Meditation Discussion Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: raushan on February 22, 2021, 02:32:30 AM

Title: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 22, 2021, 02:32:30 AM
Hey Guys

As the title suggests I think I am bad at dealing with people. Even though I meditate regularly. I felt I had some insight which I thought really cool.  I still face the same problem which I used to feel when I was 17-18 years old. Currently, I am 28 years old.

It's difficult for me to have a group of friends who regularly hang out and do stuff like celebrating Birthdays or going to Bar to drink Beer. I have tried to do that but after some time I feel saturated and leave it. Also when I leave it's most of the time out of some reaction. This creates a bad impression. I am moody sometimes purposely I have blocked some of my friends. Sometimes I have not received many calls from my friend who cared for me just because in my mind I thought I am doing some great work and they are disturbing. But in turn, I have felt some great lonely moments. Especially during the pandemic I felt it more.

Also since few months, I am feeling that any social interaction, leaves certain lingering thoughts in the mind. So, I made my social interaction very less.

I have read some books, some biographies, and made a perception out of it that many people who were great were alone. I try to rationalize it but not try to copy it. But I think this isn't working out for me.

Because I find it's also difficult to live alone. Especially in some settings, it's nice to have some acquaintances. And I feel I am at a great loss for not having some friends emotionally as well as in the professional world. In some settings like meditation, reading books we don't need anyone.

Earlier I used to thought that maybe it's due to meditation but now I think I have been facing this situation since childhood due to my personality. And this gap becoming bigger as I am growing older.

I also felt that sometimes we socialize just to escape from our minds. But still, I find overall at a loss.

Have anyone here felt something similar? If anyone knows can you please give some suggestions how to balance it?
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: dharma bum on February 22, 2021, 04:42:39 PM
First of all, everybody needs social interaction. There are very few people in the world who are hermits by nature. I was at a talk yesterday about precisely this thing - loneliness in https://www.amazon.com/Together-Connection-Performance-Greater-Happiness/dp/0062913298/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1WIBHY7OVQN2F&dchild=1&keywords=vivek+murthy+together+book&qid=1614011339&sprefix=vivek+%2Caps%2C198&sr=8-1

What he says is that we can divide our social circles into three categories
1. family and friends we know very well
2. friends and aquanitences
3. social media

He suggests that we consciously spend time in proportion to the closeness of our relationship.

Is it possible for you to regulate your social interactions? Say you go out with friends maybe once a week? That way, your friends know what to expect from you.

When I was your age, I was very socially awkward. I did not know what to say to people or respond to their friendly gestures. Then the awkwardness would haunt me and made me further awkward. This has changed for me - some of it because I am older and dealing with family issues leaves no time for feeling embarrassed, but I also worked on it during meditation. The feeling of embarrassment is transient like everything. Sometimes when I do something embarrassing at work or in life, I tell myself that it is a good training to get over the feeling. You mentioned at one point meditation on death. That should be very helpful too I think. For me, social interaction became easier when I stop thinking too much about it.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Thanisaro85 on February 23, 2021, 05:49:49 AM
Hi Raushan,

Do you think there is a little of introvert+ mild depression in you?

I maybe wrong but what you described is basically what i am too, and i have both.



Regards
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Siddharth on February 23, 2021, 06:06:08 AM

Also since few months, I am feeling that any social interaction, leaves certain lingering thoughts in the mind. So, I made my social interaction very less.


Earlier I used to thought that maybe it's due to meditation but now I think I have been facing this situation since childhood due to my personality. And this gap becoming bigger as I am growing older.

I also felt that sometimes we socialize just to escape from our minds. But still, I find overall at a loss.


I feel much of what you write about raushan. In my experience there is significant truth in what you write as well, but given that this awareness is stinging you in some way, one can infer (also relating from personal experience) that there is awareness, but not as much equanimity and compassion.

Yes, almost all our interactions socially potentially leave some trail in our psyche as well as the other person's. Foundationally all of us are suffering and being unskilled in our conduct, we do tend to act so as to ignite something in the other person. But I have found that the answer lies within us. As we see more clearly how at some level everyone is suffering (by watching the nature of our own desires and aversions and ultimately our own suffering), a natural outcome is development of deeper compassion for ourselves and then towards others. (these days I feel that this organic compassion is not towards some person, but towards all the suffering in general, within and without). I found my last retreat much helpful in developing this compassion more deeply, and organically by watching how I am suffering and miserable within.

There are 2 aspects to social interaction : volume of these interactions, and our skill in these.
A short term solution as you are implementing currently is to limit the volume. But as Dharma Bum pointed out, there is a minimum need in all of us for these social interaction to function in a healthy way.
So over time the long term solution lies in developing equanimity and compassion within, so that the lingering thoughts that are remnants of interactions between 2 or more suffering individuals, dampen and cause less (or un-observable) suffering.

It might be a cliche to preach about equanimity and compassion, but that is the best medicine I have practically found. As the foundational truth of dukkha becomes clearer, this tend to develop more naturally as we do not see ourselves and others, but suffering within everyone towards which we direct our compassion.

Even if you cut out social interactions, there is enough suffering within ourselves, to give our being a nice spanking every once in a while. If we socialize to escape our minds, cutting out social interaction can be also seen as escaping into our mind to cut out social interactions. Try to observe this more often, and direct compassion towards this innate nature of suffering that has all of us entangled. Imagine the individual as an apple on a tree connected through the branches and stems of suffering with all the other apples. Compassion as you see this will become directed towards the tree, rather than any apple.
Similarly the lingering thoughts are but the part of this whole tree like entangled state of our being rather than some communication specifically.

You might also benefit from a little retreat time if that seems doable...
in Metta,
Siddharth
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 23, 2021, 10:49:51 AM
First of all, everybody needs social interaction. There are very few people in the world who are hermits by nature. I was at a talk yesterday about precisely this thing - loneliness in https://www.amazon.com/Together-Connection-Performance-Greater-Happiness/dp/0062913298/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1WIBHY7OVQN2F&dchild=1&keywords=vivek+murthy+together+book&qid=1614011339&sprefix=vivek+%2Caps%2C198&sr=8-1

What he says is that we can divide our social circles into three categories
1. family and friends we know very well
2. friends and aquanitences
3. social media

He suggests that we consciously spend time in proportion to the closeness of our relationship.

Is it possible for you to regulate your social interactions? Say you go out with friends maybe once a week? That way, your friends know what to expect from you.

When I was your age, I was very socially awkward. I did not know what to say to people or respond to their friendly gestures. Then the awkwardness would haunt me and made me further awkward. This has changed for me - some of it because I am older and dealing with family issues leaves no time for feeling embarrassed, but I also worked on it during meditation. The feeling of embarrassment is transient like everything. Sometimes when I do something embarrassing at work or in life, I tell myself that it is a good training to get over the feeling. You mentioned at one point meditation on death. That should be very helpful too I think. For me, social interaction became easier when I stop thinking too much about it.

Hi dharma bum,

Thanks for your response. I will definitely read that book. Since it helped you I guess it will help me too. Yes I think so I can regulate it. But it's not easy. When a group cumulatively does many things and if I being an exception participate only in few things. People misinterpret it. Maybe I have been meeting wrong kind of people. But I have seen in general they want you to be normal like them. I think there is some issue within me also that I need to work on. I have tendency to judge people on small things.

Meditation on death makes me more anxious sometimes. So I do it less frequently. But I agree it is helpful.

I do take jokes seriously. Can get offended easily. I should work on that probably. Keeping equanimity may help.

Really helpful advice.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 23, 2021, 10:59:37 AM
Hi Raushan,

Do you think there is a little of introvert+ mild depression in you?

I maybe wrong but what you described is basically what i am too, and i have both.



Regards

Hi Thanisaro85,

I know I am an introvert. I even took Myers Briggs personality test. It came up INTJ. Many qualities match. But I don't want to label it.

I have faced time to time Anxiety and sometimes low mood, sadness. In the past, it was more. Meditation helped me to see the causes of some of my anxiety. I think lockdown may have contributed it more. But I feel I become depressive when I purposely cut out my social interactions for long time.

Can you tell me what do you do then? How do you deal with it? Any suggestion would be helpful.

Regards
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 23, 2021, 11:14:51 AM


I feel much of what you write about raushan. In my experience there is significant truth in what you write as well, but given that this awareness is stinging you in some way, one can infer (also relating from personal experience) that there is awareness, but not as much equanimity and compassion.

Yes, almost all our interactions socially potentially leave some trail in our psyche as well as the other person's. Foundationally all of us are suffering and being unskilled in our conduct, we do tend to act so as to ignite something in the other person. But I have found that the answer lies within us. As we see more clearly how at some level everyone is suffering (by watching the nature of our own desires and aversions and ultimately our own suffering), a natural outcome is development of deeper compassion for ourselves and then towards others. (these days I feel that this organic compassion is not towards some person, but towards all the suffering in general, within and without). I found my last retreat much helpful in developing this compassion more deeply, and organically by watching how I am suffering and miserable within.

There are 2 aspects to social interaction : volume of these interactions, and our skill in these.
A short term solution as you are implementing currently is to limit the volume. But as Dharma Bum pointed out, there is a minimum need in all of us for these social interaction to function in a healthy way.
So over time the long term solution lies in developing equanimity and compassion within, so that the lingering thoughts that are remnants of interactions between 2 or more suffering individuals, dampen and cause less (or un-observable) suffering.

Hi Siddharth,

That is a very well thought answer. I guess you are right about the equanimity part. Also the long term solution will be more beneficial for my overall well being. Trailing thoughts comes there because I think there are some reactions going on the deeper level which I am not aware of. I have tried to cut out the interactions also because I fear that it will influence my own ideas. But I guess I have to learn to live like a lotus.

Quote
It might be a cliche to preach about equanimity and compassion, but that is the best medicine I have practically found. As the foundational truth of dukkha becomes clearer, this tend to develop more naturally as we do not see ourselves and others, but suffering within everyone towards which we direct our compassion.

Even if you cut out social interactions, there is enough suffering within ourselves, to give our being a nice spanking every once in a while. If we socialize to escape our minds, cutting out social interaction can be also seen as escaping into our mind to cut out social interactions. Try to observe this more often, and direct compassion towards this innate nature of suffering that has all of us entangled. Imagine the individual as an apple on a tree connected through the branches and stems of suffering with all the other apples. Compassion as you see this will become directed towards the tree, rather than any apple.
Similarly the lingering thoughts are but the part of this whole tree like entangled state of our being rather than some communication specifically.

You might also benefit from a little retreat time if that seems doable...

in Metta,
Siddharth

You are also right about the part cutting out social interaction is also escaping. It is also the action based on fear. It's true the same suffering is present in everyone. If we have compassion for our own suffering it will be transferrable to others. I will contemplate more on that. I guess it will make my interactions more pleasant.

Thanks for your response. Really helpful.

in Metta
Raushan

Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Thanisaro85 on February 23, 2021, 02:23:40 PM
[


Can you tell me what do you do then? How do you deal with it? Any suggestion would be helpful.

Regards

Hi Raushan,

I am not sure if my way helps but this is how i deal with it, i know it is quite general or obvious.

That is just acceptance of who i am.

I've learnt to accept myself as introvert, being that means understanding my strength is not so much about mixing in a group and able to chat happily non stop over beer sessions. I know that i will probably stopped in a hot conversations cold. And i just let it be.  And i learnt not to feel bad about it. I learnt that is just me.

I choose to be content about every moment( with mindfulness) as long as i am alive, get to eat, get to play my guitar. Get to joke with unknown guitarists in FB. My Facebook does not have a profile pic so people dun get judgemental with me. I wrote simple compliments words and like some posts with genuine wishing and some reciprocate with kind words, and i just tell myself to continue like this, i felt happy and hope they are happy too. Simple as that.

By saying that i have stop yearning for a group of close friends or relatives. I tried for years but that just don't happened. Instead of saying give up or feeling hopeless i am learning to be independent emotionally.

My wife, she does not have any friends or close colleagues, she doesn't feet lonely. She can have her meal alone during work break, just watching her mobile for drama and she spent her day like that. She does not feels lonely even she is alone. I am learning to be her.

She is good at making herself busy( unintentionally) which does not allow emptiness( not in meditation sense)to crept in.

People like me who have depression tends to feel lonely.

Hope u can grasp the way i am living now...




Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Dhamma on February 23, 2021, 07:20:34 PM
Hi Raushan,

I am not sure if my way helps but this is how i deal with it, i know it is quite general or obvious.

That is just acceptance of who i am.

I've learnt to accept myself as introvert, being that means understanding my strength is not so much about mixing in a group and able to chat happily non stop over beer sessions. I know that i will probably stopped in a hot conversations cold. And i just let it be.  And i learnt not to feel bad about it. I learnt that is just me.

I choose to be content about every moment( with mindfulness) as long as i am alive, get to eat, get to play my guitar. Get to joke with unknown guitarists in FB. My Facebook does not have a profile pic so people dun get judgemental with me. I wrote simple compliments words and like some posts with genuine wishing and some reciprocate with kind words, and i just tell myself to continue like this, i felt happy and hope they are happy too. Simple as that.

By saying that i have stop yearning for a group of close friends or relatives. I tried for years but that just don't happened. Instead of saying give up or feeling hopeless i am learning to be independent emotionally.

My wife, she does not have any friends or close colleagues, she doesn't feet lonely. She can have her meal alone during work break, just watching her mobile for drama and she spent her day like that. She does not feels lonely even she is alone. I am learning to be her.

She is good at making herself busy( unintentionally) which does not allow emptiness( not in meditation sense)to crept in.

People like me who have depression tends to feel lonely.

Hope u can grasp the way i am living now...


Dear Thanisaro,

That was an excellent post. I will tell you why.

You allude to something that is most important: in the end, we are all an island. The Buddha taught this. We look for the external world and for other people to make us happy. But, again, in the end, all we have is our minds. We have to learn to be alone and how to make best friends with ourselves.  We must not cling to others, even those we love dearly, which is very, very difficult.

By the way, that is great that your wife knows how to be content and peaceful while being alone. That is fantastic!

Peace and enlightenment, dear friend. :)
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Middleway on February 24, 2021, 01:47:32 AM
Thanisaro made a very good point about loneliness versus being alone.

Being alone is not same as lonely. Lonely is for ego-self. This ego-self
craves and wants. Be it attention, love, fame, you name it. Being alone has a totally different quality. There is no wanting in aloneness. There is contentment in aloneness.

So, observe the wanting of the lonely ego-self without resisting or embracing. And watch loneliness transform into aloneness.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 24, 2021, 03:46:30 AM

Hi Raushan,

I am not sure if my way helps but this is how i deal with it, i know it is quite general or obvious.

That is just acceptance of who i am.

I've learnt to accept myself as introvert, being that means understanding my strength is not so much about mixing in a group and able to chat happily non stop over beer sessions. I know that i will probably stopped in a hot conversations cold. And i just let it be.  And i learnt not to feel bad about it. I learnt that is just me.


Thanks for sharing it Thanisaro85.

I really liked this part. For some, it comes naturally.  I do have a lack of equanimity in this area. It still hurt me.

Quote

I choose to be content about every moment( with mindfulness) as long as i am alive, get to eat, get to play my guitar. Get to joke with unknown guitarists in FB. My Facebook does not have a profile pic so people dun get judgemental with me. I wrote simple compliments words and like some posts with genuine wishing and some reciprocate with kind words, and i just tell myself to continue like this, i felt happy and hope they are happy too. Simple as that.

By saying that i have stop yearning for a group of close friends or relatives. I tried for years but that just don't happened. Instead of saying give up or feeling hopeless i am learning to be independent emotionally.

My wife, she does not have any friends or close colleagues, she doesn't feet lonely. She can have her meal alone during work break, just watching her mobile for drama and she spent her day like that. She does not feels lonely even she is alone. I am learning to be her.

She is good at making herself busy( unintentionally) which does not allow emptiness( not in meditation sense)to crept in.

People like me who have depression tends to feel lonely.

Hope u can grasp the way i am living now...


I can relate to that part completely. In the past also I have tried hard to be social and to be extrovert like others. That also led me pain. That's why now I am trying to find a balance between the two.

I know I can't really behave like others. That's not me.

I really liked the idea of your wife. That's interesting. Something to be learned from.

Regards


Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 24, 2021, 03:49:48 AM
Thanisaro made a very good point about loneliness versus being alone.

Being alone is not same as lonely. Lonely is for ego-self. This ego-self
craves and wants. Be it attention, love, fame, you name it. Being alone has a totally different quality. There is no wanting in aloneness. There is contentment in aloneness.

So, observe the wanting of the lonely ego-self without resisting or embracing. And watch loneliness transform into aloneness.

Thanks Middleway for your wisdom. I should contemplate more on that. I will observe the feeling of lonliness.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: dharma bum on February 24, 2021, 04:26:19 AM
Quote
Thanks for your response. I will definitely read that book. Since it helped you I guess it will help me too.

Hi Raushan, I haven't read the book myself, but I thought the idea of regulating your social interactions consciously might be helpful to you.

Everybody has made excellent points in this thread imo. All of them are useful and complement one another.

1. It is helpful to cultivate contentment in your own company.
2. It is good to have compassion for yourself and others.
3. It is good to be equanimous towards transient feelings.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Siddharth on February 24, 2021, 05:01:54 AM
I came across this quote from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. It might be of value:

Quote
1. When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own—not of the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative,or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands, and eyes,like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other isunnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are obstructions.

Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 24, 2021, 10:11:01 AM
Hi Raushan, I haven't read the book myself, but I thought the idea of regulating your social interactions consciously might be helpful to you.

Everybody has made excellent points in this thread imo. All of them are useful and complement one another.

1. It is helpful to cultivate contentment in your own company.
2. It is good to have compassion for yourself and others.
3. It is good to be equanimous towards transient feelings.

Very well summarized dharma bum. You are right about it. Yes I might learn something from that book.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 24, 2021, 10:16:30 AM
Hi Siddharth,

Thanks for sharing that quote. It is to the point. Some of the great wisdom is written in Stoic philosophy similar to Buddhism. I have read books by Seneca and Marcus Aurelius have to read them again.

I guess Buddha won't have any problem living with people or staying alone. I separate myself from people because I think they are the problem but when I get separated I start longing for them. So there is some understanding that is lacking in my mind. I am escaping from something. I will investigate into it more. And I won't run away from people or situation if difficulty arises.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: stillpointdancer on February 24, 2021, 11:19:03 AM
I read quite a lot of the stoics. You can tease out stuff which wouldn't be out of place in the Dharma, but you also have to ignore a lot that doesn't really belong there. In terms of dealing with people it depends on what you want out of your practice. Do you want to remove yourself from people to concentrate on the practice,or do you want to be around people to bring your practice into the world? It's like the story of honesty vs theft. Anyone can be honest when there is nothing to steal. Anyone can think they have made progress until the real world impinges itself on them.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: dharma bum on February 24, 2021, 02:07:34 PM
Quote
I guess Buddha won't have any problem living with people or staying alone.

I think the Dhammapada says that we must seek the company of wise people and stay away from fools.

Typically there is something we like about everybody and something we dislike. We can examine our reasons for disliking or liking people. Do we like people because they say nice things about us? Do we dislike them because they are negative and bad-mouth others? Do we like someone because they are good-natured and generous?

All these things can and should be meditated upon. I think some reasons for liking people and disliking people are better than others.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 24, 2021, 03:38:06 PM
I read quite a lot of the stoics. You can tease out stuff which wouldn't be out of place in the Dharma, but you also have to ignore a lot that doesn't really belong there. In terms of dealing with people it depends on what you want out of your practice. Do you want to remove yourself from people to concentrate on the practice,or do you want to be around people to bring your practice into the world? It's like the story of honesty vs theft. Anyone can be honest when there is nothing to steal. Anyone can think they have made progress until the real world impinges itself on them.

Hi SPD,

I agree stoic Philosophers were great leaders like but they were not enlightened. So not everything matches with Buddhism what they have written.

As I am also in the professional world I am not a monk so it's necessary for me to interact with people. I agree sometimes we live under the illusion that we know things but it crumbles sometimes.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 24, 2021, 03:49:29 PM
Quote
I guess Buddha won't have any problem living with people or staying alone.

I think the Dhammapada says that we must seek the company of wise people and stay away from fools.

Typically there is something we like about everybody and something we dislike. We can examine our reasons for disliking or liking people. Do we like people because they say nice things about us? Do we dislike them because they are negative and bad-mouth others? Do we like someone because they are good-natured and generous?

All these things can and should be meditated upon. I think some reasons for liking people and disliking people are better than others.

Hi dharma bum,

I agree with this quote and tried to apply it in real life but it's not always practical. Sometimes wise people do not want to be with you. I mean they will have tons of other works to do and I might be insignificant to them.

What you said is right. I guess I have to develop my understanding more towards me as well as towards other people.

Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Dhamma on February 24, 2021, 09:04:24 PM
Quote
I guess Buddha won't have any problem living with people or staying alone.

I think the Dhammapada says that we must seek the company of wise people and stay away from fools.

Absolutely!

Yuttadhammo Bhikku talks specifically about this in some of his Youtube videos.

But, in the end, socialization has little use unless we are socializing to help each other live out the Dhamma, or to help someone be happier, etc.

Peace and enlightenment.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 24, 2021, 10:58:05 PM

Absolutely!

Yuttadhammo Bhikku talks specifically about this in some of his Youtube videos.

But, in the end, socialization has little use unless we are socializing to help each other live out the Dhamma, or to help someone be happier, etc.

Peace and enlightenment.

Agree with you. Hope I reach that level of seriousness. But I think I am not there yet. It might be difficult for lay people. In Suttas Buddha specifically recommended some of the Samanas to go to forrest and do meditation in silence.

Buddha himself left everything behind. But He still had few friends with him for some years.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 25, 2021, 07:45:14 PM
Some lines from SUtta on friends/companion::

Quote
Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie."[1]

"Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path
.


Quote

'With regard to external factors, I don't envision any other single factor like admirable friendship as doing so much for a monk in training, who has not attained the heart's goal but remains intent on the unsurpassed safety from bondage. A monk who is a friend with admirable people abandons what is unskillful and develops what is skillful.'[4]


Quote

'And what is meant by admirable friendship? There is the case where a lay person, in whatever town or village he may dwell, spends time with householders or householders' sons, young or old, who are advanced in virtue. He talks with them, engages them in discussions. He emulates consummate conviction in those who are consummate in conviction, consummate virtue in those who are consummate in virtue, consummate generosity in those who are consummate in generosity, and consummate discernment in those who are consummate in discernment. This is called admirable friendship.'[5]

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Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Dhamma on February 26, 2021, 01:13:29 AM
As I am also in the professional world I am not a monk so it's necessary for me to interact with people. I agree sometimes we live under the illusion that we know things but it crumbles sometimes.

Are you talking to me? ;D  I think I know something to find out later I didn't know anything at all.

Matthew put me in my place to make me aware of this. I threw a hissy fit, but he only did it for my own good. He was right: My ego and too much speculation was getting in the way for any kind of real clarity.

Hey, I will admit a I learned a few things along the way, but not very much.  :D


 
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 26, 2021, 03:17:11 PM

Are you talking to me? ;D  I think I know something to find out later I didn't know anything at all.


 ;D ;D  It's applicable to everyone until we get enlightened. I know myself and there is so much ignorance in me. I guess I don't know the true extent of my ignorance otherwise I would do nothing else just be aware of everything.
If there is someone in our life who can tell what is the actual problem with us it's a great blessing.
There was Buddha that's why everyone felt even the kings that they are ignorant.

Quote

Matthew put me in my place to make me aware of this. I threw a hissy fit, but he only did it for my own good. He was right: My ego and too much speculation was getting in the way for any kind of real clarity.

Hey, I will admit a I learned a few things along the way, but not very much.  :D

 ;D ;D Yes that's true. Even I have learned so many things from Matthew.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Matthew on February 26, 2021, 03:36:38 PM
...
I think I know something to find out later I didn't know anything at all.

Matthew put me in my place to make me aware of this. I threw a hissy fit, but he only did it for my own good. He was right: My ego and too much speculation was getting in the way for any kind of real clarity.

Hey, I will admit a I learned a few things along the way, but not very much.  :D

Recognizing that ego and speculation get in the way is an important lesson.

We all have our moments and sometimes, to be a friend, it is important to be an honest mirror - even if that stings a little.

It's good you learned the things you learned, and that you are still here despite your ego hurting a bit.

it's all good :) 
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Kennedy on February 26, 2021, 10:25:29 PM
Hi, raushan. I can relate to your problem aswell since i am in my late twenties aswell and still experiencing social withdrawal and plenty of social awkwardness.
I do not think i can give you real advice that can help you like what my fellows here have said. I just came by to tell you that, even though we may be islands in a vast ocean, you are not truly alone.

Regards.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on February 27, 2021, 10:57:48 AM
Hi, raushan. I can relate to your problem aswell since i am in my late twenties aswell and still experiencing social withdrawal and plenty of social awkwardness.
I do not think i can give you real advice that can help you like what my fellows here have said. I just came by to tell you that, even though we may be islands in a vast ocean, you are not truly alone.

Regards.

Hey Kennedy,

Nice to see you on the forum. Yes it's a bit of an odd situation. You want to be friends with people but not too friendly at the same time. Even socialization have certain hidden rules.  So there are certain protocols we have to follow. If we don't do that we will suffer.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: maybeiam on March 01, 2021, 08:30:32 AM
Corona phase makes it more dificult .
and most on the internet nowadays is a not really respecting our daily lives.
good you recognize this and you want to improve, but dont feel guilty and dont think too much of it i will tend to  fabricate more negativity, we are all on the same vessel
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Matthew on March 02, 2021, 03:10:45 PM
Hi Raushan,

You are describing social anxiety. It is is a difficult one - I struggled with it a lot during my life.

It kind of risks becoming a 'self-fulfilling prophecy' at a certain point: you feel somehow 'deficient' in social interactions and situations, this can then make those situations feel more awkward or acute, and this feeds back and reinforces the sense that there is something 'not right' about you .. and so the circle turns.

Quote from: Raushan
Earlier I used to thought that maybe it's due to meditation but now I think I have been facing this situation since childhood due to my personality. And this gap becoming bigger as I am growing older.

In my experience it is not inherent in who we are - much more to do with social conditioning (and then self-conditioning building on this). Personality is built on a foundation from our early interactions with those around us. This is where the saying 'show me a child age seven and I will show you the man' comes from. It isn't fixed though. Why would any of us be meditating and walking the path if we believed that, or if that was our experience of things?

As Tulku Ringu Rinpoche said to me "the most important teaching of the Buddha is that you can change yourself".

There are many dynamics that can lead to such issues. It can be something as trivial as a valued family member who gets a laugh from belittling you in front of others when you are a growing child; or something more serious such as having a mother who has narcissistic tendencies and/or is over-bearing: who pushes you to 'be something' you are not; and a thousand other possibilities. The cause is not so relevant as the cure (which is not to say that sometimes we may face painful truths about the cause while exploring the cure).

Quote
I also felt that sometimes we socialize just to escape from our minds. But still, I find overall at a loss.

Yes, socialisation can be a way of escape - often lubricated by alcohol or other substances that lower the normal barriers of social conditioning and the mind. Then you wake up with some kind of hangover - not just the one you get from drinking alcohol, but an emotional or 'psychic' hangover - from knowing that you filled the void for a few hours, but at the expense of your own being, your own truth: and, that filling the void with trivial stuff is impermanent and inherently leads to longer term suffering.

Quote
Have anyone here felt something similar? If anyone knows can you please give some suggestions how to balance it?

As I mentioned above I struggled with these issues for a lot of my life. I didn't realise consciously until I was about your age that I suffered acute social embarrassment and anxiety. This was some years before I became a practitioner. When I decided to tell a few close friends they really didn't believe me at first as I had hidden it so well behind a mask.

That was the beginning of me facing up to this in my own life. I learned a lot by being honest with myself and others. One of the things I learned is that I do not want to have fake social interactions with people who cannot accept me for who I am. I don't wish to socialise with people who don't want to be honest and mindful about themselves or hear those things from others. Usually such people's level of care towards others is as shallow as the activities they engage in.

Meditation is definitely a help and not a hindrance in my experience. Mindfulness is synonymous with 'remembering': it works on a lot of levels. On a basic level is being mindful of who you spend time with, choosing friends who have wholesome motivations, who care to be mindful of their own being and have no objection to engaging with you being a mindful person.

Remembering or being mindful of your own needs, and finding the kernel of what those needs are behind the social conditioning is greatly helped by meditation. Being mindful of equanimity is helpful too. Equanimity towards your own being and towards others: recognising that we are all living in a world of masks and not allowing the fakery of this to over-come you, or lead you into unwholesome action.

Other things I have found that help have included looking within to find and establish my comfort levels, what defines them, where they came from, and then re-aligning them with my felt sense of what works for me - or  sometimes gently challenging/pushing myself to extend my boundaries in a manageable way.

I discovered I have no interest in the way people normally define themselves in this world: by work, or money, or status, or power, or how hot their wife/husband is ... etc, etc. These things have zero relevance in how I value people and interactions with them. I value people and my interactions with them on how honest and straightforward they are; on how compassionate and true to their own morality they are; on the quality of equanimity they bring to any situation. Basically, on how wholesome and in line with fundamental moral/human values spending time with others is (these values being very much aligned with Buddhist ethics since I learned about this, though even before as it is what "felt right").

On a very practical level, I discovered I am more comfortable in small groups and one to one conversations and interactions. Any big group has a danger of tacitly agreeing a 'group mentality', and this involves pushing aside your own needs/values in an unhealthy way. I choose to spend social time mostly with one or two other people, so I can really have time for them, and they can really have time for me. I am comfortable in some social situations with a maximum of about five to six people, depending on circumstances: beyond that things tend either to split between the group into sub-factions, which becomes a problem for me, or the 'group-think' takes over and I walk away rather than getting lost in it.

So for me I worked on a) being honest with myself, b) choosing friends with discernment, c) choosing social situations with discernment, d) listening to others mindfully - key to this is not thinking of responses before you have fully listened to, and heard the other - and therefore, responding to them mindfully, e) knowing what I wanted to say and saying it mindfully, f) choosing to not get involved with or walk away from people who either lack a mindful approach or situations which engender a lack of mindful approach.

In about 1995, before I became a practitioner, I had over 150 social contacts in my address book. These were people I would go to parties with, or have dinner with or meet for drinks etc. One day, looking through this list, I realised that I really did not know most of these people. I realised that most of the activities I engaged in were quite empty of real depth and meaning. I decided to do something quite radical, because I also realised I was not capable of having true meaningful relationships with all these people. There literally was not enough time in the day for it.

So the first thing I did was go through this list and rigorously cut out the people who, when I reflected on things, I felt I would never make a meaningful, deep , and reciprocal relationship with. I cut the list down to about 25 people who I felt there was some possibility for a real meaningful and wholesome friendship.

During the next month or so, I made a point of meeting and spending some time with each of these people alone (or in couples where there was a partnership). During those interactions I asked them things about themselves on a deeper level than normal. Not invasive, but deliberately pushing boundaries a little: to see how they responded, including whether they engaged and whether they reciprocated and did the same with me.

By the end of that experiment I cut my list of friends down to seven people. Of course, a lot of time has passed since then, I have met a lot of other people .. some have come and gone, some have stayed around. Yet of that group of seven, I am still in regular contact with five of them twenty six years later, and have spoken with three of them in the last ten days. They will probably all be friends until the day one of us dies. One of the other two died already, and the other one we discovered an irreconcilable difference and parted ways agreeing with equanimity and friendliness that at that point in our lives, our lives had parted ways.

The truth is if you can fill the fingers of one hand with true friends you are doing well in this world: friends who will listen and hear; who will respond compassionately and with equanimity; who will be friends without needing you to be anything other than what you are - these friendships are actually quite rare in this world. We are born alone and die alone. That is true for all people - it is enhanced for those of us who are choosing the meditative path - to 'swim upstream', the wholesome life, or 'the road less traveled'.

The truth about friendships is that good ones are rare, they are open to (and can accommodate) change as we/other change, and they may be lasting or transient. The most defining factor in true friendship is quality over quantity.

In choosing a few good friends wisely, and investing time in those friendships, you will gain a better quality of life than by "fitting in with the crowd" - every time.

With love,

Matthew
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Thanisaro85 on March 04, 2021, 01:21:43 AM
They will probably all be friends until the day one of us dies. One of the other two died already, and the other one we discovered an irreconcilable difference and parted ways agreeing with equanimity and friendliness that at that point in our lives, our lives had parted ways.

This is nice and i feel glad for you, having a few close friends in the dhamma path(of the same depth) is good. I hope this is the place i can find some too.

Although my family meditate too, but unfortunately it is still miles away they will understand or concerned about the 4 noble truths and the importance of mindfulness.

Regards
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on March 04, 2021, 12:45:30 PM
Hi Matthew,
'
Thanks for the wonderful reply. You are right about the part that How we grow up in our childhood shapes a lot our personality. I can relate to it on some level. Also about giving time to a healthy relationship is a wonderful idea. Giving more priority to the valuable relationship is what I am lacking. We can't treat every relationship as the same.

I should read it time to time.

Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: raushan on March 04, 2021, 12:47:15 PM
They will probably all be friends until the day one of us dies. One of the other two died already, and the other one we discovered an irreconcilable difference and parted ways agreeing with equanimity and friendliness that at that point in our lives, our lives had parted ways.

This is nice and i feel glad for you, having a few close friends in the dhamma path(of the same depth) is good. I hope this is the place i can find some too.

Although my family meditate too, but unfortunately it is still miles away they will understand or concerned about the 4 noble truths and the importance of mindfulness.

Regards

Hi Thanissaro,

Please feel free to DM me on this forum if you ever want to have friendly chat or discuss something Dhamma related. We can also connect on some social media if you are comfortable with it.

With Metta
Raushan
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: dharma bum on March 04, 2021, 03:47:32 PM
One of the things I have become good at as I got older is dealing with rejection. Say, I like someone and want to be friends but the other person doesn't seem as interested. When I was younger, I took this as a rejection. Now it doesn't bother me because looking at my own mind, my mind is jumping here and there, thinking this and thinking the opposite, liking somebody and disliking somebody based on something trivial and nonsensical. I'm not even sure what liking someone actually means. I don't even know why I want to be friends with someone.

So the whole thing becomes not very important. Who cares?!

Some months ago, I was on a bus and suddenly one woman started hitting a man with her purse and shouted "Don't touch me" and then she went to the end of the bus. The man looked ashamed and I came to the conclusion that he was some sort of a creep. Then I heard the woman yelling at someone else at the back of the bus. The man looked very dejected. He said, "I was only offering my seat to her because she was carrying a lot of stuff and so I touched her arm". "Yes", said a woman who was sitting next to him and had seen the whole thing, "You were being a gentleman".

So I came to a snap judgement about the man without knowing what was going on in his mind. It is like that with people. We have no idea what's going on in their minds.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Thanisaro85 on March 04, 2021, 04:28:51 PM
Hi Thanissaro,

Please feel free to DM me on this forum if you ever want to have friendly chat or discuss something Dhamma related. We can also connect on some social media if you are comfortable with it.

With Metta
Raushan

Hi Raushan, thanks for the invitation.

Will definitely DM you if there is anything i can think of for discussion, appreciate the invitation. This is nice.

Regards
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Matthew on March 04, 2021, 06:49:35 PM
This is nice and i feel glad for you, having a few close friends in the dhamma path(of the same depth) is good. I hope this is the place i can find some too.

Thank you Thanisaro - though these are, technically speaking, friends from my "pre-Dhamma days", the truth is I was acting with the Dhamma without knowing so. I also have some close Dhamma friends which is a blessing. I wish the same blessing will come your way.

... You are right about the part that How we grow up in our childhood shapes a lot our personality. I can relate to it on some level.

It is the force that shapes us more than anything IMHO - until you take charge of your life, and then it is your own intention, wisdom, skillfulness, compassion, mindfulness etc which takes over. 

Also about giving time to a healthy relationship is a wonderful idea. Giving more priority to the valuable relationship is what I am lacking. We can't treat every relationship as the same


Absolutely - choose to invest in those friendships where you are valued, where there is a wholesome "coming together", and you will be happier. Especially when you are busy with studies and other commitments there is limited time. If that time is spread too thin, or with friends who entertain yet do not connect more deeply, then you are only denying yourself the benefit of mutually respectful and wholesome relationships.

Much Metta to all,

Matthew

PS Thanisaro - I edited your post above as the quote from Raushan wasn't in the quote box.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: Dhamma on March 06, 2021, 07:25:23 PM
One of the things I have become good at as I got older is dealing with rejection. Say, I like someone and want to be friends but the other person doesn't seem as interested. When I was younger, I took this as a rejection. Now it doesn't bother me because looking at my own mind, my mind is jumping here and there, thinking this and thinking the opposite, liking somebody and disliking somebody based on something trivial and nonsensical. I'm not even sure what liking someone actually means. I don't even know why I want to be friends with someone.

So the whole thing becomes not very important. Who cares?!

Some months ago, I was on a bus and suddenly one woman started hitting a man with her purse and shouted "Don't touch me" and then she went to the end of the bus. The man looked ashamed and I came to the conclusion that he was some sort of a creep. Then I heard the woman yelling at someone else at the back of the bus. The man looked very dejected. He said, "I was only offering my seat to her because she was carrying a lot of stuff and so I touched her arm". "Yes", said a woman who was sitting next to him and had seen the whole thing, "You were being a gentleman".

So I came to a snap judgement about the man without knowing what was going on in his mind. It is like that with people. We have no idea what's going on in their minds.

Boy, is that ever a good post!  You hit the nail on the head on this one.

I've heard Ajahn Brahm say that our memories, even our surest understandings of the past, are often terribly blurred, and thus completely unreliable to understand anything with a clear mind. Our minds play tricks on us, over and over and over again. 

Peace and enlightenment.
Title: Re: I think I am bad in dealing with people Any suggestions
Post by: mobius on March 09, 2021, 01:15:50 AM
I haven't the time to read this whole thread so I'm probably repeating what's already been said, apologies.

I myself have often had this or similar thoughts as well. [as to the title of the thread]. What I can say for myself at least is don't stop interacting with people; and don't shut people out (Everyone at least, some people, a few, probably should be shut out from your life, the bad influences).

The more interactions I've had, the more people I've hung out with and done things with has helped me immensely. I grew up with Asperger's syndrome and got sickly nervous just being around family members and people I knew well, let alone strangers. Somehow I've managed to improve this flaw in myself immensely over the past 10 years. For example recently I joined a gaming community to play with total strangers; and as a result made some new friends. This is something I would never have been able to do years ago.

Meditation seems to have a way of putting truths out in the light that were hidden and in hindsight they seem obvious. I realized I just had to force myself to do things at some point. But all these things happened without me even thinking about it. I just did it and realized the progress I had made after the fact.