• CouplesTherapyOrlando

    I Just Don’t Feel Like Being Around Anyone Right Now

    “I just don’t feel like being around people. I want to sit at home and read or watch TV by myself. Is there something wrong with me? Am I okay?”


    This is a common question I hear from individuals dealing with difficult life events. My first response is, “Yes, you’re okay. That inclination can be perfectly alright for someone coping with a high-stress situation.” But while the feeling is normal, I also point out that it’s important to explore and understand why you want to isolate yourself. Extroverts recharge by interacting with people, while introverts recharge through self-reflection and spending some time alone. 


    Take notice of the words “some time alone” because introverts need social connection too. Many introverts relish social interactions and are very effective at connecting with others, contrary to popular belief. So, even if you identify as an introvert, the question you should be asking is: Am I withdrawing or isolating more than usual for me


    Social withdrawal has many causes. If you have a traumatic experience, you may be overwhelmed by a surge of emotion and the release of stress chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline in your body. This can also deplete your energy, leaving you feeling exhausted. The body wants to rest while the mind wants to make sense of things. Withdrawal is one way to conserve energy while working to sort out difficult events. 


    Another possibility is that, after a disturbing occurrence, you may be left with uncomfortable feelings of guilt or shame. These emotions are associated with our primal “freeze” response and can prompt you to avoid people and hide yourself away. 


    A traumatic event can also change your view of the world — or of people — as “safe.” You may have new anxieties or fears about situations that once felt secure, triggering avoidance behaviors.


    It’s important to remember that, after difficult life events, you’re more susceptible to clinical depression. One prominent symptom of depression is the loss of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities. This is called anhedonia. A difficult life event is hard enough, but untreated depression can make coping with it that much harder. 


    Think about how you might begin to allow others into your life again. That might include turning to a trusted partner, a good friend, a support group, or your church. Or it might mean giving the well-meaning person (or people) checking in with you the gift of spending some time in your company. 


    If you have trouble with any of this — if you’re having difficulty identifying a trusted other or you feel that you’re struggling with more than the support of a friend can help you with — please contact a therapist. Be open to the idea of not being alone with whatever it is you’re coping with. 

    And remember to be kind to yourself as you go through these experiences. We’re all human — none of us is perfect, and we all need someone to help us through life’s challenges from time to time. If I can help, or if you would like a complimentary phone consultation, please contact me through CouplesTherapyOrlando.com or by phone at 407-579-2070.

    Therapy services available via Telehealth.