Social Value

Something I have thought a lot about is our social value, because it feels as if it is a bit skewed sometimes. People who are horrible still have a lot of friends, and people who are really nice sometimes don’t have any friends at all. Why?

Being the odd one out a lot of the time, I have noticed that much of our value is defined through our ability to be social. Everything is taken into consideration; I even read somewhere that your social value increases if you have attractive friends. And your overall value increases when your social value does. Obviously I don’t have any proof really, this is rather what I have observed in the people around me. If you don’t have a lot of social activities going on, your value as a person is perceived as being lower. For me this is very frustrating because I don’t have a lot of social things going on which I obviously want to change, but I will never have as many going on as most people because I don’t have that big a need. In fact, too much socializing exhausts me so I cannot do it every day. I think perhaps two or three times a month would be ideal for social outings, for me personally. Also, most of my interests aren’t social. Knitting, reading, writing…

Anyway, to illustrate what I mean with this perceived value I will give you an example which happened to me during the autumn last year. I had gone to an afterwork (since I actually am trying) and the subject of being social arose. I put in that I don’t have the same need as most other people, and that this is perceived as a negative thing. In fact, I don’t even do social things every week, I said. One girl looked at me and replied:

‘What’s wrong with you? At your age I was out all the time. You’ll be like a grandmother when you’re 30.’

It really got to me. Because I cannot bear to be out on social events every other night in the week, I’m perceived as faulty. And this obviously lowers my social value, generating a lesser general value and making me less desirable to hang out with – thus making it even harder to be social with other people. What a vicious circle!

And that, dear readers, is exactly a great part of the problem. If you are a slightly (or majorly) introverted person your social value is lower, if this means you don’t attend as many things as other people. This makes introversion less desirable than extroversion, and thus introversion is perceived as having a lower status. Then people avoid inviting you and you end up on your own more than you’d like. Obviously one cannot expect to be invited if one doesn’t make an effort to stay in touch and sometimes attend but I still feel more social people are valued more. This is really messed up, because often once an introverted person decides to make an input it’s both heartfelt and sincere. It’s not about not wanting to talk, it’s about not wanting to talk unless you have a valuable input. Quality, not quantity.

I have tried to ignore my own personality in this, and attended social things even though I have been so tired from people or just not wanted to. The result is that I find a quiet corner and sit silent, which makes a really bad impression too! It’s unfair that less social people get a lower social value, but we have to work with what we have. If you don’t feel social, don’t go. However, if you never go then you obviously cannot expect people will keep inviting you. We need to be allowed, and able, to be social according to our own abilities.

I believe this has played a part in my own situation. Most of my hobbies are such that I carry them out alone and for long periods I have been happy on my own. Now that I want more friends I find myself a bit isolated. As I’ve said before I do have friends, I just need a few more to do social things with.

I suppose that when I start doing more social things, that I can put up on Facebook, my social value and then general value will increase and this will mean more social invitations. It’s a science.


The Emperor’s Soul

A couple of days ago I finished reading The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson. I have loved all Sanderson’s books that I’ve read and this was no different. In fact, I found this almost more fascinating, and I haven’t read any of his books in a while so it was a bit of a rekindling of my love.

the emperors soul

What I find most fascinating with Sanderson’s books is that, based on the ones I’ve read, they all introduce new systems of magic and I absolutely adore it. He really works on the systems and explains how it works, and they have all been different. It makes it such a great part of the world the novel takes place in.

This book was about creating a soul and what I found most interesting was the system of doing it, rather than the main character. I want to know more and wish the book had been longer, or that there will at least be a sequel!

Dinner Time

Yesterday I saw a childhood friend. She came over for dinner. As kids we used to play all the time but then when we became older we drifted apart. Now we suddenly find ourselves in the same country, and city, so we decided to meet up. It was really nice! I hope we’ll keep spending time together =) It was so nice though that I forgot to take any pictures. Maybe next time!

What is an introvert?

I’ve mentioned a few times now that I’m an introvert. Why, even the title of the blog contains the word.

However, few people seem to know what this means, though I think the word itself carries with it a lot of negative connotations. This really shouldn’t have to be the case.


So What is an Introvert?

This is based on my personal experiences, which are that in our society outgoing, social and extrovert people receive more praise. If you are not as social, but more silent, you are viewed as a bit strange. I know I always have been. Thankfully I haven’t had a hard time at home with my parents because of it, they have actually always accepted it. When I was a child and had just started school, a teacher phoned my parents. She was very concerned. It was my dad who picked up the phone, and the conversation went as follows:

‘Amanda is often alone during the breaks. She just strolls around on the school yard and doesn’t play with the other children. We are very concerned!’
‘Does she seem sad?’ my dad asked.
‘Uhm, no, but…’
‘Then let her be.’

I have always found my own company to be sufficient and my thoughts are never still. And that is, perhaps, what characterizes an introvert. See, an extrovert need a lot of stimuli to be happy and not bored. They get it from spending time with others, and that is the way their batteries are recharged.

Introverts get stimuli from their own inside world, the thought processes and imagination. In contrast to the extroverted, and introvert gets tired from a lot of social stimulation and needs to be alone (usually) to recharge. Then it is possible to once more be social – should the desire arise.

Introversion is not shyness or fear. Rather it is an ability to appreciate the beauty of being alone, and wanting to be. It’s not about lacking passion or fire, but for it to show it needs to be regarding a subject that matters for us.

Our Power

Introverts don’t necessarily speak as much, or all the time, so sadly we are often overlooked. However, at least speaking for myself, we notice everything. Then we reflect upon it, apply the knowledge and come up with revolutionary ideas. If we are left to our own devices we can solve more than one issue, it’s just that sometimes we fail to bring it up.

Anyway, point is, don’t treat us like we are fragile or faulty because we’re not. Sometimes we just want to be silent and left in peace.

Here is a great talk about the power of introverts, by Susan Cain.

New Year’s…

… didn’t go too well. The party I was going to was cancelled last minute so I spent it with my parents. Nothing wrong with that, just not what I planned. So I just have to be even more insistent the coming year!

I have a few resolutions as well:

  • Do at least one social event a month (you’ve heard this one before)
  • Not waste food. In other words, no more throwing food away because I didn’t eat it before it turned bad.
  • Go abroad on holiday at least once during the year
  • Not eat sweets (hardest one)
  • Extend my weekly exercise to walks before breakfast during the weekdays at least twice a week
  • Have my book published (a bit hard since it is depending on other people liking it but I will really do my best)

New Mission

I started a mission page where I will put all of these but I’ll write about them here as well!

My new mission to increase my social circle locally is to befriend the really nice male receptionist at the gym. I have him on Facebook and we speak a little sometimes when I’m at the gym.

Where Do We Make Friends?

You make friends in the social contexts where you are active.

This is perhaps the hardest part. Where does one make friends? Many people have childhood friends or friends from school. And that is where you make them: school or at work, or at courses you take, or events you participate in. Basically you make friends in the context where you are active. The problem arises when all the friends you had in school live far away these days, and the people at work aren’t people you connect with, when all your hobbies are such that you don’t need others to perform them and to top it all off your social need is less than most other people. Then you suddenly wake up one day and find yourself in a bit of a pickle.

I mean my hobbies are reading, writing, knitting, sewing… not exactly things that make you meet other people. I do also go to the gym, but I’m there to exercise, not communicate (seeing my problem yet?). I also have my dogs but since other dog owners mostly make me annoyed it’s not a great way to meet new people.

So, I need to think outside the box on this one.

Opening up the Shop

Hello all,

Let me introduce myself and this blog.

I’m a soon twenty-five year old female. I’m a thin, attractive, witty, funny, kind, clever person with a good education and a well-paid job. I have two dogs, my own flat, loads of hobbies, a loving family… but I am lonely.

I mean, I have friends who I see regularly, but I don’t have the kind of group I see other people have on Facebook or hear them talk about. I don’t even have social events of that kind going on every week, or even month.

It makes me feel lonely and for a few months now I have tried to expand my social network in different ways, with some success I suppose – but not as much as I’d like. This is in part because I’m not out and about as much as I should be, but how should I accomplish that when I have nobody to go places with? I mean, sometimes I have, it depends if the friends I do have are available but many of them even live abroad.

Moreover, this is embarrassing. When people at work talk about what they are up to in the weeks or at the weekends I feel like I am faulty. I will never have the need to do as much as they, I think, because to top this all off I’m also an introvert – though I can be awfully charming when I want to. It has all culminated now with my birthday coming up and I realized I cannot have a birthday party because I don’t have enough friends close-by to invite. It would be a pathetic affair, really.

How did this all happen? I ask myself this a lot, obviously. I have always been an odd bird, because I’m an introvert, but since I have friends (who are all normal, witty people) I’m obviously not incapable. But after upper secondary school I moved abroad and that point in life is where you form your connections (I noticed later) and all of the people I got to know then are still my friends.

However, then I moved back to Sweden (where I am from) a few years later and to top THAT off I was in an abusive relationship (see how well this is going?). Oh, I was also depressed, the psychologist concluded a year or so after that. But during that time I tried to make friends. Sometimes I succeeded and I have a couple of new ones to show for it, but many times it didn’t just run out in the sand but actually ended in catastrophe.

So now on Friday nights (and all the rest) I’m alone with my dogs. I don’t want to see people all the time, being an introvert and all that, but I want to see them sometimes and find that most of the times I do want to, I can’t. This has to change, right?

So, why this blog?
Well, I refuse to believe I’m the only person who is in this situation. It feels as if with the increase in digital communication our isolation increases. Many of us are alone in a sea of other people. So I decided to start this blog to share and touch upon a subject which is, actually, embarrassing to discuss. Nobody wants to admit to this, of course.

The second reason is to force myself to do more about my own situation. If I have to report it, I want to have some success stories, right? So I will go to a social thing at least once a month for a year and report how it goes. In between that I will share some of my thoughts on the subject as a whole and report any spontaneous social events I participate in.

There is so much more I want to write about in this first post, but then nobody will have the energy to read it through! So let us start. Let us befriend the world.