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  1. #1
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Default Social isolation as a coping mechanism

    Does anyone deal with extreme stress or grief by isolating themselves completely, as in not talking about the stress or grief with anyone, even close friends and family?

    Most of our extravert-oriented society in the US thinks that voluntary social isolation is always a bad thing and not a good way to deal with things. I'm sure that's true for many people. And, if you read articles on dealing with death and depression, you'll find plenty of supposedly science-based research saying that isolation is a bad thing.

    I've done this before myself, but only because there was either no one to talk with or because I knew no one would even begin to understand. But, I always felt better when I could talk with someone when having extreme sadness, grief, and stress. Sometimes I would say I was fine and wanted to be alone and not talk, but really I wanted someone to care enough to break through the shell of my isolation.

    I encountered an introvert friend who wanted to be alone, as in completely alone when dealing with grief. I was very concerned and felt that I had to risk the friendship by refusing to accept this, so I "confronted" the friend about the isolation issue. The friend was very appreciative, but stated that they really do prefer to be isolated, and that it works best for them. I have to accept this statement at face value, but I'm having difficulty understanding how being so isolated could be a good thing. I'm still really concerned, and I hope a few would be willing to share their perspective on isolation and how it works for them in extreme grief or stress.

  2. #2
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    Does anyone deal with extreme stress or grief by isolating themselves completely, as in not talking about the stress or grief with anyone, even close friends and family?
    No. In spite of being an introvert, I don't do well holding in extreme stress. I need to have someone to talk to about it and will seek out someone. Usually this is family or close friends. If I feel for whatever reason that they wouldn't be able to understand or be supportive, then I go to online forums like this one.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    Does anyone deal with extreme stress or grief by isolating themselves completely, as in not talking about the stress or grief with anyone, even close friends and family?
    Yes. Absolutely. That is how I initially have to work through anything.

    Most of our extravert-oriented society in the US thinks that voluntary social isolation is always a bad thing and not a good way to deal with things. I'm sure that's true for many people. And, if you read articles on dealing with death and depression, you'll find plenty of supposedly science-based research saying that isolation is a bad thing.
    I don't permanently isolate myself, only until I've worked through things, come to grips with them. I can't talk about deep feelings with people. I can talk about theoretical stuff and universal truth but what's going on inside me, is a whole other story. The only way I can work through it is to shut out all of the noise and opinions and business. The only way I can determine how I feel or what I need to feel, what I think, is to isolate myself from what everyone else feels and thinks.

    I've done this before myself, but only because there was either no one to talk with or because I knew no one would even begin to understand. But, I always felt better when I could talk with someone when having extreme sadness, grief, and stress. Sometimes I would say I was fine and wanted to be alone and not talk, but really I wanted someone to care enough to break through the shell of my isolation.

    I do understand that and I appreciate people caring, but I need the distance, initially.

    I encountered an introvert friend who wanted to be alone, as in completely alone when dealing with grief. I was very concerned and felt that I had to risk the friendship by refusing to accept this, so I "confronted" the friend about the isolation issue. The friend was very appreciative, but stated that they really do prefer to be isolated, and that it works best for them. I have to accept this statement at face value, but I'm having difficulty understanding how being so isolated could be a good thing. I'm still really concerned, and I hope a few would be willing to share their perspective on isolation and how it works for them in extreme grief or stress.

    Hopefully, I did offer some help. I completely identify with your friend. I have been known to go into hiding before, just so I could sort out my thoughts and determine what my feelings were. For example, when my brother died, I couldnt' even write about my feelings much less share them with another human being. The greatest thing anyone did for me during that time was when this guy that I was going to school with saw me sitting alone on the steps and he walked over and took my hand in his. He never said one word to me, but he just sat there, holding my hand in complete silence. I didn't express any kind of emotion at all to him and he didn't demand any. It was the most understanding thing anyone has ever done for me.

    When I cry, I do so alone and if I am cornered by others, I may actually lash out. It's just that some of us have to shut out everybody else to keep in touch with who we are and to make sense of the change that grief often brings in our lives. I hope that makes sense. And I also think you are a terrific person for wanting to help your friend, so maybe just an "I'm here for ya, buddy."
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

  4. #4
    your resident asshole
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    I have almost always dealt with things alone, but it's not because I want to, it's because I have no one I would want to talk to. I tend to go to the Internet when I want to vent like @SuchIrony, but usually I don't end up saying anything then either.


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    I believe in confrontation rather than isolation.

    The strong are meant to challenge. The weak are meant to submit.

    This is the way of the Closed Fist - all things pass through the refiner's fire.

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    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I prefer solitude even if I'm "happy".

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    There is a time for confrontation. There is a time for solitude.

    Sometimes that which looks weakest is really strongest and that which looks like submission is really triumph.

    Fists only batter. Open palms kill. Stealth is not weakness.

    The refiner's fire can burn anywhere, in plain sight or in a secret cavern. Just because it isn't on display for the whole world to see, doesn't mean it's not doing it's job.

    Just some things to consider.

    Now, I must return to Jedi school. Master Yoda is calling me.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

  8. #8
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    Regarding the original post: yes.

    People often tend to make things worse, in my opinion, so I withdraw when stressed. That, and the fact than when under intense stress I tend to become a bit... darker, so it's probably better for everyone's well being if I'm alone for a while.

    Sometimes, some time alone is the best thing for you.
    ...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    There is a time for confrontation. There is a time for solitude.
    Ya, I guess that's true, we need to gather our strength and prepare for the coming storm if we are to survive.

    Sometimes that which looks weakest is really strongest and that which looks like submission is really triumph.
    Hm, if we keep our resolve inside, rather than letting it rage outwardly, maybe that does indeed lead to more controlled results.

    Fists only batter. Open palms kill. Stealth is not weakness.
    Well, it is an easier path, but maybe it is wiser to observe first and then take action.

    The refiner's fire can burn anywhere, in plain sight or in a secret cavern. Just because it isn't on display for the whole world to see, doesn't mean it's not doing it's job.
    Maybe then the fire needs to be given a proper focus, a balance like in a shining star.

    Just some things to consider.
    That's what I was doing all along. My outrageous claims aren't in all seriousness. It's more like a crazy brainstorming process.

    Now, I must return to Jedi school. Master Yoda is calling me.
    I must unlearn what I have learned and learn control!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    RW,


    That's what I was doing all along. My outrageous claims aren't in all seriousness. It's more like a crazy brainstorming process.
    You know after reading so many of your posts, I should have gotten that! by now! Also, I like you. I think you're a very intelligent and that your crazy brainstorming process is a wonderfully unique gift. Anyway, when I like someone, I have an overwhelming urge to "mess" with them. I don't know why I do that!

    Ya, I guess that's true, we need to gather our strength and prepare for the coming storm if we are to survive.
    Yes, very insightful!

    Hm, if we keep our resolve inside, rather than letting it rage outwardly, maybe that does indeed lead to more controlled results.
    Yes, yes. I completely agree.
    Well, it is an easier path, but maybe it is wiser to observe first and then take action.
    Very true, like a cougar stalking its prey.

    Maybe then the fire needs to be given a proper focus, a balance like in a shining star.
    I like that!

    I must unlearn what I have learned and learn control!
    I think we attend the same school. I have been beaten by a short green alien with a stick oh so many times.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

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