Can you still be happy by not being socialized properly?

In answer to Quora question: "Can you still be happy by not being socialized properly?"

Thanks for the A2A. I think Ray Schilling touched on some very good points. Here is what I would add...

First off, I'm not a psychotherapist - and even if I were I'd need to know a lot more about your situation, your diagnosis, and more about you to offer a comprehensive and insightful response to your question. That said, I'll offer some observations about the situation and diagnosis you've shared in your question from the perspective of Integral Lifework:

1. Socialization, friendship and supportive community are essential to your well-being - even if they are limited. However, given your STPD diagnosis, that might best be managed initially through group therapy. Not that you can't find friendships or build a supportive community through things like common interests and activities, but a group therapy environment can help you develop the tools you will need to navigate social situations more effectively - that is, have better outcomes and experiences, to develop a wider spectrum of emotional responses, and to develop more reliable senses of safety, affinity and trust.

2. Romance isn't for everyone, I agree. However, because you mention in your comments that you aren't sure the "true essence of love" actually exists, I suspect it is likely your STPD is inhibiting your ability to feel vulnerable, open and intimate in requisite ways to make romance fully available - that is, where you can feel safe enough for a deeper experience. Therapy can also help with this - as can medication - but more importantly if you develop healthy friendships and regular, satisfying socialization, you will find romantic entanglements to be a much easier "next step." Still...romance is a big challenge, and it has its own learning curve, and that's true for anyone.

3. As for your other expressed desires for a rural lifestyle and to not participate in the "rat race," I'm completely with you there. If you have the means to do so then kudos to you.

I would also echo Ray's exhortation to be patient. All of this will take time and effort. If you find yourself choosing to self-isolate and avoid human interaction as much as possible, this can have outcomes that won't help you in the long run - outcomes like an amplification of certain fears, or increased depression, or poor self-care habits. And these can impact your emotional, physical and cognitive health, along with your felt sense of contentment and happiness. So I would be cautious about fully investing in isolation without at least trying a multi-month course of group therapy. However, I would of course encourage you to consult with your therapist to get their take on the timing of beginning such a course. If you have already tried group and found it too difficult or unproductive, I would encourage you to consider exploring a new group approach, or a different group.

My 2 cents.


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