I don't feel connected to some of my ''closest friends'' - inverted comma's are crucial here to be honest.

equinox92101

New Here
Since my early teens until most of my adult life, I never developed a solid sense of confident identity. There were phases here and there, but overall I struggled to build up a consistent, assertive, and confident sense of self.

The reason is that I was a source of humiliation during my teenage years (I was known as the class/town ‘’goof’’) and literally could not go anywhere in my locality without the risk of being humiliated. I projected this onto my looks, and the fact I got called ugly and laughed at numerous times in my life (even when I escaped my local town and up until a few occasions recently even, even though I’m f*cking 29/30 it still happens) was proof for me that it was all to do with my looks.

And even when I found a passion I love (journalism), my close friends didn’t like my journalism approach and were abusive towards me about it.

You get the picture, social anxiety and severe self-hatred.

I never really developed a consistent sense of self because of this. I have been aware of what I like, what my passions are, and what makes me tick, and as noted this manifested itself in phases – but due to a combination of perfectionism, avoidance, bullying from other people, and possibly underlying depression, I struggled to implement it consistently.

Because of this, I developed some close friendships in my life that I felt no genuine sense of connection to. I knew that I didn’t feel on the same wavelength with these friends – in terms of values, interests, intelligence etc – but they came about any ways. It’s due to the fact I did not feel comfortable in myself, I just went along with these friendships even though they didn’t feel real to me. I knew these people weren’t ‘’my people’’ but between not feeling comfortable in myself and not being able to stand up for myself, these friendships persisted.

Now I find myself still having these friendships. I have no interest in these people, but they think we are friends and want to stay in touch. Of course I don’t blame them – I didn’t ever play out my true self and identity in its fullest form, and therefore had good times with them. They are not inside my head after all, they don’t know how I feel.

I tried to break off these friendships lightly by playing cold. It came up in conversation once when one of the guys noticed it, he was wondering why I was so short with him, but I brushed it off.

I know my true self. I know my values. I know my intelligence. I know what makes me happy and makes me tick. It’s about implementing it consistently (which I have struggled to do all my life for the aforementioned reasons) and I’m finally starting to do that now. For the first time in my life I feel I’m genuinely coming into myself properly.

And the great thing is I did move to a new city a few years ago where I finally built consistent friendships with these kind of people that I genuinely feel connected and true with.

But I don’t know what to do about these remaining friendships that don’t feel right or which I don’t feel connected to. It almost disturbs me when one of them reaches out and phones me, I don’t want to answer, I’m like ‘’me and you are not alike at all, why are you ringing me’’. Furthermore, I am the ‘’best man’’ at one of this friend’s wedding this summer which I inherently find quite problematic.

My problem so far in dealing with it has been my approach. Instead of working on myself and building up assertiveness, confidence, self-esteem, I have instead been focused on ways to ‘’navigate’’ these friendships. Of course I won’t ever successfully ‘navigate’ these friendships if I can’t even navigate myself.

I think the only solution here is to simply work on my inner self and go with the flow. Planning to confront the situation will only result in myself hurting the feelings of these friends (and they don’t deserve that). It will also just feel forced and awkward.

Work on the inner self (mainly assertiveness), go with the flow, and the distancing from these friendships will be a lot more natural.

That’s my plan but I would like to know (1) If anyone can relate to this (2) If anyone has any other advice that might work. Thank you
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Friendships change and fizzle out or grow or remain as they are. All of that is ok. It happens.

You have friends who clearly care about you. That's a very fortunate place to be in. We don't need to have precise identity or strong connections, friendships aren't a 'one thing'.

For example, a friend I haven't seen for 20 years has just made me a painting. I wonder if we can barely call each other friends, but instead old friends, and yet there she is showing care and kindness ,just like that. I'm grateful.

What I'm saying is, do you have to decide they are friends or not. Because there are degrees of friendships. You don't need to be best friends. You don't need to see them all the time. But if there is care, then feel it and appreciate it (and reciprocate it)..

But if you honestly do not like them and don't want them in your life: then you might want to be more honest about how you are in relationships.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
the geophysical instability of my childhood made it impossible for me to understand friendship. i got plenty of practice at being friendly, but the total void of long term relationships during my developing years put friendship in the realm of unicorns and cupid for my functional realities.

at 67, i'm still trying to figure out what "friendship" means. what can/should i expect from a "friend?" for now, i just work on letting my guard down far enough to be friendly and not sending people to the toxic people landfill for the crime of failing to meet my expectations.
 

equinox92101

New Here
Friendships change and fizzle out or grow or remain as they are. All of that is ok. It happens.

You have friends who clearly care about you. That's a very fortunate place to be in. We don't need to have precise identity or strong connections, friendships aren't a 'one thing'.

For example, a friend I haven't seen for 20 years has just made me a painting. I wonder if we can barely call each other friends, but instead old friends, and yet there she is showing care and kindness ,just like that. I'm grateful.

What I'm saying is, do you have to decide they are friends or not. Because there are degrees of friendships. You don't need to be best friends. You don't need to see them all the time. But if there is care, then feel it and appreciate it (and reciprocate it)..

But if you honestly do not like them and don't want them in your life: then you might want to be more honest about how you are in relationships.
Your point resonates with me, about friendships not being ''fixed'' - and that I should take the positive from the fact I have friends who, even if I don't ''vibe'' with are still treating me well.

As mentioned, I think the key here is to focus on my own self and psychological growth and let the chips fall as they may.

But at the same time to be mindful to not hurt their feelings, if it does reach a point where I have to explain to them that I don't feel on the same wavelength in our friendship.
 
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