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I Want to Talk to People But I Don’t Want to Be Friends

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I have always very self-conscious but after I got a boyfriend it became worse. I was terrified he would leave if I remained “fat” so I then limited myself to 320 calories a day until I plummeted from 120 lbs to 80 in about 3 or 4 months. I was then hospitalized for anorexia nervosa. I managed to convince my dad I was well enough to leave in a week when doctors insisted I should stay for a month. I hid most of the food they gave me in my purse…I still battle with anorexia but I have upped from 320 to 1200 and am still upping my intake (I know this is nowhere near the amount I need per day but I will get there soon!) but I am not here for eating disorder related talk. Ever since I started my restrictive tendencies tendencies I became a “recluse” of the sorts. I love talking to people if I am in a classroom discussing a learning topic but if it gets personal I become petrified. This has escalated to the point where I do not respond to any text messages and I reject most invitations to hang out unless it is in a big group or a loud party where I will not have to go into personal or one-on-one interaction because I feel as if I may say something stupid or weird that a normal person would not say. I hate giving out my number because when I ignore people I feel horrible and wished they understood why. I sincerely like people and enjoy talking to people and people generally like me. People try to become close to me but eventually I ignore them to a point where they stop trying. I can handle conversation but if it lasts for longer than 10 minutes or becomes personal I become extremely stressed and anxious which also applies to hanging out. I Am also extremely sensitive and can not deal with change (just happened the last year),for example, If I plan on going to the mall or going to the store and plans change I usually tear up and even cry for a bit if it is a bad day. I used to be a social butterfly…what happened?

I Want to Talk to People But I Don’t Want to Be Friends

Answered by on -

A.

I know you don’t want to hear about the eating disorder, but we need to review the situation. The eating problem began as you developed a more intimate relationship. This means that they are connected.

Leaving after a week at the treatment center only gave you some of the tools, but not all of them. The social concerns you have are directly related to the eating problems. They are not two separate things.

I would recommend you take care of the eating concerns first. What you will learn is that your relationship to food is intimately connected to your relationship with others.

See if it is possible for you to get reevaluated by the program you were in. If not, you’ll want to talk to your general practitioner or psychiatrist. You will want to ask your family for help in setting up either of these appointments.

I know as a freshman in high school it may be hard for you to imagine that all these things are connected. I admire your courage for asking this question here, and hope that you will follow through on the suggestions.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I Want to Talk to People But I Don’t Want to Be Friends

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). I Want to Talk to People But I Don’t Want to Be Friends. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/11/05/i-want-to-talk-to-people-but-i-dont-want-to-be-friends/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.