I don't know why but with years I create more distance in my relationships. I have suffered from this situation a lot and that's why I am here for some advice.

For example, I have a problem accepting gifts or receiving help from friends, family members. It's like a torture when a friend invites me a beer or giving a birthday present or even drive me to home with the car. I don't have a problem giving but receiving. Actually, I give much more than I receive. Sometimes I think that if I would save all money that I spend on beers that I invited I could buy a new car but I don't care too much if I am not considered someone to take advantage from.

Some old friends complain about why I don't have contact with them for years. It has been years since the last time I saw a family member. That doesn't mean I don't love them, simply I don't find the necessity.

Sometimes I go to bars in the night to drink alone. I see people try to have a conversation with me but at the end, they give up thinking that I am a weirdo. I am not an asocial person. If I am in the mood I can talk to anyone about anything, especially with strangers while maintaining the distance which is easier than with people.

I don't want to be a witness of people's feelings, especially when they cry. I hate people when they cry.

I don't want to be this kind of person that I described above. I want to enjoy a conversation without thinking the next move, smile to my GF without thinking what an unreal situation I am in, be able to accept gifts from friends without thinking the responsibility of returns, etc.

What should I do to overcome this person? Any advice would be appreciated.

  • 1
    What.. you mean this isn't the normal progression everyone goes though as we gradually become older, more cynical, hollowed out by the selflessness necessary to raise children/fade into the background of being "John's dad" rather than an adult identity in our own right, realise that everyone else (other than our partner/children) is a plonker that we can't be bothered with, and we take up gardening because plants are more agreeable company? :)
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 21:59
  • Can you disclose your age range here? It might be an important clue to what's to suggest to you.
    – Vylix
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 22:48
  • 2
    And where you come from? It will be important to know your background culture. Until you provide details, I'm afraid we must put your question on-hold, so we can give the best answer to your situation.
    – Vylix
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 22:51
  • Do you feel worried about contacting old friends, or do you simply feel like there is no point in talking to them, and if so, why? A lot of the "symptoms" you describe are similar to my experiences with social anxiety + depression (but of course there are other possibilities). Since we can only do so much on this site, you might consider seeing a professional who could help pin down some causes.
    – Em C
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 12:58

3 Answers 3


It sounds as if you're very concerned about your feelings, and not concerned about those of the people around you.

  • You are more concerned with the obligation you incur when someone gives you a gift rather than the pleasure they will get when you thank them for it.
  • You don't find it necessary to contact others except when you want. In other words, you want them to be there for you but you don't want to be there for them.
  • You don't think of strangers as people.
  • You "hate people" when they cry. (Interestingly, you didn't say you hate it when people cry, or that people crying makes you feel uncomfortable.)

Frankly, that's being self-centered and selfish. Wikihow has an article on How to Stop Being Selfish which you might want to look at. Among the key headings:

  • Put yourself in someone else's shoes
  • Remember that you're not more important than anyone else
  • Enjoy giving the spotlight to others
  • Do favors for your friends just because
  • Show an interest in people
  • Volunteer your time
  • Give up the control

I'm a big fan of volunteering. It gives you a role where you know the end result is to help someone else without any benefit to yourself. You may also meet people while volunteering - but don't volunteer just to meet people! You want to work on focusing on other people rather than focusing on you.


This reminds me so much of me when I was younger (I'm over 50 now). My short answer is that it might help to be reassured that there are reasons for all of this (human emotions are quite scientific and rational, strangely), although it can sometimes take a lot of work to find them.

More to the issue, it might be important to be aware that we all have weaknesses and are not perfect. What I hear is you judging yourself for not being successful at relations with others, but I've been helped a lot by realising over the years that no one is perfect.

I realise this doesn't address your question directly, but I think there is no way to do things like that "right". We all struggle with these things, and we all wish it wasn't so darn hard to do things right.

In my opinion, the next-to-most important thing is that you have to like yourself. Keep your good points in mind: principled, well-intentioned, capable, willing, can learn, etc.

The bottom line, imho, is that we are alone, together with billions of other alone people. (Many make claims about knowing god, and life-after-death, but if they really believed it, they would not be so hurt when loved ones die.) We can't know what life is, but we have some freedom to "be the candle" before the wind blows us out. You are a miracle - an emotional, biological, living being. Please don't waste time being too critical of yourself and others. No one can avoid making mistake after mistake, but we have the ability to accept that making mistakes is normal.

The secret to happiness is compassion, I think, for yourself and everyone. :)


I don't know how much I can help, because I feel I'm in similar circumstances. People don't spend time to get to know me as I'm quite reserved and unsociable. The people who do, I sometimes feel, use me a bit but I am scared to seek new connections and feel too far from being able to regain the old ones. It's not that I don't want to spend time with people, I just find myself rather uncomfortable in those situations. But I would suggest to you to push yourself a little more and meet with people at events, family or otherwise.

It doesn't have to be often at first but gradually you should feel less out of place. I'm starting to go to friends' house parties more often. And I have found that even if you or I were to sit quietly in the corner you would probably find that others who empathise with you and your reclusive nature would freely come sit and talk with you.

It happens with me a lot. I avoid big groups in new places. And, often through sitting on my own at social events, I become more approachable to those also intimidated by crowds. I generally form stronger friendships through this than I would by staying at home or otherwise throwing myself into crowd (some of the most sociable people I know are also the loneliest). You just need to get the right balance is all, the point where you feel most happy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.