Feel bad for being so introverted/not social with bf's family

Hello, so I really need advice on something that I’ve been struggling for quite some time and feel really guilty about but can’t really help myself.
Short Backstory/Explanation: I live with my boyfriend’s family and I am SO grateful that they let me live with them and I try my best to not get in the way since it’s a small house and I sometimes just feel kind of like a bother and I don’t wanna draw attention to myself or anything. Because of that, I mostly just stay in my boyfriends room pretty much all day when he’s at work, if his mom asks me if I wanna go on a walk with her or I feel comfortable going down to help with dinner or something, then I will, but I hate going out of my boyfriends room if his dad is home. Which brings me to the first part of the problem:
Problem: I am so anxious to go out of my boyfriends room if his dad is home. His dad is super nice, has never done anything to make me uncomfortable, is perfectly fine towards me, but there’s something about him that just makes me really anxious. It could be that he’s a very loud person, it could be that he is very upfront and forward and kinda grouchy sometimes, I don’t know what it is exactly, I just get so scared to do anything while he’s home, whether it be using the bathroom, going downstair to get food, just going downstairs in general, making any type of noise in my boyfriends room. I can tell that me not talking to him often or going downstairs to see/talk to him may hurt his feelings and he sometimes thinks I don’t like him, I just don’t know how to tell him I’m just very secluded and genuinely like to stay in my bf’s room, because I do. Yes, part of it is he makes me nervous, but I also have always been one to stay in my room and rarely make an appearance out of it lol I don’t mean to come off as not wanting to interact or talk to anyone, I just feel most safe in his room if that makes sense. It’s frustrating because I’m in a perfectly safe home, have a good support system, am not in any type of danger at all, but still hate how nervous I get to go outside of my bf’s room. I know it would be different if me and my bf had our own home, but it kinda feels like I’m a guest at someone’s house for a sleepover and even though I’ve been living with him for a tiny bit of over a year now, I still feel like a guest and will do anything to not be heard, seen, or be a bother. Does anyone else have experience with this? I know I can’t be the only one who has dealt with this, it just feels very lonely to deal with.
I think coming from the environment that I was in before and the way I grew up may have something to do with it. I got used to always and I mean ALWAYS being in my room since I never wanted to be around my mom and got really good at avoiding her/any family interaction and just never felt able to go downstairs, have a conversation and do whatever without feeling judged. It might also have to do with I’m just not used to the change yet. I’ve never lived in another country before, I’ve never lived with anyone else, I’ve always been a very shy person, it’s just a bunch of things.


Nicole_kaley, first off it’s wonderful that you are in a good, committed relationship with your bf. That his family has welcomed you in to live with them is wonderful. But I truly understand that feeling of anxiety about being out and involved in the family without your bf there with you. Am I in the way? Do they really want me here? Do they really like me? Am I a bother? And so on. We can be so unsure of how we are seen and liked that it can be really hard to step forward and be the wonderful you that you are with them. And it’s definitely harder when your experience is your own family judging you as less than.

Is it possible to talk with your bf about your anxiety and have him help you in getting to know his family better? Can he help you get to know his parents better? Spending time together in the group of the 4 of you may help with you being able to be with them when your bf isn’t there. Are you able to talk with his mom when you go on walks together? She may listen to what you have on your heart about where you fit in and how to help you feel more a part of the family. I know it feels overwhelming but it’s about building relationships and getting to know people a little at a time. Let us know how it goes for you. You are loved.

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Hey Nicole,
Thanks for posting,
Oh bless you, the reason you feel like a guest is really because you are and although im sure you have been told its your home it will probably never feel like your home and that sounds a bit harsh and I don’t say that because I don’t think you are wanted, I am sure they care very much or you wouldn’t be there, I feel its so much harder when a person moves in to a place where other people are already settled so its “their” place and ill be honest I would feel exactly the same as you and I know I would never leave the bedroom. It’s a tough one, For starters you may need to enroll your boyfriend a little more in spending more time with you and his parents so that it feels more natural to be around them, that would be a start. Another thought would be to mention some of this to the mum when you are out walking, sometimes its easier to have deeper discussions when your not sat in a room facing one another, let her know how you feel, I am sure she will be able to help a lot.
Failing all of that, one day if you are feeling really brave maybe offer dad a cup of tea and just sit with him whilst he drinks it…Tea can bring out some interesting conversation. Good luck. X


Hi @nicole_kaley

Thank you for being vulnerable about your fears and anxieties, I’m sorry that you don’t feel comfortable outside of your boyfriend’s room. That really makes things complicated and I can see why this makes you feel badly. I do also believe that the way you were treated when you were younger plays a big role in what is going on.

When your boyfriend is home, do you both socialize with his family? If not, is that something you could start doing, so you can get used to his father? It might be as easy as just breaking the ice with him and letting him get to know you and you him. This might help you feel like part of the family instead of a guest. I know for a lot of people, once they can break the ice with someone, they’ll feel more comfortable and go on to be friends.

I would suggest talking to your boyfriend and seeing what he thinks. I’m sure he’ll support you :slight_smile:

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Hello! Thank you for writing to us and telling us about your problems.
In my opinion, I think you could talk to your bf about how you feel. Maybe he can help you to feel more comfortable in the house and the people in it. Another thing you could do is try to start a conversation with your bf’s mom to feel more comfortable with her and with the house in general. Regarding your bf’s father, I think that once you feel more comfortable in the house and with the people in it, you will be able to feel more comfortable with the presence of your bf’s father.