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Looking for someone to message with about my social anxiety

Henryk34

Henryk34

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
15
Location
USA
Hi, I’m a 24-year-old guy from New England, USA with social anxiety. My social anxiety manifests itself as a great difficulty in smiling and laughing around others. I sometimes experience blushing and lip quivering as well.



What is the most painful for me is that I developed social anxiety later in life than most. I had no social anxiety until senior year of high school. Before that, I was incredibly extroverted and I was also popular in school. In senior year, unfortunately, a sports injury which sidelined me led into some negative thought patterns and a habitual isolation that began to manifest in intense social anxiety. An additional factor that contributed was that I hit puberty quite late and had some deep self-esteem issues related to this perceived inadequacy. I spent much of college attempting to get back to the confident social person that I was for most of high school, with little success and a fair amount of reliance on alcohol in social situations.



I graduated with a degree in nursing and recently left a day position at a great hospital because the social interaction was too much for me. I am now working the night shift (less interactions with patients/coworkers) and this combined with wearing a mask and taking a small dose of kratom nightly helps mitigate much of my anxiety at work.



I would love to message with anyone about their struggles with social anxiety because the isolation and intrusive thoughts about what my current life would be like had I not developed social anxiety are overwhelming sometimes.



Thanks for reading :)
 
K

karl7

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Messages
918
hi henry....i have social anxiety too...it didnt begin until i satrted college at the age of 20.....before that i was ok at school......feel free to message me if you want or else you can just respond to this thread
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
619
Location
England
Happy for you to message Henry. I've also got a link to a useful resource if you want to take a look. There's loads of good stuff on there so have a look around. I'll link you to the social anxiety page for starters: Self Help for Social Anxiety
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
2,175
Hi, I’m a 24-year-old guy from New England, USA with social anxiety. My social anxiety manifests itself as a great difficulty in smiling and laughing around others. I sometimes experience blushing and lip quivering as well.



What is the most painful for me is that I developed social anxiety later in life than most. I had no social anxiety until senior year of high school. Before that, I was incredibly extroverted and I was also popular in school. In senior year, unfortunately, a sports injury which sidelined me led into some negative thought patterns and a habitual isolation that began to manifest in intense social anxiety. An additional factor that contributed was that I hit puberty quite late and had some deep self-esteem issues related to this perceived inadequacy. I spent much of college attempting to get back to the confident social person that I was for most of high school, with little success and a fair amount of reliance on alcohol in social situations.



I graduated with a degree in nursing and recently left a day position at a great hospital because the social interaction was too much for me. I am now working the night shift (less interactions with patients/coworkers) and this combined with wearing a mask and taking a small dose of kratom nightly helps mitigate much of my anxiety at work.



I would love to message with anyone about their struggles with social anxiety because the isolation and intrusive thoughts about what my current life would be like had I not developed social anxiety are overwhelming sometimes.



Thanks for reading :)
The time of your isolation was at a key time in your development. I am guessing it was a question of trying to catch up then at a time when development continues at a rapid pace (building on what was learned the day before, and so on and so fourth). Trying to comform to others expectations and also what Society says you should be achieving at any given age, can put huge stresses on someone. Removing those expectations, and allowing yourself to develop at your own pace at a speed you are comfortable with might help. If you aren't happy with your development/where you are currently in life and your current situation, do you have a image of what you would be happy with? If so, start bringing about changes which will lead you there. Also please keep posting and sharing :)
 
Henryk34

Henryk34

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
15
Location
USA
hi henry....i have social anxiety too...it didnt begin until i satrted college at the age of 20.....before that i was ok at school......feel free to message me if you want or else you can just respond to this thread
Messaged you :)
 
Henryk34

Henryk34

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
15
Location
USA
Happy for you to message Henry. I've also got a link to a useful resource if you want to take a look. There's loads of good stuff on there so have a look around. I'll link you to the social anxiety page for starters: Self Help for Social Anxiety
Thanks, I’m gonna check that out! Doesn’t look like I can message you though, because of settings you have
 
Henryk34

Henryk34

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
15
Location
USA
The time of your isolation was at a key time in your development. I am guessing it was a question of trying to catch up then at a time when development continues at a rapid pace (building on what was learned the day before, and so on and so fourth). Trying to comform to others expectations and also what Society says you should be achieving at any given age, can put huge stresses on someone. Removing those expectations, and allowing yourself to develop at your own pace at a speed you are comfortable with might help. If you aren't happy with your development/where you are currently in life and your current situation, do you have a image of what you would be happy with? If so, start bringing about changes which will lead you there. Also please keep posting and sharing :)
thanks for such a thorough response. Part of it had to do with the fact that running was a great stress release before I got injured. And since I couldn’t run after the injury, I started to build up a lot of excess energy and started to self-pity myself for getting injured. I wasn’t playing sports and began to isolate and stew in negative thoughts.

Also, there was a book we had to read for a class in senior year and one of the characters was a murderer whose motivation was that he hadn’t hit puberty yet and someone pulled his pants down in the cafeteria and humiliated him in front of a girl he liked. And when we discussed that part of the book in class, I felt incredibly self-conscious because I was probably the least sexually developed of my classmates. It’s a horrible memory of several like that from that time in my life
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
2,175
thanks for such a thorough response. Part of it had to do with the fact that running was a great stress release before I got injured. And since I couldn’t run after the injury, I started to build up a lot of excess energy and started to self-pity myself for getting injured. I wasn’t playing sports and began to isolate and stew in negative thoughts.

Also, there was a book we had to read for a class in senior year and one of the characters was a murderer whose motivation was that he hadn’t hit puberty yet and someone pulled his pants down in the cafeteria and humiliated him in front of a girl he liked. And when we discussed that part of the book in class, I felt incredibly self-conscious because I was probably the least sexually developed of my classmates. It’s a horrible memory of several like that from that time in my life
It's quite easy to get lost in our own thoughts, and if they are negative thoughts they can head us down a downward spiral, which can be very difficult to over-turn :hug: I think everyone has cringe-worthy thoughts at some point in their life. It's important not to dwell on them. We can also be our own worse critics and make mountains out of mole hills, where others quickly forget those moments we tend to hold on to and dwell on. Holding onto embarassing moments can also make us very self-consious, and when we are developing we are building on the last memory/experience. It's easy to imagine what happends when there is a collection of bad memories. Hopefully talking about them helps to put them into their right perspective (part and parcel of growing up) and can then be moved on from. :)
 
Henryk34

Henryk34

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
15
Location
USA
It's quite easy to get lost in our own thoughts, and if they are negative thoughts they can head us down a downward spiral, which can be very difficult to over-turn :hug: I think everyone has cringe-worthy thoughts at some point in their life. It's important not to dwell on them. We can also be our own worse critics and make mountains out of mole hills, where others quickly forget those moments we tend to hold on to and dwell on. Holding onto embarassing moments can also make us very self-consious, and when we are developing we are building on the last memory/experience. It's easy to imagine what happends when there is a collection of bad memories. Hopefully talking about them helps to put them into their right perspective (part and parcel of growing up) and can then be moved on from. :)
thanks yeah, I definitely have seen those thinking patterns occur in my life after embarrassing events. I found listening to podcasts to be wicked helpful in distracting myself out of those negative repetitive loops when they occur and also to prevent them from occurring. I tend to ruminate a lot on certain perceived social deficiencies of mine, more than on any particular embarrassing memories in particular, these days. For example, ruminating on the “fact” that it’s difficult for me to let go and laugh with someone and how that will hinder me from finding a love like my parents have. I’ll hear them laughing in the living room together watching a comedy and I’ll get really envious

thanks for listening :)
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

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Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
2,175
thanks yeah, I definitely have seen those thinking patterns occur in my life after embarrassing events. I found listening to podcasts to be wicked helpful in distracting myself out of those negative repetitive loops when they occur and also to prevent them from occurring. I tend to ruminate a lot on certain perceived social deficiencies of mine, more than on any particular embarrassing memories in particular, these days. For example, ruminating on the “fact” that it’s difficult for me to let go and laugh with someone and how that will hinder me from finding a love like my parents have. I’ll hear them laughing in the living room together watching a comedy and I’ll get really envious

thanks for listening :)
I think it's difficult to let go, when anxious and not relaxed. When we're not relaxed, we can also be self-consious, which then detracts from all the benefits we gain from social interactions. May I ask, do you think it's a question of not being relaxed, and if so, do you know what thoughts pre-occupy your mind during those times :hug:
 
Henryk34

Henryk34

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
15
Location
USA
I think it's difficult to let go, when anxious and not relaxed. When we're not relaxed, we can also be self-consious, which then detracts from all the benefits we gain from social interactions. May I ask, do you think it's a question of not being relaxed, and if so, do you know what thoughts pre-occupy your mind during those times :hug:
It’s more of a sensation in my face. I have a great amount of preoccupation with how my mouth looks during social interactions that I find uncomfortable. I worry if I look like I’m frowning and sometimes, if I fake a laugh or a smile, I’ll have a feeling of dread wash over me if I attempt to make eye contact with the other person right afterwards. I generally feel okay in social interactions until expression of positive emotion (smiling, laughing) is warranted. It makes me feel like I’m losing control and a terrifying fear response usually occurs.
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
2,175
It’s more of a sensation in my face. I have a great amount of preoccupation with how my mouth looks during social interactions that I find uncomfortable. I worry if I look like I’m frowning and sometimes, if I fake a laugh or a smile, I’ll have a feeling of dread wash over me if I attempt to make eye contact with the other person right afterwards. I generally feel okay in social interactions until expression of positive emotion (smiling, laughing) is warranted. It makes me feel like I’m losing control and a terrifying fear response usually occurs.
I think a lot of these self-consious insecurities come from negative experiences, I don't know if this is true with you? I think if it were me I would spend time on my own watching comedies etc. I find entertaining. If I'm finding I can consistently feel relaxed, laughing etc. I might even video myself, just out of curiosity. On a different note, people are generally very forgiving. They see patterns and identify them alongside each individual's personal traits. It's more important for someone to be themselves and in a ideal world relaxed. I think generally the more relaxed someone is the more fluent the conversation etc. is. More importantly, what do you think? :)
 
Henryk34

Henryk34

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
15
Location
USA
I think a lot of these self-consious insecurities come from negative experiences, I don't know if this is true with you? I think if it were me I would spend time on my own watching comedies etc. I find entertaining. If I'm finding I can consistently feel relaxed, laughing etc. I might even video myself, just out of curiosity. On a different note, people are generally very forgiving. They see patterns and identify them alongside each individual's personal traits. It's more important for someone to be themselves and in a ideal world relaxed. I think generally the more relaxed someone is the more fluent the conversation etc. is. More importantly, what do you think? :)
Yeah I agree, they do generally come from negative experiences in high school for me.

And I’ve heard the videotape yourself idea, I just haven’t gotten the motivation to try it yet. It does seem like it may be a good idea. It reminds me of a time recently when I was talking to a guy who was in his car and I was able to glance at my reflection in my window while we talked and I didn’t have a weird expression on even though I felt that I might have.

Part of me wonders if I can perfect a fake smile and fake laugh and the ability to do them whenever that I will feel more comfortable in social situations. It may take some practice though.

thanks
 

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