Self esteem is a real pain in the butt.
I used to have self esteem issues as well as social anxiety. Not anxiety externally as far as physical symptoms go, but inward thoughts that hindered
me speaking when I could, or when I should.
People will tell you to relax, people will tell you to try and be yourself, and while these points are valid, they are much harder to do from an
inverted position than you think. (I'm sure you realize this) However this poster said it beautifully:
Change the way you perceive yourself, and you will be perceived differently.
Many years ago I would a social nightmare. I would speak to no one, I would do nothing outside my three friends. We had our own fun, but it wasn't
the same, I was in a prison and it was miserable regardless whether or not I wanted to admit it to myself or not. However a friend of mine helped me
by telling me one of the most important things anyone has ever told me:
"What difference does it make?"
While such a simple question may have very simple explanations, it also has very deep psychological roots.
If you see a beautiful girl that you are attracted to, your first thought is probably "she's out of my league, she has someone, or she won't talk
to me." However when you are in this situation ask yourself that question:
What difference does it make?
So what if you talk to her, if she brushes you off, then she's probably stuck up or just too busy. Either way, her day will continue regardless of
your interaction, and so will yours. Time will not stop, the world will not come to an end and eventually you will realize that you will begin to
start changing. This can apply to any situation, whether it be women, men, groups of people, children or the elderly. People are curious, they are
always watching each other whether they admit it or not and wondering things about people they don't know.
If you start off small and just see someone that you don't know and walk up and introduce yourself, and simply say:
"you looked like an interesting person and I thought i'd come over and say hello"
Let topics flow naturally, don't force it, ask simple questions, be the lead in the conversation instead of the akward quiet one that only responds
to things if it happens to coincide with an interest.
You will begin to open up and soon realize that it really doesn't matter, you are not the only one that feels like an outcast, and eventually you
will get to the point that you have no fear when it comes to walking up and talking to people you don't know. I used to be terrified to talk to women
(I'm married now), but my wife and I know that I am absolutely fearless when it comes to talking to someone.
I could find the most gorgeous woman or most handsome man in town and walk up and just start a random conversation, because it is not their outward
appearance that should generate conversation/interests; and if it is, they are probably NOT someone you want to be friends with.
So when you feel those feelings of isolation and begin to question yourself when you have the urge to be social, just ask yourself the question that
helped me more than I could ever tell you:
"What difference does it make?"