This all sounds like the common 'downward spiral' many of us go through.
I have more or less no life experiences. As I've said in the past, my life more or less stalled when I left school at the age of 16. I've never made any new friends since (I eventually lost the few I had from those days). I remain at home with my parents, I've yet to go abroad, I've never had any relationship whatsoever, I've never been to any proper night club, I'm not an active member of any club (barring online forums such as this) and I only ever go out drinking when it’s a special occasion or when I'm on holiday.
Barring having a car and a job, my life has not really progressed for 14 years. If anything, I've gone backwards. Otherwise I'm doing nothing, going nowhere and seeing no one.
I would like to be a popular person and I have made countless attempts at connecting with people whenever I've been out and about in the past – often with work colleagues. I don't actually mind talking to people as I can 'mask' my SA fairly well, or at least I thought I could. Unfortunately, I just seem to make an idiot out of myself whenever I open my mouth and as the years have gone by, it's become blatantly obvious that no matter what I say, do or act changes people's negative opinions about me. I'm either snubbed or spoken down to like a child. I don't know anything else and this has simply escalated my anxiety problems as the years have gone by. I don't believe they've necessarily come from me or my mind – it's actually come from others around me and that's why to a large degree, I prefer being alone. It's the only time I don't face some sort of personal criticism from others.
Despite all of this, I'm pretty miserable being alone. It's as if I want friends…but at an arms length and there when required - rather than them being too close. Strange, isn't it? Some of us like being left alone but find ourselves a bit fed up in doing so. Unfortunately, I have no logical explanation for this. The only thing I can think of is perhaps down to previous bad situations or experiences of friends.
Unfortunately, seeking help for this will not work for some people (myself included) because there are plenty of professionals out there who seem to think we can just click our fingers, forget everything and simply 'change'. If we could do that, we would – that's the whole point why some people go to seek help in the first place. They need others to give them a helping hand – they can't self-generate a new found confidence from, well, thin air.