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.