Author Topic: Hard time socializing  (Read 2053 times)

fern

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Hard time socializing
« on: July 15, 2015, 05:02:35 PM »
I've had a hard time with social events. Logistics is the first problem, I have a babysitter but my son won't let me out of his sight. I can't go anywhere unless it is during daytime preschool hours.

And then, no one is inviting me to anything and....I've lost my confidence.

I haven't been out with any friends since the death. The phone stopped ringing and I'm too afraid to call because I'm so worried no one wants to see me. It's a vicious cycle.

Finally an invite came to me and my son for a kids birthday party. We went. I did my best to be happy and friendly and participate in random chit chat. But I couldn't help noticing that everyone stopped talking when I came over. I think no one knew what to say. I don't know what to say either, I never talk to grownups anymore!

After the cake I realized I was sitting alone for a while. I got my son and we left.

Is this the rest of my life?

TooSoon

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Re: Hard time socializing
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2015, 05:21:20 PM »
I remember those days vividly, especially the kid birthday parties.  In looking back, I can see now how much of it was my own discomfort and feelings of being different as much as it was others' avoidance.  IIt goes with the territory, I'm afraid but it does change and it does get so much better.  Your confidence will return.  I promise.  Everything you are feeling is absolutely valid. 

Trying

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Re: Hard time socializing
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2015, 08:59:21 PM »
I know that feeling all too well!  I have always been socially shy and that feeling of conversations stopping when I walked in The room made me so self conscious.  I definitely have made my situation worse by not taking the initiative with friends and now they are drifting away.  My advice is to pick up the phone, make plans, and keep trying until it gets less awkward for everyone.

Oh, and always have an escape plan for the times you just can't stick it out! 
You will forever be my always.

lcoxwell

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Re: Hard time socializing
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2015, 08:31:30 PM »
It seems like many of us have had to face this issue of having difficulty socializing, after the death of our spouses. Over time, it does get easier. A few of the things that helped me included making myself get out of the house at least one time a week, making sure that wherever I went I had to speak to at least one other person; picking up the phone and calling at least one friend or family member every few days, rotating who I called; and attending community events, such as plays or concerts, in which I could be with people, without having to carry on prolonged conversations. Fortunately, my children were grown, which was a slight advantage, since I did not have to worry about finding babysitters. On the other hand, since I lived in a very small community, and had no children's parties or play dates to attend, I had to be more creative in finding social activities. Frankly, it was a lot of work and there were times when I truly struggled to hold it together, but it was very much worth it, for me.
"The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude." - Thornton Wilder

Thank you, my dearest Kenneth, for loving me and for giving me the best 13 years of my life.

gracelet

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Re: Hard time socializing
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2015, 06:40:29 AM »
Just chipping in, in agreement.  Over time, you'll find your energy levels increasing and the widow brain fog de-fogging, which really helps in social situations.  I used to have problems simply stringing sentences together verbally (hence the forum and my blog instead!), never mind having the fear of 'everyone is looking at me in pity. Shit, I'm going to cry'

My tips - cull people in your address book (if they haven't already culled themselves!) who you know for sure are not a healthy influence on your life, regardless of your own widowhood status.  You don't need emotional vampires around you who will suck out your mental reserves so don't invest the energies there. On the other hand, put yourself out there.  It's almost like dating.  You do really have to pick up the phone and ask and if you meet someone you like, go ahead and ask them if they want to hang out again.  Those acquaintances who you always thought were interesting but you never really had time to get to know - call them, email them. 

One thing I did, which may not work for everyone, was put a Facebook status out saying something like 'I have decided to change out my my pajamas and am venturing back into the world.  If anyone wants a coffee, get in touch.  Fill my diary!'  Some of the loosest connections got in touch and are now permanent fixtures in my address book.

Finally, BAGOS.  Go to a bago.  Host one.  Tell everyone to get on a plane to Amsterdam (this is what I did). Support of fellow wids is invaluable.  It helped me save my life.
Musings of this sarcastic but upbeat young widow can be read here : www.eerilycheerily.com

fern

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Re: Hard time socializing
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2015, 11:18:06 AM »
Bagos? I had to go online for that one but didn't find anything! What is it?

I live in the boonies but I put an ad on the local online bulletin board in the nearest town looking for other widows. No takers yet, but thanks for the idea.


Wheelerswife

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Re: Hard time socializing
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2015, 12:45:54 PM »
Ah, Fern. Bago is a made-up word that started on a previous young widow bulletin board. There is history behind the word, but it has become our own term for a social gathering of younger widows and widowers. They can be anything from a lunch or dinner to a long weekend where people plan activities and travel to meet each other. I don't know where you live, but you can check out the widowbago section of this board for something near you or post there to see if anyone wants to get together in your neck of the woods.

Sorry you had to pay the price of admission to our club.

Maureen 
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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Jen

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Re: Hard time socializing
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2015, 09:38:41 PM »
Many hugs to you. I struggled socially before my husband died-- I'm an introvert, and I never had any great desire for an active social life. By and large his company was sufficient. Now I find that I crave more human interaction, but people scare me-- I'm never sure what to say, and I'm generally convinced that whatever I end up doing is... not quite right, somehow. Add the wid thing to the mix, and-- ugh.

I'm going to third the bago idea, if you can get to one, or make one come to you. No one gets it like other wids.
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton