It really is a simple idea. If anything she is stronger because of them. From knowledge of our brains and the fact that our brains take information from all around us and put it together to give us a sense of reality, we can see that when we take away from what our brain is able to process then we get a less detailed sense of what is going on around us. At least that’s how it feels sometimes. I hope you’re the one giving out the smiles the next time you get on the bus! Part of the reason we can struggle to connect is if we have such low self-esteem we are terrified of others seeing us in a bad light so block connection with our own fear and sabotage. Lisa may have had difficult experiences, but that doesn’t change the person who she is now. This website or its third-party tools use cookies which are necessary to its functioning and required to improve your experience. I’m friendly with everyone I meet from cashiers to fellow commuters, but I can’t say that it’s always returned. I’ll list a few but I hope you understand that I’m not accusing you of any of them. Childhood trauma can have life-long repercussions. When we meet people, we inherently put our radar up. I have found most people too busy to connect with someone new, or their social life is already full. But our ego’s make it difficult to enforce. Good to see you here, man. They risked rejection and put themselves out there. This can lead to at best, dysfunctional relationships and at worst, abusive ones in which a shrewd, exploitative predator takes advantage of their neediness. Take a chance and reach out. Thanks for your thoughts, Serenity Hacker! (This is an example of how our psychological defense mechanisms backfire, giving us exactly what we’re trying to avoid.). Thanks for sharing this, Marie – I’ll always remember it. Trust me. Childhood trauma can have long-term consequences, and the struggle to connect with others is one of the most significant of these. Problem is, most leaders overuse jargon … What we all have in common, however, is that we all benefit from being able to connect to others, and that not being able to directly affects our quality of life and even, research now shows, our physical health and longevity. For those of us who want to blend in, go for it. Stuff happens and we’re left with scars. What is wrong with the world today? Ultimately, if we really want to connect meaningfully with others, we have to do it in-person. In the first scenario, it’s the news and media, in the second, it’s your parents, and in the third, it’s to just about everybody else. A wise person once told me that the best way to get over not feeling welcome is to take steps to cause someone else to feel welcome — even if you are the newbie in the group. Technology has put so much of a barrier between us that we forgot the people who use them (such as you behind the screen). Then I developed General Anxiety Disorder. For an introvert I sure have rambled a bit, well nice talking to you. Now I guess you have no problems connecting at all :). This last group of people is the most interesting people as they are good at pointing out things that people can;t usually see. People with a history of childhood trauma might believe that others will only want to associate with them if they’re a people-pleaser or care-taker. I try to remember to smile at people, and sometimes, that is enough…. So this is poorly managed, people may find them as annoying or challenging. You have to take charge of your life: you have to connect. I can’t believe this! Of course, the fewer in-person relationships we have and the more on-line ones we have, the lonelier we’re likely to feel. I can connect with others just fine. Hey Art, nice to hear your thoughts. It takes courage to do it, but what takes the most work, yields the most profit in the long run. They might have a deep-seated belief that they aren’t lovable or that they’re not entitled to a loving relationship. In my years as a psychotherapist, I’ve noted that people with significant childhood trauma tend to struggle more than most with their relationships. 3. It would take me several interactions with someone before opening up on any kind of real level would feel appropriate. I think connecting with others would be easier for everyone if we had courses in how to actively listen. @Nea Your exactly right! I saw your first video on Timeless Information. I’m not alone. You search perfection in the people around you so you, once again, don’t get hurt when you become close to them. . Rejection is a part of life. Sign up here for my free monthly wellness newsletter. They both ended, naturally. Dr. Jennifer Howard Childhood trauma can have life-long repercussions. In individuals who’ve experienced childhood trauma, all of these stages can be disrupted. I’ve made this mistake before actually – if I’d just smiled to that certain person, maybe we could’ve been friends. Abandonment issues. I’m soon to be 31 and the my days of making friends have passed! We immediately scan how different we are from each other. These can be minor to severe, depending on the severity and duration of the trauma, the presence of parental support during the traumatic events; as well as the innate resilience of the child who experienced them. Or, we regard listening as somehow passive (why?). When we know and share our why, we connect with others. They broadened their horizons and added a little diversity into the mix. P.S. Required fields are marked *. They enter into co-dependent relationships and when these invariably fall apart, they’re more fearful than ever of being hurt. Connecting to the world is just as important as connecting to people. I always try to learn from others’ comments and posts – thanks Hilary. I asked him what he would need and so we priced a car at about $5,000, then he came up with different ideas for jobs, and then we discussed how to get started. Study after study reports that as social animals, humans need each other. Some really enjoy the interaction. It is our differences that make us who we are. They want to interact, but when they do, it doesn’t go well. If there was a choice between chatting with you online, and meeting you face to face, I’d pack my bags in a heartbeat :). There’s no substitute for in-person contact in terms of the emotional nourishment we receive and the social skills we develop. It’s funny how much value we place on the thoughts of others when in reality, everyone is scared of what everybody thinks of them. However all people we meet – we need to be with them at their level, sharing their interests, their culture, learning from them if appropriate, and being polite – some definitely won’t match up and then one just smiles and stops or move on. In other words, find the person who looks the least comfortable and go talk to him or her. I’m so sorry that you had to put up with the close-mindedness of others. As an introvert, the small-talk many seem to enjoy doesn’t feel like connecting to me. Some of these individuals are so convinced that they’ll be rejected that they inadvertently behave in ways that provoke the other person to do this. You’ve likely heard of the Golden Rule, which states that you should treat others as you’d like to be treated. Our childhood days are long gone, and it’s time that we used the wisdom we’ve gained as adults to erase the naivete we had in the past. You’re Too Busy With ‘Other’ Things. But we can still connect to the Internet through a wireless router with other devices still. You don’t let yourself get close with anyone because when you do, your walls are down and it will hurt a lot more when they leave . my friend shared with me a theory based on the unique fingerprint (dermatoglyphics) which reflects our genetic characteristic. We need … Sometimes being neutral, especially when you’re new, letting others ‘work’ you and your family out .. makes life easier. Not only that, more importantly, we need to connect in order to thrive and live happily. This happens because everyone prefers the familiar, and hurtful people today remind these individuals of the hurtful people from their past. They often feel awkward and anxious in social situations, leading to upsetting interactions which only reinforce their sense of alienation. . I have to put aside any hesitations based on this thinking, as hindsight says that it is worthless. Some believe that they can get these needs met in their adult relationships. Of course you shouldn’t rush in. It is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together. The page says "Internet explorer cannot display the web page". If so, go on a hike. Before we look at the surface why we don;t connect well, i think it would be more beneficial why we behave in a unique fashion based on our genetic blueprint. I ride public transportation and sometimes it amazes me how many people are there for the long, same ride, yet don’t speak a word to each other, and barely smile. People here on the Change blog accept you for who you are. Sure it may be harder for some to connect than others, but that doesn’t mean that the ones who have it harder shouldn’t connect at all. I’m glad you found interest in my post! April is all about spring cleaning our minds. I say bravo to you , Lisa for connecting in the kindest of spirits. There can definitely be other reasons, this list is not comprehensive and all people are unique. They might be terrified of being hurt, exploited, abandoned or rejected. I’ve been meditating for 6 months now. If that’s what you want. They struggle to start projects or do things on their own. Gone are the days of never talking to strangers. @John, Hi .. oh yes at times I’m up front! Thanks for your comment :). As you said, we’re all human. Everyone seems so wrapped up in their own thoughts yet no one is reaching out to connect, even for just a moment. You may need to go a bit deeper, by working with a therapist or counselor to heal your childhood trauma. Relationships take time to grow, but you won’t have one if you don’t strike up a conversation. When I click on diagnose connection problems, it says it is my router or modem. It’s been said over and over how good it is. My youngest friendship is more than 7 years old, and my best friendship goes back to the 5th grade (over 20 … Embrace vulnerability. Great thoughts, Serenity Hacker! Hi John .. I understand what you mean, both you and Lisa. Fear of rejection. Individuals with emotional wounds from a hurtful childhood often feel uncomfortable around other people and don’t know how to act. From the local pub to the cafe across the street, from the stands at the little league baseball field to one of the seemingly infinite number of online chat rooms, people are constantly connecting with each other. If we soak up feelings of vulnerability from the news media, our parents, or other sources, we become fearful. We share something so common between us, yet most people look around and see differences. In each of the problems I’ve listed above, you’re giving the power of owning your fate into the control of someone else. What's more, some find it particularly difficult to connect with other women and might on occasion wonder: Why don't I have female friends? Set me thinking to one of life’s most common yet unanswered questions, Why don’t girls don’t get along with the other girls? Gone are the days when your social circle was limited to your coworkers around the water cooler. P.S. I quickly learned that nothing about living with anxiety is perfect. Just introduce yourself to people you share common interests with. Exactly! If you so choose, you can have friends from all over the world while never stepping foot outside your front door (editor’s note: not recommended). Being alone Not wanting to be a burden I spent months alone, in fact the whole duration of year 12. Take those chances and reach out to them. Long lasting relationships can be found anywhere, both on- and offline. While it’s important to know what’s going on the world, these messages made it seem like the only way to avoid instances like this are to stop going out at night and stay out of every online community. great post! These individuals have difficulty forming close bonds, either because they don’t expect people to stick around or because after everything they’ve been through, it’s difficult for them to open their heart to someone else. Why do we need others around us? It’s called, “Always Talk to Strangers”. You’ve got some great points here about connecting in public. We vilify those who don’t agree with us. The introvert mind is literally wired differently. There are billions of people on the planet. A lot of people struggle to do basic hygiene tasks when depressed. It’s tough sometimes to get people to come out of their shells with all the defenses they’ve built up as you mentioned. Congrats! For example, he wanted to buy a car and we sat down and came up with a plan. More and more, our “relationships” are carried out through social media as opposed to in-person. It seems that for many people these days, it’s gotten a lot harder to connect with others. This is from past trauma. John Anyasor is the founder of his personal development blog. With friends and family, we’ve already established some common ground, so it’s easy to really communicate with them. I'm quite a bit older than that, now. Your email address will not be published. That feeling of shyness isn’t yours alone. Some individuals with a history of childhood trauma might choose friends or partners who are hurtful or abusive. So what i am driving at is everyone is unique and there is nothing right or wrong in the above traits. In this day and age, it’s quite apparent that people are connecting everywhere. I guess for me, I have a fear of rejection. You are welcome to ask questions but she cannot give medical advice online. I can tell you’re a very special person and that this world needs more people like you. Your email address will not be published. If you’ve been having difficulty connecting with others, the way to improve your relationships isn’t necessarily through social skills training. Hilary Melton-Butcher By not talking to strangers you can miss out on a wonderful conversation and the sharing of ideas. Just to quote some examples, some people tend to be more easy going and blend well into the environment; while some people tend to be more stubborn/ persistent and like to ask a lot of questions; some people are what we call Mr/Mrs reverse who have the great ability to look at things from different perspective. This is still a problem as I often see this in public. While I do agree (wholeheartedly) that everyone is unique, that doesn’t mean we can’t connect. Smiling is a great start, though. I used to take the bus to campus and it would sometimes be so hard to start conversations because the atmosphere would be so tense. If there’s one thing the INFP “stereotype” gets … Do you like the great outdoors? If so that fight might have something to do with where you have placed your focus. Then I got my answer. The second group told us they didn’t want anyone in their group that had kids because they’d just redecorated. I just don't do it very often. Positive Letters Inspirational Stories. Now I’ve learned so much about the world. It’s the result of having trouble with social skills. Dependent people fear exposure because it may cause others to realize how “worthless” they really are. Is it just me? Personally, I find that people are more polarized, cynical and insular. That sure is true about fear of rejection or feeling like you’re not going to be up to par to what others expect. Gone are the days when people proclaimed that all chat rooms are dangerous. I was never purposefully mean; rather, my judgment came from an innate sense of perfectionism that negatively affected how I viewed myself and others. ~ H. L. Menken It’s become more and more difficult to remain vulnerable, trusting, and open to life in this era of uncertainty, global upheaval, divorce, and disrupted family life. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Hilary. Your email address will not be published. We may not be invincible (we are human after all) that doesn’t mean we should seal ourselves away from the world. Unfortunately, people who’ve experienced childhood trauma are at an even greater disadvantage when it comes to forming attachments. The emotionally wounded individual has more difficulty trusting others after the painful experiences they’ve been through. In emotionally intact adults, connecting to others comes relatively easy. I can't connect to the Internet with my laptop. If we continue on this path, we’ll miss out on getting to know people who are just like us. They might struggle to make conversation, seem out of sync, or behave in a way that turns off other kids. Notice it when things do not feel quite right while you are ensconced in your device. I believe people today are more interested in connecting with their technology than connecting with people. It is through difficulty that we learn the most. But because of this human tendency to revere our own opinions, many people find they can only really connect with people who carry similar views. Thanks for your comment and I hope I could help you. I cultivated an awareness of my fear of vulnerability, including when I would … 3. Whether you’re a baby boomer or not, the responses you were given were uncalled for. The combined benefits of spending time in nature and spending time with others will make for a day your heart will enjoy. These individuals can conduct the majority of their “relationships” on-line, in order to minimize the risks getting hurt. We learn this from how our primary caretaker was able to connect in general and connect to us in particular. Other than that friendship group I had only one other friend who I was able to talk to and felt comfortable with but she was in a different form and had other friends. I admit that my initial thoughts on connecting were based on the “never talk to strangers” mindset. Your why allows connects you to others. Here’s a quick illustration: … I personally believe it is because of these three big reasons: As a kid growing up, there wasn’t a day I watched TV that there wasn’t an announcement of something horrible. There is ALWAYS another chance to make a lifelong friend. That ship has sailed. The outdated saying of ‘never talk to strangers’ doesn’t apply. The reason, I believe, is that we all need to feel connected. Consider Childhood Trauma. Thanks for the worthwhile material that helps us connect when we should be connecting. Hey Carla, I don’t think that’s true. It’s a dating book but also talks about just meeting strangers in general. We meet people, we like each-other, and we form strong social bonds. And instead of always being wrapped up in our own affairs, we should share them with one another. Unfortunately, people who’ve experienced childhood trauma are at an even greater disadvantage when it comes to forming attachments. I doubt people who’ve lived the best lives stayed in the same place for too long or talked to the same people forever. In my opinion, it’s easier to approach someone when you know you’ll never see them again if the interaction doesn’t work out. I agree that the 3 things you listed above have the potential to contribute to struggles in adult lives. Most of our ability to truly connect is learned from a very young age. If You Struggle to Connect With Others, It Could Be Due to Childhood Trauma. @Kaushik, thanks for your thoughts. More and more, we’re so busy and over-extended that we have little time to spend with the people we care about. Except the few close ones, girls didn’t maybe like me that much and the feeling was mutual. One of the recommendations on posting on others’ blogs is to comment and join the community, but bide your time .. til others notice you .. probably true in life –, Interesting post – thanks – Dr. Marcia discusses why it feels good to give with Jess Brady, Dr. Marcia Sirota discusses the rise in mental health and suicide with Arlene Bynon, Dr. Marcia Sirota discusses how small businesses can navigate a second wave of shutdowns with the five stages of grief with Jess Brady, Constant Workplace Interpersonal Conflicts? It’s never too late to start connecting with others, but if you keep waiting until you’re 100% comfortable connecting, it just might be. I’m more centered and calm because of it. Others, like Ted Bundy, are more cunning in hiding their extreme pathology but obviously struggle to relate to others in a normal, healthy fashion. Yes, I certainly agree that the news can put much fear into the air around everything. Don’t let people like your neighbors fool you into thinking the rest of the world is like them. I quite often talk to people, not always – if I’m in a place where I don’t need to be doing something (eg the bus, or the train), but can just get gather my thoughts – quite nice! Connection happens when you get: 1. concrete help, such as having a friend pick your kids up from school 2. emotional support, like hearing someone say, "I'm really sorry you're having such a tough time" 3. perspective, like being reminded that even the moodiest teenagers grow up 4. advice, such as a suggestion to plan a weekly date with your wife 5. validation, like learning that other folks love reading train schedules too Emotional detachment is an inability or unwillingness to connect with other people on an emotional level. But occasionally especially with people and community relationships a little easing in, is probably better than alienating them, or being cut off .. 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