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Extreme Guilt and a Desire to Be Alone

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From Sweden: I really, really want to be alone. I strongly dislike socializing and I’m really not a people-person. I never really feel like I connect with others and often feel like a misfit around other humans, like I simply don’t belong with them.

I’m incredibly not interested in socializing, not interested in other humans. Every second feels like a “waste of time” and I get bored out of my mind. When I’m by myself I never feel lonely or bored, there’s always something I want to do. I’m always itching to do those stuff I really want to do and find everything else pretty tedious. I spend a large amount of time in my head, and honestly, I feel no desire to become more social.

The only people I got in my life are my mother and my sister. I guess you could say we’ve got a special bond, it’s kind of always been us three together. The problem is, I’m starting to feel like we’re beginning to contrast in a completely wrong way. They’re social – whilst I’m not. They like talking and socializing, “hanging out”, – I loathe it. But since it’s “just us” we’ve only got each other, which means I’m “expected” to be social with them, which I’m not really is.
I know my mom yearns -needs- me to interact with them more, I know my sister is growing a strong dislike towards this solitary side of me – is starting to get annoyed and maybe thinking I don’t care about them.

While I’m incredibly grateful for these two amazing people, I really start to find myself wishing that I was born in some else, less social or caring, family. Or for me to simply stop existing. Or that I would’ve never been born. I’m not sure I can live with the guilt of the situation. Hurting them is the last thing I want to do, but I feel like caged animal nowadays, like I’m forced into a habitat I don’t belong in. Though I also can’t just leave – that would also hurt them.

I’m so lost of what to do. It feels so unfortunate. I just want to thrive in my lonesomeness, and I don’t think that will change, but by doing so I’ll only hurt the people I care so much about. The guilt is killing me. But what is there to do?

Extreme Guilt and a Desire to Be Alone

Answered by on -

A.

Thank you for your important question. I don’t believe wanting to be on your own is a problem. Some people prefer and thrive in this way.

The core issue is here is the ambivalence trying to satisfy the demands of the relationship with your mother and sister. It is this core contradiction that needs to be addressed.

This solution may be in discussing your concerns with them. Instead of this being an emotionally burdensome struggle you take on all by yourself, explaining to them what is going on can help at many levels. First, they may be relieved that you are sharing this ambivalence with them, secondly they’ll likely to have some empathy for your struggle. Finally, they may have suggestions about what the three of you can do moving forward to preserve the quality relationship you already have.

Moving toward the conflict by expressing it to them is the most direct method of helping to bring about a change.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Extreme Guilt and a Desire to Be Alone

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). Extreme Guilt and a Desire to Be Alone. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/08/22/extreme-guilt-and-a-desire-to-be-alone/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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