Is it normal for me to throw my social life away?

At the start of this year, I’ve always thought of ghosting and avoiding everyone, almost like disappearing. I am so sick of every single person that has walked into my life and every time I interact with someone, I will breakdown in tears.Everything I enjoy and love seems to be like a burden for me and a source of irritation.

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Hi @derpi! Thank you for asking this question about whether it’s normal for you to throw away your social life. It sounds like you’ve been feeling distressed and overwhelmed with your present social situation, and all of these feelings have culminated in the desire to become avoidant altogether. I can imagine that it would be frustrating for you to be feeling this way about the things that you enjoy and love - things that should be bringing you joy but have now seem to become a source of irritation for you instead.

I’d like to invite you to first ask yourself these questions:

  1. What kind of situations have you been facing, which is making you want to avoid people who enter your life? You mentioned that these thoughts started at the start of this year – was there a particular social encounter or experience that had brought about these thoughts and emotions?
  2. What do you see yourself enjoying, besides socialising with people? Are there perhaps things you could do that recharges you while not requiring much social interaction with others?

Asking yourself these questions could help you to reflect on the reasons underlying these emotions that you are experiencing surrounding social interactions with others. I can imagine that it can be challenging and perhaps even exhausting to maintain social interactions when you don’t have sufficient opportunities or time to recharge. This may particularly be the case if you are someone that requires quite a bit of me-time or alone time to re-energise yourself. Sometimes, when we’re not taking care of ourselves, we can become cranky and very easily triggered by every little thing. There’s simply no way for us to pour out of an empty cup. If this is something you’re able to resonate with in your present situation, then I would like to encourage you to practice self-care by trying to schedule more pockets of time for yourself in between other commitments that you may have. This self-care assessment worksheet (1) might allow you to get a rough sensing of whether a lack of self-care could have been contributing to the emotions that you’ve been feeling and give you some inspiration on some self-care activities that you could incorporate into your daily life.
(1) Self Care Assessment Worksheet

The second thing you could do is to try to identify your triggers. For example - are there specific types of interactions that have been making you breakdown in tears, or specific relationships in your life that are particularly difficult? Are there any common patterns that you’ve noticed in the interactions that you’ve found draining or difficult? If you are able to identify what had triggered you in these situations and get a better sense of the circumstances surrounding these triggers, you could then work on managing yourself better when similar situations arise in the future. As much as social interactions can be draining, realistically speaking we know that we won’t be able to avoid such interactions completely in the future. Something we could try to do instead is to work on managing ourselves in such situations. For example, we could start by taking note of the thoughts in your mind in these situations. You could then evaluate these thoughts by asking questions such as, “Is there substantial evidence for my thought?” and “Is there evidence contrary to my thought?”. You may refer to this worksheet (2) for a detailed template to do this.

The third thing that I’d like to share with you is the idea of negative self-talk, and the concept of self-compassion. I’m hearing that everything you love now feels like a burden and a source of irritation to you, and I’m wondering if there are perhaps any negative self-talk or self-beliefs that are contributing to such feelings? Negative self-talk refers to the negative thoughts and beliefs that we have about ourselves that can be self-critical, judgmental, and unhelpful. They are also often automatic and may happen without us even realising it. Negative self-talk can contribute significantly to feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. It can make us feel like we are not good enough, that we are flawed or defective in some way, and can even lead us to avoid certain situations or people. If you feel like this is something you can relate to, then I’d like to also share the notion of self-compassion with you.

Self-compassion is the idea of accepting yourself for who you are and coming to terms with the fact that you are a work in progress, with strengths and weaknesses. You could start by taking a step back and think about the way that you speak to yourself. You may refer to this post (3) for more resources and exercises to help you be more gentle with yourself. We also have a mindfulness-based directed self-compassion exercise here that you could try (4).

To end off, I’d like to affirm your courage in coming forward to share your struggles and your efforts in trying to cope with these feelings that you’re faced with. I hope that some of these questions and suggestions will be able to guide you along as you navigate these emotions. If you find yourself struggling to process these feelings and thoughts on your own, or the frequency of breakdowns increases, I would advise you to approach your school counsellor or a mental health Professional to speak about this at greater length. Remember that you can also respond to this post if you have any follow-up questions. Please take care of yourself in the meantime. :slightly_smiling_face:

(2)Challenging Negative Thoughts
(3) Forgiveness
(4) Mindfulness-Based Directed Self-Compassion Exercise


I think it’s perfectly normal to be alone sometimes. I’ve faced similar situations like you where I just try to avoid people and be comfortable alone. I think it’s called Positive Solitude where you try to embrace doing things on your own and at times it brings about a lot of inner peace (until you are ready to speak to other people again)