Decoding friendships for private people

Postby curiousmadame » Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:37 pm

(Not too sure how this works, but I was desperately seeking answers)

Hello, I have been told by my friends how I have always been mysterious and rarely open up to them. Personally, I am not comfortable being vulnerable in front of anyone and despise showing that side to anyone. Apart from that I genuinely don't believe that my family or closest friends need to know everything that I am doing. It is not an attempt to stay secretive but I just think it is convenient and way easier.
In this regard my question is: I have been friends with my best friend for 10 years now, the only person who I have such a long and steady friendship. Recently she left to study in the US alone and those months were a little busy for me so I did not talk to her as often as I'd like to. This led to what she called 'accumulated irritation' were she talked about how I always make her feel lonely and unimportant or don't care enough.
In my defense though, I see relationships in my perspective i.e in reverse situation if I would be okay or not. I have patiently and with interest listened to her (in my opinion) silly boy rants even when I myself was going through situations where I was diagnosed with anxiety, my family become bankrupt, etc. I am not saying my problems are bigger but pointing out that even with these things that i don't share I have graciously tried to be there for her always.

Where do I, as someone inept with showing care, show that I do care?
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:50 pm

curiousmadame wrote:Where do I, as someone inept with showing care, show that I do care?

You don’t.

You don’t show that you care. That’s just being fake. It’s a fake friendship.

It’s fake as you pretend to listen to “rants”. You put in time that you think is required. You are trying to show you care. This is much different than actually caring.

Currently it isn’t that you are inept. It is that you are selfish. You have no reason not to be selfish...for now.

You are not alone. In the modern world it is easy to not involve yourself in meaningful relationships.

If you want to be a person that actually cares then you need to get involved and cultivate relationships that develop shared needs, shared commitments, shared values, etc.
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Postby Candid » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:15 am

Madame, what in your life history taught you that your true self was better hidden, that a robotic front saying and doing all the 'right' things was preferable? How did you come to believe authentic vulnerability was unsafe?

You are not inept at showing care, only afraid -- and you have correctly judged that your friend won't hold back from criticising you. I suggest you embrace your way of relating to her and to anyone else. You do not make her feel lonely or unimportant; those are her feelings and her responsibility.

Your relational style is what it is, and any struggle to change it will develop another false persona. Love yourself as you are, be kinder to yourself, understand that the criticisms of other people say much more about them than about you. You're good enough just as you are.
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