And your best intentions may not be enough

Are there people in your life you ought to be able to get along with . . . but it just doesn’t work? Maybe friends of friends. You should be able to get along with friends of friends, right? And yet, there’s something missing. You’re too similar, maybe, so you rub each other the wrong way. Or it could be family members, people you’ve known forever. You should be able to get along with them, right? But maybe you’re too different. Maybe it seems like you’re too different, but you’re really too similar after all. Whatever it is, being around these people turns you into the worst version of yourself. And you don’t even know why.

It’s stuff like that that makes you forget all of your normal, healthy relationships, forget that relationships are a two-way street, and think, “Is it me? Is something wrong with me? Am I that difficult to get along with? Do I suck as bad as they say? If it’s not true, why am I the center of this kind of thing?” Your friends say it’s not you, but you notice they don’t have trouble getting along with people like you do. You wonder why your most innocent actions are interpreted as malicious. You wonder what is wrong with your social skills that makes this kind of thing happen.

And so it weighs on you as you try to figure out what to do to fix things, or if the relationship is even fixable. If there’s anything you can do. Or if it’s already too late.

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