People need social contact. Even if conversation is hard or unpleasant for you because you’re asocial, or suffer from social anxiety, or have a personality disorder (me, me, and me), etc., you still probably have the drive to make friends, although it might be buried. So compromise: for those days when you need to stay in, get acquainted with a fictional character. It’s okay to substitute fantasy contact with the real thing sometimes, as long as it’s only sometimes, and you’re careful not to fall too deeply into your daydreams. (If you find that all you’re doing is dream and it’s keeping you from knowing real people, this strategy isn’t the best one for you.) Imagining yourself talking to someone who doesn’t exist when you’re lonely doesn’t make you delusional. In fact, it makes you similar to a lot of other people.
4 thoughts on “Mental Health Tip of the Day: Make Fictional Friends (Carefully)”
I didn’t know I was doing what you advise here, but, when I was younger, I developed a love for film, books of fiction, comics, and science. I was socially awkward (at best), and I got no negative feedback about myself from these media forms.
While I am functional as a human being, I am still, some 55 years later, finding it difficult to move one day to the next without conflict between myself and the reality of living (I am NOT suicidal in any way, but many people who suffer as you and I do are quite so).
I discovered many years ago that sharing my difficulties with other people actually helped me to understand I am NOT alone in the things I suffer from, so sharing can be it’s own reward.
Good on you for this blog!
That’s exactly the thing! Comic book characters can’t be condescending toward you and the people on TV can’t insult you or be passive aggressive. They can’t fail you, and so in some ways they’re better friends than real friends. Sharing these struggles is definitely therapeutic in its own way.
By the way, is there any significance in the the letter “I” being the stitches that close the hand’s mouth in your primary art? Very sublime, if so.
That’s unintentional but very meaningful and I like it. Thanks for the observation.