Relationships and Romance

ayase

State Alchemist
I agree, as long as one's expectations are not blatantly abusive (like men who won't marry a woman who hasn't been subjected to FGM, to take an example that always comes to mind for me, or saying your partner isn't allowed to have any friends or be in touch with their family so you won't feel insecure or in competition with anyone ever, to take a more emotionally rather than physically abusive category example), then it's important to respect people's differing needs and wants, as you said.
I mean, I would hope the idea that everything that goes on within a relationship should be consensual would go without saying, yeah. There are definitely people out there who are okay with things other people would consider degrading or abusive though, so it can be a bit of a fine line - Not just thinking of kinks here, but religious practices as well. But if someone is genuinely okay with something (rather than just saying they are out of fear - I think it's important to ascertain which it is) then I’m not really sure it's anyone else's place to tell them they shouldn't be. Potentially interesting subject for discussion on its own, that.

As for wanting what you want, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that (as long as you think it meets your own moral standards of not doing anyone else any harm!) and it’s pretty crappy that you’ve ever been made to feel that there was. Everyone should feel entitled to have whatever standards/preferences in partners or a relationships they like. But at the same time, none of us are entitled to get what we want, either. And that’s as much a reminder to myself as it is advice to anyone else. Such is life, I guess.
 

Donut

Brigade Leader
I mean it is probably the more suitable place for it XP

Yeah, I mean the thing of it is I actually now think I may be a type of demisexual who only is really very attracted to and aroused by anyone very occasionally as the only person I've really seriously had the hots for was the friend mentioned previously who I no longer speak to for sad reasons. It's not like I've never had enjoyable physical stuff with anyone else but with those others who I have if it was good it was more like a good song whereas what I experienced with that person even just from kissing was like some sort of incredible symphony? I don't want to be completely unfair to my friends but I think it was the downside (and don't get me wrong there are definitely upsides!) of having a lot of LGBTQUIA friends at the time cuz most of them just couldn't really relate to the issues I was experiencing as a cis woman on BC pills. I am bi myself and I think that has made it harder for me to find other cis women friends to talk to about such things for reasons that are not really anyone's "fault" as such more just to do with certain social dynamics that I may try and explain my opinion on in another post.

Fellow bi demi here if you ever want to talk! It took me quite a long time to become comfortable with my sexuality or even lack of in some cases if that makes sense, and I don't know how much of it is down to my past traumas but I was pretty young when I first realized that I was either ace or demi, and romantically definitely not boxed off in any way. I feel like at the end of the day, if you're with someone who makes you feel warm and comfortable that's the most important thing and if intimacy blossoms between you and you have a mutual trust and you both want that, then go for it! Interestingly, when I was on BC and also antidepressants I noticed it had some effects on my drive and moods when it came to those things, so I think that's a thing! Anyhow, if you ever want someone to talk to just shout! A virtual cup of tea is always welcome here.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Adding official permission to talk about this stuff as much as you want!

I'm a huge flake at conversations but if you ever want to talk about anything relating to that specific demographic you mentioned, @RadFemHedonist , I'm happy for anyone to hit my DMs.

R
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Bit of a different one here, it isn't necessarily regarding romantic relationships (although to some extent I suppose it is, and for that you can refer back to my string of posts on page 39, nothing has changed there - I’m never going to meet the right kind of woman if things stay the way they are) but rather human relationships in general.

I’ve started to become concerned recently that the forcefulness of my personality has reached a level where people no longer engage with me because they they don’t think it’s worth the time or effort to bother. And that’s left me feeling a bit isolated and unfulfilled (like, even more than usual). I like my interactions with other people to be challenging and interesting, but there's almost none of that in my life any more. I feel like other people just don't seem to enjoy challenging themselves or others the way I do, so even the few relationships I have are becoming tedious to me. Most people, it seems, would rather have a quiet life with minimal conflict than the opposite, which I guess is what I prefer.

I think my new job has only made this worse, because now it seems the only people who want to challenge me are customers picking a fight, who I'm not allowed to fight back against. Which is absolutely maddening to the point of wanting to drink myself to death, I have never been the right kind of personality for this kind of work and I don’t know why I ever thought that would have changed (the allure of money, I guess, and now I’m stuck with it). It also means I’m back in that world of gossip and talking behind people’s backs, which I loathe.

What do I do with an abrasive, anti-authority personality and questionable skillset that brings me into contact with the kind of people I actually like spending time with? At this point “social media demagogue” or “cult leader” are starting to look like appealing options, but really anything which wins me adoration and money for being confrontational rather than silence or being fired would be preferable.
 
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IdiomaticLynx

Student Council President
What do I do with an abrasive, anti-authority personality and questionable skillset that brings me into contact with the kind of people I actually like spending time with?
I might not be the best person to give advice, but there's one point I do want to address. Looking for "the kind of people you actually like spending time with" might not be the best option. Instead you should aim for "people you like spending time with", if you focus too much on a specific "kind" you'd probably needlessly limit yourself without realizing.

I'd argue there are many more people with whom you can have challenging and interesting interactions with, despite them perhaps being less likely to initiate such an interaction themselves or are otherwise 'conflict avoiding' in nature. The key element is to realise that every interaction is an exchange. Both parties have their own expectations and goals. The main reason to stop interaction with someone, is if you're expectations are constantly not met or you don't believe your goals can be achieved through those interactions.

Concrete this means managing expectations and giving the other room to achieve their own goals. They might seek advice, want to share their experience (venting, seeking compassion, etc...), hear some of your experiences or just want to hear some fun stories/things. This can be challenging, but doesn't have to be. For example, if you talk to someone on a weekly basis, say Tuesday evening, and use that time to talk about that week's politics, both you and the other party will have very clear expectations for that interaction. If you'd then interact with that person on a different occasion, try to tone that part down, and give them room to get from the interaction what they want. It's fine to still say things like "Did you hear about X on the news, better read up on it, because next Tuesday we've got a lot to discuss!". This will show the other that you seek/want interactions to discuss/debate things, which is a very good thing as that helps the other understand you better. If however, you would actively steer the interaction into a discussion/debate at that point, you're basically letting the other person know that you either don't understand or care about their perspective.

I hope the above example, however crude, does bring across my point. What really helps is reading up on conversation techniques and psychology. There are many resources available and the nice thing is, they are all wrong! But they do give interesting insights or ways to reason about it. Now I could be wrong, but I'd guess this might feel like 'compromising' to you. To that all I can say is, just try it. At first it's even fine to only try and determine what the other's expectations and goals are without acting on it. Whatever you do, don't try and change your personality, that never works and you'd only create a facade that will make you feel even more unfulfilled down the road.

That being said, it's also good to be realistic. While I don't know you personally, from your posts here, your personality seems very outspoken and quite strong. That's not going to work well with everyone, no matter how much you try. And with regards to the above in the context of romantic relationships, I'd say it's even essential to have better matching personalities. It can still help to properly understand each other's expectations and goals when interacting, but they can only be so far apart for it to work long run. I sincerely hope you find someone someday, so never give up. It's easy to think that it's impossible, and it isn't hard to find some aspect about yourself that makes it 'impossible', I did the exact same. Is it a guarantee that you will find someone? No, but giving up or constantly convincing yourself it's impossible is (almost) a guarantee that you won't find someone.

Final thing I want to add, is that I generally find your posts on here interesting to read. Despite your "abrasive, anti-authority personality", you're very civil in discussions, which is honestly admirable! If only I was more confident in my English and don't literally take well over an hour to write posts like this and still not satisfied with the outcome, I would definitely react a lot more to them. In any case, don't discount online interactions (incl. on this forum). Perhaps you don't, but a lot of people seem to think online interactions and relationships are "lesser", which is bogus if you ask me. I do think it's important to have physical relationships as well, and I do think that those can go deeper than online relationships can go, but that doesn't mean that online are meaningless. It never hurts to properly realize and appreciate that.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Thanks for the considered response @IdiomaticLynx, it’s nice to know the art of conversation about complex subjects is not completely dead (and for what it's worth, I think your English is very good and wouldn't worry about that at all - I still take an hour or more to type up posts to my satisfaction and it's my first language, one of the reasons I've never been into instant messaging).

Looking for "the kind of people you actually like spending time with" might not be the best option. Instead you should aim for "people you like spending time with", if you focus too much on a specific "kind" you'd probably needlessly limit yourself without realizing.
Doing my best to avoid going all Daniel Plainview "I don’t need to get past seeing them to get all I need" but I think I have a pretty good idea of people whose company I enjoy and those I don’t at this point. I’m rarely (if ever) surprised by anybody having hidden depths that weren't immediately apparent. Most people my age seem pre-occupied with other things which don't really interest me, like they have their reasons for being now which are typically the mundane like families, mortgages, having their kitchens refitted, booking package holidays etc. and so that's what they talk about. And I can't relate to any of that*. That and work, and I have no interest in talking about work outside of work, I'd rather just pretend it didn't exist. Perhaps if I was doing something I found fulfilling and interesting I might feel differently, but I'm not and neither are my colleagues, so all they seem to want to do is bitch, which I find totally pointless. It's not as though I look down on them for that, they are where they are in life with the associated values and attitudes that brings, but like I say I just don't feel like they're my kind of people. Their concerns and interests are not mine, and my concerns and interests are not theirs.

This can be challenging, but doesn't have to be. For example, if you talk to someone on a weekly basis, say Tuesday evening, and use that time to talk about that week's politics, both you and the other party will have very clear expectations for that interaction. If you'd then interact with that person on a different occasion, try to tone that part down, and give them room to get from the interaction what they want. It's fine to still say things like "Did you hear about X on the news, better read up on it, because next Tuesday we've got a lot to discuss!".
That’s kind of amusing because you’ve described there pretty much exactly the relationship I have with my father, who is one of the few people in my life I have always been able to have exactly the kind of challenging, in depth discussions with. We can certainly upset and anger each other, but in doing so learn to understand each other on a deeper level and still care very much about each other at the end of the day. That's the kind of relationship I'd like more of, but he's also my father (which is a very different kind of relationship from friends or lovers, since we've been stuck with one another for 30-odd years) and it's not the kind I seem to be able to cultivate with anyone else. And that's the main problem really, I just don't know how to find other people I could perhaps have that kind of relationship with.

That being said, it's also good to be realistic. While I don't know you personally, from your posts here, your personality seems very outspoken and quite strong. That's not going to work well with everyone, no matter how much you try. And with regards to the above in the context of romantic relationships, I'd say it's even essential to have better matching personalities. It can still help to properly understand each other's expectations and goals when interacting, but they can only be so far apart for it to work long run.
I totally agree, I think the major issue I have there is how other people react to me - I don’t even blame them, I’m probably not the easiest person to read. In person I can be dry, frank and dark humoured to the point people probably don’t know when to take me seriously and when not to (that's probably true even online) which makes it very easy for me to upset people even unintentionally. That said, sometimes it probably is intentional (although not to the point of being pre-planned) which might be a bit cruel of me, but it’s almost like stress-testing to see how tough people are, whether they’ll challenge me back or whether they’ll just break. Usually it's the latter, which I then do feel genuinely bad about, but also a bit disappointed by.

Final thing I want to add, is that I generally find your posts on here interesting to read. Despite your "abrasive, anti-authority personality", you're very civil in discussions, which is honestly admirable! If only I was more confident in my English and don't literally take well over an hour to write posts like this and still not satisfied with the outcome, I would definitely react a lot more to them. In any case, don't discount online interactions (incl. on this forum). Perhaps you don't, but a lot of people seem to think online interactions and relationships are "lesser", which is bogus if you ask me. I do think it's important to have physical relationships as well, and I do think that those can go deeper than online relationships can go, but that doesn't mean that online are meaningless. It never hurts to properly realize and appreciate that.
Kind of you to say. I certainly don't see any need to be uncivil (except to people who are uncivil to me, "do unto others as they do unto you" is my version of the golden rule) and I try my best to atone if I think I have been, but at the same time I don't feel the need to apologise for being myself. I think the world can only benefit from people being true to themselves even if that does lead to conflict, because talking things out is the only way we can hope to understand one another better. I do very much value my online relationships, it's unfortunate however that the number of places for me to get my online fix of interesting discussion and debate seems to be ever-shrinking and ever more deserted (for which I blame social media and the resulting influx of normal, boring, often quite stupid or at least very uninformed people, and a lot of folks leaving smaller and more niche platforms to be where the instant gratification is, even if the quality of discussion somewhere like tw*tter is 1/100 of what it is somewhere like AUKN). But it's hard for me to imagine those online relationships ever translating into real life ones, which is mainly down to negative previous experiences with text-based relationships that never went anywhere.

*Plus it doesn't really do much other than depress me to hear about how other people have achieved far more than me in the same or lesser amount of time, either in terms of wealth or love. They're probably not intentionally bragging or trying to rub my nose in the fact I'm still poor and alone, but it kinda feels like it. I'm a horribly jealous person who finds it very difficult to be happy for other people having things I don't, it's one of my many flaws and the thing most likely to cause me to put up that facade you were on about - Mouth: "Congratulations" Brain: "You smug ----"
 
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RadFemHedonist

Thousand Master
I sincerely hope you find someone someday, so never give up. It's easy to think that it's impossible, and it isn't hard to find some aspect about yourself that makes it 'impossible', I did the exact same. Is it a guarantee that you will find someone? No, but giving up or constantly convincing yourself it's impossible is (almost) a guarantee that you won't find someone.

Sorry to jump in here as I know this wasn't aimed at me in particular but I am increasingly convinced that I will not ever meet the right person and I'm a lil upset when people try and convince me to be optimistic about it cuz a big part of me just wants to beat the idea to death and move on with life really! Like there are other things I could do with my life like focus on my art or improving my physical health and it is so hard to meet someone who's attractive and nice (in a genuine way not as in superficially friendly) so I just don't see the point really. Sure it would be good to find that kind of love but I view it the same as the idea that you have to be thin to accomplish your life goals (I'm fat and you don't), in that becomes a cruel bunch of carrot-and-stick nonsense. I also am angery as hecc right now at all the people who say crap like "be open to what might happen" when you tell them you're friends with an ex and you even explain why you're not together anymore and they just don't listen (in my case it was because he is asexual or at least was very selfish in bed with me and that's not remotely what I want out of a romantic relationship). Like I absolutely HATE the way that most of human society is conspiring (albeit somewhat unintentionally) to make me utterly miserable dating the wrong person :(
 

ayase

State Alchemist
@RadFemHedonist while I don’t entirely disagree with you there regarding giving people false hope (I’m pretty sure I’ve said as much before itt) I also recognise that what @IdiomaticLynx said there was said with good intentions.

I think personally, I find it much easier to accept being alone and concentrate on myself (like you have said) when I can actually be alone rather than being forced to deal with people on a daily basis. I think that’s what’s brought this on for me really, having to be around people and realising how difficult I find it to relate to them. I find I feel more lonely among others than I do when I’m not. Give me a nice night watchman job or something and I’ll probably go back to my resigned solitude (at least until I go out and sit in a coffee shop and see all the beautiful people passing by, perhaps I should just become a genuine hermit in order to kill the desire to be with other people dead, but I can’t bring myself to do that just yet. But another five years of this and I might).
 

RadFemHedonist

Thousand Master
Yeah I am sorry I was making a general point it wasn't really directed at IdiomaticLynx at all :( In a really bad place mentally today bu still sorry I should have made that clearer :(
 

IdiomaticLynx

Student Council President
@RadFemHedonist no need to feel sorry, while writing that part I was also a bit concerned with how it would come across. Truth is, I used to absolutely hate when people told me that in the past. So I'm actually glad that you pointed it out. I've been there myself, thinking it would be impossible for me, trying to be happy with a circle of close friends, or even just on my own, focussing on my work, etc...

The thing I mainly wanted to bring across with it, is that your mindset matters. There's nothing wrong with not 'actively' searching and instead focussing on yourself. What is 'wrong' in my opinion, is having the thought that it's 'impossible' to meet someone. Sure, there are a lot of things that can make it unlikely, perhaps even highly unlikely. But instead of calling that 'impossible', just see it as 'possible'. And like I mentioned in my post, that doesn't give any guarantees, the world sadly doesn't work that way.

I'll probably reply in more detail to your and @ayase's reactions tomorrow.
 

Neil.T

Titan
Just need to pay tribute to @IdiomaticLynx's last couple of posts. They've been brilliant. You write really well in English, dude.

I need to add some extra weight to this sentiment also:
I've been there myself, thinking it would be impossible for me
Another one from the same club here. ✋

I always used to inwardly resent being told by people that it would happen for me someday. It felt so glib and like no more than disingenuous lip service, because the position I was in would've easily put me in the upper end (or the lower end, depending on which way up you're looking at it) of the "highly (highly) unlikely" bracket. And that would be looking at it extremely optimistically.

And yet... Well, I'll shut up there before I cause any (further) upset.
 

RadFemHedonist

Thousand Master
Just need to pay tribute to @IdiomaticLynx's last couple of posts. They've been brilliant. You write really well in English, dude.

I need to add some extra weight to this sentiment also:

Another one from the same club here. ✋

I always used to inwardly resent being told by people that it would happen for me someday. It felt so glib and like no more than disingenuous lip service, because the position I was in would've easily put me in the upper end (or the lower end, depending on which way up you're looking at it) of the "highly (highly) unlikely" bracket. And that would be looking at it extremely optimistically.

And yet... Well, I'll shut up there before I cause any (further) upset.

I see what people are saying about don't think it's conclusively impossible to meet someone, you really haven't upset me and I'm super happy for you that you met someone, rather it's that I'm worried that I'm not focusing on doing what makes me happy now because I get depressed that I haven't met someone/spend a lot of time looking for someone online and for further context I almost went out with someone who was not right for me yesterday and that caused a lot of stress and anxiety. Honestly, lockdown isn't helping I feel horribly isolated and like I am being pushed into potentially abusive and unwanted situations/dating the wrong person just so I will be less isolated. I'm also disabled and could very well lose a lot of the support and income I rely on if I did meet even someone who was really right for me, that's scary and depressing to think about as well :( I also feel like I've stagnated creatively but I absolutely hate doing the kind of stuff they recommend for improving your art like I really do not have it in me to draw every day or w/e even though I do enjoy doing art on some level? I think it's at least partly cuz I'm neuroatypical that I'm just not able to enjoy or stick with stuff like that. TBH I feel like people think I'm stupid and annoying and, well, an R-word basically. I wouldn't use that word to describe someone else but I beat myself up a lot mentally... I think I deserve it though so I don't really know how to stop cuz I don't think I deserve to feel better.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
For what it’s worth @RadFemHedonist (which might not be a whole lot, I know) you strike me as an interesting, very creative person and it’s always nice to hear your thoughts on things. Not everybody is brave enough to bare their souls the way you do and while it’s occasionally a bit heartbreaking, I for one appreciate it.

While I’m certainly the last person who would be able to offer any advice on the subject of relationships (see: all of my contributions to this thread) I think creative efforts are always worthwhile for people who feel they want to get things out. They’re a great way of channelling feelings and frustrations and I know all too well what it’s like to feel like you’re not living up to your own potential in such areas (I just grabbed myself a drawing course in the udemy sale which is helping me get back into it) but I think it’s absolutely something which is worth pursuing when you feel up to it.
 
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RadFemHedonist

Thousand Master
@ayase I bought an Udemy drawing course years ago but have never really used it... I think I was rather put off by the fact that it appeared that all the people they wanted me to learn to draw were thin though I'm not denying my other aforementioned issues played a part as well. But I'm really glad to hear it's helping you get back into it anyway :) I think part of my problem is that I'm afraid of making mistakes as an artist or maybe in life in general so I play it safe a lot. Even what you said about debating made me think about how I tend to hold back a lot in conversations and other verbal and written exchanges in part because I'm afraid I will make a mistake and the other person will walk away thinking something along the lines of "haha I'm right disabled people/women/bisexual people really are inferior and don't deserve human rights including autonomy over their bodies" or w/e... you get the idea. I used to be much more fiercely intellectual but I felt so guilty about having any kind of advantage over other people that I mentally beat a good 50% of that out of myself as a teenager and now I don't know how to get it back.

I appreciate what you said, really I do, it means a lot. I also used to be a lot more ambitious with my creativity though I was never anywhere near a professional level. Honestly, life is just exhausting for me a lot of the time cuz of my health issues as well but I just get so aimlessly unfocused mentally and it sucks, like all I want is to be able to do all the creative stuff I wanna do, without it feeling like an impossible uphill battle to do anything much creative at all, I'd almost say I want that more than a romantic relationship, maybe I actually do want it more than a romantic relationship. Like not that I'd make some sort of devil's bargain trade where I agree to be perpetually single in return for it cuz that would really suck, but I sure do wish I could draw really well and whatnot! XP I have all these ideas in my head for pictures that I wanna make reality like Evangelion related stuff and things... I don't wanna waste those ideas :( I wonder if there are any other useful tips for improving one's art besides drawing every day and mind mapping (I can't manage the former and I actively despise mindmaps, never got on with them at all! To each their own but I hate them lol). Maybe I should try other methods of planning out projects 🤔
 

IdiomaticLynx

Student Council President
I’m rarely (if ever) surprised by anybody having hidden depths that weren't immediately apparent. Most people my age seem pre-occupied with other things which don't really interest me, like they have their reasons for being now which are typically the mundane like families, mortgages, having their kitchens refitted, booking package holidays etc. and so that's what they talk about [...] they are where they are in life with the associated values and attitudes that brings, but like I say I just don't feel like they're my kind of people. Their concerns and interests are not mine, and my concerns and interests are not theirs.
I get your point and I think you've worded it nicely. While I don't have any concrete advice, there is one nuance I want to add. The way I see it is that everyone has like a pie chart of topics they want/can talk about. In practice it will always be dominated with the things going on in their life at that moment, but there also many topics that take up a sliver off the whole. While I wouldn't call those 'hidden depths', I'm confident that nearly everyone can suddenly start (or join) a conversation on a topic you didn't expect from them. In my experience this often happens on some off-beat moment and by pure coincidence.

Now those alone, are far from enough to become full on conversation partners on the regular. And mind you, that's only talking about the topics, not the conversation style or approach. The reason why they are still worthwhile to pursue is for one simple reason: people know other people. The idea of 'six degrees of separation' is really true. I, myself, am really introverted by nature and I don't have that many social connections (was even way fewer years back). One thing I never understood is how some people, no matter the subject "knew a guy". Even if I would spend all my time growing my "network", I wouldn't even get close to know enough people of all trades and expertises. But then I realized I was considering it in a linear fashion. By talking to one person and getting to know them (a bit), I would only know one new person. Instead, it's relatively easy to get to know that person's direct connections through them as well through conversation. That way your network grows exponentially!

I'm not saying you should focus on growing your network, as it takes time and energy to maintain it. But what you can do, is try and apply these insights whenever you do find yourself in a conversation about a topic you enjoy talking about. For example, let's say you're having a conversation about dolphins, and this guy that has zero affinity with nature and related subjects, suddenly joins in with some truly fascinating facts. Could be because he just happen to watch a documentary about it if nothing better was on, but equally likely is that he knows someone that has an interest in, or works with, dolphins. In that case it doesn't hurt to ask things like "How do you know all that stuff?" or if they refer to the person they got this information from to state "You know, I'm really interested in dolphins, so I would like to talk/meet that friend of yours". And even if none of the before apply, you can say at the end of the conversation "Well, it was really fun talking about dolphins. If you ever want to talk about those creatures again, or know someone who does, you know where to find me?". It can be a bit embarrassing and hard to do, but there's literally nothing to lose. Personally, it hasn't yielded a lot of result for me, but the times that it did, make it so that I always try to apply it.

That and work, and I have no interest in talking about work outside of work, I'd rather just pretend it didn't exist. Perhaps if I was doing something I found fulfilling and interesting I might feel differently, but I'm not and neither are my colleagues, so all they seem to want to do is bitch, which I find totally pointless.
Most likely your colleagues don't want to talk about work either. But they're just full of it and need to release it somehow. Not sure if it's during lunch break, or at the end of the workday/shift, but most people tend to do this so that they can leave work behind before heading home, which in a way isn't so different from your stance. Trying to hold a conversation about something else at that point, is obviously not going to work. However, depending on the people and how long the conversation continues, it's almost a given that it will shift away from work to whatever topic (sports, hobbies, anything...). That would potentially be the moment to bring in the topic you'd like to discuss.

Personally I feel quite strongly about finding work that is fulfilling and interesting. That might be due to the fact that work has brought me a lot in terms of friends and contacts. But I know it's easier said then done. The real benefit is that you'll have ample opportunities to talk about something you at least find interesting. Mind you, it isn't a golden ticket, as I've come to learn that a lot of colleagues just consider it 'work' and don't really share the same passion for it I have.

I think the major issue I have there is how other people react to me - I don’t even blame them, I’m probably not the easiest person to read. In person I can be dry, frank and dark humoured to the point people probably don’t know when to take me seriously and when not to (that's probably true even online) which makes it very easy for me to upset people even unintentionally. That said, sometimes it probably is intentional (although not to the point of being pre-planned) which might be a bit cruel of me, but it’s almost like stress-testing to see how tough people are, whether they’ll challenge me back or whether they’ll just break. Usually it's the latter, which I then do feel genuinely bad about, but also a bit disappointed by.
To me, this sounds like the bigger issue. Communication is all about getting ideas across, and in conversation hopefully both ways. By being hard to read, or upsetting people (intentionally or not) the communication is almost by definition ineffective. Now I won't say there's something inherently wrong with it and searching for people that can read you well never hurts. But another way to look at this, is that you're actually putting the burden on the conversation partner. In a way, you might even be expecting the other to handle that burden. My only advice on this is what I mentioned before: reading up on conversation techniques and the psychology behind it.

I'll give an example of something that really helped me. It isn't applicable directly to your situation, but hopefully can give an idea of what can be done. One type of conversation I absolutely hated was talking about something I love with someone who is slow on the uptake in that particular subject. Having to dumb things down or explain things over and over again, really irritated me to no end. Now, it has to do with my arrogant nature and me sometimes being full of myself, but to me it would always reflect negatively on the one I was talking too. I'd never try to show it during the conversation, but I'd be surprised if went unnoticed. I did try to be more humble in general, but that only brings me so far.

What actually helped, was to approach these conversations with a different frame of mind. One thing I actually like doing is teaching and giving trainings, but that only applied when actually teaching. At some point I started thinking of these conversations as "mini-trainings". It didn't change the topic of the conversation, nor the goal. What it did change is that as soon as the other party didn't understand something, it was my fault. I still dumbed things down, not to move along, but to get the other party to truly understand. To ensure the other party understood everything, I would ask questions, which only made these conversations more interactive and dynamic. It was surprisingly effective and thanks to already giving trainings, actually not too hard to do, I just had to see that link and apply it.

So that's one of the reasons why I would strongly advice you, or anyone for that matter, to read up on these things. There are so many tips, tricks, methodologies and models that you can use to either hold conversations, analyse them, improve, etc... The vast majority of them I dislike, but I believe it varies from person to person what works for them. The only tricky part is, you have to actually try them out, just reading about them is sadly not enough...



I have all these ideas in my head for pictures that I wanna make reality like Evangelion related stuff and things... I don't wanna waste those ideas :( I wonder if there are any other useful tips for improving one's art besides drawing every day and mind mapping (I can't manage the former and I actively despise mindmaps, never got on with them at all! To each their own but I hate them lol). Maybe I should try other methods of planning out projects
There are times that I can't seem to do one of my hobbies, no matter how much I want to. Trying to force myself to do it, never works out well. Giving it a rest is usually the best for me. Sometimes it takes a few weeks and sometimes even months, but my interest and energy for it always returns. So I would actually advice you try and not focus too much on drawing, even if that feels counter-intuitive.

To still have an outlet for your creative ideas, have you considered trying other art forms? Perhaps photography, sculpting, writing or anything really. Let's say you have an idea you'd want to draw, you could perhaps build it from Lego (or some other toy/material), then paint a background for it, position it together and make a photograph of it. The resulting photo can be Photoshopped or perhaps you can try replicating it by tracing it. While this might not directly improve your drawing skills, you will improve as an artist as a whole. You'll be working with shapes, composition and colours, which I believe can only help you when you feel like drawing again.

Honestly, life is just exhausting for me a lot of the time cuz of my health issues as well but I just get so aimlessly unfocused mentally and it sucks, like all I want is to be able to do all the creative stuff I wanna do, without it feeling like an impossible uphill battle to do anything much creative at all
I hope I'm not too direct, and I'm really not qualified to give any advice in this area, so please don't take what I'm about to advice you the wrong way. In fact, I'm only writing this, because I'm genuinely a bit concerned. I think you do need help. The reason I'm saying this, is because I recognize something of myself in the quoted sentence. Our situations are and were probably not comparable, and perhaps I'm just reading too much into this one sentence, but I'll share my experience a bit, so do with it what you want.

There was a time in my life where I really wanted to be able to do this one thing I (thought) I wanted to do. But slowly and steadily it became harder and harder for me to continue doing it. I was not productive in the slightest and everything seemed to cost more energy than I had. To combat this, I started cutting out other things, in the hope I could spend the time that came free on what I wanted to do. The end result was actually the opposite, it felt like I had less time and less energy, no matter how much I "gave up" or "sacrificed". Concentrating became hard, days felt shorter and shorter, but all I wished for was being able to do this one thing. In hindsight, it's clear as day what I did wrong, but it was simply impossible for me to see it at that time. By pure coincidence an outside factor made me realize, which allowed me to break the pattern. And guess what, to this day I'm still doing that one thing! But now it's just one of the things I do, and it actually gives me energy.

One key factor in overcoming this was being able to word my feelings. I was never good at showing my feelings or confiding in others, but that also meant I was no good in putting my own feelings in words for myself. But like @ayase also points out, you're brave enough to bare your soul. And reading your post, you seem quite good at understanding how you feel yourself. The thing where it does seem to go wrong, if you ask me, is that you take these feelings and let them run loose and fuel negative thoughts.

It would be better if you could take these feelings and give them a place, or find the underlying causes and work on those. Anyone can do that, but in my case the start was the hardest and did require external help.

I'm sorry if this was all uncalled for, and I'm no psychologist. I don't know your exact situation, nor is it any of my concern, but I just saw some similarities and hope this can help you. If you think I've overstepped my bounds, just tell me and I'll delete this entire section.
 

RadFemHedonist

Thousand Master
There are times that I can't seem to do one of my hobbies, no matter how much I want to. Trying to force myself to do it, never works out well. Giving it a rest is usually the best for me. Sometimes it takes a few weeks and sometimes even months, but my interest and energy for it always returns. So I would actually advice you try and not focus too much on drawing, even if that feels counter-intuitive.

To still have an outlet for your creative ideas, have you considered trying other art forms? Perhaps photography, sculpting, writing or anything really. Let's say you have an idea you'd want to draw, you could perhaps build it from Lego (or some other toy/material), then paint a background for it, position it together and make a photograph of it. The resulting photo can be Photoshopped or perhaps you can try replicating it by tracing it. While this might not directly improve your drawing skills, you will improve as an artist as a whole. You'll be working with shapes, composition and colours, which I believe can only help you when you feel like drawing again.


I hope I'm not too direct, and I'm really not qualified to give any advice in this area, so please don't take what I'm about to advice you the wrong way. In fact, I'm only writing this, because I'm genuinely a bit concerned. I think you do need help. The reason I'm saying this, is because I recognize something of myself in the quoted sentence. Our situations are and were probably not comparable, and perhaps I'm just reading too much into this one sentence, but I'll share my experience a bit, so do with it what you want.

There was a time in my life where I really wanted to be able to do this one thing I (thought) I wanted to do. But slowly and steadily it became harder and harder for me to continue doing it. I was not productive in the slightest and everything seemed to cost more energy than I had. To combat this, I started cutting out other things, in the hope I could spend the time that came free on what I wanted to do. The end result was actually the opposite, it felt like I had less time and less energy, no matter how much I "gave up" or "sacrificed". Concentrating became hard, days felt shorter and shorter, but all I wished for was being able to do this one thing. In hindsight, it's clear as day what I did wrong, but it was simply impossible for me to see it at that time. By pure coincidence an outside factor made me realize, which allowed me to break the pattern. And guess what, to this day I'm still doing that one thing! But now it's just one of the things I do, and it actually gives me energy.

One key factor in overcoming this was being able to word my feelings. I was never good at showing my feelings or confiding in others, but that also meant I was no good in putting my own feelings in words for myself. But like @ayase also points out, you're brave enough to bare your soul. And reading your post, you seem quite good at understanding how you feel yourself. The thing where it does seem to go wrong, if you ask me, is that you take these feelings and let them run loose and fuel negative thoughts.

It would be better if you could take these feelings and give them a place, or find the underlying causes and work on those. Anyone can do that, but in my case the start was the hardest and did require external help.

I'm sorry if this was all uncalled for, and I'm no psychologist. I don't know your exact situation, nor is it any of my concern, but I just saw some similarities and hope this can help you. If you think I've overstepped my bounds, just tell me and I'll delete this entire section.

I am very reluctant to speak to mental health professionals these days for various reasons to do with bad past experiences and a general distrust of people that embedded in "the system" so to speak. But nonetheless I really really appreciate you caring enough about what I am or might be going through to say what you said. I am thinking (though not promising or committing, I emphasise) that I might ask some other friends with similar/some similar issues if they have any advice to offer in looking for a mental health professional to speak to, as perhaps someone can steer me in the direction of either a specific person who is safe, kind and respectful, or some useful advice in finding someone who is all those things. FWIW I have done some drawing today, and feel happy with the picture I created, even though it did not require a high level of technical skill. I am also gonna look for reference materials for my fanart so I can try and get somewhere with that. Also, this is gonna sound strange but I have resolved to stop drinking squash (as in those fruit flavoured concentrated drinks that you put water in to dilute them) because I swear there is some sort of E number or another similar thing in it that makes me feel dreadful mentally in the way that I described in previous recent posts. Perhaps it's that thing that begins with a p that's also in Lemsip, funny story I actually had a terrible paranoid episode after having Lemsip once so have not had it since (and my friend who was helping me calm down at the time did look it up - it's rare but it can be a side effect of one of the ingredients). But yeah that legit would be a good starting point as honestly the effects of that on me are observably worse than the effects of "too much" sugar or one caffeinated drink (that's the max amount of caffeine I have in any one day apart from the similar substance in chocolate and there are some caffeinated things I won't have at all because I know they make me feel rubbish - they must be stronger than the average). I might also go out on a walk now or late today :) Unfortunately, my feet are slightly injured from attempting to wear in my new shoes recently (toenails digging into neighbouring toes :( tbf to the shoes other than that they are actually really comfortable!), but plasters and my nice comfy old trainers should solve that problem :)
 
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