Why Do I Push Everyone Away
“I can’t be around my friends right now,” I said to a friend over the weekend. “It’s too hard.”
She looked at me with concern and asked what was wrong.
I explained that I had been through some really difficult things in the last year. My partner ended his life after years of fighting cancer, and then we broke up because he wasn’t ready for a relationship again. The breakup hurt so much and it has taken months to get past the pain. Now I am struggling financially and have no one else who understands how I’m feeling. I’ve lost all faith that anyone will ever love me as deeply as he did. It feels like everyone is pushing me away.
This scenario isn’t uncommon. When trauma happens, people often feel rejected by their loved ones, especially those closest to them. They may also feel alone and isolated from others. And sometimes when you’re experiencing this kind of loss, it seems like there are only two options: either live your life on your own or become part of an online community. However, finding support in these situations can actually help heal your heart. There are many ways to connect with other people who understand what you’re going through. These connections can help you regain hope and start living again.
The first step toward healing is figuring out where you want to go next. If you don’t know what you want to do, you’ll probably end up doing nothing. This is why it’s important to consider everything from whether you’d prefer spending time with your family or friends to how long you might need assistance. In addition, think about what would bring you joy — if anything at all. You might decide that you need financial resources or professional counseling services to help you cope.
Once you know what you want to do, you should reach out to people who can help you achieve your goals. For example, if you want to find work but feel overwhelmed by the prospect, ask someone for guidance on how to create a plan. Or perhaps you want to take a class, but don’t know what to choose. Your best bet is to talk to someone who can help you make decisions. A therapist, counselor, coach, mentor, or trusted friend can guide you through the process and offer advice that will help you move forward.
If you already have a group of supportive friends, try seeing them more frequently. Set aside special dates or times to spend together, such as weekly happy hours, movie nights, or dinner parties. Try to meet new people outside of your existing social circles, even if you still value hanging out with your old friends. This can give you perspective and allow you to explore new interests. Don’t forget to schedule fun activities with your friends and family members. Even if they aren’t able to join you, they’ll remember the good times you shared.
If you struggle with loneliness, consider joining a local organization that offers free programming. Many communities provide opportunities for people to develop lifelong friendships and learn new skills. Check out MeetUp.com, the largest directory of groups across the globe, to see if your area has any organizations that interest you. You could also look into volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, which builds affordable housing; soup kitchens; animal shelters; hospices; or any number of other causes.
You can also use technology to strengthen your relationships. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat allow you to stay connected with friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances. But before you jump onto these platforms, check out our tips for navigating social media safely during COVID-19.
Online forums are another way to connect with others. Though sites like Reddit, Tumblr, and Discord are great places to seek comfort in times of distress, they can be overwhelming for newcomers. Before diving in, familiarize yourself with each site’s rules and guidelines. Also, consider creating a separate email account just for posting personal messages to keep your privacy intact. You can also use apps like WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram to message privately or anonymously.
If you’re looking for a safe space to share intimate details about your struggles, consider using a journaling app. Some of these include Penzu, Day One, and Journals App. You can also download a printable version of the Journal Therapy app (available for iOS and Android).
Finally, consider reaching out to professionals for additional support. Counselors, therapists, and coaches can provide you with tools to manage depression, anxiety, grief, anger, and other emotions.
In general, when you lose trust in yourself, others stop trusting you. Learning to accept yourself and embrace your strengths can help restore your confidence and improve your outlook. During tough moments, remember that you are not alone. Reach out to others for support and understanding.
If you enjoyed reading this article and would like to see similar ones,