Avoiding social situations

Everyone has days when the effort of going somewhere is too much and you just don’t feel like leaving the house. 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

Reasons you might be withdrawing

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.

Socialising is too overwhelming

Some people find social situations so stressful, that they cause physical reactions like panic attacks. To learn more about what it means to be socially anxious, and whether something more serious could be going on, take a listen to the A Day in the Life: Social Anxiety audio story.

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. It can be hard to know where to find the right support you need. ReachOut NextStep is an anonymous online tool that recommends relevant support options based on what you want help with. Try ReachOut NextStep to learn about the support options available for you.

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 09 May, 2016
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  • Ben-RO    (494 days ago)

    @ghost16 Start small and take it step by step . Have a chat to someone at https://www.eheadspace.org.au/ and let them know how you're feeling. Or head over to http://forums.au.reachout.com/ and talk to us a bit more about what's going on for you. We're here for you!

  • ghost16    (496 days ago)

    Where do you start if you don't know what makes you happy anymore and everything seems like too much of an effort?

  • EloiseRose    (1046 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

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