Social Anxiety = No Life

Discussion in 'Help Me! I Need to Talk to Someone.' started by Leeanna, Feb 16, 2014.

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  1. Leeanna

    Leeanna New Member

    I have social anxiety. Have had it for ages, now trying to beat it. But things seem to always go wrong when I interact with people.
    So I just feel like giving up this struggle. People just don't like me. Something's terribly wrong with me. I feel like hiding even more now.

    For instance, I've tried volunteering recently. Tried designing a website for my music teacher. After seeing my design sketches she wouldn't contact me anymore. She's cancelled 2 lessons already. And she won't respond to my text messages or emails. I'm too afraid to call or visit her.
    How did I deserve to be treated this way? She literally ignores me. I tried my best with the website. What about our music lessons?

    Also, I don't understand how I'm supposed to behave (facial expressions, body language, etc.) when strangers approach me on the street. Like when a guy appears out of nowhere and asks odd questions, and then leaves. What am I supposed to think? I just feel like a complete idiot afterwards. Like I do my best to be social and friendly, but nobody ever asks me out. It's happened several times. They would just approach me and then ... Nothin'. So does this mean I'm ugly, stupid, etc.?
    May be I should just avoid talking to strangers next time? I'm having a hard time deciding what to do in such awkward situations.
    This is really frustrating. My self esteem is ruined after all these interactions. I just feel like hiding, but what kind of a life would that be...

    Any comments? I'd appreciate suggestions on how to deal with these situations, thanks.
  2. MisterBGone

    MisterBGone Well-Known Member

    Hey Leeanna,
    You should be proud of yourself for making such great efforts to battle through your difficulties. I bet it's a whole lot easier to simply avoid the fear, and stop socializing altogether... I don't have any personal experience with this; at least no where near to this degree, but if it were me, I would do what I could to not over think or over analyze things. In other words, the constant worry & critique of my actions/behaviors when in these social settings--that's what I would work to reduce. Because otherwise I might become paralyzed and start second guessing myself every step of the way. Rather, I would do my best to just be (in the moment), or do (act as opposed to think). Obviously I have no clue what you're going through & I realize that there is no simple remedy. But maybe if you can remain calm, and be kind to yourself, that might help and be a good start.
  3. unionfalls

    unionfalls Well-Known Member

    Hi Leeanna, I have only dealt with anxiety for the past few months and I have been unable to as well as you have with continuing to battle it. That is inspiring that you continue to work through it. I wish I had some advice for you but I do not. Keep posting and looking around on this site as it has been helpful for me. You are bound to find more help and advice from those here.You do not deserve to be treated that way by that music teacher, you did her a great favor. I like the volunteering idea to get over the anxiety. Unfortunately your situation did not go as it should have but it is a very good idea as you can do volunteer things more on your own terms. I would think you will find more positive than negative outcomes from this if as you continue to work through this. Wishing you well.
  4. mark b

    mark b Well-Known Member

    Sorry your music teacher has acted like thus. Id leave it there.

    What other volunteering are you able to do. Church groups always need help and can be very welcoming and friendly.
  5. justsomegirl

    justsomegirl Well-Known Member

    Hey, I'm sorry you are going through so much right now. I think your teacher is acting unprofessionally; if she had a problem with the site design, that is separate from your lessons. Don't take that on you if you've been trying to get in contact with her.

    I used to have a lot of social anxiety and one thing that helped was (believe it or not) going out of my way to interact with strangers. Start a tiny convo in with the cashier at the grocery store; smile and mention to someone you pass that they have great shoes. It is CRAZY hard at first but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Also it's important to remember (and I'm still working on this) that when people seem distant, or not interested, they probably have something on their mind that has nothing to do with you. Maybe they're feeling awkward! You never know. Some of the best advice I have ever received was that all you can do is control yourself; how other people act, what they say, is not under your control. Only your reaction is.

    Try to find one thing, just one, every morning that you like about yourself. It really does help. Hang in there. :hug:
  6. Leeanna

    Leeanna New Member

    Thanks ))

    This is a good tip to keep in mind. I'm actually collecting these ideas from books and online discussions. Then I'll print them and reread every time I need a reminder of what a more rational way of thinking about social situations looks/feels like. So, if you don't mind, I'll add this one to my list.

    The only thing I wonder about sometimes is how to learn to behave appropriately in situations I haven't been exposed to before.

    Thanks for your support and understanding ))

    Yeah, may be in the end I will find a good volunteering position somewhere. It is almost like looking for a job: you have to have some experience and qualifications more often than not. I wasn't ready for competition.

    May be I'll apply for volunteering at a women's shelter. They do require a resume, but it's worth trying. Church groups may be another option.
  7. Leeanna

    Leeanna New Member

    Thank you for your advice and experience. I think I can talk to grocery store cashiers. They don't look too threatening to me )) Even though my facial expressions and body language are not always appropriate for any given situation (as my anxiety creeps in). I get really scared when strangers approach me on the street.

    Somehow I get this when a girl at school wouldn't chat with me. I've noticed this happens to other people as well, not just me. Especially if it is a workshop and these people won't see each other again afterwards. May be they are not interested in meeting new friends there. Or just wanting to get home right after the workshop...
    It is more difficult to think this way in other situations, but it's such a good perspective to keep in mind.
  8. MisterBGone

    MisterBGone Well-Known Member

    Good for you! :) I honestly think the best way to learn is by doing... So, the more you go out and get yourself exposed to these different social situations, the better you'll be at them and the easier they'll become! I'm not saying it's easy--but it's not that hard, either... And before you know it, you'll wonder what all the fuss is about? :D This is something silly that would work for me (but not necessarily everybody). I don't know if you've ever thought like an actor or approached things from that mindset? Neither have I! But if I were in this place, unsure of how to approach the problem, I might say let's just forget about our anxiety for this trip out in the public. In other words, I'm going to be playing somebody who's completely cool and calm and comfortable in these situations, and it's going to rock! ;) Now, I know that this takes a whole lot of ego, but I've used similar self-psychology when going into interviews I was uncertain of or lacking some confidence. And it's worked wonders! So I'd go, okay, I'm perfect for this job--overqualified even; & I'm going to go in there and show them how I'd be the best person they've ever hired for this position, past or present! You know, I'm interested in film makers. And I heard Stanley Kubrick once tell a story where he and Steven Spielberg were discussing what they thought the most difficult part about directing a movie was... The answer? Getting out of the car! ;) As for the women's shelter, they may just be doing that (requiring a resume) as a safeguard. At least, that would make a ton of sense to me... You can do it, Leeanna! :)
  9. justsomegirl

    justsomegirl Well-Known Member

    Strangers on the street were kind of hard. Now I go out of my way to scare them first - LOL! By that I mean put a big smile on my face and say, "HELLO!" I was really surprised by how many returned the smile.
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