Overcoming Social Anxiety

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    Apr 03, 2014 2:16 AM GMT
    I know other RJer's on here deal with this and when I first discovered how many people have some form of social anxiety I was a bit surprised.

    I'm dealing with a bit of a resurgence of mild SA which showed up a few months after I broke up with my BF.... not sure if the break triggered it or not but I'm working to get through it.Insecurities about being gay seem to compound it at times. For those who don't know social anxiety is like being shy only amplified..... similar to the feeling when you need to give a speech in public. It's hard to explain but left unchecked it can lead to depression, other forms of anxieties, etc. My ex suffers from it too but we were helping each other overcome it.

    There's people who have it much worse. It's can be a hindrance to moving up in a career, making new friends and especially dating scene. One thing that is helping me is browsing through videos posted by individuals around the world who also have it (many are much worse than I) There's a YouTuber who I would recommend called Silencewithinme: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ4j5taqdagBhdJ1q49CRxw

    He's pretty dang cute IMO and I wouldn't think someone like him would have this sort of thing. Though his most recent video has me a bit worried about him....

    Anyway can anyone relate? How'd you overcome it? Some people think alcohol helps and it does but that's a dangerous slope to alcoholism.
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:24 AM GMT
    One of the best known therapies for this kind of shyness is to post naked selfies on here. It's like an immersion thing. Face your demons, etc.
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:24 AM GMT
    I have had problems with social anxiety before but especially this past year so I know how you feel. I know for some people it is triggered by an event and then goes away for a while whilst some people have it pretty much constantly.

    I don't recommend alcohol as along term thing but if you're at a large gathering and you need it to boost your confidence so it can be a good short term solution.

    If you ever want to message me feel free icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:28 AM GMT
    I'm 90% certain I have some form of social anxiety, but I won't even go to the doctor so I don't know for certain. I definitely am painfully quiet in real life. Writing, or typing, is the only time I feel I am truly communicating.
    I know that since my ex broke up with me it has got A LOT worse. So much so, that I hate leaving the house, and I have become even mre distant with friends and family. It's very painful and everyone misunderstands you. Wish I could say with certainty that it gets better.
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:35 AM GMT
    Ajjax saidI'm 90% certain I have some form of social anxiety, but I won't even go to the doctor so I don't know for certain. I definitely am painfully quiet in real life. Writing, or typing, is the only time I feel I am truly communicating.


    I very quiet too but once I get talking and comfortable with someone I'm very sociable and outgoing; it takes a while though. I am a great writer. A lot of my English teachers said I should become an author (give me a book advance and then we'll talk)

    I think SA may run in families since my mother has a mild form of it and my nephew definitely has but is overcoming it.

    woodsmen saidAm an introvert but I have used it to advance my career and social network. I have been with my man for 20 years! The key is to limit your interaction to one person to keep energy expenditure low and keep societal anxiety to a minimum.


    Really? That's interesting. How'd did it help with advancing your career? The standard dogma is extroverts are the one's getting great jobs since they can effectively network and are "people people." Introverts are very good listeners (I'm one myself) and people often confide in them and gain energy from kind of doing their own thing. Maybe that helps? Also how do you limit daily interactions to only one person? I'm in NYC and I deal with some form of interaction of 50-100 or so random people a day so going about town.
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:35 AM GMT
    Ajjax saidI'm 90% certain I have some form of social anxiety, but I won't even go to the doctor so I don't know for certain. I definitely am painfully quiet in real life. Writing, or typing, is the only time I feel I am truly communicating.
    I know that since my ex broke up with me it has got A LOT worse. So much so, that I hate leaving the house, and I have become even mre distant with friends and family. It's very painful and everyone misunderstands you. Wish I could say with certainty that it gets better.


    Awwwwwwww I just want to give you a hug and hold you. I'd stroke your head like a cute puppy icon_smile.gif I believe social anxiety is best handled with cognitive skills.

    I believe valerian root, GABA, and kava are used to calm people down. I've used valerian root to fall asleep -- it doesn't really work well for me, but people swear by it. I don't think you should rely on pills or herbs to feel confident though.
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:36 AM GMT
    woodsmen saidAm an introvert but I have used it to advance my career and social network. I have been with my man for 20 years! The key is to limit your interaction to one person to keep energy expenditure low and keep societal anxiety to a minimum.
    The problem is that no one could possibly limit social interaction to just one person.
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:41 AM GMT
    AnOriginal said
    Ajjax saidI'm 90% certain I have some form of social anxiety, but I won't even go to the doctor so I don't know for certain. I definitely am painfully quiet in real life. Writing, or typing, is the only time I feel I am truly communicating.
    I know that since my ex broke up with me it has got A LOT worse. So much so, that I hate leaving the house, and I have become even mre distant with friends and family. It's very painful and everyone misunderstands you. Wish I could say with certainty that it gets better.


    Awwwwwwww I just want to give you a hug and hold you. I'd stroke your head like a cute puppy icon_smile.gif I believe social anxiety is best handled with cognitive skills.

    I believe valerian root, GABA, and kava are used to calm people down. I've used valerian root to fall asleep -- it doesn't really work well for me, but people swear by it. I don't think you should rely on pills or herbs to feel confident though.
    Haha awe!! I wish someone would!
    I've tried valerien root tea before, if that counts. :3 Supposed to be nature's valium but I never got much from it. Though I imagine a drug addict like myself (marijuana and tobacco) wouldn't get much from valerian root.
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:46 AM GMT
    Ajjax said
    AnOriginal said
    Ajjax saidI'm 90% certain I have some form of social anxiety, but I won't even go to the doctor so I don't know for certain. I definitely am painfully quiet in real life. Writing, or typing, is the only time I feel I am truly communicating.
    I know that since my ex broke up with me it has got A LOT worse. So much so, that I hate leaving the house, and I have become even mre distant with friends and family. It's very painful and everyone misunderstands you. Wish I could say with certainty that it gets better.


    Awwwwwwww I just want to give you a hug and hold you. I'd stroke your head like a cute puppy icon_smile.gif I believe social anxiety is best handled with cognitive skills.

    I believe valerian root, GABA, and kava are used to calm people down. I've used valerian root to fall asleep -- it doesn't really work well for me, but people swear by it. I don't think you should rely on pills or herbs to feel confident though.
    Haha awe!! I wish someone would!
    I've tried valerien root tea before, if that counts. :3 Supposed to be nature's valium but I never got much from it. Though I imagine a drug addict like myself (marijuana and tobacco) wouldn't get much from valerian root.


    Well marijuana has side effects like paranoia which won't help your anxiety much.
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:50 AM GMT
    Ajjax said
    AnOriginal said
    Ajjax saidI'm 90% certain I have some form of social anxiety, but I won't even go to the doctor so I don't know for certain. I definitely am painfully quiet in real life. Writing, or typing, is the only time I feel I am truly communicating.
    I know that since my ex broke up with me it has got A LOT worse. So much so, that I hate leaving the house, and I have become even mre distant with friends and family. It's very painful and everyone misunderstands you. Wish I could say with certainty that it gets better.


    Awwwwwwww I just want to give you a hug and hold you. I'd stroke your head like a cute puppy icon_smile.gif I believe social anxiety is best handled with cognitive skills.

    I believe valerian root, GABA, and kava are used to calm people down. I've used valerian root to fall asleep -- it doesn't really work well for me, but people swear by it. I don't think you should rely on pills or herbs to feel confident though.
    Haha awe!! I wish someone would!
    I've tried valerien root tea before, if that counts. :3 Supposed to be nature's valium but I never got much from it. Though I imagine a drug addict like myself (marijuana and tobacco) wouldn't get much from valerian root.


    Awe, I thought weed makes people mellow and relaxed -- I believe it works on GABA receptors. I believe nicotine is a stimulant that has an effect on dopamine. I wanted to be biological psychologist or a psychiatrist at one point in my life.

    I really would cuddle with you and I'd hold your head on my chest. You're such a cutie. If it's really bad seeing a therapist or social worker isn't a bad idea. If you want to avoid medication avoid seeing a psychiatrist. Also sometimes finding groups you can join will help you come out of your shell. Everyone deserves to feel happy.
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:52 AM GMT
    HamsterCheeks said
    Ajjax said
    AnOriginal said
    Ajjax saidI'm 90% certain I have some form of social anxiety, but I won't even go to the doctor so I don't know for certain. I definitely am painfully quiet in real life. Writing, or typing, is the only time I feel I am truly communicating.
    I know that since my ex broke up with me it has got A LOT worse. So much so, that I hate leaving the house, and I have become even mre distant with friends and family. It's very painful and everyone misunderstands you. Wish I could say with certainty that it gets better.


    Awwwwwwww I just want to give you a hug and hold you. I'd stroke your head like a cute puppy icon_smile.gif I believe social anxiety is best handled with cognitive skills.

    I believe valerian root, GABA, and kava are used to calm people down. I've used valerian root to fall asleep -- it doesn't really work well for me, but people swear by it. I don't think you should rely on pills or herbs to feel confident though.
    Haha awe!! I wish someone would!
    I've tried valerien root tea before, if that counts. :3 Supposed to be nature's valium but I never got much from it. Though I imagine a drug addict like myself (marijuana and tobacco) wouldn't get much from valerian root.


    Well marijuana has side effects like paranoia which won't help your anxiety much.


    Yep. I've never smoked it before but my former BF sometimes did in college and said it made him paranoid. I have no idea what he's talking about but I'll take his word for it.

    Drugs, alcohol and even pills aren't good for dealing with SA. I think it has to come from within and CBT/ mindfulness helps a lot. I agree also with owl_bundy that part of SA stems from chronic low self esteem and such.
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:52 AM GMT
    woodsmen said
    Ajjax said
    woodsmen saidAm an introvert but I have used it to advance my career and social network. I have been with my man for 20 years! The key is to limit your interaction to one person to keep energy expenditure low and keep societal anxiety to a minimum.
    The problem is that no one could possibly limit social interaction to just one person.
    You can and I have. If you can control the social interaction to one person, you can function normally.


    Maybe at the start this is a good way to ease into things. Also some people prefer smaller groups in general (I do), but he should also have the freedom and ability to go to a large party or event, and naturally feel at ease.
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:54 AM GMT
    owl_bundy saidsocial anxiety has to tie a lot with low self esteem. it's what you thinking negatively about yourself and thinking that others feel the same exact way about you too. so you expect a certain type of response to come from people. i have social anxiety issues depending on the day. i grew up with people making fun of everything that i do from my facial expressions to how i say my words to how i walk. fuckers made me become self conscious to the point where i would expect shit from people. so when that was going down and i stopped doing well in school, had many enemies and whatever, i believed what people were saying about me where i began to believe those things. icon_sad.gif so i just grew angry with people, became anti social where i thought folks hated me, i became more shy and quiet where i just wouldn't talk in class, scared to raise my hand and give the wrong answer, scared to talk to other people and that shit got worse. somehow, through all that, i managed to draw people to me or was able to talk when i needed to where i made friends or people would associate themselves with me. even now, i'm very insecure about my walk, how i talk and how other people perceive me. when that shit is beat into your head for how many years from the time that you're a kid to an adult, that shit is hard to break out of. icon_sad.gif
    Same here, man. I was fat back in grade/high school and was constantly harassed for it, people critcised literally EVERYTHING I did. I defnitely reason with how you feel and to this day, I have irrational thoughts about everyone plotting against me. If people are talking quietly, they're talking about me, etc. etc. fucking etc. all day every day.
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:58 AM GMT
    Ajjax said
    owl_bundy saidsocial anxiety has to tie a lot with low self esteem. it's what you thinking negatively about yourself and thinking that others feel the same exact way about you too. so you expect a certain type of response to come from people. i have social anxiety issues depending on the day. i grew up with people making fun of everything that i do from my facial expressions to how i say my words to how i walk. fuckers made me become self conscious to the point where i would expect shit from people. so when that was going down and i stopped doing well in school, had many enemies and whatever, i believed what people were saying about me where i began to believe those things. icon_sad.gif so i just grew angry with people, became anti social where i thought folks hated me, i became more shy and quiet where i just wouldn't talk in class, scared to raise my hand and give the wrong answer, scared to talk to other people and that shit got worse. somehow, through all that, i managed to draw people to me or was able to talk when i needed to where i made friends or people would associate themselves with me. even now, i'm very insecure about my walk, how i talk and how other people perceive me. when that shit is beat into your head for how many years from the time that you're a kid to an adult, that shit is hard to break out of. icon_sad.gif
    Same here, man. I was fat back in grade/high school and was constantly harassed for it, people critcised literally EVERYTHING I did. I defnitely reason with how you feel and to this day, I have irrational thoughts about everyone plotting against me. If people are talking quietly, they're talking about me, etc. etc. fucking etc. all day every day.


    Stop smoking weed then icon_exclaim.gif
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    Apr 03, 2014 2:59 AM GMT
    Erobert said
    HamsterCheeks said
    Ajjax said
    AnOriginal said
    Ajjax saidI'm 90% certain I have some form of social anxiety, but I won't even go to the doctor so I don't know for certain. I definitely am painfully quiet in real life. Writing, or typing, is the only time I feel I am truly communicating.
    I know that since my ex broke up with me it has got A LOT worse. So much so, that I hate leaving the house, and I have become even mre distant with friends and family. It's very painful and everyone misunderstands you. Wish I could say with certainty that it gets better.


    Awwwwwwww I just want to give you a hug and hold you. I'd stroke your head like a cute puppy icon_smile.gif I believe social anxiety is best handled with cognitive skills.

    I believe valerian root, GABA, and kava are used to calm people down. I've used valerian root to fall asleep -- it doesn't really work well for me, but people swear by it. I don't think you should rely on pills or herbs to feel confident though.
    Haha awe!! I wish someone would!
    I've tried valerien root tea before, if that counts. :3 Supposed to be nature's valium but I never got much from it. Though I imagine a drug addict like myself (marijuana and tobacco) wouldn't get much from valerian root.


    Well marijuana has side effects like paranoia which won't help your anxiety much.


    Yep. I've never smoked it before but my former BF sometimes did in college and said it made him paranoid. I have no idea what he's talking about but I'll take his word for it.

    Drugs, alcohol and even pills aren't good for dealing with SA. I think it has to come from within and CBT/ mindfulness helps a lot. I agree also with owl_bundy that part of SA stems from chronic low self esteem and such.


    I wasn't suggesting smoking weed lol. I know guys that do and they seem mellow -- it makes me think of Bob Marley or brownies. I also read it lowers testosterone -- I don't know if it's true.
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    Apr 03, 2014 3:00 AM GMT
    There is nothing wrong with being socially awkward. As time passes and you get older you'll realize that it's better to have 2 or 3 best friends than 20, 30 or 50 sorta kinda semi friends, if you know what I mean. Also, your family can help too.
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    Apr 03, 2014 3:22 AM GMT
    Ajjax said
    owl_bundy saidsocial anxiety has to tie a lot with low self esteem. it's what you thinking negatively about yourself and thinking that others feel the same exact way about you too. so you expect a certain type of response to come from people. i have social anxiety issues depending on the day. i grew up with people making fun of everything that i do from my facial expressions to how i say my words to how i walk. fuckers made me become self conscious to the point where i would expect shit from people. so when that was going down and i stopped doing well in school, had many enemies and whatever, i believed what people were saying about me where i began to believe those things. icon_sad.gif so i just grew angry with people, became anti social where i thought folks hated me, i became more shy and quiet where i just wouldn't talk in class, scared to raise my hand and give the wrong answer, scared to talk to other people and that shit got worse. somehow, through all that, i managed to draw people to me or was able to talk when i needed to where i made friends or people would associate themselves with me. even now, i'm very insecure about my walk, how i talk and how other people perceive me. when that shit is beat into your head for how many years from the time that you're a kid to an adult, that shit is hard to break out of. icon_sad.gif
    Same here, man. I was fat back in grade/high school and was constantly harassed for it, people critcised literally EVERYTHING I did. I defnitely reason with how you feel and to this day, I have irrational thoughts about everyone plotting against me. If people are talking quietly, they're talking about me, etc. etc. fucking etc. all day every day.


    My friends often tell me this quote and it's something I have to remind myself often.

    be-who-you-are-and-say-what-you-feel-dr-

    I know it's easier said than done, but please don't let others dictate your happiness. You have so many years ahead of you -- make them as happy as possible, even if it means putting in work for your mental wellbeing. You are worth it! This includes the OP too.
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    Apr 03, 2014 3:30 AM GMT
    I was extremely shy as a child, and I still consider myself a recovering shy person. I don't know that you ever get over it, but you can learn coping mechanisms.

    I don't recommend dating other shy people. My first boyfriend was terribly antisocial, and I could easily see myself slipping into old behaviors if I stayed with him.

    With all due respect, I think you would be better off finding someone a little more outgoing. If he understands and accepts your condition, he will reinforce your efforts to become more social.
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    Apr 03, 2014 3:34 AM GMT
    @owl_bundy

    I agree with you and relate to you having spent the ages of 7-13 in a children's home getting the crap beaten out of me. BUT you got to try and move past it.

    If I want to make it to management level where I work my employer nor any workplace will make allowances for me because I have a nervous disposition have problems with anxiety. If you don't try and move past it of at least put on a confident front you let those people that put you down win. Do you think they are sat at home thinking about it still? They probably don't even care so you should show that you don't either.

    I'm not there yet. I still have those issues but I just try not to let it affect me.
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    Apr 03, 2014 3:36 AM GMT
    owl_bundy said
    AnOriginal said
    Ajjax said
    owl_bundy saidsocial anxiety has to tie a lot with low self esteem. it's what you thinking negatively about yourself and thinking that others feel the same exact way about you too. so you expect a certain type of response to come from people. i have social anxiety issues depending on the day. i grew up with people making fun of everything that i do from my facial expressions to how i say my words to how i walk. fuckers made me become self conscious to the point where i would expect shit from people. so when that was going down and i stopped doing well in school, had many enemies and whatever, i believed what people were saying about me where i began to believe those things. icon_sad.gif so i just grew angry with people, became anti social where i thought folks hated me, i became more shy and quiet where i just wouldn't talk in class, scared to raise my hand and give the wrong answer, scared to talk to other people and that shit got worse. somehow, through all that, i managed to draw people to me or was able to talk when i needed to where i made friends or people would associate themselves with me. even now, i'm very insecure about my walk, how i talk and how other people perceive me. when that shit is beat into your head for how many years from the time that you're a kid to an adult, that shit is hard to break out of. icon_sad.gif
    Same here, man. I was fat back in grade/high school and was constantly harassed for it, people critcised literally EVERYTHING I did. I defnitely reason with how you feel and to this day, I have irrational thoughts about everyone plotting against me. If people are talking quietly, they're talking about me, etc. etc. fucking etc. all day every day.


    My friends often tell me this quote and it's something I have to remind myself often.

    be-who-you-are-and-say-what-you-feel-dr-

    I know it's easier said than done, but please don't let others dictate your happiness. You have so many years ahead of you -- make them as happy as possible, even if it means putting in work for your mental wellbeing. You are worth it! This includes the OP too.


    easier said then done. icon_sad.gif after being kicked so many times, it's like fuck it. why try to have the same shit happen again?


    Nobody said it was easy, challenges never are. You'll have times you stumble, but at the end you have to have faith it is worth the effort.
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    Apr 03, 2014 3:38 AM GMT
    shortbutsweet saidI was extremely shy as a child, and I still consider myself a recovering shy person. I don't know that you ever get over it, but you can learn coping mechanisms.

    I don't recommend dating other shy people. My first boyfriend was terribly antisocial, and I could easily see myself slipping into old behaviors if I stayed with him.

    With all due respect, I think you would be better off finding someone a little more outgoing. If he understands and accepts your condition, he will reinforce your efforts to become more social.


    To be fair if you are shy you shouldn't be with someone too outgoing because they might make you feel bad and manipulate you until you have literally no self esteem.
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    Apr 03, 2014 3:41 AM GMT
    shortbutsweet saidI was extremely shy as a child, and I still consider myself a recovering shy person. I don't know that you ever get over it, but you can learn coping mechanisms.

    I don't recommend dating other shy people. My first boyfriend was terribly antisocial, and I could easily see myself slipping into old behaviors if I stayed with him.

    With all due respect, I think you would be better off finding someone a little more outgoing. If he understands and accepts your condition, he will reinforce your efforts to become more social.


    That's key. A lot of guys like a more reserved boyfriend too. You seem like a sweet guy and I think you'll be able to be as social as you want once you overcome this! For what it's worth, I don't think being introverted is a bad thing, some people are strongest when they have periods of alone/me time -- others rejuvenate through constant social interaction. Hang in there Ajjax, HamsterCheeks, Owl/Pazzy, and OP! Night RJ.
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    Apr 03, 2014 3:46 AM GMT
    HamsterCheeks said
    shortbutsweet saidI was extremely shy as a child, and I still consider myself a recovering shy person. I don't know that you ever get over it, but you can learn coping mechanisms.

    I don't recommend dating other shy people. My first boyfriend was terribly antisocial, and I could easily see myself slipping into old behaviors if I stayed with him.

    With all due respect, I think you would be better off finding someone a little more outgoing. If he understands and accepts your condition, he will reinforce your efforts to become more social.


    To be fair if you are shy you shouldn't be with someone too outgoing because they might make you feel bad and manipulate you until you have literally no self esteem.

    That's why you have to be honest about it from the start. Make sure the guy you choose respects your introversion and is a genuine partner in helping you to try to overcome (or at least lessen) it. It is not helpful to have someone who wants to push you outside your comfort zone all the time. Just someone who will lead by example.

    See the post above mine.
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    Apr 03, 2014 3:52 AM GMT
    AnOriginal and shortbutsweet agree. I find I'm a better conversationalist with people who are extroverted or lean towards being extroversion than trying to speak with fellow introverts. I guess we even each other out.

    I went on a date with a guy who was very introverted and shy and I was keeping most of the conversation going.... until we ran out of things to talk about since he was more nervous and anxious than I seemed like an awkward staring contest.

  • Webster666

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    Apr 03, 2014 4:05 AM GMT
    I've never been one to drink, at home. I just never wanted it.
    But, going out to a bar or a party at someone's house, that's the first thing I wanted, because it took away a lot of the fear of having to interact with people.

    Then, I stopped going to bars.

    Suddenly, I was having panic attacks just going inside a grocery store or a drug store, places I'd been in, countless times, without any problems.

    My doctor put me on Clonazepam, which I take every day, and no more panic attacks.
    And, I double the dose if I have to go somewhere that I know will make me nervous.

    It doesn't make me sleepy, at all.
    It just makes me a lot less nervous.

    I still don't like leaving my house, but I can manage.