I am young but I can't seem to feel comfortable around people my own age. I tend to getnalong with older folks. Why is that?
Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.
Your question is very evocative that there is so much behind the simple few words you write. Have you always felt this way?
Was there trauma or abuse in your childhood? What about alcohol or dysfunction in your family when you were growing up?
Were you ever treated for any mental health issues? Are you getting any treatment right now? If so, what type? How is it going?
If not, when was the last treatment? What type of treatment was it? Was it helpful?
Has this affected your romantic life? How?
Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.
As it is late at night, I may have already logged off for the night before you reply, but go ahead and reply to these questions and I’ll answer as soon as I log on tomorrow. Okay?
Was there trauma or abuse in your childhood? What about alcohol or dysfunction in your family when you were growing up?I dont remember going through any traumatic experiences as a child. My mother and father, and in general my entire family seem to be very normal.For some reason I have always felt mature for my age. I never really felt like a child. I always though childhood games like hide-and-seek, were "stupid." At family gatherings I would always sit with the adults and listen to their conversations. I dont know why that is the case. I dont think its normal. I wish I could be a bit more like others my age. Were you ever treated for any mental health issues? Are you getting any treatment right now? If so, what type? How is it going?I have not been treated for any mental issues. Sometimes I feel that I have some kind of an inferiority complex or depression. I always feel like tohers are better than me. That they are smarter, more attractive, more fun to be around with. Sometimes I feel sad and unhappy. So that Is why i think I may suffer from depression.If not, when was the last treatment? What type of treatment was it? Was it helpful?No treatmentHas this affected your romantic life? How?I think that it has affected my romantic life. I dont feel like I have the confidence to be in a relationship.
Thank you for the additional information. It is very helpful. I believe I can now be of help with this issue.
First let me say I can imagine how confusing and worrisome this situation must be for you. You should be in the full blossom of your life. And instead you are emotionally unsteady and too unconfident to move forward.
Your lack of self confidence, though, can become self-fulfilling: you know when children like to be with older people, it's usually a sign of not being confident in themselves with their equals. Now one might think that it takes more confidence to be with adults, but that's not the case. Adults are very different with kids in these situations: they are encouraging, inviting, praising, etc. This is very instantly gratifying for a child who's not naturally outgoing but is smart and not overly shy. Whereas peers are harsh, quick to say negatives, make fun of, have cliques, etc. Much less encouraging. So this can become entrenched in the person: being with older people is safer and more comfortable and more "natural".
After a while, this becomes an Automatic Negative Thought and a life attitude. So let's see if we can work on this, okay?
Let's start with some self work. The most important part of this self work is the reorienting of your view of life. Your current view is dominated by the lack of confidence that leads to discomfort I talked about above. But that domination of lack of confidence is only an attitude. How to change that?
I want you to reorient your attitude to one of HOPE. Hope is not a magic potion; hope is part of confidence. I want to make sure that your confidence system is in place. Because negative thoughts and feeling not good enough can sap the confidence out of a person. Confidence is something that comes with experience, like the experience of being whole and at peace with oneself and relaxed. But there's an impossible situation here: how can you have something that comes with experience before you've had experience? Well, you can't. You have to have what is "pre-confidence". What is pre-confidence? The motivation to overcome your nervous jitters and lack of confidence, lack of experience.
Motivation is what gets you to get started before you have experience and thus before you have confidence. In the realm of feeling whole within ourselves, and complete, we have very little materials in our society for how to instill ourselves with motivation. However, we have a lot of materials for how to have motivation in the self help world. Fortunately, they're not different in principle. Therefore, I want you to start reading motivational books. You need to see if you can let yourself be inspired by them. These are the best out there! If you can, great. It is not a magic cure. It is a way for you to change your mindset from "I can't because something has sapped my energy and I am unworthy" to "I want to move forward and become the confident person I can be"...
Coach yourself. Be your own life coach! In other words, accept your past fears, accept your past worries and hurts and traumas. Accept them and focus on becoming who you WANT to be now. Here's a simple YouTube search I put together on "motivational speakers":
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=motivational+speakers&aq=f Some like Tony Robbins are the classic big guys. Some are newer. Watch them all. Get inspired. Buy a book or two. Here are some possibilities, but they are only suggestions as there are so many good ones. These are mostly Americans, but so what?
The first book is the father of all these type of books. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. There are classes in these books now! It was written in the 1930s and still has something to say to us today that is very worthwhile.
I think very highly of the second book on my list, which is a real classic: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It is the book that has helped more people than probably any other. The third book is by Anthony Robbins. He's one of those speakers who fills up huge auditoriums. For a reason. He's a terrific speaker and writer. The particular book (if you like it, try his others): Awaken the Giant Within.
Now if you find that you are resisting being positive as these great speakers will encourage you to be, then please consider psychotherapy. This is the traditional approach. Explore all these inner world hesitations and lack of self worth. Where did they come from? Why did you become this way? What part of self are these expressing? You would then use that self awareness to give yourself greater room to become more open to goodness in your life and future.
So for you, therapy is an opportunity to gain insight and a more positive relationship within yourself toward yourself and toward others. Let me give you two directories to look at that are good. You should focus on finding a psychologist or psychotherapist in your area who practices in a psychodynamic orientation along with CBT orientation for skills building.
Here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful (because they seem smart and not so easily manipulatable!) look at the listing and see if they list psychodynamic therapy and CBT in their orientations. http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/
Good Therapy is a non profit directory. Same idea as the one above:
I wish you the very best!
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