Hikikomori: Can you be hiki and still gainfully employed? (19)

1 Name: Anonymous : 2009-10-18 19:31 ID:62pjvCUd

Browsing through various hiki-related threads here, there seems to be a split between hikis who exclusively leech off parents, and those who do have jobs or school but still call themselves hiki.

I'm curious about this because my personal life is very hiki-like and yet I have a full-time job. For a few years I was totally hikikomori without any employment, but through a stroke of luck I finally did get a job which let me fully support myself. Even after two years though, I have no life outside of work. All my friends and social contacts slipped away during the years I was locked inside my apt as an unemployed recluse, and I haven't made any new friends even after I started working. I thought after starting work again my life would return to normal but it hasn't as I'm still drowning under this inexplicable apathy and no longer care about hobbies I used to have. If not apathy then I feel irrational fear and anxiety. When not working I browse the web or watch online videos and don't go outside unless I need to. I feel like "real" life is slipping further and further away with each wasted day, and yet I can't seem to stop it. And I fear that if I lose this job (it's a bad recession after all) I will slip back into full hiki-mode and never be able to crawl back out.

I remember reading that all hikikomoris are by definition also NEETs (but not vice versa), and yet my life seems to have many attributes of hikikomori (abnormal social isolation, afraid to leave apt, etc). Does anyone have a similar story?

2 Name: Anonymous : 2009-10-19 01:28 ID:AG2bW9SX

Well considering you used to be locked inside, you can consider yourself a 'recovering-hikki' I guess, but more technically an avoidant social recluse.

3 Name: Anonymous : 2009-10-19 20:01 ID:B6swxSmH

well, like i wrote in the other thread, i work, but still living at parents place.. 90% of the money i get by work i spend for anime, games etc...
still i don't have any contact to other people.
it was worse for me when i dropped of university and had no job for a year..

4 Name: Anonymous : 2009-10-19 20:03 ID:B6swxSmH

btw. not op, still mostly same like op.

5 Name: Anonymous : 2009-10-20 03:57 ID:TTJ6bAMM

OP here.

Hadn't thought of it that way at all. I guess you are right, I am "recovering." I'm sure it's correct to describe my behavior as "avoidant social recluse," and yet I don't want to be a recluse. It's just something I feel trapped in. I'd actually prefer to have my old life back. You know, back when I had friends and people to hang with.

like >>3 says, it was definitely worse when I had no job, which is an encouraging thing worth remembering. I suppose you could call that progress, except that the only major change was finally getting a job. After that there hasn't been any steady progress or recovery and it's frustrating to be stuck in the same old rut all the time. I guess I was hoping to hear from others who have managed to progress even further, so I can analyze how they did it.

6 Name: Anonymous : 2009-10-20 09:39 ID:AG2bW9SX

>I'm sure it's correct to describe my behavior as "avoidant social recluse," and yet I don't want to be a recluse. It's just something I feel trapped in.

>>2 here, I am actually recovering too, and yeah, I know you don't want to be a recluse but it is kind of a big hump to get over.

One of the biggest things that happens when being a shut-in is the atrophy of a lot of social skills and actually knowing how to relate or even connect emotionally to others, since you have adapted to solitary living. It will take some time to re-develop those abilities as well as to compensate for whatever it was you lacked before you shut yourself in.

Maybe it seems like nothing is improving for you but it's probably not true. I mean, you are motivated to change enough that you are posting here right? Understanding the need for improvement and getting the motivation to change is a step in itself. Also, I think you are learning even when you don't realize it, through every social interaction you have you are rebuilding yourself.

Just have a small goal in mind that you want to accomplish each day and strive for it. Go to places you are afraid to, talk to people you wouldn't have, do things that you haven't done before and wanted to but don't push yourself to the point you are stressing out just do enough you feel exhilarated when you accomplish it. There were a lot of simple things I had neglected to do, like apply for a library card, so if there is anything like that, definitely do it.

7 Name: Mookid : 2010-03-01 02:01 ID:Cuqu/LtR

I'm hiki, but I have a job which is not steady. Thus, most of the time I am broke or nearing it. Sometimes, when I'm really desperate and broke, and the job rears it's head, I am thankful. Maybe if some game was coming out soon that I really wanted, or something to that effect. Most of the time, though, I dread the phone ringing, because the job will either pull me from here, or I will choose to turn it down, and that's always a bit awkward.

I haven't been called to work since 2009, which shows how slow and far between the job can be. I kind of want it to turn up because then I can pay off my credit card, but I really do not want to go to it, no siree, Shirley, Swarley, but now I'm not really sure what the hell I'm talking about abbaboo abbaboo Mr. Mittens sold his Kittens~

8 Name: Anonymous : 2010-03-01 14:27 ID:36iRiqZo

The line between being a real hikki, or working / following education while not socializing or having friends is rather thin. I suppose I am a former hikki, considering there have been times where I've been holed up in my room for months at a time (only going out for food). I'm studying at an university now, and I haven't showed up in 2 and a half weeks. Yet, nobody has informed as to how I'm doing. It's rather ironic how quite a few of my fellow students have added me to their facebooks, yet they don't actually talk to me...

9 Name: Anonymous : 2010-03-01 14:37 ID:36iRiqZo

Hit reply too fast... anyway, what I meant to say was that I am not really socializing much more when I do go out. Being lonely by myself in my room, or being lonely while surrounded by people, both of them can be tough.

The first (being a real hikki) is easy on one hand, as you don't have to be constantly worrying about how you act, what others think of you. But you slowly rot away from the inside, the constant feeling of knowing that you can't keep it up forever.

The second (being lonely, but having a job or an education) can be hard because it feels like you are constantly being gnawed away at by insecurities, having to conform to society. But at least you are trying to survive, that does give yourself a certain sense of pride and hope.

I think I'm doing what many people are, which is switching between the two when it gets too hard...

10 Name: Anonymous : 2010-03-04 12:10 ID:YjB5yx5s

Fellow former hiki here.

What if you don't want to 'recover'? I have absolutely no interest in the real world. The only reason why I leave my room is because circumstances force me to.

11 Name: Anonymous : 2010-03-05 05:26 ID:9VmlaD6d

only if you work entirely online

12 Name: Anonymous : 2010-03-24 06:15 ID:KwJpEVS6

I think it's stupid when people argue that you can't be a real recluse if you've got a job. Ostracisation is a state of mind. When I was in college I certainly didn't feel any more outgoing for it - if anything, it was the only place I could get a feel for my own alienation. Being outside of your comfort zone makes you realise how small your self-constructed world really is - if you're stuck at home all day, browsing the internet, there's no such wake up call. You can be a emperor-without-clothes all day without reprimand, for better or worse.

13 Name: Anonymous : 2010-03-24 17:23 ID:4kM/O3xI

As somebody who spent 7 years as a defined hikikomori; that is, zero friends, lived alone through government assistance, and no job - I don't believe you can be considered one if you maintain employment. A hikikomori is defined (cultural aspects aside) as someone who cannot cope with society and so they withdraw. However, the moment you obtain a job you have something in your life you must oblige to, as opposed to sitting alone, inside, not communicating with anybody real, you do go out.

While you can maintain a lifestyle of solitude through not having friends or partaking in lonesome activities, you are now more of an introvert, nothing more. Unless their is still some medical issue at hand, such as agoraphobia of something, you're not really a hikikomori unless you're giving into solitude at your own free will, and avoiding everything that comes with the real world, like a job, friends, school etc etc.

14 Name: meku : 2013-05-30 05:56 ID:8HkG3f10

i have a full time job....but i can make my hours and choose to work at night so i dont have to see people. im a welder. so i dont need to interact with people at work. if i didnt need to support myself i wouldnt leave home. i dont like people. they scare me. they make me uncomferatuble and uneasy. i never know what to say and always feel like an idiot when i say something. when i get home i get strate inside and stay inside. my windows are always coverd and i never answer the door and dont even have a cell phone anymore. all i need is my pc and my anime. i dont like the outside world. its done nothing but cause me discomfort. im better off in my house locked up. and i hate the fact that i have to ever leave. i wish i had lots of money so i didnt have to leave. so besides the fact i do leave my house to get money so i can buy anime and games and food i do consider myself an american Hikikomori. i may be wrong but thats how i see myself and im hapy with it. i v always been shut in and untill i moved to a town in the sticks it was alot harder to live and be comferatble like i am now.

if anyone has a response to what i said or if i can even call myself a Hikikomori email me at kevininforks@gmail.com

15 Name: Anonymous : 2013-06-25 22:36 ID:+k7aWQre


This. IMO truly self-sufficient hikkis tend to make ends meet, without leeching off parents/society. Mostly IT or investing.

It's probably silly pride thing, but I'd rather die alone without being burden to anyone, rather in momma's basement...


Indeed. Though I'd not call it 'cope' - in my case it's simpler than that, if not subtle - social bonds, like everything in life, have their highs and lows. The end result is zero, so what's the point. The meaning of life is perpetuation of species, persuading happiness is always temporary. That's how I perceive humans to be wired.

As for the basic instinct to seek human bonds, I think it works like with wolves - either you're in the pack, or not, whichever works for you.


Orbital ion stream of thought cannon!

16 Name: Anonymous : 2015-10-11 11:05 ID:MkL911aZ

OP here. It's been over six years since I made this post originally. I've been out of work for 4 years and on disability. I haven't spoken to my parents or any other family face-to-face since last Christmas. I have made the decision to kill myself via hanging tomorrow morning.

Goodbye, cruel world.

17 Name: Anonymous : 2015-10-13 03:14 ID:Heaven

rip in peace

18 Name: Anonymous : 2015-11-22 22:55 ID:teHj7VDp

See you spacecowboy...

19 Name: Anonymous : 2016-09-23 11:04 ID:WX3700QJ

It's interesting how, no matter how long it takes, we all seem to come back here eventually. I see this in several threads, but this one stood out since there was a six year gap between OP's initial thoughts and the most recent post. Even today, I find myself coming back here every couple years and seeing old posts. It's like going back to your old hometown, full of nostalgic memories but full of hurtful memories at the same time. There's a lot of pain behind these walls.

I think you can be a gainfully employed hikikomori, but only if your job is done remotely. A hikky, by definition, doesn't leave their house (and oftentimes their room). Software development or investing is a good way to support yourself under these conditions. For someone who doesn't have access to a lot of money to survive on investing (think a minimum of $100,000), software development is the preferred choice.

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