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Thread: Introversion or something else?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Introversion or something else?

    My 30 yo nephew is staying with us for 3 months. He's here to look for a job and possibly relocate. He stays in his room all the time. He only comes out to eat or use the bathroom. The rest of the time he's in the room with the door, window and curtains closed.

    Is this severe introversion? Normal introversion? Something else entirely? Please help me out. I don't know how much I should push him to leave the house. I know job hunting is done online now, but this seems excessive. From all accounts, including his own, this is what he does at home too; he lives with his parents.

    He's 30 yrs old, so I don't feel responsible for him. He's a grown man. Just not sure if I should mind my own business or try to get him out more. And if I should bring up the subject of depression. When he does come out of his room he seems fine, and he says he is happiest in his room, but could there be depression behind it? I'm not sure what to do, ignore the whole thing and let him do what he wants, or try to help him.

    This is dh's nephew and neither of us knows him well. Only met him a few times when he was younger so we don't have a close relationship with him where we would feel comfortable bringing up things like mental illness. But since we're the elders, it seems that we might need to do so even if it's uncomfortable.

    I'm a moderate extrovert and dh is a moderate introvert. Since there are many introverts here, I thought you guys might have some good insight as to whether this is simply an issue of personal preference or something else that might need addressing.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    If he is not discussing things with you about the job hunt, are you talking and socializing otherwise? You agreed to be a home for the job search, not a cave to hide in. Were you able to have the discussion about parameters that should be adhered to to maintain harmony from both points of view? How well do you know the family? I cannot remember the info that you shared.
    Sorry, it sounds weird to me. I like my privacy but courtesy when in another's home requires some socialization to connect especially when the home is offered in support. Age is irrelevant,IMO, as I would expect this equally of a teen or a senior.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Welcome to the millennials. Their social lives seem to run around people on their phones, which they set down when they meet up with someone from Grinder/Tinder.

    Until he finds a job, is it worth it to try to make friends/roots when you don't know if your going to stay there?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Miss Cellane's Avatar
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    Most introverts interact with other people on a day-to-day basis, speaking as a pretty strong introvert. Sure, I do really enjoy the rare day when I can stay home and not even have to talk to anyone all day long--but that's not a typical day.

    My gut feeling is that there might be some depression behind his hiding in his room, but he would need to see a mental health professional to get a real diagnosis. Because he could just be addicted to playing video games.

    Does he talk to you at all when he is out of the room? Does he eat meals with you and carry on a normal conversation then?

    Has he shown any signs of job hunting? Any interviews? Does he go out by himself ever?

    Do both of you have a plan for what happens if three months are up and he doesn't have a job? That's something to talk about.

    I also think that if you are giving him free room and board and internet and TV and heat and hot water, that it is fair to expect him to help around the house a bit--mowing the lawn, washing the kitchen floor, vacuuming, taking out the trash, running quick errands. If nothing else, a few chores will get him out of his room a little bit.

  5. #5
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Well, your experience is similar to mine/DH's. As you know BIL is selling his house next door to us, and for some inexplicable reason, as soon as the for sale sign went up, he moved in with us. That was fine with us, although we couldn't figure out why he wouldn't wait until his house actually sold before moving in.

    The weird thing is, he did just what your nephew is doing. He holed himself in the room and we never saw him. Our situation is even stranger than yours because we have spent our whole lives with him. DH is his brother, for Pete's sake. We've been relatives, next-door neighbors, vacation buddies, Hurricane Sandy buddies, you name it.. We have two spare bedrooms, and I offered him not only the big one that he was in, but also the smaller one that has a TV in it. I told him that could be his "suite"--to feel free to use both rooms, if he didn't want to watch TV with us. He never even did that. I felt like I had posted "room for rent" on Craigslist and got a total stranger living with me, not my BIL.

    He's 55, and he isn't even that introverted.

    So don't feel bad. Some people just either don't want to intrude, or don't want to be intruded upon, or "just want to be alone."
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Ask his parents if that's normal for him.

    as a severe introvert, I disagree that someone has an obligation to socialize with you if you give them a place to stay. I would be delighted with a houseguest who kept to themself, didn't make a mess, and let me know that everything was fine for them that way (otherwise I would probably feel guilty because I liked having them closed up in their room)

    ds did bring a "friend" home from college one fall break who came to meals, ate without talking or carrying his plate, and hid in ds's room. He did not leave the house when ds went out with his friends, which made us uncomfortable, and he stayed up really late (until about 3 a.m.) the first night face timing with his family in China, which involved yelling and howling with laughter and slapping our wall. The second night we turned the Internet off at 10:00, after we had gone up to our room - where the connection was - and closed the door.

    it turns out he wasn't so much a friend as a guy who ds had met and felt sorry for because he had nowhere to go. We told ds that if he brought home any more random homeless people, he was responsible for them 24/7.

  7. #7
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    My initial reaction was that "this is what many millennials do".

    But Miss Cellane raises some good points -- does the guy seem "normal" or at least polite on a daily basis? If he never leaves the house to go on job interviews, to movies/social events/etc., or to exercise, there may be some depression. However, I agree that you don't have the relationship with him to discuss it. That's where talking with his parents would come in, as a check to see if this is relatively normal behavior and as a heads-up to them if it is not.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  8. #8
    Senior Member gimmethesimplelife's Avatar
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    Hi Geila!

    First let me say that I am not young and I don't know the young man involved - I am going here by what I have observed in young men and what I have read online about young men. This is not completely from personal experience is my point. That said, from what I understand this behavior is not completely uncommon in young men - there is a movement of young men who have given up on women (and no, this doesn't mean they are gay for anyone snickering) and do the rock bottom minimum they have to do to survive and are not interested in dating or appearing attractive to the opposite sex or engaging in behaviors overall that society would expect of young men of that age. They are not into the idea of ever getting married or being fathers or climbing a career ladder and more or less, accept a lot in life of being on their own and living for themselves and winning noone's approval save their own. This young man could be one of these - but then again, I don't know him and can't say. MGTOW is what such young men go by - it means Men Going Their Own Way. Then again, I could just as easily be totally off on this one, I'm just bringing it up and running it by you. Rob

  9. #9
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    Welcome to the millennials
    My thought too. I have noticed that many of the young men where we just moved to seem unmotivated and not very personable. Into gaming, spending hours online, smoking pot and avoiding interaction with real people.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I'll provide some more info and answer some of the items brought up in the responses.

    This is normal behavior for him. This is what he does at home and has done for many years. His parents have accepted it. I don't know if they are bothered by it or not, I'm afraid they might feel offended if I ask them about it. We're not close and they are older than us so they might take it as a criticism.

    He is very lazy and spoiled. Both here and at home. He doesn't even help his parents with mowing lawn or other chores even though they both have health issues. I asked him to do a few chores that I felt would help him feel at home and provide an opportunity to go out and be in the neighborhood a bit. He said ok and then choose not to do any of it and never mentioned it again. Since I don't want to be a nagging mother figure, I let it go and took it as information. We were thinking of letting him stay with us for a year or two if he got a job here. That's no longer going to be offered.

    He does not go out and do any activities on his own. I gave him the info of a local car rental so he could get around and he said he does not want to rent a car. He will only go places if someone is taking him. I was surprised by this as this area is a very popular tourist destination.

    He has not gone on any job interviews. He does not discuss his job hunting. He responds to attempts at conversation with yes/no answers, very much like a moody teenager. He is polite but uninterested in any sort of engagement. He often doesn't say anything all day.

    I've let him know that he is now responsible for procuring his own food. I took him shopping last week and paid for all his groceries. He has thrown out about half of the food by letting it go bad or deciding he didn't want it after all. He will have to leave the house to buy food. We have several grocery stores a couple of blocks away. He seemed pained at the idea of walking there. I've also let him know that he is responsible for cleaning his own bathroom.

    I'm really glad I decided not to cook for him or drive him around and that I communicated it upfront.

    I think some of the behavior is due to lack of drive because everything has always been provided for him. Mom cooks and cleans for him, Dad provides free housing, food and even bought him a car. But the staying in the room all the time is a new one to me. I can't imagine traveling across the country to one of the best places to visit and then sitting in a closed room each and every day.

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