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I get anxious over the way I portray myself


Green Antelope

New member
Mar 28, 2010

I am a friendly, outgoing, 22 year old guy who likes making friends and does not have problems talking to people in day-to-day life. However, inside my own head I beat myself up, worry all the time and am constantly anxious over many trivial situations. I crave social attention and feel ignored and lonely despite having lots of brilliant friends and a good family.

I cannot concentrate on talking to someone without systematically de-constructing every social interaction I have. I often lie awake at night/daydream during the day for literally hours running over every word and action in each conversation I have had and worrying how I portrayed myself. I think it stems from my inability to 'read' people and gather their full meaning. I find irony a hard concept to grasp.

It is starting to affect my productivity at work and day-to-day happiness. I want to find some way of coping with it.

I have started 'seeing' a girl recently, and I very quickly realised how much of a problem this is for me. When I am single its fine, I can just be a ball of stress and beat myself up internally, as bad as that sounds. Now I have the potential to have a girlfriend it has made it 100 times worse. I don't want to be 'clingy' as that is not good, but equally I crave interpersonal validation so much I can't help but analyse every conversation I have with her.

Thank you for reading, any advice would be fantastic. I appreciate it more than you can imagine.
Last edited:


Well-known member
Mar 24, 2010
Hi and welcome. I can totally relate to your difficulties. I too tend to over-analyze every conversation and everything I say and do interacting with people. This is probably why I usually just avoid others as much as possible, so if you're at least making an attempt to talk to people, even though it's really hard, then that's great.
I think you hit the nail on the head attributing part of the problem to having trouble reading people. I am constantly confused by people's smiles (is it sincere, or are they making fun of me?) and wondering if they think I'm weird because of something I said or how I said it.
I know the key to this is just to stop worrying and thinking so much and relax, but it's not easy. I think as far as your potential girlfriend goes...as a girl I can tell you we usually would rather have a guy be a little "clingy" (at least you know he cares!) than act like he really doesn't care that much about you and you're the last thing on his mind. I would just try to let her set the pace as far as communication and spending time together goes. You will probably know pretty quickly if she feels you are being too needy/smothering. Good luck!

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