Confused on why I feel this way


#1

I noticed lately that I've felt sad, left-out, and lonely, whereas a few days/weeks ago I was very happy, upbeat, and optimistic, although I suspect that the "left-out" feelings are just due to my current sadness (brought-on by nothing in particular). I have my two groups of friends (non religious and Catholic) and yet I don't feel totally welcome in either. I can't relate to my non-religious friends on a spiritual level (but I relate to them on other levels, especially musically) and I can't relate to my Catholic friends on a musical level, as I am music nerd and strange/experimental music is very important to me but they aren't fans. So in either group I don't feel totally connected.

The other thing that I noticed is that the other Catholics in my life always seem very upbeat, optimistic, always smiling, and always joyous; even when they're down they seem upbeat about it. They also seem to be on fire for Christ. And I feel bad whenever I see this joy because I just feel so dark, dreary, and sad. I can be happy and I have been much more lately than in the past but I don't have that infectious joy they seem to have nor that fire for Christ. I believe strongly in Christ and yet I don't have that fire it seems unless, again, this is a misperception on my part due to my depressed feelings right this moment. I feel bad when I am around them sometimes because they are so outgoing and happy whereas I have always been more shy, introverted, and quiet. And yet, oddly enough, I am very loud and boisterous when I am around people I am good friends with.

I don't know what's wrong here. I know I must be doing something wrong but I can't pinpoint it at all. What should I do?


#2

It may be that you are experiencing depression. If so, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and there is help and many treatment options are available.

May I suggest that whenever you are feeling sad or left out, that you practice offering that suffering up? It is amazing how much that can help. First, it gives your suffering a purpose, and second, I find that for me it actually reduces my experience of suffering.

You may also want to change the way you think about things. Instead of focusing on the negatives, and everything that you DON’T have, try instead to think of all the good things you DO have in your life. Also, remember that many in this world are struggling under greater adversity than you. There are some people who don’t have any friends at all.

Definitely focus on the positives, and maybe try taking a depression screening test. Since you enjoy music so much, try listening to (or playing) music that you really enjoy. I know when I take the time to play piano it can really help me feel rejuvenated.


#3

I also want to add this to the discussion as it's also a strange experience I've dealt withL

I, for instance, went to an open house event where almost all the attendees were young Catholic women. They were wonderful but I felt so out of place, alone, and anxious (even with a friend) that I barely spoke at all, rarely made eye contact, tried hiding as best as possible, and left early because I just couldn't be in that environment anymore; and I was very depressed on my way back home afterwards.

I also went to two separate Catholic/pro-life parties before and spent most of my time with the few people there I know barely socializing with anyone else because I really didn't feel comfortable doing so.


#4

May I ask, what do you think is so intimidating about young women? I coughcough *used to coughcough* be one, and we're just not that amazing as to be intimidating, to tell you the truth :p.

I, too have different groups of friends that reflect different facets of who I am & my interests. I have mommy-friends (we talk about our kids and school), religious friends (deeper conversations), concert buddies (a few of my friends' husbands...I know no women who enjoy the same music I do), obscure horror movie fans, and so forth. Not many of my friends "cross over" either. My mommy friends like scrap booking and can sit for hours "chatting"...I would rather be screaming at a concert or throwing around a football. etc etc

Look at it this way: you can get to know a wide group of people, not just some small category that is just like you. Focus on the positives instead of what each person/group/situation is lacking. If you do that you can enjoy each thing for what it is. Change your expectations would be my opinion.

Good luck! I wish you well!


#5

First, I always recommend talking things over with a good priest and/or spiritual director. Obviously, they can help you far more than any of us here.

With that said, though, I would point out that Catholics come in all sorts of temperaments and personalities. There's no shame in that. I somewhat empathize with you. There's only one other Catholic I know personally (my brother) who listens to the same music that I do (power/progressive metal). I very much enjoy the music, yet I can never talk about it with anyone but him.

For me, as I have gotten older, I have come to appreciate spiritual connections far more than those based on tastes in entertainment. I know the music I listen to is not for everyone. While it is fun to talk about when I have the chance, I find it much more fun to talk about the faith.

Don't worry if you don't feel as cheerful or "on fire" as those around you. Our walk with the Lord is our own. It doesn't look the same or go at the same rate as everyone else's. Just keep praying and fostering that relationship with Christ. He'll guide you where you need to be.

I will keep you in my prayers. Please pray for me, too! :thumbsup:


#6

[quote="LotusCarsLtd, post:1, topic:195052"]
I feel bad when I am around them sometimes because they are so outgoing and happy whereas I have always been more shy, introverted, and quiet. And yet, oddly enough, I am very loud and boisterous when I am around people I am good friends with.

I don't know what's wrong here. I know I must be doing something wrong but I can't pinpoint it at all. What should I do?

[/quote]

I don't think you are doing anything wrong. Maybe you just need more time to warm up to new people. This is where you need your friends to help you, or find an environment where you 'thrive' and can be very open. For example, some people are quite shy in new environments, but get them leading an activity they are very good at and they are all of a sudden super social and confident.

If you have friends who are more social than you, have them introduce you, use them to break the ice for you. Or have them invite people out to follow up gatherings that you can attend. Eventually you'll warm up to the new people and feel more confident. Think back to your current friends who you are 'loud' with...it wasn't always that way. Things take time.

Some people are introverts and some people aren't...being an introvert isn't a bad thing. Lots of extroverts like introverts because it balances them out (and vice versa).

[quote="SarahR, post:4, topic:195052"]
May I ask, what do you think is so intimidating about young women? I coughcough *used to coughcough* be one, and we're just not that amazing as to be intimidating, to tell you the truth :p.

I, too have different groups of friends that reflect different facets of who I am & my interests. I have mommy-friends (we talk about our kids and school), religious friends (deeper conversations), concert buddies (a few of my friends' husbands...I know no women who enjoy the same music I do), obscure horror movie fans, and so forth. Not many of my friends "cross over" either. My mommy friends like scrap booking and can sit for hours "chatting"...I would rather be screaming at a concert or throwing around a football. etc etc

Look at it this way: you can get to know a wide group of people, not just some small category that is just like you. Focus on the positives instead of what each person/group/situation is lacking. If you do that you can enjoy each thing for what it is. Change your expectations would be my opinion.

Good luck! I wish you well!

[/quote]

Very well said. Some good points were made here. There is nothing wrong with having different groups of friends. In fact I think it is very beneficial to experience that type of diverse interests and perspectives. It also helps you meet new people.

I probably have several groups. Some are from high school, some from college, some from various sports, religious, others are co-workers, and so forth. These groups remain somewhat separate, but there is overlap between them all to some extent. There are also some practicing Catholics scattered throughout the various groups I spend time with, but none of us really talk about religion. I don't agree with any one group 100% on anything, but we all share enough common interests and our values are close enough that we are all pretty good friends.

I love getting to know new people. It has really been a pleasure. Sometimes I have met some really great people through others I didn't even care for that much.

[quote="Joe_5859, post:5, topic:195052"]

Don't worry if you don't feel as cheerful or "on fire" as those around you. Our walk with the Lord is our own. It doesn't look the same or go at the same rate as everyone else's. Just keep praying and fostering that relationship with Christ. He'll guide you where you need to be.

[/quote]

I think that is some good advice there. Sometimes what is on the surface isn't always accurate. We come across people in many aspects of life that can put on a good facade. To cite one example - There are people who have lots of possessions, big houses, fancy cars, but are in lots of debt actually. They appear to be wealthy. The opposite situation is also true of frugal people who make a lot of money.


#7

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