No desire to talk or for friendships, but why? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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No desire to talk or for friendships, but why?


Hello everyone, new member here : ) I’d like to introduce myself & get some things off my chest, so this will be like a story. I know this might be a bit long, but would like to hear your thoughts on this. I mostly have social issues. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy : P

I was diagnosed with social anxiety in 2016. I always knew there was something there but I just ignored it, not wanting to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder as I thought it would be made into such a big deal with my family and I guess I just didn’t want to have it too.

As a kid I was shy and very introverted. I hated when people made me talk when I didn’t want to and hated when I had to socialize with aunts, cousins, etc when I didn’t want to. I love family and everything but when I don’t want to, I don’t want to. I remember hanging out with the neighbors and my twin brother, we were like 5-6 years old I think, and I thought “thank God my brother is doing the talking” as I didn’t want to talk at all. So that was an advantage, having someone who could take care of the talking. At this stage I was not feeling any anxiety, I just disliked talking. I would love to do stuff such as play soccer, activities but didn’t enjoy talking too much.

As I got older, 10-15 ish, I remember struggling with keeping a conversation, I had to really learn it. I would struggle with keeping a conversation and sometimes didn’t know what to say, maybe because I never wanted to say anything. I still didn’t really want to talk, which brings me to this next episode

I was walking to class and this girl, my classmate, catches up with me. After a couple of seconds she says “oh my God you’re so weird, you don’t talk” and runs to class. This actually hurt me, and I don’t remember feeling anxious until after this happened.

I started thinking that maybe she was right? Why don’t I talk? Maybe I am weird? I then started to notice that some people would be uncomfortable being alone with me. They would sometimes try to go away or bring someone else so there wasn’t only the two of us. I would hang out with people and got along fine with everyone, but I wasn’t really close to anyone. It’s mostly thanks to my brother that we’d go to the movies and stuff as they were closer to my brother, so I’d tag along. I only had one person I’d say was a close friend, but even he would sometimes say things like “there’s your brother, he can change the subject (meaning bring up something to talk about)” and walk away.

I remember this thing that happened once. A classmate texted me and said he was bored. I told him things he could do to entertain himself, like play cards with his family. I laugh about it now, but I didn’t realize at the time that he just wanted to talk haha.

Then come high school, the anxiety had gotten more noticeable as I moved back home and started a new school. Lots of new people, my brother couldn’t really “cover” that much for me anymore. I got along fine with everyone, as I always seem to do. Sitting on the school bus with people I knew was a nightmare, I never had anything to say. I hated it. I remember once we got off the bus and then this one guy says to the other “you have plenty to talk about” in this sarcastic and sneaky way, yet subtle. He was referring to me, as I was going to walk home with another person as we live close to each other. These things just make me feel socially inadequate.

I’m now in university, doing a Chemistry bachelors degree. Still no friends. And the person I referred to as a friend before? I stopped talking to him as I felt it wasn’t working out as I never wanted to talk to him and I felt we were too different. Plus I felt it was too draining to maintain a friendship. I know that is absolutely horrible on my part to just drop someone like that, but it’s not like he has contacted me. All I did was respond short to one message he sent, which is unusual of me as we talk like once in several months. He hasn’t contacted me in years so I guess I might have been right about it not working.

I just wonder..why am I like this? I know I’m very introverted but even introverts want friends. Why don’t I want friends? (even seemingly before I developed anxiety?) I feel like I don’t know how to handle friendships. I sometimes find it nice to have someone to talk to, acquaintances, but I don’t want to really be close to anyone, which is strange because in the future I would like to be married but have no idea how that would happen when I’m like this. My brother is the closest I have to a best friend and I do desire closeness with family.

With all this being said, it seems my anxiety has progressed from mild to moderate. I can barely look at anyone without my head shaking. Plus I find I stare if I maintain eye contact, it’s awkward. So what I do is I look down when someone is talking to me and look up and maintain eye contact for a second or two, just to let them know I am really listening, then I look away. Sadly, I have some anxiety around immediate family members sometimes!!

I do talk when I want to share something and I’m pretty animated actually, but I mostly only enjoy talking with family members and I am interested in them while I find myself lacking interest for just about anybody else unless something about them interests me. But still, I satisfy my interest and then I’m back to where I started, not really wanting to talk...it takes so much energy and my mind is always blank, I have nothing else to say to them.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 04:04 AM
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 08:00 AM
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I don't wish to start diagnosing but what strikes me about your story is that you don't seem to want/need those interactions. In which case, what's wrong with being somewhat different from most people? If you don't feel like you're 'missing out', you aren't. There are many ways to live a life. Living not surrounded by people, imho, is a perfectly legit option.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 08:26 AM
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Nobody here can diagnose you but from your post you seem to display a significant degree of social anhedonia. Which can be related to autism or schizoid personality disorder, but you haven't said enough in your post for me to suggest that really.

Do you have trouble with understanding social nuance at all generally? This part made me wonder (though tbh, I wouldn't have known how to react to that either really, I'm not an entertainer,) but it's not a lot to go off:

Quote:
I remember this thing that happened once. A classmate texted me and said he was bored. I told him things he could do to entertain himself, like play cards with his family. I laugh about it now, but I didn’t realize at the time that he just wanted to talk haha.
Usually schizoids have a complex about intimacy or letting people get too close because they don't want them to interfere with their autonomy and struggle with compromise, and usually prefer to interact with the world in a removed or distanced fashion, but you didn't mention anything that was clearly along those lines in your posts.

You did mention only being close with family, which is associated with schizoid PD.

Would also want to know if you find it easier or more enjoyable to talk about your personal interests (actually the end of your post suggests that's the case,) if those interests are ever obsessive (like special interests,) and if your problems with communication get worse the more you get to know someone.

At any rate every trait exists on a spectrum you might just be extremely introverted. The fact that you say you want to get married though but don't enjoy others company is conflicting though so something is clearly going on there.

There's lots of resources out there about autism you can look into, it's quite easy to find because people are talking about it online all the time, so I won't link to anything on that (and I'm only throwing it out there as a possibility because your post doesn't have enough info anyway.) But if you'd like to read more about schizoid PD than I'd recommend:

http://centrebombe.org/Ronald.D.Lain...elf.(1960).pdf

https://www.scribd.com/document/2807...s-and-the-Self

This psychologist answers questions on BPD, NPD and SzPD on quora if you scroll through you can find the schizoid ones (most of her posts are about NPD because people ask about that more,):

https://www.quora.com/profile/Elinor-Greenberg

https://www.quora.com/What-does-inte...-some-examples

https://www.quora.com/What-is-schizo...e-the-symptoms

Same for her (they seem to know each other, might be related, can't remember):

https://www.quora.com/profile/Karen-Arluck

https://www.quora.com/Can-someone-be...ity-disorder-1

https://www.quora.com/Do-people-with...r-re-parenting

Or you can try here, but not everyone here has a diagnoses since, actually this disorder is rarely recognised, diagnosed or treated in the first place. Not many people including psychologists know much about it. Some people there are diagnosed though and add it to their reddit flair:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Schizoid/
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 08:30 AM
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 12:11 PM
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I had similar experiences. I know what you mean about the head shaking.

when I left home for university, being away from family made my problems a lot more obvious... since I had no one and didn't keep in contact with high school friends. didn't talk to anyone, really isolated. made the SAD a lot more obvious and got treatment for that eventually which really helped. even though it was just the top layer of problems. but the extreme anxiety is gone. I still have the occasional panic attack. so I guess I'm trying to say treatment for SAD might be a good idea.

I never found anything that really works on my lesser anxiety and my massive amount of avoidance. had a few friendships and relationships. intimacy easier once sex was involved because talking isn't as necessary lol. I do talk to people im close to if I'm in the mood to talk and have stuff on my mind. though I got really distant from family and don't see the point in family relationships anymore except the odd text to my dad.

but also not talking to people is really bad careerwise. 5 different possible careers never got off the ground. now I work part time for minimum wage I've become a lot less intelligent too.

i should add that the cause of mine is incredibly obvious: my parents/childhood. since they didn't have any friends and half the time we lived out in the country with no contact at all and they, extended family, teachers, etc prefered to it it's my problems and pretended like they didn't exist. my father is disabled and often complained about life being boring and meaningless. so genetically I don't think I had good chances, also have an aunt with schizophrenia. plus modeling etc. on my parents behaviours.

I have a lot of rule based behaviours. I use them to distance myself from other people too. I almost never look for common ground with people. I find ways to rationalise my distance from them, and rationalise maintaining that distance.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 12:19 PM
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I can sort of communicate to others but I agree it’s very energy draining for people with anxiety.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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The thing is that I actually feel like I’m missing out, yet strangely enough right now I don’t want any new connections. It’s as if I want some sort of connection with someone other than family, but the thought of this actually happening just makes me want to pull away. I don’t have the energy to deal with a friendship and I wouldn’t even know how to do so. I always feel like it would be more of a chore, that there would be things that I would have to do to maintain it. I never feel I could be myself around any potential friend. Ever. In a way I feel free without any friends, free to do what I want.

The friend I refered to in the post would frequently ask me to go online to chat and would tell me that I’m never online. There was never a time where I actually wanted to chat with him, I would always want to do something else. Chatting was never a priority, I only did so that I’d be more normal and to make him happy I guess. I think when I say I want to get married or have friends I really mean I want to want to get married and have friends, because that’s what people do and I feel like it could give a person a richer life. Some conflicting thoughts here.

I wouldn’t say I’m schizoid because I show a lot of emotions when talking and when interacting with others. I also desire closeness with family, as mentioned, and I don’t think many schizoids do.

I don’t think I’m autistic because other than not wanting friends, the eye contact thing and struggling with convos, I don’t struggle with social cues. As apparent by my story, I can easily tell when someone is uncomfortable and I notice the little things people give off about themselves, and this is not characteristic of autism. Ok, there’s the text thing, but this could be because it was one of the first time someone texts me because they’re bored, I don’t think I had experienced that before. When someone tells me they’re bored my first instict is to ask them why or give suggestions on what to do.
I made this post because these things have been bothering me for a long time and because I cannot figure out why I have these conflicting feelings towards relationships. Maybe if I could figure out why I’m like this I can change, as I don’t want to be like this. I feel like it is a disadvantage tbh. The conclusion could just be that I’m extremely introverted, as suggested, but this type of introversion seems rare to me.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 03:12 PM
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I wouldn’t say I’m schizoid because I show a lot of emotions when talking and when interacting with others. I also desire closeness with family, as mentioned, and I don’t think many schizoids do.
I think that's more of a misconception based on the extreme end of the disorder. Also you actually seem to experience a lot of social apathy, but you don't feel good about it. A lot of the time schizoids are very ego-syntonic about their feelings (actually most people with personality disorders are, I think AvPD is a weird exception, well actually maybe not in some cases,) but in your case you aren't which I think is the main difference here.

https://www.quora.com/What-is-schizo...e-the-symptoms

Quote:
I think of Schizoid Personality Disorder as the “hidden disorder” because very few people who have it are easily recognized. There is a myth that all Schizoid individuals are introverted, somewhat strange loners, who have no desire to be with other people. The truth is quite different.

Most of my Schizoid clients look just like everyone else and are similarly varied in their personal styles. When they feel comfortable, many are actually extroverted and social. Unless you know them well and are very observant, other people rarely recognize that these clients have a Schizoid Personality Disorder. In the main this is because people with Schizoid PD prefer to keep their problems private and solve them without involving other people. Many never come for psychotherapy.
Quote:
There are a number of common myths about Schizoid individuals: that they are all introverted, do not have feelings, or want intimate relationships with other people. The truth is that many Schizoid individuals have been traumatized and have developed various coping strategies to protect themselves that sometimes give that impression. There are also Schizoid individuals who are high functioning and had less childhood damage who never come to therapy because they have adapted to their situation by finding compromises between their fear of contact and their desire for connection.






Quote:
The friend I refered to in the post would frequently ask me to go online to chat and would tell me that I’m never online. There was never a time where I actually wanted to chat with him, I would always want to do something else. Chatting was never a priority, I only did so that I’d be more normal and to make him happy I guess. I think when I say I want to get married or have friends I really mean I want to want to get married and have friends, because that’s what people do and I feel like it could give a person a richer life. Some conflicting thoughts here.
Yeah I get this quite often, part of me will want to maintain social connections but also feel like I can't be bothered with messaging. If I'm really into someone (usually romantically,) this can go away though and I actually think I'm less socially anhedonic than you, and consider myself somewhat schizoid lol.

But it really doesn't sound like you want to get married at all, it just sounds like you're ego-dystonic about how you feel, and want to be normal. Which some schizoids do btw.


edit: Also honestly this sounds really schizoid to me like prototypically lol:

Quote:
The thing is that I actually feel like I’m missing out, yet strangely enough right now I don’t want any new connections. It’s as if I want some sort of connection with someone other than family, but the thought of this actually happening just makes me want to pull away. I don’t have the energy to deal with a friendship and I wouldn’t even know how to do so. I always feel like it would be more of a chore, that there would be things that I would have to do to maintain it. I never feel I could be myself around any potential friend. Ever. In a way I feel free without any friends, free to do what I want.
But like I said the only way you can really know is to get a professional diagnoses (and even they get things wrong,) I'm only saying because you posted here and I was mentioned.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 12:34 PM
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 01:47 PM
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Welcome, I am the same way. My desire to friendship or socializing is dead. I can't do it for long terms without feeling more drained than exercising at the gym. I have never been a social person, I have never wanted a large social circle, nor have I ever wanted a busy social life...but I never been this rejected from society. I feel borderline reclusive if I didn't have a job.
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