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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Never social.

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Author Topic: Never social.
saguy
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To make a long story short, I am almost 23 years old, I have social anxiety, so naturally I don't have any friends, only acquaintances. I don't want to discuss the social anxiety in general. My main issue is the fact that I am in my early-mid 20, and I literally have ZERO experience with girls.

I manage a retail store, and being in a mall, I've managed to mask my issues pretty well. That said, I always assume that if any girls I know (I only know any at the mall where I work) found out I've never been in a relationship of any kind, they would think I'm a freak and quickly distance themselves from me. When I say never been in a relationship, I mean that I've never even been on a date or been kissed by a girl. Hell, I've never held a girl's hand. Most 12 year olds have more relationship experience than I do.

What would you think if you found out a 23+ year old guy had never been in a relationship?

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ghostie
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I too have big social anxiety, and personally I think you're doing very well. But being the age you are and having no experience is more normal than you would think, very often people keep it to themselves, as you do yourself [Smile]
Also, any girl worth being at least friends with won't care how much or little experience you have, and once you explain your anxiety I'm sure most would be more than happy to help you through it.
I have found that getting over my social anxiety (as well as my agoraphobia) is easiest with a friend, so it may be worth persuing an aquaintance to become closer friends.
Are you getting any help with your anxiety issues at all?

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saguy
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I've been on a few different anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications, but nothing had any effect at all, so I quit trying that route. I've thought about counselling, but I just can't talk to somebody in person who I don't know, professional or not.

I'm just living every lonely day by itself. I really have no idea where to go from here.

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Ecofem
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OK, first a brusk answer: I think you need to toss the hints of self-pity in regards to "never been kissed" out the window. I understand that you feel lonely, suffer from social anxiety, and feel awkward when it comes to women. BUT it's ok, in no way are you a freak, and it's something you can work on, if you're open to getting out of your comfort zone.

I'm 23 and have had dating experience but I can say that I'd be totally fine with getting involved with someone without any dating or relationship experience at 23. I wouldn't think it was weird or off-putting at all-- it's just that you need to find a way to convince yourself of this. [Smile] You do have life and work experience, like awesome for becoming a store manager, especially with your background. [Smile] Please focus on such successes in your life. In any case, I'd first focus on friendships before seeking an romantic or sexual relationships. A significant other may seem especially appealing when we feel lonely or isolated, but it's not so healthy (or easy!) to seek out just this one person for support.

I definitely agree with NoisyPinkBubbles about trying to get closer to these acquaintances; if they're kind, they'll be patient and understanding. Joining an organization like Toastmasters, really for developing public speaking skills, might help in other ways, too. So you don't want to go to a counselor... who has been prescribing the medications, haven't you had counseling sessions at the same time? Social anxiety disorder is real but treatable with professional help first and foremost. Therapists with experience would understand where you're coming from and help find a way for you to talk about it at a pace comfortable.

So, I think there's a lot of potential for you, but are you going to be willing to take those first big steps?

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cool87
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I don't really know your history but have you had a talk with your doctor about your medication not having any significant effects on you saguy ? Maybe just switching medications might help. There must have been a reason why they put you on medication. [Smile]

While some medication you tried in the past might not have worked well, it doesn't mean any other won't work as well. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of time before doctors find the right medication that's intended just for you.

And, I'm not too sure here but if you did quit your medication, did you decide to do that all by yourself or was it something a doctor had suggested to you ?

Do you think it could be possible for you to see the person who gave you the medication and have a talk with her ? I'm sure it isn't easy for you but it might really help.

If that's too hard for you (since you seemed to have described it as hard) to do, would it be easier maybe for you to just bring with you at the visit a close person you trust, be it a parent or a friend which could maybe make you a bit more comfortable ? You know you have a right to as a patient.

There is always hope. I'm pretty sure your anxiety issues could be treated easily with the right medication. You seem to just haven't found it yet.

With your anxiety issues resolved (or treated), that could easily have positive effects on other issues you're experiencing right now. I think it could be a great start. Plus, seeing a doctor about it could enable you to talk with him about other possibilities there are out there for you, other than medication, be it counseling or other things.

Medication is something that might help but it's a bit unlikely it will resolved your problem all alone. That might need to be couple with other things such as counseling.

I don't know but there could maybe be web counseling available for you as a start if you find it too much difficult to talk with someone in person right away.

Hang on !

[ 03-07-2007, 05:33 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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saguy
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Just to broaden my history... Please don't see this as trying to make excuses for myself, I'm just stating some facts and how I feel about certain things...

quote:
Originally posted by Ecofem:

I definitely agree with NoisyPinkBubbles about trying to get closer to these acquaintances; if they're kind, they'll be patient and understanding.

I am at the point where I just don't know how to talk to people. How do I start a conversation, what do I say, etc? My life consists of my job and the sports I am interested in. A lot of things I hear being talked about when I am out by myself, I have no clue about or any interest in.

quote:
Originally posted by Ecofem:
So you don't want to go to a counselor... who has been prescribing the medications, haven't you had counseling sessions at the same time?

My doctor prescribed the medications. I simply told him what was going on, and he wrote the prescriptions.

quote:
Originally posted by cool87:
I don't really know your history but have you had a talk with your doctor about your medication not having any significant effects on you saguy ? Maybe just switching medications might help. There must have been a reason why they put you on medication.

I tried Celexa and Effexor. I felt nothing on Celexa, and all Effexor did was give me a nasty withdrawal (even on the lower doses to wean off the stuff) when I decided I had enough of medication that wasn't helping me in any way.


quote:
Originally posted by cool87:

If that's too hard for you (since you seemed to have described it as hard) to do, would it be easier maybe for you to just bring with you at the visit a close person you trust, be it a parent or a friend which could maybe make you a bit more comfortable ? You know you have a right to as a patient.

I simply don't have that person in my life.

[ 03-07-2007, 06:01 PM: Message edited by: saguy ]

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cool87
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Tell me saguy, does a trip to your doctor sounds possible and doable for you right now with a little effort ?

As far I as know, you've went once and had a talk with him. That's a pretty big achievement for someone who is said to have problems talking to someone in person, don't you think so ?

Why wouldn't you be able to go this time too ? I know you're not particularly enchanted with all the pills you've tried and which didn't work but I think it might be the best thing to do here, even though it doesn't seem like so. It's not just about getting pills here at all, it's also about you, more importantly, getting the proper ressources that you need to overcome your social anxiety issue.

As Ecomfem said, there is a lot of hope here for you out there and a lot of potential, but, in order for you to have that, you gotta take steps and have a little hope too.

You're far from the only one here with social anxiety problems, and as far as I know, plenty have been able to overcome their problem with proper help. And I don't know why YOU wouldn't be able to also with proper ressources and treatment. You've already shown us that you were able to make improvement per your condition like by going to the doctor, having the job you have right now,...

So how about taking that trip to your doctor, all other issues aside ? That might be a great start here. [Smile]

[ 03-07-2007, 06:33 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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saguy
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I don't see what going back to the doctor would accomplish right now. Medication has proven ineffective in helping get rid of the seemingly physical block I experience when in a social setting.

Along with the SA, I don't have much of a positive opinion on today's society for young people either. I see a lot of drinking, partying and promiscuity that I simply never had a desire for, and I feel that it has left me behind socially. I don't live anywhere near a big city, so I don't see much diversity in the way young people behave.

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Leabug
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Not all young adults are into partying- the bulk of my nights with friends are spent watching movies and such [Smile] So try not to let that be a barrier to making friends- people's interests are as varied as people themselves.

I would really urge you to visit your doctor if only to ask about options for counselling- often medications alone do not correct problems, but require counselling as well.

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cool87
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quote:
Medication has proven ineffective in helping get rid of the seemingly physical block I experience when in a social setting.
You know ? Just because certain medication hasn't proven to be effective, doesn't mean all other kinds of medication will never be too. Really. You gotta put a little trust in that. There's no way to know that a medication won't work unless you actually try it. [Smile]

AND anyway, it isn't only about the pills here, as I said, it's also MORE IMPORTANTLY about you getting that help finding the proper ressources you need right now such as counseling.

quote:
Along with the SA, I don't have much of a positive opinion on today's society for young people either. I see a lot of drinking, partying and promiscuity that I simply never had a desire for, and I feel that it has left me behind socially. I don't live anywhere near a big city, so I don't see much diversity in the way young people behave.
Myself either isn't really into this kind of things which are partying, promiscuity or drinking. And I'm not ashamed of it at all.I don't see it as being left out socially. That's who I am, my personnality, and I'm proud to be that way. I've learned to accept that.

And I'm pretty sure we are not the only one like that. While it might seem fro you that most people in a small town are that way, when we travel and see other places, we often see that it's not always the case and that there is indeed a lot of diversity and that people can be a whole lot different from each other. And that, we can see that even in small towns when we look carefully enough. [Smile]

[ 03-07-2007, 07:11 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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-Lauren-
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Actually, I've gone without medication myself for depression and found it much more beneficial than being drugged.

Talk therapy, expanding my hobbies and interests, and really getting set with what I wanted to do with my life, and learning to deal better with people have helped SO much better than medication ever did. So, I understand where you're coming from; conventional medicine can't solve everything.

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Juniata
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Conventional medicine can't solve everything, but it can certainly make a huge difference for some people. I am currently treated for moderate to severe social anxiety/depression, and I don't know what I'd do without my medicine. I'm currently taking 25 mg of lexapro, and I feel awful if I reduce that amount by even 5 mg.

Medical treatment has allowed me to step outside of my anxiety and live fully. I used to find it taxing and painful to hold conversations, and now I greatly enjoy socializing with my friends.

From the perspective of someone who has been helped by medicine, I'd say not to write it off immediately. It often takes several tries to find a medicine that you'll respond to well, but medicine can help A LOT [Smile]

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joesomebody
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Key thing here is you have to allow yourself to be outside your comfort zone. Your not comfortable talking with women or being around them, and neither am I.

But that will never change for you unless you learn that you NEED to be outside your comfort zone and you NEED to learn to be confident/relaxed in that non comfort zone, even if its only pretend at first.

Broadning your horizons will help, and by this I mean go to cnn.com every morning and spend 10 or 15 minuets reading. Keep up on more then just sports, because most women don't jump at the chance to talk about who the Jets just traded.

I know exactly what your talking about, save im a few years younger and I've gone through it too. I'm working through it, with the help of a friend, and you can too.

Here's what I think.

I think that your just uncomfortable being social, and probably for no reason or a silly reason.

If I were you I'd start out by being friends with more people. Invite some of the guys out for beers on you or something like that. Join a gym, even if you don't want/need to improve your physical conditioning it can still help you because most people at the gym talk to one another in between sets and are usually nice.

Once your comfortable in that situation, practice talking to people in the mall. Make some crap up like your doing a survey (take a notebook with you even if you just pretend to write in it). Pick out 10 or 15 girls you find attractive and have them "take" the survey. Once your comfortable with that then just talk to one.


Having no experience with a woman means nothing, because likey the lady in question wont know and wont probably ever know unless you tell her. By the time your ready to tell her, she wont care anyhow.

I kissed a girl one time when I was like 10 years old, and the girl may have liked me but it never progress because I didn't want it to (not sure why at all, probably scared). So I have no experience either, but at some point that has to change unless you want to spend the rest of your days alone and the idea of never having sex in your life time. Just the idea of never finding that someone special was enough for me to realize the problem wouldn't fix itself, you have to do something about it.

The easiest thing to do would be go to a bar a good distance from where you live (like 40 miles) and just find a girl buy her a drink and practice like that. If you get torched move on to the next one. Knowing what rejection feels like will help too, I've been rejected more or less once before and my current situation might be alot more stressfull had I not.

Know that not only CAN you do it, you HAVE to do it.

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saguy
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I really don't know how to respond anymore because it is all good advice, but just thinking of doing anything overly social just scares the crap out of me. My stomach starts to feel queezy, my muscles tighten, etc. I have tried a gym membership, but I didn't find other members nice at all. I also don't want to be a part of the bar scene, even to "practice". It's just not me.

I don't have SA for nothing (same for being intimidated by females). I grew up living with my mother, and the way she raised me and the BS ideals she tried to teach me were just too damaging as I had nobody to teach me right. That, and she wouldn't let me out of the house anyway. She's now taking my own frustrations with her out on me by not letting me see my younger brother and sister. So I have that to deal with too.

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Ecofem
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Well, it's something you can either accept and live with or you can try to do something, ya know? Can you think of something you would be willing to do? How about just looking up the names of some psychologists in your area online and seeing what services they offer?

That's unfortunate about growing up and especially sad that you can't see your siblings. [Frown] Is their homelife otherwise ok? How old are they? I'd really try to just best avoid her since she treated you so unfairly for so long (and apparently continues to.)

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saguy
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My siblings are 14 and they hate it at home. They aren't abused or anything, they are just told a bunch of BS by my mother about me and the rest of our family, and now they aren't allowed to see us because my sociopathic mother thinks we're all out to get her.

As for the social anxiety, I know I need help of some kind, but like I said, I just don't have anybody I'm close enough to who I can trust enough to even tell them about what I go through every night.

[ 03-08-2007, 09:16 PM: Message edited by: saguy ]

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cool87
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I'm sorry to hear about your situation with your family saguy. It sure doesn't seem easy and isn't. I can totally understand. If that might help to just let those feelings out and talk about them here, then let yourself free. [Smile]

The situation you're living with your family right now could be something you could also discuss with a counselor/psychologist. They are intended just for that. They're here to help you and it's not the first time they meet people with a similar situation to yours so they know how to act/handle the situation and make you as much comfortable as you need to. They know how to put you at ease.

quote:
As for the social anxiety, I know I need help of some kind, but like I said, I just don't have anybody I'm close enough to who I can trust enough to even tell them about what I go through every night.
Per your social anxiety issue, you know, you really don't have to bring someone to the doctor visit (or psychologist if you prefer) if that's what you meant saguy. That's only something I had suggested. You don't have too at all, even less so if you don't have that person in your life right now.

You can just go by yourself just like you seem to have done last time.

If that person is not yet there for you, then it's no biggie. I'm sure you'll find someone like that one day, if it's not for right now it will be for later on.

Feel free to post anything here ! [Smile]

Hang on, you'll get there.

[ 03-08-2007, 09:47 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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saguy
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quote:
Originally posted by cool87:
Per your social anxiety issue, you know, you really don't have to bring someone to the doctor visit (or psychologist if you prefer) if that's what you meant saguy. That's only something I had suggested. You don't have too at all, even less so if you don't have that person in your life right now.

You can just go by yourself just like you seem to have done last time.

If that person is not yet there for you, then it's no biggie. I'm sure you'll find someone like that one day, if it's not for right now it will be for later on.

Feel free to post anything here ! [Smile]

Hang on, you'll get there.

I'm feeling like I need that person in my life. Going through every day alone is getting more and more painful seemingly every day. Some days are easier than others, but if I've had a long day at work or something like that (almost every day the issue of my mother comes up somehow), I have nobody to go home to. On those days, the emotional pain turns physical, and without anybody close, it doesn't go away.
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cool87
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Do you think a psychologist could for right now, until you feel more comfortable approaching people and such, be that person somehow?

I mean, as I said, with a psychologist you could talk things through whether it's about your feelings per your social issue or family situation and he could even help you to overcome those problems and make you feel better overall.

Is that something you could think about doing saguy ? Going to see a psychologist or doctor or such ? Because I pretty much think this is the best thing to do here and could be of really big help to you.

It helps sometimes to just talk about your feelings and letting those out, but it often isn't enough. You also need some help as you've realized yourself.

You gotta make steps here and seek help, we just can't make them for you. We can for sure help you finding that help, but you got to help us here and be willing to make some efforts too. In the end, it's you who is going to go to the meetings, not us.

[ 03-08-2007, 10:34 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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Ecofem
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quote:
Originally posted by saguy:
My siblings are 14 and they hate it at home. They aren't abused or anything, they are just told a bunch of BS by my mother about me and the rest of our family, and now they aren't allowed to see us because my sociopathic mother thinks we're all out to get her.

Do you have any way to stay in touch with them like via email? Are there any other adults in the picture they could turn to (like grandparents or your and/or their biological father/s?)

quote:
As for the social anxiety, I know I need help of some kind, but like I said, I just don't have anybody I'm close enough to who I can trust enough to even tell them about what I go through every night.
As cool said, this is what therapists are there for and they have a confidentiality agreement. Regardlessly, maybe try to think of social anxiety as less of a secret you can or can't trust people with but rather something totally ok, if incredibly difficult to be going through. I swear, people will understand more than you think they well, as scary as talking about it may be.

I'm sure you don't want to burden your siblings BUT I think mentioning it to them first about this would be a good step. It might be helpful to examine your attitude on your peers. I get that you're seeing something you're just not into, but there's a lot more out there. And judging people for such behavior, which may not seem ideal but is also actually ok, makes it harder to connect with them. Just as having social anxiety isn't the only side to you, drinking and partying isn't the only side to them. If people are sensing a standoffish or disaproving vibe, they're going to distance themselves on their own. I'm not saying this is the case, but it's something worth thinking about.

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Ecofem
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quote:
I'm feeling like I need that person in my life. Going through every day alone is getting more and more painful seemingly every day. Some days are easier than others, but if I've had a long day at work or something like that (almost every day the issue of my mother comes up somehow), I have nobody to go home to. On those days, the emotional pain turns physical, and without anybody close, it doesn't go away.
Well, are you going to do something or not? I think all of us in the post wish we could come to you in person and help you head in the direction you want. But that's not going to happen. It's up to you and I just hear you repeating the same "It's horrible but I can't do anything" and it's like, what can we do if you aren't willing to make an effort? (I know it's hard, but for real?)
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saguy
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Responding to the last few posts...

1. Regarding a psychologist, I know they are professionals, but I have trust issues with people I don't know personally. I could probably let out to a psychologist about how much of a bitch my mother is and how bitter I am towards society, but I don't think it would do anything for me.

2. My mother cut her internet connection so my siblings cannot use messenger and email to communicate with the rest of the family. My mother hates us all because we've pointed out her issues to her, and because we all see it and she doesn't, we're all out to get her in her mind. As for their biological father, he split when he found out mom was pregnant, so he's out of the picture.

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Ecofem
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quote:
Originally posted by saguy:
Responding to the last few posts...

1. Regarding a psychologist, I know they are professionals, but I have trust issues with people I don't know personally. I could probably let out to a psychologist about how much of a bitch my mother is and how bitter I am towards society, but I don't think it would do anything for me.

Well, just being able to let out all your feelings to someone can be pretty good and do wonders! [Smile] It's really hard holding this all inside yourself and it'd be a place to start, where you didn't have to worry about being judged for it.
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joesomebody
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Its something you have to work through man. If you want to hit a home run you have to step up to the plate first.

Even in my situation right now, I'm nervous as crap but I have to do it. I've told myself that. And tommorow night I'm going to be WAY outside of my comfort zone and even if I'm not comfortable I'll atleast act the part.

If it doesn't go as well as I want it to, atleast I'll have more confidence in general when it comes to talking with women and not being afraid of realising that sometimes being uncomfortable is necessary. Even if she only wants to be a friend... another friend is something that wouldn't hurt almost anyone.

But I have a good feeling about this girl, and about you.

Just know that you have the power to change things, your a grown man and can do whatever you want now. You have to stop living in the past. Forgive "society" and It'll forgive you right back.

I know, my mother did the same thing to me. She was very over protective of me and I had no social life and never developed a good deal of critical social skills that came naturally to most kids. But I can and will change that, the same as you can and should.

Don't hate your mother, hate her actions.

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saguy
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Something I just don't understand, is how can you "act" confident and comfortable when you really are not?

Regarding my mother, it's going to be a long ordeal. It's to the point where I don't care to have anything to do with her ever again. It's not easy at all feeling that way about your mother.

What girl is going to want a guy with so much baggage?

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Ecofem
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quote:
Originally posted by saguy:
Something I just don't understand, is how can you "act" confident and comfortable when you really are not?

Well, you try to focus on the positive things, tell yourself to act confident or stop feeling so uncomfortable. This is what a counselor can help you with, giving you personalized suggestions. Doing activities that make you feel good about yourself or finding little successes can also help you truly feel confident. Another thing to keep in mind is that many people are also uncomfortable in many social situations, and you're hardly not the only one. Sometimes being the one to first introduce yourself helps. Having a mental list of topics of general interest can help you feel less worried about what to say. [Smile]

quote:
Regarding my mother, it's going to be a long ordeal. It's to the point where I don't care to have anything to do with her ever again. It's not easy at all feeling that way about your mother.
It won't be easy, but it's certainly not easy now. Getting help and starting process it all now will make it much easier in the future. Also please remember that a lot of people are in a similar familial situation, although it sure doesn't make it easier on anyone.

quote:
What girl is going to want a guy with so much baggage?
Please stop dwellling on this. It's not about what some theoretical girl wants or not wants. It's about dealing with this for YOU, to make your life easier and more pleasant, and dating/relationships will be a positive side effect of sorts.
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joesomebody
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You can most deffinately act confident without being confident. I took a lot of time and thought my own situation through and it worked out extremely well.

On the inside, at first, I was trembleing and nervous as hell. But I buy this girl dinner when her, two friends and I are out and the pressue was suddenly off. She responded very well and I can happily say that tonight I'm taking her to go see a movie. The feeling I had after she said sure was just amazing.

You can do it. If I can do it, anyone can. You have a right to be happy and you deserve a good woman. Nothing worth having/doing is going to be easy.

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King Joey
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I agree with joesomebody, I act like things I am not when i am around anyone that isnt family. Sometimes its not even a consious decision to do so, it dosnt sound healthy but its the way i live my life.

At the risk of sounding like a corny romance movie, the best thing you can be is yourself. Not because you shouldnt prtend to be someone else, but when you do find someone, and they feel the same for you, you know they like you for who you are, not what you pretend to be.

You are most certainly not alone in not trusting psycologists, I have very little trust in anyone, including doctors and friends and for some irrelevant reason the weather forecasts.

I personally dont see any harm in altering your normal activities slightly, for instance keeping up with a different TV program to have a common talking point with someone or reading a different news paper small things like that. Just as long as you remember who you are.

One last note, Ive learned there is much more to life than g/b friends, sex etc. So enjoy what makes you happy, and let love come to you.
Sorry if this dosnt apply in this situation, I kinda went off writing a little story [Smile] .

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mizchastain
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Let me just say this; I have similar problems. I have Asperger's Syndrome (communication disorder similar to autism) and I just can't deal with people very well. I'm asexual and uninterested in dating, but sometimes I wish I had some close friends.

Back to you; I can't really offer a lot of help, but I can tell you that you're not the only person to suffer this. I don't know if that makes you feel better, but maybe it will, just because you're realising you're not so weird as you thought ^_^

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James the Dark
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I also don't have much in the way of advice on this concern. I say this, because I'm in the same place you are, just two years behind. I'm 21 years old, and suffering fairly severe depression, such that I've never been able to hold down a job, am barely scudding along with university, and can count the friends I have on one hand.
I have as little practical experience with the female gender as you do, and am likewise burdened with social phobia. Hell, I can't even trust my own mind anymore, delusions being what they are.
Finally, I'm on Effexor too, and it's doing a whole lot of nothing for me, despite it's rather high dose. Hearing your story, though, makes me envious. You might be shy, have few friends, and feel alone, but you have a life. You have direction. Me... I don't have either.

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"And you're really asking me if I prefer injury to embarrassment? That's not even a choice. I don't know anybody who's literally died of embarrassment."

People are annoying sometimes.

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saguy
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Having a life only means anything if you enjoy it in general. Right now, that's not the case for me.

Direction? I wouldn't quite call it that. I have a job that although I like it, it makes me little money and is barely enough to support myself, even still living at home. Right now, I'm at a stalemate in life.

I was on Effexor for over a year. All I will say about that drug is that the withdrawal was absolute hell.

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cool87
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Hey saguy... if you're there, I just wanted to know how are things going with you right now. [Smile]

Anything new ? Did you finally decide to go see a counselor ?

[ 03-22-2007, 03:57 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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saguy
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Same old story. I'm in a small enough town where although people don't know me, I am recognizable in public given my job at our mall and my involvement in local sports. I can't bring myself to risking anybody who knows who I am finding out. Family included. I don't know why I'm so scared of it, I just am.
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cool87
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Hey, it's normal to be scared of other people around you finding out. A lot of people have this fear too. And I know how you feel about living in a small town - small town girl here. [Smile] So no worries. But those fears when we think about it are not enterily justified you know....

You know right that there is a policy of confidentiality among all health professionnals be it a physician or, more appropriate to your case, a psychologist ? So your appointment and all that follows -- be it treatment or diagnosis if there is one or other things -- will all be kept totally private.

So no need to having big worries whatosever about your family or surroundings finding out about you. [Smile]

Is counseling at least something you've been thinking of lately ? (I didn't get the answer).You know counseling isn't just about a psychiatrist or so giving you medication --which isn't something you seem inclined to have if I'm mot mistaken-- medication alone often isn't enough. It won't overcome all alone your shyness or change your pattern of thoughts for example, it can only help with your symptoms, be it anxiety for example. It has to be couple with some psychotherapathy and in your case it seems that it could benefit you a lot from what you've told us. So why not deep in and at least try ? [Smile] There is so much hope waiting for you but you got to make the first steps even though they are often the hardest to make.

Maybe having a little perspective about in which way a psychologist a psychologist might help might be helpful to you ?

A psychologist will go at your speed and will help you change for example the negative patterns of thoughts (like for example selective abstraction in which people only remember/think about the negative aspects of things) you've for example constructed over the years and which regulate your behavior, your emotions and all of that. And it can totally help you in understanding how you can change your thoughts (in order in part to change your emotions) and why this way of thinking was here in the first place.

Sometimes it is often link to particular situations you've experienced and those can come as far as childhood. And that's just one of the few things a psychologist can do for you.

I won't explain it all to you but a psychologist could also in your case gradually expose you to situations (easier ones in the beginning)that will help you to overcome your shyness or anxiety. It's like a desensitivation in which gradual exposure to certain situations you may fear/be anxious about might gradually help in overcoming some if not all of your symptoms of anxiety you may have when faced with those kind of situation.

And that all can also make you realize some thoughts you have on a regular basis are not acurrate or not well-based. And in this way, it can help you correct them and therefore change your emotions which are totally linked to your thoughts.

He/she can also teach you relaxation/breathing techniques which can be useful before or during exposure to situations which create anxiety for example for you. And a psychologist can also suggest you some readings or connect you with a support group if that is prefered to you more than an individual therapy where you'll be able to talk with other people who are going through the same thing. This can often help a whole lot too.

People like you have benefit a lot from counseling and their situation have improved a lot so I don't know why you would be an exception, really ? At least, we gotta give it some hope and try.

So how about making change to that ''same old story'' for a while and gathering up your courage and go ? That's one of the step in the road to recovery and there is nothing to loose, if that that you'll come out of all that with your condition improved. [Smile]

[ 03-25-2007, 10:22 AM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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saguy
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When it comes to a shrink, the bottom line for me is that I don't know the person. I just cannot talk about my issues in person to somebody I don't know. I know they have confidentiality policies, but they get paid to talk to people with problems. If I am lucky enough to get that kind of help, I need it to be from somebody who I know is helping me because they want to, not because it earns them the most updated sound system in their luxury SUV.

Call my opinion bitter if you want, but I am too starved for attention from somebody who wants to give me their attention.

There is all that, and I simply don't have the money.

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