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Dear Boggle, welcome back. You've talked about how it's important to like new friends for the humans that they are, not as instruments to prevent loneliness. I'm in a vicious circle where I am losing friends to moves and child-raising, but not meeting new people, because, until I stop being lonely, I feel that I'll just be using people. But as a result I get more isolated. Is there a way to forget that I am lonely long enough to enjoy some people on their own merits? Thank you for your time.
I don’t think you have to stop feeling lonely before you can make new friends! I just think it’s important to take an honest interest in them as people. Remember that how you are making THEM feel is just as important as how they make you feel.
It’s totally okay to want to make friends because you are lonely! And it’s okay if part of why you enjoy talking to someone - anyone! - is because you are tired of being by yourself. You just need to be respectful of the other person’s individuality and comfort! After all, your new friendship is just as much about them as it is about you.
Hello Boggle. I have a question for you. How do you be a friend? I try making friends but I keep on getting stuck half way. It's always ends up being, "Would they like to be friends with me or just stay acquaintances?" I'm ok either way but its just the not knowing which one is what messes me up. Its like how do you hang out with people without appearing clingy? Be nice to someone without being weird or creepy? This not knowing feeling always leaves me feeling like I did something wrong.
Well, you know, the usual advice is “just go for it,” “what have you got to lose,” “ask them to go play laser tag with you because everybody loves laser tag,” etc etc. But I don’t get the impression that’s what you really want to hear?
I think maybe it will help to ask yourself if you want to be someone’s friend because you’re interested in them as a person, or if you only want to be their friend so that you’ll feel less lonely.
I think latching on to people to mitigate your own loneliness is what comes off as clingy or creepy. Because that’s using people, you know? And nobody likes how that feels.
But if you’re really interested in this person, and that invitation to laser tag comes from a genuine place, because you want to spend more time in their company, they’ll feel that too. And that’s a great feeling! We all want to know that people like being around us!
This is just my feeling, but I think if you approach your prospective friends with respect and sincerity, you can’t really go wrong!
How do you cope with acknowledging that there may be something really wrong with you? How do you not let a diagnosis define you?
Sometimes it’s hard! Especially when your disease stops you from working, or spending time with your friends, or working on hobbies, or, you know, all the other stuff you WANT to use to define yourself.
You guys know that I struggle with depression and anxiety. A “good day,” for me, is one when I can go outside without psyching myself up first. A “bad day” is one when I can’t make myself go outside at all. Sometimes I really want some M&Ms or something, but those are outside, so I don’t get any. It’s hard not to let that turn into the defining characteristic of my life.
But the way I think of it is like—okay, imagine there’s this person. They’re great. They’re smart, and funny, and they have interesting things to say; they’re just a wonderful person to have around.
Then you strap a 200 pound boulder to their back.
They’re still a wonderful person. They’re just a wonderful person with a 200 pound boulder on their back. That’s going to make a lot of things difficult for them! Like climbing stairs, or getting through doors, or going on second dates.
Some people will only see the boulder, too. They’ll be like, “Ugh, there goes Boulder Girl, holding up sidewalk traffic again.”
But not everyone is like that, and you don’t have to think of yourself like that. Yeah, the boulder is a big deal. It’s not like you’re ever going to forget it’s there. But there’s still a person under the boulder. You can be a good and interesting and funny person even though you have to deal with this burden.
It’s not fun, and I sure would like the boulder to go away, but I don’t feel like I’m any less valuable a human being for lugging this thing around, and neither are you.
if we sent you an ask for advice a while ago, and you haven't responded, should we resend it? in case you've lost it? :)
I keep all the messages I get, so it’s in here somewhere! But if you want to re-send so I know that you’re still reading, and that you’d see an answer if I posted one, go ahead! Just please keep in mind that I receive many more messages than I can answer.
Can you give us some adorable owls please?
I am working on it! I am doing it right now! It’s just that I lost my old computer and all of my brush presets and templates and color swatches and everything, and getting all of that set up again is really important but also really fiddly and time-consuming. Also I’m trying some new art things? For a while now, I’ve wanted Boggle to look more…owly! But I am not a very good artist, so there is a lot of fiddling and tweaking going on.
But the thing is open! In another window, right now, owls are happening!
Okay hang on guys, I need to finish a thing for work and then I’ll draw some owls. Expect owls in a couple hours.
Hi there Boggle, I'm Ralph from Daytona, FL. I have screwed up big time, I have turned people who were my friends away from me because of my behaviors. I regret the way I acted, but it's too late, I feel like they all hate me. I've never felt so hopeless. :( Are there any words AT ALL that you could give me to perk myself up and give me hope? Please write back if so. Take your time, being an owl is hard, I'm sure, but I look forward to your response.
I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can say to make this feeling go away. Regret is just a part of having a conscience. Although it doesn’t really help to hear it, I am proud of you.
I am sure you have apologized and tried to make amends. It sounds like you are scared that you won’t be able to fix the trust you broke no matter what you do. That is a miserable feeling, and I am very sad to say that it might be true.
I know you are a good person, and I know you deserve to have friends. But it is possible that you won’t get to have THESE friends anymore. Maybe some or even all of them will forgive you, with time. But if you are already doing everything you can to make things right, then whether or not they let you back into their lives is up to them. The sad fact is that you don’t always get to fix the things you break.
You will know lots of people in your life, and have lots of chances to get things right. Whether these friends forgive you or not, I know you will have people in your life who love you again. And I know that you will treat them with more care. I don’t know how to make you feel better right now, and I don’t even know if that’s wise. But if this feeling weren’t so awful, it wouldn’t be strong enough to make us change.
Take care of yourself out there.
Boggle are you there?
Yes, I am here! I am still reading all of your messages! I got a bunch of new ones all at once over the last two days, did I get linked from somewhere? I am working very hard on getting back into the right frame of mind to be able to update again, and I hope it will be very soon! I have been doing much better over the last week or two. Until then, I am thinking about you guys and this blog every day! Thank you all so much for your kind patience!
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