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Compulsiveness, Instability, etc.

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I’ve always had trouble keeping friends around as I push them away and/or just say stupid things that cause my relationships to crumble. One of those friends left a deep impact on my life both positive and negative and because of the things we talked about and did together. Stupid me focused on her negative past and I feel I failed to be there for her like she was for me when I wanted to commit suicide. I wasn’t there when she needed me the most, instead of helping her be happy in the present I ran or made stupid statements that hurt her more. I’m self-aware of my problems but I can never fix them. I’ve dropped many activities especially ones that remind me of past friends. I’ve recently lost a close friend again because of my stubborn compulsiveness and toxicity and I just want it to stop, I really want to change.

Compulsiveness, Instability, etc.

Answered by on -


Thank you for having the courage to talk so openly about your issues. I think it is a brave thing to be able to look back, reflect, and want to make changes. This is the essential spark for the motivation needed to make a change — and I am very glad you have written to us here.

My best guess is that you pattern of pushing people away may have to do with intimacy concerns. This often explains why people are aware of the dance they do when relationships get closer, but aren’t aware that the very thing they are looking for scares them to the point where they push the person they want (or people they want) away.

To help with this there are a number of suggestions given to those in relationships with someone who has an intimacy issue. I’d check out this blog to see what is often prescribed as a response to someone who is pushing you away. I think this is a good way to understand what might work when you are in a relationship again. Additionally, here are some suggestions for building relationship skill when intimacy is an issue.

The key feature is often a type of fear of being abandoned that bubbles up once people start feeling close to someone. As we move closer to the very thing we need and want a sense of not being able to keep it creeps in and we sabotage what we were striving for. I hope the links provided will give some help in having you move forward. Writing us was the first step — following through with some of these suggestions and considering therapy is a good way to follow up.

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

Compulsiveness, Instability, etc.

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). Compulsiveness, Instability, etc.. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 9 Sep 2019 (Originally: 12 Sep 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 9 Sep 2019
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