Is it paranoia, or does everyone secretly want to ditch me?
July 25, 2010 8:56 PM Subscribe
A few months ago, a group of people I'd been hanging out with regularly dumped me without saying anything--they just stopped including me in plans and stopped responding to me. I realized that something was up and didn't push. I've been making new friends since then, but I'm often worried that these new people (or any friends) might also secretly dislike me or be considering friend-dumping me too. What should I do?
posted by clever anonymous username to Human Relations (27 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
-later on, one member of this group of people (the sole one who didn't stop responding to me) basically confirmed to me that they intentionally began leaving me out, so I know it wasn't an oversight or mistake.
-I've done a course of CBT for social anxiety, which was helpful. But this experience kind of ruins the whole CBT concepts of not assuming the worst and not being able to read people's minds and so forth. Apparently these people did hate me, and when they stopped responding to me, it was intentional and because they disliked me--if I had those thoughts (which I'd actually been pretty good at getting rid of at last!), they weren't cognitive distortions. Now what? My biggest challenge is that it's hard for me to make overtures of friendship to people unless I know them very, very very well; I'm always afraid that it's unwanted, so I don't like to ask or reach out at all. Now I'm super-paranoid. (Unfortunately, getting more CBT therapy is not an option right now.)
-I didn't press the remaining friend too much to find out why this happened because I'd already cut my ties with these folks and didn't want to put her in a strange position, but she said some vague things like "you seemed ungrateful" and "general awkwardness." She also said that she disagreed with them. I am trying to be more aware of being too negative or critical (that's the gist of what was meant by ungrateful) and avoid that.
-I'm just totally on high alert. I met someone (a friend of a friend sort of thing) last week who kept telling me she liked me (in a platonic way) and implying that we should hang out, and I friended her on facebook, and she accepted and then a few days later unfriended me. It feels ridiculous to be obsessing about something like that, but my brain is just going off the deep end - what the hell did I do? She didn't unfriend other mutual friends she met at the same time as she met me. Maybe the most logical thing is that it was some mistake or something that has nothing to do with me, but the events of the past few months taught me that sometimes the shadow is actually a monster - i.e. someone not including me or unfriending me actually was because they really disliked me, and that they disliked me for a good while before that when I thought everything was OK.