I have difficulties in interacting with people, what should I do?
Q: I am a 30 year old man. I talk too little. I have not been very talkative right from my childhood and I find it difficult to find new topics for long conversations with my family members and close friends. I am not proactive in making friends and those who proactively talk to me for the first time, gradually find me uninteresting. I have very few friends and even fewer close friends. I am not invited to marriages, parties or picnics. I have a feeling that people don't welcome my presence. When a group of colleagues/friends talk, I usually stand alone somewhere else. I have tried hard to improve myself in this respect, but I haven't succeeded. However, my official interaction with my colleagues is quite satisfactory. This hurts me a lot but I am used to it. I don't take it seriously and avoid getting into groups and restrict my interaction to official level only. I am convinced that no woman in this world is going to like me. I have therefore decided to remain single. But my parents are urging me to marry. Since I am the only son, I am totally confused as to what to do. I don't feel like having a companion anyway. Sometimes I think, what if someday in future I think I should have been married, then I will be old and will regret my decision. Please help me?
A:I think there are two sides to what you have mentioned, one is the fact that you prefer to be by yourself, and that you are withdrawn from people, that is a part of yourself, and the second is the distress this gives you. As for being socially withdrawn, being an introvert as people call it, is not an abnormality. There are people who do not mingle so much with people, and if this does not affect there life, personal and professional, it is not of concern. But since you are having trouble due to this, that would mean that there is a desire and need of change, and this needs to be initiated. My suggestion is that you meet up with a psychiatrist, take some guidance, counselling sessions that would help you evaluate your own thoughts and emotions, and help in a small change that could make a difference. Its impossible for any person to predict what one feels about things in future, thereby each action you take must be taken with adequate long term considerations, so before you decide on the course for your life, talk to a psychiatrist.