Jump to content


Photo

Human Interaction: Is it Necessary?


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Kalea

Kalea

    Asexy

  • AVEN Members
  • 498 posts
  • Location:Stick a pin on a map and you just may end up poking me
  • A/Sexuality:Asexual, possibly aromantic

Posted 30 December 2010 - 02:32 AM

I've been pondering this for many years, and have yet to settle on an adequate answer. Is it necessary for humans to maintain face-to-face interactions with other humans? I keep thinking that I *need* human contact; is that really a "need", or is it just a "want"? Either way, is it possible to train oneself not to need/want human interaction? I can't say that I've ever been truly happy with my life, yet I'm a very "well off" person, though not in the financial sense right now (however that's about to change). The only thing I've really been lacking in life is close friends. I have little interaction with humans, other than that associated with work (or school, if we go back several years). I keep thinking to myself that that is the reason I'm not truly happy - I'm missing a necessary link, in this case, meaningful human contact. I'd much much rather learn to not need/want human contact, as it seems that if I've had 27 years to try to make/sustain close friendships, and haven't thus far, it ain't happening. I feel that I'll never really be happy unless I either have close friends or don't want/need anyone in my life. And since I view the former as highly improbable, is there a way to achieve the latter?

All that to ask a few questions.... 1) Do you view human interaction/contact as a need or a want? Why? 2) Do you think a person could learn not to need/want human interaction? If so, any ideas on how? 3) Do you think a purely isolationist strategy for dealing with life (and trying to attain happiness) has the potential to work?

*sigh* I'm so stinking tired of being lonely, and since I'm apparently not one to make or sustain close friendships, it seems that my only option for subjugating the feeling of loneliness is to eradicate it from my emotional repertoire by somehow cutting the desire for human relationships out of myself.

#2 Episthene

Episthene

    Member

  • AVEN Members
  • 37 posts

Posted 30 December 2010 - 03:08 AM

You need some human contact for work and such.

I am a bit leery about saying this, as I would not want to give a bad advice.

But basically, for me, I do not need or want any human contact, and I am quite happy like that. And by "happy" I do not mean "joyous" but just this "no problem" happiness.

So yes, it is possible, but maybe not for you, I do not know. I had to work on it by basically saying to myself the same thing as you wrote, and also by experience, as I know that when I feel alone, it is when I am with others like a stranger. When I am isolated, I do not feel alone, I am just content.

I convinced myself that I really do not want a relationship, because of the costs and benefits involved. I just cannot stand people around me. So in the long run, it just disappeared as a concern, really. But I have social phases, where I go out, and then I can easily spend a year totally alone.

However, if you do choose to live like that, you will probably be feared and judged quite a lot by others. They will not understand you and may actually want to hurt you. So there is a cost there as well. You really need to make sure that is what is good for you.

#3 Teagan KGB

Teagan KGB

    The Atrix Has You

  • AVEN Members
  • 1,293 posts
  • Location:Off on the side

Posted 30 December 2010 - 03:15 AM

I'd say that for a majority of people, it is a need (if only to be happy and/or sane), and often the people who don't need it don't want it either. That is to say that if you feel disconnected from people, or if you feel sad and link it to not having close friends, then you should find a way to get closer to the friends you have or make new ones.

I also think that how much of a need it is varies from person to person. I know people who need to see someone else everyday, most of the day or they break down. In my case, while I do need to interact with others in some form, I would do fine (and have done rather well) without talking to anyone face to face for an entire month, outside of school or work. In fact, when I tried this, the only class that required talking was a language course and I felt better at the end of the month than I did at the beginning.
Posted ImagePosted Image

I used to think of myself as a boy who got lucky and ended up in a girl's body, where he wants to be :D I was afraid (in the AVEN before-time) that I was being some sort of pervert or not respecting actual transgendered people, but the magic of AVEN has taught me that gender is much more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly gendery-bendery . . . stuff XD


#4 . .

. .

    -

  • AVEN Members
  • 5,691 posts

Posted 30 December 2010 - 03:21 AM

Hmm.

#5 Gatto

Gatto

    A-phrodite

  • AVEN Members
  • 2,854 posts
  • Location:No one sleeps in this room without the dream of a common language.

Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:03 AM

Sometimes it is necessary.

Necessary like a stomach pump.

Posted Image
I've become the sort of man who once will have been what I am.

Sunny lies softly sleeping, resting, peaceful seeming. Bright eyes cloaked in darkness slumber. What dreams he? I wonder.

Posted Image

Sic transit gloria mundi.

#6 Wineblood

Wineblood

    A-phrodite

  • AVEN Members
  • 2,704 posts
  • Location:Plymouth, UK
  • A/Sexuality:Demisexual

Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:16 AM

All that to ask a few questions.... 1) Do you view human interaction/contact as a need or a want? Why?


I'd qualify my craving for human interaction as 80% want and 20% need. I can go on fine with a tiny amount of interaction, but even then there is a tiny core which does need it. As for why, well right now there's a girl I like and all the need seems to be interaction from her, so I may not be able to answer this properly.

2) Do you think a person could learn not to need/want human interaction? If so, any ideas on how?


It's something with is enforced in our society. People having fun are having fun with friends and loners are miserable (stereotype). Growing up with it, I feel an expectation to be social, but many times have I gone without it and felt that I don't truly need it. Maybe being raised outside this idea that interaction is good and no interaction is bad would mould someone differently. But then against maybe we all have a social core which will seek out human interaction.

3) Do you think a purely isolationist strategy for dealing with life (and trying to attain happiness) has the potential to work?


I think it does. Haven't many people gone off and found some spiritual enlightenment in their solitude? I'm sure they would qualify this as attaining happiness in their lives, although it would be a different happiness to a social strategy. The potential to work would depend on the person.

My blog : Musings Of A Lonely Mind

 


#7 Naskweeky

Naskweeky

    Amoeba Colony

  • AVEN Members
  • 100 posts
  • Location:Adelaide, Australia

Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:31 AM

1) Do you view human interaction/contact as a need or a want? Why?
Depends on your personality, some people get crazy upset if they don't interact with other people often enough, so that would be need; but a person like me would get crazy upset if they interact with other people too often, I'd say that would be classed as a want. Then again maybe it just takes longer in isolation for someone like me to "need" interaction.

2) Do you think a person could learn not to need/want human interaction? If so, any ideas on how?
I'd say you're better off only being like that if you're naturally inclined that way. You could train yourself by getting people bully you until you just hate everyone, or just isolate yourself. That would suck though, personally I'd rather make friends, and that's saying something from me.

3) Do you think a purely isolationist strategy for dealing with life (and trying to attain happiness) has the potential to work?
Maybe, but I think if you're feeling lonely now, let's say, 20 years down the track in isolation you'll probably still be lonely, and feel like you can't talk to anyone because you haven't done that in so long (that happened to me after 2 years of being housebound, damn talking to people, I still hate it) so you'd have a harder time if you decide to make friends later.

I don't know how you'd go with that though, you might still be lonely. I've never been lonely in my life, in highschool I used to hide from my friends at recess and lunch, despite them being normal and nice people, because I'm so much more comfortable by myself.
"I might contradict myself, but at least I don't contradict myself." - Lano and Woodley

Posted Image

#8 ily

ily

    A-Grade AVENite

  • AVEN Members
  • 4,708 posts
  • Gender:do not want
  • Location:California
  • A/Sexuality:Asexual

Posted 30 December 2010 - 05:31 AM

Hmm, I can relate to what you're saying. I'm around your age, and I've had a lot of trouble making and keeping close friends. And sometimes I've wished that I didn't feel I needed friends so much. But I don't know if it's possible to stop feeling a need for human connection. I don't think it matters whether it's a "want" or a "need". Some things are both. I know there are people who don't want friends, but I think for most of us, it's a natural drive, just like most people have a sex drive. Personally, I think part of the problem is that while most of us have this drive for human connection, it can be hard to connect with people in modern society. Sorry if I sound like I'm writing an essay, but it's something that really troubles me. It's hard to find community nowadays. I'm 26 and it's super-hard to make friends at this age, because everyone seems to be in a different place in life. Anyway, I know this stuff is hard, so feel free to PM me if you want someone to talk to.

asexy beast, the blog (archives)

adventures in unemployment, the zine

"I was chaste to the point of rudeness."--Hippolytus


#9 Raccoonwolf

Raccoonwolf

    Mitosis to the Max

  • AVEN Members
  • 388 posts
  • Location:Finland
  • A/Sexuality:Asexual

Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:23 PM

Helloo~
I'm only 16, so you don't need to listen to me, but I thought I'd state my opinions.
About the want / need - thing, I agree with Ily. It's probably something humans have needed for survival too..
And I spent my junior high years pretty much alone; I had just one friend at school, and I didn't see her much otherwise. I usually just read books at home, when I wasn't at school. And I could say I was alright. Well, I wished for friends and made some too, in different towns, but I didn't meet them often. But I'm the kind of a person who needs people around. I have my parents and little sister, and they kept bugging me all the time, so I can't say there are times longer than a day or two when I haven't spoken to people.
Nowadays my best friend lives in Tanzania.
I think the bad thing about isolation is that you'll get scared of talking to people. I had trouble going to the hairdressers' and post and such, because I didn't know what I should say there, when I didn't have friends. And that kind of things are still important. So I think it'd be better to find friends, and people to talk to.
But well, if it's difficult and takes time, there's always the internet. You can talk to people on AVEN~ ^w^
I tend to get tired if I'm with people too long too. Every time I go on a week's camp, however awesome it and how nice people there are, I'll get tired towards the end, and want to be alone more. So even if it's a need, some people need loneliness too.
The world shows in different colors to different people.

#10 Ardebis

Ardebis

    Amoeba Colony

  • AVEN Members
  • 171 posts
  • Location:Connecticut / Massachusetts / New Hampshire
  • A/Sexuality:Aromantic Asexual

Posted 30 December 2010 - 05:19 PM

Though it's more extreme than what's being discussed here, this all reminds me of an article I once read on solitary confinement, which says that there needs to be some degree of social-ness if humans.

http://www.newyorker...fa_fact_gawande

Of course, some say there "needs" to be a sex drive in humans, so there's no real way to be sure it always applies.
Website in Progress: http://breakthebinary.co.cc/

Out into the hall
I never really thought that I was anything at all
Until I saw the person in the mirror on the wall
Staring back at me

Posted ImagePosted Image

#11 Episthene

Episthene

    Member

  • AVEN Members
  • 37 posts

Posted 30 December 2010 - 07:39 PM

Though it's more extreme than what's being discussed here, this all reminds me of an article I once read on solitary confinement, which says that there needs to be some degree of social-ness if humans.

http://www.newyorker...fa_fact_gawande

Of course, some say there "needs" to be a sex drive in humans, so there's no real way to be sure it always applies.


It is an interesting piece, but is more a rhetorical work about prison reform than about isolation itself, except for the first controversial experiment with the monkeys. The article does not distinguish between the results of isolation, trauma, abuse, restriction or even rule-controlled life.

I lived in isolation in the past, but never wanted revenge, flooded my apartment or banged my head on a wall.
I also lived in religious communities and there as well, you can form habits that are not well-adapted to the "normal" environment, even though it is the most contrary to isolation you cannot find. Anytime you change environment, you have to adapt anyway, and what is forgotten can be relearned quite easily.

The reason it does not apply as a lifestyle is because in all of those examples, none of them is voluntary. The author is more concerned about the evils of the restriction of freedom than isolation in itself. It is a rhetorical sleight-of-hand.

But that story about the isolated monkey would be abused by others, that I do believe. The question is, what to do with that monkey that is abused? And the only answer I can give is to isolate him again, or let him keep getting bullied. I had to make that choice with chickens. One of them would get bullied, so before it was killed, I isolated him. But then the "well-adapted" chickens would find another target, which I would isolate, and the cycle would continue. My boss, who was a big bully himself, was more of the advice to let them there. Eventually I had to do just that, unfortunately. But I am pretty positive the bullied chickens were not what I would consider "happy". There are times, for some chickens, for isolation in order to live happy.

But what is important for a person to remember is to not be some sort of "victim" like the poor monkeys were. We can learn, we can adapt, we can isolate, we can change environment, we can sue. There are many strategies possible for us because we have free-will, unlike the monkey.

#12 Gatto

Gatto

    A-phrodite

  • AVEN Members
  • 2,854 posts
  • Location:No one sleeps in this room without the dream of a common language.

Posted 30 December 2010 - 08:47 PM

I convinced myself that I really do not want a relationship, because of the costs and benefits involved. I just cannot stand people around me. So in the long run, it just disappeared as a concern, really. But I have social phases, where I go out, and then I can easily spend a year totally alone.

However, if you do choose to live like that, you will probably be feared and judged quite a lot by others. They will not understand you and may actually want to hurt you. So there is a cost there as well. You really need to make sure that is what is good for you.


And I can say that at the end of the eleven months that this investigation lasted, I was almost surprised that I had ever enjoyed anything other than those rare moments when the judge would lead me to the door of his office, slap me on the shoulder, and say to me cordially, "That's all for today, Monsieur Antichrist." I would then be handed back over to the police.
I've become the sort of man who once will have been what I am.

Sunny lies softly sleeping, resting, peaceful seeming. Bright eyes cloaked in darkness slumber. What dreams he? I wonder.

Posted Image

Sic transit gloria mundi.

#13 Episthene

Episthene

    Member

  • AVEN Members
  • 37 posts

Posted 30 December 2010 - 10:41 PM


I convinced myself that I really do not want a relationship, because of the costs and benefits involved. I just cannot stand people around me. So in the long run, it just disappeared as a concern, really. But I have social phases, where I go out, and then I can easily spend a year totally alone.

However, if you do choose to live like that, you will probably be feared and judged quite a lot by others. They will not understand you and may actually want to hurt you. So there is a cost there as well. You really need to make sure that is what is good for you.


And I can say that at the end of the eleven months that this investigation lasted, I was almost surprised that I had ever enjoyed anything other than those rare moments when the judge would lead me to the door of his office, slap me on the shoulder, and say to me cordially, "That's all for today, Monsieur Antichrist." would then be handed back over to the police.


Albert Camus is a nice author. :)
I had totally forgotten that quote, thank you.

#14 OtherWise

OtherWise

    Asexy A-postle

  • AVEN Members
  • 574 posts
  • Location:Manchester, UK

Posted 30 December 2010 - 11:57 PM

I find human interaction necessary to keep my personality in check. Too much isolation can give me a 'Me versus everybody else' complex, wherein I tend to both put myself down as a freak of nature and lift myself up as somehow more unique than anybody else. Interaction with other human beings, whether they are similar in nature to yourself or not, can* help you to analyse your own thoughts and actions and develop accordingly.

* I say 'can', because it doesn't always work this way. There are some well-adjusted loners out there, and social butterflies with no self-reflection and the balanced outlook of a withering cabbage.


Edit: and besides... I feel compelled to point out that I like people. Being asexual shouldn't have to mean that you're asocial as well. I don't always fit in and I'm shy to the point of social phobia, so sometimes I don't want to socialise at all, but I always try to try because other people often turn out to be nice, charming, likeable, surprising and accepting, no matter what you may have heard.

#15 TheEvaTree

TheEvaTree

    Mega Mitosis

  • AVEN Members
  • 200 posts
  • Location:Scandinavia.
  • A/Sexuality:Does not compute

Posted 31 December 2010 - 12:27 AM

Hi there All of you.....And Author of the tread ofcourse :)

WOW.....I'm a bit overwhelmed, to say the least....

I'm a new member since 30 minutes ago.

For all of my life(I'm 32) I've never read a tread first time in a forum and instantly felt like being home....


Yes, Kalea.

I could have written that opening for the tread myself.

*sigh* I'm so stinking tired of being lonely, and since I'm apparently not one to make or sustain close friendships, it seems that my only option for subjugating the feeling of loneliness is to eradicate it from my emotional repertoire by somehow cutting the desire for human relationships out of myself.


I have been thinking/feeling the same for all my life. I do have a few friends today, but it's more like connections that I cant say will stay forever, for reasons inside myself only I know. I care for them in a friendly loving manner(from the heart), but all the wounds and hurt from years with loss upon loss reminds me that practically nothing ever really lasts.

ALL you people in the tread makes me go straight to this point:

I really do believe each one of us have a choice, to choose whether we want social life or not.
I also believe that not every one of us go wrong from taking the path into unknown realms of solitude, due to the individual reasons we are here for.

If you feel like Kalea, I believe youre expressing a need, that needs to be fulfilled, unless its a chosen life lesson to learn to deal with the crappy emotions that goes along with it.

Honestly, I CAN deal with extreme solitude well enough to love it. I love myself that good. But it's not good for my chosen life purpose, which is dealing with shit - very challenging social situations - untill lessons are learned.

Happy New Year Kalea & people ;) ;)
"...There is dignity in suffering; nobility in pain; but failure is a salted wound, that burns and burns again !
But I have not failed. Iíve just found 10,000 ways that wonít work.
Therefore there is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way." - Samael, Aven member.

"Life isn't about finding yourself, its about creating yourself" - George Bernard Shaw

#16 Gho St Ory Qwan

Gho St Ory Qwan

    A-phrodite

  • AVEN Members
  • 2,806 posts
  • Location:Great (!) Britain
  • A/Sexuality:Pan-affectionate, aromantic (?), Asexual

Posted 31 December 2010 - 01:02 AM

personally I think so. Those prisoners who are in for life and have 23 hours a day of solitary confinement in my opinion should be completely mad pretty soon. I think it's torture. =[

if someone decides to become a hermit then maybe its different but I think that some human contact is good for everyone. Even if the hermit just stands at the edge of their hill and sees a car in the distance aha knowing theres some life around, something living near by, it's good. Then again, it's probably possible to be perfectly happy without human interaction if you had animals around that didn't want to act on any chance to eat you.

I think being able to communicate in some way with living beings helps. I don't know how important it is if it's human or face to face or not.
They called me mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me. --Nathaniel Lee

AroAce


#17 Raccoonwolf

Raccoonwolf

    Mitosis to the Max

  • AVEN Members
  • 388 posts
  • Location:Finland
  • A/Sexuality:Asexual

Posted 31 December 2010 - 12:01 PM

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/03/30/090330fa_fact_gawande

Oh WOW..! This article! You do that in USA? :ph34r:
Well, you do have the death sentence also.. <_< Cruel Americans...
...Uh, wait, most of the people here are from USA... ...I don't mean you...
...Back to the topic, that might not really apply to people who choose it themselves. But what I think is true is that being alone for too long might make it difficult to interact with people afterwards.
The world shows in different colors to different people.

#18 montgomeryguy

montgomeryguy

    Member

  • AVEN Members
  • 34 posts
  • Location:Montgomery, AL

Posted 31 December 2010 - 02:07 PM

All that to ask a few questions.... 1) Do you view human interaction/contact as a need or a want? Why? 2) Do you think a person could learn not to need/want human interaction? If so, any ideas on how? 3) Do you think a purely isolationist strategy for dealing with life (and trying to attain happiness) has the potential to work?


1. Human interaction is a need, in my opinion. From a personal perspective, it is not just the need for the warmth of human touch, it is also for the sound of another voice, a smile and the exchange of ideas and thoughts outside my own. It is a sense of being in and part of a community outside my personal community of one. Sure, I can read what others think via participation in online communities, but that type of interaction is not the same as hearing those same thoughts via the spoken word and seeing expressions on the faces of others as we interact.

I say this as someone who very much enjoys time by myself, but also enjoys the presence of others.

2. Honestly no, I don't believe so. I do think it is possible to learn to live without it and possibly be okay with that arrangement, if circumstances dictated it. But an isolationist strategy strikes me as very self-limiting and in my mind serves no real purpose.

3. Again, no. I do think people need time alone as much as they need interaction with others. For me, it isn't an either/or proposition. Nor is it a constant fifty/fifty balance; at times, I have needed greater chunks of time alone in order to process something going on in my life, or to sort out my thoughts on a matter that is weighing on my mind. At other times, I've needed more interaction with people, sometimes for those same reasons. It is certainly an ebb and flow with me. But in the final analysis, I need some of both in order to be mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy.

#19 vogue

vogue

    The Atrix Has You

  • AVEN Members
  • 1,015 posts

Posted 01 January 2011 - 09:03 AM

I'm 26 and exactly the same as you!! I wonder the same thing myself..I stayed in tonight instead of celebrating with friend's on New Years because all of my friend's inevitably disappointed me and I'm sick of it. I need to make new friend's. I'm actually severely depressed at the moment unfortunately and may start on some anti-depressants..but I'm super tired right now and can't answer your questions in as much depth as if wish (it's 4 Am.,just wanted to reply so I don't forget this thread :P) but basically, yes, I think it's a need. Social interaction that is.
Second, learn to make new friend's. It's tough but not hopeles! Trust me. Move to a new place, develop new hobbies etc.. It's possible. People disappoint but deciding on a strategy of complete isolation as a result is a bit extreme to say the least..
3. You strike me as desiring human interaction even if you see yourself as unsuccessful at maintaining friendships and so, no, a purely isolationalist strategy won't work. You yourself said it's at least a desire. Why limit the potential joy you'd get in life with such a strategy? Try to make life work, don't shun it!!
Lastly, you may also benefit from some counselling as well. I'm starting next week. I'm confident you can get better though- with time people get practice and you may findnew groups and a significance other which will help.

I tend to be a perfectionist and see life in such black/white terms too though. Ie. I've often said that if I don't find my significant other by x age and am still unhappy, I'd rather just be dead..:( but hopefully you see life as a journey without such concrete goalposts and deadlines.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users