• Other Friendship Advice

An introverted high school student feels uncomfortable with her group of friends

Published: June 18, 2015 | By | 4 Replies Continue Reading
Introverted people sometimes need more alone time.


Hello there,

I am in high school and I have connected with a small group of girls. Recently, I feel like I’m being strangled in the relationships I have with these people. Sometimes when I am quiet when we are all hanging out, at least two of them will come up and ask me what’s wrong, and they refuse to believe that nothing is wrong at all.

This happens at least three times per week! On top of that, I have been spending more time with all of them, but I feel like I am being overwhelmed. I really don’t have an excuse not to hang out because they already know so much about me, and what I am doing this summer. I love them but I am being suffocated. They are getting too clingy and are always assuming something is wrong.

Sometimes I need my personal space! When I told one of them nothing was wrong, her response was “It’s fine, you don’t have to tell me” and that made me feel… guilty? I don’t know what to do!




I’m sorry to hear your friends are stressing you out. Some people enjoy socializing on-to-one far more than in a group, which may or may not be the case for you. Because you’re in high school, you spend more time with these friends than you might otherwise. Perhaps the frequency of group interactions will diminish and the group will feel more comfortable. Or, maybe you aren’t the right fit for these particular girls.

Have you heard the term introvert?  Introverted people prefer quieter social interactions. They often need alone time to “recharge” after socializing to give them energy and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Extroverts usually get their energy from being around others and they often feel stressed when they’re alone. Most people aren’t always one or the other.  I wonder if there are other more quiet, introverted girls among your friends who might feel the same way as you. If everyone else in your group is extroverted and you aren’t, they might have trouble “getting” you.

Next time you and your friends are together, you might want to explain that you’re the type of person who needs down time alone and that you’re naturally quiet. Tell your group you’re glad you can come to them if you need. I recommend having the conversation when everything is fine, not in response to something one of your friends says or does.  Once you’ve explained yourself, you don’t have to keep reminding your friends. If they invite you to go out and you’d rather stay home, you can say. “Thanks for asking, but I’m going to stay in Friday. If you’re going out next Friday I’d like to come.”

I hope you can work things out with your friends. Even if you can’t, there are other introverts who share your style of socializing who will understand your need for space.

Good luck.

Signed, *Amy Feld

*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Category: Child and adolescent friendships, OTHER ADVICE

Comments (4)

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  1. Ang says:

    I can relate, even now! I’m more of an introverted person, and more outgoing people have had a hard time getting me. They also thought something was wrong if I wasn’t as vocal. There’s nothing wrong with you needing space. If these girls eventually don’t understand you needing space, then they aren’t real friends to begin with.

  2. Sheryl says:

    I can identify! But it took until I got older to realize there was nothing wrong with this trait; in fact, it’s perfectly normal and necessary, but widely misunderstood.

  3. Ben says:

    What’s interesting for me in reading this question after having graduated High School in the 1970’s that it would have never occurred to me to question anything? I would have always thought as this questioner has posed, “what’s wrong with me?” I was just commenting to my peers the other day about how I wished I could have felt this way when I was a teenager. It’s only taken about 35 years after leaving the teenage years to get to this point.

    Maybe a better question to ask yourself is “what is my intuition telling me about this situation?” In my experience trusting your gut is most important. In my teenage years I was always in my head trying to intellectually solve all my problems instead of connecting the head and the heart.

    Be proud of who you are regardless of what others think of you. If these friends show themselves to not be ‘true’ friends as you discover more of who you truly are others will be attracted to you…

    • Pam says:

      Ben, I could not have said it better. I am in that place now, at age 57. Less and less need for friendship, so many have come and gone,run their course, served some purpose at the time. Most did not stand the test of time, most were not thee when I had rough times, most just fairweather “friends”. I’m becoming somewhat of a recluse, though that was hardly my intention. Just no patience for much of the idle gossipy chit chat.
      Blanca, choose wisely and don’t people please to win friends.There are many users and takers. Hope you find the givers.

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