November 30, 2020 at 9:25 am #370161LizParticipant
Tl;dr: I feel like I have no close friends.
I’m struggling with a lot of friendship issues lately and hope someone here can help me.
I’ve always struggled with friendships, feeling like I never quite fit in and finding it hard to connect with people, for many reasons (being perceived as a “nerd” at school, not being familiar with popular culture, that sort of thing). This has been an ongoing issue, compounded by not getting into a dancing troupe that most of my friends got into, and having a partner who’s come here from another country and isn’t great at making friends either. I often feel like I have to choose between him or friends.
The issue had died down a bit due to Covid-19 – during the lockdown, no one was able to go out anywhere, so everyone was in a similar position. I did continue to do online dancing classes with a group that I’ve been meeting with weekly for the last two years. However, lockdown has now ended where I am, and I know I should be grateful for that, but I just found out through Facebook that a group of my dancing friends (well, I guess I would call them friends, I don’t know if that’s how they see me) had a party on Saturday that I wasn’t invited to. I feel very hurt about this, and anxious about social events starting up again. I feel like it’s going to be an effort to decide what to go to, stressful and hurtful navigating it when events happen that in not invited to, and then I need to think about whether I should keep trying with these friends or just accept that maybe they’re not real friends and find some new ones.
I guess what I want to know is… how do you make new, and lasting, friends? How do you get that sense of connection? How do I find my tribe? And how do I get past the issues from my past of feeling like I’m not lovable, feeling that when I’m vulnerable or makes people uncomfortable, and feeling like I have to be someone else to be loved? I’ve spent most of my life disliking myself and being ashamed of my personality and interests. I just want a group of friends that gets me, that I can talk to regularly, that I can call on if I need them, and that make me feel like pat is a tribe.
If anyone has any advice I’d be very grateful.
Peace.November 30, 2020 at 11:35 am #370217anitaParticipant
You shared that you were perceived to be a nerd in school, that most of your friends there got into a dance group but you didn’t, so you felt left out; that you “never quite fit in and finding it hard to connect with people”.
You shared that you spent most of your life disliking yourself and being ashamed of your personality and interests”, feeling “not lovable”, that you feel like you “have to be someone else to be loved”.
Currently you have a partner from another country who “isn’t great at making friends either”, and you often feel like you have to choose between him and your friends, friends that don’t feel like close friends (“I feel like I have no close friends”).
“The issue had died down a bit due to Covid-19- during the lockdown, no one was able to go out anywhere, so everyone was in a similar position.. However, lockdown has now ended”, and most recently, you found out that a group of your dancing friends with whom you met weekly for the last two years (including online during the lockdown)- had a party Saturday that you were not invited to. You feel very hurt about it, and anxious about future social events.
“I need to think about whether I should keep trying with these friends or just accept that maybe they’re not real friends and find some new ones.. I just want a group of friends that gets me.. that makes me feel like part of of a tribe”
You asked: “how do you make new, and lasting friends? How do you get that sense of connection? How do I find my tribe?”-
My input today:
In the context of middle school, high school and college, teen age through early twenties, it is enough for an individual to look nerdy, or “not cool”- to be rejected by (a) the popular kids who want to remain popular, and (b) by all those who are not yet popular but want to be popular. If an individual from group a or b befriends an un-cool looking kid, that puts the individual at risk of maintaining their popularity or not becoming popular, being branded as un-cool as well.
In this context, for an un-cool looking kid, it takes changing physical appearance, body posture, facial expressions, tone of voice, appearing strong and attractive to make it into the popular group. Problem is there is always an underlying tension and competition in that group, always the need to appear a certain way, fearing rejection otherwise.
I think that what you are looking for is making meaningful, deep friendships. For this purpose, it will take more understanding the origin of your feelings of being left out, rejected, unlovable. You mentioned “issues from (your) past”- do you mean issues at home, growing up?