Friendship Problems - Severe Anxiety

elliepaige20

elliepaige20

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Jan 13, 2019
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Kent
#1
Hi Everyone, I've had anxiety for a very long time and have often had difficulty making/keeping friends. Growing up, I was very introverted; always waiting for someone to ask me to join in, never just joining in myself, and always scared of what people thought of me. This is mostly due to an issue with a friend I had when I was 8 years old, who's mother accused me of being a bully. To this very day, with my hand on my heart, I honestly cannot tell you what I ever did wrong to this girl, I've gone over it again and again for years in my head to no avail. The school treated me terribly for it and I've never been the same since. I've had many friendships since then which have all ended in horrible ways. I had a group of girls in secondary school who suddenly turned on me, making fun of me for being anorexic (I wasn't by the way) and saying really ugly things. Then after I left sixth form and gained new friends, I thought things were looking up when I met (who I thought was) the love of my life. At this point, I had a great relationship and two wonderful friends. Then suddenly, both of my friends tried to take my boyfriend from me by confessing their love for him and flirting constantly. Unfortunately, he wasn't strong enough to resist them and ended up flirting back with one of these girls. I broke up with him and cut them off (I've talked about this in more depth in another thread).

I became severely depressed and anxious after this, feeling like I didn't deserve friends, or that I was the problem. I started seeing a counsellor and taking prescribed medication, which has helped. I've also been fortunate enough to meet new friends. I reconnected with an old friend who I've known literally since I was born, and have met her friends and I get on with them so so well. One of her guy friends has even taken an interest in me, and I kind of like him too honestly. So things ultimately seem pretty good right now! We all get on, I've laughed a lot and I'm pretty happy. However, the reason why I'm writing this post is to say that no matter how good things are right now, I am still terrfied that I'll be burned again. I get so scared that they don't like me, or that they'll turn on me because honestly it's all I've ever known. The friend I've known since childhood, we'll call her Clara, she would never turn on me, but I get scared that the others will. They seem like very open and honest people, and I'm sure they would let me know if I did anything wrong. It is my time of the month at the moment as well, which makes my anxiety go through the roof. One thing I don't want is to ruin these new found friendships by being overly anxious and constantly worrying whether or not they like me. If anyone has any advice on how to deal with this please let me know, thank you for reading.
 
F

Fallingfromthetop

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Feb 16, 2019
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Slipperyslope
#2
You shouldn't beat up yourself cause people are shit. A lot of people are shit. Some can be good for a long time but when it matters the most they are still shit. So you most likely are not the problem, the explanation is simple: a lot of people are shit. And shit people like to abuse people who are insecure in particular.

If you can find a few good ones to hold on to, give your love and self to, who can do the same to you, that is great. If you get anxious or whatever doesn't matter if you found truly great people worth having around cause they will listen and understand. They will love you despite your anxious self. They choose to be with you now so first impressions and all must have been good. If they don't stick around when you are just being true with yourself it wouldn't be worth having in the long run anyway. But I understand your anxieties wanting friends and feeling you gotta perform to make your best impression. Its pretty natural.

Probably not all of these other girls will support you forever. Invest best you can with the ones you click with the most and if you get burned by someone well so be it. I mean in life you likely will get burned some more times it is just a part of the process. There are a billion other people to meet in life. True only a fraction will click with you, just gotta keep searching. Its not about making you fit, its about finding people that fit with you and making the most of the times you share.

Just give it your best truest you and there should be nothing to ever regret. If things turn sour don't blame self, blame the world and try again to beat it.
 
elliepaige20

elliepaige20

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Jan 13, 2019
Messages
41
Location
Kent
#3
Thank you so much for your response :) It's very reassuring to know that I'm not the issue here. My counsellor has said previously that sometimes anxious people tend to attract bad friends; people who will walk all over us and treat us terribly for their own self gain. I've definitely met a lot of narcissists in my life who I thought were my friends but weren't in the end. I think sometimes this new group of friends just feels too good to be true, like everything will just eventually fall apart. I know I shouldn't think that way as things are good right now and I should just live in the moment. I'm going to keep going with these new friends and take everything as it comes. We've even planned a holiday in May which I'm very excited for :):dance: Thank you so much for being so understanding xx
 
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gam9147

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Feb 18, 2019
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Delaware, USA
#4
That's a lot of bad luck with friends and relationships my friend. But really I would just call it bad luck. It's understandable that it drives your anxiety, and I can understand being anxious myself how you can dwell on those thoughts.

With social anxieties its hard, you don't have control over at least 50% of friends and social interactions -- you can only control what you do and how you feel and the rest is up to them. Best advice is always not to lose faith and to keep trying, but do recognize when you are being taken advantage of and when you have toxic relationships and try to distance yourself from them. It sure sounds like your able to do the later, and the rest.. well may just take time.

I'm blessed to have a wife of many years, a caring (but overbearing) mother and a number of friends, but I too don't have anyone really close except my mom and wife and it has recently caused quite a bit of anxiety as my therapist introduced that it maybe a short coming in my social circle which is causing anxiety..... which is probably wrong I think its about other issues but who knows.. she could be right. So what do you do? not like I can do affirmations to make friends come to you... you just have to have a lot of patience with yourself and with others.
 
elliepaige20

elliepaige20

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Kent
#5
Thank you so much for responding, it's good to know that you have such a caring support system. I've had a lot of bad luck over the years which has plagued my mind for the longest time. I end up creating all these scenarios in my head about these new friends that I know are ridiculous and completely untrue. For example, I'm sat here at work right now thinking whether or not they really like me or want to spend time with me, despite the fact that 1) they've invited me on holiday 2) they message me every day and 3) there is no indication whatsoever that they dislike me in any way!

I understand that anxiety and logic don't exactly go hand in hand and that sometimes this is just my mind playing tricks on me. I think it's partially because these new friends are so carefree and spontaneous, which I definitely want to be, but am struggling to achieve. I don't want my anxiety to ruin these new found friendships as when I'm with them I'm genuinely having such a great time and I never want it to end. They've really welcomed and accepted me into the group, so I don't see why I keep worrying so much? I've had anxiety for a large majority of my life and it certainly seems as though I'm always worried about something or other. Like it's almost become a distinct part of my personality? To worry? Sounds silly I know, but I'm definitely trying to get there. Thank you for your kind and supportive words x
 
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gam9147

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Delaware, USA
#6
Exactly, when I'm feeling poorly I feel the same way... what if this.. what if that... you have to do your best to clear your mind, be accepting of any scenario or situation that happens. If it helps, say to yourself "so what?". You can handle it even if this current group does't work out there will be others.

It makes sense you'd think so much on this given your past experiences. Again I don't have social phobias except with my relationships, mine are mostly around health. But when I was feeling bad a month ago my mind immediately went to thoughts about my wife leaving me. Why? makes no sense. there have been problems in the past but we've been married 18 years now and there is no evidence of anything troubling currently. But my mind immediately goes there first. Its difficult to counter and difficult to be objective. We are right there with you!!
 
elliepaige20

elliepaige20

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Kent
#7
Thank you so much! I'll definitely take into account everything you've said. I'm just trying my best to go with the flow and appreciate all the good times I'm having now, which is hard, but I'm getting there. I think I'm just so tired of disappointment and things not working out, it almost feels like things are bound to fall apart? It sounds silly saying it out loud to myself as my friends genuinely are very kind people and I wouldn't change them. I'm just going to try and move forward as best i can and hope for the best :) Thank you x
 
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gam9147

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Delaware, USA
#8
It's funny how that works, in your head its all jumbled up and then you write it down and read it and go... hmm that doesn't sound logical at all right? Sometimes that in itself can be a good coping mechanism.

I hope you feel better and you definitely have the right attitude of keep pushing through enjoying the good times :)
 
elliepaige20

elliepaige20

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Jan 13, 2019
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Kent
#9
Thank you very much! Yeah I'm definitely starting to feel better about things and discover myself. Sometimes I do feel wildly anxious over things that I know aren't logical or rational in any way, but I'm just trying to tell myself that it's the anxiety and nothing more. I probably will start writing things down/journalling as I've heard this helps a lot of people. Thank you! x
 
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gam9147

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#10
I'm glad I could offer some advice and help :) its easier to help others than help yourself.. or at least its true for me. I guess our own problems are always harder to work through objectively.
 

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