can anyone help me?

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hope3
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 216
   Posted 4/17/2006 12:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I dont know if this is the right place to post this,but I hope someone can help me with this issue.For as long as I can remember I have always worried about what people think of me.Im ok with strangers,I can talk to anyone.After I get to know someone better and they get to know me I find myself pulling away from them. I start staying away from them and sometimes feel like I do or say things for them not to like me. I dont know why I do this, I was hurt very badly from a family member when I was 15, I dont know if that has anything to do with this or not. I make friends very easily but can never keep them because I dont want anyone to get too close to me. Im afraid of getting hurt by them, so I keep my distance.The only ones I dont do this with are my family I am thankful for that. But this has effected my whole life as far as jobs,friendships,etc. It is even starting to effect me on this site. I start out being myself, then I start to wonder what people think of me, and it makes it hard for me to even chat sometimes. Im tired of feeling this way. You would think at my age this wouldnt be a problem(47)but I guess there are some things that cant be fixed.I dont want this to get to the point where i stop coming to this site, I need the support and kindness that people have shown me here.Any advise anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated.
 


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 4/17/2006 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi hope3,

I have never had a problem making friends either but after a while I usually end up distancing myself.  I was sexually abused by my stepfather for many years as a child.  I just cant let myself get too close to people and men especially.  This is a habit I have been trying to break and with counseling I have been doing pretty well with it.  I still have some major trust issues but who wouldnt. 

Anytime you go through a traumatic event no matter what it is you are going to automatically go into protect mode.  And when your a child and are hurt it is even worse as you dont know how to trust people or believe if what they are saying is true.  I think what you and I both have to do is just take each person on an individual basis.  Either it is in person or on this site.  I have been able to meet some wonderful people on this site alone that I am grateful for. 


 ~elisha~ 

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hope3
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 216
   Posted 4/17/2006 5:39 PM (GMT -7)   
els, thank you for responding to my post so quickly. Thank you for the good advice as well. I have also met some very nice and caring people here. I just hope I dont mess it up because i am this way. Im sorry to say, I dont put much trust in people. Im not very good at opening up to very many people about myself. But the longer I am on this site the better Im getting at it. It has been such a healing process for me to be here, and I hope to heal alot of old wounds that i have carried with me for too long. Thanks again els your a very special person and I appreciate you very much.God Bless!
 


softy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 798
   Posted 4/17/2006 6:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow.  Same problem here.  The root of mine is rejection.  I'm afraid of being rejected so I reject first.  I'm 38 years old and still worry about what others think of me also.  Always thought I'd grow out of it tongue .  I don't have the answer for you and the only thing I can think of is to open ourselves up to a few people that we click with and go from there.  I still remember a quote from Dr. Phil "You wouldn't worry about what others thought of you if you knew how little they did." 
Take care, Softy
 


honey
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 4/17/2006 7:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Hope.

This must be a frustrating predicament for you. Especially when others are essential for our healing. I too have a similar problem with pushing people away. If I have friends for too long, I feel immense pressure to 'perform'. It makes me very self conscious. I usually make excuses not to go places, stop returning phone calls and gradually 'slip' myself away.

However, this has changed for me recently in the form of a friend named Amiee. Now Amiee is hard to lose. Hard to offend and extremely sweet. A few months ago I was having a bout of severe depression. I had asked my husband to remove all sharp objects and to change the combination on our medicine chest. He forgot his razor blades and I picked one apart and tried to slit my wrists with it. It took so long, I changed my mind, broke down and fell asleep. The next day I had plans with Amiee and called to say I wasn't feeling well. She showed up 2 hours later with a big basket of pick me ups. (Kleenex, Tylenol, a DVD for the kids and Chicken Soup.) I felt so guilty. She did this probably 5 times last year. All after suicide attempts to which I claimed 'I wasn't feeling well'. I found out recently that Amiee is extremely stressed (I knew that she was exceptionally organized) and that her worry about details kept her up all night writing lists. That she would have crying spells for hours a night and that she felt frustrated in her parenting. She told me later that the time she spends with me help her through it. Also, when she is doing service or kind things for others, she is forgeting herself.

I'm telling you this because sometimes we forget that others need us. My advice to you is to:
1. Set yourself up - Find friends now that are hard to lose later. Hard to offend and in need of you.

2. Make your weakness a strength - You are NOT the only person who feels like this. If you listen (and I know your a great listener) you'll find others who are like you. You've dealt with this for a long time and have experiences to share... Share them AND the people your sharing with will have a similar mind set and will be less likely to let you slip away.

3. Give Service. Look for opportunities to make someones day. An elderly neighbour, heck, a younger neighbour. You have a soft heart and much to offer. The bonus with exchanges like this is that they don't last long but will mean alot.

4. Practise online. Your already making friends.... practise keeping them.

You asked for advice and this all I have. I hope others after will disagree and add to it
Good luck.
Honey

hope3
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 216
   Posted 4/17/2006 11:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Softly and honey, thank you so much for your replies. It made me laugh about Dr.Phils quote,thats very true. Softly you have helped me a great deal, I will definitely try to hold onto the friends I have made here. Thank you for the compliments, I dont get them often,so when I do I appreciate them more than I can say. I would also like to thank everyone for caring enough about me to respond to this post.God Bless You All!
 


Akram
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 4/18/2006 1:34 AM (GMT -7)   
hi there, i can't say i have the same problem i'm not sure, but i have hard time making conversation with people once i start to get to know them, like there is this barrier between us can't cross over, after i do the "good morning" " how are you lines" i have nothing more to talk about..

anyway you case seems like social anixety dis-order to me, could be wrong though. and there is medication for that.
                                                     To be or not to Be


Oldtimer
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 4/21/2006 4:54 AM (GMT -7)   

At first I thought how you focus on being hurt instead of the positive feelings that come from having a long term friend. Then it occured to me that it's probably emotions that happen so fast you don't realize you do it as you do it. It's just reaction.

Do you realize you are doing it as you do it? Or does it happen so fast, you realize it after the fact?

Ed


hope3
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 216
   Posted 4/21/2006 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Oldtimer, thats a good question to ask. I dont think I have an answer to it though. The problem is I dont have a long term friend because I dont let people get close to me. Sometimes I know that I am pushing people away by not staying in contact with them, and making excuses not to go anywhere with them. Other times maybe your right, maybe I do have certain responses that I am not aware of. You have given me something to think about. Thank you for your reply.
 


hope3
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 216
   Posted 4/21/2006 11:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Akram, I wanted to respond to your reply. Im sure you do better than you think you do when it comes to conversation. I think sometimes it comes from low self esteem,when it comes to relating to people. Thats just my opinion. Also I have been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and I am on zoloft, which has helped me come a long way. However I am going to change my medication,Ive been taking it for 15 yrs. and it doesnt seem to be helping me anymore. Anyway thanks for your reply and dont be so hard on yourself. Maybe we can chat and help each other sometime. Take Care!
 


Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 4/22/2006 4:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Hope -

I also tend to shy away from people after I get to know them. It's funny, I feel much more comfortable in a
room full of strangers that I'll never see again then standing around with a group of people that I see on a daily
basis. I usually worry about how these people must view me or worry about all of the other things that I should
be doing or worry about what my bosses would think if I was just standing around and talking rather than actually
working. I think these irrational fears most stem from my last job, in which I was constantly scrutinized and
ridiculted for not doing things right. But, my low self esteem was the precursor to all of that crap. Now, I am only
occassionally strong enough to partake in good old fashion banter once or twice a month. Otherwise, I always
feel like someone is going to pick on me or find something to critize me about. And that's really too bad,
since I can be really witty and extremely outgoing and joyful when I'm in the mood.

The way I have coped in the past (and I'm not sure if it's the best way) is by relying on one close friend. I usually
only have one really good friend at a time in my life. Right now, unfortunetly I don't have anyone. But, when I
do that one person feels like my personal savior. And then usually I move on. I take a different job, move to
another state, break up with him... you get the idea. But, I can usually hang on to one special person who is
there for me when I them.
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