Zenster’s recent thread on learning to love oneself brought me to want to share something. I’m blaming this all on you Zenster.
I don’t know how to be a friend.
Or maybe I don’t know how to make friends. I know I have friends, but these are people I’ve known for a long time. And still, I hold something back. I think it comes from a deep-seated fear that if people ever get to really know what a twisted individual I truly am they will be repulsed, and won’t want anything to do with me.
Of course, in recent years I’ve come to understand that I’m not the disgusting individual I was previously led to believe I was, but old habits, old defenses, are hard to discard. And so now, when people offer to be friendly, I accept it, but I don’t really open up to them, which I suppose leaves them feeling vaguely rejected. I don’t want to be this way, but I feel that I have to keep anybody new at arm’s length for a while, until I can get comfortable with them. Most people don’t have the patience for me to ‘warm up’ to them, and I can’t blame them for that.
Anyway, I’ve gone my whole life forcing myself to not need people, to be self-contained, and now that I’ve learned to like myself, I want other people to like me too, but I’m just not doing a very good job of it.
And yes, I am married. I never said I learned to like myself on my own. She talked me into it. But I think she despairs of ever making me into a social animal. Actually my joining the SDMB was a conscious decision on my part to try to become more social.
So – Have I explained myself? Do other people have this problem? How do you cope with it? Do you cope with it?
Mods – as always, if any member of your team……no wait, that’s something else…
ummmm. as always, if you feel this is in the wrong forum, please fling it in the correct direction, thanks.