Reply To: Friendships and RSD

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Hi Natalee,

You are definitely not alone, and RSD is really tough to deal with. I remember 20 odd years ago being told that anyone’s negative reaction to me is just a reflection of them, not me. If you have ADHD (you didn’t specify but as you are here, I’m assuming yes), it often makes you very sensitive and caring to others, which when not reciprocated hurts alot. At the age of 44 I am no better dealing with minor rejections that I was before, but understanding and being open helps. It is easier to compare your self with others, like your room mate) but avoid this. I have a close friend who does not have ADHD and has always been way more popular than me. I, riddled with ADHD, anxiety and RSD, tend to make it hard for others to like me – I accept that and tbh it is a great way of filtering people!

Many ‘friends’ are not really there for you and and can be very insensitive. Do not emotionally invest in those people. Don’t send them gifts and try to please them, it won’t bring you anything good. Find and form a small group of friends who understand you, value you, and make you feel good about yourself. If you are lucky you might make 3 or 4 of those in your life! Big tip: those close friends are probably the ones who bothered to reach out to you and touch base throughout the lockdown. The rest: treat them as the shallow, sometimes fun, but ultimately undependable acquaintances that they are.

And don’t worry about the presents – just means you don’t have to get them stuff on their birthdays!

All the best,