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Struggling to make friends

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Due to an abusive relationship that only in the last 8 months ended, I lost contact with pretty much everyone I knew because I wasn't allowed to talk to them or made to feel bad/ guilty if I did. I spent those 3 years in a very bad place, because of that I struggle a lot to talk to people. I managed to get back in contact with 2 of the people I lost. Problem is that one lives in Canada, the other very far away, so I can't ever see either of them.

I recently got in a relationship with someone else, he's always very busy, he's in a band so spends a lot of time with the other members, sometimes for days at a time. The problem that I'm having now is that while he's away, because I don't really speak to or see anyone other than him, I really can't deal with being without him for more than a few days at a time. The days where he's gone, I don't leave my house, barely even my room. I hardly talk to anyone and it's insanely lonely. When he's with his friends and I know he's having fun I can't help but feel incredibly jealous and left out. I'm glad he's enjoying himself but it makes me feel awful knowing I'm at home barely making it through each day and I'm so tired of feeling like this every time he's gone. I want to feel ok but my anxiety really plays up at times like this and it never helps the situation.

I know that I need to put myself out there, I know I need to try and make more friends in my area so I'm not alone and don't rely fully on him anymore. But the thought of going out to meet people really puts me off and even though I really want to do it, I also sort of don't. I find it incredibly difficult and exhausting talking to people, my social skills aren't that good, I'm really shy and can never seem to connect with anyone in the fear that they'll either leave or judge me. It's been the same my whole life.

Something needs to change, I can't go the rest of my life not having a friend.

I apologise in advance if this doesn't quite make sense, or what I'm trying to say doesn't get across too well.


  • GlennGlenn Posts: 52 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    Hi Meg

    How have you been?

    I agree with Aidan in that speaking to someone can really help us heal from the experiences that have hurt us. I would really recommend counselling but I also believe that you know what is best for you right now and you may not feel ready for that just yet.

    Let us know how you're getting on.

  • PositiveAuraPositiveAura Posts: 150 Settling in
    Hi Meg. :wave:

    ​I hear everything that you are saying but first of all I want to say how much you are actually putting yourself out there without even knowing it, right here on The Mix.
    ​It takes a lot to even consider it, but to openly talk about yourself and post online shows that you are connecting with people more than you may think. :rolleyes:

    ​It sounds like your previous relationship has really affected you and this is totally understandable. It's hard to lose friends and parts of ourselves but the main thing is that you fought through it and it sounds like you are in a better relationship. Though your boyfriend is away a lot and this can be quite lonely, maybe think of it as a time to regain all those things you may have lost. Some time for yourself. To rekindle any hobbies or likes. A time to do things like pick up that book you've always wanted to read, or even just to relax.

    If you are struggling with anxiety, remember there is no pressure to actively go out and seek friends. It's more common than you think, so even if it feels like a vicious cycle, there are many people out there who feel that social pressure too.
    But I think one of the best things is to use your hobbies or likes as a starting point.
    ​To begin with this can just be online, joining Facebook groups or following things that you enjoy. Maybe you could search for things that may be in the community around you?

    And try to think of this as a way for you to spend your free time and enjoy it, rather than it being for other people. :chin:

    ​And then in the future, if you feel ready it could lead to events or going to places. For instance, you said your boyfriend is in a band, how about going along to a gig to hear some music?
    f you surround yourself with things you like, people that share that common interest will be there too.
    I mean, comic lovers go to comic stores. Book lovers, book stores. Music lovers, music stores. Things like that!
    ​Personally, I've even done things like joined tv, music or foodie groups online or met new veggie-lovers at veggie or vegan stores. It's all about what you like and then through that you can meet others.

    ​This can also help with what you mentioned about worrying that people may leave or judge you because these people have similar interests with you to start with and you can begin to bond over that first. It gives you common ground and can help conversation flow more easily.
    ​If you connect with these people online first and get to know them more before even meeting, this helps even more with conversation flow and connecting with them!

    ​I agree with what Aidan mentioned about occasional calls, texts or video chats with your friends that live far away. Maybe you could make it a regular thing and have a coffee over the internet? (Or a tea if you prefer!) :chin:​ To be honest, it doesn't make it any different than in person really - and it saves you that fiver at the café!

    ​Maybe have a little search over social media and see what's out there near you?

    ​Or even let us know some of the things that you enjoy and we can point you in that kind of direction?

    ​-PositiveAura :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks everyone for the advice and help, even if I've been absent for a while on here. I had another meltdown yesterday and decided to come back, and reading what you said made me feel a lot better.
    I have a lot to work on. I haven't really made much progress over the past few months, I feel like I'm at a constant level of 'aware of my problems, but not confident or driven enough to do everything I can to fix them'.
    It needs to be fixed. I say I'm trying my best, but I'm not sure if my best really is my best anymore.
    I know what I can do to help my anxiety, but depression holds me back. 'Why do this activity when you can sit in bed and worry?' or I just lose motivation completely. It's an endless cycle of caring too much but caring too little at the same time.
    I would do literally anything to rid myself of this feeling, every single day.

    But thank you for spending the time to reply to me with such lengthy replies, I suppose I find it easy here because everyone's so understanding and kind no matter what. It's something I don't really find anywhere else.
    Eternally thankful :heart:
  • DreaDrea The Mix Posts: 292 Budding Regular
    Hey Meg,

    Hope you're doing okay. How was today? As the others have said, it's great that you've come here on the threads and you have people here to talk to you! We're all here for you if you need us :) Have you thought of maybe taking up a hobby or doing some exercising or taking up exercise classes? When you engage in certain things without the primary aim being to find a friend, you technically do put yourself out there and friendships could blossom naturally, as well as you doing something you enjoy at the same time. There is absolutely no pressure for you to immediately find a group of friends, so it may be worth doing things you enjoy, and going out and maybe trying out something new that you haven't done before! That way if you join a sports team or a club or go to the gym etc... you may be surprised with how you feel about yourself and who you may meet! Only do what you feel comfortable doing, and at your own pace :) Let us know how you get on :)

    Hope you have an amazing day!

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hello :) Thank you for the ideas, I've been trying to find something that I'm interested in for months. I just graduated, not working right now (although my first day at my first job is tomorrow :)) so I haven't really had any money to travel or invest in activities to get out much. Although that will be changing when I get my first pay, I hopefully will be joining a gym.
    I do have a side project on etsy where I post things that I've made every now and again, I do enjoy sewing and making things. It's just getting the motivation to do any of it most the time, and it's not really a socially forgiving hobby.
    Being in this position for a long time has really had my down the past week, as it's slowly start to hit me how much I'mm struggling, but I'm really hopeful that this new job will boost my productivity and positivity and introduce me to more people I can really get along with.

    Thank you so much for caring and taking the time to write to me, I'm so grateful for every piece of advice :heart:
  • DreaDrea The Mix Posts: 292 Budding Regular
    Hey Meg,

    That's fantastic! It can be difficult to get out of a funk especially when you don't have much to do, but hopefully the job will help motivate you. Having a routine and timetables usually helps me stay motivated :)

    Hope to hear from you soon!

  • PositiveAuraPositiveAura Posts: 150 Settling in
    Hi Meg,

    ​That's awesome, congrats on the new job! :yippe: I hope your first few days have gone well.
    ​I can understand how hard it has been but it's great to hear that you're feeling at least a little more hopeful and positive. Just saying that puts you in a better mind-set sometimes.
    And the gym is a great idea, you meet so many people there and it can really boost your energy and mood! Even if you only start out with a trial day.

    Who doesn't love Etsy? That's so creative, and if you love it, stick with it! It's always nice just doing something you like when you have the time so you can use this to relax and unwind, especially if you are starting a new job.

    ​All of these things are ways to connect and meet people though, so look you're already doing it. And remember who we come into contact with have friends, who have friends etc. etc. so you never know who might show up in your life. :)

    ​I agree with @Drea about routine and timetables. Having a routine during the week not only gets you up and productive but it can also set out time for yourself so you know when you are working/relaxing etc. I'm a big organiser so need this.

    ​I think the main thing to remember is to enjoy it. It sounds like you are trying new things and have some changes in your life so it can become busy at times. Again, try not to let it pressure you and just go with the flow.

    ​We are always here to listen and write back. I wish you good luck and positive vibes! Let us know how it is all going. :d

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