• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Is social anxiety ever really gone?

OddballOut

OddballOut

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2020
Messages
57
Location
Canada
I don't avoid social gatherings anymore
That's some pretty epic and hard work to get to where you aren't avoiding social gatherings, so first. WTFG!! seriously, that's impressive. try to give yourself credit for that often!
I should be more grown up and stronger
who says? Also, living life with a mental health disorder pretty much automatically makes you a strong person. Kind of just a fact. Everyone struggles with daily life things but you have an extra weight the moment you wake up. Don't kid yourself. You are strong.
someone trys to do small talk with me.
Ugh. Hate small talk. Detest small talk. Anytime I ever engage in it I end up ruminating later about how dumb I must have sounded. Something my p-doc told me (probably a decade ago) is that everyone else is so consumed and worried about their own crap they really aren't noticing yours. That one kind of hit home for me because I am usually hyper-aware of how awkward I am and that everyone must notice. Nope. They don't. Keep that in mind maybe.

my mind goes blank or I feel to stressed to answer.
I found that repeating back what they've said gives my brain time to process and form a reply. Also the added benefit of them thinking I'm really listening.

I also have a bunch of ready responses for deferring conversation so the awkward 8 second pause isn't so obvious.

things like "wait, you did/said what?"
"im not sure, what do you think"
"im dont knw I havent thought much about it/that"

or lame cliche things everyone loves for like weather 🙄

basically the memes of the real world

mirroring people. smile when they laugh
"heh, yeah, that's a good one"
maybe even practice some jokes for yourself to tell?

part of my therapy was communicating courses. something like that might help also if you can find one.

because I don't know what my strengths are
is there someone you know, a therapist/friend/family member that can help you figure out your strengths?
you could write them down so you can remind yourself of them when you start to get down on yourself.


and is it ever really gone? no. never. it is manageable though.
and it flows good and bad, up and down, just like everything else.
 
JustMe1982

JustMe1982

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
481
Location
Here
they say just do the things and you will get used to it but i haven't yet and i am 38. mine started out i think as just a shy kid and progressed to severe social anxiety. feel for you. good luck. i just keep doing things but still get elevated heartbeat and shaky etc.
 
M

ManDss

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
173
Location
Arg
Talking would be the whole problem. I usually answer with yes or no because my mind goes blank or I feel to stressed to answer. Especially if a stranger makes a joke and expects me to pick up on that.Everytime that happens I just feel stupid.
You should work on being better on chats. You should see whats appropiated to say, and what people usually talk about, even if you dont care, or you dont want to, or dont agree. Just see what regular people say on those situations, and mimic. I also dont like much having chats sometimes, but I just know what people likes to hear, and how, I just say words to make them happy.

Its gonna take you some times, thats for sure. But just try to imagine what would be a normal conversation. Try to improve your ways to talk with people. Imagine how a conversation would be.
 
B

BornGone

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2019
Messages
71
Location
Germany
That's some pretty epic and hard work to get to where you aren't avoiding social gatherings, so first. WTFG!! seriously, that's impressive. try to give yourself credit for that often!

who says? Also, living life with a mental health disorder pretty much automatically makes you a strong person. Kind of just a fact. Everyone struggles with daily life things but you have an extra weight the moment you wake up. Don't kid yourself. You are strong.

Ugh. Hate small talk. Detest small talk. Anytime I ever engage in it I end up ruminating later about how dumb I must have sounded. Something my p-doc told me (probably a decade ago) is that everyone else is so consumed and worried about their own crap they really aren't noticing yours. That one kind of hit home for me because I am usually hyper-aware of how awkward I am and that everyone must notice. Nope. They don't. Keep that in mind maybe.


I found that repeating back what they've said gives my brain time to process and form a reply. Also the added benefit of them thinking I'm really listening.

I also have a bunch of ready responses for deferring conversation so the awkward 8 second pause isn't so obvious.

things like "wait, you did/said what?"
"im not sure, what do you think"
"im dont knw I havent thought much about it/that"

or lame cliche things everyone loves for like weather 🙄

basically the memes of the real world

mirroring people. smile when they laugh
"heh, yeah, that's a good one"
maybe even practice some jokes for yourself to tell?

part of my therapy was communicating courses. something like that might help also if you can find one.


is there someone you know, a therapist/friend/family member that can help you figure out your strengths?
you could write them down so you can remind yourself of them when you start to get down on yourself.


and is it ever really gone? no. never. it is manageable though.
and it flows good and bad, up and down, just like everything else.
Yeah, though it would be awesome not to have this extra disatvantage all the time.
I do sometimes pause but people always look a bit annoyed or uncomfortable when it takes to long for me to answer. That reaction always causes my anxiety to go up even more.
Yes, I talked to my brother and my mother from time to time about my insecurities or worrys which usually ends in a pep talk. But the person they are describing does not really sound like me at all.
What are communication courses? Are they some kind of group therapy or is it more like a lecture with less participation?
 
B

BornGone

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2019
Messages
71
Location
Germany
You should work on being better on chats. You should see whats appropiated to say, and what people usually talk about, even if you dont care, or you dont want to, or dont agree. Just see what regular people say on those situations, and mimic. I also dont like much having chats sometimes, but I just know what people likes to hear, and how, I just say words to make them happy.

Its gonna take you some times, thats for sure. But just try to imagine what would be a normal conversation. Try to improve your ways to talk with people. Imagine how a conversation would be.
I kind of was the same in school. In breaks I would just watch how my friends interacted with another classmate and I kind of mimiced their interaction pattern. It worked with a lot of people but it was really draining me out.
Now I always seem to get it wrong. I feel like I dont know anymore what the person wants to hear or talk about.
 
B

BornGone

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2019
Messages
71
Location
Germany
they say just do the things and you will get used to it but i haven't yet and i am 38. mine started out i think as just a shy kid and progressed to severe social anxiety. feel for you. good luck. i just keep doing things but still get elevated heartbeat and shaky etc.
My last two Therapists told me the same. And I do the things I am supposed to do but I rather would like to enjoy them instead of struggling from one to another.
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,360
Yeah, though it would be awesome not to have this extra disatvantage all the time.
I do sometimes pause but people always look a bit annoyed or uncomfortable when it takes to long for me to answer. That reaction always causes my anxiety to go up even more.
Yes, I talked to my brother and my mother from time to time about my insecurities or worrys which usually ends in a pep talk. But the person they are describing does not really sound like me at all.
What are communication courses? Are they some kind of group therapy or is it more like a lecture with less participation?
Only you know the real you ;) If it were me, I would listen to what others have to say, but use my own judgement, and follow my instincts... Hope this helps :)
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,360
I kind of was the same in school. In breaks I would just watch how my friends interacted with another classmate and I kind of mimiced their interaction pattern. It worked with a lot of people but it was really draining me out.
Now I always seem to get it wrong. I feel like I dont know anymore what the person wants to hear or talk about.
As we grow older, the way in which we communicate possibly changes. Our interests certainly change, as do our priorities. We find out others' interests etc. by asking questions (so you shouldn't be afraid to ask questions/take a interest). It also helps to build a picture of that person, and what's important to them... Hope this helps :)
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,360
What are communication courses? Are they some kind of group therapy or is it more like a lecture with less participation?
I didn't know these existed, could someone please share more information. I think progress can be made, when someone is allowed the freedom to say what ever they want in a non-judgemental, non-ctiticism, nurturing way when the exercise is purely geared towards getting someone to speak, and be the star of their own show. From watching other people's facial expressions they can get the feel of what works best etc. and through nurturing self-expression can really flourish. Just a thought. :)
 
OddballOut

OddballOut

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2020
Messages
57
Location
Canada
What are communication courses? Are they some kind of group therapy or is it more like a lecture with less participation?
I took mine through therapy and then via referrels my p-doc made for employment assistance.
Also took a few through a couple of jobs I've had.

I'm sure if you google "how to communicate effectively" you could probably find info or ask a therapist/ mental health worker if there are groups.

Some things I found very helpful, some things not at all useful in the real world.

I have been told that I speak well in social situations (though that was years ago when i was managing my mental health more effectively) even though I still always felt like a knob. So, some useful things stuck. Like, how to deal with rude people, de-escalate situations, fill in conversation gaps, listen to hear and not listen to reply..... stuff like that.
 
OddballOut

OddballOut

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2020
Messages
57
Location
Canada
Missed the edit time but:

oh- another thing i've heard really good feedback about a long time ago is toastmasters. Sounds scary as anything but apparently you don't need to really put yourself out there but practicing making speeches can help improver conversation skills. I've always meant to look into it but never have..... maybe i shall now....
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,360
Interesting stuff, thank you for sharing :) We can be our worse critics, which is why positive feedback from others can be very re-assuring :)
 
R_Sxo

R_Sxo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
3,030
Location
Pyongyang, DPRK
It doesn't 'go away' - instead, you learn to develop tools and strategies to stop it interfering with your daily life and mindset x
 
B

BornGone

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2019
Messages
71
Location
Germany
Only you know the real you ;) If it were me, I would listen to what others have to say, but use my own judgement, and follow my instincts... Hope this helps :)
I tried it that way but I always get more confused. Usually a strength or a certain characteristic someone has is appearing in every situation where it is "needed. But with me it is always from this to that. That is why it is hard for me to make out a clear picture about who I am. I have also told my therapists but they never really believed me
 
Top