New friendships&dating, how to make things healthy?

notdoneyet

Learning
Well I'm really bad at staying down for too long so I brushed off the dirt and pulled myself back to my feet (for now) and decided there's some stuff I should think about (bear with me I'm horrible at keeping things short)

Looking at my past experiences I REALLY don't want to make the same mistakes all over again, so I know I have some more soul searching and healing to do, it's for my own good.

But I'm also really bad at sitting and waiting without solving anything, so I thought I might try and use the meantime to backtrack a bit and try to find ways to not fall into my old patterns when it comes to dating or new friendships.

So.

Usually I keep people at such a distance that they could talk to me for 20h straight and would still know pretty much nothing about who I really am which prevents me to actually connect with or fall for them, or if they manage to push the right buttons (ngl I'm a sucker for emotional weirdos) I fall way too hard and have a future planned out in my head after like 2 days or feel like they could become my best friend.

I am very well aware that none of that is really healthy and makes the probability to act too fast or not at all very high, but I still haven't really figured out how to have a "normal" getting to know each other phase, because those tend to bore me so damn much that I lose interest in like a week tops.

I went through a lot of abuse of pretty much every kind almost my whole life, so trust issues and letting people get close emotionally is a big problem for me, a lot of the time when I realize that someone is getting close to me I pull away as fast as I can because I get scared as hell of getting manipulated or used.

I know I already made a lot of progress when it comes to friendships/relationships, I'm more aware of my own needs and can even set boundaries (which tbh I am not always the best at holding up) and I manage to cut toxic people out a lot better than I ever thought I could, but there's still times when certain people manage to pull the right strings and I just jump without even realizing it.

So I'm asking myself is there a way to let new people in in a healthy way that doesn't feel boring and shallow and allows me to build trust while maintaining a safe level of distance (at least at the beginning) so I won't be too easy to manipulate or use?

And how do I learn to tell the difference between "real" red flags and trauma brain being trauma brain and seeing "normal" things as threatening? Because sometimes when I ignore that feeling it turns out that it was a red flag all along and not my brain overreacting.

I'd be happy to get literally any advice on this because it seems most people I know are doing just fine when it comes to getting to know people without any of those thoughts.
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
And how do I learn to tell the difference between "real" red flags and trauma brain being trauma brain and seeing "normal" things as threatening? Because sometimes when I ignore that feeling it turns out that it was a red flag all along and not my brain overreacting.

I had to learn to shift my thinking on this. There is no real "objective and correct way" to be a human being, nor to have human relationships. Even evil people form connections and make friends and be evil together. My general rule is to give people the benefit of the doubt, take them at face value, question before assuming, but above all else, I do not tolerate abusive behavior and if I am uncomfortable in a situation I will remove myself from it.

Whether or not I am "justified" in doing so is simply not relevant. As an adult, I am free to choose who I associate with, and I am allowed to like or dislike and disengage or engage with any person that I feel like, for any reason. My discomfort or comfort is the barometer by which I measure these standards. Another person may not fully understand why I've done what I've done, but I do not need to explain myself to people.

Of course, whether or not those around me trust that I'm capable of making rational and sensible choices in relationships && not merely cutting them off at random, that is up for them to decide. Thus far I believe I have made decisions in this arena that most logical people can deduce are reasonable, especially as I aim to treat others with as much compassion as I can. Sometimes that means cutting them off, but I don't have to be cruel about it.
 

notdoneyet

Learning
First of all such a great response tysm, really got me thinking.

Also just asking here doesn't sound like the worst idea hahaha.

I do not tolerate abusive behavior and if I am uncomfortable in a situation I will remove myself from it.

Those are two things I have a lot of trouble with, for me it's sometimes hard to determine whether a behavior could/should be considered abusive, especially if it's something more subtle.

I am still learning which behaviors I shouldn't tolerate, I'm doing a lot better than a few years ago, but that little voice saying "is it really so bad that you HAVE to speak up/leave the situation" is still there pretty often, because in the past a lot of the time speaking up or trying to leave a situation resulted in even more problems and abuse, so I learned that it was easier to just dissociate and wait it out.

I'm doing a LOT better when it comes to dissociating, I'm at a point where pretty often I can realize that I'm slipping into that state in a few seconds or minutes and can work against it, which I wouldn't have thought was possible just a few months ago, so that's progress ig.
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
Those are two things I have a lot of trouble with, for me it's sometimes hard to determine whether a behavior could/should be considered abusive, especially if it's something more subtle.

I go based on how I'm feeling about it. If I'm uncomfortable with it, I won't keep exposing myself to it, regardless of whether it "should" or "shouldn't" be considered anything. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but I have the ability to choose who I socialize with at the end of the day.
 

notdoneyet

Learning


I go based on how I'm feeling about it. If I'm uncomfortable with it, I won't keep exposing myself to it, regardless of whether it "should" or "shouldn't" be considered anything. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but I have the ability to choose who I socialize with at the end of the day.
Well yesyes but thats what I'm trying to say, idk when something feels wrong a lot of the time I only realize hours or even days later that I wasn't ok with something
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
Well yesyes but thats what I'm trying to say, idk when something feels wrong a lot of the time I only realize hours or even days later that I wasn't ok with something

Oh, I see. Well I can certainly understand that. I think @EveHarrington's suggestion was definitely a good one as well, with regards to using others to help narrow down whether or not they think something is worth noticing or not. It may not come to you until hours or days later, but better late than never is still "OK," yeah? You may take a little longer to deduce these things but you're still well within your rights to make a "delayed" decision on the matter, if necessary. 🥰
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
idk when something feels wrong a lot of the time I only realize hours or even days later that I wasn't ok with something

I am the same. I have delayed reactions to many things. Don’t ever let anyone make you think this means there is something wrong with you. I have had many people tell me it’s not fair that I get upset over something 3 days later. This is just how my brain works and I won’t apologize for it. Just because I get upset “late” doesn’t mean the other person should get off the hook for being a jerk, which is usually the angle they are going for.
 

notdoneyet

Learning
You may take a little longer to deduce these things but you're still well within your rights to make a "delayed" decision on the matter, if necessary. 🥰
Thank you and I guess that's true, I think I'm more worried about staying in "bad" situations for too long and in the worst case hurting myself emotionally or even retraumatizing myself through not leaving because ngl that used to happen quite a bit in the past (doing/agreeing to things that I realized way later I wasn't even comfortable with going as far as for example sleeping with someone)

I have had many people tell me it’s not fair that I get upset over something 3 days later.
Oh God I feel that "it's been hours/days ago what's your problem all of a sudden i thought you were fine?" I'm sorry bro but brain needs 2-3 business days to determine if something felt wrong.

Also leads to me having a REALLY hard time starting up on a topic again after I fully processed it, especially if the other person say something like "for me that thing is talked out" it almost feels like I don't have the right to bring it up no matter how important it might be to me, I manage to still do it more now but it's always laced with a feeling of fear.
 
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