Yearning for a social circle
Some of the best advice I received during my initial days of second bachelorhood is take a break, go out and be with friends. I tried it.
But the friend circle I had was limited. The friends with whom I did not have much touch with during married days, I did not get the same comfort feeling. I felt there was something missing there. Most of them were married, felt bad to disturb them from their family to be with me.
Tried making new friends, some had that ‘I am sorry it happened to you’ sad face which I despised.
And there were these people who I branded story munchers. They wanted to chew the maximum flavor out of my story. All they wanted to get a scoop of the story of what happened. They kept harping questions so they carry back a good story to narrate to their friends. Questions went beyond at times ‘do you feel her presence in the apartment’, ‘I can connect you to a tantric to wade her spirit away’. The questions started to drain me emotionally after some point.
This slowly turned to a yearning to be with people who are compassionate and relate to me better. This pushed me to throw myself at random people and was taking a toll on my emotional energy. When there was no similar response I get hurt. I tried to overtly get closer to people who showed signs of compassion which lead to transference. And when the person backs out, I got hurt.
All these experiences made me feel that it is best not to try socializing. This added to loneliness and depression, sucking me into a vicious cycle. I was in the verge of getting sucked into one when it hit me. There is nothing wrong with people around me and this attempt to make friends is not unique situation to be either. But why is it taking significant toll on my emotional energy now. So it is me who had to adapt and view this issue in a different angle.
First step was to acknowledge that I am emotionally vulnerable period. I stopped convincing myself that I am emotionally strong. This gave clarity and that pause whenever I felt going overboard in being close or throwing myself at people or rattling my head on why am I bad at socializing. I picked and chose my social circle carefully, even if it is a very small one. Some of them which worked before this second bachelor phase did not work after. And for a very simple reason that our priorities changed. I wanted to have a compassionate conversation while they preferred a light vein topic. They have their reasons to be stressed and wanted to have light hearted discussion. Why should they be blamed?
Over time I started identifying the genuine caring voices and the story munchers. The story munchers get a nasty cold stare and they never dare to continue the conversation. No more Mr. What-if-they-get-hurt because they are hurting me in a way.
The pre-marriage friends (the school or college buddies) with whom I initially had discomfort, with time the rapport started building. We were able to relate to each other better. The key was to keep the communication line open. I started to have small and regular chat with them. And soon we realized we had many things still in common.
Many people who are in this phase are emotionally vulnerable and long for reliable friends. They get caught in wrong circles and exploited. One of the primary reasons for starting ‘The Phoenix Family’ is from this personal experience. People who have gone or going through the phase understand and relate to each other better. They bond soon without having to go through the introduction ‘Do not judge me. I just want to be heard.’ The evaluation phase of ‘Can I trust this person with my story’ is reduced.
Emotional energy is the key to day to day life. In my second bachelor phase I completely acknowledge I am emotionally vulnerable and I have to be careful there. Do not rush into forming social circle and at the same time do not stay away from them. The trick is to finding the right people and be patient in finding them.