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

Fox12

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Jun 6, 2013
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randomrob1968 said:
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.
I think a quote I heard sums it up. "Extroverts get energy from being around people. Introverts spend energy by being around people." I can be pretty sociable, and I love being around many different people, but I'm and introvert, so sometimes I have to go be by myself in order to unwind. Being around others is as tiring as it is fun, and I've had a few friends ask me why I sometimes have a tendency to wander off after a large party/social event. They leave me emotionally drained, and I need a break. Then I can come back rested. There's nothing wrong with this. I used to be shy as a kid, but I grew out of it. Proud to be an introvert, haha.

Edit: I see a lot of people talking about depression. I've been through that hell, and I've helped friends through it. If you're getting through it, just remember that you decide your own value, nobody can give it to you. People like people who like themselves. It really is terrible, and it comes periodically, but things get better, I promise.
 

Casual Shinji

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I think I've just sorta gotten used to not interacting with others all that much.

I'm not a hermit though, I go outside and I do my things, but I just lack that initiative to make and maintain contact with other people. I still have my immediate family who are the only people I can generally feel at ease with, but even with them I never just pick up the phone to say hello on my own accord. And not because I don't want to be with them, but just because it simply doesn't enter my mind to do so.

This all probably stems back from when I didn't feel like anyone wanted my company anyway, and has now just become routine.
 

Ratties

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I like to cherry pick on who is worth talking to. Most people might see that as me being a snob. I don't show any of the sighs of being a snob. I will talk to anybody that talks to me. If I think the person is a waste of time, I usually just keep it short. I give those vague answers that don't really answer anything. Most people see that as me having social anxiety. Here is an example of a ***** that I hate at work that I never talk to, unless she talks to me.

The *****: What did you do over the weekend?

Me: Oh you know, stuff and things.

She really doesn't give a crap what I did. She just wants me to ask her what she did, which I will never do because she is a flying ****.
 

Dandark

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Sep 2, 2011
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I've always had a pretty big problem when it comes to dealing with other people, I am 20 now and getting better but I still have problems with people.
A lot of the time I look into things to much and am extremely paranoid about what others thinks of me to the point that if someone tries to be nice or invites me to do something I am convinced it's some kind of trick or cruel joke and usually treat it that way.

Im a lot better when I have a reason to talk to someone such as being sent to ask person A if they have the book person B lent them but I can't talk to people on my own, I seem to think that if I walk up to someone they will instantly despise me for disturbing them and shoo me off or something. It makes no sense but it's why I can hardly talk to people without coming across as really tense and obviously wanting to get out any conversation.


It was worse when I was younger and I used to hate myself because I didn't have any friends I regularly talked to or hung out with after school, it wasn't that I had no friends or wasn't liked, I did have friends but I could never bring myself to talk to or do anything with them outside of school. I wouldn't even ask to see them afterwards while I was in school and if invited to something I would nearly always decline.
Now though I don't mind not having many friends. I realized there isn't anything wrong with not wanting to constantly be around people, it was fine that I didn't like going to parties or spending all my free time with other people.

Im hoping to get over my issues some more when I start College(UK college) soon but I feel that as I grew up I got more confident and didn't feel like I should have to spend all my free time in social settings anymore, now im pretty happy admitting that I dislike being around people and prefer my own company a lot of the time.
 

Lieju

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Due to certain experiences I tend to get panic attacks in growds and if I have to talk to people. Medication helps, though.

Also there is a certain kind of body-type in men that reminds me of this guy who used to beat me up in elementary school, so having a guy like that walk towards me can trigger that.
 

Voulan

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Abomination said:
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".
I can't help but think that was directed at me, and I'm honestly quite offended by your remark. It's a diagnosable mental disorder, not just being "too shy" or "introverted". I don't use it as an excuse either - I have no choice but to deal with it since the world demands you to leave the house and the such-like. I don't need babying, especially since I don't tell people about it (for fear they'll view me negatively, which is what social anxiety is all about). Please try to be a little understanding. It's like telling someone with Depression to "get over it and be more cheerful".
 

Kirke

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I have Asberger's syndrome, gratefully in a manageable amount. However, I am very uncomfortable in social situations where I do not know how to act, or when dealing with large groups of people. Not to mention it is tiring to be social for any longer period of time where I can't go on autopilot. Then again, I don't give a damn what people think of me. Not sure if that classifies as social anxiety, but there you go. And @Abomination: It is not quite so simple or even possible for many, including me. I pity those who cannot even order food, I can imagine how they feel even if I do not have as severe problems.
 

Eddie the head

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I have a heavily introverted personalty. That dose not mean I am shy. I can handle being social fine, I just chose not to. I would just rather be alone most of the time.
 

thesilentman

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Jun 14, 2012
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For me, it's less that I'm anxious around people and more that I'm odd and can't really get along. There is the occasional person that I can relate to, but mostly I prefer to be alone. I only really get anxious when it comes to necessities that I have to encounter in my life, as I don't really get along and so forth.
 

Abomination

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Voulan said:
Abomination said:
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".
I can't help but think that was directed at me, and I'm honestly quite offended by your remark.
Then go ahead and be offended... and also too bad.
It's a diagnosable mental disorder, not just being "too shy" or "introverted".
I know that, but just because I didn't go out and get myself analyzed doesn't mean I didn't have it. Despite showing all the signs I thought about why I had such issues dealing with people or dealing with the public? and I made changes to overcome them.
I don't use it as an excuse either - I have no choice but to deal with it since the world demands you to leave the house and the such-like. I don't need babying, especially since I don't tell people about it (for fear they'll view me negatively, which is what social anxiety is all about).
And that's the thing right there. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Upon recognizing that and focusing on overcoming it can one actually improve their situation? but using it as an excuse to not even try and overcome it is just another self-fulfilling prophecy.
Please try to be a little understanding. It's like telling someone with Depression to "get over it and be more cheerful".
Like I said, I do understand but that doesn't mean I have to like or accept the quality in someone.

Social anxiety can be crippling and it's up to the person with it to come to terms to overcome it. Too many people with social anxiety I have met just complain about how they have it, and when I ask what they are doing to overcome it I get excuses. Yes it sucks to have it, yes it's difficult to get rid of... but it won't go anywhere unless someone seeks help and actively challenges themselves and is challenged by other people to overcome it.

My girlfriend has it and I do what I can to help her with it. I challenge her and she's seen incredible improvements. Still has some work to do and I explain many times how I am disappointed if she can't perform a normal function, but I also help her with it... the thing is she has to contribute too and she has to do more than I can. She does, and that's how she improves.

Social anxiety isn't an excuse to not interact with others, it's a challenge to overcome.
 

randomrob1968

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Abomination said:
Recognize it as a flaw then work to overcome it - don't just accept it as "part of you".
Different strokes for different folks. Not everyone's wired the same way.
 

randomrob1968

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Abomination said:
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.
If this an example of overcoming your issues, I think you need to re-examine what you expect out of social interactions, because this paragraph is pretty harsh.
 

Thebazilly

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I had a hard time with social anxiety for most of my childhood, and I didn't even know it was a thing until two years ago. I always thought I was just shy or introverted, albeit a great deal so.

Things got bad when I left for college. I was constantly terrified of talking to new people and didn't make many friends. I was depressed, stressed out, and regularly had emotional breakdowns. I ended up switching schools because I was so miserable.

When I heard about social anxiety, I thought "hey, that sounds like me...". My doctor had encouraged me to see a therapist before about some depression issues (which I think generally stemmed from the social anxiety anyway), so I made an appointment and the therapist agreed that I did have anxiety.

I liked going to the therapist. I always felt refreshed after one of my appointments, even if I didn't really talk about much. Mostly the advice she gave me was to try to reinforce positive thinking instead of negative thinking or overanalyzing social situations.

I'm on some medication now, and I've been feeling great for the past few years. I'm back in the same town as my friends, I like going to parties, I love talking to my coworkers at my new job (I've had a lot of trouble speaking up at job interviews in the past), and I have a boyfriend now that I think I'm going to move in with soon.

To other people with social anxiety, I'd say keep trying different medications until you find one that works. It really helps. And everything gets better with practice. I used to be cripplingly afraid of making phone calls, to the point where I wouldn't make even important ones if I could put it off, but it's a lot easier for me now, and I think that's because I was forced to do it a few times and gradually got used to it.
 

Froggy Slayer

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I'm introverted, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I can still talk to people, and I enjoy it, but I far prefer one-on-one conversations than big groups of people. It's why I haven't been able to get a girlfriend, really; I only ever talk to girls when I'm in a big group, and I don't really know how to get one on her own.

Wait, that sounded bad.
 

Voulan

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Jul 18, 2011
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Abomination said:
Voulan said:
Abomination said:
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".
I can't help but think that was directed at me, and I'm honestly quite offended by your remark.
Then go ahead and be offended... and also too bad.
It's a diagnosable mental disorder, not just being "too shy" or "introverted".
I know that, but just because I didn't go out and get myself analyzed doesn't mean I didn't have it. Despite showing all the signs I thought about why I had such issues dealing with people or dealing with the public? and I made changes to overcome them.
I don't use it as an excuse either - I have no choice but to deal with it since the world demands you to leave the house and the such-like. I don't need babying, especially since I don't tell people about it (for fear they'll view me negatively, which is what social anxiety is all about).
And that's the thing right there. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Upon recognizing that and focusing on overcoming it can one actually improve their situation? but using it as an excuse to not even try and overcome it is just another self-fulfilling prophecy.
Please try to be a little understanding. It's like telling someone with Depression to "get over it and be more cheerful".
Like I said, I do understand but that doesn't mean I have to like or accept the quality in someone.

Social anxiety can be crippling and it's up to the person with it to come to terms to overcome it. Too many people with social anxiety I have met just complain about how they have it, and when I ask what they are doing to overcome it I get excuses. Yes it sucks to have it, yes it's difficult to get rid of... but it won't go anywhere unless someone seeks help and actively challenges themselves and is challenged by other people to overcome it.

My girlfriend has it and I do what I can to help her with it. I challenge her and she's seen incredible improvements. Still has some work to do and I explain many times how I am disappointed if she can't perform a normal function, but I also help her with it... the thing is she has to contribute too and she has to do more than I can. She does, and that's how she improves.

Social anxiety isn't an excuse to not interact with others, it's a challenge to overcome.
I'm actually astounded by your reaction. I've never once met a person who displays such ignorance towards mental disabilities, and frankly, I'm extremely disappointed. I never once said I haven't got help, or have used it as an excuse, or attempted to get past it. You're assuming I'm only whining about it. Why would I want to not do something about it? Do you think it's something that can merely be turned off or stopped with the right "attitude"? You've displayed a total lack of sympathy or caring. Perhaps the people you've met have genuine reasons for not wanting help or wanting to tackle the issue, and that's fine - not everyone can handle these things, and they may have more extreme cases. But it is a type of thought process wired into their brains, and it's very difficult to stop. It's not a "quality" in someone that you can choose to hate.

I'm sorry if that "disappoints" you, but not everyone can be perfect all the time. I hope your girlfriend does well, though.
 

littlewisp

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Mar 25, 2010
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I've just sorta realized I might have a problem. I mean sure, I know and accept my introversion, and the people who matter are okay with it. But I had a breakdown the other morning because sometimes the thought of going to the gym freaks me out. My fiance needs to go for his health, and I know this. Sometimes the thought of other people in the gym just wigs me. It doesn't help that past visits have had some derogatory comments and leers, as well as open staring in the mirror (this I notice because it's deadlifts -- not a lot of women here do them and because the platform faces the mirror and I watch myself for form I see it easier). I know realistically people aren't thinking bad thoughts, necessarily -- I sometimes watch others at sets honestly because I'm tired and the movement catches my eye -- but it never helps.

Exacerbating the issue is a friend who is a personal trainer. He comes to visit sometimes and neither he nor the fiance get what I'm trying to say. They're all "well I don't like going to the gym either" and that's not it. I like feeling sore after a workout. I like putting the effort in. I'm ecstatic and bubbly whenever the weight room is empty. Multiple people, especially college jocks who can't shut up or keep their eyes to themselves? It makes me nervous and uncomfortable as heck.

I used to be afraid of driving through drive-thru windows because I was too afraid of messing up somehow. Yeah, doesn't make sense. In the end I feel more stupid. I have done it a few times though! I don't eat a lot of fast food so not much need anyways, but it's there.

Add to that are other little things. I hate going to strange places by myself. I'm always afraid of other people judging me. I'm always afraid of looking stupid. But at the same time I have no issue speaking in public (so long as I've had some prep time), though putting me on the spot always wrecks me a little bit. I hold down a job. I can be articulate with speaking. So I'm a bit at a loss.

I dunno. I'm tired of being afraid of unfamiliar places and situations. I'm tired of being the one saying no to going out because I can't stand the thought of social interaction. I'm tired of the gut wrenching nausea and other fear responses when I'm doing something so simple as trying to drive somewhere I haven't before. Hell, I put off seeing hte eye doctor for a year because there was a situation with my insurance I was too scared to resolve because it involved talking to people and I didn't want to "bother" anyone. It's pathetic.

Now I just need to work myself up to either trying to self-help or going to a therapist . Ahah. Yeah. Baby steps.

What sucks is that even when I do well and force myself past that nausea, that weird fear, it never goes away. Even when I get complimented on my form on the squat rack by a nice older gentleman who's not being crude at all, it's a kneejerk response the next time we go in. Maybe it doesn't really help that I haven't been able to really explain to anyone. I'm so ashamed of myself that when I try I clam up and just sit there with attempted encouragement that's just making matters worse.

Ugh. I probably do need a therapist. I don't know. I just hate this.

:|
 

DarkSeraphim02

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Feb 28, 2011
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Thank you to the OP for making this thread. I've been considering doing a similar thread myself for some time now, but never bothered because, well, I'm bad at making threads, among other things.

I have social anxiety disorder, or S.A.D if you want to give it a depressing acronym. I've had it for over 5 years and unfortunately anytime I go out I have panic attacks so severe it takes me days to calm down, and I often end up running for the nearest bathroom. As a result I haven't left my apartment for those 5+ years, I also have subterranean self-esteem and since all my other attempts to vent my feelings have always been met by a resounding chorus of remarks like "suck it up" "get over it" "nobody cares" and so on, I've reached the point where I honestly don't know what to do.

The fact I can't leave my house and thus can't get any kind of professional help, as said professionals have flat out told me that they don't do house calls and in one instance told me that unless I try to commit suicide and fail there's nothing they can do, has left me in a position where I honestly feel screwed.

I keep wanting to mention other issues I have that compound my problems, but as this thread is mainly about social anxiety I should probably just stop here. Sorry for any spelling or grammar fuck ups by the way, I never went to school and my computer doesn't have any kind of spell checker on it.
 

Abomination

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randomrob1968 said:
Abomination said:
Recognize it as a flaw then work to overcome it - don't just accept it as "part of you".
Different strokes for different folks. Not everyone's wired the same way.
Of course they're not, a primary example is people having social anxiety while others don't.

randomrob1968 said:
Abomination said:
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.
If this an example of overcoming your issues, I think you need to re-examine what you expect out of social interactions, because this paragraph is pretty harsh.
I expect a person to be able to order food in a social setting without struggling with crippling worry that the cashier or waiter who they're unlikely to ever meet again will think they're a bit strange.

I say this because we are an interdependent species who still require food to survive. If you need someone else to order your food for you then you're pretty much failing social interaction.
 

Thebazilly

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Abomination said:
I expect a person to be able to order food in a social setting without struggling with crippling worry that the cashier or waiter who they're unlikely to ever meet again will think they're a bit strange.

I say this because we are an interdependent species who still require food to survive. If you need someone else to order your food for you then you're pretty much failing social interaction.
Um, but that's why social anxiety is a mental disorder. Because people who have social anxiety can't function on a social level like a normal person. Yes, it gets better with practice, but that doesn't work for everyone, and with a genuine mental disorder, you can't always overcome it on your own. I'm glad that you and your girlfriend have found a method that works for you, but unfortunately it's not as simple as just pushing through it for everyone.