When You Want Friends…and Don’t

Two people on a bench with bushes behind them. One person is laying down with their head up against the other person, who is sitting and looking into a brown bag.
Do you have conflicting thoughts about the idea that self-acceptance can actually work as a way to have better relationships?

The dilemma

I write a lot about self-acceptance as a path to healthy and positive social relationships. And I’m guessing that on your good days you love this idea, or you want to love it, and maybe you buy into it in the abstract, and there are moments when it resonates and makes sense, and yet…

is there also a part of you that wants to run the other way? Close the browser window, yell at the screen that I’m full of baloney, that this can’t be true for you?

After all, you have lots of real experiences of rejection when you were authentically yourself. (I get that. So do I.)

Tough questions

I’m going to ask a few tough questions here, and I invite you to take a deep breath and explore with curiosity if there may be some truth in one of them.

Maybe, deep down, is there a part of you that’s afraid that if you do make friends, your life will spin out of control and you won’t be able to handle it? 

Or that you’ll be expected to suddenly become a social butterfly, and that’s just not you?

Or that everything will seem great for a while, but it’ll turn out that you’ve misread the whole situation?

Tell me where I’m wrong. Maybe it’s not quite one of those thoughts, but some other fear around what might happen if you’re actually successful?

So maybe, is there a little, teeny tiny, eensey weensey bit of self sabotage going on? Sometimes?

I’ve done that, too. Plenty. So I won’t shame you, or push you, or suggest that you shouldn’t think like that. 

Aaand you can learn to set up healthy boundaries that ensure you never have to be more social than you genuinely want. More on that later.

Feeling a bit better?

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Heather Cook

Heather Cook

Hi, I’m Heather. I’m an autistic writer, advocate, and life coach, and I'm building a life I love. I help other autistics to build their own autism-positive life. I love reading, jigsaw puzzles, every science ending in -ology, and all things Star Trek!

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