It's hard to want to invest in others anymore
I'm looking back at my 20s now and sometimes I sigh at how naive I was. Having this unwavering belief if I was nice, listened to everybody's problems and asked a lot of questions I'd be liked and receive the same in return. It rarely happened, of course. I became a doormat. People would only come to me for problems or I'd be slowly shoved down the social hierarchy entirely. Interactions with friends were often tense or went nowhere. I had no idea how to be fun or relaxed, so I'd fake it a lot and laugh at crap I didn't actually find funny to fit in better. I guess its no wonder they didn't want to spend time with me compared to others. I always felt like I was preparing for a firing squad or memorising the lines of a play. I have no idea how to socialise at all. It never feels natural and still doesn't after all these years. For some reason I kept thinking once I hit my 30s I'd be so much more stable and confident but not even close. I get super defensive around new people, like they'll screw me over in no time so I keep them at arm's length as much as possible. I know you can't expect anything from people at the end of the day now, it just hurts feeling no meaningful connection and a sense of peace. I feel grateful though I met just 1 person a few months ago that gave me the time of day who happens to be my boyfriend now. However, I constantly doubt they'd actually like me if I wasn't their girlfriend, you know? As a friend, I feel like I offer nothing besides being able to listen to people. If you only have that you're nothing but a therapist to people that disappear as soon as they're happy. So I almost see no point trying to connect...I just keep hurting all the time.