social anxiety ruins my life

A

alyssa88

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Sep 19, 2018
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#1
I have social anxiety my whole life. I cant hold conversations with friends incase there is a silence and they think I am boring. I cant go to a shop in case something embarrassing happens. I am the only person in work who doesn't talk at lunch and people think im "quiet" which im not!! I'd love to shout ive social anxiety!!!! I have never met anyone with this before. everyone i meet seems to be confident and have endless supply of conversation. It ruins my life. I never make phone calls or chat to neighbours. I have done CBT for years but nothing helps
 
burt tomato

burt tomato

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#2
Just say what you are thinking. Just be you. If you are anxious - say I am anxious. Conversation can be fun if you just say what you think.
 
burt tomato

burt tomato

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#4
I am wondering if you just need to boost your confidence? Have you thought about that?
 
L

LaPetiteGen

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Sep 15, 2018
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#5
Please know that you aren't alone. Even the most confident people have issues with self-doubt & uncertainty in many situations. They just have learned to mask it better! I understand what you are going through as I'm an introvert. It is very difficult to talk with people I'm not familiar with, especially in group settings & I loathe talking to strangers on the phone! If I'm forced to interact with strangers that dreaded silence is so unsettling. I've found that asking questions & having the other person talk works best. A lot of people LOVE to talk about themselves. I've also realized that being quite is OK- that means you are a good listener! I did find this Phone and Chat Couseling for Social Anxiety Online - betterLYF that addresses self-confidence & overcoming social anxiety- that has options for chatting with counselors. They may be able to give you some more practical tips to help you overcome your anxieties & set a goal to engage just one person who appears to be kind could be a great start. Rooting for you!
 
W

Wayne87

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#6
I feel your pain Alyssa. I've had crippling social anxiety my entire life. It's very embarrassing to admit but I don't even have a single friend as a result. I'm currently unemployed as I was bullied so much at my last job for being so quiet and it drove me to a breakdown. I'm too scared to find a new job. My loneliness as a result is the main reason I am severely depressed. It sounds wrong but it's kind of comforting to know there are others out there.

Burt I'm not having a go at you but I feel telling someone like Alyssa to boost her confidence is akin to telling a depressed person to just cheer up.
 
I

Immanuel

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#7
Dear Alyssa,
I completely get your thought that your social anxiety ruins your life. Its the disease of lost opportunities. And I feel very sorry for you that CBT was not much of help yet. I can only hope that you have the power to hang in there.
There is often the misconception that a lack of confidence is equal to a lack of competence. However, often thats not the case. People with social anxiety have probably one of the most vivid lives, just not on the outside. They tend to be smart and creative and have a very sophisticated theoretical understanding of social psychology to name a few positive things. I guess what I am trying to write is that your social anxiety can be your strength and resource... once you abondon the repetetive thought that social anxiety ruins your life by accepting that it did some damage in the past, there might be a new freedom for the future... You don't need to be loud verbally, you can be loud on paper as well... write a book about your experiences, try sport or art that helps to express your feelings...
I suffered from social anxiety throughout my teen years and right into adulthood. Avoided every contact and socially isolated myself for years. In those years I tortured my body to total exhaustion.. I started to read obsessively.. I still feel the anxiety in me and sometimes I still fear social contact or avoid it entirely but it has not the control over me anymore. All the lost opportunities are my driving force today... it motivates me, I laugh about my anxiety when it tells me again that I am not good enough... and you can do that too. Easier said than done... I must be honest, sometimes I believe my anxious thoughts, sometimes it drives me into depression... but whatever, life goes on, it always does, nothing is forever, ... :)
Check this out... Book — Ellen Hendriksen
The joy of solitutde ... The Joy of Solitude | Psychology Today
 
A

alyssa88

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Sep 19, 2018
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#8
Thank you for your replies. My social anxiety confuses me as I have moved country 3 times completely on my own and got through it but yet I am scared to make a phone call!! I don't get it. I drink a lot of alcohol to get rid of the feeling and yes you will say stop but the social anxiety is so bad that I cant. Work and family commitments are completely socially focussed and therefore it is an everyday occurrence. I really don't know what else to do. My counsellor said to keep pushing myself to conquer my fears but I have been doing this for years and it never gets better!!
 
S

Shazbo

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Nov 7, 2018
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#9
Hello Alyssa,
Not sure how much this is gonna help. I had what i now know to be classic social anxiety in my teens and 20s. Due to awful parenting and childhood bullying. I think yours maybe similar to mine. No-one understood, people just thought i was both introvert and wierd. What a waste of what should have been my best years. But then a stroke of luck - i met someone at age 30 who loved this wierdo, and with her behind me I learned for the first time how to hold a conversation and not be too scared. 80% cured after 5 years. I'm now 58. I think that to have a full time relationship with a normal, tolerant person, with a close family (i didnt have family) was the only way i could have beaten my SAD.
 
P

Phoenix76

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Oct 24, 2018
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#10
I have never met anyone with this before. everyone i meet seems to be confident and have endless supply of conversation. It ruins my life.
But most people you meet probably don't realize you have social anxiety either. None of us ever look as bad as we feel. Try not to be too hard on yourself. I bet you meet people with social anxiety every day, you just don't realize it.
 
D

darkdays

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Nov 23, 2018
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#11
Thank you for your replies. My social anxiety confuses me as I have moved country 3 times completely on my own and got through it but yet I am scared to make a phone call!! I don't get it. I drink a lot of alcohol to get rid of the feeling and yes you will say stop but the social anxiety is so bad that I cant. Work and family commitments are completely socially focussed and therefore it is an everyday occurrence. I really don't know what else to do. My counsellor said to keep pushing myself to conquer my fears but I have been doing this for years and it never gets better!!
I used to be afraid to make calls as well. Whenever I did force myself to do it, I used to be so inaudible. To this day it still doesn't make sense to me why calls triggered my anxiety.

I was able to overcome this issue by prepping and encouraging myself before each call. After each call, I would think about the positive aspect of it and find improvements. After that, I would try not to think about it and clear my head of any other thoughts about making calls. I believe it took me months or even a year before I started to become more comfortable making calls. I still stumble when I make calls, but I don't beat myself up over it anymore and don't feel any anxiety for calls at least.

I do hope you find your solution.
 
Y

Yainen

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#12
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C

CFE101

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#13
You have to think about the things you list that are positives. You've moved country 3 times yourself. I couldn't do that and going by what you've said your social anxiety is much worse than mine. You managed to go to CBT for all of those years. You manage to go to work. If you do put yourself out of your comfort zone and do little things each day then you might see benefits.