Congrats! In emotionally intact adults, connecting to others comes relatively easy. Sign up here for my free monthly wellness newsletter. And we’re all there, human and connected. Learn what it means for kids to struggle with social skills, and what can help. Everyone seems so wrapped up in their own thoughts yet no one is reaching out to connect, even for just a moment. Some of these individuals are so convinced that they’ll be rejected that they inadvertently behave in ways that provoke the other person to do this. If so that fight might have something to do with where you have placed your focus. Great observation, Steven! In individuals who’ve experienced childhood trauma, all of these stages can be disrupted. They aren’t interested in having large groups of acquaintances as they find this kind of social activity shallow.. As an introvert or an empath, it can be tricky to make friends and find people who feel the same way about friendship. I admit that my initial thoughts on connecting were based on the “never talk to strangers” mindset. For an introvert I sure have rambled a bit, well nice talking to you. We share something so common between us, yet most people look around and see differences. Regardless of what form the trauma takes, a lack of parental support combined with a higher degree of personal susceptibility to the traumatic events can lead to the formation of emotional wounds, and often, disorders of attachment. Now I guess you have no problems connecting at all :). Why do we need others around us? While it’s important to know what’s going on the world, these messages made it seem like the only way to avoid instances like this are to stop going out at night and stay out of every online community. You search perfection in the people around you so you, once again, don’t get hurt when you become close to them. They enter into co-dependent relationships and when these invariably fall apart, they’re more fearful than ever of being hurt. This can lead to at best, dysfunctional relationships and at worst, abusive ones in which a shrewd, exploitative predator takes advantage of their neediness. P.S. There can definitely be other reasons, this list is not comprehensive and all people are unique. All of this could lead them to isolate themselves and avoid closeness with others. That feeling of shyness isn’t yours alone. Lisa’s comments can reflect and I’ve experienced similar – but having learnt that lesson .. Abandonment issues. Or, we regard listening as somehow passive (why?). You’ve got some great points here about connecting in public. Yet, as an INFJ, I feel this loneliness intensely at times, and I believe it’s a common experience for my fellow introverted-intuitive-feeling-judgers. They struggle to start projects or do things on their own. I always try to learn from others’ comments and posts – thanks Hilary. Here is my point of view: Good to see you here. They broadened their horizons and added a little diversity into the mix. Glad you enjoyed it :). Ultimately, if we really want to connect meaningfully with others, we have to do it in-person. In my opinion, it’s easier to approach someone when you know you’ll never see them again if the interaction doesn’t work out. We meet people, we like each-other, and we form strong social bonds. What's more, some find it particularly difficult to connect with other women and might on occasion wonder: Why don't I have female friends? Individuals with emotional wounds from a hurtful childhood often feel uncomfortable around other people and don’t know how to act. We have big feelings, even when it’s not convenient. Those who seek a deeper connection with those around them follow the Platinum Rule: Treat others as they want to be treated. Whether you’re a baby boomer or not, the responses you were given were uncalled for. It seems that for many people these days, it’s gotten a lot harder to connect with others. Scavenger hunts are another great way to spend time with others and also give you the opportunity to explore or rediscover your city. You are welcome to ask questions but she cannot give medical advice online. Thanks for sharing this, Marie – I’ll always remember it. 5) Complete a scavenger hunt. I quite often talk to people, not always – if I’m in a place where I don’t need to be doing something (eg the bus, or the train), but can just get gather my thoughts – quite nice! Being alone Not wanting to be a burden I spent months alone, in fact the whole duration of year 12. I say bravo to you , Lisa for connecting in the kindest of spirits. Why do some people still hold “never talk to strangers” as their mantra? Rejection is a part of life. But our ego’s make it difficult to enforce. I’m friendly with everyone I meet from cashiers to fellow commuters, but I can’t say that it’s always returned. Interesting post. I can connect with others just fine. Out of the blue, one fine day I suddenly wondered why I hung out more with the guys. Titles similar to “BREAKING NEWS: KIDNAPPER ON THE LOOSE” or “INTERNET PREDATOR STRIKES AGAIN” would normally pop up across the screen. There are several reasons why this may be so. Being neutral may make life easier, but it also makes life boring. Here’s a quick illustration: … I doubt people who’ve lived the best lives stayed in the same place for too long or talked to the same people forever. Rejection is one of the main reasons people don’t just get out there and start connecting. Trust me. I’m more centered and calm because of it. Sometimes, their deep ambivalence about closeness makes them behave in ways that are confusing or off-putting to others. Sure, it may be harder to make friends now because you’re older and have more responsibilities, but it doesn’t mean you can’t change who you are. More and more, we’re so busy and over-extended that we have little time to spend with the people we care about. I just blend in .. and don’t jump in – wait and see how things develop and sometimes I’m so pleased I didn’t make that move – as I’m sure I’d experience Lisa’s rather unfortunate experiences. Some believe that they can get these needs met in their adult relationships. For example, he wanted to buy a car and we sat down and came up with a plan. April is all about spring cleaning our minds. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. So what i am driving at is everyone is unique and there is nothing right or wrong in the above traits. It is our differences that make us who we are. In my years as a psychotherapist, I’ve noted that people with significant childhood trauma tend to struggle more than most with their relationships. Self-sensitivity … Exactly! We became ostracized, however, when we supported a political issue that our older neighbors did not, and they didn’t hesitate to tell us in colorful language why we were wrong. Hey Art, nice to hear your thoughts. These individuals can conduct the majority of their “relationships” on-line, in order to minimize the risks getting hurt. @John, Hi .. oh yes at times I’m up front! I’m glad you found interest in my post! Some people these days are just suspicious of kindhearted individuals like you because they think there is some hidden ulterior motive behind good actions. . It’s a dating book but also talks about just meeting strangers in general. I personally believe it is because of these three big reasons: As a kid growing up, there wasn’t a day I watched TV that there wasn’t an announcement of something horrible. Gone are the days of never talking to strangers. I can't connect to the Internet with my laptop. I have to say that I haven’t found many people welcoming into their larger social circles. Study after study reports that as social animals, humans need each other. Hesitation breeds fear, while action fuels courage. This leads people to falsely believe that the only people who could ever truly understand their ‘real’ selves are themselves. We may not be invincible (we are human after all) that doesn’t mean we should seal ourselves away from the world. I have found most people too busy to connect with someone new, or their social life is already full. Smiling is a great start, though. It really is a simple idea. And instead of always being wrapped up in our own affairs, we should share them with one another. I try to remember to smile at people, and sometimes, that is enough…. In each of the problems I’ve listed above, you’re giving the power of owning your fate into the control of someone else. Do both and you’ll be much better off. Your email address will not be published. Since young, we learn most of the stuff from the people around us especially from our parents. Yet we’re all human beings, though in different shapes and sizes, we’re all riding that train together. And fear has never done anything positive for anyone. It takes courage to do it, but what takes the most work, yields the most profit in the long run. It just takes a little less shyness to be able to introduce yourself and break the ice. (This is an example of how our psychological defense mechanisms backfire, giving us exactly what we’re trying to avoid.). Great thoughts, Serenity Hacker! This last group of people is the most interesting people as they are good at pointing out things that people can;t usually see. The outdated saying of ‘never talk to strangers’ doesn’t apply. If childhood trauma is something you’ve experienced, doing this work could make it that much easier for you to connect with others and create meaningful, lasting relationships. my friend shared with me a theory based on the unique fingerprint (dermatoglyphics) which reflects our genetic characteristic. The page says "Internet explorer cannot display the web page". Gone are the days when your social circle was limited to your coworkers around the water cooler. great post! Hi, . These can be minor to severe, depending on the severity and duration of the trauma, the presence of parental support during the traumatic events; as well as the innate resilience of the child who experienced them. I think this the first time a doctor has read one of my posts! People here on the Change blog accept you for who you are. Take a chance and reach out. @Nea Your exactly right! When I am out in public and someone smiles at me, I do return the favor, but I’m usually afraid to take it further. There are so many levels to connecting with others. @Kaushik, thanks for your thoughts. We’re Baby Boomers so I hope this is a generational issue that’s passing away with the next generation. Because we are wired that way. In another example, we recently started attending a church and offered to join a supper group but were told that by the first group had to “hold a vote” to decide if they would allow us to attend. I hope you’re the one giving out the smiles the next time you get on the bus! Our childhood days are long gone, and it’s time that we used the wisdom we’ve gained as adults to erase the naivete we had in the past. A lot of people struggle to do basic hygiene tasks when depressed. They often feel awkward and anxious in social situations, leading to upsetting interactions which only reinforce their sense of alienation. We immediately scan how different we are from each other. Regardless of our drive, we like to understand the story of the people. It seems that for many people these days, it’s gotten a lot harder to connect with others. Talk to the ones you resonate with, and pass by the ones you don’t. I ride public transportation and sometimes it amazes me how many people are there for the long, same ride, yet don’t speak a word to each other, and barely smile. I know what you mean. Dr. Jennifer Howard Don’t let people like your neighbors fool you into thinking the rest of the world is like them. We aren’t the only introverts who want to connect deeply with others but struggle to socialize. In this day and age, it’s quite apparent that people are connecting everywhere. Your email address will not be published. It is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together. This is still a problem as I often see this in public. You don’t let yourself get close with anyone because when you do, your walls are down and it will hurt a lot more when they leave . You can still make friends. Introverts and empaths often struggle to make friends. I’m soon to be 31 and the my days of making friends have passed! Childhood trauma can have life-long repercussions. This happens because everyone prefers the familiar, and hurtful people today remind these individuals of the hurtful people from their past. Consider Childhood Trauma. Take those chances and reach out to them. For those of us who want to blend in, go for it. Some individuals with a history of childhood trauma might choose friends or partners who are hurtful or abusive. They think if they let themselves become transparent (letting people see the ‘real’ them), they’ll be exiled and condemned as a weirdo. Required fields are marked *. If anything she is stronger because of them. I understand what you mean, both you and Lisa. I've had relationships with 2 females since I was 19. It would be helpful if young people could receive some kind of communication training in school so everyone would know at least the basics. My why naturally draws me to understanding the why in others. Embrace vulnerability. That’s really great advice. While the Golden Rule is a good start, it insinuates that everyone likes to be treated the same way you do. I think connecting with others would be easier for everyone if we had courses in how to actively listen. It’s called, “Always Talk to Strangers”. What we all have in common, however, is that we all benefit from being able to connect to others, and that not being able to directly affects our quality of life and even, research now shows, our physical health and longevity. 3. Connecting to the world is just as important as connecting to people. You’ve likely heard of the Golden Rule, which states that you should treat others as you’d like to be treated. … I'm quite a bit older than that, now. Then I got my answer. Rejection is one of the main reasons people don’t just get out there and start connecting. I’m not alone. Trust issues. At least that’s how it feels sometimes. Personally, I find that people are more polarized, cynical and insular. 3. For an introvert, a friendship has to be meaningful. Thanks for your comment and I hope I could help you. Relationships take time to grow, but you won’t have one if you don’t strike up a conversation. I was never purposefully mean; rather, my judgment came from an innate sense of perfectionism that negatively affected how I viewed myself and others. Step a little bit out of your comfort zone and you’re sure to be rewarded. Just introduce yourself to people you share common interests with. We vilify those who don’t agree with us. It’s the result of having trouble with social skills. It’s been said over and over how good it is. Talking to someone who shares the same feeling as you – it connects you. As you said, we’re all human. But bidding your time and waiting for people to notice you will get you no where. 4. It’s never too late to start connecting with others, but if you keep waiting until you’re 100% comfortable connecting, it just might be. Before we look at the surface why we don;t connect well, i think it would be more beneficial why we behave in a unique fashion based on our genetic blueprint. I’m glad you read that book. I asked him what he would need and so we priced a car at about $5,000, then he came up with different ideas for jobs, and then we discussed how to get started. Dr. Marcia discusses why it feels good to give with Jess Brady, Dr. Marcia Sirota discusses the rise in mental health and suicide with Arlene Bynon, Dr. Marcia Sirota discusses how small businesses can navigate a second wave of shutdowns with the five stages of grief with Jess Brady, Constant Workplace Interpersonal Conflicts? From knowledge of our brains and the fact that our brains take information from all around us and put it together to give us a sense of reality, we can see that when we take away from what our brain is able to process then we get a less detailed sense of what is going on around us. There is also a good book I read back in college by David Wygant. I just don't do it very often. And while comfortable sharing my why, I love learning about others. We all have 24 hours in a day, if we spend just a few hours of … Talk to those who resonate with you and your message. It’s funny how much value we place on the thoughts of others when in reality, everyone is scared of what everybody thinks of them. But because of this human tendency to revere our own opinions, many people find they can only really connect with people who carry similar views. P.S. These individuals have trouble getting close to other people, and when they do connect with others, the relationships they form aren’t always constructive ones. But regardless of what you want, you should connect, connect, and connect some more. I guess for me, I have a fear of rejection. Stuff happens and we’re left with scars. They might be terrified of being hurt, exploited, abandoned or rejected. I believe people today are more interested in connecting with their technology than connecting with people. Except the few close ones, girls didn’t maybe like me that much and the feeling was mutual. ~ H. L. Menken It’s become more and more difficult to remain vulnerable, trusting, and open to life in this era of uncertainty, global upheaval, divorce, and disrupted family life. Not only that, more importantly, we need to connect in order to thrive and live happily. Trauma in childhood can come in many forms. You’re Too Busy With ‘Other’ Things. This is from past trauma. Positive Letters Inspirational Stories. People with childhood trauma may have deep (and valid) needs for love and nurturing that weren’t met when they were growing up. When our neighbors moved in, I always took food and welcomed them to the neighborhood. In other words, find the person who looks the least comfortable and go talk to him or her. If you’ve been having difficulty connecting with others, the way to improve your relationships isn’t necessarily through social skills training. I’m so sorry that you had to put up with the close-mindedness of others. 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