Young introvert wonders if she’s missing out

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Dear IntrovertZone,

As an introvert I enjoy spending time on my own, but it has come to the point that I prefer it to being with people. Teamed up with somewhat of a social anxiety and self-consciousness, I keep spending more and more time alone.
This is where the problem arrives. I often feel lonely and as if Im missing out on my teenage years, hence they are supposed to be the peak of your life.
Im stuck between two worlds, unhappy and needing change. Help!
Im a 16 year old female . I went through a huge relationship change recently in terms of basically changing all my friends. This helped me realise that I am not really close to anyone, and I dont get close easily.

Should I attempt to go out, meet more people? The people that Im friends with I feel dont fulfill my life so I doubt more would.
Should I just accept that I need to become more open or ignore the need to conform?

Photo credit: shane.gibbons

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19 Comments

  1. Introverts are known to have few but close friendships as opposed to several more acquaintances like extroverts have. To cut yourself off from everyone would be to go beyond introversion. It’s normal to question your closeness and it’s normal to go through what you’re feeling, especially at your age but at any age.

  2. Well, so much I could say, but I’ll start with the word “balance.”

    Being more open doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up who you are and “not conforming” doesn’t mean you become a hermit. You can strike a healthy balance between the two extremes.

    But just going with one of your most pressing feelings above (that you feel you’re missing out), I’d say meeting more people and getting out there more is a genuine desire of yours. So it’s completely OK to give that a try! Just do it in your own way. You don’t have to change who you are so you’ll fit into the “popular crowd” or any crowd you don’t feel yourself in.

    So first, get a better feeling for who you are, on your own (I say this b/c you mentioned just getting out of a relationship & that can be detrimental sometimes to individuality). Then seek out people who share similar values and ideas to you. You can focus on branching out to “different types of people” later when you have more social confidence. For now, take baby steps. You have plenty of time. Best of luck!
    Dean @ Conversation Skills Core´s last post ..Free Social Success Video Series for You (Re-make of Popular E-course)

  3. I think you have to do some experiences! Go out, meet some new people, and maybe, some of them will be your friends, and you will get close to them! And after a while, maybe, you new friends could fulfill your life! I’m an introvert, too, I enjoy being my own, but sometimes, we need to get to know new people.
    Julie´s last post ..cosmetic dentistry prices

  4. It sounds like your social anxiety is causing you to be more introverted than you like. This is something that should be addressed.

    Though I prefer to be alone or in a small group, I am not socially awkward. The goal here is to become comfortable with being an introvert and not being one all of the time.

    Life is meant to be lived and shared. Everything in moderation.

    It’ll get better.
    John | Married (with Debt)´s last post ..Thought Leader: What Makes One?

  5. I think you should do how you feel. And if you are not comfortable with having so many friends, it is better to have a few, real friends who are always there for you. You might not know, these close friends can also introduce you to many friends and have a chance to develop your social skills. 🙂

  6. I would like to start off by saying a big thank you to everyone who comments on this website. It really adds something to the content and helps so many people out.

    @ young introvert – I went through the same thing when I was about your age. My problem is that I only have a close few friends, which I dont mind, but when something happens to the friendships it shatters my life. From experience I really advise you to put yourself out there for a bit and make some new friends. It will change your life.
    rachel @ looking beautiful´s last post ..Sticking to Your Diet

  7. You may not like top hear this but if you want to find true happiness you have to develop a relation with God. The only power that we as human being have over happinees will always be short lived. We seek true and everlasting happiness in all the wrong places and these only provide quick fixes.
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  8. If you don’t enjoy the company of your recent friends better to look for those you can share your thoughts. Although being an introvert is much more of keeping yourself out of the others, it’s still a healthy lifestyle to have some friends close to you if you need someone to talk to. Don’t give up on finding one because I know you’ll surely find someone worth your time.

  9. I think the real problem with us introverts is that we are pretty interesting people but would like to hang around with like minded people. When we are around like minded people we blossom. So I would recommend to surround yourself with like minded people who share your interests, inspire and be inspired.
    Edd @ Domed Labels´s last post ..Designing A Brand Logo

  10. Oh my, how I see my 16 year-old self in your post. This WAS me, to a tee. I also have struggled all my life with social anxiety. I think a lot of introverts do. I also spent a LOT of time by myself as a child & teenager, in my bedroom, reading books and listening to music and writing. There is nothing wrong with doing this! Especially if you are filling that time alone with a creative activity or outlet. Spending time alone is only an issue if you feel suicidal or too depressed. Then I would say seek out some help, talk to a friend, counselor, parent, etc. But if you just like being by yourself, more power to you! You will learn a lot about yourself this way!

    Now I know at 16 it seems that these years are supposed to be the “best of your life”, but my darling, let me tell you, you have a LONG life to live!! Life will get so much better a few years down the road! I could not see this at 16, but I am now 33 and have had a lot of life experiences, good and bad. Don’t feel that you are wasting your life by not being social enough. BUT, if you are feeling lonely, certainly meeting new people, if you are comfortable with it, can’t be a bad thing. If you are up to the challenge there is nothing wrong with that.

    One last thing: If you don’t want to conform, don’t! You do not have to do anything you don’t want to do, most certainly not because other people want you to do it. But “not conforming” is not the same as doing things to help yourself not be lonely. My best advice– seek out a few (maybe only 1 or 2) good, close friends you can trust and who will understand you. And above all, do what makes YOU happy, whatever that may be. Good luck sweetheart.

  11. I definitely can relate to your situation. My younger sister is a loner too, at first we did not pay attention to her behavior until it reached to a point that she became suicidal. Good thing we were able to straightened things out. We talked to her, let her express herself more often and let her spend time outside. Maybe you can look for friends that you can spend your free time with. That would definitely help you.

  12. “16 – peak of my life”

    Oh hell no. If 16’s the peak, then I’m rolling in a valley of despair and decrepitness. Anyway, being a teenager sucks. In my experience, being an adult is much better. You get a lot more control and power over your life (with more responsibility of course, but that’s the price) and you can shape your life how you please. That’s what I call a peak.

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