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I have a blindspot regarding my social skills and need advice on how to figure this out

Hello!

Let me preface with this:

I usually have the impression, when I am with friends, that I am giving off high value. I am respectful and funny. We usually laugh a lot and also have deep and connecting conversations. I reach out to everyone regularly and show reciprocal behavior. This is with everyone in my life that I consider a friend.

Now to my problem. Something in the way that I act or talk must make me undesirable to the people around me. I think this way, because my life usually ends up in situations where my social circle dissolves to nothing and my attempts at reconnecting with people are welcomed but not paid back. And this is, despite my impression of providing value. I could list a couple of examples, like friends from university, that I even went and visited, but have not heard from them after in a long time. Everyone seems to just drift off and just doesn't see any need to contact me or to include me in their life. Which hurts me a lot, especially if I invested in them beforehand.

Now: I am doing something wrong, but I just can't figure out what it is. It could be connected to my general situation, looking at you Covid and Unemployment, but I feel like the people I once considered my friends, should be interested in me regardless of my current Jobsituation.

Sorry if I rambled a bit, I guess I am just asking on how can I approach finding out the issue that keeps people from contacting me and engaging with me.

Thanks, Omar

Hello Omar,

I had the same problem. Here is what I could recommend:

  1. Find people who are more like you and have the same interests, values, mindset, humor
  2. Work on your self-esteem: you are valuable
  3. Invite people to things they would enjoy doing with you: board games, hikes, etc.
  4. Identify givers and takers around you: avoid takers and spend more time with givers
  5. Buy Power University to learn power dynamics

Read these articles:

These articles should help you and are free.

Basically, I think by studying social skills and power dynamics, you will be able to identify what is preventing you from achieving the social life you want.

Now, going back to your specific situation, could you give a specific and detailed example of a typical example where you felt like that?

Transitioned, Zen Mauri and - have reacted to this post.
TransitionedZen Mauri-

Hey John, thanks for your answer. I will look at the suggested articles in hope to find some answers!

Regarding the examples I'll try to be as detailed as possible without writing a wall of text:

Example #1

I used to go to sports practice with a friend from university. We became good friends at that time seeing each other multiple times a week. He invited me to join his birthday and we started to form a friendship. After Corona hit and university and sports-practice died down, I made multiple efforts to keep in touch. In our last conversation via text, I gave him an update on my life and haven't gotten an answer so far, which is no big deal. But I was expecting at least some kind of reaching out or similar from him, since then, which did not happen. The point is he obviously does not see the need to contact me in any way.

Example #2

In my current apartment building I made friends with two guys that I like a lot. During the lock-down we saw each other almost everyday, before lock-down we used to go out every weekend. I always had the impression that the times we had together were loads of fun. Well I then started noticing that they would meet without telling me. I would see them downstairs coming back from grocery shopping and they would be just as friendly as always, but I would wonder why they did not try to contact me to join them. Now I have not heard from anyone in two weeks and I don't really understand why. I checked in on one of them three different times in a span of two to three days each time, with low-investment texts, because I already did not really feel like I was the one supposed to do that, but each time got back one sentence answers. I feel like they are including each other in their daily lives a lot and leaving me out. Here again the point is that they seem to be "good" with everything. They don't feel like inviting me because they don't really care, if I am there or not. Or else I would be invited.

Example #3

Around one month ago I texted an old friend that I hadn't seen in around a year, just making Smalltalk and asking to meet sometime. We were very good friends before that, meeting and talking everyday almost. He invited me to his place a bunch of times already at this point but it just never happened. So after I reached out he invited me again and I drove there and we just smoked shisha and talked about old times. Since then we had no contact again. I was not really waiting for him to reach out, but I could not help but notice, that again someone that I tried to have regular contact with, did not see the need to contact me again.

I don't know if the examples are telling enough to get my point across, but the thing is: If I feel like it is my "turn" to reach out to someone or when a long time has passed since our last interaction, I have no issue making the first step again. But always being the one to initiate any contact cant be right. To summarize these examples I would say, these people are generally pleased about me reaching out, but something in my behavior keeps them from taking the next step. From actively engaging with me. Which results in me not really having any strong relationships in my life. I often used to say that I don't have any friends, which I now think is untrue. It is more like I have friends, but I don't know how to make them a firm part of my life. And this is something that I notice with the woman in my life too, but I am mostly focusing on friendships with male friends right now.

Example 1

It's about "what's in it for them". I'm sorry to say it. However, we are all motivated by self-interest. I would figure out what this person needs/wants from me. And I would figure out if I'm willing to provide it. There's a post about that on the forum, WIIFT.

Example 2

I would invite them to do something. Same as above WIIFT. Stop caring about how people are feeling about you. Offer them things they want.

Example 3

Same as before: WIIFT. Offer value, read the article about the law of social exchange.

Conclusion

Be Pro-active in your social life. Be a leader. When you'll give to people and organise stuff for people, they will recognise that you have a high status. And they will respect you. Always remember that we are animals. Otherwise, all this will never make sense. We are here to survive and reproduce. However, fun is also part of life. It's a very valuable value. I would focus on providing fun to all these people. Organise events and invite them. Make sure they're top notch events where they would like to come (AKA make an offer they cannot refuse).

Shift your mindset from: "why don't people contact me" to "I'm going to organise kick-ass events and CHOOSE (see the power here?) who I'm going to invite". Your whole life will change.

I would also work on my external layer: how you dress, hygiene, body language. These are all fixes that will make you more attractive. Dress up.

Also, read the articles I sent you.

Finally: I think these people are not your friends. They are acquaintances. Friends are interested about what is going on with your life, they want to be part of your life and they want to see you win. They're looking forward to your success. They are your allies. You'll find better friends. Start or continue your journey into self-development and people will want to be more and more around you.

See my post for encouragement.

Everything that happened to you, it happened to me as well. I have always been a very social guy. But in adulthood I lost friends and I did not understand why. However, wherever I go I always make friends. I have friends all over the World actually. What I understood was that:

  1. They were not the right people for me: they did not really want to see me win. They'd rather feel good about themselves if they would do better than me. So they were not my friends anymore. We were friends for a time, but not after. It took me so many years to acknowledge that, I'm a bit ashamed of it. I am very loyal in friendship, so I would say this betrayal from my old friends is one of the most painful emotional experience in my life.
  2. I did not have the right social skills: I was talking too much, not listening enough, I was trying to get recognised, I wanted attention, etc. This is all good as this was my level of emotional development. Hopefully, through a job where I interact everyday with people I could start to better understand socialisation as an adult. This is quite different than socialisation as a child or as a teenager I think. There are new layers to understand.

So I would recommend warmly that you become a student of social skills. And do Power University, it will change your life.

To your future Success!

Lucio Buffalmano and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew Whitewood

PS: what I also mean is that it is important to find your tribe. The people with whom you can be yourself and who will appreciate you. I would start with your hobbies/passion.

Lucio Buffalmano, Matthew Whitewood and Transitioned have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew WhitewoodTransitioned

Totally agree with John s points.  Team sports is an easy one for guys.  Say you want to try it out.  Invite yourself to the inevitable beers.  ' man I m thirsty you guys mind if I tag along'. See who s most welcoming go with that club.

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