Social Phobia/Anxiety

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Social Phobia/Anxiety

Post by MangoFreak on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:28 pm

This is one of the biggest issues I tend to struggle with and its caused me a lot of sadness over the years, and is even part of the reason I lost someone I loved very dearly. I've noticed a lot of other people have the same problem here, so maybe we can talk about it and come to solutions together, or at least listen to one another and maybe feel less alone about it.

I used to be a really social child who had no sense of embarrassment, but as I grew older I began to deeply fear people and what they thought for reasons I do not know. No matter what I could never bring myself to not hate myself over a poor conversation or misspoken words. The worst thing about all of this though, the thing that kills me most is that it prevents me from making the awesome friends I know I could have. Even now I work in a place with wonderfully funny and social people who I would love to be able talk to normally - But words constantly escape me. I see them joking, having fun and I do try to make little efforts to go along with it, but it always feels weak or awkward, so I often just nod, smile or say something sarcastic. These people make visible efforts to include me sometimes and it's a struggle to even take that.

It's not an exaggeration to say that my entire family is full of incredibly outgoing, wonderfully friendly people who most people cannot help but like, but somehow I ended up being the only person who's quiet and withdrawn. Don't get me wrong, there are occasionally people I can mesh with despite my problems and be completely myself around, but its largely online, and the ones I meet in real life could be counted on one hand. I can't even socialize with my family on a personal level. The only thing that keeps my connection with them is the fact that we are related. They know virtually nothing about me because I'm too scared to try and tell them much. I just figure that they won't care or don't really want to bother. What all of this adds up to is just a weight on my heart that really brings me down sometimes. I can see good people who would care, I can see friendship, I can see love, I can see happiness in front of me - But I'm either too scared or just don't know how to take it a lot of the time.
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Re: Social Phobia/Anxiety

Post by TwinMonkeys on Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:33 am

I think one of the best ways to handle this is to take baby steps. If you have Facebook or other social media, why not message a friend or family member and have a chat? Or maybe text someone. This avoids being personal and making eye contact and the like. If you're comfortable texting or PMing someone, then maybe try conversing over a meal or during a meeting or something. Good luck, hope I could help.

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Re: Social Phobia/Anxiety

Post by TwinMonkeys on Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:34 am

I think one of the best ways to handle this is to take baby steps. If you have Facebook or other social media, why not message a friend or family member and have a chat? Or maybe text someone. This avoids being personal and making eye contact and the like. If you're comfortable texting or PMing someone, then maybe try conversing over a meal or during a meeting or something. Good luck, hope I could help.

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Re: Social Phobia/Anxiety

Post by wappened on Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:49 pm

I completely understand your anxiety about how others perceive your expressions.

THIS is how I have been handling that:

Discovered much of my worries were unfounded. My feeling of not being confident in myself underscored my every action.

One thing that was a constant worry REGRET. I looked to the experts on how to handle regret. They point to our decision making.

If we make best decisions with best information available we shouldn't have regrets.

I still have regrets but much much less than before.

Here is a video that takes a different tact on the subject of confidence and good living.
Give it a chance to sink in. Opened my eyes.

Youtube:
Navy SEAL Training - Self Confidence - Froglogic Motivational

by David Rutherford


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Re: Social Phobia/Anxiety

Post by drfingerbutts on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:20 pm

I have the same issues. There are a handful of people who "get" me and I'm comfortable with. It almost seems like I have a difficult time reading people, but don't know the questions to ask to figure them out in a socially acceptable way.

One thing that I've been doing to help is use the anxiety app by Excell at Life. It has a diary function that let's you check of your irrational thoughts. Then it pairs those irrational thoughts with questions or statements that negate the irrational thought. It takes time and practice, but I did talk myself out of a panic attack last week using it.

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Re: Social Phobia/Anxiety

Post by Admin on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:01 am

I'm gonna check out that app. I have also noticed that while I do have a handful of good friends, even some I've grown up with and consider family, there are still only a few people I feel comfortable talking about this stuff with.
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Re: Social Phobia/Anxiety

Post by drfingerbutts on Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:52 pm

So... a big part of my anxiety is that I have no idea what to say back to people. Even online.

Even here. I've seen some great conversation and encouragement going on in these threads, but once I try to get past explaining myself or my situation. .. I just get stuck. I don't know what to say back to people.

My therapist says to ask people about themselves to keep conversations going, but it nearly always feels forced or fake - even if I really care about the person. Any ideas on how to move past this?

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Re: Social Phobia/Anxiety

Post by annushka-the-plague on Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:25 am

Don't be afraid to allow silence to fall. Say your words, and no more.

Silence between two people is ok in my book. It's still socializing. You're still together. Just because you are falling silent doesn't mean you are withdrawing.
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Re: Social Phobia/Anxiety

Post by drfingerbutts on Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:50 am

. . .

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Re: Social Phobia/Anxiety

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:00 am

Don't be scared to express yourself, or even be silent. I am the same way and a friend told me yesterday sometimes she likes just silence, even with other people. Use us to practice if you want by talking about whatever comes into your head also.
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Re: Social Phobia/Anxiety

Post by annushka-the-plague on Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:07 am

drfingerbutts wrote:. . .

. . . Smile
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Re: Social Phobia/Anxiety

Post by amongstheliving on Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:05 pm

Don't force conversation, dr!

But, if you want to try and talk to others, ask them about their interests. Ask them if they like that movie you love. Don't just touch the surface... ask why they didn't/did like the movie. Be genuinely interested and engaged. If you don't feel interested in talking to that particular person, why bother? I mean, I am nice to strangers, but if I don't have a connection, I move on. I have great friends that I am truly interested in engaging. Maybe you can practice on the phone with one of us?
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