One of my children is in her early 20's and deeply stuck. She has finished high school during the first COVID-19 lockdown, has then had a short stint at living alone and studying (aborted after 1.5 semesters because it "was not for her"). She tried to become an apprentice in a trade which she thought she may like, sent a single application, was interviewed, denied, and has since given up on doing anything at all.
Since then, she spends her time watching dramas and reading. Any attempts to talk with her about anything related to life plans, work, the future, etc. are met with swift and utter denial.
Family life is not completely trivial - she has a hard time with my wife/her mother, but nothing we haven't been able to survive since her puberty. She has all opportunities one could hope for; we live near one of the nicest university- and high-value commercial/industrial cities in my country, there would be plenty of opportunities for her.
But my main issue is that time is rearing its ugly head: she's slowly getting into an age where contemporaries are into the latter stages of their studies or have long finished trade apprenticeships and are living their own lives, while she has zero life experience. She does not leave the house at all. She has a few friends from school, and as far as I know they occasionally chat and very seldomly meet in person (like 1-2 times per year), but that's it for social contacts (this has been similar before COVID-19, so may be aggravated by that, but it's certainly not the primary cause).
Outside the house, she has always been of low self-esteem, extremely introvert, quiet and anxious; in the family she is brittle-aggressive, and depressive for large spans of time. Conflict resolution mostly consists of her storming out, banging doors, and shutting herself off completely.
We tried getting her into therapy (for her depression and anxiety) and she had a few sessions, but she's rejected everything and anything. When talking with outsiders, she's radically different, very quiet and a victim of circumstances in everything. She is clearly intelligent, has great rhetoric skills, and is very good at blame shifting (which, I am very sure, she really believes in). My wife and myself have had family counselling (specifically on whether there's anything we can improve in our behaviour towards her - the two of us are fine otherwise), but nothing much came from that aside from them giving us mental tools to "survive".
I believe I have exhausted all "nice" possibilities. I could just keep doing nothing and hope for the best while being supportive, but slowly but surely this strikes me as not being in either her or my best interests (coming from a place of love).
In the past, trying to pressure her to anything was a) really not that necessary - she managed her school education more or less on her own and b) in the very few cases where it was necessary, it turned out to be extremely taxing on the family (my wife especially, which is usually the target of her sometimes near limitless aggression) and also ultimately futile - no matter how well-meaning our goals were, she always viewed it as targetted against her as person, no matter how factual and non-emotional/non-personal we tried to do it.
Is there a good strategy for changing this kind of situation, with the goals of
- ...her doing something, anything with her life; a trade, studies, working in a low-entry job, or just some hobby,
- ...and not turning the home into a nuclear zone?
with the side constraint that she so far denies any and all open discussion of any "earnest" topics at all?
This is in Germany.
she's slowly getting into an age where contemporaries are into the latter stages of their studies or have long finished trade apprenticeshipsthis line of thought doesn't help and it can become dangerous. Yes, she has to "do something" with her life, but everyone has a pace and a moment, and it seems for me that your daughter has MUCH MORE important issues that need to be treated BEFORE all of you can start thinking about her career, a job, or her studies. Forget about her range of age and what other do ATM, focus on her and her only.