Schizophrenia.com

Overcoming the fear of connecting with other people

I have this friend I met about 4 months ago at the workplace I go to. Though she’s now working at a different place. She was the one who showed interest in me first, and I felt pleased, so we went back home together a few times, then one day I asked her phone no., then we started a friendship.

We’ve gone out together, or I visited her place a few times so far, and although our relationship might be a little superficual in some way, I was pretty satisfied with the relationship.

And today, I went out with her again. I think I was a little bit more open to her than usual. I think it was because these days, things are getting better and I felt more confident about myself, so I thought why not take one step closer to her?

But I never told her about the most important things for me. I just told her about the things around them. But I don’t know. This might have made her feel that I wasn’t fully open, while she was driving me home, she asked me, “Is there anything that’s bothering you now?”, showing some sympathy. So I just went “for example?” She said “Well, anything… Anything that bothers you.”

I ended up telling her the second most important thing that’s hard for me to tell other people. I think it was a huge step for me, but I was disappointed in that I wasn’t able to tell her the very thing that’s bothering me at the moment.

But I have this fear of connecting with/getting close to other people. Whenever I try to do so, I feel really weird and anxious. I feel as if I were going to disappear.

I was glad that she asked me that question. But I feel guitly about not being able to be fully open to her. I just wanted to take one step at a time.

But I think this can be a breakthrough experience for me. I’ve always bottled up my feelings and never told anybody about how I really feel. But this can be a chance to be fully open and overcome my fear of being connected with other people.

Is there anything that I need to be careful about in persuing this path?

Do you tell anything to your friends?
How close are you?
Are you satisfied wtih the relationships?

P.S. This might have nothing to do with being schizophrenic, but as a schizophrenic having this problem, I decided to share this with you all. Thanks

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Maybe you could test the waters first and see how she feels about mental illness. I feel really weird and anxious around people too, but I work through it. So I can have a social life.

I don’t know if this will help, but i would try not to look at her as a stranger but as someone you trust, someone you are comfortable with. Feel free to express whatever is bothering you. You really shouldn’t keep emotions bundled inside. I hope you the best, and don’t let your fears get the best of you, say what you wish to say.

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I understand taking it slow. I think your doing very well. I’m starting to understand that some people get overwhelmed when you just lay it all out there… which is a mistake I’ve made in the past.

I guess you just have to trust your inner bell on this one. Some people have had very intense lives and if you told them everything, they wouldn’t bat an eye… other people have had very sheltered lives and if you told them half of everything they might be scared.

So I’d say… trust your inner bell and don’t over think it. If your comfortable doing this little by little… then that’s what’s right for you. A friendship takes time… you have time.

good luck.

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Thanks for all the comments and now I feel really positive about this experience.
The step-by-step, little-by-little strategy sounds good to me.
I have my own reasons for not being able to be fully open and connected with other people, so I guess it’s also important to trust my inner bell like @SurprisedJ told me.

Thanks again and I hope I will be able to keep tolerant about myself.

I also agree with J.—i think you are doing fine