Is it wrong to like being by myself?

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    Ok. I have been going through a bit of a tough time. I’ve recently resigned from my teaching job, I now don’t know what I want to do with my life, and it seems like everyone around me just won’t leave me alone! My parents keep hounding me and people from my church seem to be prying for information all the time. I had lunch today with a lady at my church and we talked about teaching (she’s a teacher too) and then we had very long discussion about how I need to branch out from under the safety net of my parents. I’m 25 and I still live at home. I went to college, but now I’m stuck with trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I’ve just been under a lot of stress and what makes it worse is that I worry about EVERYTHING.
    I eventually do want to move out and be on my own, but so many things are holding me back. I’m my parents’ only child AND I’m their only girl and I’ve never lived away from home. My church member asked me if I had any friends or did anything fun. I’m a bit of a loner; all of my friends have moved and trying to make friends is just hard, so I enjoy being by myself. I mean, it’s not like I want to stay with my parents forever; I can’t, but I don’t want to leave without a plan. But is it wrong to like being by myself. Right now I’m just stuck.


    Dear Jerris:

    I read some of your previous posts going months back. Time to move away and live on your own. Doesn’t matter what you do living independently as long as you do. Got to take a break from mom. It is scary to make your own choices because you have little faith in your ability to make good choices. You have very little experience making your own choices, no wonder you lack confidence in doing so. From your mother making choices for you, small and big and telling you what you should do, you learned that you can not be trusted to make your own choices.

    No other way but jump into the water. And swim. It will be tough but that is the only way to un-stuck yourself from your existence as has been.

    Move far away, take any doable job, tell your mother you need to make your own choices. Tell her nicely (sounds like she means well, but she is misguided in what is good for you), that you need her NOT to tell you what to do. Tell her you will make mistakes but that is the only way for you to grow up and have a life that is worth living for you. Teach her how to give you the space you need… and don’t ask her for her advice.

    Get out, move out, live your own life- and go slowly, one little step at a time. Be gentle with yourself, you are afraid. Be gentle and patient and kind and forgiving to yourself. You don’t have to make the RIGHT choices, only BETTER choices than you are making now.




    Hi Jerris,

    I do not envy people in their twenties at all.

    First it’s “Where do you go to school?”

    Then, “What do you do?” (you’re supposed to have a job one second after graduation)

    “Where do you live?” (An apartment in a good neighborhood or a house)

    “Are you seeing anyone?”

    “Wedding bells???”

    I left out Kids. That I’ll leave through for the thirties!

    People like you to be on a Life Plan Script. Living with your parents is NOT on their plan! However, it sounds like you would want to move out anyway!

    Use the church people to your advantage. I’m sure SOMEONE has a starter job for you, and a rental. Think “Temporary”. Believe me, if the congregation is already asking you a hundred questions, they would be thrilled to help you re-launch!! It’s a bit of humble pie, but what’s the alternative? Practice writing those thank you notes!

    And no, it’s totally OK to like being by yourself! It’s good to enjoy your own company. But if you want friends, people of all ages would make good ones. Go to the gym if you want to easily find other twenty-somethings.



    • This reply was modified 8 years, 7 months ago by Inky.

    Dear Jerris,

    I’m also an only-child & sole daughter. I am also “hiding” from everyone to avoid the fuss while I am bumming right now.

    Here’s some tips/thoughts that I have from surviving being a single-child:

    1. You are independent – To some of us as single-child, there is a very deep attachment to our parents because there is no other sibling to bounce off. But once we reach 18, we technically are independent bodies from our parents. We have our own path and we always have this fear that our actions will negatively affect our parents. Independence can simply be just finding your passion without influence or actually physically moving out…it can start by simply thinking about “if my parents will be ok with absolutely anything I do, what would my life look like?” You don’t have to action right away, but you can just start jotting down your thoughts.

    2. Your parents are independent too – I know this may sound weird, but it took me going on a retreat & talking to a nun to realize this. She said that my parents are independent of me and that sometimes, it is the kid that teaches their parents what to do. Because we are the only child, we often carry a lot of guilt, responsibility, burden that is actually our parents’ burden. But they are independent adults too that have the capability of taking care of their own matters. If a parent is controlling, know that it is not your fault…it is from their own conditioning while growing up. If there are control or other issues, it is actually more important to take care of yourself first & nourish yourself with positive things.

    3. Create space – Being alone is wonderful! I give you kudos for doing that! It takes time to figure out whether you want to live independently or not. In the meantime, create space for yourself so that you can think deeply what your true calling is…instead of hanging around home, you can go to the library, park, community centre, wherever you can find space. You can sign-up for volunteering since there is no commitment and meet new people.

    4. The dreaded “what are you doing?” question – It is annoying, I know. You can say things like “I am taking a career break” or “I am doing some soul searching”. I think you mentioned before in a previous post that you like to travel. Perhaps you can say “I’m planning do some travelling & explore the world”. If they ask where…you can always say “it’s in preliminary stages. What do you recommend?” so that the question is back in their court.

    We aren’t following the convention path of getting a job, then married, then kids…so people often feel confused when we have nothing to give in response. Know that it is absolutely fine to stay out of it….there’s a bunch of us here that are also doing the same. 🙂

    If you are considering moving out:
    – Take a look at local ads for a one-bedroom apartment or something small to see how much they cost. There is no harm in just checking them out…nothing to worry about.
    – See how much savings you have & see whether you can afford to move out. Then ask yourself whether you would prefer “bumming at home” or “work temporary as a tutor or perhaps something related to travelling” to fund your rent & other expenses such as eating, household supplies, etc. You always have the option to move home if it doesn’t work out 😉

    May I suggest a couple of good reads:
    “Introvert Power” by Laurie Helgoe
    “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay

    Sorry for this loooongggg response. I hope you find something useful for your journey.

    I wish you the best of luck!!


    Dear Jerris:

    New thoughts by me:

    The problem is in the question: “Is it wrong to like (anything)”

    Whatever you FEEL is not wrong. There is a valid message in everything you feel. Problem is you don’t trust what you feel and you trust more what other people tell you, your mother, church people, etc.

    The answer is in what you feel. This is how you KNOW what to do now and what to do in the next moment.

    Other than therapy, I recommend that you PRACTICE in the present, now and the moment after and the one after, practice paying attention to what you feel, think: what is the message, and then choose an action that will honor that message.

    For example, you feel distressed, uncomfortable with people at the church asking you questions, you feel like being alone. The message is: these questions bother me. I feel distressed, uncomfortable, unwell when asked those questions. Then you honor your feelings and CHOOSE to, maybe, NOT go to church, or go and then leave straight home, or go to church and tell the person asking you to NOT ask you these kinds of questions, tell the person it makes you feel distressed and please don’t ask you anymore.

    I was thinking after my last post to you that leaving your home after 24 or 25 years and “jumping in the water” is probably way to scary for you. It is a good solution in the future AFTER you practice the mindset and practice of what I suggested here, day in and day out. This way you build confidence in your feelings as messengers, you build confidence in your ability to assert yourself with people, confidence in making choices for your benefit. The more choices you make, HOWEVER small, the more you will be able in the future to make bigger choices. Start small and proceed at your pace.



    Inky, being in your 20s is hard. Granted, it’s not as hard for some people, but for me it’s just downright unbearable, and I’m in therapy. All of those questions, on top of all the pressure from my family, just makes it worse! I mean right now, I don’t know what I’m going to do. My church member said that I wasn’t assertive enough and that I was very indecisive. I hope this doesn’t sound like a dumb question, but what is a Life Plan Script?

    Jennifer, thank you for your reply. You’re right we aren’t following the “conventional” plan; go to college, move out of parents’ house, get a good-paying job (lol), get married, have kids, retire etc. I have several friends going in that direction, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but right now that’s not what I want. I already suffer from anxiety. I have a tendency to worry and stress about everything. I think there’s also a bit of fear of messing up that I struggle with and I think being an only child definitely contributes to that.

    Anita, thanks for your reply. I think my mom is the cause of my stress. I was so stressed out about my teaching job a couple months ago, that I actually got very sick and had to take off for two weeks. I think moving out and being on my own away from parents and other familiar influences would actually benefit me in more ways than one, and the notion of just jumping out there and going for it is scary, especially since I’ve been under the umbrella of my parents for 25 years.


    Dear Jerris:

    I am very familiar with being anxious and indecisive- and it wasn’t only in my twenties that I was indecisive and clueless about everything, from choosing ice cream flavor at a store to … knowing what i want to do “when I grow up”- I never knew until recently and I am 54. This indecisiveness that you describe in this thread and previous threads is NOT something you grow out of, something that changes by itself over time. There is no age when you shake it off and suddenly you know what to do.

    Your have to learn and practice now and you will get good at it over time. You have to start in small ways now, every single day. It is like a muscle you have to develop over time, starting now. Use any and every opportunity to choose and get the practice going consistently. Over time you will gain confidence and be able to move out.




    It is not wrong to enjoy being by yourself!! Some people are simply introverts meaning they prefer interests that only need one person to enjoy and don’t need the support of other people to be happy. Since you mentioned worrying about “EVERYTHING” and having a psychology background, it makes me wonder about a few things. You obviously don’t have to answer these if you don’t want to.

    Do you have generalized anxiety or social anxiety? Anxiety itself can prevent someone from meeting new people or interacting with those they already know, while also making it seem like going out isn’t worth it.

    Do you have the motivation or desire to go out and do things? Or do you simply enjoy hobbies that only need one person?

    To find out where your next step in life is and what it is, you might need to do some true inner-self questioning. Once you know who or what you want to be, then you can move on. First thing I would suggest though is using your credentials to find a job, even not specifically in your field of teaching. You might do some looking around and find your qualified for a different position.

    Best of luck,



    Hi Again,

    A Life Plan Script is a list many/most people have for you to follow to be socially/culturally “normal”. Usually it is: School, Apartment/House, Work, Marriage and Children by 30. 40 at the VERY latest!! If you don’t have a degree, are unemployed, and still living with your parents and have never been married and have no kids by 40, people internally freak out a little. They don’t know what to do with that information. You may be volunteering abroad, and help local children learn how to read, are involved with the community garden and help run the theatre barn in town. But that’s not on the Script!! Unless of course you are over 65. :p



    Laycee, I think I suffer from a bit of both. Right now, I’m worried about what I’m going to do, worried about finding a job. I was in an alternative teaching program to become a certified teacher, but since I’ve resigned from my teaching position, I’m not in the program anymore, but I still have to pay $450 a month to finish paying off the program. On top of that, my parents and other people around me keep hounding me and asking me about what I’m going to do and what I want to do with my life. I worry about my health, particularly my stomach. I have acid reflux and I was so stressed out that my acid reflux acted up and I had gotten very sick and my stomach hasn’t really completely felt better, or at least it hasn’t felt as good as I want it to. As far as meeting new people, I do get a little anxious. It’s a bit difficult because it seems that everywhere I go, everyone is in their own clique or group and I always end up feeling out of place.

    Inky, thank you for clearing that up for me. That actually makes a lot of sense.

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