13-05-2018 11:48 AM
Hi everyone. My first post here.
Do you ever feel like you are left out of the "mix"? In a club do you feel like you are on the edge of the group? Not intentionally ostracized but, well, not popular?
I once was in one of many car clubs. My vintage Ford was in poor shape and my first wife and I didnt have the funds to restore it at the time. It was painted a non original colour so it was referred by others in the club as "the bitza".
I soon learned that clubs have a pecking order. Convertible car owners were the elite, rare cars the same. But more importantly I began to study why I was "on the outer", a situation not unlike my school days.
I found there were four main reasons for me finding myself on the rim of a group-
- lack of confidence
- Self preservation
You might have other reasons.
When someone is sensitive one eventually tries to avoid controversy. Controversy creates anxiety as debate follows.
Lack of confidence could be from not being familiar with the core club commonality. Eg the car in question. It can also be a reflection of ones overall level of shyness
Oddity? Well we are odd, no doubting that. We often clearly have extreme thought patterns and behaviour. To survive in a group in the early stages one has to blend and be quieter than later on. Long term members can easily judge you as being a new interference. Sad but true and likely normal as they battle with protecting their group chemistry.
So is this all bad news- no way. There is a positive in every situation if you are proactive looking for it. In the case above, following several club experiences, they are all the same. Being on the rim of the group has its safety factor. Observe, learn and befriend others slowly. Ooze out your knowledge slowly. I'd also recommend not becoming a committee member. If you are like me and have strong reactions (thin skin), and not to forget strong views that you find difficult to do the blending required, then committees will find you in the eye of storms. Each time I've entered the field of committees it's ended with the same awful result- hurt. And dont expect the leaders to protect you from bullying (online common now) if your illness is known. Good strong moral leaders arent that common. It's more ocmmon for them to take the easy safe path and downplay the problem.
In summary, clubs and groups have a pecking order that we, the emotional, sensitive and reactive might better serve on the grandstand. Serious mental health issues can evolve when embroiled in conflict. Club commrades are not usually close understanding friends that will come to your aid even when and if your distress leads to depression. Better to let the steam out on a forum such as this.
A fellow in a footy club was always turning over the snags on the bbq every Thursday night training. He had bipolar and depression like myself. "Yep, been doing this for 12 years mate, out of the politics, doing my bit and I'm appreciated....and I get an extra sausage and double the onions...."
13-05-2018 12:09 PM
Hi and welcome Whitekinght to the forums. I know exactly where you are coming from. My pdoc has said she wants me to mingle (not in these words) with 'normal people' but that is so hard as I don't feel I fit in ... I know I don't fit in ...I don't know what the answer is except to keep trying different clubs until you find one that does float your boat so to speak. Other than that is just to accept that you are different and that is okay as there are many of us that don't fit in and survive quite well without being part of the cool group.
As for your friend who said he was happy to flip sausages for 12 years ... to gain an extra sausage and onions ... well as long as he is happy ... I would lose my mind completely. Wouldnt last a day.
13-05-2018 12:19 PM
Yes, searching for that one club that has a quality of membership that has "welcome" written on their smile is a good idea.
I think also not expecting to be the friend of all members is unrealistic too, only politicians or Mr or Mrs popular can do that. I've observed such people and they often have an ability to talk small talk (I'm not criticising that though) and they also ask many questions of others rather than talk about themselves. People like being asked about their lives and in the car club case- their car....even if they find it a wreck of a car.
So in a new club if you keep asking questions and throw in the odd praise it can help your cause.
Another thing my wife keeps telling me "you only need one very good friend"
13-05-2018 12:28 PM
Tony WK aka @Whiteknight
Your wife is very wise I am still searching for the one elusive friend lost a few when I was psychotic a few years ago now but I don't blame them I was totally off the rails. In the meantime I have a wonderful ex who I consider to be my best friend. Who does his best to understand my issues without judgement and is totally 'normal!'.
Baby steps for me before I venture into a club lol ... please let me know how you go.
14-05-2018 10:56 AM
Welcome to the forums. Its great to have you here. I hope you might have a different experience here to the kind that you have had in other clubs. It can be hard being different and feeling on the outside. I think the positive sides of being on 'the outer' and the lessons that you have learned are spot on though. That said, I do think that its possible that if you found the right club, you might find yourself occupying a different place in the social order, as different social groups value differnt things.
Welcome again and shout out if you have any questions or need any support to orient yourself on the forums.
All the best,