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Living with Social Anxiety sucks

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posted on Sep, 14 2014 @ 10:40 PM
Social Anxiety is a subconsciously compelled protective compulsion. We are often NOT self consciously aware of the initial reactions of it as our subconscious mind disengages our self conscious mind in order to protect it from the possibility of the loss from the possible social interaction.

The fundamental key to change is not to try and suppress or reject it, why, this only empowers it to strengthen even further which is obviously what is occurring to you and many others who have posted.

Often the answer is found in doing the exact opposite of what our instinctual inclination is directing us to do. Why? In order to protect us our subconscious mind did not evolve the capacity to reason, it cant in order to be effective at re-actively protecting us in the short term.

Thus acceptance is the key, counter instinctual of course, yet effective once you practice it. Of course you want something that will instantly work which is why over 35 million Americans take some form of prescription medicine for this, which is a suppressant rather than resolving the cause, which is your subconscious mind trying to protect you UNREASONABLY.

The capacity to respond with reason is what makes us different from animals yet it is plain to see in our present culture those in control who want us in a continual state of fear so we continually consume more than we need want us to continually react like the animals we were rather than respond like the humans we can be...
edit on th1410752552196CDT-0500-05:001PM by subtopia because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 15 2014 @ 05:16 AM
a reply to: muse7

I find the bigger the crowd the harder it is. I work on an office and I find it hard to interact with others in a social way. When Im at home its no worries.

I come across as socially awkward, my timing is wrong and Im percieved as an odd sort of person.

posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 03:48 AM
I have actually just created a membership on here just to reply to you. I have always used this site and looked around. But your post really touched me. Not very many people know what it's like to have to run out of a room and vomit just because others were looking at you or you had to give a speech at work. Trust me you are NOT alone. I have delta with this for a long time. I have been through multiple prescriptions and didn't like any. I hate taking pharmaceuticals. The best thing I have found honestly is chewing gum. Really minty or hot gum. Either works good. The best medication I have tried has been buspirone. I don't have to take it everyday just when you know you are going into something you won't like. So please pick your head up and do the best you can. I know it sucks and I know exactly what your going through. Just remember when your going through the grocery store looking straight down.... you are not alone. Try and make the best of things and be happy
edit on 16-9-2014 by TKMASON because: missed words

posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 12:26 PM
a reply to: muse7

My man, i'm right in your zone.

I am very sociable and like meeting people, but i also get a bit nervous and anxious because i am horrendous at small talk. Just regular chit chat. Those involve jokes, some cleverness and wit, knowledge on current culture, ability to come up with something interesting to say from the top of tour head on the fly without too much dead silence in between. I can't do any of that. I am very intelligent, but when it comes to conversational wit, cleverness, and all around entertaining, loose banter about whatever, i fail.

To get me talking for hours, it must be about something important, something that truly matters to peoples lives and environment; science, politics, religion, social issues, conspiracy, culture, nature, all that.

The only way i can converse on anything involving pop culture or any popular events is to dissect, evaluate, and criticize it. Bring friggin game of thrones and it's awesomeness, and i will start inquiring why and how it is awesome, and maybe if it was not so publicized and advertised, you would not even think it was awesome if you found it somewhere. Apply this to all the popular things the general population of north America loves in music, fashion, entertainment, celebrities, current events, whatever, and you will have an individual who you will bet is "alot of fun at party's".

I don't know how to converse and joke lightly with people at all, and unfortunately that makes up most of a conversation with people. Once we get through our own lives and what has been going on, i am bobbing around in the open sea until it is something that matters to life and the individuals in it, and very rarely think of anything funny or witty to say. I have lost potential friends because of this. Some people will smirk or chuckle right in my face because of this, which annoys me (the hell is so funny? Oh? Nah, nothing...)

I can feed off of someone else's humorous or subject-less banter, and roll with it, coming up with funny, clever, or interesting things here and there, but i lose steam after awhile, and it's up to the other/s to keep it going. If it's left up to me, something that is not socially "entertaining" will b brought up by me. A few will be interested in the subject, most will say a few things, but will finally verbally express what their face is saying, and will want to drop that subject quickly.

Just a couple of days ago i was having some beers at a restaurant with some friends from my disability group. The subject was the hot female volunteers/members and there breasts. I am on a quest to be faithful to God, and since i started a couple years ago, i have gown a bit uncomfortable participating in any conversation of the sort. I chimed in a bit to not look un-manly, until the convo turned to the football that was on all 6 screens in the small restaurant. I then brought up a subject me and a friend was arguing about a few nights before; why sports are popular , what it entails, and if people who play organized sports learn life lessons from playing it. I brought up the last part, and my opinion was not necessarily. About 7 minutes expired of everyone else not giving me an equal chance to fully explain my position and them not comprehending the full scope of my explanation. After that, they all agreed to return to the boobs.

I'm an acquired taste. Some can roll with me, most can't. Ehh, whatever...

I feel you, muse7

posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 01:15 PM
I honestly feel for you. I get really bad social anxiety. As I'm getting older I'm noticing I'm getting less and less friends because I struggle to keep in touch because my anxiety is that bad. I feel guilty for using my partner as an emotional crutch sometimes if we are doing anything involving others, especially strangers.

I've had it probably since my teens but didn't know what it was then. I go though bouts of depression because of it.

posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 01:36 PM

originally posted by: FirePiston
I am like you and was perscribed buspirone and xanax, the xanax made me feel like I wanted to kill myself so I stopped taking it. The buspirone so far, I cannot tell much difference. The only way I can get over my social anx is to drink, which in turn causes more problems.

This is where I'm at, I drink to to get over my social problems. I DJ at a local club which gets up to 1000 people in on a Saturday. My anxiety goes though the roof, the only way I can get over it is to drink. It always has me worried I might end up with a drink problem.

posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 04:07 PM
I dislike it as well, i have an asd and post=traumatic stress disorder on top as well.
I wosh i could be more outgoing

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 01:50 AM
I have social anxiety too- less now than when I was young, but it is still there. Even using a phone makes me nervous.

It was getting better, then I moved to a foreign country, where I couldn't speak the language, and it went through the roof! I became a hermit practically, agoraphobic, for a few years. Coming out of that closet was very difficult- traumatic, I'd say.
Isolating myself had only heightened my senses, like a person exposing themself to sunlight after years in the dark.

After more than twenty years here, I still struggle with the culture and behaviorisms, and am terribly awkward in social situations. I still make awful "faux pas" which cause me problems and make me want to shrink back into my shell.

I have a real concern and love of people, but am terribly authentic and spontaneous- which some people say is charming...until I blurt out something they take the wrong way and misinterpret- then they hate me.

I am always feeling like a warrior against this problem of mine, and take very conscious efforts to overcome it. I purposely took a job in which I must work with a team of other people, to help me develop better social skills for this country, and for a while, I forced myself to make one phone call per day. It sounds easy for some, but I would shake and sob sometimes before making that call! .... then I would cry some more, afterwards, when the person on the other side couldn't understand me, or I couldn't understand them.

I have a party to go to this weekend, and then a wedding the next, so my anxiety threatens when I think about it- I have to refuse it repeatedly.

One rule I have for myself now is to NOT DRINK. It increases the faux pas and humiliating memories that reinforce my anxiety for next time. It might make me calm down in the moment, but will make it worse next time. Each outing of this sort I see as an opportunity to develop better integrated social skills that I can rely on feel safe within.

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 02:21 AM
I’m writing this as much for me as for anyone else reading that might get some coping idea tools from it!
Creative thought on how to prepare for those types of occasions.....

I noticed that in certain circumstances, I have no problem- I was into acting when young, and had no problem on stage, and have had various jobs where I had to deal with the public, and had no problem. The thing was, I had role to play. I had a concept of what my intent was, what I was there for. A family friend who is an actor once said “It is only when I am on stage or camera that I know who I am.” Which I contemplated a long time.

I realized that going into situations where I am just open, with no intent, completely receptive, made me vulnerable to whatever projections others would throw at me. That is what destabilizes me. I don’t spend much time discerning my self in superficial terms, and so it is like I have no walls.

To make things worse, my physique is uncommon in my immediate environment, which calls attention and spurs assumptions about my character- I am always compared to Brigitte Nielsen- being tall big boned and muscular, with light skin and blue eyes amongst petite dark French people stands out!

That makes people project strongly an idea of me being emotionally cold and hard, and they react as if I am- whereas I am actually very sensitive and fragile. I end up feeling easily attacked.

But if I go walk in with a sense of purpose, I can sort of deflect those projections, or work with them somehow. I can be very aggressive and focused when I have a specific goal. So forming an idea of who I am in this situation beforehand can help. Choosing a part of my activities or work and deciding that is who I am. I have many interests, but choosing one as “my character tonight” through which I shall focus can give me “walls”. I train horses, I train dogs, I can be my “trainer” personality. I am a cook at work, I can be my “cook” personality. I am a mother. I like to read and discuss philosophy, psychology, and metaphysics- but that is a character that works in few situations, so I leave it in the corner of my mind.

The trick seems to be finding the very down to earth and practical parts of myself that others around will be able to appeal to in small talk. They are not the parts of me I value the most, but they are the parts that others can easily understand and interact with.

Try forming a “character” appropriate before entering social situations, and identity that is not the whole of who you are, but can give a simplistic and superficial idea for people who do not know you, you to approach!

That’s what I am going to do, as I prepare for the party this weekend….
But to make it worse, my boss will be there, I just realized. Oh great….

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 03:21 AM
Hello! This is my first post and I can definitely relate to what you are going through. Growing up, I went to over ten different public schools because I had to move around a lot. Being a naturally shy and quiet person in addition to always being the new kid at school, I learned to adapt quickly to different social situations at a young age. Without even knowing it, I would take bits and pieces of peoples personally and make it my own. It was basically a coping mechanism that allowed me to communicate and feel at ease around my peers. People would describe me as friendly and happy more than likely. As I got to high school I became a full fledged loner. I was depressed and pessimistic. I felt like I didn't know what my real personality was anymore. I was terrified of social situations where I wouldn't know what to say or might say something stupid. When people looked at me, I imagined them saying negative things about me in their head.

I can relate because I too lay in bed worrying about various things like what others think of me. Alcohol helps when I go out to parties or clubs but not something I would recommend for everyday social situations. I am all for self medicating but I have never taken any drugs to help with my anxiety nor falling asleep. Please believe me when I say that you have to change yourself mentally. I know it is easier said than done but you honestly have to sit down and ask yourself, "Are these people important to me?" If they are part of your family or close friends then the answer could possibly be yes but most of the time, I found myself worried about what complete strangers thought about me. People who probably hadn't even took two seconds to notice me yet alone form an opinion about me. The only person who matters is you! As I get older, I care less and less what people think about me, family or otherwise. I'm twenty-five now and I still get nervous about doing simple tasks like walking to the supermarket or going to get a haircut. I'm still in my head wondering, "Am I walking funny?" or "Why are they looking at me?" But the most important thing is getting it done. Yes, it may be scary but you will be proud of yourself for facing your fears and if you live in your head like I do then you can definitely be your own cheerleader and talk yourself through anything. Again, it's easy to say "Don't worry. Be happy!" but you have to believe it.

edit on 18-9-2014 by RedMamba because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 08:39 AM
a reply to: muse7

so far i just read your post but i going to go back and read the rest. just wanted to tell you the same thing happens with me.
im 37 and have been like this as long as i can remember.
i will say that since i got married almost 4 years ago i do a little better but it is because of her.
when there are situations i cant handle she is right there and helps me through. had i been dealing with it alone all this time i would have blown a gasket.

i get like you. if i knew i had some event that i was going to have to attend i would be freaking out same as you. i get so worked up my nose starts to bleed. its like a panic/scare thing. its hard to explain.
i hate talking with people i dont know. i hate making small talk.

honestly dude and i know this wont be a popular answer but meds. its the only other thing that has helped. it didnt take the anxiety away but it definately helped

posted on Sep, 19 2014 @ 01:46 AM
Hi there muse7-i have'nt had time to read throught the whole thread,so I don't know if someone else has given you this advice,but here goes
eople love talking about themselves,their interests,their own opinions on various matters+why they formed those opinions,their work(whether they love or loathe it and the reasons why,their pets etc.I think,what could be a good idea,especially when you have at least some knowledge of the person and their background/circumstances/life-make a point of asking them about how they're doing,concentrating on questions you know will most likely lead to them talking at length about matters they care about,their interests.Does'nt matter if it bores you almost to tears-it takes the focus off of You.They are having a fabulous time talking to you,and you can be more relaxed.You get to make them feel good and interesting-and you get to take a backseat-trust me,at the end of the conversation,they will be telling others what a lovely interesting conversation they had with you-even if your own contribution amounted to basically:"Really?" or "How interesting,tell me some more about that" or even just the occasional "Wow that's great" or "My goodness how fascinating"

It works.If you are in the company of people you hardly know,and I can imagine for folks with social anxiety that's the toughest of all: Still the important thing is to get them to talk about themselves.Ask what they do for a living,for instance,and another biggie-their children,if they have any-and what they think of the education system,etc.There's usually gonna be quite a bit of feedback on those topics:-) guarranteed.

The main and most important issue is to fix the attention on the other person,get them onto a subject they that's pertinent to their lives.Or you could mention any news item of the day,tell them you don't know so much about that issue+would they mind explaining some,about it,or what they think would be the best way to solve this or that social/political issue.No matter how vehemently you may disagree/how borng you may find the conversation,the main thing is,the focus is off you+the other person feels you are a great person to talk with-because most people enjoy feeling they are teaching someone something/imparting interesting info/just sharing stuff about what is important to them.

Everybody seems to have their cells with them everywhere they go,if the conversation turns to their children/dogs/cats/horses-ask if they have pictures,because you would love to see.This ups the level of enjoyment for the person(s) you are talking to,also.

I myself have never suffered from social phobia,I went through a stage as a young child where I was a bit shy+self-conscious-but I do have a problem with feeling a connection with most people,although I am extroverted by nature-and I have found if I don't take the lead in this way there could esily be awkward silences,and I sit there bored to tears anyway.So in this way,although I may still be bored-the other person is having a jolly good time-and you know,usually it does eventually get to a point,where although the person I'm with, may as well be from another planet,so little I can connect and relate to them-we usually end up having a few genuine giggles together.If you've not actually arrived from some other planet the day before,just having lived in this world means there will Always be Some or the other matter that you both have experienced,and can start a conversation about.

Also,even if the conversation is 99% one-sided-with you contributing the bare minimum-to others oberving you,it looks like you re having a grand time,fitting in perfectly-and you do not appear as awkward as you may be feeling inside.You appear to be a good conversationalist,who is interacting perfectly normally with someone/some other people.

Hope that helps-and it really does work.

a reply to: muse7

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