I have noticed something about people.
A. Everyone has been hurt
B. Most people expect to be hurt again
When dealing with animals you learn how to read the situation via body language and facial expression; So, people like me who have become adapt to this because of several years of animal training have an automatic sensor that goes off when the body language of another person is negative. You see them acting a little wary and they shift around, or stand a little too firm. Either way, a bell goes off and your mind says, “Careful! She might bite.” Fear and the feeling of being cornered are what cause most animal bites. Slowing your heart rate and reaching out a very gentle, somewhat indirect hand can help calm the nervous animal. Let them come to you, be gentle.
Now you really, really should not place a calming hand on the person’s forehead, or offer the person a treat to settle them down; (trust me. It won’t go well.) But a gentle compliment and a smile can help soothe the standoff-ish animal. I mean person. People expect you want something from them, or you are up to something, because being suspicious keeps you safe; it also keeps you lonely.
Lots of people are like this. It is not a criticism, I am sure I act this way myself.
Jesus talks a lot about community. To have community you have to be willing to not be afraid and to instead be bold. Be bold enough to share a smile, bold enough to compliment a hair cut, maybe bold enough to hold a conversation. Ask Jesus to help you to not be afraid and to not allow your scars to hold you back.
Don’t worry. Some people will hurt you, that’s a given, and that is on them, not you; but some will be kind and you may make a new friend.
Try to smile more and shy away less. If not for your own sake, do it for the sake of the other people who feel exactly the same way as you do.