Social Avoidant?

I hate any situation where I am stuck talking to people. If a party is mentioned my automatic mental response is "how can I get out of it". If I can't avoid the situation I will dread it and not be able to think of anything else. I have family and I enjoy going places. That said, I really have no friends. I feel like something is wrong with me because I really just want to be alone. I love my hobbies but they are all things I can do alone. I feel I am missing something by not having close friendships but at the same time I don't want the hassle. I have nothing to offer in conversation and most people will find me useless and boring. Any friend I have ever had has been outgoing to the point where I never have to talk or put forth any effort at all. The "short title" above was obtained from Google. it may be right or wrong, I have no idea.


Ben's reply:

You could call this "social-avoidant" or social phobia, or probably put other labels on it. It doesn't matter so much what name you give it. The question is, in your heart of hearts, do you want authentic, true relationships? If having friends wasn't a hassle, and if you didn't believe that you were useless and boring, would you want to have close relationships?
If it is based on fear and low self-esteem, then I would strongly encourage you to face these inner barriers and learn to overcome them. It can definitely be done. Even if you are a true introvert and a "loner" it doesn't disqualify you from having friends - you may just be happiest with one or two deep friendships and not feel the need for a big social circle. Some people seem to be surrounded by friends all the time, and yet secretly feel very disconnected, superficial and insecure. Some extroverts are terrified of being alone even for a short time. I believe that any fear can be overcome. And I believe that love and connection are essential and natural to being fully alive. Through relationships we gain the most wisdom, knowledge and personal growth. It's worth it.

The issue is not how to make yourself interesting. The issue is how to be yourself. Genuineness and authenticity are NEVER boring. It's not about what you know, or what you do, it's about who you are, and how present you are. How well you listen. How open is your heart and your mind. It's not about the ego. It takes vulnerability, honesty and sincerity to be a good friend. If you don't risk getting hurt, there is no gain.

Best Wishes,
Ben Schwarcz


Comments for Social Avoidant?

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Aug 09, 2014
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REPLY
by: Anonymous

Thanks to both of you for your advice. I do spend time wondering how to make myself more interesting and then give up and google "what the heck is wrong with me". I have a party tonight where I was going to go late, spend an hour smiling and then sneak out early. I might look for an actual opportunity to talk to someone.

Aug 08, 2014
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Self Worth
by: Ben

Well said!

Aug 08, 2014
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Great advice from Ben!!
by: Anonymous

Ben hit the nail on the head. Your perception of yourself as boring and useless indicates a low sense of self worth. Authenticity is never boring. Being afraid to be yourself for fear of rejection can cause people to withdraw and act in a way that may seem boring to others but the deep complexity that makes up any person is never boring. Nobody is useless. I would suggest rather then researching what is wrong with you, research ways to increase and improve self esteem and sense of self worth.

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