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do I have anxiety or just shyness

A

art142

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hello, I consider myself a shy person. I don't talk much espesially to the people I find attractive in any way (friendly or romantic). I often don't have a problem to ask a question a stranger or introduse myself if nessecary, usually after the other person introduses themselves first. HOwever I cannot keep the conversation going and I feel akward right away. I find myself talking more when being around mor shy people than me. However many times I have to plan the hole conversation up ahead in my head and when thiw happens I feel anxious. I find it difficult to send texts even to the people i fell close to or talk to the phone with strangers. Sometimes I feel like there is a wall stopping my from expessing my real self, stopping me from being real, from starting to talk, from forming connectionw with others. I am so scared that the will reject me even if they are rejecting me because I don't talk and seem so quiet. I do get anxious if I have to meet new people or people I want to get close to. For example last summer I reconnected with an old friend after she approached me first, but before we met i felt so anxiouw and i almost canceled it, and thiw isn't the only time. When i have to meet with the people from a club at uni the same happens or if I have to meet people I am not friends with and i want to become and I don't despise them or just don't like them. Furthermore I don't have many frieands and I rely heavily on my sister for arranging any social interactions with them. It is just very tiring because I want to live my life and this shyness is bothering me. I could not describe very well how I feel when I have to interact with people though, but I hope you can tell me based an your personal experiences, if what I am experiancing is mild social anxiety or just shyness. Do you believe I can overcome it or my live will always be like that?
 
jajingna

jajingna

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Have a look at this: LIEBOWITZ SOCIAL ANXIETY SCALE | National Social Anxiety Center

It might give you some idea of how socially anxious you are in different situations. I think most socially anxious people are also shy, and maybe most shy people feel the anxiety too. They're not quite the same but in my opinion are closely related most of the time. Getting over these feelings is not as easy as some people believe. I don't know how old you are, or how long you have suffered with this stuff, but it can go on and on for many years if you don't get help or find some way to change by developing confidence or whatever it takes.
 
A

art142

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well this is been going on for a while, since 8th grade i think, and now I am 19. Since then I had some friends but at that time I got in a realy bad argument with one of them and I lost all of them because I distenced myself. The I went to High school and had no friends, I talked to no one, I couldn't form connections and I couldn't be my real self so I avoided people. Iused to spend my breals either at the toilets or at the library alone.
 
jajingna

jajingna

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Yeah, I was an avoider in high school too, and did not talk much. I had friends in my neighborhood who went to the other school in my small town. But at my school I never was close to any classmates. Was more of a keep to myself guy or loner. I would never eat in the cafeteria where everybody went for lunch. I'm older now, a middle aged man, and that was several decades ago, but I still have the disorder, the strange fear about what other people think. I know I learned this in my family and learned to avoid my parents because they were troubled unhappy people who hurt me emotionally. So it was a way to feel safe when I was young, but then the pattern just kept going throughout my university and adult years, causing me problems socially.

I think that's basically what is behind a lot of adult problems. The weird childhood at home or school. Then you learn behaviors just to survive really, and those behaviors help you get through every day for many years. But then when you get older and those people you were avoiding for years are not even around any more, you still have that behavior and have trouble seeing that other people are usually safe to be around. You can be an adult still stuck in a childhood pattern of avoidance and anxiety because of what you learned to do to survive when you were a child.
 
A

art142

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You are so right about thinking what other people think k and about avoidance but I have an amazing family anda good childhood so nothing happened to affect me and become like this
 
I

Idkwhattodo

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I don't know if I'm too late for this, but you and I are extremely similar. I have this exact same problem, and I haven't had a bad childhood either. You're not alone.
 
A

art142

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I don't know if I'm too late for this, but you and I are extremely similar. I have this exact same problem, and I haven't had a bad childhood either. You're not alone.
I am so glad to hear that I am not alone. You know, everyone here and generally most people talk about childhood trauma and traumatic experiences that contributed to their difficulties , but I was not bullied and I did't have toxic parents. I had a completely normal life but I turd like this and I don't know why and as a result I don't know where to start from to fix it. I don't have a reason to be like thiw, so shy and reserved.nd most of all I am talking to complete strangers, hidden behind my anonymity because, I off course, am too ashamed to talk behind my real name and expose myself in any way, even if I am talking to people who face the same problems. I wish I could hide in my real life behind a mask and at the same time be myself in front of people without thiw shyness stopping me.
 
A

art142

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No, but I go to therapy. I haven't seen much improvement on this but I don'tknow, i belive if I didn't go I would kill myself
 
I

Idkwhattodo

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You should try to talk to a doctor, taking medicine sometimes helps to restore the balance, then you just have to get in the habit of talking to people.
 
Empish

Empish

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To all you guys in this thread and especially 142..please don't kill yourself, it would be a terrible shame because you are no doubt all lovely, nice, decent individuals who simply need to find out what will help you. It's perfectly ok to be shy and anxious. Millions of people are anxious or depressed..life is difficult and people are complicated so don't give yourselves too much of a hard time. There are lots of self help books, hundreds of yoga, meditation, mindfulness youtube videos especially for anxiety, and essential oils like bergamot (good for anxiety, depression and CONFIDENCE) lavender (good for relaxation, insomnia) and geranium (security, centerdness, stabilising. Learn how to use these properly though, they have to be diluted in a carrier oil (2-3 drops of essential oil in 2 teaspoons of carrier oil if used in a massage). 8 - 10 drops in the bath is probably the easiest method if you are not familiar with aromatherapy.
Yoga is not only good for dealing with stress, emotional problems and anxiety (if you find the right book, video or class) it could also be an interest that would give you something to talk about. Yoga theory is very interesting.
Also going out of your comfort zones occasionally is very good for increasing confidence..theres a well known book called feel the fear and do it anyway which explains this well. Going to a yoga or meditation class would be a good example of going out of your comfort zone, you don't have to stay if it's too much for you, you can leave at any time if necessary.
Know your erroneous zones might be a good self help book to start off with. It might be available on youtube as an audiobook, I know 'The Four Agreements' is (another good well know self help book). The Power of Now is also good but probably a bit too heavy for younger readers.
Hope you find something helpful here.
 
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