HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » People » Loners (Group) » what we owe ourselves vs ...

Wed Nov 4, 2015, 10:25 AM

what we owe ourselves vs what we owe others

I know this is a low activity forum, and my post is long,
but if anyone has a comment I would appreciate it.
I keep thinking about this:

Yesterday I was sitting in a spot in the park, where I sit in the sun, there are birds and trees.
I bring some coffee, an apple, a book.
Yesterday was a surprisingly warm day for Nov, I was really enjoying sitting by myself.
Plus, I had just come thru a difficult emotional period, and I was really relishing the feeling of peace I had and I was enjoying being by myself.

so suddenly someone walks up behind me, it is someone I've known for years.
For the last couple of years he's been on anti-depressants and is, as they say, "low affect".
ie. he mostly does not talk, except he will answer questions. (one word or two).

Sometimes I invite him to go for a walk because a) I don't think he gets out very much and he likes to be with people, and b) altho someone who doesn't say a word, sometimes it can be somewhat nervous-making, but on the other hand sometimes it can be relaxing not to deal with someone's chatter. c) because he is my friend.

So yesterday, he sat down next to me on the grass.
I did NOT want him there. I didn't want to be sociable with anyone.
So I tried to think what to do -
make up a sudden appointment, and leave? I didn't want to bec. I really like this location, and besides in another hour, the sun would be setting.

I really couldn't say "I'd like to be alone", could I?
Could you?
I think that would be very hurtful....

so I waited. I asked him if he minded if I continued to read my book cuz it was such a good mystery book. He said he didn't, so I did.
But I couldn't read, cuz i kept thinking, "Gee I wish I could be alone"

anyway... in about 15 minutes he left, but I been thinking ever since--
sometimes it is a difficult balance-
between one's own needs and others'.

I know for him, the best outcome would have been, if I had initiated conversation with him. But conversation with him is a one-person endeaver, and I just was not in the mood to make that kind of effort.

8 replies, 1923 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 4, 2015, 11:27 AM

1. Tough situation. Been there. You did what you could at the time to handle (juggle)

your feelings. If, or when, I truly want to be alone (I find myself wanting this more and more as I age), I stay away from places where I could be bothered. That's hard when you have to deny yourself the park, for instance. Maybe if you had said to your friend, "I'm not good company today...and need to be alone" you wouldn't be second guessing yourself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to snappyturtle (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 05:00 AM

3. that's good! I didn't think of that. I'm sure he would have understood that. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellenrr (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 01:03 PM

4. That's the problem for me too. I never think of the right thing to say when I need it!

I would just explain to him, if this continues to bother you, the next time you run into him or invite him for a walk that you didn't have the right words at the time to explain your situation. That way he won't think you preferred your book over him. imho


'

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to snappyturtle (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 6, 2015, 06:15 AM

5. some other responses in a similar situation which I think are very nice

I got these on another forum. They make me smile, and feel more comfortable about the whole thing.
I share them, perhaps they will be useful...
Also, I invited the same friend on a nature walk, (with/in a group) and he accepted happily; so I think this reassures him that I do like his company.
thank you for your feedback.


"I just love this kind of peace, this solitude. Perfect warm November day. An apple and a good book. I hope you're not looking for much conversation. I'm just kind of unwinding..."
Make it a 'zen moment' with a semi-stranger.
He neither takes nor gives. You speak your thoughts out loud. Then wish him a good evening and walk away.

===
Have you ever seen cats just sit with each other and not communicate ?
Sometimes people just want the presense of another person they trust nearby.
It's a Zen like experience.

==
Let me tell ya, one thing I'm sure of is that peace + sunshine + zen + happiness attracts people like moths to a flame! Just remember, when we are at peace, sometimes we are in a good position to share that. I'm sure your friend got more out of it than you know

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellenrr (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 6, 2015, 04:19 PM

6. I think the second response you got fits your situation...

...you gave him the comfort of your presence, if not your conversation. A lot of the time, that's enough.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mak3cats (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 6, 2015, 04:33 PM

7. And the more I think of this...

...you very kindly asked if he minded if you kept reading. Some people would take that as a hint that you wanted to be left alone, and depart. However, he said that he didn't mind, but stayed anyway, so at that point the responsibility became his. Very likely he finds your company pleasant and restful, so the fact that he stayed fifteen minutes meant he still "got something" out of your encounter.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mak3cats (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 7, 2015, 05:58 AM

8. that's a very nice feedback. thank you. One of the nicest

encounters I ever had-
a long time ago, someone I knew slightly asked me if I wanted to hang out.

I said I was on my way to a park, to read and write, but if she wanted to come with me that would be fine.

She did, and sat doing whatever,in silence, while I did my thing.

then when we left, she told me she had written a poem about me and about America (she was from another country) and it was sweet.

This is pretty rare in my experience, in our outer-driven society.
Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 4, 2015, 09:36 PM

2. We can't be everything

to everyone. He just came along at the wrong time for you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread