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How to lose friends and alienate people - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
How to lose friends and alienate people
I'm giving up IRC for the time being. Partly because it's taking up too much work time, and partly because I think generally it's currently doing me more harm than good.

Newsgroups and mailing lists have been getting me down. I'm so, so tired of everybody assuming that if I say "I feel..." or "I believe..." what I really meant to say must have been "I think you are evil and bad and wrong if you do not..." or "I despise you for failing to realise that...". It's just so wearing to have to preface everything I say with "I think, personally, for me, personally, in my head, NOT YOUR HEAD, MY HEAD."

I've been terrible, utterly terrible, at replying to email recently. Not because I don't have time, but because I just start to feel stressed when I think about replying, and then I put it off, and the longer I put it off, the harder it becomes to 'get round to' replying, because the layers of I'm-sorry-I-haven't-written-for-ages become harder to negotiate, and so on, and so forth.

I'm being an intolerable housemate and a crap friend to sion_a. I'm still filling his house with rubbish that just weighs him down and makes him unhappy, and it's not even making me happy, but I don't seem to be able to get round to getting rid of stuff, even the stuff I've already marked out for selling / giving away. And he's always unhappy, and there's nothing I can do about it; I don't know if I make it worse, because he can't say, but I feel sure that I do.

I feel as though a lot of my friends are going through awful times at the moment and there's nothing I can do to help; posting "*hugs*" on LiveJournal feels so futile, so patronising, but not doing so feels as though I must appear not to care.

I'm being a crap girlfriend, but I Don't Talk About That.

I'm so tired.

Current Mood: worn down

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Comments
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: May 10th, 2004 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm being an intolerable housemate and a crap friend to sion_a.

Whatever you think about yourself, I think you're brilliant in many different ways. Even if you think my reasons for thinking you're brilliant are wrong, I still stand by them.

Of course, saying "many different ways" is inviting me to list them:
  • Intelligent and knows what to do with it as an excellent writer even among high company.
  • Fantastic sense of fun and always really enjoyable, uplifting company whenever I've been with you, not often enough. Funny and magnetic online as well as in real life.
  • Struggled long and hard when times were more difficult than they are now, and managed, and got through, and coped, and survived.
  • You have fascinating ideas and approach everyday concepts in interesting and important new ways that I would never have thought of myself.
  • Awesome cake artist, implying not only talent but the dedication to see designs through from start to finish. Don't underestimate how cool a social skill this is.
  • Sexier than at least seven of the circles of hell. (Reference data: mean = 2.5, SD = 1.4.)
  • Deep thinker and very knowledgable in myriad ways due to reading so many books - perhaps not the instant-recall quizzy ways, but the useful understanding ways.
  • Unusually strong to do so much despite a wide variety of different and difficult challenges in your life. Please remember your demonstrably very strong times as well as the more distressing ones.
  • Tons of friends; interesting ones, provocative ones, ones worth knowing. No, that's not a partition; all the parts of the Venn diagram are full.
  • You care; you care about people, places, things, feelings, thoughts. You give a shit. That's a hell of a lot more than most.
  • You dare. You are brave. You do proactively interesting things. You fight difficult fights. You live with integrity.


That's not a *hugs*; that's a statement of fact as to what I think about you, whether or not you think it's complete rubbish, whether or not it is complete rubbish. Would you like me to provide examples for each of those? I can do so easily; in fact, I would enjoy it.

You have a heck of a lot of good points, even if everything bad you said about yourself were to be true by some other pessimistic perception.

Rock on!
oldbloke From: oldbloke Date: May 11th, 2004 01:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Chin up!

[I spoze that's only funny for peeps who read uk.misc, and maybe not even then. Oh well. It's the thought that counts.]
nja From: nja Date: May 11th, 2004 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Made I laugh. And j4, I think you're being patient beyond reasonableness with Alex at the moment, certainly beyond my level of tolerance for his idiocy. And if you think you have a lot of crap which needs to be disposed of but you're too pathetic to do it, you ought to see my front "bedroom".

That's two sentences starting with "and". And that's not good, is it?
juggzy From: juggzy Date: May 11th, 2004 01:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wot AJN said. You are being an Angel. I don't know, and this might sound strange, but I would guess that Alex is also thankful for your patience and your time.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 11th, 2004 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even after explaining that crap joke? :-/

Humour is so hard to explain. I mean, I could witter on about metaphor and intertextuality and juxtaposition and what-have-you but it feels rather like plucking the feathers off angels.
lusercop From: lusercop Date: May 11th, 2004 02:16 am (UTC) (Link)
There's not much I can say after such a text, but only that it's not worth, IMO, assuming that everyone feels like that about you. Whatever you feel about yourself, it's highly likely to be more critical than everyone outside your head is likely to feel.

If it's any consolation I brought a good friend of mine to tears last night, which was quite depressingly bad. On the other hand, it makes you realise how friendships work, and that people don't have to have the same views as you, and that even after something like the above, it's possible to reconcile the differences.

I was flattered that you wanted me to come to your party on Saturday, and I had a really good time, which can all be put down to you (I wouldn't have been in cambridge otherwise). So, it's not all gone to the dogs yet. And I, personally, will miss seeing you in IRC, though I understand what you mean about the time-sink aspect.
ghirlracer From: ghirlracer Date: May 11th, 2004 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I know I don't know you well enough to really comment much, but just wanted to say that just about everything you've said there sounds like things I do/feel as well at times. Not sure I can really say anything to help here, as I'm totally useless at coming up with anything useful to say, but your thoughts reflected a lot of things that I often feel, so you're not alone, anyway.

Catriona R.
oldbloke From: oldbloke Date: May 11th, 2004 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Intrigued by your nick I followed the link.
Now I'm going to have to Friend you to find out all about your racing - need somebody to support since Ade Vickers claims not to have the cash to run his Capri this year. Do you ever come down here to drive, at all? Oulton's my nearest.
ghirlracer From: ghirlracer Date: May 11th, 2004 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lol, hadn't realised my name might imply that I'm a real racing driver! :-) Just a fan, sadly - I'd love to have a go at the real thing, but the closest I get is online, using computer simulations. I do a lot of that, but I've never found the money to have a go for real, although one day I might be able to save up enough to have a race at Knockhill in something.
oldbloke From: oldbloke Date: May 12th, 2004 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
That'll teach me to speedread when I haven't been trained to!
If I win the lottery I'll get a Caterham or similar; otherwise I imagine I'll never drive on a track.
d_floorlandmine From: d_floorlandmine Date: May 11th, 2004 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
in my head, NOT YOUR HEAD, MY HEAD
[rueful grin]

And have some futile, patronising [hugs].
[mwah]

Sounds like things are getting you down. I'd give you a call sometime for a chat ... only I've just realised that I don't think I've got your number. Mine's in my Memories, if you want it.
dorianegray From: dorianegray Date: May 11th, 2004 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Newsgroups and mailing lists have been getting me down. I'm so, so tired of everybody assuming that if I say "I feel..." or "I believe..." what I really meant to say must have been "I think you are evil and bad and wrong if you do not..." or "I despise you for failing to realise that...". It's just so wearing to have to preface everything I say with "I think, personally, for me, personally, in my head, NOT YOUR HEAD, MY HEAD."

Hm. I think I know where at least some of that is coming from.

Let me just say that I, for one, saw nothing offensive, accusatory, insulting or attacking in anything you said, even before you hit the "my head only" bit. I think certain persons were just overreacting a little. Shrug, move on. Because let's face it, if people do not understand simple phrases like "I think" and "I feel", they are hardly worth bothering with anyway.

You did nothing wrong and should not now have to feel bad. Okay? You got that? ::hard stare:: :-)
j4 From: j4 Date: May 11th, 2004 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Och, that kind of reaction is by no means limited to the place you're thinking of. And in fact lots of people emailed me off-list there to say "Don't worry, you weren't being offensive, they were being touchy". Which is nice, though now I feel slightly guilty in case I looked like I was just angling for people to do that. (Argh.) But thank you for reassurance here as well.

I do "shrug, move on" but at the same time I do feel a bit bad because the offended party obviously was quite offended, not just being argumentative; I think if nothing else I hit a sore spot, and I don't like doing that, even by accident.

Ho hum. People, huh?
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