I don’t want to be an introvert anymore. I am not in touch with my friends, they don’t invite me to their hangouts, I can’t talk to new people, I can’t talk to guys and they don’t talk to me, I don’t understand people, I feel sad and lethargic all the time even though I exercise regularly. What should I do?
Thanks for your email and for sharing your difficult situation with me. Being an introvert is not a bad thing. It just means you prefer your own company rather than the society at large. There is a difference between being an introvert and being lonely. Do you know which one you are? You can be whoever you want to be as long as it makes you happy.
When you say you can’t talk to new people or boys, ask yourself if this is something that is important and really matters to you. If the answer is yes, then it’s simple! Anything can be achieved when you put your heart and mind to it. Not being included in the activities your friends plan can make you feel sad. Have you ever mentioned to them that you’d like to be a part of the plan too? They probably don’t include you as they feel it’s something you may not be interested in or enjoy.
Friendship is a two way street. It can be compared to a bank account where you cannot continue to withdraw without making a deposit. Maybe you could try coming up with a plan to hang out with your friends rather than waiting for them to include you in theirs. This will require you to step out of your comfort zone but it might also make you feel like you have some control instead of feeling so helpless.
Some of the best conversations and friendships start by just listening to other people. You may not know how to talk to new people or boys but most introverts are usually good listeners and observers so try using these strengths to stand out from the crowd. You could also try enrolling for music, dance or drama classes to keep yourself occupied and meet new people. It will boost your confidence in your abilities too. It’s wonderful to know that you are exercising. Exercise releases endorphins which are the feel good hormones that keep you happy.
While it’s important to be the change you want to see, don’t try too hard to be something you’re not. The right friends and best things in life will come along when you least expect it.
I am addicted to social media and I feel like it is reaching an extreme now. Earlier I used to check-in to places just to see if anyone else I knew was around or to recommend good places to eat at or shop. Now I almost find myself feeling pressured to go to places only so that the number of check-ins don’t reduce and it feels like I’m always so busy doing fun things. I don’t know how I got so addicted but I don’t think I’m enjoying it anymore but I cannot get myself to stop. What should I do?
Thank you for writing in and discussing your worrying situation with me. Social media is absolutely addictive. Your intentions were good when you first began using check-ins, however the attention you received through it then made you desirous and crave it more. Social media is addictive because it can give you what the real world lacks which is instant gratification. If your use of social media is troubling you and causing you stress, you have the choice to reduce the use of it or just stop! Climb a mountain so that you can see the world, not so that the world can see you. The motivation to do the same comes from within. No one can hand it to you and no one can take it away, either. Do more things that make you forget to look at your phone. Sometimes leave your phone at home on purpose when you go out.
In a world where everyone is so overexposed, the coolest thing you can do is maintain your mystery. Remember your worth is never measured in likes, comments, notes or followers; but in your ability to love, keep comments to yourself, take note and lead. Good luck.
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(Writer is a psychologist and counsellor at the Sethu Centre for Child Development and Family Guidance.)