I am alone on a daily basis since I can remember, at one and a half years old I got a nanny so both my parents could work. I always stayed in kindergarden and elementary school until 5 or 6 pm, my only friend was my older sister and there the friendship came almost only from my side, because she had friends of her own and I was a bother. In 6th grade people first started talking to me, and I didn’t know what to do or how to react to the things they did, I am still not sure sometimes. I first started paying attention to the people around me. Everyone else was intense to me, I didn’t know what to do when they were in a certain mood. I am not even sure how to handle the emotions of my sister. When someone cried, others came to them, they worried and tried to comfort them. I could look at the crying kid as long as I wanted, I didn’t really feel anything. But it is not like I didnt feel anything. I am pretty sure I feel as much as everyone else, just at the wrong place and wrong time. I don’t talk with my parents about it, I think I bother them. I would like to talk to someone about it, but I wouldn’t know what to say. I just feel out of place. When people actually talk to me, which almost never happens, I don’t know what they actually want from me, even if they perfectly articulate themselves. I never had enough experience with, well, people to know how to comfort someone, to calm someone down, to lead a conversation. I am partly afraid to do the wrong thing, say something wrong, gesturing wrong, act out of place as ever. Also I just have no clue what to do. As I already said, I am pretty sure I have as many emotions as everyone else. I feel numb on a regular basis, but I think everyone has that. But I have a problem with showing emotion, I don’t show what I feel and I have a blank face for almost all the time. I do it subconsciously and only found out because someone asked me about it. I would like to be like everyone else, but I don’t know what is wrong either. (From Germany)

A:  Thank you so much for reaching out. It sounds like the time you spent alone, having to occupy yourself, has created a bit of a hesitancy. I believe this something can can change with some practice over time.

First, let me direct you to our forums. These will allow you to talk more about what you are feeling and you will soon discover that you are not alone. This is a great place to get ideas and support about how to change.

Secondly, I would recommend you find a club, or class, or connection in your high school where you are learning and working with others who share your interests. This is a very good way to warm up to the idea of connecting.

Finally, I’m going to suggest you try to talk to at least one new person a day. Simply saying hello will do. The goal is to develop the skill of reaching out — and not to wait for the inspiration to come to you.

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