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I Want to Overcome my Social Anxiety but Can’t....

S

Saucy810

New member
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
1
Location
USA
Hey guys,

The first few paragraphs is a bit of background of my story with social anxiety growing up. At the end I wrote about one of my biggest challenges with social anxiety, which is what this post is really about. It is under “A BIG ISSUE”, feel free to just skip down to that if you want

I used to be a fairly outgoing kid when I was little and my parents even tell me that I was the only one out of my three brothers that didn’t seem to struggle with any shyness or anxiety. But as I grew up, I would experience a bit of shyness around some adults (friend’s parents, etc.) and also people I didn’t really know that well. But because I was able to be my more chatty and funny self around my friends and family, I brushed it off and it didn’t bother me. Once middle school hit it started to grow worse and worse to where on my basketball team that had none of my school friends, I would practically be mute. As I got to high school, I was still able to get along fine because I had some of my long time friends, but I was very shy around new people and hardly made any new friends. But then I became really depressed and anxious overall mostly because of my OCD that I started to develop, which made my social anxiety skyrocket to the point where I found it hard at times to even engage with family and close friends. I no longer even had the outgoing and joking personality around my close friends/family as much due to this, let alone strangers. If I ever felt anxious, especially around those I didn’t know, I would just sit there awkwardly and barely say anything, feeling too timid and judged on every gesture. I could tell people would think I was weird or boring for barely talking, which made it worse.

From then on all throughout my teenage years I struggled with crippling depression and anxiety, and my social anxiety continued to worsen and cause me to miss out on so many things in life.
I still talk to my family and long time friends of course, and even at some times am able to be my good old relaxed and self who likes to joke around a lot. But it is way less now than before in life, due to feeling so dragged down by my depression and anxiety that all stems a good part from my social anxiety. I would lie to friends back home and say that I would party at college when they asked me, when really I would sit alone in my room playing video games practically the whole time making barely any friends.

It is now my second year in college and I feel like I am at a breaking point. I am so fed up with my social anxiety and what it has done to me. And the toll both physically and mentally that my severe depression has taken on me has made it ten times harder to even attempt to deal with my social anxiety because I am so drained all the time and feel so hopeless. Yet a tiny part of me feels like if I can truly start to overcome my extreme shyness and anxiety and gain friends then everything will start to get better.


A BIG ISSUE:

One of the hardest things with social anxiety for me is impressions and what others think. My social anxiety makes me quiet, awkward, cold, neglectful, and boring around people. Then they seem to treat me accordingly based on the way I act and either start acting cold and antisocial around me as well thinking that I don’t want to talk to them, or they do still talk to me at times but not with much excitement or energy. And some people at times make fun of me (in a joking manner) for how quiet I am which always makes me feel even more awkward in the moment. I feel so shy and awkward so many times, and me feeling like people are judging me for being this way makes me feel even worse.

One of the major problems I always have had is wanting to overcome this shyness and show people who I really am (a chill, more chatty at times, guy who likes to make jokes), which is far from a quiet and shy person. I would love to chat with people, make, them laugh, sing along to stupid songs, talk to them about girls, and have a good time. But the fact that all this time I have given the people around mthis cemented impression of being a boring, secluded, quiet and socially awkward dude who sits in his room and plays video games all the time, I feel like it is so hard to take any step to overcome my social anxiety and truly be myself. I am so quiet that I feel like any time I talk or try to engage with them it comes across as weird or unexprected and it draws so much attention to me. They haven known me for a long time as this quiet introvert, so how can I suddenly just start actually talking to them a lot and making jokes, etc? It feels so hard for me to break that impression, and it makes it so hard for me to overcome my social anxiety. In addition, during any attempt I have at doing so I feel like I am ignored or not taken seriously since people are so used to me being quiet and neglectful, but maybe it is because when I do so I still seem to act in a cold and quiet manner/tone without knowing, I don’t know.

Does anyone else feel this way? Does anyone have any advice? It would really be much appreciated
 
stygianiron222

stygianiron222

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
229
Location
the underworld
hey, welcome to the forum. im really sorry you have to go through this. i think you should try to start small: give yourself a 'goal' every day, e.g 'today i am going to smile at whoever sits next to me in English'. also, people are most likely not judging you as much as you think they are: i know its hard, but try to dismiss these thoughts as you get them. smll steps will go a long way. hope this helps
 
jajingna

jajingna

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
4,495
Location
Canada
I've been struggling with this all my life too. Lately I've been watching videos about it, and have tried some EFT tapping.. some people claim this helps with anxiety and other issues so it's worth trying out. It seems strange, like how can just tapping on certain points of the face etc. help? I dunno how. I think the theory is that it is an emotional problem and this EFT tapping helps clear some of the baggage we carry around, or maybe rid some self-esteem issues or whatever.
 
K

karl7

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Messages
918
Hey guys,

The first few paragraphs is a bit of background of my story with social anxiety growing up. At the end I wrote about one of my biggest challenges with social anxiety, which is what this post is really about. It is under “A BIG ISSUE”, feel free to just skip down to that if you want

I used to be a fairly outgoing kid when I was little and my parents even tell me that I was the only one out of my three brothers that didn’t seem to struggle with any shyness or anxiety. But as I grew up, I would experience a bit of shyness around some adults (friend’s parents, etc.) and also people I didn’t really know that well. But because I was able to be my more chatty and funny self around my friends and family, I brushed it off and it didn’t bother me. Once middle school hit it started to grow worse and worse to where on my basketball team that had none of my school friends, I would practically be mute. As I got to high school, I was still able to get along fine because I had some of my long time friends, but I was very shy around new people and hardly made any new friends. But then I became really depressed and anxious overall mostly because of my OCD that I started to develop, which made my social anxiety skyrocket to the point where I found it hard at times to even engage with family and close friends. I no longer even had the outgoing and joking personality around my close friends/family as much due to this, let alone strangers. If I ever felt anxious, especially around those I didn’t know, I would just sit there awkwardly and barely say anything, feeling too timid and judged on every gesture. I could tell people would think I was weird or boring for barely talking, which made it worse.

From then on all throughout my teenage years I struggled with crippling depression and anxiety, and my social anxiety continued to worsen and cause me to miss out on so many things in life.
I still talk to my family and long time friends of course, and even at some times am able to be my good old relaxed and self who likes to joke around a lot. But it is way less now than before in life, due to feeling so dragged down by my depression and anxiety that all stems a good part from my social anxiety. I would lie to friends back home and say that I would party at college when they asked me, when really I would sit alone in my room playing video games practically the whole time making barely any friends.

It is now my second year in college and I feel like I am at a breaking point. I am so fed up with my social anxiety and what it has done to me. And the toll both physically and mentally that my severe depression has taken on me has made it ten times harder to even attempt to deal with my social anxiety because I am so drained all the time and feel so hopeless. Yet a tiny part of me feels like if I can truly start to overcome my extreme shyness and anxiety and gain friends then everything will start to get better.


A BIG ISSUE:

One of the hardest things with social anxiety for me is impressions and what others think. My social anxiety makes me quiet, awkward, cold, neglectful, and boring around people. Then they seem to treat me accordingly based on the way I act and either start acting cold and antisocial around me as well thinking that I don’t want to talk to them, or they do still talk to me at times but not with much excitement or energy. And some people at times make fun of me (in a joking manner) for how quiet I am which always makes me feel even more awkward in the moment. I feel so shy and awkward so many times, and me feeling like people are judging me for being this way makes me feel even worse.

One of the major problems I always have had is wanting to overcome this shyness and show people who I really am (a chill, more chatty at times, guy who likes to make jokes), which is far from a quiet and shy person. I would love to chat with people, make, them laugh, sing along to stupid songs, talk to them about girls, and have a good time. But the fact that all this time I have given the people around mthis cemented impression of being a boring, secluded, quiet and socially awkward dude who sits in his room and plays video games all the time, I feel like it is so hard to take any step to overcome my social anxiety and truly be myself. I am so quiet that I feel like any time I talk or try to engage with them it comes across as weird or unexprected and it draws so much attention to me. They haven known me for a long time as this quiet introvert, so how can I suddenly just start actually talking to them a lot and making jokes, etc? It feels so hard for me to break that impression, and it makes it so hard for me to overcome my social anxiety. In addition, during any attempt I have at doing so I feel like I am ignored or not taken seriously since people are so used to me being quiet and neglectful, but maybe it is because when I do so I still seem to act in a cold and quiet manner/tone without knowing, I don’t know.

Does anyone else feel this way? Does anyone have any advice? It would really be much appreciated
i have bad social anxiety myself.....one thing i did when i was younger was i travelled abroad for short working holidays say 2 months for example....i would live in a tourist hostel for that time. What was good about it was that there is a constant turnover of people in tourist hostels, so you can kinda practice talking to people. It is that bit easier in the sense that you can ask about where theyre from and what holidays/places they have visited and what was good about them.....talking about holidays can be interesting, and it can open up conversation.....anyway when youre on one of these working holidays, you can practice small talk, and you will not feel judged much as even if you fail or feel awkward, you can always dismiss that experience as you will never meet them again as theyre only passing through......

anyway i used to do those sort of working holidays when i was in my 20's....it doesnt cost much to survive....tourist hostels can be quite cheap to live in.....when i was on these working holidays, i did work some easy jobs eg collecting glasses in a nightclub, and a bit of work in a cafe and also sometimes i was a live in cleaner inthe hostel i was staying in......anyway thisis an option for you.

Also, what i advise to most people on this site, you could become a member of a mental health club.....these places are where mentally ill folk can go to participate in activities such as art creative writing, drama, health management or group therpay to name but a few activities.... or else you can just dro in for a coffee......these places are great for meeting likeminded people who have been throught it and understand.....having social anxiety would qualify you for membership and if not just say you have depression aswell

also are you seeing a therapist.....its good to talk about these things.....your college may well have a therapist as part of the staff, i know my college did too.

Anyway, keep up posting here on the forum for support
 
J

JinxBun

New member
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Wichita KS
Hello, I have really bad self esteem and social anxiety issue but I have overcome mine by practice like talking to one person at a time as I fidget with a pop socket thingy on the back of my phone. When my self esteem down I do one positive thing to help me out ( can be as small as buying your favorite muffin)
 
Argon

Argon

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
599
Location
USA
After a certain point I was just happy to have a steady job and a place to live. I found that lowering expectations is a good strategy.
 
MarieRose

MarieRose

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
132
Location
England
With social anxiety I found that there were two main issues to overcome.First was the way I carried my energy,people always pick up if we are self conscious and anxious as to what impresssions we are making on them and if this is combined with a lack of confidence anyone who tends towards competitiveness will hinder you rather than help you overcome this.So it is best to act confident,as if you are they say act it until you make it.The second issue was my own internal voice was self critical and I was always judging my own performance and putting meself down and shaming myself,obviously this was picked up growing up from adult voices around me which I internalised into a voice of my own which was too hard and critical on myself,so instead of telling yourself no you did that wrong you have to turn this voice into a self loving one of acceptance and allow yourself your own mistakes and imperfections without shouting No to everything you might perceive as having done wrong.If you can improve on these two issues that is gonna go someway to improving your confidence and overcoming social anxiety.Social anxiety is all about fear of humiliation and of other people so find courses or self help books on how to trust others and heal wounds caused by broken trust and betrayal.
 
R

Randa

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Texas
I understand how it makes you feel awkward. I am a true introvert & have accepted myself as this way. Takes pressure off me. If I try to act different to my true self I come off ”strange”. I am in unfamiliar territory. I have a good friend that I have coffee with & she is one that can talk to strangers plus people we know. I feel ”safe” around her bc I don’t have to “perform” in front of others. I read a book called “Quiet”. It’s about introverts & she brings out their strong qualities
She also has an accurate list of introvert & extrovert personalities.
We are so hard on ourselves. You are young. With help you can learn how to deal with this better
Start working on this now bc you can improve if you get help. If you wait, you will become entrenched in this frame of mind & will be harder to overcome.
I find ways to keep myself involved in things that are relaxing. Reading, painting, crafts. Do some emotional paintings. Find a safe way to get your feelings out so they don’t eat you alive. You can do this! 🙂
 
R

Randa

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Texas
i have bad social anxiety myself.....one thing i did when i was younger was i travelled abroad for short working holidays say 2 months for example....i would live in a tourist hostel for that time. What was good about it was that there is a constant turnover of people in tourist hostels, so you can kinda practice talking to people. It is that bit easier in the sense that you can ask about where theyre from and what holidays/places they have visited and what was good about them.....talking about holidays can be interesting, and it can open up conversation.....anyway when youre on one of these working holidays, you can practice small talk, and you will not feel judged much as even if you fail or feel awkward, you can always dismiss that experience as you will never meet them again as theyre only passing through......

anyway i used to do those sort of working holidays when i was in my 20's....it doesnt cost much to survive....tourist hostels can be quite cheap to live in.....when i was on these working holidays, i did work some easy jobs eg collecting glasses in a nightclub, and a bit of work in a cafe and also sometimes i was a live in cleaner inthe hostel i was staying in......anyway thisis an option for you.

Also, what i advise to most people on this site, you could become a member of a mental health club.....these places are where mentally ill folk can go to participate in activities such as art creative writing, drama, health management or group therpay to name but a few activities.... or else you can just dro in for a coffee......these places are great for meeting likeminded people who have been throught it and understand.....having social anxiety would qualify you for membership and if not just say you have depression aswell

also are you seeing a therapist.....its good to talk about these things.....your college may well have a therapist as part of the staff, i know my college did too.

Anyway, keep up posting here on the forum for support
I agree. People of like minds won’t judge you. That is good advise I think
 
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