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Can people with Social Anxiety EVER have a normal life????
October 10, 2004
1:11 am
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nattie
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Dire,
That relaxation exercise is wonderful!!!! Thanks

October 10, 2004
10:41 am
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amiok
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Hi Natti,

I too feel a lot like you. I have always been quiet growing up. I seem to have found one good friend through my school years to hang out with. I felt OK about that. I always wished I could be more sociable, but it never happened. My father was a drinker. When he was in a weird mood, I would just go into my room to avoid any conflicts. Maybe that's why I am quiet. Other times I think I was just born this way. But, now at 48 years old, married/divorced, children almost out of the house off to college, I'm starting to become a recluse. Is it because I raised my children alone, and have done everything by myself in rearing my children? Is going thru menopause causing my moods to be this way? When I am at work, I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to listen to anyone. Yet, I wish at times that I could be involved with different things going on(I work at a Junior High School). I just joined a group to volunteer in, yet have I gone to a meeting? I don't feel like it. I am so aware of it now more than ever. I have a close circle of g/f's - 3 of us. And even then I don't want to call anyone or get into any lengthly conversations. What's wrong with this picture? It's nice to know that there are others out there that feel the same way. I thought I was too old to feel this way. Any suggestions from any one would be greatly appreiated. 🙂

October 10, 2004
10:56 am
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Tumbleweed8
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Dire Straits, That is beautiful. Thankyou so much. Reminds me to get back to my yoga everyday which was so helpful to me. And Amiok, I can identify with you, too, as I seemed to have with everyone who has posted here.

October 10, 2004
12:48 pm
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mommi
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I think I may have social anxiety ,too. I can remember in High School being very shy and if called on in class I would blush and my voice would quiver if I talked. I still don't have alot of friends that I can call and do stuff with, would just rather avoid that kind of thing. My husband is very social and if I am with him I am better because then I'm not the center of attention and he takes the pressure off of me(This sounds ridiculous even too me). I do ok at work in my group but find it hard to visit with others and have that uncomfortable feeling that my heart may jump out of my chest and I start to perspire. Wow this is horrible way to live I guess.

October 10, 2004
12:50 pm
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mommi
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I am going to try the meditation thing . That was awesome Dire Straits!!!!!!!!

October 10, 2004
3:24 pm
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free
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Oh, this is good. Pegged.

this behavior is so typical.

free

October 10, 2004
4:50 pm
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bangles
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I was reading what all of you wrote, the questions, the possible reasons, what to do and I wonder if it doesn't maybe run with co-des? I mean, we all seem to have lost or mixed up ourselves with someone else's life, which to me means that we lack a strong sense of conviction of who we are. Coupled with not a good, strong feeling of who we are, who wouldn't be anxious around people? I identified with whomever wrote about hating school and actually getting out of breath with panic. That was me. Then my dad got a kind and older neighbor boy to wait at school with me, but as soon as my dad pulled away, I would run after his car! All the ideas they had to make me social went amuck. Like the teacher I had made me stay for extra help reading. (I was the best reader in the class). She thought if I were forced to stay with that smaller group of kids, that I would mingle and make friends. Wrong. I'd get into the dismissal line, try to make myself invisible, and thus to sneak on by. It was a pretty painful childhood in that respect. I used to dread recess! I'd beg to stay in because I didn't have kids to play with in the schoolyard. And as I posted one other time, while in my house there was no actual abuse, I lived with 5 adults. They were pretty caught up in being adults and it always seemed that I wasn't too awfully important. I knew I was loved, but I guess I thought I was always in everybody's way and was kind of a nuisance. Then when I got older and started dating, my dad got really spooky. Made unrealistic demands on where I could go and with whom. I think he was so darned afraid I'd get pregnant or something and in those days, I'd probably been disowned! He was the oldest child of a large family, too, so he was always kind of the patriarch and everyone looked up to him and came to him for advice. All in all, I think this life is plenty challenging and gives us lots of curve balls no matter what we came from. It seems, though, that the people that I know that are happiest are the ones that don't let things bother them them too much. I would love to be like that but I know I never will. Best to you all, Bangles

October 11, 2004
10:18 am
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luvlee
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For everyone that thinks they may suffer from Social Anxiety please check out "The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook" by Edmund J Bourne.

It answers all the questions and issues I am seeing brought up in this thread.

It also gives a holistic approach to treatment. I just did the breathing and muscle relaxing techniques last night and I am starting to feel really positive that I can beat this. You all can too!

I KNOW how hard it is to deal with this so ((HUGS)) for all of you. =)

October 11, 2004
11:17 am
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Tumbleweed8
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Thankyou, luvlee. I'm still waiting to get my copy of the book from the library.

October 13, 2004
10:41 pm
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nattie
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Bangles,
You really hit the nail on the head when you said about being codependent. I just found out from my therapist that I am. So no wonder we feel uncomfortable around others. I'm not sure about you all but I've always just had ONE close best friend or replaced them with a boyfriend, all my life as a young child until now at 32.

And bangles, I did the same thing as you with recess at school. In grade school to avoid going out most of the time and play, I would stay in and clean with the nuns. In highschool, if my one best friend wasn't in the same lunch as me I would hide in the library and eat lunch alone. I still find the library very soothing to me, probably because it was my safe quiet place. I hate loud noises or commotion so the library is one place I know for a fact won't have any of those.

This might work for some of you..........right now I am working on setting up boundaries for myself. By doing that I learn to be ok with telling others how I feel and what I want. So by not allowing anyone to cross my boundaries will give me not only the confidence to stand up for myself but a way to get to know myself better and know what I want. and accept it.

Not sure about you but that is part of my biggest fear in social events. Not knowing whether the way I'm acting or what I'm saying is appropriate, always worrying if what I'm saying is wrong or if I'll offend someone or they won't like me or talk about me behind their backs. This kind of worry can drive anyone nuts, but it's something that is such a habit after all these years. When your a child, No one tells you it's wrong to think like that so we just go on with our lives into adulthood thinking that people are judging us and in turn we judge ourselves, it's a painful and sad existence, one that I hope we all find a way to make better!!

October 14, 2004
9:06 am
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Tumbleweed8
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I'm looking forward to getting some books on this like the workbook mentioned above and a couple others I saw on the web by looking up Social Anxiety. Had not looked into this before, but some interesting things about it on the web.

October 15, 2004
12:33 am
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Tumbleweed8
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Yes, it would have been nice if people had been more aware of this problem growing up at home and in school etc. I just started reading Triumph over Shyness while I'm waiting to get the other books from the library. So far I don't know that even doing the work will help me because I've lost interest in people for the most part. Maybe the workbook is more helpful, I'll have to see as I'll still read them and give it a try. It does make a person angry to think they've been so deprived of things in life because of this and because it is mostly an extrovert world, with fewer introverts. I find that most of them think everyone should be like them, but after hearing some of their crudeness in all honesty I wouldn't want to be like the ones I know.

October 15, 2004
12:44 pm
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kathygy
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I am a mixture of being outgoing and staying to myself. When I'm at a party with my close friends I feel pretty safe and outgoing or when I'm with my best friend. But when I'm around other people I tend to think I should be entertaining, I should be saying witty things or interesting things, I should act like the really out going people. I just put so many shoulds on myself that it creates a lot of pressure on me and I can't just relax and be myself. Although, I have gotten better at being comfortable with me just the way I am. I feel a lot of anxiety that I don't have a lot of social plans. I tend to wait for others to make plans with me. I feel a big should about my social life. When I get home from work I just want to be left alone. I don't want to go anywhere and I don't want to talk on the phone. Yet I feel like I should be like my outgoing girlfriends and have lots of plans with friends. If I could get rid of the 'shoulds' I would feel a lot more relaxed. Of course, it came from my family when I was growing up. My parents constantly telling me how I should be feeling and behaving. I felt that whatever I'm feeling is wrong unless I'm feeling something they would approve of. I work on letting myself have my feelings everyday. This thread has really opended up a lot for me. I could go on and on. But I won't.

October 17, 2004
12:35 pm
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Tumbleweed8
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Yes, I think this thread is very helpful, too. I've certainly found that it has been and I am going to put forth the effort to work on this issue. Many times I've read things which sometimes seemed like some of it was over my head or was something I didn't feel ready to deal with at the time, but you know I'm remembering that even then I always learned something from it when I went ahead and gave it a try regardless of how I felt. And every step toward some progress does bring rewards, I've found. Hope this will encourage you as well as myself to begin working on this with the workbook, other books or whatever it takes. We are worth it!

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