I’ve had some issues with friendships over the past few years which resulted in deep anxiety. There seems to be a running theme because the other person has a huge problem with me ‘not seeing things from their point of view’ or simply, agreeing with them. I tend to always accept responsibility and apologize, even when I don’t truly believe it was totally my fault, the other person never apologies and never accepts responsibility for their own actions. It is always deemed as being my fault. I am always deeply upset by this, makes me feel very ill and the anxiety gets a lot worse to the point where I can be in a complete fog. I simply don’t do confrontation. I’ve tried it in the past and it always results in me backing down, apologizing and the other person not doing the same. When I have stood my ground recently, the other person has completely ghosted me, and told other people many lies about me. I am also discarded when I’m no longer useful to a friendship (EG another mum totally ghosted me after her kid stopped doing the same club as mine as she no longer needed my taxi services, even though we would regularly have coffee and spoke on the phone several times a week). I always seem to bend over backwards for others, and the one time I don’t I got completely hacked to pieces by the other person, who went around town telling others about the situation.

After some time has passed, I then look back on the friendship and can see potential red flags and the issues that were there. Then I wonder why I didn’t keep the person at arms length, to protect myself and my family. So perhaps have the person as more of an acquaintance. But regardless I am loving Brooke’s truth that everything that has happened was supposed to happen, and you know it was supposed to happen because it happened. So then I think that these situations were supposed to happen, to perhaps warn me? Strengthen me? I’m not sure yet.

I have recently met with a new person (another mom at my kid’s school) and whilst she was pleasant, there were red flags popping up all over the place as she kept making unkind comments. My intuition is to walk away from this potential friendship before I get burned yet again.

So my model is:

C: I have no close friendships
T: It’s too much hassle getting close to people as a lot of them end up causing trouble/leaving me and I end up alone
F: Disappointed
A: Don’t bother with friendships
R: Have no friends

Intellectually I know that my thought is negative and that I seem to enter a potential new friendship situation almost looking for issues, but in the past I have always been very trusting and kind, but end up being treated badly. Then I’m stuck thinking I have a manual for potential new friends which isn’t good. Then I wonder if I should have boundaries in place before entering a new friendship. But I do realise I’m not in danger so it seems fruitless. If I change my thought to something positive, I don’t believe it. So if I put a more neutral thought in it’s place I see that might work but I don’t truly believe that either, as my experience has taught me otherwise.

Can you help please? What work do I need to do? This is exhausting me as I’ve been working on this for over 6 months and am going round in circles.