This is an interesting point because I actually do have a core of friends, from my hometown, that I don't worry about being out of touch with for a while, because I know I can just hit them up again (and occasionally I do hear from some of them on their initiative). Then I have an inner core who I reach out to and they reach out to me regularly. The problem is that I am very fortunate to have one of those friends in DC. I moved from my hometown to here and have found forming any real relationships to be exceedingly difficult. The one good friend I do have here, I have because we happen to work together. Another of my coworkers is a friend, but a shallow one - we aren't friends on the level where she would even ask me to do some of the things that Tim mentioned upthread.Synsensa wrote: ↑Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:43 pmI'm guilty of this, I think. A lot of the people I described in my OP would probably say they were emotionally invested in me, and I... don't really share it. For most people in my life, I'm completely fine if I don't hear from them again for several months. I'm fine with just ending a conversation after a few minutes, and I'm not particularly inquisitive about their identity or their opinions unless they need help.
I get away with this by never talking about myself in 1-on-1 conversations with most people. When we do talk, it's always about them or a common interest. They usually don't notice the discrepancy and it gets me the label of good listener or free psychologist. It works for me, but I imagine these people would feel as bad as you do if they caught on that I was intentionally putting subtle walls up so they couldn't get any closer to me.
I share a lot more on CFC and here than I do with people I'm meant to be friends with.
It's also interesting that you share a lot more on CFC than with "people you're meant to be friends with" (just putting in quotes because I'm not exactly sure what you mean by it). For me, it's the opposite - I'm generally more "intimate" with the people I'm close to in meatspace. I do sometimes share things on the internet that I wouldn't share with people in real life, but I generally play cards closer to the chest with (relatively) anonymous internet folk. I say relatively because of course most spaces on the internet are only quasi-anonymous, this being a good example of a space where we don't know each other (mostly) in real life, but we do have consistent 'characters' that we've built up over time, and we're pretty familiar with each others' online characters.
People don't reach out to me anymore, but I think that's because I kept saying 'no' to their offers. They would reach out and invite me to things, but they would be things that I could not do. Even if I wanted nothing more than to go or participate, I would not be able to. After a while they stopped bothering. At first I thought this was a 'me' problem. After thinking on it, though, I realize that the only realistic avenue in a scenario like this is to invite people to things they can do instead of things you want to do. This is something most people don't grok, in my experience.
When I invite someone to an activity, I try to make sure it's something that everyone involved can actually do and derive benefit from. For many others, it seems the focus is instead on, "What do I want to do? Is there anyone I can invite to do it with me?"
That you say you have no emotional investment in these people makes sense to me because my mark of lacking emotional investment is precisely claiming you can't do something that the person invites you to do, without then making a counteroffer that works for you. In my experience when people do this it basically means they don't want to take their relationship with you any further, whether that relationship be friendship or something else.
Some people will be genuine and just tell you up front they aren't interested (full disclosure: I am not one of those people). Most will simply come up with excuses not to hang out, over and over, and hope that eventually the fact that they aren't making any counter-invites sinks in.