BPD mythbusters #6: Why socialization can be so freakin’ difficult

The desire to be liked, when you often feel unlikeable doesn’t make for a very good starting point for any relationship, whether it be professional, romantic or friendship. For people with BPD, everything in our being cries out: accept me, understand me, love me, help me make the hurt go away. To other people this may come across as being needy, selfish or maybe even, at times, narcissistic.

At the same time, there is the tendency to run away and be away from people as much as possible. Why? For me, socialization is often perplexing beyond all reason and emotionally draining on so many levels. After uncountable failed attempts at successful socialization and so many instances of just getting things completely f*cked up sometimes it’s just easier to avoid people all together. I often find it much more peaceful and satisfying to read a great book or watch a good movie or something.

This causes a whole ‘nother set of problems though. I’m often labeled as quiet, standoffish, aloof, stuck-up and worse. Why can’t people understand that I just like to have my own little space of peace and quiet?? It’s not that I don’t like people. I actually love people. I just don’t like it when people start acting all kinds of nutso, which they so frequently do. I don’t feel like I’m ever rude to people. I try to be as pleasant as possible actually. And, to their credit, a lot of people get it, but a lot of other people don’t get it. Not at all. And it seems that some people really take it personal or something!

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I have no idea at all why, but sometimes I believe my behavior is a catalist for certain people. I say this because of so many numerous times that people have lashed out their anger at me, which I always find completely shocking. Are they mad because I didn’t join into their conversation at some point? I truly can’t fathom why this seems to happen so much when all I do is try to avoid confronations with other people as much as is humanly possible.

Other times I believe some people confuse me with someone who is weak and I suppose they think they can bully me and push me around. When I make it clear with no uncertainty whatsoever that I’m not someone who can be bullied and pushed around then I’m labeled as a bitch or someone with an attitude problem.

I argue, is this all not enough reason just to avoid people as much as possible??

Even people who are cool…. hey, I don’t always get them either! Sometimes a person can go from being cool to bat-sh*t crazy at the drop of a pin. No one is perfect, everyone has their moments, but what’s with all the psycho bullsh*t?

As I’ve gotten older I wouldn’t say that I’ve gotten any better at socialization although I’ve gotten to a point where it all bothers me less and less. It all used to really depress me and on occasion it still does. The worse aspect for me these days is how it affects my professional life. I know I’ve been held back in numerous situations over the years because of my bad socialization skills, and that is tragic. It’s something I’ve been trying to remedy with varying degrees of success… it gets frustrating sometimes though, all the “rules of communication” we have to follow just to execute successful converstations! It just exhausts me!

Well, I wish there was some happy and positive way to wrap up this post but that just wouldn’t reflect reality now would it? All I can offer as far as advice is to say:

— Learn to love your own company as much as possible. Learn to be your own best friend. Be your own favorite person to hang out with.

This may sound egotistical and self-centered but it’s what brings me the most peace of mind and that’s really what it’s all about. I do still get sad on occasion at my short comings when it comes to socialization but most of the time I just try to say: hey, I’m doing the best I can.

That’s really all that anyone can and should expect!

**As a side note, one form of socialization I’ve come to thoroughly enjoy is chatting with other bloggers. This came as quite an unexpected surprise when I started my blog and I refuse to believe people who call this kind of socialization unhealthy or superficial. For some of us, it can be a giant leap in a positive direction.

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  1. Reblogged this on Notes and commented:
    It is next to impossible for ony one tp carry a badge or something written on their foreheads that they suffer from a mental health issue known as BPD (bi-polar disorder). Hence healthy people usually try to interact normally with BPD-affected ones naively, where it often becomes extremely difficult for both to bear each other. Lesser interaction or actually a recluse type of lifestyle is best suited for people with BPD.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, JoAnn. I used to be much more outgoing and socializing when I was young, but experiences made me more careful and enjoying my own company.

    I think that people are afraid or envious of persons, who are self-sufficient, who don’t really need others for their wellbeing. I am still not anti-social, but I am quite self-sufficient.
    I don’t get this point that people turn psycho after some hours, is that because of alcohol or drugs?

    As far as chatting on blogs is concerned, I had never expected to get to know so many interesting people from all over the world, some of which I even would like to meet in person. 🙂


  3. Hi JoAnn, yes it’s great — our lovely blogging community isn’t it. No one to judge or beat you down whenever you have an opinion. I think it’s a fantastic way of making like-minded people, many of whom become great online friends.

    I’m lucky, I love my own company too. As much as I spend time with my family and friends, I always need that little bit of me-time 🙂

    Hope you’re well, Caz x


  4. So much of the above applies to me as well, JoAnn, I constantly have to remind myself I didn’t write it. I don’t have BPD, though reading of your experiences shows they’re not limited to those with the condition. Instead, it just seems common to “our” type of personality

    In fact, I would hesitate to label us “introverts,” as our blogs prove we crave interaction, and the relationships they bring. .

    It’s just that, in our minds, one-on-one relationships require instant, sparkling wit, leaving little room for introspection. As such, they’re far too challenging.

    Truth is, no-one possesses the instant charm we think is required in all relationships, but do we have the confidence to realize this?

    Actually, that may be the central factor for people like us – confidence. Or, more specifically, want of the same. Hard to be outgoing when you’re sure everyone is judging you and comparing you unfavorably to, well, everyone else.

    Still, there is hope, as this whole blogging thing slowly builds our confidence, which eventually will have a favorable effect on our “real-life” relationships

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh you are so right. The judgments that constantly run through our heads, both of ourselves and other people can sometimes be a big hindrance. I’ve been trying to practice with being less judgmental but it can be difficult. Its like our minds just automatically leap to certain conclusions… clouded of course by all those past experiences both good and bad. Training the mind to slow down a bit and think things through takes effort for sure. I think I’ve been getting better at this the last few years.

      And confidence… I had almost zero when I was younger but now that I’m older that’s getting easier, too.

      It’s surprising considering how different people can be from one another that we are still so alike in so many ways. In truth I think most people struggle with socialization. Some of us a lot more than others of course. Its just so deceptively difficult sometimes!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely, JoAnn! Oh, how we’d benefit from slowing a little for introspection. Gaining that deliberation really requires effort, though.

        Life’s frenetic pace is relentless. “I needed this yesterday!” all to often; “This year, next year…whenever” not so much.

        Not easy, no. But then, the benefit will be so worth the trouble.

        Great point too, about us being far too hasty to judge both ourselves and others.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, alas though, we are mere mortal human beings and prone to all kinds of imperfections. 😕
          I suppose life would be boring if we always got things right all the time 😀😈

          Liked by 1 person

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