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Feeling Conflicted
May 29, 2007
7:51 pm
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ChangingMinds
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I feel out of place and even kinda conflicted/silly writing this on a board I just randomly found, but I found this board while looking up counseling online. I dunno If I am even ready to post this to total strangers but I’m at the point in my life where I can’t deal with it anymore.

I can’t really pick out ONE thing that is bothering me, its many things, some days I’m okay others I just can’t handle it. My biggest problem is my inability to overcome my self esteem/shyness problems. Its wreaked friendships and prevented me from having stable/open relationship with people. I don’t know if I have depression, or anxiety or something, but some times my lack of communications is so overwhelming I can’t deal with it. Just writing this is making me feel bad and kinda embarrassed.

If I am with a group of people, and I’m sitting there, my mind is totally not with the people, sometimes I space out, and afterwards I am so drained and tired. Anytime I am at a family gathering or any kind of social group setting I am so out of touch with people, its like a disconnect. I don’t want to be around people, thing is, I like meeting new people, but I DO NOT ever go up and introduce myself, nor will I speak to anyone who I don’t know. This has caused a lot of problems in my life. Last year was the first time I actually had made new friends and within 5 months I blew it and I don’t talk to them anymore. I was getting to the point where any kind of socializing was just causing me stressed.

People have told me I need to lighten up, I try so very hard. I think damn it if only I just wasn’t scared to talk to people. This is also has stopped me from meeting guys, and I won’t even go into that part of my life.

I have a lot of self esteem problems and self confidence issues. In high school I just used it as excuse thinking oh I’ll grow out of it. In some ways I have but, my lack of openness and caring way to much of what people think of me, has just destroyed my life. I have never been diagnosed with depressed but in the past I know I suffered from it, I’ve thought about suicided but not in the past year or two, I don’t want to die or anything but I can’t stand living like this. I have big trust issues and it seems like I’ve been rejected to many times to even allow anyone to get to know me. Hell just saying who my favorite singer makes me nervous, sad I know but just anything about me I can’t do it. I sometimes even blush and get very hot when talking to people, I can’t help it.

I don’t know what to do, there are other things that I want to deal with but that is the biggest one, and I don’t know what to do, I haven’t “grown” out of it. I’ve tried thinking positive and keeping an open mind but all I do its just fall down. I feel mad, and irritated and just sad all the time, I put on a happy face when I am around people but I just feel like crap all the time.

I keep all and I mean ALL my emotions and anything I am feeling to myself, I never can talk to people about anything that is bothering me, any kind of confrontational situation I stay away from, I am not assertive and wish I was. I just want to live a worry free life, where I can do things I want to do, I would love to do a lot of things, but I keep making excuse oh I’ll do it when I have time, time? Bleh truth is I’m just to afraid and I can’t just “do it” I’ve tried for to many years growing up and I just can’t seemed to do it.

I was thinking of seeing a counselor but just the sheer thought of TALKING scares the crap out of me. I want help but to afraid to ask for it, does anyone have any advice for me, I really could use some I'm scared I'm going to be like this for the rest of my life and stuck being alone 🙁

May 29, 2007
8:20 pm
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ggfred4
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ChangingMinds, You took a big step by posting and I am proud of you. You are NOT alone in your thinking. I could identify with many of your thoughts. I and many others here suffer from low self-esteem. Many people have said I was shy, but I think I am doing better. I avoid weddings, showers, and all large group functions when I can. I understood many of your feelings that you stated. What you wrote was not silly at all, they are your feelings.

I have been at this site for 9 months and it has helped me so much. I have learned a lot about myself by posting, getting responses, and by reading about others here. You are not alone...

Take care,

gg

May 29, 2007
8:39 pm
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balancesekr
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Welcome ChangingMinds!

I too wanna congratulate you on posting, it is difficult reaching out for help. This is a great place to get support which may help you build some trust.

I can relate to what you have posted. I can feel your struggle. I don't think being a social being comes natural to everyone, some people have to work on it, whether its cause of your upbringing or just the way you are, it takes some time to get comfy with other people.

It starts with realizing and acknowledging the problem which you have done.

Talking to a counselor may really help you. Of course like anything it will feel a little strange at first, but you will be there talking about you. YOU are important and deserve to discuss your feelings and work them through.

Keep posting here!

b

May 29, 2007
8:53 pm
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fantas
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Changingminds, welcome to the site and good for you for taking the step to seek help. I thing that counselling would be a good start. I'd also suggest a public speaking class just to acquire some useful tools for speaking. Do you have any idea how, why, or when you got to be this shy? Sometimes we use behaviour to protect ourselves from being hurt but then we continue the behaviour even when there no need for it. In the end I think you will have to change your personal beliefs of yourself and the world so that you can start to see things differently. I found Dr. Phil's Self Matters very helpful to me, self-esteem and self assertion groups might be great when you feel comfortable enough to do it. May I ask what you fear will happen if you actually put yourself out there and meet new people or say hello to a complete stranger? Keep posting...

May 29, 2007
10:39 pm
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making changes
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Changingminds,
I also say congratulations on posting. It can be a little scary the first time. I too have suffered from shyness and low self esteem all of my life. You may want to do a little research on social anxiety. Many people have it so don't feel alone. I agree with the others that talking to a counselor could be very helpful for you. It would be good if you can find someone who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (helps with changing your thought patterns to more positive, realistic ones). Also, there are anti-depressants that help specifically with social anxiety if you're open to that. I'm absolutely terrifed of public speaking. Unfortunately, my job requires it. My doctor prescribed me a beta-blocker (Propranolol). It's used for people with high blood pressure but if you take it before a "stressful social situation" it helps with the blushing and fight or flight reactions which causes the heart pounding etc. I hate to "rely" on a drug but if I have to do a presentation it's a life-saver. And it's nice that you dont' have to take it all of the time. Only on an as needed basis. Also, I recently ordered some books on Amazon about improving self esteem. One that came highly recommended was "Learned Optimism". I will let you know what I think of them once I receive and manage to read them all 🙂 Anwyay, keep posting and let us know how it's going.

May 30, 2007
5:52 pm
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ChangingMinds
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Thanks for the reply everyone I appreciated it.

fantas- To answer the question you asked why I am so scared to talk to people, I honestly have no idea. For the past few weeks I have thought long and hard about it. I came from a loving family, I was not abused, my parents supported me in every way they could. But I guess I got a lot of emotional abuse from school. I always was left out of everything. I remember being 7 years old and feeling way out of place of everything and highly jealous of everyone around me. I was extreamly shy and was very difficult with the teachers. I have ADHD and I know a lot about it, and did read that people with ADD/ADHD have a higher chances of depression .etc. But if your talking about experience wise, I was picked on a lot in school, even had bullies nothing physical but just emotionally. Teachers have called me stupid, and have humiliated me in front of the class. As I got older I just kinda got more bitter and more “ok find your going to do that, I’ll show you”. I always have done well in school and got A’s in college, so it never effected my school, but emotionally as I got older I dunno if that is my problem I really never got over it. I tell myself and others that I have gotten over it, but maybe that’s it? I dunno.

Thing is, I don’t think its ALL about how I grew up, my mom said even has a baby I NEVER wanted to be touch and even to this day, I have hugged very little people and even hugging my dad I feel uncomfortable. I have a very hard time showing emotion (the serious deep ones) and its hard cause I think sometimes my mom or people feel I am cold or stand of-ish and I’m not. I’m very down to earth but when it comes to deep personal feelings I am way to scared to show any of it.

I forgot to mention in my first post, that I do work full time and at work, I’m fine, I mean I feel sometimes icky around people, but for the most part, I’m fine talking to my co workers, I’m loud, I joke A LOT. That is one thing about myself I know, is that my humor is the biggest part of my personality, I think I show more that then anything else to cover up what I am really feeling. Once I get to know a group of people in a long term situation I am ok. But its that first while that I am really uncomfortable. That’s why I am confused inside a lot is cause I’m alright at work, I think if I can joke around with people at work, why can’t I do it outside of work, and feel ok? I don’t get it. That’s what I want to understand If there really is something I am holding back on that is stopping me from having a life.

In college I took a communication course that was required, It was OKAY, I passed, but getting infront of the class...forget it. I practically had a nervous break down. When I went back to school last fall and did a report in front of the class, It was better but sure in heck wasn’t good. I think as I got older I had to fight through the shyness but its not easy, I shouldn’t have to struggle as hard as I do.

Maybe I do have social anxiety I always had suspicion that I might, but never gave it much thought, I just thought it was who I was. But I know that isn’t the case, I don’t have to be like this.

If I find a good counselor in behavior therapy I will, I don’t know where to look though but I’ll look and see what I can do.

May 30, 2007
6:01 pm
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ggfred4
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(((Changing Minds)))Thanks for coming back and expanding on your previous post. I identify with some of your thoughts. I have to tell you though, haven't told anyone here either...Those hugs I put around your name, it took me months to do that here on this site as I am sensitive too about hugging and touching. But my gosh, they are parenthesis, but to me they represent the real want to hug and I take that seriously.

I am so sorry a teacher called you stupid and that makes me mad. As a teacher, I cannot imagine saying that to a student.

I am glad you are comfortable at work! Social anxiety might be an issue though...

gg

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