How do you overcome people phobia?

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dewey

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#1
Me : always get labelled as 'weird', with a history of being socially awkward, whatever 'friends' I have had make fun of me, old 'friends' don't want to meet up with me despite me asking, etc, and my current job doesn't involve meeting people. I am basically isolated and find myself increasingly afraid of people, I assume they will hurt me, I don't know how to create healthy boundaries with people, or how to be around people. I am scared of making new friends, in fact petrified, I don't trust people.
How can I overcome this? Has anyone got advice for how to overcome this? Has anyone succesfully moved out their comfort zone?
 
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dewey

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#3
I’m sorry I wish I had the answer. It’s awfUl when your scared of people
Yep it's pretty bad. And it's not without reason. People say it's irrational but phobia of people comes from experience.
 
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OCDguy

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#5
One negative cog, generally turns another. Perhaps firstly look to your expectations. Are they set too high? :hug:
 
daffy

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#6
One negative cog, generally turns another. Perhaps firstly look to your expectations. Are they set too high? :hug:
I think that’s the problem with anxiety you never think your good enough, or that they are better than you. And it’s a difficult thought process to stop
 
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dewey

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#8
I think I'm poorly socialised, and also the stuff people have told me has made me very paranoid that I'm unlikeable.
 
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OCDguy

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#9
Sorry I didn't explain very well... When I think back I used to have a expectation of how people would react to me. Does that make sense?
 
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dewey

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#10
Sorry I didn't explain very well... When I think back I used to have a expectation of how people would react to me. Does that make sense?
Yeah it makes sense. I don't have a high expectation. I just am really bad at social interaction and even in recent years have been told that I'm weird, have weird mannerisms and expressions etc. Like mainly cause by my MH problems, like dissociating whatever.
 
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OCDguy

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#13
Regarding calling someone weird etc., from experience these kind of immature comments are generally made by people with real issues... Rather than look inwards, take a look at them ;) You mentioned moving out of your comfort zone, and I am thinking why would you want to? To do so would rely on courage, rather than confidence. If it were me I would concentrate on building confidence and feeling comfortable in your every day dealings with other people. Then perhaps look at building a social circle etc. Perhaps finding a drop-in centre and mixing amongst understanding people may be both interesting and rewarding :)
 
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Girl interupted

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#14
What if there was something wrong with them that had nothing to do with you?

I personally think you’re great. Others do too.

But I do get the social anxiety. It can be crippling.

My best advice is to go try something like a book club, that doesn’t demand a lot of you socially, where you can leave without it being an issue if you need to. Stay off the apps. They suck, and chances of meeting sincere people are slim.

What about horseback riding lessons? When i used to ride, the moment I got on a horse, I forgot every trouble. It’s liberating.
 
sadpunchingbag

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#15
exposure to what you are scared of in small quantities then gradually increase the intensity until you can bear it
 
Lunus

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#16
Me : always get labelled as 'weird', with a history of being socially awkward, whatever 'friends' I have had make fun of me, old 'friends' don't want to meet up with me despite me asking, etc, and my current job doesn't involve meeting people. I am basically isolated and find myself increasingly afraid of people, I assume they will hurt me, I don't know how to create healthy boundaries with people, or how to be around people. I am scared of making new friends, in fact petrified, I don't trust people.
How can I overcome this? Has anyone got advice for how to overcome this? Has anyone succesfully moved out their comfort zone?
Okay, as somebody who has overcome Social Phobia I would say this. Social Phobia is an irrational fear of people. What this means is that you fear you will embarrass or humiliate yourself in some way, or that somebody will see your ‘weakness’. This can bring on hot sweats, severe anxiety and panic attacks. It is not pleasant at all and although people can still have social interactions the suffering they feel is real and extremely painful. When Social Anxiety reaches Phobia stage you tend to withdraw more and more from any social interaction, shunning public transport, queues, eating out etc. In my case, you become house bound, too frightened to answer the phone or the door and may even hide in your own house if somebody calls.
Anyway, the good news is you can recover from it using certain techniques. The bad news is, like most things, you have to face the fear rather than avoid it as avoiding things perpetuates it and convinces the brain there really is something to fear. I would highly recommend a self help book by Gillian Butler called Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness. It became my bible and gave me my life back.
Any questions please feel free to contact me as at least I’ve been there and done it.
 
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OCDguy

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#17
Well said :) Apart from facing your fears, are you able to share some of the techniques you used in those early days :hug: :)
 
Lunus

Lunus

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#19
Of course. I’ll put some stuff together now and send it ASAP. :hug:
Okay, I’ve got to charge my Kindle as I’ve been away and just got back, but when charged I’ll get the book up I referred to and give you some more detail, but here’s what I remember from a few years back.
Firstly, everyone suffers from anxiety. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to stop having anxiety but you can change the MEANING social interactions have for you so they become less threatening.
Its like social mistakes are so important to us where in reality they are not, they are no different to say tripping over a kerb. So recognise that nobody is perfect so just do the best that you can.
It is important to ‘act if’ you were as confident as you would like to be.
Self consciousnesses is at the heart of social anxiety, so you fear being judged negatively. So it’s important to try to look at the outside world, with you ‘looking outwards’ rather than you focusing on your thoughts and your judgements such as ‘everyone is looking at me’ or ‘ they think I’m inferior/stupid etc. The reality is that other people are far too wrapped up in their own concerns and worries and far from judging you negatively they probably haven’t even noticed you. So, rather than use avoidance or your coping mechanisms (sitting close to a door, drinking excessively etc) try to distract yourself to look ‘outwards’. See how many people you see wearing blue, then red, then yellow. How many have a coat. Colour of their eyes..all these will force you to look outwards rather than looking inwards to your thoughts and fears.
I hope these things give you some ideas of how to cope. My next message will outline an exercise that was the absolute key to my recovery but I thought I’d let you digest this one first lol.
 
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dewey

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#20
Okay, I’ve got to charge my Kindle as I’ve been away and just got back, but when charged I’ll get the book up I referred to and give you some more detail, but here’s what I remember from a few years back.
Firstly, everyone suffers from anxiety. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to stop having anxiety but you can change the MEANING social interactions have for you so they become less threatening.
Its like social mistakes are so important to us where in reality they are not, they are no different to say tripping over a kerb. So recognise that nobody is perfect so just do the best that you can.
It is important to ‘act if’ you were as confident as you would like to be.
Self consciousnesses is at the heart of social anxiety, so you fear being judged negatively. So it’s important to try to look at the outside world, with you ‘looking outwards’ rather than you focusing on your thoughts and your judgements such as ‘everyone is looking at me’ or ‘ they think I’m inferior/stupid etc. The reality is that other people are far too wrapped up in their own concerns and worries and far from judging you negatively they probably haven’t even noticed you. So, rather than use avoidance or your coping mechanisms (sitting close to a door, drinking excessively etc) try to distract yourself to look ‘outwards’. See how many people you see wearing blue, then red, then yellow. How many have a coat. Colour of their eyes..all these will force you to look outwards rather than looking inwards to your thoughts and fears.
I hope these things give you some ideas of how to cope. My next message will outline an exercise that was the absolute key to my recovery but I thought I’d let you digest this one first lol.
Thank you!! :hug:
 
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