Keeping Friends

C

cenjay

New member
Joined
Jun 22, 2018
Messages
1
#1
Hi all

Hoping to draw some knowledge and advice from your lovely selves on a little issue I'm having, which may be classed as a mental health issue, or may not! I'll try to be brief :)

I'm a 27 year old male, with a partner and 2 kids. I'm happy, content and grateful for all I have in life, except for one problem. I find it impossible to hold friendships. I feel uncomfortable around other guys and making friends with guys, and even when I do, I grow to feel annoyed at them and/or had enough of them and I ignore them until they leave me alone. However, in a social situation I can be the funny guy who makes every one laugh and can come across as extremely confident. Even though I am confident, I find making friends with other guys very difficult, uncomfortable and I'm forever analyzing if they like me or not, all whilst convincing myself I dont really care if they do or dont.

Now, this is true to a certain extent. I'm happy how I am and I wont lose any sleep if someone doesn't like me, but I'm ready to have a friends now and to go for a beer every now and then, but I'm just not capable of keeping friends, and even when I do manage to keep a friendship for a period of time, I dont ever feel like theyre my friend and that we really want to see each other.

Now, I think I know the root cause of this, but have no idea of how to rectify this. When I was in school I had plenty of friends, I was the funny guy who everyone liked. Until towards the end of Year 9 (so I would have been roughly 13-14 years old), I randomly became very paranoid (I dont know why). Paranoid that people didnt like me, paranoid that my friends were doing things without me, paranoid friends didnt want to sit with me in class etc. This all accummulated to the point that the day before the 6 weeks holidays, we were in a class and a girl came over and said 'all your friends said they dont want to hang around with you anymore'... And that was that. From lots of friends to zero, all without being able to rationalise why or how. None of them said anything to me before, told me to stop acting a certain way, and none of them spoke to me after this day for 2 years till we left school, and I still havent spoken to them. I spent the first 4 weeks of that school holidays crying (whilst hiding it from my family - so they were clueless), then the last 2 weeks convincing myself I didnt care and that no-one is anyones friend really as ultimately, humans are selfish by nature. And I've been convincing myself I dont care what anyone thinks ever since.

A fairly tame experience compared to some on here I can imagine, yes. I dont look on that moment with sadness, and it doesnt bother me now, but I cant help but feel its affected my approach and views on having friends now.

With females I'm great, and I dont mean I'm a stud, I mean, I can be myself around females, have a joke, be super confident.. but around males, I analyse the whole situation whilst trying to act as normal as possible.

I could give examples etc and explain it more and more, but im conscious that people dont want to read an essay from some guy who has a perfectly fine life other than not being able to have a friend or two, when there are so many people on here who need advice and help for more serious mental health problems. So please just ask if you want to know anything more than what I've put here.

What do I want? Just a point of a finger in the right direction, ie, how do I rectify this? Am I in the wrong place for advice? Is there even anywhere to go for an issue that may be perceived as a fairly petty problem?

Thanks for any help, I appreciate any input
 
Poopy Doll

Poopy Doll

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2015
Messages
11,501
Location
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
#2
It's not a petty problem at all. Human Beings need companions. Yes, it does sound like you are overcompensating by saying you don't care. When in fact, you do. I had a huge problem making and keeping female friends; friends of the same sex as me. Mine was because my mother never befriended me. She never even liked me.

So the best we can do is analyze ourselves and keep trying. I made a load of mistakes until I learned to be an empathetic pal to women in my life. I also had to have a level of detachment so I wouldn't fall into separation anxiety. I had to have a level of independence so I wouldn't fall into dependence. With autonomy, I developed great compassion also.

I made a point of learning new verbal skills like sharing instead of lecturing/correcting. And Rogerian Reflection; a great verbal skill. People love that and come back for more. Then there's the Transactional Analysis which helped me stay in an Adult mode and avoid Critical Parental communications.

Whenever the thought comes that people dislike me or don't want me around or some thought like that; I tell myself immediately that it isn't real. These kinds of insecurities are common and occur even on this forum. The forum has been helpful to me in dispensing with these worries. It gives one a lot of practice in a condensed space.

I feel like I should say something about codependency but I'm not sure what.
 
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IWILLOBTAINMENTALHEALTH

Guest
#3
I have a hard time making and keeping friends. I only have 2 friends in my life. But my best friend is my sister. Good luck on your journey of keeping friends. I wish I could give advice but I'm horrible at this. :hug:
 
Anon_21

Anon_21

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2018
Messages
1,651
Location
US
#4
Hi cenjay, welcome to the forum. Dont downplay anything you are going through, I struggle with keeping friends as well and have had them leave suddenly with no explanation either. It sucks but i have come to accept that people, like life, are constantly changing. I do not go into friendships now expecting them to last forever, nor do I hound myself with worries about when they will leave me. Neither are helpful, so i just try to enjoy what i have when i have it.

I'm actually glad for what you described, as i feel much the same. I'm a married female who has always been more comfortable making friends with males (maybe because the anxieties associated with dating are removed??). It is very hard for me to befriend people of the same sex. Dunno why. So you're not alone there. It does make the whole friend thing harder since obviously you, like me, dont need to be going out with "friends" of the opposite sex when we have a family at home.

I think I use the forum for this now. Posting answers like this (ie, trying to help or share experiences with someone) helps curb that desire to have a real, physical friend. This is not an answer, obviously, but it is something that does help me, to a degree.

I'm sorry if I wasn't much help but if nothing else know you are not alone. Best wishes to you. X
 
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