Withholding – Refusing to join others…

outsider artToday, I came across the notion that there is a social aspect to a person…and that a person who refuses to join others…well, it’s just sort of weird.

Just think about a certain kind of withholding.  What’s it about?

For example, why do people lurk here without participating? Is it self-protective?  Is it some kind of defense?

Is it because not joining other people distinguishes them in some way?

It’s interesting to consider, because it does seem, we’re designed to interact. So if we refuse to do this, what does it mean?

I related this to Saturn in Scorpio.  A person controls their energy.  They may block it, but they could just as easily feel a responsibility to share their resources (whatever their resources might be), with other people.

Are we really designed to be alone and hoard whatever it is we have?

What does it mean (on any level), when a person refuses to join others, and be with them, share with them, celebrate with them..?

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Comments

Withholding – Refusing to join others… — 187 Comments

  1. There can be a lot of answers and reasons to this.

    1. You learn early on in your life that your opinion doesn’t matter. You stick to this experience. (self-defense)

    2. You’re shy. Try to interact but fail. Keep your mouth shut.

    3. This is an astrological forum. Not everyone feels sure about their knowledge. They just read and learn.

    4. You are simply an observant person and feel all right with that.

    5. Your English is not enough to express your thoughts around here.

    6. You feel, your comments get no response and peeps leave threads abandoned, you once commented to => Threadkiller. 🙂

    7. You keep your knowledge hidden and don’t interact with others, because you are
    a) secretive
    b) haughty
    c) think you can make a use of gathering informations about others

    There is nothing more I can think of right now, but I’m sure there is a lot more to this.

    • Good stuff. Or it just gets tiring not getting any responses to responses/participating. Hurts to feel invisible 🙁

    • Elsa ~ I just love this post! I too have been an extremely peripheral gal for a long time and am now being guided to move out into the world and connect more with others. I believe there is a fine line for those who are highly empathic, have huge energy, are sensitive, have advanced energy, etc. to participate in groups. At times I have made very conscious choices to withhold, only speaking up and out when my inner guidance magnetizes me and propels me to speak. It feels to me as if something very precious and wonderful is lost when one withholds – even when it is based on inner guidance. I am grateful for all your thoughts and beautiful work…

  2. I don’t think the person withholding is always aware of what they are doing. Or, they simply don’t see it that way. I can use myself as an example.

    I probably haven’t left a comment here or on the forum in 5+ years. But, you know I have read your blog since 2001 😉 Why do I not participate? I feel it’s my Capricorn 11th house. I don’t feel that what I have to say is of much merit, or that it would be received well. I don’t feel “worthy” much of the time.

    Why comment now? Well…bc you brought it up 😉 Anyway, I’m much the same in person. I am quiet & withdrawn…ostensibly “anti-social”…unless I have something to say, or am very comfortable with the company. And then everyone is surprised I opened my mouth 😉

    But, that’s just me. I’m sure others have their reasons.

    • I’m asking this because I wonder if refusing to interact with others is truly destructive to yourself, and to the whole.

      I realize this is radical,but l wonder. Because I don’t think humans are designed to not interact. So when you refuse, what does that cost?

      • I would say the cost (and, I apologize for being do ego-centric right now but, I can only speak for myself) to me is that I become even more withdrawn. I tend to turn inward, naturally, which causes me to turn on myself, at times. As most people are, I am my own harshest critic. And when I lose the support & comfort of others (due to my own anti-social behaviours), I beat myself up even more. It is a vicious cycle. But, I’m trying to work on it.

        • Thanks for posting, Lilly. What you say makes sense. See, my comment below.

          Being designed to move and refusing to do so, also has effects that worsen over time. So it makes sense.

  3. Basically, I’m asking aloud, is there a price for refusing? Example, we are also designed to move. And if we refuse, the effect is detrimental.

    • Hi Elsa

      In my opinion and experience, the cost of refusing is huge. Yet, I’m guilty of refusing. It’s taken a lot of therapy for me to find out the many patterns, intersections of those patterns and the origins of the many reasons why, I refuse to participate. I also know I don’t want to be the person who refuses, in fact, I’m the proponent with the rose-colored glasses, wondering why we can’t all just get along.

      But we don’t always act in accordance with who we are, instead we act in concert with overlays. So if I’m afraid to say something here, because I don’t really know what Mars in Libra means, even though it’s part of my natal chart, which just complicates matters all the more, I’m not acting from what is truly me. Me not knowing. So, I leave myself out of the conversation. That fear of being judged is the overlay I act from, not the person I am, who would just like to say, can someone explain the meaning I don’t have?
      I miss out on learning, others miss out on an opportunity to help/educate. If I or anyone else sticks with this pattern of behavior, I potentially miss out on meeting my best friend, spouse or maybe just someone I’d like or maybe need to know, and in turn, they me. The cost then becomes exponential. In fact, I am generating loss, which is like dominoes, you nudge one and the others will likely fall.
      In this example, I don’t think it’s the knowledge that matters nearly as much as the people one encounters. It is only someone, one can carry forever.

  4. I liked the picture, by the way, because that’s a man, sharing.

    The painting is of two women doing the washing…also social.

    I like him, don’t you. That’s a picture of someone willing to show up, and offer himself. It’s quite nice.

  5. Hi, I´m one of those people who read alot but don´t write much.
    What Whynot listed is something I relate to, I´d like to add that I do not always have the time to read all the answer (for example here I only read the first one), and I often avoid to jump in a thread if I have not read it all. I would feel inappropriate or inconsiderate to repeat something is already said or to ignore other important side content that might come out in the thread.
    It s just too much content and too little time.
    That said I hope i did not just write something that was already sait, and Id´like to add I really appreciate this site.
    🙂

  6. this post has stirred up a lot for me and forgive me if i sound incoherent (still waiting for my mother’s day coffee to arrive). part of me is hurt/insulted…why *do* i (or anyone else for that matter) need to join/participate in anything? yes, i have issues with authority (sun opposite uranus squaring mars opposite ascendant) and bristle even when i see posts online telling me to “smile”, but still.

    i also agree with what Lilly has to say above with regard to self (saturn in 11th house squaring my nodes). when i have ventured into group territory (online or otherwise) it usually bites me in the ass…so i don’t bother. when giving ideas/perspective and either not receiving a response or having people look at you quizzically it’s just a matter of time before you stop offering your opinion.

    there’s a big survival instinct (fear factor?) for life in general – not trusting in people/situations/hanging back and observing if something is “safe”.

    a part of me doesn’t like the inherent ongoing obligations that are expected once you start participating. i’m thinking specifically right now of my son’s school. i dread the daily pickup b/c of the pressure to be social with the other parents in the schoolyard and the unreasonable expectations set for parents to participate in school. i work full time and just can’t do it, even if i wanted to!

    i must say clearly here i *know* i have issues…

    sorry for the ramble!

    • Just to be clear, I don’t think anyone has to do anything.

      This is just a pure question. The assumption is that people are meant to interact with each other. Designed for it.

      Not everyone would agree! But supposing a person accepts that assumption, then what’s the cost of refusing?

      This has nothing to do with this site in particular. That was just an example.

      I am thinking at this time, that I am meant to join with others…I have certainly been driven in this direction all my life…and better understanding of this and aligning with it, can make me even happier…better feeling.

      We’re almost encouraged to be antisocial. A person and their device, right? But are we designed for that? It doesn’t really make sense.

      One other thing – this: “…either not receiving a response or having people look at you quizzically it’s just a matter of time before you stop offering your opinion.”

      That would be where the responsibility (possibly / potentially) kicks in. I can only tell you that I feel this way.

      I would like to withdraw at times. I have been horrifically injured, over the years, for publishing this blog. So I want to run, hide, shut down or whatever…and I used to try to get away with it. But I never did. I never could get away with it. And I am glad about this, because what if I had? Ten years of content, not produced and offered here for whoever can use it.

      And is it bad for me, ultimately? No.

      Would it have been bad for me to shut down? Not just bad, but unimaginable, really.

      Why am I here, if not to share with others? Why are YOU here (not you in particular, Kendra) here, if not to share with others?

      • My Aqua rising puts the “pale blue dot” sticker on this one. I can vouch for not withdrawing. The vicious cycle that Lilly mentioned happens. I run low on energy to socialize, but I can crave it and want to go out dancing (a more animalistic way to express ourselves haha). The Introvert Advantage is a book by Marti Olsen that really empowered me to own my approach, embrace it, educate others about it, and how to interact with more extroverted people. Whaddya know… here is a link to the full book

  7. I also think it can be a resources thing. I comment far less than I used to, my life is way taxing right now, and busy. I’m trying to husband the resources I have in the directions where they will do the most good. I def. don’t hold back from life. I am in for a penny, in for a pound, absolutely. But I have to watch my involvements, because there is only so much of me to go around. On a broader scale, I agree that people are made to interact, that interaction is overall strengthening, at least in comparison to isolation!

  8. Pisces moon in the 12th plus tons of Gemini in 2nd and 3rd seems to equal some “crazy talk”, a mouth that to often does a stream of consciousness that makes others uncomfortable or irritated and gets me in trouble especially with tidier and more disciplined thinkers. I’m pretty new here but IRL I need lots of down time which can look anti-social. Heck, I’m a bit bipolar but have learned if there’s a lot of Capricorn or Saturn energy around I’m going to have a difficult time fitting so…it’s back being quiet for me though I’m enjoying this blog. Have a great Sunday, everyone.

    • Same here, Chris. I am a circular thinker. I think more linear thinkers need logic to understand what it is that we are saying, and their brains go into overdrive trying to put our puzzle pieces together. Maybe a lack of intuition and imagination? I’m an artist, so I make a living messing with people. But I can’t lie, I would like to bridge the communication gap sometimes. Common ground is comforting. Then again, masking our difference (sometimes loneliness) as “specialness” is comforting. The enneagram points to type 4 with a remedy of going to type 1 for the trouble we sometimes get in.

      • This is pretty funny, Charlette. Laughing guiltily here. One thing that might make them feel better is if you set up some easily obtainable short term goal to work on with them and make sure it happens with concrete results. Try to make it a fun one for yourself too. They’d love an accomplished a goal and it would earn you a little respect from them but keep it real short term because you’ll eventually drive them crazy again and you’ll get really restless. I actually enjoy thinking like they do sometimes.

  9. For me, it’s because I lack knowledge and feel a lot inferior. And I can relate to some of the other comments about not interacting.

  10. Some people have a more defined sense of discretion than others. While some may see a lack of participation as refusal to be a “team player,” others may view it as a discretionary use of their own energy. The internet, for example, is filled with knee-jerk reactions to things, insipid comments from those who crave attention for any reason, and people who are just plain mean. (Please note: I am not talking about this site). Then, too, there is the “spy v. spy” nation of electronic media where those with whom you will never have direct contact are gathering your words and thoughts for purposes such as spamming your email with fabulous offers for enduring erections.

    But some people are just not joiners. Some are leaders. Some are quietly thoughtful. Some are creative and wish to protect their own minds without having them filled with the group-think of others. There are many reasons why people don’t follow the sheep herd. Not all of them are malevolent or harmful.

    The palette of humanity comes in all hues, shades and variations. And I say thank God we’re not stamped out from a cookie cutter factory … at least not yet.

  11. I would agree that humans are designed to be social creatures. And I would agree that withdrawing, not sharing, not interacting, etc. can be very detrimental to one’s overall health (mental, emotional).

    Elsa, I think, by nature, you are better suited to interacting/sharing, being social, etc. You are the quintessential epitome of your Sun sign. 😉 And, I feel you use this for the betterment of all, despite how much you have suffered because of it, as well.

    Is this fair to you? I don’t believe so. But, I admire this in you. Now, I know you have referred to yourself in the past as Mowgli…so, I think you’ll get a laugh out of imagining me singing “I Wanna Be Like Youuuu” to you 😉

    • Yeah, I do have a drive to be social and it is challenging because I was raised so…funky. I can never quite fit in, but I will never quit trying, either.

      I just can’t imagine a life, sitting on top of whatever it is that you have to offer.

      It’s…constipated, says my 8th house! 🙂

      • Constipated!! lol…I will remember that. It’s funny, because the more I think about it, I am probably more social than even I perceive myself to be. I always try to make people laugh, or feel better (in general). This is my talent, to be comforting & such. As such, it’s not necessary to touch the masses, but the singular interactions I have each day DO make a difference (or so I am told by others). 🙂 At least I hope they mean it!

        • It just occurred to me, this really is my 8th house talking. Scorpio exchanging energy vs Taurus hoarding.

          Well, I feel this way and have this to say to hoarders – you can’t take it with you and you ARE going to die.

          🙂

          • wow… I think of scorpio as sere and at stake, not about exchange… north node in scorpio in 10th seems to be about movement into the open in loss… I’ve often said I am worried I’ll die beforee I get everything out of the basement and on the way to whom its supposed to go to…

  12. I think the example of posting on a forum = not participating or not joining is an awful illustration or example of the concept. There are too many reasons, one of the most basic is a) not enough time b) someone else already covered what I’d say (see whynot above for better answers) or c) cost/benefit analysis says that I’ll get a rude response because the culture of the group excludes strange ideas such as mine (applied to other social situations) the costs applied to me speaking up are so high and are guaranteed to lead to ostracization that I keep my mouth shut. So the real question is how many peole are excluded because they don’t fit that groups conformity? Does the group benefit from exclusion? Does the group loose something over time by excluding the outliers on a regular basis?

    Groups will socially stigmatize someone who isn’t a joiner even if the person isn’t very good at speaking the language of the group. I see this in dramatic example in my life. In the group where language is an issue I, as group host, make a concerted effort to help with the language and cross-culture acceptance because there is benefit to be had, in my mind, of learning from other cultures.

    On the other hand, someone who is depressed and doesn’t know how to engage will just be hurt and driven into depression even more if their small attempts at joining aren’t encouraged.

    More on this later, busy today!

  13. Now I want to comment again. First, I really like whynot’s comment and list above. Elsa, I do think there’s a price to pay for withdrawing and not interacting with others. I definitely believe there are brain chemicals activated only when in social settings and that these brain chemicals are necessary for happiness. There’s a price one pays when isolating and it leads to depression, imo. Isolated people are also attractive to predators of all kinds.
    When I’m in a withdrawn or vulnerable period I still try to attend a weekly (music related)group which feels safe because it proscribes to a certain degree the activities and range making it possible to commune and participate without exposing myself too much or getting in a situation where there are escalating expectations put on me. What’s a substitute and non gender specific work for “fellowship”? Anyway, I think it’s essential.

  14. Good morning everyone, my name is Iris and I’m a Lurker, oh, and I’m also a loner! But most of all I’m Libra with Cancer rising,Sag moon, and a bunch of other Astrological influences! That being said, let me start by agreeing with most of the reasons in everyone’s reply. In my case I love to read post by other people, and I love to see how many people there are that I share so many interest. I also want to post, but I’m always doing 25 things at once! For instance Elsa’s post this morning (this one) I read it maybe shortly after it appeared online, wanted to reply, but 1. Was on my laptop and I don’t like typing on my laptop! 2.My breakfast was cooking and I wanted to eat it hot for a change, and before my sausages became crispy and crunchy! 3. I had to ponder about my reply! Elsa, I think, as someone else posted, that many would post if they could find the right words. Some may not be good on the keyboard, shy about spelling and grammatical errors. Or, maybe like me, they know that they can sometimes be word (chatty) and go on, and on, and on! I share some of the post I read here with my daughters, or others who might benefit from voices of experience! There is no price for refusing to share, ultimately we share what we’ve learned either through actions, or other postings. Yesterday I was in a funk, lonely, by myself, reading regrouping, lurking! Today I’m feeling like I must share, must encourage, must lift someone’s spirit. I’ve made phone calls to people this morning and text people that I’ve not talked to in years, people that I was once close to in all aspects of life. The internet has allow many people to come together, some people still think it’s evil, and don’t realize that there is a wealth of love and sharing online, so they lurk, don’t share until one day, a post, a photo, a topic, grabs them and they begin to be a part of the process! Oh and I finally made it up to my PC some 3 and 1/2 hours later, so here is my reply!

  15. whynot had a lot of good stuff. This is an interesting question. Some things that came to mind for me:
    -they’re uncomfortable sharing with people they don’t know well, shy basically(it is defensive)
    -they may feel that their contributions gain something if they are sparse or rare, kind of more ‘potent’ (this may or may not be true, and seems a bit egotistical)
    -because joining with a group implies a sort of commitment of energy and time, and they aren’t willing to invest that, maybe because they’re too wrapped up in other stuff (or themselves?). I feel this way at times, because I don’t want to just be a half-ass participant, an all-or-nothing sort of outlook. For instance, if I don’t have time to write a thoughtful response, I won’t. Also I work with many interesting people, however I am discriminate with how much social energy I invest in certain people because I don’t want to get too wrapped up in other’s affairs unless I’m ready for everything that may go along with it. In short, withholding can be:
    -a way of maintaining independence
    -they want to wait until they are sure their contributions and ideas will be appreciated/understood/communicated properly. maybe they refuse because they don’t feel they have the proper outlet for what they want to share.
    -they don’t want to be identified with certain people/groups, so they withhold, even though they may actually wish to participate

    I do feel that there’s something to be gained from sharing and joining in. While much can be learned from sitting back and observing, different sorts of lessons can be learned from sharing; you can’t truly learn social lessons from purely personal activity.

  16. “So the real question is how many peole are excluded because they don’t fit that groups conformity? Does the group benefit from exclusion? Does the group loose something over time by excluding the outliers on a regular basis?”

    Great points, mudlikesubstance. I ran a writing group for five years. It began with people of all ages, colors, thoughts, etc. but there were a few very strong personalities within the group that drove away those who chose to write “differently.” I did my best to keep the group inclusionary, but this small group was persistent. Finally, I realized more energy was going into try to preserve the group and less into doing my own writing. So I turned over the reins of the group to another. The group disbanded in two months. Another group I was in was a knitting group. It had women of all ages. The older women drove out the younger women. They were very mean. That group still continues, but it is much smaller and they are a lot less happy.
    Groups go through cycles of growth and deterioration as well, I think. Social circles … maybe different. We are each constantly changing and evolving. Sometimes we want to share our lives and thoughts with others, sometimes we don’t. Consider also that some of the best religious thinkers, the most creative innovations, and some of the best works of art were all produced in isolation. Alone or with others, I think the choice is good.

  17. Some people find comfort in withdrawl in non interaction. I have asked this question to a dear Virgo in my life. He says his withdrawl and anti social behavior helps him recharge. It is his safe place. I might add he also beats himself up much and has a low self image profile.
    He has done this many times throughout the years. He starts with this line, I’m feeling flat and then he adds….emotionally low. Then he retreats without much communication and actually sits alone. I too find it interesting how a person can be so anti social. But it’s something that goes in and out of his life. You just learn to deal with it… pushing these type people when they are undercover only makes it worse.

      • Thats interesting. Most people do their best to avoid pain. And the pain of exposure that causes someone to withold may be coming from any combination of emotional baggage. Seems the answer is always to release that which keeps us unconscious, but not everyone chooses to do the inner work.

  18. There are so many great answers here I initially felt like I didn’t have anything helpful to add. Personally, I feel overwhelmed with either trying to say something meaningful to a large amount of people or trying to fulfill obligations.

    For example, I lurk on facebook and rarely say anything because either I’m no longer close to people or because once i do choose to participate I will have to keep participating and follow up. Frankly I’m not always interested in that. Or if communicating would require me to give up too much personal information or allow people insight into my emotions that I don’t feel comfortable sharing with many people, then I refrain. Even if I’m not on a public forum, if I’m talking to someone and I know my information could potentially be shared with someone who will judge, admonish or ridicule me, I withhold.

    I think its a lot of learned behavior in that, this is how I learned to “survive” in my world. But I’m able to adapt to it because I have a sag moon conjunct uranus and saturn, opposite chiron/vesta. I’m used to pain and detachment. I don’t want it, but I can’t really see another way.

    When I can’t be with others, I go to a place like this. Online so there’s a safe distance, and even if I say nothing, I can read the comments, etc and feel connected.

  19. Wow! And the the people come out of the woodwork!

    I have been a lurker for quite some time as well… Everyone one has had some great examples of why they don’t participate in certain social situations. The more I read the more I can identify with many of the points of view views expressed. My take on the whole reading and not contributing aspect could be attributed to apathy perhaps, (mercury in the 12th) maybe thinking that nothing I have to say will make an impact. I also have Saturn in my 12th(conjunct ascendant) as well as my Sun so I think that my thoughts and opinions are best synthesized in private before I introduce them to anyone else. Ever since communication with people outside local social circles has become easier with technology, I have observed that some (obviously not all) people can respond to others with knee-jerk type of comments that do not seem to have a lot of thought behind them. While that may suit some people very well, personally… I have to make sure that what I say is what I mean and feel, and sometimes it takes more time to put my thoughts into the correct format than I have available. Yes, I do believe in the power that a group has over an the individual (you can read that both ways)… Keep in mind though that belonging to and giving time to a group, you forfeit some of your freedom (at the very least time) for the participation and interaction within that group. Yes, sometimes it is difficult to sit on the sidelines and watch, but It seems I can only do something when I am compelled to do it.

  20. I love this topic. In particular the question of whether or not humans are meant to be social. Sure, some of us are naturally more social than others, but is it our nature to be social? Are we going against our nature when we aren’t social and don’t share? Of course there are often situational reasons for not sharing – being too busy, not interested in that particular topic etc – but those kinds of reasons aside, is it going against your nature to habitually avoid sharing, interacting and being social? With Saturn squaring my Leo moon conjunct pluto in the 8th this is on the money for me. I think our soul wants to share, and ultimately we are here to do just that, but for many of us our wounded wrecked personalities are sometimes just too scared or tender to take the plunge. That’s why we have TIME.

    • I really think we’re designed to interact. It’s almost impossible to conceive otherwise. How would you survive?

      How many of us could be left in the middle of nowhere and survive. Best start interacting with someone or something, right away!

  21. i think there’s a difference between refusing to join others and not going public with whatever at any given time.

    usually i think: i don’t comment on websites because whatever i have to say has been said by others and so a comment by me would be redundant and unnecessary; the energy could be better spent elsewhere.

    but more truthfully: i often just keep quiet because its more comfortable to do so and i tell myself that it doesn’t really matter because there are plenty of others to fill the gap, people who want to share and have their voice heard whereas i don’t really mind not being heard. the fact is, there are plenty of situations in my life that i don’t control or in which i don’t have a choice (whereas a blog comment is a voluntary act that can be not chosen) in which my strong dominating spontaneous sag/jupiter personality can’t help but have an impact. then i usually feel like i’ve put my foot in my mouth yet again (people tend to react to me) and i invariably wish that i would have (could have) simply chosen to refrain from comment.

    so i guess if i had to sum up the preceding paragraph i would say: inner conflict; fear of having an impact.

    possible solution: learn to use power wisely or accept the benevolence of conflict derived from truth speaking (which is the same thing as participating as a sag).

    but i think the most important thing for me to remember (i can’t speak for you) is that whether i choose to join or not to join, whether i decide to allow myself to have an impact or instead choose to stay hidden, i’m still good enough and i’m still worthy of love (my own and others). in other words, its all good.

    elsa, its an interesting question and a really good way to get people who never share to do so. nicely done.

  22. I’m sure it’s detrimental to the collective when I withhold. I think I have a lot of good things to share. But if there’s no one to accept it I can’t give it.

    • I really like the stuff you write L Noir! Really, In fact you were one of the first posts I replied to on the forum, if not THE first.

      And I’m with you on this one, I sometimes, only sometimes mind, feel as if I am throwing something into a bucket with a hole in it, it just runs right out the hole with the water; goes nowhere. But I do keep going, because I know that can sometimes be true (and so what?) and also just a big FEAR (False Expectation Appearing Real).

      I also agree with and understand the other posts up here too, and say same for me at different times. I love the way I left the site last night (Scottish time!) and came in later today to find this amazing new post and 60, yes 60 posts so far. The power of Elsa and the power of the people!!! When they don’t with hold that is 😉

  23. I have South Node in Pisces conjunct Chiron in Pisces in the 7th. Pluto, Mars, Uranus in the first. Having to learn to stand up for myself and be OK being alone with myself. When I was a kid I felt so alone and disconnected. I would go to a birthday party and feel invisible (even at MY OWN birthday party!). So I’ve learned to like and love myself. With SN in Pisces/7th I lose myself in others too easily. I still interact to a small degree with people but I really like my own company now! So, being true to my chart (even before I knew I had a chart!).

  24. I was raised by two Capricorns and they were so busy working and they actually discouraged joining groups. They didn’t have time to take us children to group events they were busy working so the end result is though we are all fairly social people we are very reserved. I have joined groups I tend to be very active at first but something usually happens takes my attention and then I forget to participate. Doesn’t help that every one of us is fairly ADHD to some degree.

  25. I just had another thought. Sometimes I don’t contribute because I think the group will try to manipulate my contribution. When I contribute a thought or something, I feel like its fully formed and pure. When Ive given it away, it’s gotten watered down and/or used to further someone else’s advancement.

    A small example: I used to have this friend. If we were in a group and I would say something, it would be ignored. She would literally repeat what I said and it was immediately accepted. If it was a funny comment, they would only laugh when she repeated it. It was a funny little experiment at first until I realized she was using my thoughts and energy to gain friends and I was left in the dust.

  26. I think we’re designed to ‘interact’ as well. On a mundane level, and on a sacred, metaphysical one.
    Still, I’m one of those people who are not big on interacting on a regular basis. I post a lot around here, but there’s no way somebody will see me doing the same anywhere else, on the net or in person.
    It’s not that I don’t like people or refuse to offer what I have, whatever it’s supposed to be. It’s just that, upon interacting with people, I feel pressured. Partly because I don’t quite fit in anywhere, no matter how “close” a group of people might be in terms of ideals and Life goals — and my Neptune+Libra constantly push me to adjust/adapt myself even when I don’t really want to. Partly because I feel that social Life burdens me with expectations on behalf of others. I am moody, inconstant, and 9 times out of 10 I don’t act like others would expect me to be. For this reason I am also afraid I could hurt or offend people, and I don’t want to, because my sense of guilt would crush me. I can get extremely paranoid and analytical about the things I do when interacting with others (Virgo Venus) and I end up being ashamed of myself for no reason. I would really like to be more sociable, available and able to talk and join others without losing my sense of Self (Venus/Neptune). This is just me, but I guess things are sorta complex for many others.

  27. “What does it mean (on any level), when a person refuses to join others, and be with them, share with them, celebrate with them..?”

    I would never occur to me to wonder why someone does not participate. I am an introvert and don’t participate much. I did not choose to be like that.
    When I read the title I thought that the verb to refuse was misplaced here. This is hardly ever about refusal. Nor is it ever (for me at least) a calculated act.

    When I was a child my mother (a Sagittarius) once said to me that I was SELFISH. I was surprised and asked what did she mean. What she meant was I was not social enough. For her, not to be social is selfish. It was no use trying to explain.

    Extroverts just don’t seem to understand introverts.

    • For the record, the word “refuse” came from the reference that provoked my thinking, but I do like it’s use here.

      Also, to further clarify, a person can interact in any number of ways. For example, my husband said he prefers to interact as part of an attacking force, with a sword in his hand. That’s his talent. He’s equipped to defend a society or his family or whoever.

      So for him to sit on the sidelines and not offer his service…well, it would be detrimental to himself as well as the whole.

      That’s the concept here. It’s about all of us fitting, rather than some of us judging the others.

    • Marina, I’ve been accused of being antisocial, self-absorbed, and antisocial by my mom and other women. So I feel ya. Over time I’ve blossomed socially, but those accusations still hurt. Just like Dr. Laura’s observation that an introvert is “someone who doesn’t like people”. Ouch. DAMN. So we’re social snobs, then? What a load of hoohah. I do like people, and prefer to live and work around them (total isolation makes me sad) but I also need downtime alone or I get snappy. It’s a balance, and I wish more people would try to understand this.
      Also, there’s verses in the Book of Proverbs about the wisdom of keeping quiet vs. blabbing like a fool. The wise measure their words. Introverts know this truth all too well. 🙂

    • That’s it for me, in a nutshell. Extroverts cannot relate to what it means to be an introvert. I am an introvert and most of my friends have been extroverts because another introvert would never be able to pull me out of my cocoon. Added to my introversion is social anxiety, so it’s very difficult for me to socialize with people. I feel uncomfortable being at parties or meeting up with people in a social setting. If I have to go to a social event, I obsess over it for weeks, and often cop-out at the last minute. It’s really painful for me to be with people in general, which is why it’s easier for me to connect with people on the internet. I write my ideas and feelings easier than saying them in person. Extroverts gain energy from other people from introverts are usually drained by being with other people.

  28. Saturn in Scorpio seems to be making people more cagey these days (including me) and I don’t like it. Sometimes I wish people would push themselves to engage more, no matter how hard it is, but I don’t think it’s wise until Saturn enters Sagittarius. I also don’t like it when people censor themselves for fear of vulnerability (typing their fears, etc., and then not wanting to share with the group so they hit “delete”. I mean, do they not trust the group to be understanding? (I’ve seen this in other groups online too. They’re holding back stuff now so as not to ruin the happy vibe of the group or something. Whaaaat….we can handle it!)

  29. Yes its all a bit tricky. I am essentially a social person… with Sag Moon, Venus in Gemini and aslo Gemini South node in 7th house of relatioships.

    I also am Cancer sun sign(shy,sensitive) and Saturn in Scorpio 1st house … so very private and sometimes anti social….with dificulty trusting groups. A conundrum!!

    I think we need to find a balance between our individuality and our shared humanity. I agree with the idea of being in service… thouh perhaps someones service is to be the observer or hold the space for the group.

  30. Yes its all a bit tricky. I am essentially a social person… with Sag Moon, Venus in Gemini and aslo Gemini South node in 7th house of relatioships.

    I also am Cancer sun sign(shy,sensitive) and Saturn in Scorpio 1st house … so very private and sometimes anti social….with dificulty trusting groups. A conundrum!!

    I think we need to find a balance between our individuality and our shared humanity. I agree with the idea of being in service… thouh perhaps someone people’s service is to be the observer or hold the space for the group.

  31. I find this post adorable and funny, because every introvert in the world knows the answers to these questions, it seems a bizarre question to even ask from an introvert perspective. Of course we don’t constantly interact! I read blogs as I would read a magazine in the past–reading certainly doesn’t require writing a letter to the editor. Most interactions with people I don’t know *take* my energy, exponentially so on the internet. For extroverts it is the opposite: they feel drained and left out if alone and not interacting. I have to balance all interaction time with enough downtime, and reading is great downtime. What would the point of it even be if I had to reply to people constantly–that sounds horrible to me.

    • Astrologically this might be that I’ve finally learned how much I have to keep really clear boundaries because of my Neptune rising! I do love this question bc it shows how different introvert and extrovert basic operating modes are. If I interact with the internet, strangers, whoever, I lose energy and attention then my real contributions–friends, family, my work–all suffer. My health suffers actually.

      • Really insightful Elizabeth! I can relate to the idea of maintaining my boundaries… Sometimes the rabbit hole can be way too deep and some interaction are a slippery slope indeed. If you look at the posts that have been made so far (and not intending to generalize or pigeon-hole) you can tell that some people are hard-wired or have made a conscious effort to interact on a much larger scale (extroverts possibly?) For me, sometimes it is too draining to interact with a large group of people compared to a very small select group… they both have their advantages and disadvantages.

    • Elizabeth, I feel most in agreement with your point of view. I too read blogs as I would a magazine or book, and I humbly admit that I did not even consider that failing to reply might be looked upon as withholding.

      I read a narrow list of blogs daily, religiously, and Elsa is a never miss. I have posted rarely in Elsa’s classes, and privately to her on occasion, but with caring for my own mother and my husband’s mother, both 90+; supporting my 30-something kids, maintaining friendships, and all the usual responsibilities of daily living, I usually don’t have time to read the comments or reply to the blogger. I’m an introvert also, and feel that the daily social interaction of my life is more than adequate. I enjoy reading Elsa’s opinions, and thinking about them – I love that she shares, but that’s Elsa, right? She has that gift.

      I think, besides the time crunch, that I also don’t post because the post would have to be perfect – intelligent, witty, grammatically correct – time-consuming! – (Moon, Mars, Venus conjunct MC in Virgo); and more courage than I have to come out of hiding (Sun and Mercury conjunct in Scorpio 12th.)

      I am so grateful for the extroverts in this world, and as I read or listen to them, I hope that my contribution is this positive energy of appreciation that I send out – you give me so much to think about, to mull and marvel over – thank you!

  32. I’d say it’s also more an uncomfortability with sharing online … Having it officially out there & not wanting to be identified. Just a perspective from a privacy freak … It’s a control thing & ultimately goes back to issues around identity (sun opp pluto in scorp)

    • you don’t have to give up your identity, just share your experiences. But i suppose that is also very scary, sharing your experiences with people. I always wonder why there were always 50-70 people on the forum but only 15-20 only interact.

  33. I love whynot’s list, especially these:

    7. You keep your knowledge hidden and don’t interact with others, because you are
    a) secretive
    b) haughty
    c) think you can make a use of gathering informations about others

    the first six, seems like just insecure about other people, and they might feel ostracized or be stepped on, and that’s more fear.

  34. Also, my son is like this to a large extent. I asked him about it today…just for curiosity.

    “You can see they need help. Does it occur to you to join in and help out?”

    I don’t know that he knows the answer, but I guess he’ll think about it.

    I remember one time – this is a crystalline memory. I won this contest, I was going to Boston to meet Tom Heinsohn. I didn’t have anything to wear, of course. So I went in this boutique…

    How I found a boutique is beyond me, but I did. Mowgli.

    So I went in there, clueless, like I just dropped like a turnip from a truck, and the sales lady was…taken aback.

    I had no idea of anything. My size, my taste, what impression I wanted to make…”

    She was a bit flustered…got em some clothes. I was trying them on…looking stupid in the elegant clothing, truth be told. And I heard her say, with true sincerity, “I have to do something for this girl. I have to help her.”

    It brings tears to my eyes writing that, but that’s what I mean. Some people are simply more willing to give. Another salesperson would have shamed me… this has happened to me many times. It’s happened to me as recently as this year!

    So yeah. If you work in a boutique, you could probably help a person…or you could not.

    We have way too many people who don’t or won’t extend themselves, when they could. From a certain angle, it’s seems vicious to me and very, very cold.

    • It is very very cold! That’s it! But when asked why won’t you extend yourself, These type people often say, Why should I, there’s no reason to. I say because you are human and will live in a society. They answer back, no I’ll never meet this person again, nor do I care to. My point here with my one example is that I have found, they do not feel they fit in. They are not part of a whole. Although lonely, they would rather have their circle of friends and leave it like that. It’s a whole psychology.I don’t get it either but it exists! Have you looked at the Astrology of some of the anti social peeps? I’ve noted that their Sun or Moon had afflictions to the Outer planets. The example Virgo I gave earlier in this thread has Moon Square Saturn (part of a grand cross) and Sun conjunct Pluto and Uranus.

    • “We have way too many people who don’t or won’t extend themselves, when they could. From a certain angle, it’s seems vicious to me and very, very cold.”
      I agree with this statement and sadly, it’s often the exception than the rule.
      I’ve also come to learn that some people are just insular and find it hard to step out of their comfort zone. Depression and apathy plays a part. Self-consciousness too.

    • Look, some people might be cold and some other people might have been drained dry long before you got there and just don’t have any more energy, time, caring, what have you to hand out like it’s Halloween candy.

      I find service to be incredibly draining for me (I have no Pisces or Virgo, it’s unnatural to me), so I have a lot of times where I just don’t want to be giving and helping, I want QUIET. But I can’t have it, so I keep giving and helping or else I’ll end up homeless and unemployed. And then I want to rip off people’s heads when I get home if they want to bother me….good thing I live alone.

  35. Loving the responses here:-) I’m also a bit of a “withholder” even though I’m a Gem Sun. Don’t mean to, I just feel uncomfortable interacting most of the time although I do love to share (things and information) so it’s a bit frustrating.
    What Chris said (“Pisces moon in the 12th plus tons of Gemini in 2nd and 3rd seems to equal some “crazy talk”, a mouth that to often does a stream of consciousness that makes others uncomfortable or irritated and gets me in trouble especially with tidier and more disciplined thinkers.” ” IRL I need lots of down time which can look anti-social. Heck, I’m a bit bipolar but have learned if there’s a lot of Capricorn or Saturn energy around I’m going to have a difficult time fitting so…”) is EXACTLY how I feel as well, feel like that was pulled out of my head;-) Same placements as well

    • Sam,nice to meet you. I have the generous sharing of “things and information” too – to a fault sometimes, or so I’m told. It can look like meaningless out of context factoids but when I’m in a group setting I have something for everyone and I’ll give it happily but I’m also good at dazzling and deflecting with it too. (My sun is also Gemini) I think that particular sun/moon square can be pretty vexing for others to witness.
      People who really need something as well as people who are very manipulative can access my sympathy, empathy and the 12th house Pisces moon like nobodies business and I have to withdraw sometimes quite a lot if I can’t get my Gemini self out there to put up some defense. When I’m not feeling well or depressed I’m a magnet for very troubled people. I don’t understand it very well, I just know it’s there.

      • Yep, same here and nice to meet you as well:-) I have Jupiter conj my Sun (which opposes its home sign, along with Neptune) so that T-square makes for an interesting combo. My Moon is also involved in a yod w Saturn and Pluto so theres so much going on (in my chart and in my head) most of the time, I want/need to share but also feel thwarted. I also strongly attract people who need help/healing but I’ve got Chiron on my ASC, thankfully, so I’m able to channel all the energy involved with that for good most of the time:-) And totally agree w the Cap/Saturn thing, its so confusing for me when I’m around that energy, its just completely opposite of how I operate I think? I’m actually being forced to live in it now, my cousin who is a 10th hse Scorp Sun (conj Saturn) and Cap rising moved in a few months ago and I’m completely mystified. I think normally this type of person and I have so little in common that any kind of interaction usually ends before it begins, but bc we are family and living together, here it is in front if me every day, sooooo awkward and weird and confusing. But I guess the universe put me in it for a reason, so here’s to figuring out new ways to communicate;-)

        • Sam, I’m not that good at astrology so can’t understand or visualized all this (or even guess your general age ) but your yodded moon would almost be enough combined with the way your Chiron is serving right there on your ascendent( I hope you’re a sturdy person )….I’m just thinking you’d regularly need scheduled some selfish emotionally hoarding down time and real vacations! You probably ought to be on one right now and probably by yourself. Sounds like your roommate needs to go on a fool’s errand get him/her out of your house for a while. Wouldn’t that be a mean thing to do to a Capricorn? I don’t really advise it now because times are…, you know. Thanks for your service. : )

          • Thank you Chris:-) I’m 36, still have a ways to go in “figuring my life out: lol:-) I have quite a bit of Taurus (4 planets, ASC & 2nd hse Sun), so that helps at least a little to balance out all of my Neptune and other challenges in my chart. Down time is a MUST for me as well. I don’t know too many other people IRL who have even remotely similar energy/chart placements as mine, so its nice to know there’s someone else out there who gets it;-)

          • I may be hitting the wrong reply button here, but I’d mention that my moon is the apex of my yod so…wow? Your Chiron on the ascendent could be quite exhausting, I’d think and I thought maybe you were roughly half my age but I cannot do the maths or the astrology without getting fuzzy minded!
            I have really withdrawn lately IRL and stressed out with heavy responsibilities nonetheless but am thinking of joining the forum here so maybe see you and others around there soon. I’m embarrassed to be talking so much without having introduced myself (is it rude?)but some of this is uncanny, timely and a good thread topic too. Thank you, Elsa for being tolerant and for probably getting some of my attempts at humor, I hope.

          • ^^^there’s a glaring example of my brain/maths problem^^^right there. I’m not 72 years old , I’m 60 still, I’m pretty sure. Can’t trust my brain lately. I hope everyone’s doing okay today and I hope to respond to some other people, whose comments have really moved me, when I’m less messed up.

          • No worries Chris:-) I feel embarrassed a lot of the time on here but pretty much everyone is really cool and makes me feel comfortable, so I think joining in would be great, and it’s not rude at all in my opinion to reply without introducing yourself:-)

  36. I think that whynot’s 1st response hit on a lot of good points (like being shy, etc). On a one to one basis, I enjoy sharing and interacting with others. With Saturn in my 11th, in groups it is a much more limited and less enjoyable thing. I still do participate in groups, it’s just not as enjoyable for me personally, but if I have things to give back, I do.
    Angie

  37. Sometimes in life, while in a state of learning, I have had withdrawn more to the edges to watch and learn, feeling I have nothing of value to contribute (rightly or wrongly). Sometimes when injured, I retreat to heal my wounds, by thinking, reading, trying to quietly rebalance.

    But…I will sort of mask this to support others or try to maintain friendships, because just because I may feel like I need isolation it doesn’t mean I can cut people out as relationships are two-way — they may need contact, and i have to put aside my “separation mode” for a bit.

    Sometimes you have to move outward and help or be there even if not “in the mood” — I think that’s part of adulthood? Also part of how life pushes to keep us connected? When I lived in a German village for a few years, I arrived in self-absorbed busy silence… and was pulled right out of that in seconds by my friendly happy jolly neighbors! Nope! You are involved with everyone, disappear for a day and you have three bowls of soup and two cakes at your door by 5 pm! Come to the party! Come to the lunch! We are all cooking cakes! COME ON! Ten little kids knock on the door after school and pour in to practice English and drink hot chocolate! That was a great lesson for me about interconnectedness no matter what you may have planned!

    My friends and I otherwise know if one is quiet, one may need space, or to talk, and we find that balance; my husband gets it too; he’s the same way and our charts match up in certain areas that support this actually. I always move back out to reconnect, have since my early 20s. I think the richness of life is found in interaction and friendship, good connections, even less-than-good connections. And actually sometimes reaching out or staying involved is more likely to heal me or help me move past something or be the thing that helps me grow and I have curiosity to move and meet and learn (Sag moon perhaps). I think it’s not entirely wrong to suggest to your son that he think about stepping forward.

    In my first job, the company was awesome and our exec training was “step forward and help, always!!! no matter what!” That colored my view too and I think your boutique lady would have thrived there. They made us understand our job was more than the job — interaction and support via direct work, via contacts, via charity too. I honestly think that intensive experience unlocked me and altered my previous more natural quietness or shyness or introspection…thus making it possible for me to move to new cities, meet amazing people and enjoy Germany (even when honestly sometimes my natural inner voice was saying “I want to be alone!”).

    BUT I do understand while sometimes we all need to go underground in a way. Monks, hermits in caves, retreats….we all have felt the need.

  38. I spend way too much time online just reading so don’t seek to get too involved relating online.
    It’s not my cup of tea – too removed. I like lookin’ in the eyes & sharing a laugh real time! Astrologically – even though I have Gemini rising it’s natural for me sometimes to be the observer & unconsciously withhold information (even though it drives me nuts when I think someone is withholding information from me!) – my mercury has hard aspects to both saturn and pluto. Then my Gemini rising and GTrine w/Sun and Jupiter kicks in & I get chatty.

  39. I would like to make a case that online versus offline are two very different things and arguing that someone must offer themselves up or “be involved” online is difficult. I know many of the older generation that see written conversations as more formal and offering up, out of the blue, to fill someone’s need is somewhat beyond what their upbringing might say they should do. I would also say that proper forum ettiquite says that you should read past responses before saying anything and so that means some new people, especially in my field, need to read for two years, maybe longer, before they should post.

    So if we separate out offline versus online or in person versus elsewhere I would agree with the premise that we are built to connect, to share, to help eachother out. I think we get a great deal out of it and we are built to it. I would argue that there is a very wide range of what one person has to offer versus the next person. Back in the day socializing was done on Sunday. That was it. So someone who has the energy to socialize once a week I wouldn’t say isn’t offering themselves up, it’s just at their level. There is a wide range of energy level, additional commitment, etc. I think there is horrible damage to be done when you offer to connect and offer to join but then do not have the time or energy to keep up your end of the deal. This is common in many groups – the leadership roles have a huge void. I think this is because so many people work so many hours, have so many committments etc. I would suggest that to say no in those situations and maybe focus on fewer but better groups/relationships/commitments would bring more value to everyone involved.

    I think, on some level, we notice when others don’t offer themselves up these days because so much is so public. It kind of stands out when someone says no and says no again or stands by and does not offer help. I think we are in no position to judge whether or not that person is involved with their community or not. If I were to sit down and count the “groups” or circles of friends I have I would come up with something like 15 different circles. I would say 6 or 8 have a huge commitment from me already and asking anything more of me I might just fall over from exhaustion. However, because one circle doesn’t see or know the other circle it may look like I’m not a joiner.

    So I do think that one person’s introverted or health issue/time issue restricted level of commitment might look very different than someone else who is very extroverted.

    Excellent question Elsa!!

  40. Here’s something else to throw in this pot. Please be aware, I am reading A LOT and putting things together from different sources here.

    Anyway, most who have been around awhile have seen me reference the 80/20 rule. But I read of a man who was sitting in a group. One person was lamenting the lack of involvement in the various areas these people were in charge of.

    There was a senior guy there who shook his head and waved his hand…he’d been in the biz a long time. He said, invariably there were 25 or 30 people who did everything…for the large group.

    This made the author, who was aware of Pareto’s Principle, wonder if this level involvement would come in at 80/20 – 20% of the the people did 80% of the work needed to maintain the system for the group. This is in the current day, by the way.

    He decided to study this and he did so, very carefully. In then end, he discovered that it was 6% of the people doing 80% of the work.

    Well guess what? That’s not sustainable. Pareto’s Principle tells us that. So either some of the people withholding, decide to step in, or the thing will collapse.

    I realize this will probably piss off a certain percentage of people, but if you know math…then you know I’m right.

    Staring at your phone, you, yourself and it, does not help your community – any community – online or off.

    • People would rather it collapse, believe me. Those who want to do the work will and those who won’t wouldn’t be dragged into doing it at gunpoint–they’d rather die 😛 If the motivation isn’t there, then there’s nothing you can do to drag other people into helping with a glad and willing heart.

      • I agree! They wait to see if you’re going to be able to do it for them…and if not, then so what?

        It’s just that I think a person winds up miserable doing this, after awhile. Because eventually no one asks you for help anymore.

        Sorry, but how many times can you reject opportunities, before they dry up?

  41. Ultra-sensitive types may withdraw to protect…introverts might be quieter but still appreciate the conversation.

  42. You’re story about the sales woman, I read it and I thought: compassion.

    I’ve got Saturn in Scorpio natally, conjunct the moon (and chiron in Gemini in the 11th, which may have similar issues?). Saturn also makes aspects to my natal Mars, Venus, Sun and Mercury.

    Sometimes, I’m frozen – what is the right way? The right thing to say?

    This happened to me today as I was sitting around the table with my husband’s family, my family. They were all speaking in my second language, Portuguese. He has a big family, seven brothers and sisters. Everyone was talking, sometimes talking to me… they include me, they are lovely, they want to know what I’m thinking… I’m lost in the overload.

    I agree, it’s a control thing. I have a lot of self control and if used in a restrictive way, it’s source is most likely fear; fear of rejection (from the group?).

    It’s really a self fulfilling fear, isn’t it? It’s like getting by, living on the outskirts… not really in, but definitely not out, but it’s definitely not in.

    That’s in a big group. In a very intimate group, it’s a different expression.

    Also, maybe this is because of all the aspects to Saturn, I take a long time to feel and then to communicate that feeling – especially when in a conversation with many people. I don’t process fast, my ideas don’t come to me fast and they aren’t spoken quickly. In a small group things are slowed down…

    No wonder I like being a language teacher… and writing online.

    I accept that I have difficulties in this area but I do too, have something innate that wants to overcome and to connect. I sense the bloom, the healing of Chiron and Saturn’s hand on my shoulder, standing behind me… urging me forward, to transform.

    I’ve recently teamed up with a friend, we’re putting together monthly weekend English speaking retreats, and we’re building a community… *thank you Life*

    Really beautiful timing Elsa! This was so nice to sit down, reflect and put this all together… it took me a while! …but it is SO relevant to my now.

  43. I had another thought – my (now defunct) woman’s club. I tried so hard to keep that club going…but the old women were dying and the young women wouldn’t do anything. It was definitely 6% going 80% and of course, that was unsustainable. The club, that had been in existence since the 1920s, collapsed.

    I was just talking to my husband about this. He feels guilty as hell if he doesn’t contribute. I can’t even imagine it, myself. Like when 70 boys want to have a dance party with no drugs. I allow them to come to my house with 18 hours notice. I do this because otherwise, the boys have nowhere to go! I would never say no to something like that – ever! I am being asked for a reason, right? This is obvious to me. Plain as the nose on my face.

    So my husband walks into truck stops, giving money to people on the way, more often then not. Plain as the nose on his face. Someone else, can’t help a customer in a store, choose an attractive outfit, even though it’s their job to do so. And what’s chilling is people will support them for doing this…cheer them. “You were a bitch to that bitch.”

    It’s just quite heartless, really. I’m sorry, but it is.

    I mean, if this doesn’t describe you, then it doesn’t describe you. But I’ll tell you this – I will serve until I draw my last breath. As will my husband…and maybe we can teach my son.

    On that note, I asked my husband if he thought this was something baked in, or if you had to teach it. He thinks you have to teach it. Babies have everything done for them – you have to teach a young person, it’s time they do something for other people.

    The best way to do that is probably by example. If so, my son has plenty of exposure.

    My husband also said, Saint Francis would pray to understand, rather than to be understood. It’s a good concept.

    I am so sick of rich celebrities telling me to help others. I have been helping others since I was three years old!

    • Ah I think I see what you’re getting at now. Are you asking why some people choose to withhold their gifts when others can clearly use them? I think there really is a certain amoutn of generosity that’s inherent and in other people it has to be learned. But it really seems like a product of communal living. I apologize, I’m not really familiar with your background so I’m not trying to label you or anything. From what I’ve observed people are more likely to share whatever they have when they feel like they are a part of a community.

      Take the women’s group, I had a similar experience where the group disbanded. I blame myself for my lacking leadership skills but I also believe i didn’t encourage each member to truly take on their role as if the group belonged to them. When people feel that something is a part of them, they take care of it. I mean it has to feel like an appendage, not that they necessarily care for it – few people are thanking their arms and legs everyday, but they do value them enough to care for them as necessary.

      So when people don’t step in, it may not be out of malice or intentional rudeness so much as a sense of being disconnected either to a person or a community. However the expression can appear rude and may even be outright mean. I think my generation is much less tethered to our birth home and our neighborhoods. Yes we may feel connected but we don’t generally feel any responsibility for it because we’re typically thinking about a far away place we’re moving to. Point blank as more people have the ability to move their home at will and communicate with anyone around the world whenever they please, people feel less bound to their current environment and obeying the social mores within that stratum. Individuals are seen as disposable/replaceable so helping someone random isn’t highly valued.

      I come from an immigrant family so I have different ideas of “home” and “connectedness.” I’m technically without a home, far removed from my people, so I am open to see myself in anyone and I wouldn’t hesitate to help you. But I wouldn’t open my home to strangers because I wouldn’t trust them to care for it and protect it. I’m a cancer btw so home is something sacred to me.

      • “Are you asking why some people choose to withhold their gifts when others can clearly use them?”

        Yes. That’s exactly what I’m asking.

    • “My husband also said, Saint Francis would pray to understand, rather than to be understood. It’s a good concept.”

      This is a wonderful concept. Thank you for posting it.

  44. To Elsa: This place is precious and important to so many of us. I am relatively new here and I may have missed something, but your work/site/forum matters enough to me that I would be very unhappy if it went away. I would love to help lighten your load if I could, especially if it could ensure this all continues. Probably many others feel the same. Unfortunately I am not a billionaire, but I have managed volunteers on a big web site… Others probably have even more needed skills they’d like to contribute. Is there’s door I haven’t seen? Sometimes ‘joining’ might be sharing your point of view, sometimes it’s just doing something supportive with a smile in your heart.

    • Thanks, wend. I don’t have anything to ask right now. I’ve got these transits, my whole family does. It’s enough at this point to just not be shot at as I try to navigate, along with everyone else. But thank you. I can’t do anything new at this point. Just trying to stay productive as possible, and do right by people who hire me. Teaching my kid to drive safely. You can pray my husband is not killed on the road. Thanks.

  45. I think I misunderstood what you were gettin at Elsa. I see a distinction between “socializing” and “compassion and support”. Socializing seems like a silly exercise to me sometimes but certainly see a need for compassion.

    I was actually discussing this with someone the other day. They said something like “aren’t you sick of people asking you for things”. I was like “no way! I wish people would ask me for more. ” I guess in this way too, I’m not appreciated. I don’t have a lot of time and energy. I don’t have a big house where I can have a bunch of boys over. I don’t have much money. I can listen though. I can give emotional support.

    I’ll give an example of my energy not being appreciated. I’ve been a hairstylist for quite a few years. When I see a stylist that’s come right out of school I always try to impart every bit of wisdom I can on them. To save them from making some of the same mistakes I made. I’ve tried with three so far and not one has appreciated my help. They completely ignored it.

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