I don't think anyone can tell another guy how he should handle this kind of situation. I can just say how I have coped.
What helps me is to figure that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't, that's no reflection on me. And I know sometimes I have read disaster and rejection into a situation when in fact it wasn't as bad as I thought. Those old tapes playing in my head could really do a number on me.
But still, it's a risk, I know. I just tell myself I'd rather get hurt occasionally and have a few close friends, rather than remain unscathed but isolated. I did the isolation bit all through high school, and I don't think I was ever so unhappy as I was then.
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me. (Woody Guthrie)