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Overanalysing and doubting myself with new friendships

(7 Posts)
FlippetyFlipFlaps Wed 17-Oct-12 22:55:46

I am in my early thirties. I feel like over the last couple of years I have been re-emerging into a better place after years of very low self esteem and terrible anxiety. At the worst point in my life, I was so low I isolated myself from friends and people, wanting to shut myself away and not interact much with others. This was I believe due mainly to having been in a very controlling and abusive relationship with a man in my late teens/early twenties which totally annihilated my self worth.

Anyway, now I feel like I do want to go out and meet new people, which is what I have been doing - the usual type stuff people always tell you to do such as evening classes, taking up invitations to go to social events, making small talk with people etc. My social confidence I would say has improved enormously, I can take or leave people I meet and my assertiveness is much better.

However....the problem I have now, and the point of my thread, is that when I get to a point with a new acquaintance - where I get on well with someone and they seem to like me too i.e. texting, seeking each other out at events, invitations out etc - that point where an acquaintance becomes the potential to become a friendship, I seem to go into a panic and I start over-analysing everything I say or do, thinking I have said something stupid or that they will find out who I really am and not like me anymore. I also seem to just clam up more in conversation and then worry endlessly that I am coming across as weird or awkward or boring.

A recent example of this is a girl I get on well with on one of my evening classes texted me asking if I was OK after I missed one of our classes due to a family do I had to go to. I texted her back explaining why i missed the class and now I feel really bad thinking I should have texted her before the class and now she must think I'm being really ignorant. I am constantly worrying that I do and say the wrong things.

I'd like to know if anyone has any advice, or perhaps others feel like this too?

eBook Wed 17-Oct-12 23:01:28

I'm sure you are doing nothing wrong, but this is just a way of your anxiety manifesting itself in situations of stress (meeting new people). You sound like a lovely person and I'd much rather meet someone who over-thinks things, than someone who is thoughtless smile

cheesestrung Wed 17-Oct-12 23:07:11

hello :-)
well done for coming so far, you have made enormous progress from where you were, now time for then next step and increasing your confidence to believe in yourself even more. The girl obviously likes you or she wouldn't have texted..
i think most have had these feelings at some point, it is just learning how to deal with them :-) and you are coming here for support which is great..

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Wed 17-Oct-12 23:23:20

Yes, I used to be exactly like this. I do tend to over-think things and am very analytical about lots of things. I don't know what happened but lately I have totally chilled out and feel much more relaxed about it all. I have had a couple of years of counselling so I think it is probably my self esteem is higher now and I don't feel as much of a need to be liked as I once did.

Punkatheart Wed 17-Oct-12 23:38:18

Firstly, well done for facing your fears and getting out there. You need to learn to relax...it sounds as if people like you and already care about you.

Just onwards and upwards. You are doing fine.

FlippetyFlipFlaps Thu 18-Oct-12 21:01:53

Thanks for all your comments. I seem unable to relax and just fret endlessly. I don't really know how to reassure myself. I definitely feel the need for other peoples acceptance in order to feel good about myself. I just don't know how to go about doing it.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Thu 18-Oct-12 22:10:08

With me, I don't know whether it was the counselling or whether or not it was something that just 'happened' with age (am mid thirties now). I find I am a lot happier in myself these days than I used to be and I think this makes me care less about needing others to accept/like me. Does that make sense?

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