Isolation

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my mother thinks I should socialize more. But I rather not.
I relate to this a lot. Throughout my life when I lived with my parents, my mother would force socialize me. I was often 'grounded' from seeing my best friend, because my mother thought I needed to consistently maintain more relationships. I actually got into a HUGE fight last night with one of my closest friends because I couldn't understand why she needed me to see her so often in order to be friends with me. I like having friends, but I don't know why I must always see them for us to be pals.

Dealing with socialization under my parents' roof was also tough because they wanted me to bring friends to the house if I DID have a lot of friends in some phase of life or another, and I saw friends as a way to get away from them. I guess all I can say is that you're a person with needs and preferences, and you should figure out what kind of socialization works for you, not your parents.

I know that being under parental reign can be tough, particularly if they're part of your issues (I actually LIED to my parents about being out with friends constantly last year while at school. They're 700 miles away and can still control me enough that I lie about hanging out with people to make them happy. Ugh!). For me, learning to accept that I am not necessarily what my parents want all the time but that I can be what *I want* was really important to developing comfortable social skills.

I'm obviously still really working on this, but right now what works is scheduling a time in the week where I spend time doing one social activity, which I make sure is planned so there's no anxiety about what I'm going to be doing with the people I see. These people are old friends that I'm reconnecting with, and I know that they care about me and want to see me be happy and healthy however that may work for me, and I highly suggest making sure that the social environment you enter is one that you feel very comfortable with, whether it is a close cousin you can visit or a local support group that suits your needs. My friends and I generally like to watch movies or go to poetry readings or small gig concerts, something affordable, finite, and that doesn't require strenuous socializing (like eating dinner out).

Remember that if being alone is an important part of your life, that's okay, you have the right to it. I would just encourage you to make sure that when you DON'T want to be alone, there is an option for you so that you don't experience negative loneliness. Reading and writing is what I like to do with my free time, but if I'm feeling really down or alone, it's nice to call someone up and get some perspective. This is what works for me.

Good luck!
 
That's really good advise. :)

I've been lucky to have two friends that I barely keep in touch with, and they accept my habit of canceling at the last minute--we get in touch every so often and pick up right where we left off.

I need to accept that that comfort zone is normal for me, and I should not feel bad for desiring aloneness most of the time.

I analyze myself too much and that gets in the way of letting myself be who I am.
 
I prefer to be alone most the time, too. When I was younger, I didn't have any friends at all and that was fine by me. I used to just think and think and think and think.... I remember when I was about 13 my mom made me SO mad. She grounded me. FROM my room. That really sucked. Then a flip switched when I was in high school and I became very extroverted, but still very comfortable being alone. But I was always out doing stuff constantly. I was also living off 2 hours sleep a night, so maybe I was just delirious.

What I find now, though, is that I tend to be pretty introverted. I like having friends, but I don't have any need for a BFF. Just people to meaninglessly socialize with on occasion, and the internet is good enough for me in that respect. But it also depends on my mood. On a down day, I want to be left completely alone and don't even want to hear my fiance moving around the house (he's a total introvert). On an up day, I want to be outside and doing things and be around people. On a middle of the road day, I'm still pretty much an introvert, although I might go hang out with a tree or something (totally serious).
 
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