I said I’d post an update about how I handled feeling rejected by a friend and worrying that it might signal a fraying of the friendship. The friend, in this case, being H – who when given the option to set a time frame for how long we’d hang out in the entire month of October, a month when he had already stated he didn’t have much of anything going on, picked a couple of hours. That stung. I have issues with feeling like my personality is somehow flawed when it comes to social presentation, and that I must not be much to people’s liking.
I was talking it over with A, who has known him and been a close friend of his longer than I have. Should I message him making sure everything was okay and would he prefer I not ask about socializing? She was sympathetic to why I felt slighted, but advised me to just keep doing my thing – asking him if he wanted to hang out once a month or so – and just let him answer as he would.
Then we realized that the week I’d asked him about hanging out followed a weekend he’d spent with his family. A said his mother stresses him out so much he gets stress migraines while there. He had definitely seemed less talkative and more withdrawn that week in general, and I realized he might have simply been existing in a moment when he felt very low energy when asked about socializing and – even though said socializing would take place in the future – answered based on how he was feeling at that moment.
I’ve since been thinking about some things H has said – about school, certain classes, interactions with his family – and realizing he probably has some pretty high levels of anxiety and gets stressed easily the way I do. And as A also pointed out, unlike me, spending a lot of time alone at the moment, he works and is around people all day for most of the week. That probably limits his energy resources for socializing, too.
So there was a good chance his answer had nothing to do with me personally, at all. And he didn’t turn me down or say he didn’t want to hang out at all. He’s still active in our group chat, and will carry on conversation even if it’s just me that’s active at the moment and not A. So I can dial down the anxiety and paranoia.