Unable to "connect" with others?

Is there anyone else out there who is seemingly unable to "connect" with others? Don't get me wrong. I get along with other people and I am fairly close with my family members, but I do not have strong or close relationships with friends at all. I am over 30 years old and the last time that I had a "real" friend was probably during my childhood. I have many acquaintances, but I just don't seem to really "click" with anyone in a way that "best friends" do. What could be the reason for this? Are any of you in a similar situation? I would sincerely appreciate your opinions and comments regarding this matter. Thanks in advance for responding!

Answer:
Wow, that sounds just like me. I am 40, I have kids and I connect with them but noone else. There is only one woman in my life that I would call a friend but I do not feel the connection she does. I have often wondered if I am guarded for some reason. Almost a fear of letting someone too "in". I have sat and looked back on my past to try and figure it out. My dad was kind of (and still is) really unavailable. I have always wondered if that is why I am like this. I wish I had a more definative answer for you but I don't.
In your life you want to feel safe. The farther you keep a potential relationship from you the safer you are. Some types of this behavior are almost autistic when you become totally unresponsive but I think you are trying to create safety and in relationships there are some risk. Your safety will prevent you from being hurt. Lonely or soap opera ups and downs. There will be conflicts but over time you develop history with your friend and a deeper commitment
I too am like that. I'd say there are those of us who don't need or as some "experts" would say we fear connecting with others. That said I'd also say IMO I for one don't need such closeness & I might add it has helped in numerous occassions. Some of us are wired IMO to be the what I call "distance keepers" in society. That means we can interact with others on a level where it's not necessary or desireable to be too close. As long as there isn't a medical reason for your behavior I'd say don't worry about it. Sure closeness to people can be good but it also leads to more pain & dissapointment. I now ride off into the sunset.
Is this a "trust" issue? Were there any incidences that you remember that could have led to this problem? This situation makes me think that at one time something must have happened that led you to not completely believe in yourself or in your relationships with those around you enough to put your all into the relationship. You were hurt or are afraid of being hurt for some reason. Did you lose someone you deeply cared about? You have to look inside yourself for your answer.
Ogres like Shrek aren't the only ones with layers. Onions and people have them too.

One possible reason for you not being able to connect with others could be your childhood. Some kids develop a layer that masks their personality and they use it as a guard against being too close to peers because they are insecure about their true selves. A way to get over this is to first form a regular relationships with other with just small talk, and once you build up trust and respect and get to know that person, start to reveal what you are really like and let down your guard.

Another thing to blame is what the business world is like today. People at work rarely get to truely befriend their coworkers. Everyone you know at work could just be acquaintances. People rarely get the chance to talk about themselves and be personal. Everyone is too scared to behave the way they would without restraints, so they develop a routine or set of automated responses when meeting new people in the hopes of getting a good first impression that makes them seem calm, laid back, and the person they wish they were. If you want to connect with someone, try to start getting closer to a few people, and get them to let down their guard.

Look into your past and try to fix all the mistakes and nuances about yourself that you didn't like. Instead of adding these personality fixes to an outer, impersonal shield, truely change your inner self and you'll be very happy with the results. Your acquantances will follow suit if you go first and are comfortable enough to let your guard down.
You are not alone in this. To connect emotionally with someone means to open up - and this creates vulnerability. You have to feel that the person is your "soul mate" (not necessarily understood as in romantic relationship). You have to be on the same wave, and it's rare. Most relationships in everyday life are rather superficial. I don't even like the term "best friends" because it sounds phony to me. The person I connected with in recent years is my younger brother whom I didn't like when we were kids. I discovered that we are very much alike and he is my ally when I have problems. I support him when he needs it as well.The real connection comes from understanding each other, especially when one goes through a difficult time. Like you, I am very sociable and generally get along very well with people.

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