I’m naturally an introvert and don’t like to talk my real feelings unless it’s with my close friends. But, they also have their lives and can’t care me the whole time. So, I’ve been trying to refrain myself from messaging them. That actually makes me kind of sad that when I try not messaging them, no one starts the conversation with me anymore. Then, I start to wonder if it’s normal.
Hi there; thank you for sharing your situation and how you feel. I hear you are trying to build friendships with your peers but feel unseen or cared for by them. I can see that this issue seems to be a constant struggle for you, and you need to put in lots of effort to keep this friendship going. I can understand the situation you are in.
I want to share with you that in life, we have no control over how others feel, respond, or behave towards us. But often, we worry a lot about how others react when we make certain decisions. This worry limits our freedom to express ourselves and takes away our joy.
However, we have control over our thoughts, emotions, and the choices we choose to make. We can start by writing down one goal and action we are committed to do. Remember that these small changes we make will have a significant long-term outcome (1).
Here are what we can do:
- What are you committed to doing over the next 1-2 weeks to see improvement or changes? Having the end goal in mind helps us become more intentional about our actions. We can do this by setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, and Realistic).
- An example of a SMART Goal could be: “I want to be able to ask my friend Tom and Jerry out for a meal and have a meal with them next week.”
- If your goal is, “I want to be happier,” perhaps consider what some of the things you would do when you are happier are (i.e., spend time with family or friends). Here is a resource on how you can set goals (2)
- With this goal in mind, identify the barrier preventing you from having a meal with Tom and Jerry. Are there any expectations, self-doubt, or criticism you are holding on to? Spend some time writing these thoughts down on a piece of paper
We can learn to allow our emotions to pass. Just as these emotions can come, they can also leave us. You can place these emotions on the passing clouds and see them drift away (3). Then focus on the committed actions that you have set out to do.
Talk to a trusted adult or counsellor. I would encourage you to take time and share the issue with a trusted adult so that they can journey alongside you. It might be challenging to start, but it will be a valuable process. You can read this link on how you can prepare for a session (4).
(1) THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT: HOW SMALL CHANGES LEAD TO BIG PROGRESS - Justin Thomas Miller.
(2) How to Translate Values Into Committed Action - Mindfulness Muse
(3) How to feel your feelings: Allowing yourself to feel fully — Living Better Lives Counseling LLC Living Better Lives
(4) 13 Tips to Help You Prepare for Your First Therapy Session
- J.Q. (Therapist)