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Being an Introvert ruining my life


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I have lived with my partner and his family for many years, however things have been getting harder for me socially. I am an introvert and find it almost impossible to socialise or leave my room. My partners family does not understand why I am like this, they are very, very loud and social people. I often skip dinners and don't leave my room unless I know no one is out there. When my partner is at work and I am left in the house with his family I will hold my urge to use the bathroom until he gets back (He is usually working from five to six hours) to check that no one is out there. I have tried to research why I am like this and i found "Avoidant Personality Disorder" to best fit what I am going through. Now I'm not sure if that is a real condition and I'm pretty sure it can't be treated with medication. My partner tells me I should see a psychiatrist but I can't bring myself to face a stranger like that nor can I afford it. Tonight my partner had a family dinner for his Dad's birthday and tried to make me come out of my room, I saw how many people were out there (six) and panicked (even though it was his family) he urged me and I broke down, cried and hid under a blanket. Now I am posting this while listening to them sing happy birthday. I don't want to be like this. I am hoping someone out there has advice or tips on how I can try to change.

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I'm so sorry you are struggling. My 17-year-old daughter is very introverted and is in a similar pattern at the moment. She spends all day in her room and rarely interacts with even her own family members.

 

I wouldn't rule out medication as at least something to explore. You may or may not have avoidant personality disorder, but I wouldn't give in to this without a fight. It may be treatable social anxiety.

 

Introverts are often overlooked, but that doesn't mean you don't have something to offer. The book "Quiet" may help you see your strengths a little more clearly.

 

Hugs.

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Hey there.

 

I experience what you describe, and realising that shame really runs my life was a big insight.

 

I'm no expert, nor have I overcome it really. But I am more aware that my own self-criticism is the most powerful factor. I feel fundamentally flawed and so being around people is very painful sometimes. But it is somehow empowering to see that the source of the discomfort is inside me rather than inherently linked to the situation.

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There is a huge difference between introverted and anxious/social anxiety. A lot of people who are introverted are not socially anxious to the point of pain - it just means they thrive when they get plenty of alone time - and can also be very good conversationalists at family gatherings and such, but then they need to be alone to decompress. Whereas the extrovert lives for parties and thrives on social interaction - but then locking them in their room to be with their own thoughts is something they have to gear up for.

 

I think that you may not have a "disorder" - i just think this situation is tough for anyone - you do not have your own space, etc., and if you did have your own space - you probably could go over and enjoy interacting with relatives for an hour or two because you'd be ready for it.

 

The answer truly lies in getting your own place - maybe a studio apartment by yourself or together. Counseling could help, but taking yourself out of an environment you have no control over you may see an immense difference in yourself.

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I have lived with my partner and his family for many years,..When my partner is at work and I am left in the house with his family

How do you pay your way? Do they allow you to live there for nothing? No contribution towards rent, groceries, utilities? What do you do to contribute? Cook, clean, laundry? How long have you been without work? Are you looking for a job?

 

I think your boyfriend is right, you should see a psychiatrist or any medical professional to get a proper diagnosis of what is going on and get treated for it.

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I think your boyfriend is right, you should see a psychiatrist or any medical professional to get a proper diagnosis of what is going on and get treated for it.

 

I would not take pills to fit better into this impossible situation. There may be nothing "wrong" with her at all - she is merely very uncomfortable in this situation and rightfully so. Most people don't take a shine to a crowded house and multigenerational living where they are not related to anyone and feel trapped. The boyfriend is basically telling her she doesn't fit the personality of the family - and if she can't hack this living situation, she needs to find another one before she decides she needs pills to be fixed. She could be perfectly fine when she is in a situation that she feels she has control over and has her own space. At least that's my opinion. I flourished once I moved out of a busy household myself - i got to the point where i could visit the busy house for awhile, but i had a safe place that was mine to go home too

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I would not take pills to fit better into this impossible situation. There may be nothing "wrong" with her at all - she is merely very uncomfortable in this situation and rightfully so. Most people don't take a shine to a crowded house and multigenerational living where they are not related to anyone and feel trapped. The boyfriend is basically telling her she doesn't fit the personality of the family - and if she can't hack this living situation, she needs to find another one before she decides she needs pills to be fixed. She could be perfectly fine when she is in a situation that she feels she has control over and has her own space. At least that's my opinion. I flourished once I moved out of a busy household myself - i got to the point where i could visit the busy house for awhile, but i had a safe place that was mine to go home too

 

We may have to agree to disagree. I just don't see anything "normal" in:

 

* find it almost impossible to socialise or leave my room.

 

* I often skip dinners and don't leave my room unless I know no one is out there.

 

* When my partner is at work and I am left in the house with his family I will hold my urge to use the bathroom until he gets back (He is usually working from five to six hours) to check that no one is out there.

 

* Tonight my partner had a family dinner for his Dad's birthday and tried to make me come out of my room, I saw how many people were out there (six) and panicked (even though it was his family) he urged me and I broke down, cried and hid under a blanket.

 

Living with his family "for many years" (her words) and she can't even leave her room, panics, cries and hides under a blanket ... doesn't even wish him a happy birthday ...?

 

^ If that is seen as normal behaviour, then clearly I am missing something. To my mind, at the very least, this leans towards some anxiety disorder and as far as I know, many people get treated for that. I don't know, for many people there's nothing wrong with that at all, but to me, it screams otherwise.

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It's my goal to move out, I have been trying to for so long but I and my partner are university students and can't afford it. I am on a "student wage" and can barley afford books I need for university. We help around the house with groceries, cook, clean all that kind of stuff. My partner often gets frustrated with me saying things like "you have no idea how this affects me", "why can you just put up with my family" and I really don't know how to explain myself to him.

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