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!
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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