Only feel comfortable around certain people. - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Only feel comfortable around certain people.

Im not talking about my close friends or my family. This is something a little bit different. I think that the my anxiety is caused by me being intimidated by other people. It could be their confidence, looks, or god knows what, but something gets to me. Let me give a few examples.

1) Last year, at my old job, I always found myself perfectly comfortable around a girl (co worker) who went to school in the next town over from mine. Although I didnt think about it at the time, im sure she was one of those extremely popular girls that would on any day, intimidate the hell out of me. I think she didnt get to me because I somehow got into my head that all she did was fake. Not in a bad way, just that her whole personality was an act. I didnt feel angry or disgusted at her. I just felt like that was who she was. Normally i would take this for confidence, but maybe because of her extremely flirty nature, I just didnt think that she was acting real, so I didnt get intimidated, and I felt fine.
2) Over the break, my old friend from my old school introduced me to his girlfriend from Maine. Extremely cute. Normally would have me anxious, but she didnt. Usually when I visit my old school, I have little to no anxiety for that night (I think its just the rush of things, and I see all of my old friends which relieves some anxiety). When we first met, it was on one of my good days (from visiting NY), so i felt fine going in for a hug. She seemed a little bit shy at first. I think a combination of that and the fact that she was somehow off the market for dating made here not seem intimidating. There was no expectation for me to flirt with her whatsoever because that would mean flirting with my best friend's girl. Turns out she was extremely attracted to me, and actually tried to kiss me (this may have a little bit to do with the fact that shes kinda ****y). Of course i didnt let her and i told my friend (bros before hoes lol), but at the time I was really confused as to why I was so comfortable around her.
3) In my old school when my anxiety was very low, I was friends with most of the popular kids. It may have to do with my looks or how confident I was as a child, but thats just how it was. Now at my new school, the only kids I feel comfortable around are the weird/nerdy/unattractive ones. Im not trying to insult them, its just that I dont want to have to hang out with them. They say weird things, talk about weird stuff, but none the less, I dont get anxious around them because they dont intimidate me. This is why i sit with them at lunch and talk to them in classes and inbetween classes, etc. Im pretty sure by the way I dress and look, I dont look like the kinda guy who would hang around with them. People have even asked me why I hang out with them. I didnt rly have an answer.

My conclusion? I have to find a way to do one, or two, or all of three things.

a) lower my perception of people. Make them seem less intimidating.
b) increase my intimidating threshold. Make my tolerance for normal people greater, so more people fall under the "not intimidating" category. Basically, move my line of intimidation up the social ladder a bit (if this makes sense).
c) increase my perception of myself, which may increase the line of intimidation, allowing for me to be comfortable with more people.

Ill make diagrams to make them more clear


-----------------Popular kids<------lower this closer to the line of intimidation

-----------------normal kids<-------lower this to below the line of intimidation

-----------------Line of intimidation

-----------------not popular kids (kids i am comfortable with

-----------------Popular kids

-----------------normal kids

-----------------Line of intimidation<------raise this line

-----------------not popular kids (kids i am comfortable with
-----------------Popular kids

-----------------normal kids

-----------------Line of intimidation

-----------------not popular kids (kids i am comfortable with)
shift my whole perception of who is popular/normal/not popular relative to myself.

Please do not think I am shallow and that I only want to hang out with popular kids. The thing is, the kids I hang out with are not like me at all. We are totally different. I just say a lot of bs to make me seem like them so people think I actually am nerdy. I really only enjoy hanging out with them because I am not anxious around them. This is not me trying to hang out with the popular kids because I think it will make me better in some way. This is me trying to hang out with popular kids, because I have the most in common with them, and i act like them. The only problem is, how i act is blocked by my SA.

Just wanted to hear peoples thoughts on this. Does anyone else experience this? Could this be a clue as to what has caused me to develop SA? Do my experiences reveal what subconscious negative thought i could be thinking that is causing my anxiety? Is this the fundamental meaning or reasoning behind SA, and I am just repeating common knowledge? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Ill probably explain this to my therapist (once I get one :P)
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 03:28 AM
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Popular people are always scary.

I have to try to think that i am a nice worthy person, if i go outside.

Because they are ALWAYS about.

And its hard to not get depressed whenever i see them.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 06:38 AM
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Yep, there is a certain type of people I have never been really comfortable around, even before my SA started... I think it has lots to do with the other being really extroverted nature. Introverts can "entertain themselfs", but extroverts need "stimulus from outside" So I feel that I'll have to entertain them or they get bored and find me uninteresting. This hasn't got necessarily anything to do with the other being popular or less popular...

I also feel uncomfortable around very "splattering" and colorfull personalities... It feels like I can't control the situation at all, the other can say what ever.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 03:00 PM
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I feel uncomfortable around popular people with strong personalities. They just intimidate me because I feel like what I'll have to say won't ever be good enough and they'll think I'm boring and dislike me. I feel extremely pressured and nervous when I have to be around such people. With other introverted people however, I'm not nearly as nervous and can actually carry a good conversation with them because I don't feel so inferior since I see that they have a similar problem and are less likely to judge me as harshly as the outgoing people who are used to talkative people and find quiet people to be boring (so I've been told.)
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 10:53 AM
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Hmm, yes you are making yourself feel a ton of pressure. There is something about other people's personalities that make you feel afraid, or not good enough. It seems that the best thing to do based on your responses is to raise your perception of yourself and your self-confidence. Try hanging out with people that are like you, that you do get along with naturally, and don't worry about what group it is that they fall into. When you have found your group, it will make quite a natural fit.

And, don't compare yourself, because when we compare ourselves to others (speaking of everyone in general), we find ourselves coming out on the short end most of the time. Instead, just work on knowing that you are fun and cool to be around, and eventually people will attract to you because of your self confidence or you will find a group of people with whom you fit well. Good luck and keep us updated on how it goes!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 11:52 AM
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I know exactly what you mean. I have always wondered what it is about certain people that makes me able to be instantly more comfortable around them than most people. I think this helps me to understand it a little better, thanks.

Courage is fear holding on a minute longer. ~George Smith Patton

A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic is the man who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent. ~Jerome Lawrence

The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs. ~Charles de Gaulle
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 12:01 PM
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I think it's completely normal, even for people without SA to only feel comfortable around certain people. I mean, if someone is working a normal job, it's not uncommon for them to feel completely intimated and uncomfortable when they have to talk to their boss, or something else like that.

I personally find it very hard to get comfortable with people, even when talking online. I think there are only 4 people in total that I talk to on a regular basis, where I feel I can actually be myself and not worry about anything.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 04:09 PM
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funny, you described something thats been bothering me for years, why im more comfortable with certain strangers than i am with people iv known for years.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 04:14 PM
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Occassionally I'm randomly drawn to certain people and not scared of them at all. In high school there was a girl who hung out with the rudest, most obnoxious group there was, but I liked her anyway. She turned out to be really nice.

Last semester and this one there has been one girl in each semester that I am completely comfortable around. I could joke with both of them right from the start, and be confident. I didn't feel like I normally do when trying to talk to people.

I don't know why I get drawn to certain people. Or why I'm not scared around them. About a year or so ago I saw one of my old friends. We said hello and talked about how we missed each other and that was all that ever came of that, but it was fun seeing her, and I could talk to her and not feel uncomfortable at all. If I ran into any of the other people I used to be friends with, I would not be able to talk. I would probably try to run away. I don't know what makes certain people different.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 02:09 AM
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i can talk with these people for so long but after a month or so i withrdraw into my shy self. makes me wonder how im gonna get married.
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