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"Social" "Anxiety"

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So I have diagnosed social anxiety. Basically I went to high school, got bullied, lost all my self confidence, lost all my friends, became a hermit, lost all my social skills, and here I am now. I'm 20 in college now and I still have this problem. I went to see a shrink and that didn't help.

I know I haven't always been like this. I know it's all in my head. Usually I'll be sitting at home, thinking "wow, social anxiety is a joke. How could I be nervous in a social situation?" But when I get out into the real world, old habits return and no amount of tricking myself will help me otherwise. Why, why, why am I still so awkward, nervous and weird? I feel like there's a trick to getting rid of social anxiety. Has anybody here overcome such a problem? I honestly feel like I've wasted the best part of my life and if I don't fix it soon, I'll be stuck here forever. What the fuck is wrong with me?

I don't really know what I'm going for asking on /adv/ other than the fact that I'm drunk and my life is in the shitter.
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im 32 and im not over it, it is just part of me, you better just focus on finishing college and getting a good job
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> I honestly feel like I've wasted the best part of my life and if I don't fix it soon, I'll be stuck here forever

1. Yes, focus on this. Your life is finite, and if you don't improve yourself, you will waste it and then die.

2. Other people are mere people, like you. They're not something mysterious or dangerous. They're just apes like you.

3. You probably care too much about what people think about you / about doing things in the right way, or whatever. Realize that fixating on this hampers you. Life has no rules, nobody will arrest you for saying the wrong thing.

I was rather socially anxious until somewhere in my 20's, when I learned to not care. Life is short and there's no time to waste being bogged down by anxiety. Also, even if you do something dumb, I've found that if you do whatever you do confidently, people are accepting. Own yourself and live, and things will improve, and bear in mind that if you don't, your life will be worse than otherwise.

This is all a complicated way of telling you to learn to not care, which frees you.
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>>17176133
>I went to see a shrink and that didn't help.
Ok wait a sec, explain this further.
What medication did they try?
And did you go to the therapy? How did that go?

>I feel like there's a trick to getting rid of social anxiety.
There are tricks but all of them work on specific situations only. They work for normal people that are only scared of very particular things like public speaking, or talking to their boss.
For you, you don't need any tricks, since you're fucked in every situation.

Learning a gigantic set of tricks will simply replace it with a sort of social OCD, like me and others who grew up with this problem (had it since 5yo or so): we have many rules, tactics, and rituals to cope with each situation, but still get fucked whenever anything that's not "in the book" comes up or when someone goes off-script. It's not a good solution.

Like >>17176175 said, focus on your studies first. Don't let this interfere with academic progress: if it ever does, go back to the shrink and get medication for it immediately.

This >>17176204 is good advice since it sounds like you have the ability to follow it, ie not a pathological case (those generally start in childhood, from birth to age 12 or so).

Like that anon said, the biggest thing is to say "fuck everyone and their opinions". Let them think you're fucked up or crazy if that's what they want to think: the worst that can happen is that you end up with a reputation for being "the crazy guy", which incredibly freeing since you can fuck up every social situation, wear whatever you want, act as weird as you want, etc and everyone will think it's completely normal (oh, that's just Anon, he's a little crazy, don't mind him).
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I have had an up and down battle with social anxiety for over a decade. I'm 23 now. I've had points where I'm doing very well in life, making friends and shit. And I've been to very low points too. I was the kid who never talked in high school at my worst points, much better than that now though. Let me give you some tips:

1) Understand that social anxiety is actually pretty natural. It's rooted in our brains to care somewhat about what our peers think about us. You just have a lot more of those feelings than the average person. Don't focus on beating social anxiety, thats impossible, focus on reducing it.

2) Boost your self esteem. Start working out or learn a new skill to help boost your self esteem. You have to believe that while you are not perfect, you are still a pretty damn awesome person and people would be lucky to have you around.

3) Come to terms with the fact that there are going to be people who disagree with you, dislike you, and even hate you. Every single person in this world, even the greatest and most influential people, have haters. You are not an exception. You will have them too. Accept this.

4) Expose yourself to your fears over and over and over. This is critical to desensitize your brain. You will really have to push yourself, but try to view the anxiety as an exhilarating adrenaline rush.

There are tons of great tips online on youtube and stuff. What works for some people doesn't work for others, so you'll have to experiment. Force yourself into as many uncomfortable situations as possible and try out different strategies and see what works for you.

While I still get socially anxious at times, I am exponentially better than I was 5 years ago. I live a very normal life now, whereas going to the grocery store used to be a nightmare for me. You can get better. Good luck!
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>>17176133
Improve yourself dont focus on beating it focus on being the best you you can be.

Realize you dont have to like or be nice to everyone be yourself unapologetically and the right people will gravitate to you.

Practice, there is no magic pill sorry, but its all just a skill that can be honed over time, try to practice in a place you know you wont be forever so you can reset and start over once you have the skills if thats what you need to do.

It really comes down to working on yourself and practicing being in social situations.
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>>17176561
>You have to believe that while you are not perfect, you are still a pretty damn awesome person and people would be lucky to have you around.
This is the hardest part for me. I seem to be stuck on it.
I'm convinced that nobody wants to be around an awkward bastard with an unpleasant personality who can't hold a proper conversation, hates small talk with a passion, and seems to kill every friendly chat just by standing there.

It's tough because I've dealt with my issues in life via reason, basically beating down the anxiety with logic. And against this, I have no weapon. No evidence. No way to prove it wrong.

I don't even care anymore whether it's true or not, I just really want to know which it is so I can be satisfied with my choice to either approach people or remain alone.
How can I tell whether people want me around or not?
And how do I distinguish gestures motivated by pity from genuine ones? I don't want to abuse people's kindness.
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>>17176606
>nobody wants to be around an awkward bastard with an unpleasant personality who can't hold a proper conversation, hates small talk with a passion, and seems to kill every friendly chat just by standing there.

Yeah seems like your self esteem is probably the biggest issue. That was the case for me.

Here's the thing, personality can be developed. Social skills can be improved just like other skills.

But when it comes to talking down about yourself like you just did in the previous post, you just have to turn that around. I would literally force myself to stop thinking negative thoughts about myself and I would tell myself that I was God's gift to the universe multiple times a day. Maybe that's not the healthiest advice, but lying to myself a bit and pumping myself up through positive affirmations helped me push through the really tough obstacles when I wanted to give up.
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>>17176133
"Social anxiety" is a shrink's label so you'll think you got your money's worth. It just means you're uncomfortable in some social situations.

Well, I've got news for you, bunky. EVERYONE is uncomfortable in some social situations. Some are better at hiding it than others, some can handle some situations (e.g, parties or one-to-one) but not others (e.g. one-to-one or parties)Some, like you, who have had bad experiences or no social experience growing up, are behind the curve in learning how to function with others.

If you didn't know how to play tennis and were suddenly thrust into a champion match, you'd be anxious. But if you practiced and played for a while you might not become an ace but you'd develop some confidence and be able to enjoy it.

Socializing is a skill, not a talent. It is something you learn how to do. Most people learn the rudiments in their school years, but the bullied or shy kids don't. So now you're thrust into the game without much practice, and scared.

Practice tennis enough, allowing yourself to be bad at it for a while, and you get better at it. Practice social interactions enough, allowing yourself to be bad at it for a while, and you'll get better at it.
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>>17176620
I catch and stop the negative thoughts (pretty good at that now, know enough CBT to get that done), but it's really hard to think positive thoughts, since i tend to instinctively catch and stop those too.

It's probably since my father's a narcissist and i watched him treat me, rest of the family, and everyone else around him like utter garbage for the better part of 20 years, and i'm deathly afraid of being like him. I'm not sure how to get over this properly though, since i feel like it's partly responsible for me being a decent person rather than a misanthropic asshole.

That's also why it worries me so much that I can't tell whether or not I'm bothering/annoying someone: as a kid I often took everything way too far and never knew when to stop, so i annoyed and hurt a lot of people. I feel like this is an unfortunate trait that I inherited from my father, and now it worries me that everyone is more polite and will tolerate my shit without telling me what I'm doing wrong or whether i'm bothering them.

This stops me from approaching people since I want to be considerate and not intrude or interrupt them from anything. I can't just ask since nobody answers honestly, we all know the correct/polite answer now. How else do I figure it out?
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perhaps you visited a bad shrink, get a second opinion from a different shrink, ive seen on youtube that medication like antidepresives can be used with obsessive compulsive disorders, however some psychiatrists only use on very bad cases due to the side effects, perhaps they can be used with social anxiety too

i thought i had social anxiety then i realize i fit better into autism, it helped me understand my limitations better
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>>17176782
Keep in mind that we usually say things like "autistic people frequently have troublesome social anxiety".
People with social handicaps like autism often develop social anxiety because they're stigmatized and/or worse at "reading" people to gauge reactions (this is also why autistic people particularly hate phone calls).
Thread posts: 12
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