By Darby Faubion
Updated November 07, 2019
Reviewer April Brewer , DBH, LPC
Do you ever feel you're the only one not getting involved in social activities? Is your idea of a good time eating ice cream and binging on Netflix? We've all had those days when we just need some down time. But is it normal to have no social life at all?
Is Having a Social Life Really Important?
Opinions vary on the importance of having a social life. Having social relationships is psychologically healthy. Not having social relationships, especially in the long-term, seems to have an effect on self-esteem, job or work performance, and overall communication skills.
Further, scientific evidence has been linked to health disorders in people who have little to no social relationships. But while individuals with no social life may experience some medical issues, this is not always the case. And of those who did experience some physical health concern, 46% saw a decrease in the negative health effects with intervention.
It's important to understand the difference between having no social life and being in social isolation. Many people enjoy working in private settings and have hobbies that can be done alone. For people like this, having no social life may not be an issue.
On the other hand, social isolation is characterized by a state of complete or near-complete lack of contact between an individual and society. Individuals who experience social isolation have no relationships with family or friends and limited to no contact with society.
When Should I Be Concerned?
Some people prefer to be alone-and we all need time to relax and recharge. However, there may be times when there is more going on than just needing some personal space.
Occasionally feeling uncomfortable in social situations is not uncommon. However, when social situations become stressful or when they impact daily activities or work, you may be experiencing social anxiety disorder. People who have social anxiety disorder are often afraid to interact with others. The fear of being rejected, judged harshly, or overlooked by others drives them to isolate. When these feelings become so overwhelming that they impact daily life, such as school or work attendance or performance, it is advisable to seek the help of a counselor.
Common signs of social anxiety disorder include:
- Avoiding places where there are people
- Fear of judgment
- Feeling sick or nauseous around others
- Rapid heart rate
- Stuttering when trying to speak to someone, especially a stranger
While social anxiety disorder is a factor for many people with no social life, not everyone who declines social interaction has a disorder. In fact, 86% of Americans either do not experience social anxiety or have learned to cope with the condition and have a productive social life.
What's Wrong with Being Alone?
We all want to be alone sometimes. As long as you can balance your alone time with times of interaction with others, there's no reason why it should be a problem. Remember that humans thrive on engagement with others. Whether it's a phone call, a lunch date or just enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend, keeping your mind engaged will help you grow.
Is It Really Just a Matter of Choice?
Sometimes having no social life is a choice. You may be one of those people who simply likes to be alone. However, sometimes isolation is caused by anxiety. If you feel you're experiencing symptoms of social anxiety disorder, there may be underlying conditions that should be evaluated. Remember, your doctor and other support staff are there for you.
If you've attempted to have a social life but feel too overwhelmed, consider talking to a counselor. Counselors and other mental health professionals can help you get to the root of your anxiety and develop a plan of action to help overcome those issues. If you don't feel comfortable meeting with someone in person, consider counseling through BetterHelp. Their licensed, professional counselors and therapists are available from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Consider the following reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues.
"Dr. Murphy has been very helpful in identifying issues and behaviors that led me to withdraw from my relationships and now she is helping me to repair them."
"Patricia is excellent, very knowledgeable, empathetic, and helpful. Her professionalism helped make my journey less lonely, and gave me so much more clarity."
Living with social anxiety disorder or introversion can be difficult in a world that values outgoing people, but you don't have to do it alone. Trained, compassionate professionals at BetterHelp are always available to help you find a better, more engaged life. Take the first step.
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