How to Strengthen Your Relationship/Not sure what to do...
QUESTION: Hi Sharon,
I am 43 year old woman. I met a man over a year ago and we started dating at that time. Things seemed to be moving very quickly as he had even introduced me to his family and mother as he girlfriend. After 2 1/2 months, he disappeared....But then resurfaced a few months later.
I asked him why he disappeared and he said he didn't want to tell me. I continued to press for the answer and he finally told me that it seemed like I was beginning to become a little perturbed with him...and that he thought I was going to dump him. (Yeah right) haha!
Since that time, I've continued to date others and would date him also from time to time. (He also knew I was dating others) He told me that he was in no position to be in a relationship with anyone right now because he feels it wouldn't be fair to the woman since he has so much debt and he's not where he would like to be financially in life.
Even though he has told me this (and I believed him), he still asked me if I would like to get a place with him and live together! I turned him down.
The problem I have with him is his inconsistency...and the fact that he disappeared the first time doesn't help either.
He still keeps in touch from time to time. Now he's asking for dates from me again.
Is there a way to turn this around? Should I even bother with this man?
I think you need to forget this one. At worst he has another woman and is going back and forth between you. At best, he runs from problems and doesn't have the ability to have a true partnership where you work together to solve problems. Then to admit his debt and still ask you to move in with him doesn't make sense, unless he is looking for help.
I think you need to move on.
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QUESTION: Thanks for the advice. I'm hoping that you can help me with another separate issue.
I would like to bring more people(supportive people) into my life. I'm having a hard time relating to people. I think I'm experiencing some form of social anxiety.
Seems like I don't want anyone to bother me, but at the same time I really have a strong desire to have more friends and people in my life.
Is it normal to feel this way? And what can I do to live a happier life?
ANSWER: Hello Gloria,
There is a trait called Forward Ego Balance. It sounds like you have that trait. It makes you feel self-conscious and like you are on display and people are looking at you and noticing how you look, if you perform well, etc. You also sound like you have the trait of Selective where it takes awhile to warm up to people on a friend basis. With this trait you give off an aura of aloofness where people are not sure if you will like them or not.
The key is to realize that many people feel like you do and are waiting and hoping someone will notice them and be friendly to them and accept them. When you can take the focus off you and on to others then you will make friends. Be interested in others. Ask them how they are doing. Ask them what is important to them. Ask meaningful questions, not just the usual questions, and then listen to them intently. Be interested in who they are and what they want out of life. People like to talk about themselves if someone is truly interested.
Also, another key to getting to know people is to ask for help or advice. People need to be needed more than they need to be loved. It makes people feel good if they can help you with something. Then, that breaks the ice and you can take the conversation farther. So, yes, because of your traits it is normal to be that way but you can bridge your trait differences by extending yourself to others.
Also, getting involved in volunteer work is a great way to put balance in your life and meet great people who care about others--thus you are more inclined to make friends with great people.
All of our traits have both the positive side and the challenging side and so your gifts are your challenges and your challenges are your gifts. You are experiencing the down side of a few traits that give you some anxiety. Try the things suggested and see if you end up having more friends in your life.
I wish you the best.
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QUESTION: Hi Sharon,
You've described me accurately.
Even though I understand the concept on extending myself to others, I often times don't FEEL like doing so...and I'm beginning to wonder why.
For some reason, I feel like I would be wasting my time trying to engage people and to actually be interested in them and what they're doing. Almost like I don't have it in me to sit and listen to everyone's sob story like I used to when I was younger. It actually makes me feel anxious as I can feel the tension in my body increase as I'm listening to the other person. Does this make me a bad person? And are these feelings connected to fear of some kind?
At this point, I'm afraid I'm going to be the little old (and bitter) lady with no social outlet. What can I do to change this downward mental spiral?
Feelings can be good and they also can lead you astray. A mother often doesn't feel like getting up with her crying baby or a man might not feel like going to work and would just like to loaf around. The mother does it because she loves her baby and the man does it to get te reward of a paycheck. We have all sorts of feelings--some good and some that hold us back. God made you higher than the animals. You do not have to live like you are programmed you are made to use your agency and create the life you want. You are not helpless to your feelings. There is nothing wrong with us just because we do or do not feel like doing something. It is part of our nature to have strengths and weaknesses--everyone has them. The difference between someone happy and someone unhappy is that the happy person chooses to create a good life where they experience joy. You are not helpless to your feelings and you can choose either to create friendships or not, as you wish.
As to not wanting to listen to sob stories--there are plenty of positive people out there who have plenty to give in a friendship, as well as being able to confide in their problems, as well. If you are positive and caring you will attract positive and caring people. If you do not want to care and give to others, and continue with a bad attitude then you probably won't have a great social life. The choice is yours.
When you talk yourself into thinking you are helpless or confused or have tension in your body then that is what you will experience. The mind can control those things. How we think manifests in feelings. The key is to fill your mind with great books that help you change your attitude and thinking. The battle for a good life begins in your mind. If you want to avoid taking responsibility for your own life then you will be looking for all kinds of excuses to avoid stepping out of your comfort zone. Whenever you change your life there is a certain amount of discomfort that cannot be avoided. With determination and a good attitude you can create the life you want but if you wait until it is easy, it will never happen. Then you first start to work out you experience pain, but pretty soon you get used to it and it is fun. The same principle applies. If you want something bad enough you must step out of your comfort zone and change your thinking and your actions until it becomes natural and comfortable.
I do hope this helps.