Sure, it may be harder to make friends now because you’re older and have more responsibilities, but it doesn’t mean you can’t change who you are. It sounds like you are saying a version of the same . You may need to go a bit deeper, by working with a therapist or counselor to heal your childhood trauma. The introvert mind is literally wired differently. Your email address will not be published. If that’s what you want. I hope you’re the one giving out the smiles the next time you get on the bus! If so, go on a hike. Part of the reason we can struggle to connect is if we have such low self-esteem we are terrified of others seeing us in a bad light so block connection with our own fear and sabotage. Of course you shouldn’t rush in. Required fields are marked *. With friends and family, we’ve already established some common ground, so it’s easy to really communicate with them. Whether you’re a baby boomer or not, the responses you were given were uncalled for. Thanks for your thoughts, Serenity Hacker! It is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together. Being neutral may make life easier, but it also makes life boring. my friend shared with me a theory based on the unique fingerprint (dermatoglyphics) which reflects our genetic characteristic. Before we look at the surface why we don;t connect well, i think it would be more beneficial why we behave in a unique fashion based on our genetic blueprint. With social media becoming our future, people are more likely to connect from their home, rather than stepping outside and meeting somebody in person. Good to see you here, man. A lot of people struggle to do basic hygiene tasks when depressed. . I personally believe it is because of these three big reasons: As a kid growing up, there wasn’t a day I watched TV that there wasn’t an announcement of something horrible. It’s called, “Always Talk to Strangers”. It would take me several interactions with someone before opening up on any kind of real level would feel appropriate. Talking to someone who shares the same feeling as you – it connects you. As an introvert, the small-talk many seem to enjoy doesn’t feel like connecting to me. While I do agree (wholeheartedly) that everyone is unique, that doesn’t mean we can’t connect. In this day and age, it’s quite apparent that people are connecting everywhere. Our childhood days are long gone, and it’s time that we used the wisdom we’ve gained as adults to erase the naivete we had in the past. For individuals with childhood trauma, the ubiquity of social media makes it that much easier to avoid the challenges of connecting. If you’ve been having difficulty connecting with others, the way to improve your relationships isn’t necessarily through social skills training. The reason, I believe, is that we all need to feel connected. They think if they let themselves become transparent (letting people see the ‘real’ them), they’ll be exiled and condemned as a weirdo. If so that fight might have something to do with where you have placed your focus. There are billions of people on the planet. The outdated saying of ‘never talk to strangers’ doesn’t apply. Talk to the ones you resonate with, and pass by the ones you don’t. Hey Art, nice to hear your thoughts. This is from past trauma. It’s funny how much value we place on the thoughts of others when in reality, everyone is scared of what everybody thinks of them. 4. Just to quote some examples, some people tend to be more easy going and blend well into the environment; while some people tend to be more stubborn/ persistent and like to ask a lot of questions; some people are what we call Mr/Mrs reverse who have the great ability to look at things from different perspective. Relationships take time to grow, but you won’t have one if you don’t strike up a conversation. In effect, this implants in their minds a certain misconception that you have to be a certain age before you can make your own decisions, even on things that require you to break out of your comfort zone. Connection happens when you get: 1. concrete help, such as having a friend pick your kids up from school 2. emotional support, like hearing someone say, "I'm really sorry you're having such a tough time" 3. perspective, like being reminded that even the moodiest teenagers grow up 4. advice, such as a suggestion to plan a weekly date with your wife 5. validation, like learning that other folks love reading train schedules too Dependent people fear exposure because it may cause others to realize how “worthless” they really are. They risked rejection and put themselves out there. I'm quite a bit older than that, now. Hi, Marcia's practice is currently full and she is not taking new patients. Then I got my answer. I ride public transportation and sometimes it amazes me how many people are there for the long, same ride, yet don’t speak a word to each other, and barely smile. I understand what you mean, both you and Lisa. I’m glad you read that book. When our neighbors moved in, I always took food and welcomed them to the neighborhood. For an introvert, a friendship has to be meaningful. Some of these individuals are so convinced that they’ll be rejected that they inadvertently behave in ways that provoke the other person to do this. I’m friendly with everyone I meet from cashiers to fellow commuters, but I can’t say that it’s always returned. @John, Hi .. oh yes at times I’m up front! More and more, we’re so busy and over-extended that we have little time to spend with the people we care about. We have big feelings, even when it’s not convenient. They enter into co-dependent relationships and when these invariably fall apart, they’re more fearful than ever of being hurt. I have to say that I haven’t found many people welcoming into their larger social circles. People with a history of childhood trauma might believe that others will only want to associate with them if they’re a people-pleaser or care-taker. That’s really great advice. But we can still connect to the Internet through a wireless router with other devices still. It’s tough sometimes to get people to come out of their shells with all the defenses they’ve built up as you mentioned. All of this could lead them to isolate themselves and avoid closeness with others. In each of the problems I’ve listed above, you’re giving the power of owning your fate into the control of someone else. So many people are starved for someone to listen to them, and they end up talking over others. You’ve got some great points here about connecting in public. It’s never too late to start connecting with others, but if you keep waiting until you’re 100% comfortable connecting, it just might be. Take a chance and reach out. It would be helpful if young people could receive some kind of communication training in school so everyone would know at least the basics. P.S. Not only that, more importantly, we need to connect in order to thrive and live happily. If you so choose, you can have friends from all over the world while never stepping foot outside your front door (editor’s note: not recommended). But because of this human tendency to revere our own opinions, many people find they can only really connect with people who carry similar views. If there was a choice between chatting with you online, and meeting you face to face, I’d pack my bags in a heartbeat :). That ship has sailed. John Anyasor is the founder of his personal development blog. For an introvert I sure have rambled a bit, well nice talking to you. These individuals have trouble getting close to other people, and when they do connect with others, the relationships they form aren’t always constructive ones. Consider Childhood Trauma. (This is an example of how our psychological defense mechanisms backfire, giving us exactly what we’re trying to avoid.). It seems that for many people these days, it’s gotten a lot harder to connect with others. Introverts and empaths often struggle to make friends. Yet we’re all human beings, though in different shapes and sizes, we’re all riding that train together. They struggle to start projects or do things on their own. Because we are wired that way. Learn what it means for kids to struggle with social skills, and what can help. I try to remember to smile at people, and sometimes, that is enough…. As you said, we’re all human. There is ALWAYS another chance to make a lifelong friend. We need to push this fear of connecting and fear of rejection aside. Is it just me? We’re Baby Boomers so I hope this is a generational issue that’s passing away with the next generation. we develop presence and we learn to let go…the rest is easy. There are several reasons why this may be so. Some people these days are just suspicious of kindhearted individuals like you because they think there is some hidden ulterior motive behind good actions. The second group told us they didn’t want anyone in their group that had kids because they’d just redecorated. I can connect with others just fine. The page says "Internet explorer cannot display the web page". I’ve made this mistake before actually – if I’d just smiled to that certain person, maybe we could’ve been friends. What is wrong with the world today? And fear has never done anything positive for anyone. Find out how you can contribute to my work each month and receive great rewards! Rejection is one of the main reasons people don’t just get out there and start connecting. I used to be very judgmental. Some really enjoy the interaction. Exactly! These individuals have difficulty forming close bonds, either because they don’t expect people to stick around or because after everything they’ve been through, it’s difficult for them to open their heart to someone else. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Rejection is one of the main reasons people don’t just get out there and start connecting. I can't connect to the Internet with my laptop. I used to take the bus to campus and it would sometimes be so hard to start conversations because the atmosphere would be so tense. Good to see you here. I saw your first video on Timeless Information. Some believe that they can get these needs met in their adult relationships. People here on the Change blog accept you for who you are. It is through difficulty that we learn the most. Technology has put so much of a barrier between us that we forgot the people who use them (such as you behind the screen). I doubt people who’ve lived the best lives stayed in the same place for too long or talked to the same people forever. Childhood trauma can have life-long repercussions. You search perfection in the people around you so you, once again, don’t get hurt when you become close to them. In the first scenario, it’s the news and media, in the second, it’s your parents, and in the third, it’s to just about everybody else. Scavenger hunts are another great way to spend time with others and also give you the opportunity to explore or rediscover your city. I cultivated an awareness of my fear of vulnerability, including when I would … You are welcome to ask questions but she cannot give medical advice online. Connecting to the world is just as important as connecting to people. In individuals who’ve experienced childhood trauma, all of these stages can be disrupted. Required fields are marked *. And we’re all there, human and connected. Dr. Jennifer Howard Why do some people still hold “never talk to strangers” as their mantra? ~ H. L. Menken It’s become more and more difficult to remain vulnerable, trusting, and open to life in this era of uncertainty, global upheaval, divorce, and disrupted family life. So look, back to getting sober. That sure is true about fear of rejection or feeling like you’re not going to be up to par to what others expect. Overbearing parents tend to keep their children close to them (partly due to the risk touched upon in the first point) and are always ready to retort their child’s plea for adventure with the remark, “You’re too young to understand.” In effect, this implants in their minds a certain misconception that you have to be a certain age before you can make your own decisions, even on things that require you to break out of your comfort zone. Others, like Ted Bundy, are more cunning in hiding their extreme pathology but obviously struggle to relate to others in a normal, healthy fashion. Do you struggle to connect with others? This happens because everyone prefers the familiar, and hurtful people today remind these individuals of the hurtful people from their past. The solution to all of these problems is quite simple really: all you have to do is take fate into your own hands. And while comfortable sharing my why, I love learning about others. We have to put aside these thoughts of what others expect, or what they will think of us, because we miss out on opportunities when we get stuck thinking about those thoughts. Unfortunately, people who’ve experienced childhood trauma are at an even greater disadvantage when it comes to forming attachments. Then I developed General Anxiety Disorder. We need … That feeling of shyness isn’t yours alone. We vilify those who don’t agree with us. This started a couple of days ago. This website or its third-party tools use cookies which are necessary to its functioning and required to improve your experience. Don’t let people like your neighbors fool you into thinking the rest of the world is like them. Thanks to our advances in communication, we can connect with whomever we want from wherever we want. Here is my point of view: Great observation, Steven! While the Golden Rule is a good start, it insinuates that everyone likes to be treated the same way you do. When I am out in public and someone smiles at me, I do return the favor, but I’m usually afraid to take it further. Step a little bit out of your comfort zone and you’re sure to be rewarded. I hope you’ve learned something :). Being alone Not wanting to be a burden I spent months alone, in fact the whole duration of year 12. Congrats! It can take the shape of severe parental neglect or abandonment; boundary violations or exploitation; constant criticism or undermining; parental addiction(s) or incarceration; physical assault or sexual molestation; experiences of profound loss or fear, or living in unstable or dangerous environments. We immediately scan how different we are from each other. Yet, as an INFJ, I feel this loneliness intensely at times, and I believe it’s a common experience for my fellow introverted-intuitive-feeling-judgers. However all people we meet – we need to be with them at their level, sharing their interests, their culture, learning from them if appropriate, and being polite – some definitely won’t match up and then one just smiles and stops or move on. At least that’s how it feels sometimes. But regardless of what you want, you should connect, connect, and connect some more. Titles similar to “BREAKING NEWS: KIDNAPPER ON THE LOOSE” or “INTERNET PREDATOR STRIKES AGAIN” would normally pop up across the screen. In another example, we recently started attending a church and offered to join a supper group but were told that by the first group had to “hold a vote” to decide if they would allow us to attend. But bidding your time and waiting for people to notice you will get you no where. Dr. Marcia discusses why it feels good to give with Jess Brady, Dr. Marcia Sirota discusses the rise in mental health and suicide with Arlene Bynon, Dr. Marcia Sirota discusses how small businesses can navigate a second wave of shutdowns with the five stages of grief with Jess Brady, Constant Workplace Interpersonal Conflicts? There’s no substitute for in-person contact in terms of the emotional nourishment we receive and the social skills we develop. It’s the result of having trouble with social skills. I have found most people too busy to connect with someone new, or their social life is already full. From knowledge of our brains and the fact that our brains take information from all around us and put it together to give us a sense of reality, we can see that when we take away from what our brain is able to process then we get a less detailed sense of what is going on around us. Yes, I certainly agree that the news can put much fear into the air around everything. Notice it when things do not feel quite right while you are ensconced in your device. Regardless of what form the trauma takes, a lack of parental support combined with a higher degree of personal susceptibility to the traumatic events can lead to the formation of emotional wounds, and often, disorders of attachment. Can you really survive without someone to connect with? Here’s a quick illustration: … So what i am driving at is everyone is unique and there is nothing right or wrong in the above traits. Rejection is a part of life. We aren’t the only introverts who want to connect deeply with others but struggle to socialize. When I click on diagnose connection problems, it says it is my router or modem. Loneliness is very much a part of our modern society. Regardless of our drive, we like to understand the story of the people. It’s been said over and over how good it is. A wise person once told me that the best way to get over not feeling welcome is to take steps to cause someone else to feel welcome — even if you are the newbie in the group. If you’ve been keeping to yourself or having difficulties with interpersonal relationships, it could be a sign that you have childhood trauma. Your email address will not be published. You can still make friends. What we all have in common, however, is that we all benefit from being able to connect to others, and that not being able to directly affects our quality of life and even, research now shows, our physical health and longevity. Whew! Hi John .. Other than that friendship group I had only one other friend who I was able to talk to and felt comfortable with but she was in a different form and had other friends. Lisa’s comments can reflect and I’ve experienced similar – but having learnt that lesson .. They want to interact, but when they do, it doesn’t go well. Hey Jennifer! I quickly learned that nothing about living with anxiety is perfect. Embrace vulnerability. Sadly, being in relationships with hurtful people can make trauma-sufferers that much more fearful about getting involved with the next person, resulting in further social withdrawal. The combined benefits of spending time in nature and spending time with others will make for a day your heart will enjoy. Smiling is a great start, though. You’re spot on, Tristan. … I think this the first time a doctor has read one of my posts! It takes courage to do it, but what takes the most work, yields the most profit in the long run. @Nea Your exactly right! People with childhood trauma may have deep (and valid) needs for love and nurturing that weren’t met when they were growing up. The only way you can escape it is if you’re nothing and completely forgettable. We look back on how we could have communicated with certain folks months ago, and missed the opportunity, and how it could have helped us a lot if we had put aside our thoughts of what they would think. You’re introverted/shy. Trust issues. Thanks for the worthwhile material that helps us connect when we should be connecting. This can lead to at best, dysfunctional relationships and at worst, abusive ones in which a shrewd, exploitative predator takes advantage of their neediness. Except the few close ones, girls didn’t maybe like me that much and the feeling was mutual. Gone are the days of never talking to strangers. Long lasting relationships can be found anywhere, both on- and offline. Great post. You’re not a kid anymore. Those who seek a deeper connection with those around them follow the Platinum Rule: Treat others as they want to be treated. Except for one family on the street, no one acknowledges us now. We share something so common between us, yet most people look around and see differences. If You Struggle to Connect With Others, It Could Be Due to Childhood Trauma. Sometimes being neutral, especially when you’re new, letting others ‘work’ you and your family out .. makes life easier. I’m soon to be 31 and the my days of making friends have passed! Thanks for your comment and I hope I could help you. To be clear, INFJs aren’t the only Myers-Briggs personality type to struggle with loneliness. Childhood trauma can have life-long repercussions. Take those chances and reach out to them. Hesitation breeds fear, while action fuels courage. I say bravo to you , Lisa for connecting in the kindest of spirits. I’m more centered and calm because of it. Individuals with emotional wounds from a hurtful childhood often feel uncomfortable around other people and don’t know how to act. They both ended, naturally. Glad you enjoyed it :). Parents play a big part in our ability to connect with others, and overprotective ones tend to hinder that ability. Personally, I find that people are more polarized, cynical and insular. The business world is filled with jargon and metaphors that are harmless when people can relate to them. 3. There are so many levels to connecting with others. We aren’t hermits, we need to connect in order to survive. I have to put aside any hesitations based on this thinking, as hindsight says that it is worthless. Trauma in childhood can come in many forms. When we meet people, we inherently put our radar up. One of the recommendations on posting on others’ blogs is to comment and join the community, but bide your time .. til others notice you .. probably true in life –, Interesting post – thanks – Self-sensitivity … great post! If we soak up feelings of vulnerability from the news media, our parents, or other sources, we become fearful. I agree that the 3 things you listed above have the potential to contribute to struggles in adult lives. Now I guess you have no problems connecting at all :). They might have a deep-seated belief that they aren’t lovable or that they’re not entitled to a loving relationship. Interesting post. If there’s one thing the INFP “stereotype” gets … It is our differences that make us who we are. Why do we need others around us? Now I’ve learned so much about the world. More and more, our “relationships” are carried out through social media as opposed to in-person. You’re Too Busy With ‘Other’ Things. I think connecting with others would be easier for everyone if we had courses in how to actively listen. I asked him what he would need and so we priced a car at about $5,000, then he came up with different ideas for jobs, and then we discussed how to get started. I’m just listing some common reasons. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the second step of connecting with others is to give them space. Everyone seems so wrapped up in their own thoughts yet no one is reaching out to connect, even for just a moment. This last group of people is the most interesting people as they are good at pointing out things that people can;t usually see. I've had relationships with 2 females since I was 19. For the most part, it seems everyone has their set number of friends or circle and there is no room for me. Your email address will not be published. I’m glad you found interest in my post! It really is a simple idea. Or, we regard listening as somehow passive (why?). I’m not alone. As adults, our job is to take charge by way of healing whatever wounds from what was lacking or overbearing from our childhood wounding. And instead of always being wrapped up in our own affairs, we should share them with one another. 3. I was never purposefully mean; rather, my judgment came from an innate sense of perfectionism that negatively affected how I viewed myself and others. Just introduce yourself to people you share common interests with. Since young, we learn most of the stuff from the people around us especially from our parents. Sign up here for my free monthly wellness newsletter. Set me thinking to one of life’s most common yet unanswered questions, Why don’t girls don’t get along with the other girls? April is all about spring cleaning our minds. Gone are the days when people proclaimed that all chat rooms are dangerous. But occasionally especially with people and community relationships a little easing in, is probably better than alienating them, or being cut off .. For example, he wanted to buy a car and we sat down and came up with a plan. You don’t let yourself get close with anyone because when you do, your walls are down and it will hurt a lot more when they leave . By not talking to strangers you can miss out on a wonderful conversation and the sharing of ideas. It seems that for many people these days, it’s gotten a lot harder to connect with others. I can tell you’re a very special person and that this world needs more people like you. They might be terrified of being hurt, exploited, abandoned or rejected. I know what you mean. Do both and you’ll be much better off. Sometimes, their deep ambivalence about closeness makes them behave in ways that are confusing or off-putting to others. Lisa may have had difficult experiences, but that doesn’t change the person who she is now. But our ego’s make it difficult to enforce. @Hilary, I see what you’re saying. For those of us who want to blend in, go for it. When we know and share our why, we connect with others. Sometimes we may need to spend some time looking at the past experiences that have impacted us. While the need for relatedness is perhaps most clearly evident when discussing abnormal development, it is undoubtedly a fundamental part of normal development as well. But extroverts only give a very small, limited amount of time in the beginning. I believe people today are more interested in connecting with their technology than connecting with people. My why naturally draws me to understanding the why in others. My youngest friendship is more than 7 years old, and my best friendship goes back to the 5th grade (over 20 … There can definitely be other reasons, this list is not comprehensive and all people are unique. Some individuals with a history of childhood trauma might choose friends or partners who are hurtful or abusive. @Kaushik, thanks for your thoughts. You’ve likely heard of the Golden Rule, which states that you should treat others as you’d like to be treated. From the local pub to the cafe across the street, from the stands at the little league baseball field to one of the seemingly infinite number of online chat rooms, people are constantly connecting with each other. . Talk to those who resonate with you and your message. I admit that my initial thoughts on connecting were based on the “never talk to strangers” mindset. Your why allows connects you to others. Ease in, Hilary, and good luck connecting! I just blend in .. and don’t jump in – wait and see how things develop and sometimes I’m so pleased I didn’t make that move – as I’m sure I’d experience Lisa’s rather unfortunate experiences. I’m not judging you. So this is poorly managed, people may find them as annoying or challenging. Your email address will not be published. Problem is, most leaders overuse jargon … If childhood trauma is something you’ve experienced, doing this work could make it that much easier for you to connect with others and create meaningful, lasting relationships. Sure it may be harder for some to connect than others, but that doesn’t mean that the ones who have it harder shouldn’t connect at all. This can include showering, washing their hands, brushing their teeth, doing laundry, or brushing their hair. The way I do this is to ask what he wants and why, then outline clear expectations on how to get there. They often feel awkward and anxious in social situations, leading to upsetting interactions which only reinforce their sense of alienation. http://www.DrJenniferHoward.com. For some people, being emotionally detached … This leads people to falsely believe that the only people who could ever truly understand their ‘real’ selves are themselves. Ultimately, if we really want to connect meaningfully with others, we have to do it in-person. This is still a problem as I often see this in public. Thanks for your comment :). I’ve been meditating for 6 months now. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Hilary. They aren’t interested in having large groups of acquaintances as they find this kind of social activity shallow.. As an introvert or an empath, it can be tricky to make friends and find people who feel the same way about friendship. Trust me. There is also a good book I read back in college by David Wygant. It’s a dating book but also talks about just meeting strangers in general. Childhood trauma can have long-term consequences, and the struggle to connect with others is one of the most significant of these. It just takes a little less shyness to be able to introduce yourself and break the ice. Unfortunately, people who’ve experienced childhood trauma are at an even greater disadvantage when it comes to forming attachments. We learn this from how our primary caretaker was able to connect in general and connect to us in particular. We became ostracized, however, when we supported a political issue that our older neighbors did not, and they didn’t hesitate to tell us in colorful language why we were wrong. I quite often talk to people, not always – if I’m in a place where I don’t need to be doing something (eg the bus, or the train), but can just get gather my thoughts – quite nice! I think it’s easier to connect with “anybody” via the internet. I’ll list a few but I hope you understand that I’m not accusing you of any of them. Us connect when we should share them with one another less shyness to be a burden I spent alone. 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Likes to be treated buy a car and we ’ re not entitled to a loving relationship I... Of communication training in school so everyone would know at least that ’ s easier to connect in general the... The long run let people like your neighbors fool you into thinking the rest of same. Up front with a therapist or counselor to heal your childhood trauma, responses. Are why do i struggle to connect with others each other they didn ’ t maybe like me that much and the sharing of ideas oh at!