Brief befriending update

I mentioned at the end of last summer that I was looking into getting a befriender through a mental health charity. They found someone that sounded like a good match for me and we met for the first time back in November. Since then, on average, we’ve met once every couple of weeks, except when she was away. We’ve done a variety of things including going to busy coffee shops, shopping in the city centre, walking in busy places in the city centre, and going to a pub. We’re also planning to attend a group together (one of the ones which I joined ages ago but have been too afraid to actually go along to) but as the meet ups always seem to take place when one of us is working, we haven’t been able to go to one yet.

Having a befriender has helped to increase my confidence at being in busy places. Unfortunately though, as nice and as understanding as she is, I still haven’t been able to open up to her nearly as much as I would like to. I’m always like this. I always feel that I need to hold back because I can’t trust people and I’m afraid to tell them about the realities of my life (the lack of friends, having never been in a relationship, and so on). Since getting myself a job, I’ve decided that the next big step is to start going along to more social groups. Work unfortunately prevents me from going to a lot of meet ups (such as the meet ups with the nature group that I really enjoyed going to), but it would be good to go along to one even once a fortnight or so. I feel that going along to social groups and meeting new people is the first step in building my social skills and learning how to interact and get to know other people. It may also be the first step to making friends. Hopefully we will be able to find a meet up time that suits both of us soon. Having my befriender there will help a lot, as I’d likely be an anxious wreck if I attempted to go on my own. My befriender and I can keep meeting until November. Hopefully, she can help me to continue making progress. Unfortunately, I still get paranoid that I’m annoying her and that she thinks negatively of me, even though she is nice to me.

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6 Responses to Brief befriending update

  1. Liberty says:

    That’s really good that you have a befriender to help you, I can definitely understand you not opening up, it takes a while when you have SA, the more you get to know someone i think helps.
    Hope the meetup groups go well for you i was thinking of doing some of those myself. xx

  2. You’re on the right track. Making friends is a series of experiential stepping stones. I’ve managed to make some friends, finally, in the past couple of years and I still have those thoughts: that they find me annoying or don’t even like me at all. You may always battle those thoughts, but they are just that — thoughts. Not reality.

    Also, when I was learning to make friends I made some serious missteps. I was more worried about whether people liked me then if I liked them. As a result I was so hungry for approval that I attracted some very toxic people into my life. Pay attention to your gut when meeting new people. Meeting some “users” was a setback that made me question the while social venture. But now I appreciate the genuinely good friendships I’ve fostered.

    Be patient with yourself.

    I’m glad you’re getting out there. You deserve friends and a relationship and you are going to make a wonderful friend and partner, when you’re ready.

    • Gemma says:

      Hi J. Thank you for your comment. I can relate a lot to being more worried about whether people like you than if you like them. I have also had a couple of “friends” who were really just using me, including a guy I met a couple of years ago (who was a “user” in more ways than one). I regret wasting as much time and effort on these people as I did, and regret having such low self-worth that I allowed them to treat me the way they did.

      Thank you. I’m glad that you have been able to develop some good and genuine friendships.

  3. John Methew says:

    Nice Post. You’re on the right track. Making friends is a series of experiential stepping stones.

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