Friendships Can Be Complicated as an Introvert With Myasthenia Gravis

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by Jodi Enders |

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Like myasthenia gravis, being an introvert is a constant battle. I have been a wallflower for as long as I can remember. I never preferred group settings, particularly ones where I had to interact without my parents.

As a child, it was easy to recognize that I was socially distinct. I would see everyone else on the playgrounds with a group of friends, but it seemed impossible for me to make one. I didn’t know I had anxiety and was an introvert, and I continuously felt rejected. Though, looking back, I did always have a few good companions.

There is no denying that I have always valued and compared myself with others based on the number of people who want to hang out with me, or other meaningless things, such as if somebody texts me first, starts the conversation, takes the initiative to make plans, or posts pictures with me. Even after I stopped defining my value by how many friends I have, I found that this doesn’t stop the emotions that come with being an introvert.

If you are timid like me, you may feel that all of your buddies are sociable. It’s likely true that most are! As introverts, we’re less likely to start a conversation. Therefore, our best chance of establishing connections is often an extrovert chatting with us. Unfortunately, this could lead to feelings of loneliness, even with many loved ones in our lives.

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Social media doesn’t make life as a shy or anxious individual any less of a hassle. Healthy friendships may be emotionally draining for an introvert if the other person is busier. Social networks further complicate the dynamics of the relationship, and can spark or emphasize feelings of comparison, jealousy, and self-judgment.

We can now be aware of what our pals are up to without actually being with them. Yet, at the same time, there is no clear boundary between social media and reality. Resentment may develop, regardless of whether the picture our best friend posts when they’d told us they were busy was taken that day or a year ago.

MG may further complicate friendships because it can limit our physical abilities without warning. Thus, those of us with the condition may either plan extensively or avoid doing things with others.

We may be jealous that our best buddy who lives out of state hangs out with others more than they talk on the phone with us. One option is visiting them, but travel can be risky with MG. Various treatments and health issues may make activities involving alcohol uncomfortable if we cannot drink along. Enjoying physical activities with others can simultaneously be a test with MG.

MG, being an introvert, and social media can all make relationships more complicated. But when we feel pessimistic about our friendships, it’s important to recognize whether our friends have intentionally done anything wrong.

Our friends are not responsible for our emptiness, nor should we rely on others to satisfy every aspect of our lives. Animals, places, and things can all bring joy in diverse ways in case one falls through.

As long as we’re struggling with friendships, it’s important to work through our emotions. We can’t take it personally if our friends are busy or have other people in their lives. We’re more than likely just creating unrealistic conclusions in our heads. Even outgoing individuals feel excluded at some point, though this may look different for everyone. We cannot base our worth on who wants to spend time with us.

Telling our companions how we feel can help resolve uncertainty about the relationship. If they are supportive and understanding, there is no reason to be intimidated about repeating what we need for the relationship to succeed.

Still, telling them they made us sad if they haven’t necessarily done anything wrong may not be the best way to go about it. It may be inconvenient for our friends to be social butterflies, but it isn’t the end of the world! We can’t change our friends to align with our lifestyle and MG’s limitations. Nevertheless, reconsidering the relationship dynamic to avoid mixed communication and ensure each person is fulfilled can offer a fresh beginning.

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Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Comments

Ari Maayan avatar

Ari Maayan

Thanks for your article Jodi. I can relate to everything that you wrote. I have essentially been a recluse for about 10 years because I couldn’t find a way of relating to people that as comfortable for me and them simultaneously. Then when I was hit with MG 5 years ago it became worse. Now my MG is progressing and my ability to get out and do things with people that I would like to have in my life is further circumscribed. I admit that I don’t know how to cope.

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