Home General I can’t socialize if I don’t have a friend with me

I can’t socialize if I don’t have a friend with me

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

When I think back, I never could socialize on my own. I always needed someone that introduced me to somebody else. Whether my parents, other friends or my sister.
I’m getting sick of it, because I know that there won’t always be someone I know around that introduces me to somebody else.

I’m not even able to ask strangers simple questions, for example where street XXX is and how I can get there. Or can’t ask sellers if they have something, even I know they won’t kill or eat me up. All they can say is “No, I’m sorry.”

The only one I could get to know on my own was that one girl, I really really like her, she seems to be a pretty good friend, and she’s just like me. Also has only a handful of friends and rarely talks with strangers. She’s in my class and I sit next to her, so it wasn’t that hard talking with her. But I could never go to Starbucks and get to know people I haven’t seen before.

I’m also starting to isolate myself. I rarely leave the house even I want to.
But it just seem to make no sense walking around all alone.
I also always loved photography, don’t get me wrong, still love it, but it’s like I stopped making pictures like I used to, and I have no idea why. We have a huge garden and a huge house. My neighbors don’t. My neighbors are often outside, and I don’t wanna go outside and prepare things for making a picture when they’re out. I know I shouldn’t bother, but I don’t want them to see what I’m doing.

It’s not that I hate other people or don’t get along with them. They just seem to dislike me.
And they keep breaking up contact after a couple of years. Whether they move away or just stop talking with me. I suppose it’s just something like a cure. haha. I mean, I really have no idea why people leave me.

I have this friend, the only one from kindergarten I still talk to. He said I’m like the best friend someone could ever have and I’m not boring at all. He said, I’m more interesting than all those kids that have a billion friends together, he doesn’t understand why they constantly stop talking with me, because I’m neither boring or ugly nor I’m conceited at all. The only thing he could imagine is that they might me jealous or something, because I have like a lot of material things. (But only because my parents are rarely at home and work about 25/7) Sooo they don’t have to be jealous because I don’t brag.

Once, I had a therapist, even she left me, because she got pregnant. She told me she’ll call me. I’m still waiting for that call, and yes I miss talking with her, even she didn’t really helped, but it just felt great talking about problems.

Spoke verbosely, sorry. I hope you kind of understood my problem and can help me.
And so so sorry for the long text.

What you are describing could possibly be a social anxiety disorder. People with this problem fear situations in which they might end up embarrassed or where they think other people might be judging them. When they meet new people or think someone is watching what they are doing, they get anxious or uncomfortable and generally withdraw. Often they start avoiding situations where there are other people unless they are with someone they trust.

One of the big problems with this disorder is that it can become a vicious cycle. The person is afraid of making a fool of himself or being judged so he doesn’t try to meet new people or do new things. He then ends up feeling lonely and believing that he can’t make friends or do things – which makes him more reluctant to try. And so it goes.

My guess is that people don’t talk with you because you aren’t comfortable talking with them. They then get the wrong impression about you. You are lucky to have a friend who gives you some honest and more objective information. It sounds like you have everything you need to be a social person – except confidence.

You were right to see a therapist. You did like talking to her. Perhaps if it had gone on longer, it would have been more helpful. Please don’t take it personally that she didn’t call you back. My guess is that it didn’t have anything to do with you. Her personal life got in the way of her good intentions.

Do yourself a big favor and give another therapist a go. In the safety of a therapist’s office, you can figure out some strategies for being more confident in front of other people and for managing the anxiety. Your old friend is probably right about you. When you figure out how to let people get to know you, you’ll be fine.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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