Sooo...trust and attachment issues, anyone?
April 1, 2012 1:32 PM Subscribe
It seems I'm incapable of becoming attached to individuals or trusting them. Help?
posted by jumelle to Human Relations (41 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
For a while now, I've just come to accept the idea that my friends, family, whatever, are just people that I spend time with, not necessarily people that I especially enjoy spending time with and value as specific individuals. They're the same as strangers, except I know them better. The affection that I feel for them is kind of the generalized affection that I feel for humanity as a whole, rather than anything personal.
The impression that I get is that most people don't feel this way about their loved ones. However, I have a difficult time imagining how things could work in any way except this. Why would anyone place a strong personal value on any specific individual when any given individual can fill any given need? You don't have to be close to someone in order to have a meaningful conversation with them. There are billions of kids in the world who are just as adorable as your little brother or sister and so on. Does it really matter which one you deal with?
For a really long time, I assumed that most other people saw things in the same way, and I am still extremely skeptical that this is not the case. From past experiences, most other people will say this isn't how things work for them, and they most likely know their own thoughts better than I do, so can only take their word for it.
But I still assume that most people are like this. If I meet someone and they seem really interested in me, or kind to me in particular, I always assume they have some kind of angle. I'll spend a lot of time agonizing over what that angle might be and get anxious whenever I have to speak with them. Their behavior doesn't make sense to me. What motivates them to become invested in one person in particular? Why are they pretending they care about me and not just what I can do for them? Why would they bother in putting up a kind front if not to take advantage of the situation later on?
I know this probably seems irrational. I know it probably doesn't make sense to behave or see things the way that I do, but I can't see the logic or truth in anything else. Still, I don't want to spend my whole life like this. Can anyone offer any advice at all on how to not be this way?
Since it'll probably come up- I'm not a psychopath. I have too much of a conscience/empathy thing going on and all that. I'm not a saint, or even necessarily a great or even good person, but I'm not a psychopath.