A hard topic to talk about is struggling with friendships. And it can be hard to admit when we don’t have any close friends. In fact, it feels really terrible to even think about it.
But for some introverts, this can be a common experience. Because it’s hard to talk about- which means we feel like we are the only person to go through this, I decided to share my story of how I was dumped by my best friend.
To put a bit of context to the story, making and keeping friends had historically been quite hard for me. This was especially true during my high school years. I found high school quite hard with all the commotion, energy, noise, and knowing I didn’t really fit in. I struggled so much to have any kind of conversation in the hallways, and during lunch I was completely drained that I had nothing to offer in regards to contributing to any conversation.
I was a teen in the mid 80’s so there was really no information about introversion. So like most introverts, I walked around feeling really bad about who I was. Because of this, I tended to make friends with people who didn’t treat me that well, or who had a crush on my older brothers.
But this all changed in Grade 11 when I met Dana. We became instant best friends. I always seemed to have energy when I was around her. I’m not really a silly person but she was able to pull this out of me. It felt so great to be connected like this.
At the time, I had two other friends and so did Dana. This evolved into being a friend group of 6. It wasn’t long before things started to fall apart. One of Dana’s friends didn’t like me, and the feeling was mutual.
So over the course of a few months, Dana’s friends kicked out my friends, and then I was the last to go. I was heartbroken.
I walked through the halls on my own.
I ate lunch on my own.
I sat with no one in particular in my classes.
I felt completely invisible.
By this point I was in grade 12, my last year of high school. I was now friendless. It’s hard being friendless, but I think especially hard in high school. I saw everyone else hanging out with friends which amplified just how alone I was. This was a pretty low point in my life. In the headspace I was in, I had no energy to try to form friendships and couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to be friends with me.
For awhile, I needed to withdraw, I needed to feel the pain, needed to process it all. At some point, I decided that this experience didn’t define who I was. One lesson I learned is that how others treat us is a reflection of them, not us.
I’m happy to share that I now have a few great supportive friends, and a close relationship with my partner and sisters. I share this to let you know that it is really possible for Introverted people to have good friendships regardless of past history.
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Tracy, a fellow introvert and therapist, helps introverted people manage anxiety, find success in the workplace, and build better relationships.