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Human beings are, in many ways, meant to be social. Yes, many of us love our alone time. But we are a social species, and as such, our relationships often define for us who we are and where our life is. There is a reason that we, as a species, live longer and maintain our cognitive health when we have strong social connections.

But what if these social connections are not what we were seeking?

Sometimes, the social connections we create and develop are a reflection of how we feel internally and what we project onto the world. People that are drawn to us are sometimes drawn to us because of how we feel about ourselves, and people that we push away may be pushed away because our internal thoughts and emotions are telling them a story that they do not want to hear.

It’s Hard to Hide How We Feel

There are many situations where an emotion that we’re feeling or an issue we’re struggling with comes out, no matter how much we try to hide it. It doesn’t just come out in obvious ways, either. For example, if you find you’re struggling with anger, that doesn’t mean that your anger only comes out as shouting or yelling. In some ways, it can come out as a feeling people get when they’re around you, with subtle clues that they pick up on.

This can create situations where you’re pushing people away that may otherwise fill an important role in your life. For example, people that feel needy, or uncomfortable with others, or unhappy with themselves may present that to others in both apparent and subtle ways. They may be sharing that information with mannerisms or language choice or expressions that others pick up on and respond to accordingly.

If that happens:

  • The people that you desire a friendship with, and the ones that would be a good influence in your life, may find that they’re being unintentionally pushed away by these negative emotions and challenges. They may not feel like they can connect with you the way that you would normally be able to connect with them.
  • The people that you *do* attract may not be those that would be a good influence on your life. If you’re struggling with low self-esteem, for example, a person that you attract as a result may be someone that could take advantage of that – someone that finds low self-esteem to be an attractive personality trait.

You often hear friends and family recommend that you learn to love yourself before you focus on loving others. There may be some truth to that, as we want to make sure that the best possible emotions and personality traits are being reflected in the world.

This is not to say that you are only going to attract unwelcome people if you’re struggling, or that you are going to always push away those that may benefit your life simply because you have mental health challenges. But it is still likely to be beneficial to continue to work on your health, so that you can reflect the best possible version of yourself to others. If you would like help for your mental health, please contact Flourish Psychology, today.