How to get people to give you more alone time

southpole4 asks: For my past well life I have gone through so many terrible things, I was bullied, skinny, weak, and someone I loved passed away last year. It has been really hard. I enjoy being alone and having my own privacy, my brother doesn’t understand that (he’s my twin) he enjoys being with someone at all time, and ya, sometimes we need company but I like to just be alone. Also my parents don’t understand that connecting with my friends is through social media, they have me logged in into their iPad and whenever my friends say a bad word on a group chat my parents say that they’re going to take away my phone….. I just want my own space to think and be who I am. I don’t know what to do any more.

Hi southpole4 –


I hope things have improved since you wrote me, but I know that your general question, about needing space and time to be alone, is one that goes on and on.


I really can’t explain to you why other people have such trouble understanding this. Now I’ve been guilty of it myself – especially as a puppy, I liked jumping on everyone and trying to play with them, with no awareness that sometimes they just wanted to be let be. But as I’ve grown older, I often feel that way myself. You’ve probably heard the old line “Let sleeping dogs lie.” That’s because people always want to come wake us up or pet us or play with us or whatever. And honestly, a lot of the time, I’m happy to wake up to a friend. But other times, I’m just happy dreaming about chasing dinosaurs, and want to remain that way.


It’s got to be especially tough when you have a twin who loves socializing as much as you love solitude. I’m sure it makes it even harder to convince people that nothing’s wrong with you when you go into your room and shut the door.


The best you can do, I’m afraid, is to just keep telling them your truth. Slowly they’ll understand. After all, no great books or music would be written, no wonderful paintings would be finished, if the people who created them didn’t get the space they needed. And over time you’ll find more friends who are like you, and they’ll get it completely.


But then you bring up that issue of friends writing bad words on social media and your parents being disturbed by it. That one’s really tough. You might try to explain to them that as long as you’re not using that language, this is just another part of your world. People use bad words talking at school, we hear them in movies and television, in popular music… There’s just no way to avoid them. And expecting people to use better language on social media than they hear in all other media is just unfair.


Again, your parents’ interest is in you, so if you can convince them that you’re able to hear these words without using them yourself, hopefully that will help them relax about all this.


And of course, you can show them one friend you have on social media who never uses bad words at all… Me! (Well, unless you count the word “cat,” which of course I find a filthy obscenity!!!!)


Best of luck!



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