I’m currently finishing my course and just got through an internship and professionally I’m heading in a good direction. Not where I really wanted to be but I’m confident I’m getting there. But socially and emotionally I’m lacking in many respects that were highlighted throughout my college experience.

I always had groups of friends I could rely on and I’ve never had any big difficulty meeting new people. So I formed many relationships throughout college, most of them shallow, and only one with a small group of people that I feel really connect with and understand me.

That said, one thing I always struggled with, and continue struggling with to this day, is the idea that when someone disrespects or mistreats me, it is not my fault. That makes no sense. As in, if someone does not treat me the way I expect them to, it is my fault, and my fault alone. Here’s something that I saw happening to myself and mostly everyone else at one time or another throughout college. Person A is interacting with person B in a happy, joyful interaction full of smiles and laughter and talking back and forth. Then person A leaves person B and goes sit down with her boyfriend/girlfriend/group of closer friends… and just shuts down and starts being extremely critical and cold. And I want to highlight this, to the point of actually sometimes being insultive and disrespectful.

I’ve seen this happen countless times, regardless of person’s A gender, person’s B gender, whether or not A is in a relationship, whatever. For my part, I can put up with this happening 3-4 times, then I outright confront the person and cut ties. This is the most self-respecting thing I can think of and I have no idea why someone else would put up with it. During college sometimes this would mean I’d have to sit by myself and be alone but I learned to deal with that.
That said, even after cutting the relationship off, I can’t stop blaming it on me. I can’t stop thinking “If only I was better-looking / more interesting / had better social skills / was funnier / whatever attribute, then this person would enjoy talking with me as much as she enjoys talking with this other person and the reason she mistreats me is because I’m fundamentally inferior”. And I guess one can look at this and think “Maybe person A has a crush or otherwise romantic feeling regarding person B”, but then my thinking pattern is still the same: if only I was somehow better, person A would have a crush on me too. Even if I have no romantic or sexual feelings towards A, this thinking pattern persists.
And it sends me on a downwird spiral where this comparision and general feeling of inferiority is amazingly prevalent. “Maybe the reason this person likes B more than me is because B has better grades” so I work myself into a nervous breakdown to get top-of-the-class grades. And although this may seem positive, the fact that A’s behavior doesn’t change and the person still appears more willing to interact with B than myself even after I start getting amazing grades just means to me that whatever is wrong with me is more fundamental and unchangeable.
How do I get over these feelings of rejection and inferiority every time someone appears to enjoy someone else’s company over mine and stop taking that this personally? Thank you a lot for reading/answering!!

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