[Sociology] Fear of exclusion | INFJ Forum

[Sociology] Fear of exclusion

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Erlian, Jan 22, 2015.

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  1. Erlian

    Erlian Community Member

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    A month ago I started my exchange period abroad and soon after noticed my fear of social exclusion. Fear to be alone.

    I made a group of friends. Organised stuff. Was commented on that I knew so much people. I was happy. I acted pre-emptively out of fear and succesfully prevented it. Until now...
    The group of friends seems to either be falling apart or to become something more occasional. At least I'm not getting enough social contact out of this group. The people in this group are meeting lots of others, whereas my initial progress of meeting many people seems to fall behind. Even people that I introduced to eachother now hang out without me. My classmates are certainly not as fun as I hear from the others, but I don't know them well enough I guess, and the people in my hallway are some shy creatures that can sometimes be spotted for a second before they hide in their rooms again. As opposed to hallway people that ask you to join onto multiple activites every day.

    If one of those friends tell me they met a new someone they like, I feel the incredible urge to ask about them and to be included. I don't want to miss out. I hold back though, don't want to act too desperate.

    This fear originates in my youth were I was silent and never really bothered with making friends. When I got older (17+) I got a nice group of friends and noticed what I had missed out on. I never want to go without now. I'm in deep fear that that will happen again. Social exclusion.

    The last month I've acted as quite the ENTJ. I'm organising a 3 day trip for 18 people. I lead day activities for groups around 10 people. I haven't got anything back from them though...
    I know that taking charge myself works. And it does. I just really really want someone to return the favour. I don't feel comfortable being the leader constantly. Taking so much initiative leaves me extremely vulnerable to rejection or even worse: to be ignored.

    Anyone with similar experiences?
    Exchanges, fear of exclusion, social energy, taking initiative, making friends or anything else.

    Even if you don't have similar experiences, any advice?
     
  2. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    Oh god, I hear you.

    I am too spent to make any sort of good responses, but I will say first; I hear you.
     
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  3. Scientia

    Scientia A true lady

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    I have a different way of going about making friends, so I cannot give much advice. I am gregarious enough to invite people out but very picky about whom I invite and I am also quiet if I don't enjoy someone's company.
    Are you looking for the company of a general group or the company of people with whom you feel a connection?
     
  4. OP
    Erlian

    Erlian Community Member

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    Both. First I need a general group and then I can find out with whom I feel a connection. Any extra general groups next to a 'connection group' is fine too.
    I probably should try meeting more people
     
  5. Gaze

    Gaze My word . . . hmm
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    I've had this issue. When I was missing social contact, I would start meetup groups. When I first started them, they were ok, but slowly the people who were meeting in my group didn't really stay together in the long run. I think some just didn't have enough common interests or were just looking for different things or experiences, or felt more comfortable with some than with others. But I hear you about the feeling of being left out, or feeling as if you're the only one making all the effort, with few people reciprocating. It's quite frustrating, and feels lonely. Not an easy feeling. Later on, I realized it's best to have one or two people I can actually be friends with in the long term than have a large group of friends who are not going to be around for long. It's best as @TooShyToSay says, to be selective. Choose a few over many, where the focus is quality over quantity. Try to connect more with people who are similar to you, and who share the same interests, activities, or hobbies, because those are more likely to be lasting. When you constantly have to force interaction with others, it's not a great feeling, and can leave you feeling rejected if they don't respond in the way you would like. Don't tire yourself out trying to make friends. Rather, slow down a bit, use your observational strengths to weed out who's like to be responsive and who's not. Take more time to figure out who are likely candidates who want to hangout. All the best! :)
     
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  6. INFJok

    INFJok Community Member

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    I've had these problems before: fear of rejection, fear of being myself, and then I realized that maybe I shouldn't reject myself and that being accepted by others really isn't as important as being accepted by myself.

    Treat yourself as a friend first. Constantly putting yourself out there for acceptance is like you're trying to sell yourself; whoring yourself out. And you wouldn't treat a friend like a whore now would you?

    Just be and even if you are by yourself for a while, make the decision to be happy regardless of life's circumstances!


    I was just having this eye-opening ass conversation with my mom and sister. I was asking them about a skirt I saw in a store last year that I really liked.
    Me: Remember that skirt we saw in Forever 21 that I liked?
    Mom: yeah
    Me: Well I wanna see if they still carry it!
    Sister: Why? All you're going to do is say "what is the use of buying it? I don't go anywhere anyway" and you won't wear it out!
    Mom: (laughs) You do say that!
    Me: Well now I could care less now, I need clothes and I'm getting clothes tomorrow!
    Mom: (sarcasm) WOW TAYLOR!
    Me: I've matured since then!


    My family revealed to me how I was robbing myself of fucking clothes because I felt I didn't need that because I didn't have anywhere to go with anyone to wear them!

    BUT because I've chosen to be my own friend, I see that my friend needs to expand her wardrobe just because!
     
    #6 INFJok, Jan 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
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  7. OP
    Erlian

    Erlian Community Member

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    My (especially) early teen years were characterised by me not daring to take social initiative. I didn't want to be pushy. I had friends were I was with people anyway (sports, school), but none after school or sports was done. In my very late teens I remedied this. But I've too often experienced being too pushy. Too intense. Normally I'm careful and laid back, but when I deem secure and have a friend I let my fears of being pushy go and sometimes end up being pushy. I know I shouldn't go back to being too careful. Since I've taken initiative my social life has become much better. Every moment I realise I had been too intense has been incredibly painful. It's exactly what I don't want to be. The middle way is too hard to find.

    Ha, lovely story!

    I don't see my problem like that. That I don't accept myself. But maybe it's true somewhere deep down.
    I like myself. I accept myself. I think I'm the most awesome person I've ever met. At least in the way I know myself. I'm just not perfect in showing others all my awesomeness right away.
    During my two days of fear I was disappointed in those new friends. My expectations had been too high.

    Ah found it. I don't doubt myself or who I am. But I doubt what I do. I doubt my acts.
    In this case. Was I too intense? Did I want too much? Did I chase them away?
    I can forgive myself for making mistakes and even if the exclusion wasn't so much my fault, I still need to work on being included. How do I go about doing that?
    The past happened. I know and understand why it happened. Nothing I can do about it. The future is more interesting. Do I take more intiative in finding new friends, possibly investing too much social energy and risk rejection? Do I sit back and see what happens, possibly getting too lonely and depressed?

    Probably the first, but with moderation...
     
  8. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    Hehe, I -am- now having this issue. And you know what? I think they can smell desperation.

    In my case it becomes a sense of doormating (...or at least. some sees it as such, some sees it as accomodating, those few that gets to be the UNlucky focus of attention gets to call me bitchy. Ironic, eh?)

    I think a lot of our situation are different (I am, for instance, not exactly trying to be a leader; just a nurturer. And it is not after finding I enjoy companionship after being silent for so long; but the opposite-- for me, I enjoy other people's appreciation, but except for a select few, those I want them to stay....don't.)

    But I think the key lies in some very basic thing : we both put too much importance in this.

    Too much baggage handed to them, and again-- I think people can sense it.

    And also a certain kind of untreated vulnerability; as if we are breaking without them.

    We will if we let it be.
    My advice to you and the present me is to appreciate ourselves and the silence surrounding us. A sense of self-worth.

    That can change a lot of things.

    *hugssss
     
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  9. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    Also this fucking this.
     
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  10. OP
    Erlian

    Erlian Community Member

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    Definitely. They smell and sense it. Unconsciously though. They just 'like' you less and they have no clue why. But they do.
     
  11. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    I went through this before. From both sides. Kinda like this...
    [video=youtube;ADH_s4pBR3Q]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADH_s4pBR3Q[/video]
     
  12. Lark

    Lark Rothchildian Agent

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    This used to trouble me, although I might have called it something else other than social exclusion, when I was younger, now it doesnt.

    I actually managed to get put in serious jeopardy as a consequence of wishing to socialise more and choosing poorly the people it was safe to do so with, to my credit I dont believe I was the only person to experience something like this with these individuals but I was highly dubious of one of them, just dubious of another and a lot of the usual signs of safety were not to be trusted in that situation. It allowed me to learn and I have time to plan and execute retaliation for losses. I generally operate in a "for three generations" time frame when comes to revenge or what I would consider a proportionate response to being wronged or harmed.

    Anyway, I sort of read a lot of stoic handbooks, other similar sources about clear thinking, framing, reframing and responding therapeutically to others (but I applied it to myself and my own internal dialogue) and applied it all, not specifically to the concerns about exclusion but generally and including that.

    There are people who will prey upon those sorts of worries and anxieties and deliberately stir them up amongst the unwary and unsuspecting, reference my own experience, so there's always that to keep in mind as a consolation, that you're avoiding that if you decrease your sensitivity to perceived exclusion or popularity struggles, this is also something which I have found changes with age and circumstances, when I was at university for the second time there was a thriving student community, lots and lots of popular clubs and societies, although in the years after that my social opportunities were very, very, very circumscribed, I've tried to investigate, even organise more of a similar sort of thing among friends or the local community and its just not been possible for one reason or another or simply did not work out. I attribute that to demographics, time, money, shared interests, even intellect and the factor of people's willingness, most people have small, persisting social scenes comprised of family and neighbours, that's it, that's all they can handle or want.
     
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  13. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    And how horrible the feeling was; the gnawing anxiety of OMG WHY ARE THEY NOT COMING WHY WHY.

    *hug hug*
    Some people had the ability to fake looking chill-- but why fake it and add another layer of deception?
    Possessing -true- self worth is rarely a bad thing, after all.
     
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  14. OP
    Erlian

    Erlian Community Member

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    Nah, one thing I've always been superb at is making my own choices against the face of group pressure.
    Revenge? I've never ever considered that, except maybe during a short burst of anger.

    I know some of those tricks. Reframing stuff in internal dialogue etc. For me they don't work the same day though. This fear I wrote the thread about lasted two days. Then I got to think clearly and reframe my position. Writing this thread helped.
    This fear isn't something I experience every month. It just returns a few times a year for a couple of days.

    In my current case the bolded might apply. They want a small social scene. I don't get why you would go on exchange for half a year though if you are like that. I always assumed that extraverted people are more likely to go on exchange to a foreign country. You'll have to do a lot of socialising and make new friends. Something I feel most introverts aren't too keen on. However, seeing as most people here consider me an extravert, my assumption didn't apply to the people I met.

    I had the expectation of finding loads of extraverted people to spend lots of time with. I was wrong :/

    The good part of faking is that you might actually fake yourself and believe that you are confident. Try smiling in a mirror. You fake yourself in believing that you are happy, thus you become happy. It's funny how you can manipulate yourself with those tricks.
     
  15. Solongo

    Solongo Well-known member

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    Social fears are the most difficult to deal with. The best way to combat the fears and breakthrough them is by validating and approving yourself and your actions without the need to feel like you will be nothing if you don't belong. The idea of belonging and acceptance by others is an illusion because the illusion will persist as long as you seek outside validation. But once you approve yourself and validate yourself for your efforts and the reasons you take those actions; you will have more space to be who you are. And through this authenticity you will be included and accepted.

    Another aspect that can be controlled is your environment. Sometimes it is as simple as that you are around the wrong kind of people. Usually being accepted and included happens naturally and without so much exertion when you are around like minded individuals.
     
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  16. Alomoes

    Alomoes Community Member

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    I for one, am thankful for my fears. Without them, I'm nobody. I can relate to being alone, but just remember, you have yourself. Your friends will come when they see it.
     
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    #16 Alomoes, Jan 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
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    Erlian

    Erlian Community Member

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    That sounds interesting.

    I've always seen fear and anger as emotions that easily escalate. They do more bad than good.
    For anger it's not a large issue, because I hardly ever get angry. Fear however...

    Can you elaborate and educate me on the appreciation of fears?
     
  18. Alomoes

    Alomoes Community Member

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    Fear is the first step in learning about the self. First, you must recognize what your fear is. My fear is of being wrong. It is why I spend my days researching, why I feel compelled towards the gratification of others. Now I know what my fear is, I can reject it. It will never go away, and in a vulnerable mood, it may come back in full force. My rejection is this. Even if I am wrong now, it doesn't matter. I will learn latter.

    But what of the man or woman who never listens to his fears? Time catches up with him. And then he's dead, life a waste, never achieving what he sought in the first place. So goes the balance. Fear drives me to act.
     
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    Erlian

    Erlian Community Member

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    Yeah that makes sense, but I normally define fear as something that's worse. Not just ambition.
    I fear missing out. I fear being excluded. I extremely fear being hated. I fear being unlikable. I fear disappointing someone. I fear being wrong. I fear being too emotional. I fear being heartless.

    I know this and I combat it. I take initiative socially. I try to be nice to everyone. I research a lot and know quite a bit in many scientific areas. And much more.

    Above all, I fear fear. As the wise man Bacon once said: "Nil terribile nisi ipse timor." Nothing is terrible except fear itself.

    Fear makes me unreasonable. It makes me obsess. I wouldn't call the above 'fears' to be real fear. They have been fears of mine and sometimes they return, but mostly I got them covered. Besides, social fears cripple your social performance.
     
  20. BrokenDaniel

    Infraction Bin

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    Give yourself a break... It's pretty unreasonable to be liked by everyone, maybe imposible, and ime, it's pretty much other people's bussiness, not yours, nor nothing to do with you as a person.
     
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