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earthmama514
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How do you relate to people when you no longer have Christianity as your common interest? I am finding I suck at talking to people. Granted I never was good talking with xtians either as I always had doubts and felt hypocritical but now I feel like a fish out of water.

 

Is this normal? Since I no longer have good ol' God to fall back on in conversations I'm finding I have no idea what to say, do etc when talking. I am also finding I really have no interests to talk about unless business counts. (Apparently it doesn't as no one seems interested) how do you go about finding friends?

 

I feel so lost. :(

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I think you may no longer have any "safe" topics to discuss. Ones that you know you have common ground and approval in. Just be you. Talk about what ever fills your fancy at the moment. If they don't like it, tough shit, too bad for them, at least you know, find another topic or move on to a different person. 

 

Sounds like the same issues prior drug addicts have with former druggies-- a waking moment where you realize the only reason you hung around them was to do drugs. Not worth your time otherwise.

 

Just my thoughts. But WTFDIK ;)

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I find that hard too. Now with xtians it is weird because they expect a certain way of relating together. It is why I did not put in too much effort to keep in touch with them even though there have been a few people I still think are quite cool. But when I meet up with them it is always fun at first until there comes the moment of them wanting to find out where I stand "spiritually" and it gets awkward and silent and did I say awkward? It feels like they just spent time with me to change me...because I was weird and they wanted to fix me. I don't need that and have no interest in meeting people who can't just enjoy to be together for no reason. In christianity everyone is your friend not because of common interests or so but because you have to love everyone and be that super community where everyone is welcome. At least that was how I felt. Even my parents practice that kind of fellowship...no real friends but a small group that meets every week and plays games together...that is also how they relate to us when we have a family gathering. The only topic that seems to be inexhaustible is indoor hockey because all my brothers played it and my mom is training children in it...and she made my dad part of it too so that is the topic that shows up every time. And I am there and just like: OK...and what am I doing here exactly? The youngest of my brothers once admitted to me he only goes along because there is nothing else to talk about with them...Yep. Crazy. Keep up the illusion of being a happy family...or community...

 

I practice small talk and all at work. I don't particularly like it and I miss the "deep" conversations about life and death and whatever but it is better than nothing. And sometimes there comes a good conversation along that was totally unexpected. Thats fun. Also you can find out about other peoples interests and if they match your own you have something to talk about. For example I have a sewing machine and for a while now I actually intend to use it...ha...don't know why it takes so much because I really like doing crafts...and there are plenty of workmates sewing and we can talk about where to get nice patterns or other stuff you need to sew etc.

When I prepared for my exams in march I talked about math and calculus or geography with people...history...whatever.

 

There are those people though I never really know what to talk about and there is this awkward silence. With them I think it is not only me who is responsible for conversation. If they have nothing else to talk about than soccer and tennis...not my problem. I am an interesting person and there are plenty of interesting topics to talk about. But if they are that boring, it is up to them.

 

We have an app you can download on your phone and where you can create and take part at events. It is nice to get to know new people. Meet up groups also exist but they look more like expats looking for expats...I was looking at their activities and it kinda confused me. I think that is different in the US. Don't know though. So this other thing works though...sometimes you meet weird people, sometimes you meet pretty nice people. Also taking a course in something you are interested in helps. You find other people who are interested in the same things and maybe due to that you find out that you have other things in common.

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How do you relate to people when you no longer have Christianity as your common interest? I am finding I suck at talking to people. Granted I never was good talking with xtians either as I always had doubts and felt hypocritical but now I feel like a fish out of water.

 

Is this normal? Since I no longer have good ol' God to fall back on in conversations I'm finding I have no idea what to say, do etc when talking. I am also finding I really have no interests to talk about unless business counts. (Apparently it doesn't as no one seems interested) how do you go about finding friends?

 

I feel so lost. sad.png

If I met you in real life, I for one would love to talk business with you :) .  When I'm stuck for conversation with people I try to talk about their kids, that keeps most parents going for quite a while, lol.  If they don't have kids maybe they have pets.  Or go on vacations.  Or do gardening, crafting, fishing, or photography.  Ask lots of questions.  Be bold, and be yourself.  You will get better at this with practice, it will get easier over time.

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Perhaps it's merely that you are an introvert, which IS normal.  (There are many of us! smile.png)

 

If that's the case, I personally think that it is a good think to be happy with who we are rather than being bullied into feeling that we should be more outgoing because of the expectations of others.  Only if you are withdrawn to the point where it really sucks, or really want to spread your social wings more should you try to work on becoming more outgoing.

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Thanks for the tips.

 

I feel I am an interesting person but to the mainstream here I'm kinda weird and out there. I am studying to be an herbalist, I teach and use natural medicine practices, I babywear, and cloth diaper. We follow peaceful parenting and don't strike our child (which in the US ESP the south where we are makes you the minority) I am a doula also. I run 2 of my own businesses and I work outside the home one day a week as a nurse.

 

I have nothing to talk to anyone about at work and if I try they just stare at me and later I hear them laughing and talking behind my back. :(

 

I'm just way to old to be this awkward and terrible at making friends.

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"Herbalism, reading, writing, creating":  These are listed as your interests.  Are there any book clubs in your area?  Do any of the local colleges offer creative writing classes?  Does your town have any herbal shops?  If you can find people who share common interests, you may just be able to find a few friends among them.  Do what you enjoy with people who also enjoy it.

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We live in the most non naturally minded town known to man. There are no herb shops or anything remotely like that. I will have to look into book clubs. I love to read but having a toddler doesn't make it easy to do ;)

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You are definitely an interesting person. You just don't fit in their little clique.

That's true. I never fit in to any clique even the xtian ones when I was a xtian.

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You are definitely an interesting person. You just don't fit in their little clique.

That's true. I never fit in to any clique even the xtian ones when I was a xtian.

 

 

I never fit in the xtian cliques...they where always a mystery to me.

 

And yes, you are an interesting person.

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earthmama514,

 

From your listed interests, it is clear that you are indeed an interesting person. Is it the religious talk or also the art of conversation that makes you feel awkward? Being an introvert is fine if you are comfortable in that. It's part of your personality type. Also, I relate to your not fitting in with the cliques. I didn't fit in well as a Christian, either. I wasn't so much an introvert as I was simply a nonconformist.

 

As for what to do when the religious topics come up, or the mention of "God" or whatever, in conversations, you could just give minimal responses or just practice basic psychology by asking simple questions, reflecting back to the speaker what they've said. That way you can be involved in the interaction without having to commit one way or another, and especially so you won't have to 'out' yourself as a nonbeliever, if that's a critical issue.

 

And you can learn conversational techniques enough to make you feel more comfortable around people, particularly at your work. You don't have to agree or disagree necessarily, but give mostly neutral responses, just enough to get by, so you won't feel awkward and so your coworkers will think of you as being more like them. If they talk behind your back, about you, it's because you are an individualist and they are part of the herd.

 

Let us know how things go for you.

 

+ Human

I think its not having the preapproved conversation items that is tripping me up. Before it was easy, we could only talk about xyz. Now everything is up for discussion and I feel lost. On top of that I have absolutely no idea about not anything because I'm finding everything I was taught growing up is completely wrong or from a xtian pov. I can't even hold an educated conversation about anything except my herbs and other natural lifestyle choices.
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As a rather awkward and anti-social old b*gg*r, frankly I prefer not to talk with persons whose only interest is Christianity.  I would just talk about whatever I like and others can either respond or push off as they wish.

 

As others have said, however, if you want a fair hearing and response from those who are interested in various ideas, feel free to throw some posts at us here.

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On the scale on interestingness, you are well above average :)

 

I would be especially keen to hear your ideas about natural medicine.  

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Well then maybe i will start a post on natural medicine/lifestyle. Its kinda my entire life right now. ;) and i do really enjoying telling others about it  and helping them decide if that is something the want to pursue as well.

 

@Human

 i think its that *I feel* that i have nothing to contribute. I find my mind immediately going to the super judgemental xtian way of thinking i was taught and then having a hard time contributing without sounding like a jerk or stuttering around trying to say something that doesnt make me sound like a jerk. its rough. the only thing that doesnt throw me for a loop is talking about my herbalism, business, or natural lifestyle. as well as positive parenting. i could talk all day on those things. lol

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Well then maybe i will start a post on natural medicine/lifestyle. Its kinda my entire life right now. wink.png and i do really enjoying telling others about it  and helping them decide if that is something the want to pursue as well.

 

@Human

 i think its that *I feel* that i have nothing to contribute. I find my mind immediately going to the super judgemental xtian way of thinking i was taught and then having a hard time contributing without sounding like a jerk or stuttering around trying to say something that doesnt make me sound like a jerk. its rough. the only thing that doesnt throw me for a loop is talking about my herbalism, business, or natural lifestyle. as well as positive parenting. i could talk all day on those things. lol

 

I think what''s going on here is that xianity had a negative effect on your self confidence and that is coming through at the moment.  It will take time for you do undo the brainwashing but the way to do that is to keep going forward and taking small steps in the right direction.  Positive self talk can be a big help.  Don't let anyone make you feel inferior - it is they who are inferior for behaving the way they do.  You are making progress even though it is hard to see that yourself sometimes.  You have already come a long way from the fearful woman you were before.  Keep walking forward towards confidence, freedom and independence.

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I think its not having the preapproved conversation items that is tripping me up. Before it was easy, we could only talk about xyz. Now everything is up for discussion and I feel lost. On top of that I have absolutely no idea about not anything because I'm finding everything I was taught growing up is completely wrong or from a xtian pov. I can't even hold an educated conversation about anything except my herbs and other natural lifestyle choices.

 

Two things: First, you are well spoken.  Even if I accept your premise that you do not have a great breadth of knowledge, I know that you are not stupid.  Second, you do not have to be an expert in a subject to talk about it. Heck, when novices becomes enthusiastic with new interest they know little about you don't think they talk about it a lot!? Now it's lame when an ignoramus poses as a know-it-all and I think they should be embarrassed even though they invariably are not. This is not the case here. FTNZ may be on to something. You know how you came to realize that Christianity just isn't true? Well the years of conditioning is a bear to overcome, but you will discover that Christianity's premise: that you are unworthy is also untrue. Nobody sounds like a jerk just because they don't have a silver tongue. And if you have peers who are busy judging you when you open your mouth, I daresay they have the problem, not you.

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I am not sure I got it right. Is it that you feel like not being able to have a conversation with others in general or just the Christian crowd?

 

I do know that feeling actually. When I still worked in the passengers section (I do airport transportation security...for the registered luggage and private aviation) we worked in teams of four or five and they changed each day. So out of about 900 employees you had a new team each day. And there had been dead times when we just had to wait for the passengers, that was the time of socializing. With some I could have great conversations but I noticed that this where those who where talkative by nature...so it was not so much me. A lot of times I felt like I lack a lot of knowledge. It felt weird. I felt like I was quite boring. So there I was, not knowing what to talk with the others feeling like shit. When I started with my program to go to university I studied a lot of interesting stuff like calculus or history, geography and chemistry etc. That helped but then again I always felt like I did not really know enough, my knowledge was just scratching the surface, to actually have an opinion and real discussion. Maybe also because I noticed that so many people just talked BS and I felt like I wanted not to just talk for the sake of talking...

 

It is a little different now because I am with another crowd at work. More introverts in that department.

 

But also I think I have much more to talk about because I don't only read the bible anymore...or I don't read it at all...I do other stuff then just praying and attending Church meetings...But I still think there is much to reclaim and people who did not grow up that way just don't understand the cultural lack you have.

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When I get in situations where people are talking about a topic I have no clue about it is a bit awkward I know but it's just the way it is sometimes. We can't know every topic people discuss.

And it really is ok to just listen and not feel the pressure to have to say something.

And it really is ok to say you don't know something or that you aren't familiar with what ever they are discussing.

They probably don't know things that you know. You've got plenty to contribute as you are knowledgable on certain topics they probably have no clue about. It works both ways.

 

Be ok with who you are. That comes with confidence. I'm still working on it myself.

I've Always been not the most socially adept person and I'm introverted too.

 

I understand it's finding the right kind of person to share similar interests as yourself.

It's not always easy and I think this is a common thing many people deal with. Not just ex c's.

 

Are there any "meet up" groups in your area.

It's online. You sign up and it will list groups in your area that share the same interests as yourself.

I use to go to one in my area and it was on Growing and using herbs for health and healing. I actually like that kind of thing myself. natural lifestyle.

I hug trees sometimes and love nature. :) even way before going all Christian like I did It's Always been difficult to "fit in" with people. Felt like on the outside looking in. And even as a Christian. It was so awkward for me at times. Anxiety!

 

So anyway You never know there maybe closet herbalists in your area that you don't know about. So check on "meet up"

 

Any health food stores in your area? Always a good place to get talking with people about natural and health stuff. Yoga studios too.

 

Continue to Explore new things. Music, art, science, whatever you are drawn to and hopefully you'll find your kind of people and conversation will be easier.

I think as time goes on you will lose the Christian baggage and you'll be more confident in being who you are.

No pressure.

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I never realized it before, but it seems like EVERY topic ends up on god somehow :(

I am out of work, and at this point I rarely leave the house.  My husband and father are pretty much the only live people I talk to.  

They both believe in god but are not religious, and they haven't read the bible.  Luckily they don't talk god with me, they never really did, so that is a relief!

 

My christian "friends" haven't talked to me in a few months, and I never even flat out told them I didn't believe.  I just said I was "struggling" and they are such good christians they haven't tried to help me with it, and trust me I am GLAD, because I don't want to get into any time wasting debates with people that will not accept my views, and just walk away condemning me anyway.

 

Every other person I come in contact with seems to always bring god up, and as a christian I thought we were the minority, oh how wrong I was!

 

At least you have business or tv shows to talk about.  My christian friends were always going on about some show or other when they weren't god this and that.  I don't have cable (and don't want it) so that limited our conversations.

 

Ok sorry for the vent.  I feel for you, I will read the responses now and see if there are any good nuggets I can glean from it :D

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Perhaps it's merely that you are an introvert, which IS normal.  (There are many of us! smile.png)

 

If that's the case, I personally think that it is a good think to be happy with who we are rather than being bullied into feeling that we should be more outgoing because of the expectations of others.  Only if you are withdrawn to the point where it really sucks, or really want to spread your social wings more should you try to work on becoming more outgoing.

 

WOW, I am introverted and was always told it was not right blah blah.  I always felt guilty for being happy alone.  Granted, I do like to be around people (but only in small numbers) but only on occasion.

I do think others just put that expectation on us to be more outgoing etc.  I am going to learn to own my introvertedness!

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Perhaps it's merely that you are an introvert, which IS normal.  (There are many of us! smile.png)

 

If that's the case, I personally think that it is a good think to be happy with who we are rather than being bullied into feeling that we should be more outgoing because of the expectations of others.  Only if you are withdrawn to the point where it really sucks, or really want to spread your social wings more should you try to work on becoming more outgoing.

 

WOW, I am introverted and was always told it was not right blah blah.  I always felt guilty for being happy alone.  Granted, I do like to be around people (but only in small numbers) but only on occasion.

I do think others just put that expectation on us to be more outgoing etc.  I am going to learn to own my introvertedness!

 

There is a book you should read then. its called "Quiet" its a great book for introverts in helping them except and love themselves just how they are.

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earthmama514,

 

forum category? maybe ex-Christian lifestyle, or even ex-Christian spirituality? I would like some advice on best ways to start growing herbs, starting small. but I need to know more about which herbs are helpful for what. I have sleep disorders, insomnia, erratic sleep patterns. I've tried some over the counter stuff, no help yet. maybe some advice about that. I'll think it over some more.

 

+ Human

Thanks Human. I will do some research into the best herbs for those issues and then start a forum post. :)

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