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Focusing Tip #710 – “I avoid my friends because when I’m with them I feel vulnerable”

Do such tangled feelings come up around friends that you just want to stay home and avoid them? Read on…

Ada writes:

Recently I have a new group of friends, and I realize that my lack of confidence is truly affecting me. I realize that I avoid them sometimes and it feels like this is my way to punish them and maybe get some attention. It makes me sad because I see that I avoid interactions and then I get angry at myself for sitting alone at home, waiting for someone to notice that I’m not there.

Why is it so hard to be vulnerable and show my lack of confidence?

Dear Ada:

Yes, often it’s with new friends that we can see and feel our habits of interaction more clearly. So that’s good!

I really hear that you’re struggling with a tangle of feelings and behaviors that are being stirred up by the new group of friends.

The first step to sorting all that out is to acknowledge the different parts that are involved. Because if everything is “I” then it’s kind of confusing: “I avoid interactions…” — “I get angry at myself for that…”

Try saying: “Something in me avoids interactions” and “something in me gets angry at this other part of me for sitting alone at home.”

Does it feel easier to have empathy when the different parts are sorted out?

The next step is for you to say to these different parts of you that YOU are here with them now. Because you are more than a jumble of parts. You are the whole Self who can be with them all. Self in Presence.

“I am sensing something in me that avoids interactions AND I am sensing something in me angry at that one for sitting at home AND I am here with both. Hello to each one!”

Now you’re in a position to be compassionately curious. I would guess that the part of you that “lacks confidence” has some history to share with you about some hard things that happened in the past. There might be some memories of those past times. For me, it was being bullied at school that affected my relationships with friends many years later.

Those hurts can be healed. They don’t have to overshadow the present. It all starts with being able to be that compassionate listener to yourself.



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