[My Long Story] lack of confidence? Social anxiety? How can i overcome it?

K

kazurengan

New member
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
3
Location
portugal
#1
I'll share a story of my life, that makes me think this is how
my problem started and to make it easier to understand my problem and
current life situation. I don't like to be dramatic but i'll have to so
you guys can understand.

This is an issue that has been bothering me since i was 14-15 years old.
I'm 22 years old today and i still suffer from that.
I never got friends at school and didn't have
an adolescence, i really didn't care about that
much at that time. But today i really feel bad that i couldn't enjoy
my adolescence and i kinda can foresee and feel the negative impact
that will have on me in a near future

When i was a child, to 8-12 years old i would play soccer in my
neighborhood and have a few friends to play with me
same would apply in school, and i didn't think about those things
i just would be the way i am. But then time passed and i stopped
to play soccer and so did my friends, some of them moved away.

I changed school at 5th grade and i had a really hard time there.
I was never good at making friends so i got bullied and that got
a real negative impact in my self-esteem
i still had a friend that i would talk
about my games and what i played the most
I didn't leave my house after school, because i was playing
games everytime, because i could forget what they did to me and
enjoy every moment of playing my games, i got
addicted, and so i stopped going out to play soccer and meet
new people and just started to play on my console
everyday after school.

I think this is when it all started. The days
in school got harder for me socially. I would get
nervous near people or talking to them, Presentations
asking questions to teachers, and on, and on.

I told my parents that i was being bullied.
They spoke to the teachers, but on the breaks
they would just make fun of me.

So i just focused on my studies to leave that hell.

1 year later i left that school and went to a new one
but i would have to wait a few months to begin the new school
I just stood all that time at home playing games
i ended up isolating myself from the "world"
The more i played games, the more i would feel
comfortable I could feel my real self, my real personality

The word i'm looking for here is comfort, i feel comfort and
confident when i'm at home alone or with my parents

(i don't know if this makes any sense, i cant fully explain, it's something
i feel emotionally)

So the new school started. And i felt really
uncomfortable around people. I didn't know how to start
a conversation or make any friends, i lost all my confidence
But still tried to make some friends, did 1. But i
started to observe how people would relate with each other
and how i could improve myself. That made me think
even more how i could improve my friendships or
get new subjects to talk about instead of games
talking about only games still worries me because people
will not have interest in me since i don't do any other stuff.

I don't want to extend this much more but this is pretty much it
My parents divorced and my brother moved away to other city and
i just went downhill from there.
So today i can't accept an incoming call from a stranger or
answer the door from a stranger.
Make presentations
Get downstairs to buy something or drink a coffee.
Anything that involves me to talk with strangers pretty much...
Even my relatives that i don't talk years ago...

And the thing i consider worse and i hate myself for that
is that my mom is needing help financially and i can't apply
for a Mcdonalds job because of my problem, i will get nervous as
hell and i just can't attend people or go to a job interview

Currently i'm taking a course to get employed on an area.
My brother took the same course on the same place i am right now
and he said they will just give me an internship and there is a high
chance i'll work there without needing for an interview. That's a good
idea inititally.

but i'm starting to feel demotivated and i'm in risk to get kicked out
of the course.
This is honestly startling me, i'm getting to a point where i feel
only comfortable alone or with my parents and not with strangers.


I explained my parents already my situation, my mom understands but i really
do feel bad for not helping her. And i don't know how to overcome
this. I talked with my dad about it, and he got an attitude towards me
like "just grow some balls" (sorry for the expression)
Guess what, i'm starting to believe he is right. I wasn't this
worried and unconfident when i was a child and didn't think about
this matters all the time.
I believe the key to overcome this is to just don't give a crap
about what people think and just be myself and what
i need to say or do. Although when i'm at school i feel
"blocked" somehow, i can't fully explain. It's like i have
my real personality at home, and a masked personality
at school that i can't change. I can't maintain my real
personality at school. I can't fully explain, just feel it.

my mom financial situation isn't the best, so we can't afford
a psychologist + i would feel nervous as hell.

I am even trying alternatives way to work from home so i can
help my mom, yes i thought about streaming or youtube
but i can't do it in my current pshychological situation
i would get nervous and don't know what to say and
wouldn't get people's attention. So i'm trying to look for other
alternatives at the moment.

Really sorry for the long text, but i needed to unburden this somewhere.
since i don't have a psychologist. You guys can call me a big drama
queen and i kinda agree. But i wouldn't post this if i did know what
to do right? This post may be a big mess to read
and understand, since i couldn'tdecide how to write certain
things, events and i was trying to remember them.

Any help is appreciated, and thank you for your time
for reading my situation, i wish you the best
 
daffy

daffy

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,843
Location
hiding behind the sofa
#2
Hi Kaz and welcome to the forum. I really felt a connection with what you posted having gone thru a lot of it myself. There’s a few routes you can go down, go see a gp and tell him how your feeling. Maybe ask for some talking therapy. It’s always hard to start therapy but it does pay off. Also do you have a counsellor at college that could maybe get you into some groups with other people that feel the same as you, Co’s there will be plenty. Social anxiety is more common than you may think. Finally and this would probably be something that you say you cannot do . But you have to push yourself, you have to force yourself to do these things. You are managing to get to college so that’s a start. Don’t let yourself get ten years down the line and find yourself on your own with only a games console for companionship. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but having been ill for many years myself I know how easy it is to fall into that trap.
 
C

chloealx

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Hertfordshire
#3
Hey kazurengan,

So I personally think you may be on a journey of finding yourself. I am quite a confident person but still always feel most myself when Im at home... I think this is a common thing for most of the worlds population "Theres no place like home". I truly believe your right in saying you shouldn't care about what people think of you! We are all unique.. ALL of us. I think if you find really find yourself, be confident and bold and believe. There are some really good books online which may help you. Also please try some meditation videos on youtube. Not sure if I should say this but there are some brilliant hypnosis videos too. They have all helped me. Good luck... and stick with your job course!!! It will give you the most confidence.
 
T

tenanxious

New member
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
3
Location
New Jersey
#4
"I believe the key to overcome this is to just don't give a crap about what people think and just be myself and what I need to say or do." That is great advice for yourself, but it has its limits and isn't so practical. We are human beings. It is natural and normal to care about what other people think, and to want the approval and friendship of others. One thing I find helpful is to tell myself that what I'm going through is normal, thereby validating myself. Yesterday, I stopped by Target to get a coffee from the Starbucks inside. I was suddenly hit with this inexplicable panic and I couldn't bring myself to buy a coffee. I thought, people will see me buying a coffee. I'll look stupid. Is it even normal to buy coffee in Target? Ridiculous, irrational questions like that. I went to the bathroom, composed myself, and validated myself by rationalizing that it is normal and ok that I'm slightly uncomfortable buying coffee. I told myself that the guy behind the counter doesn't care if I blush and stutter slightly. I'm a normal person, and I'm entitled to be comfortable buying coffee. My social anxiety should not prevent me from living a normal life. I bought the coffee, and the interaction went down fine. But my point is, your confidence shouldn't stem from not caring at all about other people. It should stem from confidence in yourself, and the confidence that other people do care about and like you. Let's take the McDonalds interview as an example. I wouldn't say "I don't care what the interviewer thinks about me." What I would tell myself beforehand is "I'm a normal person who can go through a normal interview. It is ok if I blush, or stammer, or feel panic beforehand. Everyone gets nervous before interviews. What's important is that I try my best." Focus on boosting up your own confidence and self-image and validating yourself, instead of "not caring" about others. Best of luck!!
 
K

kazurengan

New member
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
3
Location
portugal
#5
Hi Kaz and welcome to the forum. I really felt a connection with what you posted having gone thru a lot of it myself. There’s a few routes you can go down, go see a gp and tell him how your feeling. Maybe ask for some talking therapy. It’s always hard to start therapy but it does pay off. Also do you have a counsellor at college that could maybe get you into some groups with other people that feel the same as you, Co’s there will be plenty. Social anxiety is more common than you may think. Finally and this would probably be something that you say you cannot do . But you have to push yourself, you have to force yourself to do these things. You are managing to get to college so that’s a start. Don’t let yourself get ten years down the line and find yourself on your own with only a games console for companionship. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but having been ill for many years myself I know how easy it is to fall into that trap.
unfortunately i don't have any kind of counselor in the place im taking the course. As you said
it's a start by going to the college. the problem is that i don't know what to do next. I've read other articles where people just fake confidence and start to talk, but i feel blocked somehow.


Hey kazurengan,

So I personally think you may be on a journey of finding yourself. I am quite a confident person but still always feel most myself when Im at home... I think this is a common thing for most of the worlds population "Theres no place like home". I truly believe your right in saying you shouldn't care about what people think of you! We are all unique.. ALL of us. I think if you find really find yourself, be confident and bold and believe. There are some really good books online which may help you. Also please try some meditation videos on youtube. Not sure if I should say this but there are some brilliant hypnosis videos too. They have all helped me. Good luck... and stick with your job course!!! It will give you the most confidence.
I appreciate the words, i may try meditating some time :)


"I believe the key to overcome this is to just don't give a crap about what people think and just be myself and what I need to say or do." That is great advice for yourself, but it has its limits and isn't so practical. We are human beings. It is natural and normal to care about what other people think, and to want the approval and friendship of others. One thing I find helpful is to tell myself that what I'm going through is normal, thereby validating myself. Yesterday, I stopped by Target to get a coffee from the Starbucks inside. I was suddenly hit with this inexplicable panic and I couldn't bring myself to buy a coffee. I thought, people will see me buying a coffee. I'll look stupid. Is it even normal to buy coffee in Target? Ridiculous, irrational questions like that. I went to the bathroom, composed myself, and validated myself by rationalizing that it is normal and ok that I'm slightly uncomfortable buying coffee. I told myself that the guy behind the counter doesn't care if I blush and stutter slightly. I'm a normal person, and I'm entitled to be comfortable buying coffee. My social anxiety should not prevent me from living a normal life. I bought the coffee, and the interaction went down fine. But my point is, your confidence shouldn't stem from not caring at all about other people. It should stem from confidence in yourself, and the confidence that other people do care about and like you. Let's take the McDonalds interview as an example. I wouldn't say "I don't care what the interviewer thinks about me." What I would tell myself beforehand is "I'm a normal person who can go through a normal interview. It is ok if I blush, or stammer, or feel panic beforehand. Everyone gets nervous before interviews. What's important is that I try my best." Focus on boosting up your own confidence and self-image and validating yourself, instead of "not caring" about others. Best of luck!!
Yes i don't even know why i can't interact with people, i don't know if it's fear or shyness or probably both, my heart starts to beat fast and i start to sweat when i get in social situations. i even have skipped school projects presentations because of this. I'm getting really tired of this and i don't know what to do at this point
 
F

Fallingfromthetop

Active member
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
27
Location
Slipperyslope
#7
I had social anxiety when younger although not as severe as the one you have. The key really is to expose yourself to the situations you dread. I ended up as a teacher myself and that was the nail in the coffin for my anxiety, everyday standing in front of 30 people doing lectures. Start small. Maybe streaming is a good idea for you it would take what you are most comfortable with (games) and challenge you to express yourself in front of others at the same time.

Accept the state you are in, yes you are masked in school so be it, you might be masked for a long time still, the end game goal is not to be but it will be a long road of small steps to be able to get unmasked in public. Hit up people you don't see often relatives or whatever that aren't as intimidating as complete stranger. Talk to them, you can even tell them of your problem as say you wanna meet to improve if that works. Do not focus on your failures, focus on your successes. I actually did gather courage to talk to this person, ignore the fact you sweated like a pig.

Even if intervjus are intimidating. Do them anyway. Not always to get the job, simply to practice. If you would get a job at macdonals I promise even if it would be hell the first days and weeks it would swipe away your worst anxiety fairly quickly. When you did 20 intervjus the 21st will be easier. Even if the first 10 are a hell hole do them only with the intent of getting better. You can even tell intervju dude you have social anxiety but you are pushing to get better. Don't care what they think, only care about your progress, don't care if you fail or make a fool of yourself, we have all been there sometime, you might just have to be it more then some others, care only about your progress. Don't even care if you fail bigger then you ever have before, at least you did it and with your condition that takes a lot of courage, think about that. Think about how much courage you have to go to school with this condition and still get through that hell hole. Yeah you have more courage then you think. See the positive things, challenge yourself and just push on no matter how big you fail, eventually you will succeed.

Ok fine intervjus might be a bit rough for you right now, do the other things on my list here first, then in 6 months you will do your first. Or whatever seems reasonable, set goals, and make them. Even if it feels like going through hell each time you do, if you can keep a positive attitude about it and mark it as a step toward becoming better, you will get better.

Again do not linger on your failures, just accept that is who you are at this time, the anxious dude. Focus instead of how you are gonna beat it.

Getting physical active is another way to increase confidence, 30min-1hour a day do push ups, shadowboxing, high intensity dancing or similar at home (no need to invest money in things, work with what you got). Put on your favorite music and do high intensity dance / work out. If you like dance watch videos on youtube how to break dance or whatever and practice, practice, practice. It might take 6 months or a year before you really witness physical changes / improvement, but when you do chances are you self esteem will get better. You do not need to get biff, your looks simply will improve getting active and that helps with confidence. Also you will get more hormones of various kinds in your system getting active and that helps. Getting active also reduces stress hormones in system.

Avoid coffee and everything with similar substance like energy drinks, it increases stress hormones in your system.

Avoid all drugs and alcohol, it increases stress hormones in your system.

If you can get good at something else then gaming that would help but it demands interest. Music, painting, dancing, sports. You do not need to join a sports club, you can get a ball and practice at home. If gaming is all you have interest in so be it, enjoy that and maybe expand on it with streaming. The first times streaming might make you nervous, so do it without cam, then add the cam later. Everything you do first time will be scary but one you done it 20, 50 or 100 times it won't be scary anymore.

Practice your voice, sing, rap, beatbox at home. Whatever interests you. Everyone can learn anything. Tone death and such does not exists its all about training. You might suck for a year but after 2-3 years you will be good. Practice theatrics in front of mirror or whatever. Sing, rap, do monologues in angry, sad, confident, happy voices. The more you use your voice the more confidence you will have in it. And luckily for you, you can practice your voice without talking to anyone.

This is a huge problem and you need to realize you have to work several times a week on it for a long time for it to go away. With a clear cut plan that you follow you should see positive changes in a few months but yes you will not unmask for many years probably unless you are a prodigy of self improvement.
 
F

Fallingfromthetop

Active member
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
27
Location
Slipperyslope
#8
Commit to
* work out atleast 4 times a week.
* practice voice atleast 4 times a week.
* develop other interests then gaming
* challenge your social anxiety a little every day and once a week challenge it more