I am finding it really hard to shift this feeling of loneliness. I don’t have any really close friends and when I do, I think I expect them to put in as much effort as I do. I take everything very personally and can get upset by little things quickly.
If I do make friends and it is going well I start to feel panicky like I expect something to go wrong and I end up pushing them away before they can hurt me, it is like a vicious circle; or I will do something really stupid to try and test them to see if they are good friends and stick by me which normally has the opposite effect.
I say I am quite happy being alone but it starts to hurt after a while. I have this nightmare a lot where I am stood in the middle of a field wearing a black dress and can hear laughter all around me but can’t quite get to it and I’m still all alone. That’s how I feel constantly and I want to change but I can’t. (From London)Loneliness
Thank you for your email. I have two suggestions: the first is to push yourself into new experiences with other people. I know this sounds difficult, but you want to meet new folks in new and different ways. Trying new things and meeting new people is a skill. Just because it may not be comfortable, doesn’t mean it can’t be good. I recommend taking fun or interesting courses so that you are in a relaxed atmosphere while making new connections.
Secondly, I’d recommend some individual therapy to understand why you panic when you do make a good friend. Understanding what happens when people do get close would be a good way to transform your feelings.