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I Think I Don’t Need People

From the U.S.: I am 17 female. I don’t interact with people much. i think i don’t need them and I don’t want to appear needy. In fact I hate appearing needy. I’m too different I feel like I have nothing in common with them. I only interact with people to not appear weird. But the second someone chases me and seems interested in me I tell them all my secrets and we become intimate but most of the time they leave. I generally don’t know how to start a relationship or interacting with people and it makes me feel lonely but i am too arrogant to start chasing people.

Most of the time I see no point in things but when I do things I become a perfectionist and try to do my best. But still nothing excites me much. I used to get stressed out easily but now I just don’t care. Do you think something’s wrong here?

I Think I Don’t Need People

A.

From what you say in your letter, you bounce back and forth between extremes. Either you don’t have anything to do with people or you become too intimate too quickly. You say that you don’t need others, but it’s as if you are saying “You can’t fire me, I quit.” I think the issue is that you are discouraged about your ability to have a balanced healthy relationship. So you are giving up completely.

Most of the teens who write to us (or who I have seen in practice) have, at one time or another, had the same complaints. One of the tasks of adolescence is figuring out how to relate comfortably with other people. It’s difficult. It’s discouraging. It’s frustrating. It’s tempting to pretend you don’t care. But withdrawing from people is still interacting with people — just in an unhealthy way.

Chasing people isn’t the answer. Learning how to be a friend is.

I suggest that you start by getting involved in an activity you like that includes other people your age. When people are focused on a task more than on each other, the pressure to be friends is reduced. Paradoxically, working together tends to help people develop relationships naturally and gradually. Volunteer. Get involved with backstage work in school productions. Join a team. These are the kinds of activities that promote getting to know one another in a healthy and reciprocal way. Pay attention to other kids who seem to know how to get along easily. Study their styles. You will learn a great deal just by being a patient observer.

Then start slow. Identify a few friendly people you are drawn to and invite them to do something as a group. Group activity also takes the pressure off everyone. Give it time. With time and patience, you will figure out how to be comfortable in relationships.

I wish you well
Dr. Marie

I Think I Don’t Need People

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Think I Don’t Need People. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/06/29/i-think-i-dont-need-people/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 27 Jun 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Jun 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.