Hedgehog's Dilemma, Sort of

It's not a problem with the people around me, but a problem with me, because they can all get close to each other.

I meet acquaintances, some who become 'friends' but they are superficial friendships. Even friendships over years remain superficial. Some people I know regard anyone they know the name and face of as a friend. So they have hundreds of friends. But even among those hundreds of friends they probably have deeper friendships. I have neither quality nor quantity.

I should be trying to open up more to others, but no one encourages me to, nor suggests that they would like to get to know me better. To me this means that they aren't interested in developing the friendship further. I self-fulfil my own prophecy that I'm not a friendly person.

I don't want to open up partly because I don't like myself. I don't want others to know about my shameful, pathetic self. I see it with my own eyes, that people around me feel more awkward, more restrained and less happy when they are around me when I'm -not- pretending I am 'normal' 'like them'. Misery has no friends, huh?

I'm scared I'll find out that the real reason I have no close friends is because I really am an unlikeable person, and not because I don't give others a chance to know me.
Scarlet Scarlet
18-21, F
5 Responses Jun 4, 2007

I can relate as well. People consider me a friend since they know who I am, but they don't really know much about me. I don't feel like they even want to know and I don't have any idea how to really tell people about me since I feel it will just drive them away. I keep getting advice to just talk to people, but it really doesn't seem to help. But that's all I know so far.

Like you, Scarlet, I have neither quantity or quality in terms of friendships. I too don't have anyone who's really interested to develop the friendship further. Like you I also can see people are either restrained or awkward with me around, or don't really feel like understanding whatever I am sharing...<br />
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Although I agree with PiscesDream's advice of 'When you get interested in other people, they get interested in you'(it's the truth for most people), I would also like you to know that when there are people who really try their best in be interested in you as a person and wanting to develop a strong friendship with you, you too would respond naturally in kind - either consciously or subconsciously.<br />
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What I'm saying is this: believe in the possibility that there are people out there who are sincerely interested in knowing you better before you even start to get interested in them. We call this 'affinity'. Rare, but we cannot deny it exists.<br />
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Take care, Scarlet. As you learn to become interested in others in ways that most people would respond to, may you also have the good fortune to meet others who are interested in knowing you better before you even start to express any interest in them.

Hi Scarlet, I know how you feel. I don't know how old you are but I'm 29 and I've been feeling the same way most of the last 12 years or so. I'm starting therapy with a psychologist this coming week in the hope that it'll help me realize there's nothing wrong with me and that I really do have 'everything going for me' like my family and best friend say. There's no logical reason for people to not like me and many reasons why they would like me, but like you I don't like myself and that somehow subconciously shows through to other people. If you want, I'll keep you posted on how the therapy goes, if it works for me then you might want to try it too. I hope things get better for you soon :)

"I should be trying to open up more to others, but no one encourages me to, nor suggests that they would like to get to know me better."<br />
I would like to get to know you better.

No! That's not true! You're a very likeable person. You need to like yourself first.<br />
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This self-fulfiling prophecy is very accurate. What you think and believe you attact. Start thinking good things about yourself.<br />
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The thing about people is that they all want to be loved and cared for. They don't encourage you, because they like people who are interested in them. It's up to you. When you get interested in other people, they get interested in you. Try it. Also, take a read of "How to Win Friends and Influence People: by Dale Carnegie. He explains this concept expertly. I highly recommend it. You can get it at your local library, second hand book store, etc.,<br />
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In the meantime, take good care of yourself. You are worth it!<br />
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Bless you,