The Key Importance of Friendship Networks

“During the past decade sociologists have published numerous
research studies which have highlighted the importance of informal
friendship networks. One of the key findings to emerge from this work
is the fact that most Americans of both sexes initially meet their future
marriage partners through their friends.

The reality of the situation is that women tend to be quite wary of strangers. The reality of the situation is that informal friendship networks instigate far more male-female relationships that eventually lead to cohabitation and/or marriage than do all impersonal meeting grounds put together.

This represents a social fact of the most profound sort for our
understanding of the plight of shy men, and for our efforts to
understand how they got to be love-shy in the first place. Even the best
employment opportunities are obtained some 70 percent of the time through the proper and effective use of informal social networks.

Love and work, the two most indispensably crucial ingredients of life, are
both a direct byproduct of how successful people are in cultivating highly
satisfying, quality friendship networks. The more solid our friendship
networks are, the more solid will be our satisfactions and rewards in
both LOVE and WORK.

A related fact is that it is actually easier to meet members of the
opposite sex through friendship networks than through any other means.
It requires a significantly greater amount of courage and self-confidence
to initiate a conversation with a total stranger than it does to initiate one
with someone to whom one has been introduced by a mutual friend.

Of course, shyness above and beyond a certain point of severity
prevents a person from ever immersing himself into any informal social

This is more from the Love shyness book from Gilmartin. Its pretty obvious to me and I had come to the conclusion myself years ago. Its staggering though how many people are not aware of the most fundamental aspects of human behaviour. The British comedian who made a program on shyness interviewed another famous comedian and they both said they could never go up to a woman and chat her up first although I think they both still got married. And these are relatively normal men who are on TV in the UK regularly and appear on panel shows all the time. I think they are both married.

It shows how beneficial it is to be in a friendship network first in order to get relationships which means being normal and getting over crippling shyness first. I had some male friends while at work, some of them even had girlfriends but most of them thought i was weird/strange and we never went out in a group situation or with other available females. A couple of times we were left alone together by chance and they(the girlfriends) were incredibly awkward in my presence. In fact I would still go as far to say that being very shy actually repulsed many females at work and they openly hated me and avoided me even more. So it must be true for many other very shy men. So you become even more avoidant a syou know people dislike you. You don’t go around smiling at girls and making witty banter even more as CBT books demand because you have to get over crippling shyness first and have basic social skills to even make simple conversation that’s good enough to get liked. That’s because shy men make females very uncomfortable which is much more important for a man as women almost never make the first move and if they do and a man acts shy they think he is not interested or being rude and they move on.

Not being in any friend network is very important and completely overlooked in all the   books I have read on social anxiety. They drum it into you ad-infinitum that as a straight man you simply must approach attractive woman and make witty banter at them to get any chance of a relationship and if you keep doing it you will get better when acting shy in front of girls often goes wrong and makes you worse.  they ignore that so many normal men get to know someone first through friends or work so they dont just approach random females and make witty banter at bus stops. Its also why so many people I worked with moved on to other jobs as they almost all knew people who worked at other places and got them in whereas I worked in the same company for 20 years and never ever come across any other job or could even find one when I looked in the newspaper. (no internet in those days!) I only got that job in the first place as my dad knew someone already there!




Calm day after the storm

small flickr

Love, I don’t like to see so much pain
So much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away
I get so tired of working so hard for our survival
I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive

In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches

In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel


DSC_3724DSC_3741Still feeling quite emotional. We had yet another storm over the weekend in the UK so as the sun came out I want back to look for more crocus and other signs of spring life this afternoon. It was a three hour walk which I have done many times before but left my legs aching and me feeling  far more exhausted than usual.



monsal head

I feel quite down after events which I mentioned in last post and have been looking back over many of my older photos from past day trips. I had wanted to go back to so many places and discover some more but I do not expect I will now. However it sometimes gives me some comfort to remember past times. This is one of my favourite views in the peak district. Now its only a cycling and walking route as the railway was closed down decades ago. It was once the main route from London to Manchester and I imagine some people must have worked all week in London and came back on Friday evening and the relief of coming through the tunnel and out onto the viaduct across Monsal dale. However it also brought orphans on the trains who would have gotten off to work at the nearby mills. In fact Charles Dickens was supposedly inspired to write Oliver Twist due to the appalling working conditions at the time in nearby mills. I saw a youtube video only last week of a woman who now lives in the mill which have been turned into fashionable apartments and she said she had heard children singing in the night on several occasions.  Ghosts of the children who once worked there maybe. Its a reminder of the good and bad of mankind everywhere. Where now is peace and beauty was once misery and suffering.



Make Tomorrow Today

R.I.P. Becca          Sour Girl, Final Blog Entry
Put back the photo under the window.
Put down the ‘phone that you hold in your hand.
Put away these things that stand in between us.
Let us be what we can.
When it seems, hopeless.
When it seems, hopeless.
Make tomorrow, make tomorrow today.
Where the sacred met the scared.
Make tomorrow, make tomorrow today.
Where the dreamer’s dream is dared.

In each one of us, a dream can burn like the sun.


Make Tomorrow Today, Peter Gabriel




Anxiety worse than fear of death!

Which is of course why exposure therapy only works for some and maybe useless for older people as all motivation has already gone.

The first book I came across online about shyness(because it was and still is free to download) is called Love shyness by Brian G. Gilmartin.


Although  focusing on men and their shyness around women rather than all forms of social anxiety I found much of it to be highly accurate for me including bizarrely my life long breathing problems through my nose. He studied younger and also older men(35-50) who have never has sex which definitely fits into my category. This example is interesting, he says imagine you only had six month to live but would be still be fully fit for all that time. How would that change you? What would you do differently?

This scenario has become a favourite of motivational psychologists
who travel around the United States and Canada trying to inspire people
towards using their valuable time more productively.

“The differences I obtained turned out to be quite remarkable(between younger and older males). For example, not one man among the 100 older love-shys believed that his life style would change very much at all—especially from the standpoint
of his relationships vis-a-vis other people. In essence, for the typical
love-shy man, the fear of experiencing anxiety in social situations is
more forbidding than the fear of death itself.”

This is exactly why CBT is absolutely useless for many as I would rather be dead than put myself through highly discomforting exposures every day.  Its simply not an irrational fear of people, its a fear of REAL humiliation which has happened many times when I have acted very and uncontrollably shy so blows away the CBT myth/lie that nobody notices. I thought it was just me but this is how it must be for most older men with lifelong social anxiety. Then of course as I have mentioned many times before they try and guilt trip you as if its all your own fault for being cowardly thus only increasing shame and suicidal feelings. However I still don’t understand why so many exposures for social anxiety are absolutely over the top almost to the point of ridiculous like singing on the street rather than normal things that normal people do like going for a coffee or watch a movie to gradually increase confidence. I mean if you are too shy to even speak to people or go on date you are hardly going to go to therapy that tells you to bark like a dog and lie down on the street in public!

I cant think of anything I would do differently if I only had six months to live really.  Maybe go visit a couple of places I have always wanted to go to in England but that’s about it. Maybe eat more cake. Give remaining money to the homeless and dog charity. I am hardly going to have wild sex and live life to the full! Because even without any anxiety I am still too old and totally fucked in the head! Anyway perhaps past  a certain age reality and depression take over.  Perhaps they also realise as I have that there is almost no help wheresoever on the NHS and that most people really are quite judgemental underneath.



Calm before the storm


I have been out for the last three days before the storm(Ciara) came in today. There were lots of branches down even on the walk to Tesco this afternoon. The allergy tablets have helped me to sleep but still effect my moods to some extent. The problem is even though my bed is fairly comfortable I wake up almost hourly so 7 to 8 times per night is normal and then find it hard to get back to sleep again especially if there is noise from the neighbours.

Still the crocus and very first daffodils are starting to emerge and even saw my first bee yesterday. Way to early on the 8th Feb and I doubt it will survive today’s storm but perhaps its the global warming effects. I think last Feb we even had a mini heatwave with people in T shirts. I hope its not a sign of the summer to come as last summer was almost unbearable at times.

On Friday i went back and fed the crows. They cleaned me out of digestive biscuits and then wanted more. Unfortunately I got hungry and had to have some myself. I felt quite guilty as they followed me back to the exit, cawing in protest. Thankfully the mild winter means they have other food.

DSC_3446 (2)

Bad moon rising

I hope you got your things together
I hope you are quite prepared to die
Look’s like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye

I wanted to go further afield today but my sleep is still poor. I did sleep better for two days but the allergy tablet I took yesterday made me still funny in the head.  They used to do that years ago when I used them instead of sleeping tablets so its no surprise. The met office are also always changing their mind. I was going out tomorrow but now it may be cloudy and a storm is coming in.  So I want back to the local park again and saw some more snowdrops. When you are mad little things confuse and irritate you like trying to get the washing dry by hanging in over the fire piece by piece and sitting on the curtains by accident and pulling them half down, then trying to close the shampoo in the shower today and it flying into my right eye. Yes. I know. On Tuesday night I had someone whispering into my right ear during a dream. It was not English so I don’t know what they said. Maybe a spirit voice.

I was holding on til Christmas,now that its over and there is no reason for, well anything I might stop trying. Eat like a pig, drink even more and only change when I begin to smell.