Sunday, October 30, 2005

Solitude

Can't do it. Can't do solitude. Yes I've read all the philosophical quotes about people who dislike their own company being shallow & empty etc....But I still don't enjoy my own company. Am a restless, nervous type personality & left alone would drive myself crazy.

I need people. And I must say am not choosy. I don't ask for unswerving loyalty or deep spiritual connections usually. Just be around. You don't even have to talk. Just breathe. Show some sign of life & am happy. Infact people who try to get too close too fast scare me.

Have been like this since I was a child. At home I use my room to sleep & change. That's it. Activities that everyone else likes to do in solitude I do with people around. You find all my books in the living room because that's where I read. And it's where I used to study. Or write. Or listen to music. Not locked up in my room. In the living room. With people moving & talking around me. You find my laptop in the living room too. That's where I blog or surf or work if I need to do that from home. I used to have a pc in my room but never used it. Ended up selling it. Am a laptop kind of person. I need something that moves with me. If there's no one at home then I'll take my laptop or my book or my discman & go out to sit somewhere in public where I can see people. If am ever locked up in my room then it's because am on the phone. Or because am going through some kind of crisis.Or am sick.

I'll socialize with anyone rather than be alone. I mean it. You could do me a really bad turn but if you call & catch me oneday when I can't find anyone else to hang out with I'll probably go out with you. I might not trust you. I might be pretty unpleasant company. But I will go out with you because you're still human company. The people you see around me are not always people I like or trust or even respect. Very few of them are. Sometimes I wonder what that says about me.

I know that I've come to care more about quantity than quality so to speak. I need lots of people in my life because no matter how wonderful one person is or how much they care about me they cannot be there to keep me company every second am awake. Especially considering the fact that I've never been much of a sleeper. They will still have their own life to live. So the answer is more people. That way there will always be at least one person around.

Of course having been like this all my life I can tell you I've had my share of bad experiences. When I was younger my family protected me, controlled who I could hang around with. Of course I resisted this. Can't remember how many times I had this conversation with my parents growing up. Why do you spend time with him/her?Because there's no one else right now. Still they managed to keep me sheltered from the unpleasant manifestations of human nature so to speak.

But once I was too old for them to manage that yeah I got burned. Again & again. I think it just made me more shallow. Out of self-defence I became this social butterfly - very superficial in my relationships. Just having fun. I still like people. I just don't trust them. I don't have very high expectations of anyone so I don't risk disappointment.I don't think I made many real friends as an adult. Apart from my husband & one or two other exceptions, the connections that matter today are the ones I made when I was a child - too young to have as many defences & walls as I do today. These are the people am most vulnerable to. Some of them don't care or appreciate but still they're like a bad habit I can't break. Maybe because I don't know how to replace them or to build something as deep anymore so I don't want to let go of what I have.

One of the reasons I hated the thought of leaving UAE is that I know so many people here. If I had moved to Morrocco how long would it have taken me to build a similar social network there?

My husband sometimes complains that I hang out with too many people I don't seem to know very much about, that everywhere we go I seem to know everyone, that am too friendly, too social. He gets jealous. Makes some people in my social circle feel unwelcome. And out of consideration for his feelings I try to cut back & keep a low profile for a while. But every now & then something in me snaps & I find myself telling him look you can't be there for me all the time. You say you need space. Fine. Have your space but I can't be alone. He says he hates to see me hurt or used or with people who aren't worth it etc...The same sort of thing I used to hear from my parents when I was a kid. And it's the same answer. I need protection from myself, my worries & fears more than I need protection from other people.

At my age you know yourself pretty well.Just wonder how easy it might be to improve now?I'd like to slow down a bit. Take time to get to know people one at a time as individuals. Make some real connections. Have more quality than quantity in my relationships. Practice trust, commitment etc....all those big words that intimidate me so much. More than anything I want to get along better with me. Is it too late?

17 Comments:

Blogger Rain said...

Each of us has his/her way of protecting him/herself.
Introverts protect themselves by isolation, while extroverts blend more with ppl to lose any real connection.
Just suit urself..no need to worry.. but be sure first u r really protecting urself not harming her.
Anyway..balance is always the best choice.

10/30/2005 03:07:00 AM  
Blogger MoonLightShadow said...

A non stop argument between me and myself concerning that solitude issue. I’m totally the opposite of what you are describing here LouLous. I’m a solitude person, I’ve been like that since my childhood, and I don’t like that. Sometimes I feel the need to be surrounded by people. But as soon as I get out of my shell and start socializing, I feel disappointed. I hardly can feel harmony between me and others, neither do I find harmony between me and myself! Have always wondered about the role of people in my life, and if I can do without them.

When I’m surrounded by people, I feel suffocated, I feel I need space for myself. But I can’t deny that in other times I feel the need for people. I feel that some stuff can’t be done except when I’m sharing it with others. Sharing the thoughts, the ideas, and the memories. Having someone witness the on going process of me growing and living this life.

At a certain part of my life, I regretted not making as many social relationships as I could, and thoughts it’s time to widen the circle and be a more sociable person. But I failed, I can’t. To communicate with others, I have minimum requirements that should exist in people I’m dealing with, which I rarely could find.

A compromise is always is a good solution, but sometimes it’s hard. I think that non of the extremes is good. There is always time and a mood for socializing, and another time dedicated to oneself.

10/30/2005 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger Nightlegend said...

A few years ago I was having many friendships ,alot of connections and going ons ,but when I grew up more I discovered the same point you mentioned ,quality rather than quantity ,nowadays I find it strange when I find someone I know knowing alot of people with different attitudes and behaviours and I keep thinking with myself about How he/she is able to mainatain a certain level of friendship with all those people at the same time.ofcourse this doesn't happen and most of those are temporary ,I am now more selective in my friendships and when I was having many friends as I mentioned above this was not because I am so much sociable perso ,but because the collegue years permitted that.

It's not too late to make improvements with your friendships and relationships in general ,if there's some one pressing on your nerves and causing you emotional pains or something ,then there's no need to continue knowing him/her any more. our best memories are shaped by our experiences with the people whom we love and adore ,not the ones causing us painful feelings.

10/30/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger aroundtheclock24_7 said...

loulou,

I my opinion i don't think you need to change. I have millions and millions of friends around the world some are really close and some i know by name basis. I used to be like you until i turend 18 and got backstabbed by a couple of close girlfriends and since then i do not trust girls. I tend to have mor guyfriends in my life than girlfriends at the ration of 5 guys to 1 girl. BM and my parents always nag about talking with guys going out with guys and dealing with them at all time instead of girls. But simply after what happenned i do not trust girls anymore. I should be fair and honest by saying that after i turned 25 i started again making girlfriends for i felt that i am fed up with being a mentor for all these guys and i needed to talk to mature girls about girls stuff etc. and that's how i started opening the door for girls to approach me and now i have 3 bestfriends relationships with girls that i wouldn't trade for the world. So i really beleive that your needs change with your age. I donno if i made anysense but anyway just wanted to say that if you are still accepting people into your life i would like to apply please to get to know a person like you ;) If the application is processed please inform me by email and we will plan somthing soon inshallah if not then no hard feelings i know how you think and i cannot blame you for i do the same way ;)

Take care ;)

10/30/2005 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Wonderer said...

Loulou,
When I came to this country, I spent the first year alone and that was killing me. After that, I got to know (tob el ard). Every time I go out I come back home with 2 or 3 new acquaintances. I was too naïve to consider some of them true friends.
And these "some" really hurt me, I was depressed for quite a long time when I discovered their betrayal. Now, thanks to them, when I meet someone who is trying to be extra nice with me, I think to my self "what is the catch?!!!!". I hate myself when I do that, but we have a saying that says "ely etlasa3 men el shorba yenfo.7 fi el zabady" (who get burnt from the hot soup, blow in the yogurt).
My point is, take care, it is good to be sociable but remember, "sadiq 3aqel .7airan men 1000 magnoun" (One wise friend is better than 1000 crazy ones).

10/30/2005 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Me said...

Loul... I think this sort of explains your previous post....
I don't think it's wrong to be social...but don't go thinking everyone is as nice as you... I mean don't feel let down by people easily...draw this line between people you genuinely & sincerely care about .. and others who are just acquaintances... this way you might get hurt less ya gameela....

10/30/2005 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

rain,

Extrovert is the word thanks. That is what I am.

So are you an introvert, an extrovert or balanced?

10/31/2005 02:12:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Moon,

Wow. You're really my other extreme aren't you?

"When I’m surrounded by people, I feel suffocated, "

And I feel suffocated when am alone. It's a sensation of isolation & claustrophobia.

10/31/2005 02:20:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

nightlegend,

You always sound so wise mashallah. How old are you exactly?

"our best memories are shaped by our experiences with the people whom we love and adore ,not the ones causing us painful feelings."

Very true. But such people are so hard to find no?

10/31/2005 02:25:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

ATC,

"I used to be like you until i turend 18 and got backstabbed by a couple of close girlfriends and since then i do not trust girls. "

But I thought you agreed with me about stereotypes. Judging people by their gender is just as wrong as judging them by nationality. Trustworthiness has a lot to do with integrity & individual personality & nothing to do with whether you're male or female.

"I donno if i made anysense but anyway just wanted to say that if you are still accepting people into your life i would like to apply please to get to know a person like you ;) "

That's sweet thanks. I appreciate it.:)

10/31/2005 02:33:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

wonderer,

Yes I could tell you're a social animal. Maybe not as extreme as me but you do come across that way.:)

10/31/2005 02:35:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Meme,

Welcome back:)

"Loul... I think this sort of explains your previous post...."

Yes there is a link. The events in the previous post made me contemplate my life & relationships.

You're a smart girl.Ismallah 3laiki.:)

10/31/2005 02:44:00 AM  
Blogger Charismatic Soul said...

Lou,

we're the total opposite.
my things are always in my room where no one except me knows where, my laptop is password protected even though no one uses it but me and doesnt get out of my room unless i have to do something important and i need to talk to my mom at the same time, my Cds, books, magazines, are in my room and no one has access to them.

when i was younger i spent a lot of time alone in my room, whether it was for studying, reading, listening to music, and if i had my friends over its in my room as well.

my friends are very limited, and like wonderer said, i always ask myself "whats the catch" no one can be this nice to a total stranger, i have been back stabbed once and that was more than enogh for me to take care whom i socialize with, plus people who are so sweet and nice from the begining scare the shit out of me, and i think twice before going ahead with knowing them.

It takes me a lot of time to trust people, and i was never interested in quantity, and my friends and I has to have a lot of things in common, and similar interests should be the first thing.

I dont understand how my brother (who is a libra btw) could have so many friends, how can he keep up, it was as if you were talking about him, not you!
and D! my goodness, still in contact with people he knew during university in egypt whom he hasnt seen for years and literally has friends whom i have no idea how they comminucate aslan, all that is just beyond me.

10/31/2005 03:18:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Chari,

"I has to have a lot of things in common, and similar interests should be the first thing."

For me one common interest is enough. Like the group I go to the ice-rink with. I just see them when I want to go ice-skating. Otherwise we don't meet.

"It takes me a lot of time to trust people"

Me too. But the thing is I don't have to trust people to spend time with them.

I notice that there are only 4 people around that I would actually spend time with just talking. M., D. & K. & T.(my uncle). With everyone else we go out shopping, or to the movies, or ice-skating or swimming or dancing or whatever. We go out to do something because I can't imagine sitting just talking to them for 2 hrs or so. Can't imagine what we'd talk about. Same with talking to them on the phone. Most numbers in my cell I can call to arrange a get-together or say salamat if someone is sick or where are you if they've disappeared etc... But not just to talk. There aren't many people that I can talk to for more than 15 or 20 min on the phone.

If am upset about something or I need to talk & none of these 4 people are available then I'll spend time around others being a party animal trying to forget what is bothering me. Definitely I will not discuss anything personal with anyone else. Infact wouldn't let anyone else even see am not in a good mood. That in itself is too personal for them to know.

Either that or we go out in a HUGE group where conversation consists of screaming over each other's voices while we pick on each other or discuss politics or football or TV shows etc...certainly nothing personal. And then I'll get to speak to everyone a little - just joking around stuff but no risk of getting too personal or too deep with any single person. Sometimes I find myself calling around & making a group outing just because for some reason I have to go out with one girl & I don't want to be alone with her.

Another indicator. 90% of the people I spend time with don't know where I live & have never been in my house. First because my parents will start nagging if I bring home a new face everyday & second because I don't trust them enough & third because what is there to do at home?Am simply not intimate or comfortable enough with any of them. For me spending time doing nothing around someone is like a really big deal. They have to be pretty close.

Of the people who do come to visit me again only the 4 people I mentioned get to see my room. The rest I'll see in the guestroom. And I have to be dressed up in my outdoor clothes. And everything has to be tidy.

Having someone see me in my room in my pj's with me & my room messed up etc...all this suggests intimacy that I don't feel with most people that I see quite often. With everyone else I need that touch of formality. It sets boundaries.

"I dont understand how my brother (who is a libra btw) could have so many friends, how can he keep up,"

When K. & I first started dating, it used to drive us both crazy the way everywhere we went in Abu Dhabi I ran into people I know & they would either join us or we would have to join them. So we'd stay for a little bit & then we'd move somewhere else & it would happen again. In the end we'd just end up going for these endless drives. That was the main reason we spent so much time in the car. It was so irritating because we really wanted to be alone. That's another problem with being a social butterfly. Because people only see your 'public' persona they assume you have no depth & no private life. Everyone knows am the more-the-merrier type & always looking for more company so it's hard for them to imagine I actually want to be alone with someone or to respect that.

It also used to bother him that no matter which restaurant or coffee shop we go to all the manager & the waiters etc...seem to know me & greet me like a regular customer. He says it makes him feel like 'gooz elsitt'. And he'd start making sarcastic comments about living in my shadow etc...

When I take my parents out I have to be careful because that also bothers them & they start nagging tab3an winti meen yishoofik bilbait ya say3a etc....So I always had one or two places reserved that I only go to with my parents & make sure I don't show my face in too often:)

So yeah I guess we ARE complete opposites. I guess you're more like Moon.

10/31/2005 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Rain said...

Well Loulou, I'm an introvert, who sometimes socializes :).
I don't hate people, but I like to watch more than be involved.

10/31/2005 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

rain,

"Well Loulou, I'm an introvert, who sometimes socializes :)."

Sounds pretty balanced to me. Good for you.

11/01/2005 01:47:00 AM  
Blogger N said...

If this question is still on your mind, or still relevant, then my answer is really and truly no it isn't. I moved to France a year and a half ago after a devastating break up and i can tell you i could not be alone for ten minutes before that. I uprooted myself on purpose to change myself. It isn't easy, but it is definately not too late. I'm turing 26, so a few years either way shouldn't matter. Go for it!

7/30/2006 09:36:00 PM  

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