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Refusal to Accept Adult Responsibilities

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Ever since I was a kid I have been struggling through friendships connecting to people and doing things on my own because my parents have always been strict with me . They never let me go out or anything or make friends and I reached the point where I was afraid to ask them do anything without their supervision. Today , I am a college student who struggles to make friends, has difficulty with social cues , and has a low level on knowledge in pop culture , often making it difficult for me to make relationships with anyone because I was never exposed to these things as a child. Additionally I have difficulties accepting my adult responsibilities and although my parents now pressure me to, I continue to procrastinate and refuse to take on my adult responsibilities on things that everyone else in my age group since to be taking care of. This includes things like getting a license, getting a job, making friends, or things as mundane as simply doing exercise so I could feel better about myself. A strong feeling of laziness has taken over me and whenever someone tells me I should do these things I become defensive and genuinely irritated and sometimes angry. This has turned into a destructive behavior I seem to have adapted to, and have lost many opportunities and even a relationship because of this behavior and the stress that accompanies it. Im 19 and still afraid of asking my parents if I can go out with friends. I want to change and I recognize that what I am doing isn’t healthy or helpful at all so what can I do to surpass my laziness,  my fear of doing out and things normally and assert independence from my parents ? How can I begin to move on into adulthood ? How can I work on changing this negative behavior myself ?

I would greatly appreciate it if I could get a response.

Thank You. (From the USA)

Refusal to Accept Adult Responsibilities

Answered by on -


Working on things by yourself is only going to help up to a point. In fact, believing you can handle this on your own is one of the issues — not where the solution lies. Since your concern is with other people and taking responsibilities the resolution is taking responsibility with others. I recommend going to your university counseling center to ask them if they have group therapy. If not, ask them for help in placing you in a group. You won’t be able to avoid the issue within the structure of group therapy. You will be encouraged and supported to find new ways to connect to others, while at the same time get straight feedback about your own behavior. It is a very direct form of dealing with your issues head-on.

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

Refusal to Accept Adult Responsibilities

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Refusal to Accept Adult Responsibilities. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 6, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 29 Jun 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.