OK so this may be a little complex, but I feel I have a major problem connecting with others on an emotional level.

Now intellectually and socially, I feel I have few problems; I can grasp abstract concepts easily, and I get along well with others (including strangers) and make new friends easily. I’m always the life of the party wherever I am, and I make friends whether younger or older.

However, when it comes down to a more personal and emotional level, I feel I don’t quite have what it takes. I feel that when people start to know me better, they end up detaching themselves, and it causes me a lot of personal distress.

I’ve suspected I may have psychopathic tendencies, but the fact that these things bother me causes me to doubt this to an extent.

A little about my background; I grew up with undercover law enforcement and military family. Family interactions were basically head games and trying to decipher one anothers’ motives. However, it feels like the more I try to reach out to others, the more they pull away from me. I’m not sure if they really are, or if I’m just being paranoid.

Sometimes I feel as if I’ll forever be stuck as an emotional teenager stuck in an aging adult body, and if I should try to do anything about it, or simply accept it and concentrate on what I know I excel at.

A. You are the ideal candidate for counseling. I say this because feelings are subjective. You need an objective, third-party to evaluate how you relate to others and to determine if it is problematic. As you said, your assessment could be based on paranoia. If so, you could be very wrong about your conclusions. The point is that you do not know objectively.

I recommend contacting a minimum of five therapists and speaking with them over the phone. Talk to them about your concerns. Ask them if they think they could help you. Meet the ones you like the best in person and then make your decision. Finding a therapist you like and trust will significantly increase your likelihood for success.

I wish I could offer you more than general advice but without more information it is simply impossible to determine if you are right or wrong in your assessment. The bottom line is that you need an accurate assessment of this issue. A therapist will determine the truth objectively. Knowing the truth is fundamental in determining your next move. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle