Welcome to part two of the Omega’s Guide to Not Being a Loser, wherein I establish my credentials for taking on such a project.
I want you to know you are not alone, to know I know how you feel, to know that I can help you, to know it is not hopeless, so I am going to tell you where I was at and where I am now, hopefully as an inspirational story, or possibly just so you can laugh.
As a child I was always the one bullied, I got beaten up regularly, and was always one of the most unpopular kids in the class. I had few friends at school, but usually made up for it with friends from church or my neighbourhood. I moved around a lot, so I would always lose my current friends, but I would usually find a friend or two. As a teenager in high school, I moved to a new city. In this new city, I spent a year with no friends; I was unable to make them. I was too afraid to talk to people to make them. I had no social activities outside of church and youth group. I was crushingly lonely during this period.
Eventually, I got myself involved with a small group of friends; there was a group of about five guys I would spend time with. Things were not bad.
Then came college and things became horrible. My group of friends all went different paths, and my friends were all busy. I would see them about once a month. I helped “lead” youth group once a week (by which I mean, I showed up, watched the group while others lead, and talked with the two or three of the more nerdy/introverted youth) and went to church on Sunday. Outside of this, I had no social activities, I had no hobbies. I went to university, went to my part-time job, then came home and played video games, read, and watched TV. I had no friends but that small group I rarely saw; I had other social activities. This was my life for three years.
From about 17 or so, there was a cute blonde girl a few years younger than me who went to my church and youth group. I had the strongest crush on her for four years. I would daydream about her incessently; I thought of her everyday. I wanted nothing more in life than to hold this girl and have her be mine. More accurately, I wanted nothing more than to have the illusionary girl I built her up to be in my head; in those four years, I can count the times I talked with her at all (even a simple hello) on one hand; I had a real conversation with her a grand total of once. I did not know her well-enough to like her; I was madly “in love” with the idea of what I thought she was.
For four years, I would see this girl in a group once or twice a week, spend most of the time furtively glancing at her, trying not to stare, beat myself up afterwards for my cowardice in not talking to her, then mooning over her the rest of the week. I was pathetic.
To make matters worse, in retrospect, this girl might have have had some interest in me back, and I might have had a chance had I only had the base courage to talk to her. That one real conversation I did have was at a youth event at a corn maze. I followed her and her sister in, walked up beside her, and we started talking for most of the maze. During this time, she dropped a number if hints I was too socially obtuse to understand, hints like “I’m cold” to which I stupidly offered my jacket, which she rejected, and “we should ditch my sister and go off alone together” to which I retardedly answered “that doesn’t seem very nice.” (Yes, really, she honestly said that and I truly answered that).
I was that bad at reading social situations. As another example, there was another girl in my youth group who I was not attracted to. At one event, we talked; she started blathering on about how she broke up with her boyfriend because he wasn’t Christian and she needed to find a good Christian man, while I half-listened and nodded. When she was done, I went inside and did my usual, stand in the group circle and listen without saying anything. She came up beside me and started leaning against me; I thought she must have been tired. We then went for the Bible lesson; she followed me and sat beside me. She then leaned into me and rested her head on my shoulder, I thought it was kind of weird, but she must’ve been really tired, so I tolerated it. After the lesson, she asked if we could talk. I said, sure. She then told me she liked me; I was utterly surprised. She did everything short of kiss me or grab my genitals, and I was no even aware of it until she told me. I asked to think about it (I was wondering if I should just for the social practice) and planned to tell her no a few days later. In my shameful cowardice I just avoided her for two months, until I finally screwed up the courage to reject her. (I regret that, it was a jerk move).
Knowing that, you will probably believe me when I tell you I could literally not start a conversation with a woman. I could literally not talk to strangers, acquaintances, or anyone not among my small groups of friends except in the most transactional or superficial ways (“Hi, How are You, I am good?” and answering direct questions with three words answers was the extent of my social prowess), and even these limited conversations were awkward. I had no friends other than that group of 5 I rarely saw; I rarely called my friends up to do something because I was afraid to phone them and “knew” they had better things to do than hang out with me. I had no social activities outside church, where I stood in a corner by myself. I never had a date. I withdrew from my family, spending most of my time in my room by myself. Etc. I was scrawny and out of shape, at only 150 pounds at 6’2″. My life was pretty much video games, TV, and books.
I was pathetic, I was desperately lonely, I was always bored, I hated myself, and I was suicidal. I thought about suicide every day and I seriously considered it about once a month. Twice, I sat on my bed, with my pocket knife to my throat, crying, while I debated whether to push it in or not. I decided not to both times for two reasons: I didn’t want my mom to find my corpse and I was worried the Catholics might be right and suicide would damn me. Those are literally the only reasons I could come up with not to kill myself.
This went on for three years, until I turned 21. Then I decided to turn myself around. I took the Dale Carnegie course (my grandfather paid for it, as both he and my mother were worried about my social life). I started spending more time with my friends. I attended attending a Christian group on campus, where I made a larger circle of friends. I started going to social events regularly; I spent more Fridays doing things than staying home. Over time, I developed a few hobbies. I started talking to girls, I entered a relationship or two.
Now, I have a circle of close friends and few other circles of friends. I am busy most days with social activities or hobbies. I have no problem talking with strangers. I can readily and easily converse with girls. I can and do approach girls on occasion, and get the occasional date. I no longer hate myself, no longer think suicidally, am rarely bored, and while occasionally I get a little lonely, it is nowhere near the level of desperation I once had. I’m now in decent shape, having gained 30 lbs of mostly muscle (and some fat). I’ve improved my life in every way.
As you can see, if you are stuck in a rut of friendlessness, hopelessness, desperation, loneliness, and boredom, there is hope. I was there, I know how hopeless it can seem. I know how frightening social interaction is. I now how comfortable a rut, however miserable and painful, can be and how hard it is to escape. I know how you feel, because I was you, and I want to help. I improved my life, you can to.