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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ever feel like you mostly connect with others around their (or your) pain?

In my past love relationships this has consistently been the case. The time comes when you disclose your early life, your past story, and learn theirs.

And especially when there are similarities that I relate to, I feel empathy for the person. That forms a bond around pain. Then I feel sorry for him. Or even friends.

But I've come to feel this is unhealthy.

It sucks the joy out of relationships and friendships.

And I can't expect special treatment when there's a conflict of interests. If someone constantly has to make exceptions for me, they become resentful, even feel used.

And worse, they don't want to be constantly reminded of their pain and weaknesses. Whereas it feels so much happier when someone reminds you of the best in yourself, and you see that in their eyes, in how they see you.

Connecting around joy and the wholesome pleasures in life - much harder.

Does it require some sort of additional courage to do that?
 

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I agree, connecting ONLY through pain isn't going to get the relationship to go too far. or at least keep it too healthy. I think connecting romantically and
non-romantically, through pain and perhaps a mutual wanting of self improvement makes things different.

I think connecting around joy is harder, and requires more courage. It's harder for me to reach out to happier, more pulled together people and share the lack I feel in my life. The good news is we're always in transition, and what's lacking now, might not be so tomorrow, so sharing might not be that bad. Accepting ourselves and believing that those that have it better will do so too, does take some working on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree, connecting ONLY through pain isn't going to get the relationship to go too far. or at least keep it too healthy. I think connecting romantically and
non-romantically, through pain and perhaps a mutual wanting of self improvement makes things different.

I think connecting around joy is harder, and requires more courage. It's harder for me to reach out to happier, more pulled together people and share the lack I feel in my life. The good news is we're always in transition, and what's lacking now, might not be so tomorrow, so sharing might not be that bad. Accepting ourselves and believing that those that have it better will do so too, does take some working on.
So true, Cory.
Just started dating a happy person who has lots of close, funny friends, a huge family and a vibrant social life.

Tonight I had plans but they fell through, so I will be online alone all day & night. He will be at his folks and then out tonight with friends. How soon til he realises I barely have a life? *shame*

And I have to fight the urge to cling and be around his warmth. Not to suck the life out of people to fill my void.

So what do I talk about? And my past is full of sorrow too, so always feeling like I have to hide a lot or have little to say. I've done lots of interesting things, but there's always a lack of people in whatever I can say.

I really would like to connect around joy more. How does one surmount these problems?
 

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Ever feel like you mostly connect with others around their (or your) pain?

In my past love relationships this has consistently been the case. The time comes when you disclose your early life, your past story, and learn theirs.

And especially when there are similarities that I relate to, I feel empathy for the person. That forms a bond around pain. Then I feel sorry for him. Or even friends.

But I've come to feel this is unhealthy.

It sucks the joy out of relationships and friendships.

And I can't expect special treatment when there's a conflict of interests. If someone constantly has to make exceptions for me, they become resentful, even feel used.

And worse, they don't want to be constantly reminded of their pain and weaknesses. Whereas it feels so much happier when someone reminds you of the best in yourself, and you see that in their eyes, in how they see you.

Connecting around joy and the wholesome pleasures in life - much harder.

Does it require some sort of additional courage to do that?
Yes maybe that applies to me. I am probably better at being there for a person when they have problems, offering company and support than when things are going well. Probably because i can relate more to the hard times, as i have had to endure that a lot. Things like my growing up under an unhappy marriage, being on my own as a child a lot and certainly during my adult years i have had years of loneliness due to SA. These things, while instilling me a sense of humility and caring for people and things have made it hard to really immerse myself at events like parties and social gatherings, as it feels more alien to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pain gives a sense of usefuless?

Yes maybe that applies to me. I am probably better at being there for a person when they have problems, offering company and support than when things are going well. Probably because i can relate more to the hard times, as i have had to endure that a lot. Things like my growing up under an unhappy marriage, being on my own as a child a lot and certainly during my adult years i have had years of loneliness due to SA. These things, while instilling me a sense of humility and caring for people and things have made it hard to really immerse myself at events like parties and social gatherings, as it feels more alien to me.
Hm. It's like there's a point to being around if one is helping or talking about their pain. I can see the temptation there for me. Bringing joy or just quietly doing generous things to help is probably the direction I want to explore now.
 

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First congrats to you for opening yourself up to someone like that! It's intimidating to be with someone you feel that's out of your level (not sure if that's the case), but it takes a lot of courage. Instead of focusing on your past, which you can later, talk about your hobbies and interest, his hobbies, or what you're interested in learning. If you find one of his hobbies interesting, maybe you can explore it with him. That's always a fun, positive way to share.

Maybe you can let him know that your shy, and have only a couple of close friends. I used to date an outgoing guy, and he was pretty much fine w/it. I think most guys are, as long as you're willing to be around his friends. Quick word of advice, if you don't feel comfortable meeting them all at once, suggest meeting a couple separately. Anyways, good luck with the new guy!! I'm really hoping to gather myself together and take the leap/risk of being around someone that really has the potential of breaking my heat...lol..that sounds so destructive. maybe to be more able to take romantic risks.
 

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I think we connect more when sharing our flaws, misfortunes and fears because we have all had the feelings that those things produce and can empathize with the person. People can connect by sharing positive feelings but not as deeply because there is no empathy required. I think people also seem more human to us if they have had negative experiences that we can relate to. Someone who talks only about positive things in their life are harder to relate to and seem somewhat fake as we all have negatives in our life.

I know the people that I have shared my fears and misfortune with are much closer to me (and me closer to them) than those who I have hidden them from.
 

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To some people pain, depression and emotional anxiety can even be addictive. With their masochistic behaviors, they willingly seek out abuse and suffering to fulfill/relive whatever neglect in their past childhood. At least you do not use pain as a drug. For you it's a sense of healing, comfort and emotional security when you can relate to others and share the same experiences. In my opinion, it's not a negative thing, so you shouldn't be too upset and say it's 'unhealthy'. Pain is pain, just like any other human emotion. Just like love, just like hate, just like misery - it will always be apart of who you are, and it can either make us or break us. You should be satisfied that your emotions run deep, that you can feel for others and you have an innate sense of compassion that enables you to be perceptive. I believe that through pain there is self-discovery, and from what I can tell, you seem like a very intuitive and benevolent person.

As for pleasing your boyfriend and his friends, I can only give you one advice: be yourself. Just be yourself. If you are naturally shy people who truly care will still love you for who you are. If you are quiet, sensitive and feeling extremely nervous, just be polite and give them a charming smile. Sometimes subtlety is more radiant and mysterious, silence doesn't always have to be associated with timidity and fear. Keeping a positive outlook on life isn't about molding into the desires of other people, but to find your inner confidence, love yourself and let it shine.
 

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I do but in a different way. I often in a way want pain, i think because i associate it with attention. I think sometimes i feel like no one will feel anything for me at all unless they are hurting me? I dont know.
 

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:idea

I just had another thought.

It's fairly easy to talk to people about the positive things our lives. There is little risk in doing so. But to reveal our innermost problems, feelings and flaws we have to be very trusting of the person we are sharing them with.

So when one of us shares our "secrets" (things about ourselves that we perceive as negative and don't want everyone to know) it makes the other know that we trust them enough to share it with them.

The person sharing the "secret" feels closer to the one they shared it with because they have revealed one or more of their "secrets" to the person and was not rejected.

Hope that makes sense:con
 
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