How It Can Impact Your Life.
You have a lot of acquaintances and peers but not people who you would describe as close friends. You don’t reach out to people when you are struggling and you are always presenting a version of yourself to others that isn’t authentic. People like you; they just don’t feel like they really know you.
You are very cautious when it comes to dating or starting new relationships. You don’t want to come on too strong or appear too needy so you keep people at an arms length. If it gets serious you might even convince yourself that there is something wrong and you need to end the relationship.
Being in close relationships is hard. You are constantly examining and adjusting your behaviour so that you are not causing problems for other people. You censor yourself so that you don’t sound too needy, too demanding or rude. You also spend a lot of time and energy thinking about how other people might perceive you.
What Maintains The Pattern.
Feeling Responsible For Others.
You feel like you have to take care others, which means putting their needs above your own. The relationship is not reciprocated; it is unidirectional where you feel responsible for another person but are not willing or able to express your own needs. This pattern becomes a characteristic of the relationship and also maintains distance.
Difficulty Tolerating Your Own Vulnerability.
Letting people get close inherently involves a degree of vulnerability. When you start to let the walls come down you are letting someone see in which can feel really frightening. If this vulnerability feels like too much to manage then you find yourself keeping people at a distance to avoid these raw feelings.
If I Don’t Let People Get Close Then They Can’t Hurt Me.
You keep our walls up so that you can stay in control and cannot get hurt. Seeking safety can be a big driving factor for not allowing people to get close to you. When you rely on another person you are no longer in control and this leaves you open to pain when they inevitably let you down.
Thinking About Where It Came From.
This is often an important factor for people who have experienced a form of interpersonal trauma. They fear that others will hurt them so they keep people out as a way of keeping themselves safe.
When you prioritise independence letting yourself get close to others can feel threatening. It could bring up a fear that if you let people get close then you may lose your independence. To cope with this fear you may find yourself avoiding relying on others or allowing them to depend on you.
Not Trusting Others.
When you have been hurt by other people you internalise part of that experience which becomes a template for future relationships. You expected to get hurt again and there is a part of your that believes that people are not reliable.
If you struggle letting people get close and want things to be different then therapy may be able to help. Call me today so we can discuss your personal challenges and talk about how therapy can help you.