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Being social is too much work.

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I never have any fun. Never go anywhere or hang out with anyone. I used to have friends over to hang out but its so much work to entertain company. I just don’t feel like all the work that goes into it is worth one night of being social. I have to spend at least two days cleaning and preparing the house. Getting ahead on my to do list so that I have the free time. Stocking the pantry, organizing entertainment or things to do, making myself presentable, making my home presentable. Then stay up really late with my guest and get up really early the next day with my kids. I am a single mother with two kids, no sitter or family to help, ever. When my kids are at school imp going to school myself, online, or taking care of house or errands or finances or work. I am also against bringing random people into and out of my kid’s lives, which is why I only have company after they are in bed. I struggle to keep myself from folding under the stress of my day to day and adding more into that just seems ridiculous not to mention hosting really isn’t that fun. I have no time to do anything I enjoy and honestly it’s been so long that I don’t even know what I like to do anymore. I make sure the kids have fun whenever I can and try to be satisfied with their enjoyment but after several months of stress, isolation, routine, and boredom I tend to get pretty grumpy. I have tried to socialize with other mothers/parents but most of them my age are self-absorbed and don’t seem to actually take care of their kids, and the older ones that do I have trouble relating to or convincing imp a responsible adult because I don’t fit into their idea of what a family should be or what normal is. What do I do?

Being social is too much work.

Answered by on -

A.

Give up.

This was the best advice I’ve ever received from anyone, and I am passing it on. It came from my clinical supervisor, a very wise man. I was moaning and groaning about how difficult my life was. I was running an extremely challenging experimental group home for people with intellectual disabilities, trying to write my dissertation, and coping with personal turmoil. I was bereft with to-do lists coming out of the yin-yang and my friends couldn’t relate. I had just gotten divorced, and was overworked, underpaid, stressed, and not having fun. My writing and research schedule kept me from having joy in my life. I was behind in my bills, and finally decided the only thing to do was to tell him I couldn’t go on with my dissertation, that I should drop out of school, forget about psychology and try to reclaim my love live, my social life, and my scantily held grip on reality. He very calmly and assuredly put his hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye and told me: “Give up.”

I was incredulous. The conversation went something like this:

Give up.

What?

I recommend you give up.

Give up?

Yes, of course. Nothing is working out how you planned, your personal life is chaotic, you’re overwhelmed with responsibilities, and have no idea what is going to happen, yes?

That’s true.

So give up.

What about my dissertation?

Let it go. What do you need that for? All it is going to do is prepare you for a career with disturbed people, more headaches, disappointments and obstacles. I say let it go.

Just like that?

Just like that.

Just give up?

Just give up.

Just give up and do nothing?

Maybe get a hotdog pushcart in the city. Sell hotdogs on the street. It is a good living, you are your own boss, and you are independent. I see you as a hotdog vendor.

You think I should sell hotdogs?

Yes, the good ones. Of course you will have to get a permit to have a business, a pushcart business, from the city. And insurance, for when someone sues you because the hotdogs were not cooked well enough. And you will need to display a certificate of approval from the board of health inspection. They are picky and difficult, but you can deal with them. And, people will criticize you and your good hotdogs. And hoodlums will steal your fine food, and try to rob you at night when you come home with cash. You will be frightened about walking home, but you can hire bodyguards. And be sure to get up early so no one steals your good spot on the street. Are you a good fistfighter?

Being social is too much work.

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Being social is too much work.. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/07/13/being-social-is-too-much-work/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.