you been in this line of work? What makes it fun for you? What’s a challenging part? I wonder if your family all expect you to take care of this for them (Hair dressing, Cable Repair person, any specialty trade, etc). It works for me, anyway.
I can't hide WHO I am. People know what I'm up to. They can tell I'm not Here. The way I freeze and my eyes look distant. I did stop MD, but it's not enough. People still brag on about what a flaky, lightheaded, or forgetful person I can be. Even if I pretended to be normalized and kept my mouth shut, it wouldn't matter. Somebody would just be like, "I said something to you earlier, why didn't you listen?" or "Why aren't you thinking harder into this?" People are too smart and good these days. Point is people don't understand what it's like to be us. They like the Real. I rarely ever met anybody who appreciated me for me. I just met so many people who really preferred I was a whole new Jessica who doesn't dream. And knows how to be with them at all times. That's probably why I've always been on my own. I had so much trouble finding someone who can put up with me for 5 seconds.
That does sound exhausting. Feeling as if you know in advance what people are going to think negatively and may react to interacting you. I would be anxious all the time.
It makes me sad that there are people out there who are so busy with their own expectations of who we all should be that meeting the actual person we are is somehow disappointing to them. We live in a world that values individuality and uniqueness, but I don’t think it really does. I think we are supposed to be individuals - as long as we meet current societal norms. I think we are supposed to be unique - unless our uniqueness is similar to everyone else’s. It odd and I don’t understand it.
I used to work with a couple of men who hunted deer and elk together every season. They just couldn’t connect with me socially because I am not a hunter. I have WAYYYY more outdoors experience than they have and I have spent much more time in the wilderness than they have, but because I don’t kill animals for sport I was somehow inferior. I never understood it. There was so much in common, but because I fell short in that one area we couldn’t be friends. People confuse me.
It's the same with me and other artists. I attended OCAD University in Toronto to learn art. I hoped to make good friends there. I figured that all artists get along. Eventually, I ate my words. I started freshmen year getting to know some friendly teachers and students.
There were students I tried to bud up with who weren't too keen on me. I met an Italian girl who thought I sounded weird. Her Russian friend found me rather serious and couldn't always understand what I was saying. I befriended a Korean student who started yelling at me, because she found me rude and unsocial. I met a Canadian illustrator who kept staring at me so intently, as if she couldn't tell if I was perfectly sane. A few guys at the college looked at me like they should just avoid me. An Iranian girl was mad at me for being a no-show at a group project meeting that was really sabotaged by another girl. I had a professor who noticed he couldn't get a word out of me and found I didn't sound so good. Overall, I met a printer and some great students who did like me. It's a matter of who you meet.
I learned that life is a very discouraging place to be, especially when all you want to do is make friends, and you wind up meeting a lot of people who might disagree and are sort of prickly around you. I guess they do have senses and can tell when someone's an idiot.
I'm not an idiot. I'm just a very exceptional person with exceptional taste. I honestly don't know what to say towards the current societal norms. I'm not in the norm myself.
When I stopped going to college and decided to be a freelancer, a majority of the time I worked remotely. The environment was dead quiet. I had to make amends by attending weekend social activities, shopping, spending time with family, going to the movies, attending art classes and playing sports. I have never met friends doing any of this. I've met my closest friends in educational settings, seeing this, I should take advantage of this in future.
I can relate to your experience at school. I never felt comfortable in the classroom setting. I (still) prefer to sit in back and not be forced to participate. Unfortunately students are rarely given the chance to just be there without having a spotlight shined on them.
Lucky for me, I ran away so young and moved to Colorado. Now, the amazing man who gave me a job also forced me to be in school as a condition of employment, but we found a “home study” type of program in which I was able to complete high school in the lobby of a ski resort rather than a classroom.
Social events are a challenge. I’ve never felt like the cool kid or handsome, I never learned to dance, and would rather enjoy a conversation with a small group in a quiet setting than a loud, crowded venue. As such, I had difficult time marketing friends. That said, I still have friends from primary school and my time in the Navy - mostly just emails and Christmas Cards, but that’s okay with me. In fact, while I was in the Navy a group of us were in Cannes France and met a group of French girls. One of them “dated” a shipmate of mine while we were there. She and I correspond to this day. She and her husband live in Utah now and we see each other every few years. I guess it’s the easy, distant relationships that are easier for me.
I agree that taking advantage of any classes or joining a team is a good idea. It isn’t easy to do so, but the social practice helps make it easier (for me anyway).
This week, I am packing my stuff for my long trip to Oregon. I leave the Arizona heat on Saturday and don’t return until September. I’m really excited. What plans have you made for the summer? I challenge you to do something you’ve never done before.
I am going to drive to Montana and see Mt. Rushmore and a little city Named Sturgis in neighboring states. Google Sturgis if you haven’t heard of it. I think it’ll be interesting.
My sister is in Victoria, British Columbia. She texted that she could see the Oregon mountains from there. She and our dad are visiting my Aunt and Uncle. I didn't come along, though. My dad wants me to concentrate on my career. Currently, I'm in a temporary contract, which I think is a joke. I haven't freelanced for them in 4 weeks! They make excuses like they are busy. Now I'm scrabbling around, applying to recruitment sites and job boards. I honestly suck at job hunting. Wish me luck with this.
I do you the best of luck. I can tell the stress you’re under. I’m sorry.
But it is true she can see the Oregon/Washington mountains from BC. I love visiting BC! The gardens, of course, and the parks and all the beautiful buildings - it’s a great city.
She saw Emily Carr's house and her paintings, yes and the gardens.
Um. Yes it's stressful and frustrating. I think it's more to do with impressing my parents.
It's ridiculous, but I spent years holding onto the memory of a certain crowd of people who I knew from over 20 years ago. I'm talking about my high school years. I still talk to a former teacher on Facebook. It wasn't until now that I finally let go of the thought of their faces. Now I'm free. But I feel like it effected my life in a way. Like I should've gotten over the damn situation the moment it was all over. I am just tenacious that way. It's how I got viewed and treated back then. It's like they couldn't believe I was who I was. There was nothing really wrong with me, except I was just extremely quiet and timid. Just like you, I didn't like loud, boisterous crowds. I preferred small talk with a group of pleasant people who are just like me. For instance, the community of artists I took classes with. I just wasn't a party girl. Anyway, in high school I was among these young people who didn't respect that side of me and wondered why I just didn't look like a typical teenager—with friends. So my name was honked all over the school. THING IS. All I had to do was ignore them.
So I give you a high five that you left home young and did independent studies to get your diploma. You got away from all that nonsense.
I understand how all those memories haunt a person all those years later. I still have times when I remember saying or doing something awkward in primary school. Once, when I was probably 8 years old, I broke a window in our house when my parents were out. All these years later I still loop the incident in my mind and feel bad about it. Is it possible that people like you and I take responsibility too much for things like that and don’t forgive ourselves as we should? I am really good at forgiving others and never thinking about something they may have done ever again, but me? Nope I remember and beat myself up forever.
Life is so funny. People are so odd. We forgive and forget so much whatever others do, but we have a hard time forgiving ourselves. Well, I do anyway.
You mentioned several times that you didn’t look like the other kids. Do you mean your “style” or just the way you carried yourself? I definitely tried to blend in as much as possible because I don’t like people noticing me. In fact, I was watching a movie recently and in the movie a male character and female character saw each other across the room and smiled at each other and ended up talking and eventually dating, There is no way something like that would ever happen to me! I couldn’t have worked up the courage to make eye contact and then meet that person. No freaking way! I have never felt handsome, ever, not for two seconds in my entire life. Self conscious is my normal state of being. Does any of that resonate with you? Too personal? Sorry.
Yes it does resonate with me. I couldn't attract anybody across a room—no way. Guys used to imitate how quiet and serious, and sad, I looked in front of them. I was no catch.