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Difficulty with friendships

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  • #356128
    Helen
    Participant

    I’m really stressed out about the fact I have no close friends in my town. Unfortunately in high school I didn’t have the chance to cultivate strong friendships and when I went to college all my “so called” friends disappeared. At college I have some very good friends but they are all from different cities and I fear that when college will be over, these friendships also will. I have this fear of growing up alone, even though I have a lovely family that supports me. I’m trying to getting to know new people in my town, who are already part of a group, and it’s sometimes difficult to feel included. I know it takes time but I’ve been having this irrational fear of being left out for a long time and it causes me stress. I don’t know how to cope with it. I try to think that I don’t have to worry too much about the future and that I don’t need so many people in my life, but still it makes me feel a little anxious. Do you have any sort of advice for that? Thank you!

    #356138
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helen:

    I don’t understand: you currently live in what you refer to as your town: is your town also the location of the college you are attending, or are you currently staying with your parents, in your town, away from college which is in another town or city?

    anita

    #356142
    Helen
    Participant

    Hello Anita,

    yes, I live with my parents and I study in another city.

    #356146
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helen:

    It is a good thing that you have “a lovely family that supports you.

    “when I went to college all my ‘so called’ friends disappeared”- maybe one so called friend can reappear in your life if you reconnect with her or him, and the two of you can become real friends this time.

    “At college I have some very good friends but they are all from different cities”- maybe you can reconnect with one of your very good friends, one who can visit you in your town, or you can visit her in her city.

    One reappearing high school friend, a second reactivated college friend- that’s two active friends, and if the friendships are of high quality, that’s a whole lot of friendship.

    “I have this fear of growing up alone”- as a college student, you are already grown up, aren’t you? I wonder if this sentence indicates an old fear that you had as a child and a young teenager, a fear of growing up alone?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #356310
    SearchForSelfPeace
    Participant

    Dear Helen,

    Friendships are like perennial rivers that never stop flowing. It is possible that as you move forward in your life you will lose touch with many of your past friends. But you will gain new friends in that phase of your life. Also, you can reconnect with your old friends anytime. Distance does not matter much if you want to maintain a friendship. Checking in on them once in a while would do the trick.

    Also, at some point in your life, you will realize that you need to have only a few friends who can be there in your hard and good times. I personally made a lot of friends/acquaintances until I was in college. As I transitioned into a work environment, I made work colleagues who lost regular touch when you changed your job. However, when I look back, there were a few people from each phase who stuck and I am in touch with them even today. Whenever I visit their city, I always try to meet them. Once in a while we plan a trip to some location.

    So my advice to you would be to keep yourself open to any friendships for now. You will get acquainted with new people from different backgrounds/cities in your case, and you will also lose touch with many people over time. Find the people with whom you can connect and keep in touch with them as you move away to different cities or different phases of life. Please don’t be afraid of anything.

    #356480
    Helen
    Participant

    Thank you Anita,

    Yes, you’re right. Surely as I was younger I had this fear of not finding true friends, even though I had some good friends. So maybe it’s just a sort of fear, that doesn’t really match with reality. I actually tried to get in touch with some friends in my hometown I lost contact with but, even though they seem very including, they already have their own group of friends and it’s really difficult to be or feel included when they get out and invite me. Maybe I should just be a little more patient about that. Unfortunately after a bad break up I lost many mutual friends from high school. I’m sure that these were not very close friendships and I’m determined of finding just a few good friends for me. But sometimes it just feels so difficult: I come back from college in my hometown and feel I have no-one to go out with, because everyone has its own group of friends.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Helen.
    #356484
    Helen
    Participant

    Hello SearchForSelfPeace,

    thank you for your advice. I compare myself so much with others, I think that’s what really stresses me. But yes, I should just be patient and open with friendships.

    #356526
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helen:

    You are welcome. “I come back from college in my hometown and feel I have no-one to go out with, because everyone has its own group of friends”- it is difficult to feel excluded, each one of us people need to feel that we belong to a group. It is not different from how it is with other social animals, such as coyotes and elk, they too need to feel that they belong to a group.

    Even if you feel that you belong to the group you were born into aka your family, a young person needs a group of her peers to belong to. I wonder if you felt his way, being excluded before high school/ before the breakup in high school and losing the mutual friends you had at the time (?)

    anita

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