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Making friends and keeping them


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Lately I've been having trouble keeping friends. I found myself deleting my Facebook account because I was continuously loosing friends left and right. Anyone have any helpful pointers on how to make and/or keep friends? I obviously suck at it or maybe I need a new therapist all together :(

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I have the same problem.

I'd ask the same question as y58. If your situation is anything like mine, then here's my advice: speak to your therapist about self esteem, and be proactive. Go out for drinks, get together for a chat, heck, get together and do work together. Whatever, just do something together. Try and do it at least once a week. Over a while, you'll find that friendship just happens.

...Now if only I could follow my own advice...

N

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I have the same problem. I've talked extensively to my tdoc about it and we've worked on self-esteem and come up with ways to ask people to do things that I'm comfortable with. For example I would say "What are your plans for dinner?" instead of "I'm going to dinner, want to join me?" cause that way I find out what they're doing and if they are doing something else they might invite me instead of thinking i had to go to dinner. Also, it gets me out of going to dinner by myself in case they don't want to go (sometimes I just won't go if there's no one to go with- I hate eating alone).

I'm still not very good at it though. And I always feel like people like me better when I'm hypomanic, get weirded out when I'm manic, and dislike me when I'm depressed. so it's hard to keep friends that I make in the hypomanic stage. If you figure out the answer to this I'd sure love to know. :)

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Over the last year, my lack of comfort in social settings is something my tdoc and I have talked about quite a bit. While I was stable, I was feeling a lot better about taking things slow when it came to nurturing budding friendships. When my last hypomanic episode hit, I found it really easy to make a lot of friends really quickly, without completely freaking them out. Now that the hypomania has stopped (it lasted about 2 months), and I'm sliding into depression, one of the things that is making all of this worse is my fear of losing the new friends I've made. I just have little motivation to interact socially when I'm depressed.

I kinda feel like friendship is one of those things that really suffers from bipolar swings. Making and maintaining friendships seems much more difficult to me than it should. (There is that word, "should." I guess I mean when I compare myself to other non-crazies, which is probably not a great thing to do anyway.)

Also, I really don't want to talk to my friends about being bipolar, because I'm afraid it will just make them less likely to want me as a friend. Like, "oh, she's going to be hard to be friends with, it's not worth it." *shrug*

I'm curious about how others approach this. When you DO have a friend, do you tell them about being bipolar?

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ItcouldbeKyle - Are you talking about losing real world friends, or facebook friends? Why do you say you might need a new therapist? What has your current therapist said about this?

Pocketrocks - Most of my friends know I have bipolar disorder. Those I'm not as close to probably know I have some kind of a mood thing, or maybe a depression thing, happening. It's never been an issue for any of them. But, to be fair, I tend to have relatively few friends, who I'm very close to, rather than a ton of people I don't necessarily know as well. That might make it less problematic for me than it might be for others.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Its both. My friends on Facebook are my friends. Though I've had my account deactivated for almost half a year now. My relationships crash land all the time. Subconsciously I push everyone away. I've no sense of community like I use to (except with you wonderful people) and I'm slowly drawing away from my only close friend. Though I think its possible other things also have to do with my withdrawing behavior. Lately I've been told I should stay at the hospital for a while. I think its quite possible my drugs have to do with it since I'm coming off of AntiD's and its quite possible I am not on the right dosage of mood stabilizers. I just got numbers of two new possible Pdoc's and I need to find out if either one can help me. It seems more and more apparent each day that I should be on watch in the hospital. Oh joy

Thanks for your help guys/gals. It seems my main issue is holding not making friends. I went on a date today. It went great. But I'm having an extreme urge to never contact her again and become a recluse. See my trouble here?

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I went on a date today. It went great. But I'm having an extreme urge to never contact her again and become a recluse. See my trouble here?

I know what you mean... This is my natural response to most positive social interactions. I turn into a recluse / shut down.

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I've allowed myself to become more and more isolated. I hate trouble staying "on track" in big rooms full of people, and I've definately had my heart broken by people who wouldn't/couldn't deal with me in a depressive stage. I guess I am well-liked at work and in the community (to hear my husband tell it), but it's a very small community and no one knows about my dx.

ItCouldBeKyle- I know exactly what you mean. I will go and have a wonderful time with people, but obsess that I maybe said something dumb or be afraid of smothering them by wanting to see them again.

I did finally have to take into consideration that- if anything is my fault- it might be not reading people well and therefore not choosing the greatest friend material. The thought occurred to me (and I told my husband), "Maybe it's not always me. I always read it that I've done something wrong to make people mad. Maybe they're not mad; maybe some people are just douchebags." My husband agreed (and laughed). Sometimes a relationship doesn't work out and it has nothing to do with me.

Still, I have that flight tendancy. I need extrinsic encouragement- like them calling me, or being explicitly told "I like you, I like having your around" now and then. It's part of the disorder, I guess, that we need very, very clear signs to feel comfortable. No one's a mind-reader, but we're poorer mind-readers than most.

I can't get this out of italics and I don't know why.

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I have always had a hard time getting/keeping friendships. So much easier to be a loner and just rely on myself.

But then I have those lonely days and the need to really "connect" with people. It's very hard to find a balance.

Since I've lost so many friends during my "depressed" times, I've kind of held back any attempt to make new friends. It just seems to take so much effort for me.

Like I have one friend I made at work years ago, and though she's moved out of state now, she still keeps in touch with me, always says how much she misses me, etc. I'm honestly amazed. She's an outgoing person who just exudes love, and here I am this little shy mouse. I keep thinking "what does she get out of this friendship" - "why does she stay in touch with me". Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled she does - I just don't "get it".

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Like I have one friend I made at work years ago, and though she's moved out of state now, she still keeps in touch with me, always says how much she misses me, etc. I'm honestly amazed. She's an outgoing person who just exudes love, and here I am this little shy mouse. I keep thinking "what does she get out of this friendship" - "why does she stay in touch with me". Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled she does - I just don't "get it".

Maybe she thinks of you as a really nice, cool person, who has an illness. :)

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