Avoiding social situations

There are a number of reasons you might be avoiding social interactions, from just being tired to feeling like you don’t have any good friends. But there are things you can do to help you feel more connected and people you can talk to if you need some support.

This can feel like…

  • it’s too much of an effort to see people
  • no one understands me
  • I don’t have any real friends
  • socialising is too overwhelming
  • I’m sick of dealing with people
teen girl in school bus with head resting on folded arms
Ever sent a text saying “Something has come up, I can’t make it anymore” when you have absolutely nothing else on? Everyone has days when the effort of going somewhere is too much and you just don’t feel like leaving the house. Avoiding social situations can come from a range of feelings, some are just natural like being so busy and needing time out and others are a bit more complex.

Reasons you might be withdrawing

There are a number of reasons you might be withdrawing from those around you. Some of these include:

  • Not really clicking with the friends you have. There comes a time when you’re chatting away to your friends and it suddenly dawns on you that you have nothing in common. Hanging out with people that you don’t really get on with isn’t all that enticing, so it’s not surprising you’re avoiding them.
  • Growing up and moving on. No one stays exactly the same for their whole lives. People get older, have different interests, move away and find new friends. If your friends are still stuck in a high school mentality and you’re thinking about jobs, kids and superannuation, it might be time to find new friends.
  • Moving away or being in an unfamiliar place. When everything around you is different and you don’t have your best friend living in the house down the road anymore, it can be hard to get the motivation to go out and find new friends. It’s worth thinking about learning skills that might help make the transition a bit easier, as well as take away some of the loneliness of living somewhere new.
  • Losing your confidence. Not everyone feels awesome about themselves all the time. We all get feelings of self-doubt and have things we’d rather were different about ourselves, but these shouldn’t interfere with your ability to get out and about. If low self-esteem is impacting your desire to make and maintain friendships, there are some helpful confidence boosting strategies which could help you through.
  • Lacking in energy. If you’re doing 101 things at a time, it’s not uncommon to feel exhausted and not up for socialising. Same goes if it’s a busy time in your life right now, exam stress or family stuff which might be keeping you off the radar. However, if you’re just tired all the time and can’t think of a reason why, it might be a physical thing that needs checking out.

What next?

If any of the above reasons are causing you grief (or others we haven’t mentioned), it’s always worth having a chat to someone you either know or trust. Sometimes wanting to run away and hibernate can just be a momentary thing, and soon you’ll be back in the swing of things socially.

Other times there’s a bit more to it and having a chat to someone like a psychologist or counsellor who can give you practical strategies, or work out the real reason you’re wishing you could hide under your doona forever, might be just the cure you’ve been looking for.

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 16 February, 2014
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4 Comments

  • EloiseRose    (72 days ago)

    Hey @djpocky
    Thanks for posting!
    Im sorry to hear you are feeling lonely it can be really hard sometimes when you feel like you are a bit more mature than your friends!
    Have you tried joining any local sports teams? or dropping by your local youth services? They generally have great events going on.
    Jump onto our hang out section to play some games if you want http://forums.au.reachout.com/t5/Hang-out/ct-p/Hang_out
    :)

  • djpocky    (77 days ago)

    I've lived away from my family since I was 11 years old due to a riot in my home country. I've been alone and very independent since.
    People think I'm rich from my appearance (because I'm such a clean cut and well presented) but I'm actually not. I get burdened when they expect so much from me. My ex boyfriends are also the same, they expect that I have more than them when in fact they're the ones who have more than me -_______-

    My friends of younger age keep talking down on me and disrespect of my knowledge (when I have so much more experience and stories to share than them). I don't really want to hang out with them because I don't want to be a babysitter.
    Most of my friends my age or older are either married, getting married, having children and have children. I feel so lonely sometimes. Where can I find a decent friend who is also independent and I can rely on? I am sick and tired of being taken advantages of.. Sometimes I feel better when I am alone, but I don't want to be alone forever..

  • ClaytZ86    (274 days ago)

    I feel like I can't connect with anyone anymore, and have a hard time keeping a conversation going (nothing to talk about). I feel like people don't listen to me, or care about me anyway and just avoid me.. Socializing doesn't feel rewarding anymore, and that's why I spend a lot of time alone.

  • Indiffrent-    (288 days ago)

    most of the time the feeling of being alone does'nt bother me half the time i dont know if the emotion is real or whether i am just lying to myself