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#432488 - 04/26/13 08:30 AM Social anxiety
onlyakid Offline

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1577
Loc: New Jersey
A friend of mine (ok we aren't close) wants to go to a comedy show but he's inviting some of his friends to go with us. I'm not good with new people. I feel judged, you know what they say, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. I feel so stupid for feeling this way. Why do I care what his friends think about me? To be honest I feel like ill be an embarrassment to him and I don't even know why I care about that because we're not close and he's a nice guy but not someone who I would generally hang around with.

I guess I feel desperate, I don't have any other friends and I guess that's the only reason I hang out with him (we don't even do it that frequently).

I h8 life. Life sucks. Why I want to stay around I don't know.
(Not a threat, not thinking about anything, I promise)
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"

#432499 - 04/26/13 12:30 PM Re: Social anxiety [Re: onlyakid]
peroperic2009 Offline

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3857
Loc: South-East Europe
Hang on on Kid, it is not easy for us survivors to left our comfort zone and just like that meet some new people.
And as it is case with many survivors living in isolation often became sort of lifestyle. Fighting that isolation is huge healing task.
Many times I've been in similar situation and still have same questions when I've need to meet new people.
I wrote as one of my daily missions to try to break that isolation and not to automatically reject some offers that would show and rather accept it and learn to be more social, it is long lasting battle. Even writing here and sharing is part of that battle. You are not alone!

My story

#432500 - 04/26/13 12:38 PM Re: Social anxiety [Re: onlyakid]
Lancer Offline

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: onlyakid
I feel so stupid for feeling this way.

Umm....for one, perhaps one way to (positively) sabotage "feeling judged" is to not judge your own feelings. Your feelings aren't stupid. They're just...feelings. A thot?

Being always on guard (hypervigilant), spontaneity doesn't come easy for a lot of us.

If you'll bear with glass-half-full instead of glass-half-empty, the invite/inclusion with his friends seems like it was nice. lol...I won't go into analysis of it because you've probably already done that, right? {{{{{{{{{onlyakid}}}}}}}}}

#432512 - 04/26/13 02:43 PM Re: Social anxiety [Re: onlyakid]
csasurvivor1992 Offline

Registered: 03/25/13
Posts: 132
Loc: Texas
be easy on yourself kid smile of course you're right to feel the way you do.

for what it's worth, my wife has social anxiety and my abuse and therapy certainly hasn't made it better. she's always wanted to and is now seeing a psychologist for that issue alone. best I can tell, and what she'll admit is she wasn't abused smile she's a "normal" struggling with social anxiety as well.

the problem is the lies we tell ourselves. I don't personally know you. but, since you have the courage to face your abuse and post on this board, i conclude that you are a brave and courageous soul. anyone would be lucky to know YOU.

You're better than you realize or give yourself credit for smile
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, carry on. ~Fun.

#432593 - 04/27/13 02:54 AM Re: Social anxiety [Re: onlyakid]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2688
Loc: durham, north england

I think pero really hit this one. For me, isolation is! something I really struggle with, particularly because not only am I a natural intravert anyway, but also because of having none functional eyeballs people's first impressions are always going to be whacky.

one thing though i will say is that despite what our own anxiety, all those personal trainers, business nuts and other snobs say, it's not actually true, first impressions are not! unalterable. People are complex and take a lot of knowing, heck I've had several occasions where I myself have got someone wrong and have to do a partial or complete turn around. So my advice is just to go, relax, enjoy the show, and don't worry, since if nothing else you'll get a fun night out and might even meet some good people.

One important thing to remember, is despite everything else, despite our own perceptions of ourselves (and those can be hell), social skills, getting on with people, developing empathy etc are not hard and fast rules, but a set of skills that can be learnt and practiced just like learning to play an instrument or a sport, cooking, or anything else. The problem is however your not going to practice these unless you go out and deal with people, and that often means giving up that adictive isolation and forcing yourself to, at least it did for me.

Also remember that you are not encumbered to stay the hole time or hang around all night, you are an adult, with your own choices. If say you meet your friend and his mates before the show and have a half hour's conversation and drinks (alcoholic or not), then decide to leave the show afterwards since yo've had all the company you can stand, well fair enough, and better to have a good night than force yourself.

As long as you've talked to people and been reasonable for as much time as you can, fair enough, this is also why i myself always tend to make certain I've got a way of leaving if I go to any social function.

Remember, your friend invited! you, so he obviously thinks you good enough company to not only spend time with you, but also introduce you to some of his friends as well.

good luck, and I hope you have a fun and productive night out and meet some good people.

#432595 - 04/27/13 03:44 AM Re: Social anxiety [Re: dark empathy]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
This social anxiety is part of complex PTSD that I wrote about yesterday. Many of us here share that experience.

The book I was talking about gives ideas as to how to deal with it in children. Of course you're not a child anymore. But there are ways of dealing with it.

There is a book by Zimbardo on how to deal with shyness.

That may seem like a contradiction to get a book on dealing with shyness, but there really are things you can do to deal with it. One of them is to be in a support group where you can be yourself with a supportive bunch of people.

Another one is to wear a disguise. Not a creepy one, but just to change your appearance enough that when you go out you are not being you but somebody else. I'm talking about things like wearing a moustache and a different hat or something. The idea is to role play. Be somebody who isn't shy.


Edited by pufferfish (04/27/13 03:59 AM)


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