Friendship Problem - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-06-2006, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Friendship Problem

Friendship Issue

This is sort of a mini-rant, but at the same time I would appreciate any feedback you guys can provide. I’m seriously down in the dumps about this, and so it would be great if someone could share their thoughts.

A few weeks ago I posted about a “friend” I have who seems to show very little emotion in general. It feels pretty strange to have a friend whom you cannot “read” or get a sense of what they are feeling: if they are being sincere when they talk to you about something, if they honestly have a connection with you (i.e. a sincere sense of empathy for anything you may be enduring), etc. My explanation of this may seem odd to the average person because it is between two males, but I honestly do not care whether a friend is male or female. I only care that we, as friends, share a deep and meaningful understanding of one another’s thought processes and emotions; that, in my humble opinion, is what true friendship is all about, regardless of gender. Society has instilled in us the misconception that men are not supposed to express emotions with their fellow male friends (and probably in many, if not all, cases) and I, of course, am not going to submit to such ludicrous. Period.

Moreover, he seems to interact with me on a very limited basis in general, while I’ve observed him interacting with people such as another person in our dorm every single day (watching television, playing video games, things of that nature). We’ve gone to the movies, gone swimming, and have our share of activities, but I don’t really feel much substance in them mainly because we’re both quiet people, but I’m more quiet than he is. I always hear him laughing with the other guy in our dorm when they play video games or watch television, and when I think back on our leisure activities, we don’t laugh together very much at all; we just talk about deep issues like politics, philosophy, etc.

I leave my door slightly ajar – enough for him to know that I am here and he is always welcome, and it bothers me that he will only stop by voluntarily maybe once or twice a week. There’s been many a time when I would show up at his door or seek him out just because I considered him a friend, but it is interesting in that if I was another one of his friends, I bet he'd be at my door probably once every couple of hours or so. I mean, I admit that I am not a very approachable person in general, but I think I have made it fairly clear that I deeply admire and respect him just by giving him compliments every now and then (such as saying "You're fun to talk with" and "you're a great friend"; I often utter these and similiar statements). I have even gone as far as to knock on his door one evening and tell him that if he was ever going through anything and needed someone to talk to that I would always be there. I do not remember his response at this time, but I do remember that his vocal response as well as his physical response was very emotionless, and thus it was difficult to discern whether or not he took it to heart or was just thinking “whatever”.

There are many other little instances that I am sure have happened to substantiate this point further, but one crucial instance that bothers me is I sort of get the feeling that our friendship is what I deem a “pity friendship” in that he has already made it clear that he understands what I am “going through” since he used to be shy, but again, when he told me this on two separate occasions it was difficult to see any type of raw emotion so I could know he was sincere; not sincere as in he was telling the truth, but sincere in that he has some kind of deep understanding and passion for this particular period in his past. I simply do not know what to make of anything he says since he is essentially a robot when it comes to interaction with me. I do not know if he invites me to do little social things because he knows I do not get out much, and thus feels sorry for me (we have had little mini-talks about me exploring the campus and getting out of my room), or if he truly wants to be my friend. Normally I would give someone the benefit of the doubt, but this is such a peculiar circumstance that I am having second thoughts about our friendship in general.

If you’ve read this far, you can probably tell my feelings are a little complex. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that I’ve never had a real “friend” since junior high school, and I’m in college now. The main problem I’m having is that I can’t tell if this is a “pity friendship”, if this guy doesn’t like me as a friend, or if I’m reading too much into this entire situation (my mother would definitely say I’m reading too much into the situation). Should I stop being friends with this person, or should I just continue to keep things flowing in spite of what I call his “emotional flaw”?

Thanks for reading.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-06-2006, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 125
Keep things flowing! You can never know what a person truly feels with out being that person.
Worst-case scenario and it’s a pity friendship – but it’s still a friendship, which means he must like you. Best case scenario and he is a life long friend who doesn’t feel like he needs to put on an act around you like he does with others. There are lots and lots of possible scenarios in-between too. But in all of them you have in him a friend. Friendship comes in all sorts of forms. Just enjoy what you do have, whether you can fully understand it or not.
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