Q. Why do I constantly feel the need for friendship and how can I stop? (via Quora)

A. I’m going to take some liberties here and assume you mean why do you feel the constant need to be surrounded by companionship. Believe it or not, this is a common response to trauma and one that’s really important to address.

We struggle to be alone when we’re dealing with deep-seated confidence issues and pain. Maybe something happened to you in the past that left you filled with fear. Surround yourself with friends becomes much like carrying a security blanket around; you feel covered up and protected by having them around you (but you prevent yourself from facing your trauma and healing).

The same goes for our insecurities. When we’re highly insecure or self-loathing, being on our own becomes painful. We have such a low opinion of self that we think we have to be surrounded by others in order to be “seen” or demonstrate our value. The problem here is that value is intrinsic. You decide your worth and you teach the world how to treat you.

If you want to get out of this compulsive need to be like and companion-ed, then you need to take steps to increase your self-esteem and resolve your trauma. That takes being brutally honest, though. Look inside, what is it that you hate about yourself? Why are you running from being alone with who you are? Get to the bottom of those answers, and you’ll get rid of your compulsive need for friendship.

I help you unlearn your pain. Author & NLPMP. My book “Relationship Renovator” is available now.

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