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Dra_Mucd_Uha
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One problem I've had all my life, both as a Christian and a non-Christian, is the fact that I am anti-social. I really hate being like this. As a Christian I constantly strived to be closer to God, and in doing so I grew apart from the social crowd and, basically, the rest of the world. I have trouble talking to people, I get nervous and anxious, I always worry if the other person hates me or not, and I really hate it. I can't hold a decent conversation without feeling like I'm hated, or feeling awkward, or feeling like I'm wasting the other person's time. I really don't want to be this way for the rest of my life. I want to be able to feel comfortable in a crowd. I want to be able to talk to others without having to be concerned with how they feel about me. Lol, does any of this make sense? Has anyone else ever been anti-social? I know it's not rare, I'm sure others here know where I'm coming from.

 

In a nutshell, I would like to overcome anti-sociality. It's plagued me all my life, and I've been trying for a long time now to overcome it, but to no avail. Can anyone help?

 

Thanks,

-DMU

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What you're describing sounds like social anxiety. You should talk to your doctor about that. My boyfriend had severe social anxiety for years, until I convinced him to see someone about it. His doctor put him on Zoloft for a year, and now he's fine. He's still not the most social person in the world, but he doesn't get anxious in social situations.

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Yeah, I have that problem. For me, since I'm away at school most of the year and I have nobody I would consider a true 'friend' up there, I tend to hole myself away in my dorm room and spend all my time on my computer, doing homework there, or watching TV. It depresses me, but... When the people I feel closest to are the ones on AIM, how else am I going to talk to them?

 

About the only time I can handle large crouds without feeling awkward is when I'm in a theme park. Then, if I'm on my own, I just read while I'm waiting in line for a coaster and nobody bothers me.

 

But I do feel VERY lonely a LOT of the time. *sigh*

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Hey DMU. Yeah, that's a problem that seems to have the snowball affect doesn't it? You have an awkward situation and then the next time you're REALLY nervous and then you do something awkward again and then it goes on...

 

I've struggled with that at times in my life. Even now I get a major stomach ache when I'm at a gathering where I don't know many people.

 

Did you know there are books on helping you overcome this? One is called,

Diagonally-Parked in a Parallel Universe : Working Through Social Anxiety

I like the name.

 

Maybe this is sort of an obvious tip, but I especially enjoy getting together with my friends one on one (or on a double date with another couple). It's not that I can't go to bigger gatherings...(I still do) but that is when I am most comfortable and able to be myself. But, if you have a friendship or two you'd like to work on, you could intitiate strengthening that friendship (asking them to a movie, or dinner, or whatever) and feeling confidence in that.

 

Good luck, It will be so worth it to work on overcoming it!

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I used to be really socially awkward myself. The trick to this sort of thing is to be aware of what's going on. Think about what made you this way and why you think it did that. Once you know, it helps give you a clue on how to resolve it.

 

Put yourself in the moment when you are in a social situation. Be aware of your breathing and consciously relax the muscles that are tightening up. It's really simple but it goes a long way.

 

I used to be really socially awkward myself. The trick to this sort of thing is to be aware of what's going on. Think about what made you this way and why you think it did that. Once you know, it helps give you a clue on how to resolve it.

 

Put yourself in the moment when you are in a social situation. Be aware of your breathing and consciously relax the muscles that are tightening up. It's really simple but it goes a long way.

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You're not anti-social, you're just not terribly at ease in social situations. It's a misunderstanding shared by an awful lot of people that "not socially adept=anti-social." Jeffery Dahmer was anti-social. As the others have already pointed out, what you're dealing with is nothing more than social anxiety--something I'm sure we all feel in certain situations, depending on what makes us individually uneasy.

 

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if I were diagnosed with a mild form of schizoid personality disorder. I'm not only awkward in social situations; a fair amount of the time, I just plain don't like them. I require a lot more solitude and privacy than most people I know, it's rare that I act openly and draw attention to myself, and most of the time I prefer it that way.

 

As for overcoming it, I'm afraid I can't help you there. I've been trying to do as much for years now with only spotty success. Maybe you'll have better luck trying the things recommended here. I just consider myself fortunate that I'm perfectly content with a small circle of friends, because it's unlikely I'll ever be able to manage much more than that.

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I have precisely the same problem. I plan on going to see someone about it. I've gotten better as I've gotten older, but I'm now 37 and still anxious in social situations. I may check out the book that Jane mentioned. I think you're young enough that if you work on it and maybe seek some professional help, you should be able to overcome it without much trouble. You may not ever be the "life of the party" but you should be able to come out of the shell every now and again.

 

:grin:

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Thanks for all the advice, it's helpful. I plan on checking out that book as well.

 

Once again, it's good to know I'm not alone. And I agree AgnosticBob, I'm fortunate to be young enough that maybe I'll be able to overcome it. I have gone to some of the school dances and I see people get out there and act absolutely crazy, but it looks like they are really having fun. I've always envied people who have felt comfortable with themselves. They really seem to enjoy themselves, and I want that too.

 

There is a guy from my school who I always see at the dances giving it all he's got, lol. He doesn't seem embarressed or uncomfortable at all. I learned recently that's he's also not a Christian - I believe he claims to be Agnostic. I might have to talk to him one of these days.

 

I think my biggest problem is that I'm uncomfortable with who I am - I don't have self-confidence. I've been trying to figure it out for a long time now, and this is the best conclusion I can come to. I actually see a psychologist (psychiatrist?), or I used to. He's Christian, so I don't really seem him anymore. But he told me as well that my problem is low self-esteem. He then continued by telling me I needed to realize that God loves me and created me for a purpose, and.... *zones out*

 

But yeah, another thing is my mom has depression. I always thought that mybe I had it too. But it's not hereditary, is it?

 

Damn, I hate trying to figure myself out.

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DMU,

 

Have you ever personality typed yourself? I have found this to be so helpful for me-to know that there are all of these different types of people in the world, and that no one is better, just different.

If you're interested at all in that, you can test here

and here and then can look more into the "type" you get here . It's helped me, not sure if it will help you!

 

For some people writing down what they are thinking and feeling helps them sort out things.

 

I'm sorry your mom has depression, that must be hard. Depression can be hereditary. Maybe you can ask about finding a new counselor? And take a depression "inventory" online.

 

Am I bossing you around? :rolleyes:

 

Good luck.

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Did you know that INFJs are 1 percent of the population? Do you feel special? :) I thought you sounded like you would have an "N" in your personality and not an "S"....Sometimes you have to take the test a few times.

 

If you are interested, it is helpful to read about being an introvert too. The Introvert Advantage and The Introverted Child They are really well written books.

They are probably at the library.

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It depends. I don't think that just being introverted is a problem. I'm introverted and have never felt like it was a huge problem. If you are avoiding normal activites that you usually take part in, then that's usually a sign of anxiety or depression.

 

I hate that our society stereotypes introverts as "having something wrong with you." Introversion is just another personality type. There is nothing wrong with us!

 

I normally test as an INTJ on Myers Briggs, although I've gotten INFJ also.

 

There's an article called "Caring For Your Introvert" that I highly recommend.

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200303/rauch

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It depends.

 

Now what depends? :scratch: I'm an "innie" too and am proud of the fact. But knowing about

my personality type gave me confidence in who I am. *But being an "innie" definitely doesn't mean you are shy or have social anxiety. But, those things can be a product of a lack of confidence.)

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I'd echo what Jane said - so maybe you're not an extrovert. So what? Do what makes you happy, not what you feel you should do.

 

I used to be horribly anti-social - in fact, I doubt you could've been anywhere near as bad as I was. If someone said 'Hi' to me, I was terrified, and literally couldn't answer.

 

Then I came out of my shell...thanks to booze! :woohoo: I started drinking to 'calm my nerves', and before long I was a swingin' cat. I wasn't just confident, I was cocky and a grade-1 smartass.

 

Unfortunately, that led to alcoholism and all kinds of trouble. It worked, but I paid a high price. :Doh:

 

But you can learn from my mistake - now I'd say I'm about average in sociability. The secret I learned is simple - you shouldn't give a shit. Hang out with people you like, blow off people you don't like, and don't worry about it. Pursue the kind of life you'd like to live and you'll find a lot of like-minded people will want to be around you.

 

Also, a little head-shrinking never hurt anyone. Therapy can give you a good starting point (it helped me a lot). But just don't worry about it, that's the main thing. Worrying won't do you any good, silly rabbit! :phew:

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I totlaly agree with Amethyst and Woodsmoke. So friggin what? I've come full-circle. I freshman year of high school I was voted the most shy person - out of 1000 other freshman. After that, for a few years I had a lot of friends, went to a lot of parties, did a lot of drugs. It was fun, but didn't make me any happier. When I turned 21 I didn't give a crap about going out to bars, and since then I've become more comfortable with being alone. These days, other than my sister, I have one close friend. Between those two, that's all I need. I don't really care if people want to be my friends. I'm really weird, so mostly people want to just walk away from me after a few minutes of conversation, and I'm cool with it. :close: I'm thinking in a few more years, regardless of whether you gain any more friends, you'll probably be a little more comfortable in your skin.

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It depends.

 

Now what depends? :scratch: I'm an "innie" too and am proud of the fact. But knowing about

my personality type gave me confidence in who I am. *But being an "innie" definitely doesn't mean you are shy or have social anxiety. But, those things can be a product of a lack of confidence.)

 

What depends is what I said. If someone is normally introverted, no problemo. Introversion is natural. However, if this is a sudden change in personality, it can be a sign of depression or something.

 

I'm not saying by any means that every single human being who is introverted has social anxiety. I know I don't have it. (Actually I was talking about the other kind of anxiety.)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety

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Amethyst already posted a link to that article... :Hmm:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jackass. :HaHa:

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I have this social anxiety thing also, I think. Started when I went to polytechnic after secondary school (high school). Felt really left out in class in the first year so I didnt really mix around. I was afraid of getting embrassed and so i didnt really express myself infront of others.

 

I'm finishing the first half of the second year now and its getting better though i still don't really feel emotionally connected with my classmates. I came across this forum www.socialanxietysupport.com Might be helpful. I've registered there myself too. There are tons of people there who have varying degrees of social anxiety and they're really a helpful bunch. Hope you like it there.

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One problem I've had all my life, both as a Christian and a non-Christian, is the fact that I am anti-social. I really hate being like this. As a Christian I constantly strived to be closer to God, and in doing so I grew apart from the social crowd and, basically, the rest of the world. I have trouble talking to people, I get nervous and anxious, I always worry if the other person hates me or not, and I really hate it. I can't hold a decent conversation without feeling like I'm hated, or feeling awkward, or feeling like I'm wasting the other person's time. I really don't want to be this way for the rest of my life. I want to be able to feel comfortable in a crowd. I want to be able to talk to others without having to be concerned with how they feel about me. Lol, does any of this make sense? Has anyone else ever been anti-social? I know it's not rare, I'm sure others here know where I'm coming from.

 

In a nutshell, I would like to overcome anti-sociality. It's plagued me all my life, and I've been trying for a long time now to overcome it, but to no avail. Can anyone help?

 

Thanks,

-DMU

 

I am not a doctor. I didn't even take any psych classes in college. But I notice two things about what you say.

 

First, you seem to have what I'll call "social anxiety". You are uncomfortable in a crowd of people, not sure about how to act, etc. That's a normal part of being human - the desire to "fit in" in a group is an innate value.

 

The second thing I noted was that you're very concerned what other people think about you. That is also normal, especially when you're young.

 

So, I wouldn't be overly troubled by either of those - despite what anybody may have told you, growing up and figuring out who you are is a bitch.

 

Having said that, you indicate that you wish you were more at ease in those sorts of situations. I'm afraid that there aren't any quick solutions - you will have to put in some effort to change this.

 

I do have a few suggestions:

 

1) Find a group that meets related to something you care about, and start attending. It's always easier when you have shared ground. Or, if it's something you think is interesting but don't know much about, that's good, too - you automatically have built-in questions, and other people have built-in answers.

 

2) This is going to sound kind of strange, but other people don't really care about you. You know how when you're having a conversation, you're thinking 90% about what people think of you, whether they like you, what to say next, etc., and only 10% on the conversation? The people you're talking to are exactly the same. So those little things you agonize about (oh, that was a stupid thing to say, etc.) aren't really noticed by the other person.

 

3) Do some research on how to talk to people. There's no course in school on this (there should be), but there are a few strategies that can make it easier. Asking somebody to talk about themselves (or something they've done) is always a good thing.

 

There are books and some online stuff on this.

 

4) Some of this is about your own self-esteem. In some sense, it's more about what you believe about yourself rather than what others believe. Christianity has a pretty poisonous message in this regard - you are born a sinner and no matter what you do, you will always be a sinner. I don't think self-esteem is something you can wish on yourself - just do you best to act as a "quality person" (whatever your own personal definition of quality is) and treat people well.

 

Some people can make this jump on their own. I'm an introvert by nature, and that was encouraged by the way my parents raised me. I worked out of it by teaching motorcycle safety classes, where I had to be instructing people for 3 or 4 hours at a time. I chose that because I had the experience to do it, but it was *really really* hard to do initially.

 

Over time, I found that being up in front of people isn't as bad as I thought, and in my current job I've volunteered to do presentations in front of 1000 people, and really enjoyed it.

 

But I'm still an introvert at heart. The internet has been great for me because given the choice, I'd rather deal with a lot of situations through email rather than in person or on the phone.

 

In summary, you're normal. If you want to be more comfortable, look for things that you think you would enjoy that push your comfort level (whatever it is) a bit. And if you really feel lost, look for a mental health professional to help you out - there are some very effective therapies that can make difference.

 

Hope that helps

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest holiday_premiere

I have to agree with the guy who said it sounds like anxiety disorder...i had it pretty severely for the first 16 years of my life and it as a result I never had a normal childhood, never made . remember that meds are never a permanent answer...my psych got me off of effexor after a year and i've been doing great since.

 

i don't know if that's really what is holding you back but you should consider the idea if you haven't yet.

 

One problem I've had all my life, both as a Christian and a non-Christian, is the fact that I am anti-social. I really hate being like this. As a Christian I constantly strived to be closer to God, and in doing so I grew apart from the social crowd and, basically, the rest of the world. I have trouble talking to people, I get nervous and anxious, I always worry if the other person hates me or not, and I really hate it. I can't hold a decent conversation without feeling like I'm hated, or feeling awkward, or feeling like I'm wasting the other person's time. I really don't want to be this way for the rest of my life. I want to be able to feel comfortable in a crowd. I want to be able to talk to others without having to be concerned with how they feel about me. Lol, does any of this make sense? Has anyone else ever been anti-social? I know it's not rare, I'm sure others here know where I'm coming from.

 

In a nutshell, I would like to overcome anti-sociality. It's plagued me all my life, and I've been trying for a long time now to overcome it, but to no avail. Can anyone help?

 

Thanks,

-DMU

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Ohh man. I've been anti-social from day one. My upbringing beat it into me. Long story short, even my friends I can't stand being around for too long.

 

Want to know how anti-social I am? Whenever I do get lonely, I picture myself as a Sim, with little Social, Fun, Hygiene, Bladder, and Sleep bars, and picture my Social bar as being down really low. I'm a gaming nerd. That's how anti-social I am.

 

This is one of the big problems with society. To me, anti-socialness is like homosexuality: most people aren't like that, therefore it must be wrong. When you really think about it, there is nothing wrong with being a loner. I dislike the term "anti-social" because it sounds like a mental disorder. To me, I'm "pro-singleness".

 

Why should you try to force yourself to like the public at large? If that's not Who You Really Are, why concern yourself with it? Any kind of forcing against your ultimate will is based on denial and will ultimately result in failure. Instead, simply relish your time alone. Rejoice in the fact that you're not the kind of person who needs to have somebody around them entertaining them at every waking moment in order to feel happy.

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