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How do I learn to trust new friends?

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SS135

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As a teenager, I had a best friend who I was really close to - we did everything together and I always assumed we'd be friends forever. When I was 18, I went away to uni and she cut me out completely with no warning or explanation. I was absolutely devastated and couldn't understand how she could do that to me. Since then, I've really struggled with making really close friends - I have a lot of friends but I'm not very good at getting close as I worry that the same thing will happen. If I do start getting close to a friend and then they don't reply to a message or call one time, I get really upset by it. I start to obsess over what I could have done wrong and think that they'll never contact me again. The only way I can maintain friendships is for them not to be too close but then I feel lonely because I don't have anyone to talk to. Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with something like this?
 
Ghost_Owl

Ghost_Owl

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It comes down to the classic adage about risk and reward. I too have lost friends over the years. There are two ways you can take this.

1.) To a fearful place because of the sharp hurt of losing a friend. If you do this you will find your friendships to be less authentic so less satisfying. Because you fear that sharp pain of loss, you are accepting a dull pain in its place. Which is actually worse in the long term.

2.) To an accepting place. You can view people as naturally transitory. The only thing you can be certain of is relationships change given enough time. So the important thing is to enjoy them while they exist. To get the most out of them before they are gone. To have those shared memories, experiences.

There is value in slowly risking trusting. Because they in turn may respond in kind and thats how deep friendships form from understanding the more vulnerable sides of each other. Because while you have these friendships, it feels good. Even if it is lost later you still had it. If you start to look at relationships this way as naturally transitory you can be authentic get the most out of them. When that sharp pain does come you can know that what you had, had value otherwise it wouldn't hurt. People will come and go it can't be helped. Fear will punish you from having a fully experienced life. This is the cruelty of social anxiety to begin with.

It seems on some level you recognise this and want more, but that more only comes from taking the risk. If this anxiety is so ensnaring you may have to seek more professional help. That can help dismantle what has you trapped. I hope you can find authentic friendships you can value but also let go, glad you had them. Take care.
 
MoonShapedPool

MoonShapedPool

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You sound like you are a bit Co-Dependant.
The first broken Friendship may have caused it.
You may not be,but I am & that sounds a bit like me!
 
R

RayHendrix

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Jan 21, 2021
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128
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Austria
Hi! Hm, hard to say. For me i just came at some point that I stopped expecting too much or being mistrusting. I wish I could tell you there is a step to step guide but I don´t think there is. You could try to talk with a professional. That often helps with getting to the root of problems like that I believe.
Easier said than done but try to go at your own pace and try to not force or rush into friendships. If you just need a little more time to really trust someone just take it, and if you think it´s really a bigger problem, talking to a professoinal might be the best solution.
At least try to not worry and overthing these problems. They come and go and I am pretty sure things will get better ;) Over time you will make better experiences again and forget about the bad ones.
If you are not ready to talk to someone, you could also try to keep something like a journal where write down whats bothering you. Every day a little. Might help.
 
K

karl7

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Jul 9, 2013
Messages
926
As a teenager, I had a best friend who I was really close to - we did everything together and I always assumed we'd be friends forever. When I was 18, I went away to uni and she cut me out completely with no warning or explanation. I was absolutely devastated and couldn't understand how she could do that to me. Since then, I've really struggled with making really close friends - I have a lot of friends but I'm not very good at getting close as I worry that the same thing will happen. If I do start getting close to a friend and then they don't reply to a message or call one time, I get really upset by it. I start to obsess over what I could have done wrong and think that they'll never contact me again. The only way I can maintain friendships is for them not to be too close but then I feel lonely because I don't have anyone to talk to. Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with something like this?
i have zero friends, but i do go to a mental health club where i meet likeminded humble understanding pepole, .....i relate to them.....i get on with them.....they are not like the friends ia had when i was a teen and in my 20's.....all my friends from that period all desserted me when i got depression.....the prople i meet now are much better, i dont know what i would do with out them.....you should look in to joining a mental health club.
 

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