From a teen in the U.S. : I seem to have a lot of problems connecting with people and building unbreakable bonds with people. I try to because I want to feel that type of love and have those kind of bonds but it’s like the feeling is foreign to me. I feel indifferent a lot of the time, even when it’s something I should care about, I just don’t, even when I want to care.
Sometimes I get these desperate urges to pick fights with people I care about to feel something and to get some response bc if they do, it shows they care and I start to feel better, it’s like I’m always wanting to feel something, even if it’s pain. I put myself through emotional and physical pain and idk I can’t stop. Idk why I can’t just be normal and love passionately like everyone else.
I wish I had an easy answer for you. I don’t. I do know that what you are describing isn’t that unusual for teens. Learning how to understand and navigate relationships is the most difficult task of adolescence. Feeling alienated and “different” is also pretty common. A lot of your peers are also questioning whether they are “normal”. Many are confused and upset about love relationships. So, please, first of all, give yourself a break.
The best indication that you are healthy is that you want to figure this out. Sadly, the only way you’ve found so far to feel connected is to provoke a negative reaction from others. Yes, it is a kind of connection, but I know that you already know how unsatisfying that is.
I wish you felt safe enough with some other teens to talk about this. I think you’d find that you are more normal than you think. Sometimes youth groups provide that kind of safety. If that’s not an option, then a few sessions with a mental health counselor might be helpful. I suggest this, not because I think you have a mental disorder but because therapy can often provide a safe place for people to work through confusions and to get some support. Please consider it.
I wish you well.
Why Am I Unable to Fully Connect with Others?
Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker
Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
APA Reference Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). Why Am I Unable to Fully Connect with Others?. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/02/02/why-am-i-unable-to-fully-connect-with-others/
Last updated: 30 Jan 2019 (Originally: 2 Feb 2019) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 30 Jan 2019 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.