Social Anxiety, owning it, dealing with it, bitching about it, etc.

randomrob1968

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Been dealing with it all my life, not crippling, but pretty bad sometimes. I had a big problem with alcohol for awhile as it became my go-to for being around people, and when I became sober I began to realize that it was ok to not feel comfortable around people all the time. So now I make my home environment calm and easy and I don't stress over the social stuff so much.

I tried meds for a few years, but the fact was they made me more aggressive and self-centered. Not in a good way.

I'm not really looking for war stories or criticism or anything, just an open forum to talk about social anxiety and/or introversion, if anyone wants to share, or post something cool about it.
 

Nickolai77

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I used to regard myself as quite an introvert. I would have been quite happy not seeing friends for weeks on end and spent the time in my room with my family members to keep me company. But as i got into my late teens and early twenties i started valuing friends more and wanting to spend time with them. I think i started to judge the quality of my own life by the experiences i shared with my friends and now i'm very sociable and will hang out with most kind of people. I think it makes life more interesting and gives you more stuff to talk about.

I have never had proper social anxiety disorder- but generally i feel for most people as you get older you become more confident and more relaxed around other people.
 

randomrob1968

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I get that, I was really shy as an early teen. But it never really went away.

I mean, I'm 45, and I'm alot more comfortable with myself, with who I am, these days. But my tolerance, or energy level, for dealing with others is pretty small.
 

Weaver

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Apr 28, 2008
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I've been in therapy for anxiety related problems, but it honestly didn't help. Most my anxieties are triggered by social situations, but I don't have generalized anxiety disorder. Also, I can talk to people in more... I dunno, formal settings I guess without feeling too nervous. Today I met a new person at work, it wasn't scary at all.

I dunno, it's hell when you can't turn a worry off though. It's usually when things are out of a semblance of control that I start to panic.
 

aba1

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I can have some social anxiety and it used to be really bad but I have worked on it a lot over the years and I rarely let it hold me back any longer. Honestly push your boundaries force yourself outside your comfort zone. It took a long time but I have over time just stopped caring about most things and just learned to not become emotionally invested or attached to things for the most part. I have always found my emotions tend to hold me back.
 

Phasmal

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Jun 10, 2011
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I can get very anxious sometimes, but I think I'm just kind of introverted.
I do get rather nervous in crowds, but that's mostly because I have problems with spacial awareness and hearing, so a lot of the time if someone is about to bump into me I have no idea and that just makes me look stupid.

And sometimes I get my boyfriend to talk to people for me. I'm shy with new people. Feel like a tit saying it, but there it is.
I'm also uncomfortable with people paying too much attention to me, and no not in a `I want you to pay attention to me but I'm gonna say I don't` kind of way, in a `Stop looking at me what do you want` kind of way.
So..... yeah. Go Team Anxious.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Over the years I've had a lot of social anxiety issues, mostly caused by the fact that I over think everything, and end up reading way too far into a lot of social interactions, which makes me nervous about misunderstanding people or people misunderstanding me.

In recent years I've actually gotten much better in this regard though. I'm still not really comfortable talking to people, but I'm surprisingly good at faking it. So good in fact that strangers who I talk to often remark about how easy I am to talk to, and how open and friendly I am.

Most of this is really a confidence issue though, and the older I've gotten the more confident I've gotten in myself. I'm actually currently going through the hiring process for a job that is going to require me to interact with people a lot, and possibly do quite a bit of public speaking, and the idea of that doesn't even bother me now, it kind of gets me excited.
 

bigwon

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The way I'd describe mine is that I generally don't get all hyped up about people interactions. I can carry myself well enough to function but I'm really bored by the concept of socializing usually.

For example: Like any other guy I could really go for a woman's embrace, whether it's sexual or something platonic. But what happens is they completely go dry after any sort of social initiation beyond checking me out. It's like I couldn't even be bothered to release pheromones or something.

I know it's a general fear of rejection, but the nasty bit is that it usually triggers a really aggressive/hostile temperament. It's like that sarcastic cynic minus the charm...hehe, So I don't approach people very often.

It's generally the same with guys. On occasion I'll get in a conversation with someone and I always pick up some sort of passive aggressive bullcrap being dished my way so I usually dismiss them off the bat and move on with my lonely existence...hehehe

I'm one of those types that tends to have conversations about psychology/philosophy/spirituality/relativity and things of the like as opposed to trivia/partying/gossip/etc. so I understand that it's very easy to come off as that boring or mentally disturbed types.

Otherwise I'm in that "it'd be nice but it's just alot easier being forever alone" boat.

People I know tend to enjoy my company because I'm relaxed and easy going. I tend to just listen to what friends have to say and work it out with them in a non judgmental way. When it comes to just dealing with strangers, I have enough ability to sort expedite them to somewere else but otherwise it feels like i'm talking to some unworldly animated beings. lol!

Sort of resembles this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldPTL8fyHBY (I know it's irrational, DON'T JUDGE ME!!! hehe)
 

bigwon

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Dirty Hipsters said:
Over the years I've had a lot of social anxiety issues, mostly caused by the fact that I over think everything, and end up reading way too far into a lot of social interactions, which makes me nervous about misunderstanding people or people misunderstanding me.

In recent years I've actually gotten much better in this regard though. I'm still not really comfortable talking to people, but I'm surprisingly good at faking it. So good in fact that strangers who I talk to often remark about how easy I am to talk to, and how open and friendly I am.

Most of this is really a confidence issue though, and the older I've gotten the more confident I've gotten in myself. I'm actually currently going through the hiring process for a job that is going to require me to interact with people a lot, and possibly do quite a bit of public speaking, and the idea of that doesn't even bother me now, it kind of gets me excited.
Rockin!

That's the best way to go about doing things. I remember going to open mics and that just opened up a world for me despite a noticeable lack of enthusiasm. That could very well be your paradigm shift.
 

Voulan

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I suffer from it too, and as I'm getting older and no longer having a parent do things for me and having to look at getting jobs its got far worse. Even ordering food is a nightmare. I don't know how I'm going to manage doing job interviews, and then actually doing a job. I try to stay positive, but I have this permanent pain in the stomach from fear.
 

Wickatricka

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Nah I have like a psychological need to be around people. Usually takes me a few weeks of solitude before I don't wanna be around people anymore lol.
 

randomrob1968

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Voulan said:
I suffer from it too, and as I'm getting older and no longer having a parent do things for me and having to look at getting jobs its got far worse. Even ordering food is a nightmare. I don't know how I'm going to manage doing job interviews, and then actually doing a job. I try to stay positive, but I have this permanent pain in the stomach from fear.
Ordering food, yeah I feel you. I had alot of those days.

For me, as I'm getting older, I find myself more saying 'ok, well I'm not great with people, but what am I good at?' And focus on those things, because if we're THAT sensitive, we're made for something else. Probably IDEAL for certain things.

I'm not looking for solutions to help me 'fit in'. The hell with fitting in. I want to do what I'm good at, and make my way that way, be healthier without the baggage of being a people person, which is something I'm never going to be really good at.
 

Berithil

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When I was younger, I used to have massive social anxiety. I absolutely hated being around people (probably due to Aspergers, as I just found out I have not too long ago). But after putting on an act of confidence in order to better deal with the forced social situations (which lead to an actual genuine confidence), I'm much better now, though I would still consider myself introverted. I'm still pretty "socially obtuse", but I can feel relatively comfortable around people now.

Now, I just have a very eccentric personality when dealing with people. A good way of explaining it is my social interaction is similar to the Doctor's, mainly Ten with the physicality of Eleven thrown in :D

Though, I've found out I'm absolutely rubbish at customer service jobs.
 

Voulan

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randomrob1968 said:
Voulan said:
I suffer from it too, and as I'm getting older and no longer having a parent do things for me and having to look at getting jobs its got far worse. Even ordering food is a nightmare. I don't know how I'm going to manage doing job interviews, and then actually doing a job. I try to stay positive, but I have this permanent pain in the stomach from fear.
Ordering food, yeah I feel you. I had alot of those days.

For me, as I'm getting older, I find myself more saying 'ok, well I'm not great with people, but what am I good at?' And focus on those things, because if we're THAT sensitive, we're made for something else. Probably IDEAL for certain things.

I'm not looking for solutions to help me 'fit in'. The hell with fitting in. I want to do what I'm good at, and make my way that way, be healthier without the baggage of being a people person, which is something I'm never going to be really good at.
Yeah, I'm starting to get the hang of complimenting myself and seeing my skills rather than getting concerned about the future. It's very hard though, because I'm also very demanding and put myself down a lot. In time though I imagine I'll actually get to enjoy life. I hope it goes well for you too.
 

Sehnsucht Engel

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I don't have it that bad, really. I can be around new people without feeling that awkward. I don't get nervous when meeting new people or going to a new place where I know no one. There's one thing that bothers me though, and that's the first step. I know that pretty much everyone experiences it, no matter how many times they've taken it, but it still annoys me that I never know what to say or do. It's bad because it affects my chances with girls too. I hear people talk about girls, and they can be far less attractive than me, but they still have more stories. That's what I hate about social anxiety, that I don't dare to reach out to those I find attractive and interesting in that way.
 

Abomination

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I used to be a shy individual... I think that's what most people call "social anxiety" these days. I showed the same symptoms. I stopped being shy when I realized that there are billions of people on the planet and after seeing all the shit people are able to get away with I'm certain I can stand to be slightly awkward every once in awhile.

Now I'm just an introvert because I despise dealing with people as a form of entertainment. I prefer to do my own thing on my own time, my own man in my own castle. Probably stems from being dragged along to every god damn dinner party or family reunion with my parents when I was young. Every time I didn't want to go, every time I was right about not wanting to go because there was nothing for me to do or nothing that interested me in the slightest.

When I became independent of my parents I promised myself I wouldn't go anything on my free time unless I really wanted to. This turned into me essentially only going out with folks if I both enjoyed their company and wished to partake in the activity we had planned.

On the flip side, people love interacting with me and I have oodles of social confidence... I just don't like people.

If your social anxiety stops you from being able to order food or something simple I will both feel bad for you and have little respect for you. I've had to deal with folks with social anxiety and they're generally a nuisance who need people to baby them in a public setting - especially when folks use it as a crutch when it comes to dealing with problems.

Recognize it as a flaw then work to overcome it - don't just accept it as "part of you".
 

MeChaNiZ3D

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I'm pretty socially anxious as well, but not as bad as I was even a few months ago. A few things I've learnt sort of recently that tend to help - join a group or something. I don't know how feasible this is for you, but being at Uni, it's pretty accessible for me. You want to be dragged along to things that you would otherwise refuse. Also, identify things that you do to limit social contact - using your phone, focussing attention on food or something that you're doing in order to create the impression you're busy, sticking with people you know in social situations to avoid talking to people you don't know, etc, then deliberately don't do those. Last sort of thing, when having a conversation, make a conscious effort to listen to what the other person says and try to keep the conversation on them, as it were. Otherwise I often get too self-focussed because I have anecdotes about anything I know about, and then the conversation is ruined because they have no idea what I'm talking about and/or have basic conversation skills and keep asking about those things because I apparently want to talk about them. The idea is that slowly you become a normal person by behaving normally despite your anxiety and eventually realising how unmerited the anxiety is. I still have no self-esteem and am hopeless at interviews, but I can call people on the phone and sort of go to social events.
 

Xdeser2

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Personally, I think I'm in the middle of the "Just accepting who I am" stage with social anxiety. Like you, it's not totally crippling for me, but when it comes around, its pretty bad.


However, just accepting it has turned things around significantly. (For me at least) I'm okay with the fact that I'm not always comfortable around people, and generally don't worry about too much anymore considering I still have a great group of friends who've had the heart to put up with this from me lol. Hell, it even helps with interaction too, dreading and worrying over it really just makes it worse in the long run versus just stepping up to the plate and dealing with it in stride (Once again, works for me but obviously not everyone is me)
 

KOMega

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I used to feel really nervous around people and liked to keep to myself a lot. I knew there was nothing wrong with that, but I knew that I probably wouldn't get by very well if I kept being like that. Especially through college.

A few things that did help me get through was:

- Noticing that a lot of people did feel some variation of social anxiety in some form.
- While I didn't interact with a lot of people before, I did always have that one friend that I was okay with talking to a lot.
- I went through a sorta depression phase. Getting through it was awful awful hell, but now I can deal with people being rude even up to yelling and insulting me a lot better now. Because I have been through worse.
- I liked to ask myself "What's the worst that could happen?" and just push myself out there. I kept doing that and even if I utterly failed in what I tried to do I noticed that I was still pretty much alive. So I could keep saying "I've been through worse and I made it. I might make it through again."

As for interviews I can't say I've been to more than one. And I thought that one was a little awkward.