I'm worried about my sister again

She opened up to me for the first time last night and she started crying.

She is in her late 20's and she's never had a boyfriend and she does't have any friends. She had a couple friends in HS and college, but they never lasted because my sister does not like to party, etc....and those girls did. She has never had interpersonal relationships, and even with our family, she stays away from family gatherings and reunions. She has always stayed home. Even on her 21st birthday, she stayed home. The phone is never for her. It has always seemed very unhealthy to me, but it isn't my life so i tried to stay out of hers. I have tried to get her to go out with me, but she never wants to.

So last night I talked to her on the phone and apparently there is a guy she is interested in and actually went on a few dates with. Yea!!?? Not so much. This guy has tons of friends and is starting to question why she doesn't have ANY. This was brought up by him because he found it so odd that she never talked about any friends, and her aparetment does not have any pictures up of anyone except a few family members. Apparently this is a red flag to him. And I don't know, maybe there are othr red flags going up that he didn't mention to her.

So now she is all upset. I'm sure she was really beginning to like this guy and who knows, maybe this could have been her first love....and now she is so upset and feels bothered by how much she has missed out on in her life. She said she wants to make friends and always has, but she manages to push people away somehow. And now that she is older, she finds it difficult b/c so many people her age are married with kids.

Ahhh. We don't live near eachother and whn I move back in May, we will be closer but I am going to be so busy that I won't have much time to hangout. But she needs to hangout...she needs to learn some social skills. How can I help her? Does she need to see a specialist?

ETA: When you first meet her, I don't think it's obvious at all. She takes good cae of her appearance, she is stylish. She works in healthcare, so she interacts with people everyday and she does well. She recenly moved out of my moms house (yea!!) and he aparetmenr is awesome - Italian leather furniture, plasma TV. My point is, she takes pride in herself and her belongings. I'm not the expert, but if she had a mental illness, wouldn't her house and appearance be a mess? I think, and again it's specualation, that her social anxiety stemmed from a bad HS experience.

Last edited by chicagocurly78; 02-10-2009 at 01:39 PM.
That was going to be my first idea, is for her to see someone who can help her. I know it can be hard b/c I didn't really dig the entire party thing either and it can be hard to make friends. I'm not much younger then your sister, and even my friends have a hard time making new friends.

I think you could help a lot by not doing all that much. Maybe hang out just when you can and just talking to her. I hope it works out for you.
I think if lack of friends, and a only a few pictures of family on her walls is a red flag for this guy, then they sound incapable to me. Not everyone is a social butterfly with tons of friends. Not having a lot of friends because of shyness, social anxiety, recent move, etc isn't exactly a uncommon problem. Some people are just more social then others. There's not anything wrong with either type, but if one is troubled with the other social habits, then. . . Sometimes opposites can get along great and find a medium, but sometimes they can't.
It sounds like she was perfectly fine until this guy made a judgement call. There's lots and lots of introverted people that prefer being alone.

I don't think your sis needs therapy, but I agree with cympreni, if the guy she is dating is already mentioning "red flags", they're just incompatible.
It sounds like she was perfectly fine until this guy made a judgement call. There's lots and lots of introverted people that prefer being alone.

I don't think your sis needs therapy, but I agree with cympreni, if the guy she is dating is already mentioning "red flags", they're just incompatible.
Originally Posted by meryn
But was she perfectly fine? I don't know. She was crying to me. She kept talking about how she has missed out on life, how lonely she is....
And only she has the power to change that- if she wants to.

Unless she has a twinge of social anxiety, it sounds to me like she's introverted. There's nothing wrong with that, she just needs to find friends who are down with her for her.

You can't really help her at all. She's an adult, she has to help herself.

And it does sound like this guy wants a girl that is more outgoing. Sadly, that happens. It's happened to me and it sucks but he's really doing her a favor- she can't be who she isn't.
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But was she perfectly fine? I don't know. She was crying to me. She kept talking about how she has missed out on life, how lonely she is....
Originally Posted by chicagocurly78
But wasn't that after this guy said something? Was she OK before that?

Perhaps she is in a state of introspection, but my gut reaction is she simply feels inadequate to this man.

Last edited by meryn; 02-10-2009 at 02:08 PM.
But was she perfectly fine? I don't know. She was crying to me. She kept talking about how she has missed out on life, how lonely she is....
Originally Posted by chicagocurly78
But wasn't that after this guy said something? Was she OK before that?
Originally Posted by meryn
She used to mention how lonely she is since moving out of my mom's house. How she sits at home and it can suck. She also mentioned how a couple months ago she thought she was going to become ill from lack of socialization. She was off from work for 2 weeks because she was going to vacation with my mom, but those plans were changed at the last minute. So my sister stayed at home. She said for those 2 weeks, she had no interaction with anyone except the cashiers at stores and restaurants. She went 2 whole week without holding a conversation with anyone face-to-face and she thought she was going to become ill over it....

And I know that there have been guys that she likes in the past and she would never approach them because she just knew they wouldn't like her back.

I think my sis wants to settle down and always has.
But was she perfectly fine? I don't know. She was crying to me. She kept talking about how she has missed out on life, how lonely she is....
Originally Posted by chicagocurly78
But wasn't that after this guy said something? Was she OK before that?
Originally Posted by meryn
That's what I was thinking. It very well could be a grass is greener moment. . . Those are pretty common complaints regardless of number of friends and life experiences.
Why do you think she's in this situation?

Would it be a possibility for her to take a class she's interested in on the weekend, like cooking, photography, or scrapbooking etc. at a community center or community college? That could get her around people with similar interests. There are things like book clubs and dinner clubs too, something one wouldn't feel awkward about doing alone, people like books and experiencing different resturants.

I understand how hard it is to make friends when you're a busy adult and no longer in school where it seems pretty easy to meet new people. What about people she works with?


I'm not the expert, but if she had a mental illness, wouldn't her house and appearance be a mess? I think, and again it's specualation, that her social anxiety stemmed from a bad HS experience.
Originally Posted by chicagocurly78
Just seen this. No mental illness does not mean messy house/appearance. 1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness. It's just as likely that a person will be just the opposite because of their illness in order to disguise it and "look normal."

Even if she has said she was lonely in the past, it still could be just a moment of introspection. You said yourself she's not one to open up to you.

Even if it is a social anxiety. . . this is going to sound cold, but it's the truth. It probably doesn't bother her that much, because if it did, she would do something about it. I know from personal experience how tough anxieties and phobias can be. I've struggled with them most my life. Eventually you get to a point where you get fed up, and you declare that you are not going to let it control you anymore. Give yourself a pep talk, take a deep breath and just do it. Whether that means going to therapy, or just jumping into it, doesn't matter. It's not easy, far from it, but that's just what you got to do.

Only thing you can do is be supportive, when it comes down to it, it's a journey she has to take on her own.
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She opened up to me for the first time last night and she started crying.

She is in her late 20's and she's never had a boyfriend and she does't have any friends. She had a couple friends in HS and college, but they never lasted because my sister does not like to party, etc....and those girls did. She has never had interpersonal relationships, and even with our family, she stays away from family gatherings and reunions. She has always stayed home. Even on her 21st birthday, she stayed home. The phone is never for her. It has always seemed very unhealthy to me, but it isn't my life so i tried to stay out of hers. I have tried to get her to go out with me, but she never wants to.

So last night I talked to her on the phone and apparently there is a guy she is interested in and actually went on a few dates with. Yea!!?? Not so much. This guy has tons of friends and is starting to question why she doesn't have ANY. This was brought up by him because he found it so odd that she never talked about any friends, and her aparetment does not have any pictures up of anyone except a few family members. Apparently this is a red flag to him. And I don't know, maybe there are othr red flags going up that he didn't mention to her.

So now she is all upset. I'm sure she was really beginning to like this guy and who knows, maybe this could have been her first love....and now she is so upset and feels bothered by how much she has missed out on in her life. She said she wants to make friends and always has, but she manages to push people away somehow. And now that she is older, she finds it difficult b/c so many people her age are married with kids.

Ahhh. We don't live near eachother and whn I move back in May, we will be closer but I am going to be so busy that I won't have much time to hangout. But she needs to hangout...she needs to learn some social skills. How can I help her? Does she need to see a specialist?

ETA: When you first meet her, I don't think it's obvious at all. She takes good cae of her appearance, she is stylish. She works in healthcare, so she interacts with people everyday and she does well. She recenly moved out of my moms house (yea!!) and he aparetmenr is awesome - Italian leather furniture, plasma TV. My point is, she takes pride in herself and her belongings. I'm not the expert, but if she had a mental illness, wouldn't her house and appearance be a mess? I think, and again it's specualation, that her social anxiety stemmed from a bad HS experience.
Originally Posted by chicagocurly78
no...

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