This is more like a venting thread, but if it helps other people then hooray! I don't exactly diagnose myself as having SA but I have certainly experienced similar symptoms, yet surprisingly my years spent in isolation (due to an illness) have actually eroded many of those issues away. I no longer struggle to look people in the eye or engage them in conversation because I just don't care any more. I'm no longer scared of people.
However, I still struggle with rejection and the seemingly never ending cycle of not having friends. I recently tried to contact someone I went to high school with, who works in a similar field, this is rare that I initiate conversation and especially in regards to something career related, but I thought what the hell we should hit it off, right? He wasn't rude, pleasant enough, even mentioned networking, but didn't really ask me about me and my work, was more self oriented, and thus far the conversation hasn't progressed beyond simple chat.
I wasn't thinking that this person was going to be an automatic best friend, I was testing the waters to see if anything would come of it, but I'm disappointed that this isn't the first time I've tried connecting with someone and the conversation centers on them, and they seem disinterested in progressing things forward, even though the conversation is pleasant. I remember the last time I tried suggesting meeting up to someone I got rebuffed in an awkward terrible way so I'm weary to do it again. The problem mostly is that I cannot read someone's intentions through text alone, and nobody talks in person or on the phone anymore. I'm missing most of the tangible social cues, so how can I know whether people chatting casually with me on social media are happy to do so or are just killing time?
Why the hell are the 30's so weird for us and why do so many people in this age bracket just not give AF about making friends? I mean the internet is littered with articles about people crying about being friendless in their 30's, allegedly there are hundreds of thousands of us, so if they're out there then why aren't they trying harder? (Social anxiety sufferers aside
I know what people will suggest, try Meetups or classes, but I went to a casual art class hoping that maybe people there might chat, everyone there that was my age had their earbuds in and were clearly not interested in socializing. I've been to concerts, festivals, places where the people go and nothing. Wth?