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Birthdays

ruminator

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Some people think of birthdays as a day to have fun and party, some people think of them as a regular old day. I'm of the type for whom birthdays are very meaningful. I see them as a day to feel special and loved and cared for.

& that is why it is very depressing that I have no friends. I'm cool with a lot of people, but they all have their "core" groups who they are close to, and I don't have a "core" group of my own. I don't have any friends who are close enough with me and care enough about me to actually put any effort into my birthday.

Anyway, my birthday is coming up (24th) and every year I get depressed before because I never have plans and I don't know how I'm supposed to feel special. I do spend it with my parents and sister every year and I love that and am in no way devaluing it...but it's the same routine every year, dinner and the cake, and I love it but it just doesn't feel like a big deal anymore, and its just not the same as having friends.

We always say not to depend on others and to be self-sufficient, but are we? Feeling loved and having friends and being cared about are all things we depend on other people for. And those things are very important to happiness. So in a way, we do depend on others for happiness.

To get to the point, does anyone have any ideas of what I should do? I'm still doing the family dinner, but how should I spend the rest of the day to make it special?
 

Sly-fy

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Well look, the way you wrote that really makes me feel for you.

As for me though, I haven`t had a birthday party for myself since my 23rd birthday, I`m 28 now and I`m content to not give a rats on my birthdays or do anything special. I personally don`t care about my birthday, so I don`t expect others to either, nor do I get invited to others` birthdays for the most part. In all fairness, my tendency to keep distant from most people and the fact that others than myself also have their own personal times and our free times hardly ever match, none of those things help either.

It`s cool to have a party with a few close friends once in a while, but it`s not essential to have an occasion like a birthday as an excuse to have a party IMO, especially since it`s almost impossible for all the stars to align in a way that everyone just so happens to be free and available on the very day that your birthday falls on.

You know, just the other day I went out and met some cool people from this forum who I felt really understand me, so maybe if you organized to meet some other INTPs or people of similar personality types to yours who live in your area, you`d find it easier to make friends with those kinds of people? And then you could delay your birthday party for when you make friends, rather than feel that the whole thing just fell through because you didn`t get to spend the actual date of your birthday the way you`d hoped...
 

Animekitty

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I like my birthdays because it feels different just to know the number is different. The newness of it wares off in less than a month. I am not to big into cake or having a party. Pizza is what I enjoy about the day being my birthday. I can relate to having no friends. The person who knows me best is my sister. Best friends are the ones you can talk to the most. She is the only person I can say is in my core group.

Being online is a helpful distraction from real life events. More people are like me from the internet than having to look for them where I live. The world can be seen as big or small, peaceful or empty. Spending time alone can help with knowing what you consider meaningful to your life without necessarily finding the meaning to all life. We do not have to think we need to do something to feel special. We just are special. We can be happy that people like ourselves exist in the same bout (looking for a meaningful existence). Finding people like that is a deep connection.
 

Lot

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Plan something. It's cutting it close, but you could just ask some friends if they want to come over this weekend or go out to a bar to celebrate your birthday. It's that simple. Not everyone will be able to, but I'm sure some people will. Especially if you have booze.

Ta you don't have a core group, but the people you are kool with might be super happy to get invited out to celebrate. I can be off putting in person, to people. Sometimes they think I'm too kool for them, or I wouldn't want to hangout with them. Then when I see if they want to hang out, they get all excited. You might be lacking a core group, because people think you don't like them. You wouldn't be the first INTP to experience that.

It takes effort to keep or make close bonds. Sometimes you even just need to insert yourself into a group. It doesn't always workout, but I've seen it work before. Hell, I knew of a homeless kid, that met some people at a small local theme park. He would just tag along and people just assumed he was invited everywhere they went. They all became his friend. Not that that is the best way, but it's an extreme example.

So if you want to do something after your special family time, you'll have to set it up yourself. If you use facebook and the people you want to see are on there, start an event and invite them. Or text/call the people you know. If no one can come this year, then now you have a goal for next year.
 

Happy

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I sympathise with you.

This describes my yearly birthday experience fairly accurately. I don't have a core group either (not anymore, for the last few years), and although I don't like attention much, I agree that it's good to have that one day to be appreciated.

I guess the best thing you can do, in my opinion, is to organise something with the friends you do have, despite them not being that close. I suggest something in an intimate setting, even if you have to push it back a few days to give people time to respond.

I think in that situation, the less people that show up, the better. As long as you have a few people to keep you company.

My last birthday, I got some semi-close friends together (all my close friends had moved to other cities in a mass exodus) and the 10 or so that showed up quickly forgot that it was my birthday, while a couple of people made it all about them. Nobody actually wished me a happy birthday.

That's why I suggest it keep numbers low.

Good luck and happy birthday :)
 

cheese

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Yeah Happy that's terrible. Good job moving to Sydney.

I dunno ruminator. I sorta stopped caring, but it's nice when I'm surprised or someone plans something for me.

Maybe plan something fun with your sister and invite your friends along. Your sister can do the cake and stuff so people don't forget what they're there for, but you also have a planned group activity (bowling? drinking? bank heist?) so it doesn't fall flat.
 

Happy

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Lol thanks Sly. It was 6 months ago, and I've left that life behind. Well and truly over it.

Maybe plan something fun with your sister and invite your friends along. Your sister can do the cake and stuff so people don't forget what they're there for, but you also have a planned group activity (bowling? drinking? bank heist?) so it doesn't fall flat.

This is a good idea.
 

Alias

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I can relate to an extent, ruminator.

I have enough friends, but I can't find one friend to really identify with and be super close with.

Try to plan something, invite a few friends, and remember that it's impossible for you to be completely lonely.

Happy Birthday!
 

Sinny91

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I spent my actual 21st, 22nd, 23rd in bed. My cousin dragged me out of bed and made me get drunk on my 24th.

I'm lucky to have a few friends who do make the effort on occasions, but I usually just wind up hanging out alone... and brooding over my familys abandonment of me.

I treat myself to stuff, like a new tattoo, phone, or just 24 hours sleep. All about what I want that day, forget the rest of the world, usually a let down anyway.
 

ruminator

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I guess I could try and plan something.... is there anything I could do by myself or with family that could serve as an alternate to depending on these random friends? I don't like the feeling of depending on them. I thought I could go get a massage or something ..

It's nice to hear what birthdays mean to you all. Maybe it can provide me with a change of perspective..so I won't have to feel dependent, and can start to think of birthdays in a different light
 

redbaron

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I guess I could try and plan something.... is there anything I could do by myself or with family that could serve as an alternate to depending on these random friends? I don't like the feeling of depending on them. I thought I could go get a massage or something ..

It's nice to hear what birthdays mean to you all. Maybe it can provide me with a change of perspective..so I won't have to feel dependent, and can start to think of birthdays in a different light

Massage is a good idea. You can always just plan yourself a relaxing day. Phone off (or silent) and just do stuff that makes you happy.
 

TheManBeyond

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I usually prefer to be alone, dislike very much so much all the friends, family protocol, feel kinda embarrased somehow, want the day to end.
I'm one of those who thinks that with one hey happy birthday and hand gesture is enough.
Why giving extra meaning to a day that's just nothing.
The cool stuff must be set for always.
 

cheese

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I guess I could try and plan something.... is there anything I could do by myself or with family that could serve as an alternate to depending on these random friends? I don't like the feeling of depending on them. I thought I could go get a massage or something ..

It's nice to hear what birthdays mean to you all. Maybe it can provide me with a change of perspective..so I won't have to feel dependent, and can start to think of birthdays in a different light

I would suggest doing something you wouldn't normally do. That's one of the easiest ways to mark a special day so it doesn't feel like it's just flown by. (I do like to mark my days.)

It could be anything. You could decide to master one fear, cross something off your bucket list, dress up as a crazy character, volunteer somewhere, go on a cafe/pub/restaurant crawl, get a massage/spa/makeover day, go on a road trip with family, take the cheapest flight you can find anywhere new, do something touristy in your own city (there'll almost certainly be something new), stay one night in a luxurious hotel, go bungee-jumping, etc. Google your city for fun things to do and you'll get a range of things to fit a range of budgets. Basic fun things certainly qualify as well - sports, board games, kids' games, etc.

Narrow down the choices by deciding which your companions (family iirc?) would find the easiest to enjoy or go along with. "Cool and novel" days can quickly deteriorate into everyone sulking if they're not in the mood and not willing to play along, unless everything is well-planned and at least one person is enthusiastic. (You don't want to have to be that person on the day.) If your family is the sort who's up for anything, then pick anything. If they're more particular or grouchy, pick something that'll help you all have fun and relax. Games are generally very easy for most people to get into as long as the rules are straightforward - competitive instinct kicks in and everyone ends up having a lot of hassle-free fun. People love to play.

Also think about what kind of mood you want to be in. Are you looking for something really different? Then do something different (but make it easy to enjoy). Are you looking for nostalgia? Then do something a bit more routine; if you guys have any family traditions you could pull one out, as long as it gets you all interacting. Get some nice food/drink in.

Don't be afraid to chase the mood you want, I guess. Think of how you want to feel, plan something that reflects that, and then commit to savouring every aspect of it. (Unless how you want to feel is free and spontaneous. :))
 

cheese

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^That works. :D
 
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