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idkdude Offline
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I'm incapable of making friends - March 19th 2017, 07:26 PM

I'm in my first year of college and I'm incredibly lonely. The only people I hang out with are my significant other and my roommate. I have no friends here and I feel like I'm unable to pursue relationsips with the people who are nice to me in class. I seem friendly, but I never hang out with them. I came into the school with a kind of "I came here to win, not to make friends" mentality, which is really failing me right now.
I'm diagnosed with severe social anxiety and bipolar depression, but I think I may also have borderline personality disorder. Because of this, I'm antisocial, hyper aware of the way people perceive me, have awful mood swings, and am usually too drained to keep up conversations with people.
My significant other is extremely extroverted and is friends with a lot of people in my college. They keep encouraging me to pursue other friendships, but I'm finding it really hard. It's an art school, so basically everyone shares the same interests and I can't just find the niche "antisocial nerds who like art and anime" group because that's literally the entire school. People talk to me in class and I'm well-respected as an artist, but I just can't keep up relationships. I feel like I'm really mean on the inside and I push people away from me because I'm too competitive and I expect nobody to like me. I realize that I've been taking up a lot of my significant other's time and have been taking them away from their friends because I have nobody else to be around. They have a friend group that I'm *technically* a part of, but I never really talk when I'm with the group and I always get so anxious after hanging out with them that they just stopped inviting me.
My roommate likes me but only because he talks a lot and I just sit around and smoke with him and listen while he rants. What he doesn't know is that I'm actually really talkative and I have a lot of things that I want to say, but he's so overpowering and always speaks over me. I need people that I can be myself around and so far I haven't found anyone except the person I'm dating (who still doesn't understand my social anxiety and introversion).
I really need friends right now. My best friend from back home committed suicide a few months ago and I've cut off ties with a lot of people from my hometown because his death hurt me a lot and talking to those people brings up bad memories. He had BPD and I felt like he was the only person who thought like me but now I can't talk to him because he's dead.
It's so late in the year that I feel like I'm never going to make friends. I feel like people just see me as an extension of my significant other. I don't really have a personality or any other friends of my own. I don't want to hang out with my s/o's friend group or my roommates friend group. They're too loud and clique-y for my taste. It's cliche and emo to say, but I really feel like nobody understands me and what I'm going through. How can I make friends on my own without givin get myself more anxiety than I need to?
   
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Re: I'm incapable of making friends - March 20th 2017, 03:03 PM

Social anxiety, bipolar depression and mental illness in general can definitely affect making and keeping friendships, especially when you feel drained and competitive. It sounds like you are feeling lonely, as despite being respected art and having people talk to you, it's difficult to have friendships with others? It's definitely good to have a few friends you can talk to and hang out with. It doesn't mean that you've been taking up too much time of your significant other's, but it can be beneficial to relationships when both people spend time with friends of their own.

Competitiveness, does not mean that you are mean at all. While some competitiveness is healthy, I know that sometimes it can get in the way of friendships. Perhaps you can acknowledge what you feel but remember that it's okay if others get better results than you or whatever. Try not to compare yourself either as that can fuel competitiveness.

It's never too late to make friends! Perhaps you can slowly try to spend more time with those that talk to you and get to know them a bit better? Whether you try to talk to different people every week or stick to one person who starts talking to you and develop a friendship from there, it may help you to realise that you are capable of making friends.

I am really sorry to hear about your best friend. It's understandable that you would miss him a lot and cut ties with others from your past if they stir up bad memories. I really hope that you can make a few friends of your own because you totally deserve it


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