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I feel like I'm much younger than I am

I'm 20 but I honestly still feel like I'm about 14 as I have missed out on almost all of the experiences that generally mark the transition from childhood to adulthood. I also look about 14/15 so the way people perceive/treat me in public is appropriate to how you would treat a 15 year old not a 20 year old.

I have never had a romantic or sexual relationship and I honestly don't think I would be able to function in an adult relationship because I have missed out on the stage of learning how to have relationships. I also don't have any friends so have missed out on a lot of other social development and generally just learning how to move through the world independently that comes with that.

I'm pretty much at the point of accepting that close connections with others just aren't for me and won't happen for me and that's okay but I worry about how the way I am will impact my future. I'm alright with talking in controlled/defined situations, such as I can talk about the content I've been reading for tutorials but I'm completely unable to make small talk/socialise normally. People pick up on the fact that I haven't had normal social development and so don't feel comfortable talking normally to me which exaggerates the problem because I never get a chance to practice and try to learn what others learned years ago.

I also worry about how this will impact me when it comes to jobs. I am at uni/live independently but that is pretty much the end of my adult life. I worry that I would struggle to function on my own, especially as I will probably be working in London, as I don't have the street smarts and abilities that other people do. I worry that I would just be completely lost and would fall apart on my own. Even an average 16 year old is probably more street smart, socially developed and just able to function in the world independently than I am.

I grew up quite sheltered but I don't think that was a deliberate choice by my parents, it was more just a reaction to the way I am as I was always very timid/naive and had little to no friends so was an easy target for bullies. I would also struggle to describe myself and don't really have interests/a personality in the way that other people do. I've tried to find one but I still feel like i'm cycling through interests/personalities in the way a child or young teen would do. I'm just not a full person in the way that everyone else is. I honestly wish I could go back to being 14 when I was just a "late bloomer" in an acceptable way and not some failure who's already missed out and wasted too much of her life to ever catch up and just has to watch everyone else go on normally while the gap gradually widens between me and them.
Hi, you will definitely find the answer to your problems some day. but for now just be patient and keep trying with perseverance. I'm 18 and I honestly felt like that too and also feel like I'm younger too. I relate to about 90% of your problems here. It is ok to be or act younger than you actually are. I am known to have a childish personality but that should never stop or gain fear to go beyond our boundaries. For example talking to new people or getting in a relationship. I also find it hard to build healthy strong relationships or get into a romantic relationship because I never understood what the point of romance is. I always thought there is a goal or a result. In fact this is not true. The reason nis because humans want to explore more in life and gain personal growth as we choose to commit and create a mutualism. It like they say: teamwork makes the dreamwork! In conclusion, it can be hard to get into a relationship or friendship if we always constantly criticized ourselves. We should accept and just try because I would rather know that I tried to be in a relationship and gain something positive and let it die, rather than not meeting anyone. This applies to our foes a partner a friend a family member etc.

PEOPLE WILL ACCEPT YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE AND WE SHOULD TRY TO BRING OUT THE POSITIVE QUALITIES WE HAVE RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON WEAK ASPECTS. FOR EXAMPLE, I SEE THAT YOU TEND PROBABLY SHOW MORE OF YOUR WEAKER QUALITIES RATHER THAN THE POSITIVE ONES. LEARN TO TRUST YOURSELF

ONCE YOU LEARN TO DO (IRRESPECTIVE OF WHEATHER EVERYBODY ELSE LEANR THIS YEARS AGO OR NOT) EVERYTHING ELSE WILL COME AUTOMATICALLY, LIKE HAVING THE CONFIDENCE TO TALK TO PEOPLE, TO LIVE YOUR OWN INDEPENDANT LIFE, HAVE A HOME, BUILDING FRIENDSHIPS

Final message it is ok to be a RESERVESED person (me too) Just remember to accept what you have. You are not a failure, you have just lost yourself. Dont let the copper in you rust. We spray the coat or the foundation layer(positive changes) to show our shiny material we can attract , not the rust that people will back away from.

THANKS HOPE THIS HELPED. I kinda waffled a bit but remember to stay safe. Drop a message on this post for more. :smile:

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