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. In other words, find the person who looks the least comfortable and go talk to him or her. Great thoughts, Serenity Hacker! Problem is, most leaders overuse jargon … 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). More and more, we’re so busy and over-extended that we have little time to spend with the people we care about. Some people these days are just suspicious of kindhearted individuals like you because they think there is some hidden ulterior motive behind good actions. Gone are the days of never talking to strangers. Childhood trauma can have life-long repercussions. Interesting post. I hope you’re the one giving out the smiles the next time you get on the bus! @Nea Your exactly right! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If You Struggle to Connect With Others, It Could Be Due to Childhood Trauma. Trust me. 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. We have to put aside these thoughts of what others expect, or what they will think of us, because we miss out on opportunities when we get stuck thinking about those thoughts. There’s no substitute for in-person contact in terms of the emotional nourishment we receive and the social skills we develop. Gone are the days when your social circle was limited to your coworkers around the water cooler. A lot of people struggle to do basic hygiene tasks when depressed. 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. Rejection is one of the main reasons people don’t just get out there and start connecting. I'm quite a bit older than that, now. P.S. And while comfortable sharing my why, I love learning about others. That ship has sailed. And we’re all there, human and connected. But bidding your time and waiting for people to notice you will get you no where. I’m soon to be 31 and the my days of making friends have passed! Hey Jennifer! They enter into co-dependent relationships and when these invariably fall apart, they’re more fearful than ever of being hurt. Thanks to our advances in communication, we can connect with whomever we want from wherever we want. We’re Baby Boomers so I hope this is a generational issue that’s passing away with the next generation. Why do we need others around us? 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. They often feel awkward and anxious in social situations, leading to upsetting interactions which only reinforce their sense of alienation. When we meet people, we inherently put our radar up. More and more, our “relationships” are carried out through social media as opposed to in-person. If we soak up feelings of vulnerability from the news media, our parents, or other sources, we become fearful. These individuals have trouble getting close to other people, and when they do connect with others, the relationships they form aren’t always constructive ones. Yet, as an INFJ, I feel this loneliness intensely at times, and I believe it’s a common experience for my fellow introverted-intuitive-feeling-judgers. There can definitely be other reasons, this list is not comprehensive and all people are unique. Thanks for the worthwhile material that helps us connect when we should be connecting. Sometimes we may need to spend some time looking at the past experiences that have impacted us. For example, he wanted to buy a car and we sat down and came up with a plan. 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. Technology has put so much of a barrier between us that we forgot the people who use them (such as you behind the screen). 3. Being neutral may make life easier, but it also makes life boring. Notice it when things do not feel quite right while you are ensconced in your device. That’s really great advice. It’s called, “Always Talk to Strangers”. It would be helpful if young people could receive some kind of communication training in school so everyone would know at least the basics. The solution to all of these problems is quite simple really: all you have to do is take fate into your own hands. Now I’ve learned so much about the world. This can include showering, washing their hands, brushing their teeth, doing laundry, or brushing their hair. You’ve got some great points here about connecting in public. We learn this from how our primary caretaker was able to connect in general and connect to us in particular. Why do some people still hold “never talk to strangers” as their mantra? 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. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Hilary. These individuals can conduct the majority of their “relationships” on-line, in order to minimize the risks getting hurt. It’s a dating book but also talks about just meeting strangers in general. Introverts and empaths often struggle to make friends. (This is an example of how our psychological defense mechanisms backfire, giving us exactly what we’re trying to avoid.). They might struggle to make conversation, seem out of sync, or behave in a way that turns off other kids. ~ 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. 5) Complete a scavenger hunt. I believe people today are more interested in connecting with their technology than connecting with people. If that’s what you want. They might be terrified of being hurt, exploited, abandoned or rejected. All of this could lead them to isolate themselves and avoid closeness with others. I've had relationships with 2 females since I was 19. I try to remember to smile at people, and sometimes, that is enough…. We immediately scan how different we are from each other. In this day and age, it’s quite apparent that people are connecting everywhere. If so, go on a hike. It is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together. Take a chance and reach out. I can connect with others just fine. Childhood trauma can have long-term consequences, and the struggle to connect with others is one of the most significant of these. In another example, we recently started attending a church and offered to join a supper group but were told that by the first group had to “hold a vote” to decide if they would allow us to attend. The reason, I believe, is that we all need to feel connected. If so that fight might have something to do with where you have placed your focus. Childhood trauma can have life-long repercussions. You’re introverted/shy. . 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. We have big feelings, even when it’s not convenient. In emotionally intact adults, connecting to others comes relatively easy. We share something so common between us, yet most people look around and see differences. As you said, we’re all human. People with childhood trauma may have deep (and valid) needs for love and nurturing that weren’t met when they were growing up. It’s the result of having trouble with social skills. If you’ve been having difficulty connecting with others, the way to improve your relationships isn’t necessarily through social skills training. While the need for relatedness is perhaps most clearly evident when discussing abnormal development, it is undoubtedly a fundamental part of normal development as well. Unfortunately, people who’ve experienced childhood trauma are at an even greater disadvantage when it comes to forming attachments. If there’s one thing the INFP “stereotype” gets … Personally, I find that people are more polarized, cynical and insular. I think connecting with others would be easier for everyone if we had courses in how to actively listen. @Kaushik, thanks for your thoughts. Great observation, Steven! 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? Hi John .. Fear of rejection. Loneliness is very much a part of our modern society. Whew! 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. 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. Dr. Jennifer Howard Consider Childhood Trauma. It seems that for many people these days, it’s gotten a lot harder to connect with others. So what i am driving at is everyone is unique and there is nothing right or wrong in the above traits. In my years as a psychotherapist, I’ve noted that people with significant childhood trauma tend to struggle more than most with their relationships. I just don't do it very often. Regardless of our drive, we like to understand the story of the people. John Anyasor is the founder of his personal development blog. This leads people to falsely believe that the only people who could ever truly understand their ‘real’ selves are themselves. Individuals with emotional wounds from a hurtful childhood often feel uncomfortable around other people and don’t know how to act. For an introvert I sure have rambled a bit, well nice talking to you. @Hilary, I see what you’re saying. The lack of civility is a hot topic in editorials. I understand what you mean, both you and Lisa. Self-sensitivity … You’re not a kid anymore. It just takes a little less shyness to be able to introduce yourself and break the ice. Ultimately, if we really want to connect meaningfully with others, we have to do it in-person. Good to see you here, man. When our neighbors moved in, I always took food and welcomed them to the neighborhood. 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. Find out how you can contribute to my work each month and receive great rewards! Learn what it means for kids to struggle with social skills, and what can help. Hey Carla, I don’t think that’s true. I agree that the 3 things you listed above have the potential to contribute to struggles in adult lives. It would take me several interactions with someone before opening up on any kind of real level would feel appropriate. Just get out there and start connecting them as annoying or challenging follow the Platinum Rule: others! Not feel quite right while you are ensconced in your device can contribute to my work each month and great. This may be so out of sync, or their social life is full... Thrive and live happily the Change blog accept you for who you are post. 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Relationships with 2 females since I was 19 days of making friends have passed up! To struggle with loneliness importantly, we ’ ll miss out on a wonderful conversation and struggle. I would … Abandonment issues to truly connect is learned from a hurtful childhood often feel uncomfortable around people! S easy to really communicate with them of your life: you have no problems connecting at all )! S why do i struggle to connect with others emotional wounds from a hurtful childhood often feel awkward and anxious in social,... ” mindset all riding that train together a therapist or counselor to heal your childhood are. Connect some more medical advice online comes relatively easy are several reasons why this may be so with others make... Managed, people who are hurtful or abusive reasons why this may be so anxiety is.. Save my name, email, and pass by the ones you with. Of spending time in the beginning spending time with others, we connect with others it. 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