Hey everyone, I don't really know where to start with this introduction, but I want to tell my entire story within this post and I hope I can find some sort of answer to any questions I have. This will be a long post, but I urge anyone willing to help to read to the end.
I never would have guessed that I would ever have social anxiety. Growing up I was a bit shy, but I was pretty popular amongst my peers and got along with them well. After I started college however, I realized that I was somehow afraid of people and crowds and unfamiliar situations. I would blush almost everytime I made eye contact with a stranger. I found out that I could sort of manage this anxiety somewhat easily with the right mind set and confidence, but recent events have completely turned my thinking around and this social anxiety just seemed to get worse. I have two issues that recently arose that I really would like to find some sort of help with.
The first issue is I feel that no one likes me as a person or as a friend. As I said, growing up and going to school was a lot of fun for me; I made friends fairly easily and I was pretty well accepted in social circles. After going to college, I found making friends difficult because I really didn't know what to say. I tried to talk to people, but they just didn't seem interested in me. No one would ever ask for my phone number or for my facebook. I just couldn't seem to find a connection with anyone, even though I tried to ask and talk to them about their favorite activities, sports teams, homework, etc. I could never make any more than just an aquintance. I never got invited to a party or to just hang out. What's worse is that after a few years at college, I went home for summer break and ran into a few of my high school friends. I immediately felt distanced from them...like there was no connection between us anymore. We knew each other, but it was kinda awkward for me. Nevertheless, I tried to show interest and asked them how they've been since I havent seen them in so long, etc. The usual stuff anyone would ask I suppose. What happened later surprised me. I logged into my facebook a few days later and discovered that they had unfriended me. I had a feeling maybe it was a bit awkward for them too and didn't think much of it. Then when I went back to college, I would occasionally see another high school friend walk to classes. We would pass each other and just say "hi" or "hey" or "what's up" and move along. After a while I discovered he too had unfriended me on facebook. That really began worrying me.A lot of my highschool friends began unfriending me and I didn't know why. I never posted anything controversial or said anything bad about anyone. I began feeling that I was extremely weird and when I was out in public, that thought would mix with my social anxiety and I would feel that everyone who looked at me thought that same thing, even if they didn't know me. My confidence dropped pretty significantly. I found myself alone. No real friends, no drinking buddies, or hang out buddies. Just me. No one seems to care that I exist. No one contacts me on facebook anymore, no more likes any posts or pictures I post. I used to post fairly regularly before college and would always get comments and likes. Now I rarely post, but when I do, I don't get much notice. Sometimes I feel as if someone let out some really insane rumor about me that everyone knows except me, or that maybe I'm just so ugly that no one wants to see me around. I have been told by some friends that I am ugly but I never saw it as more than just teasing because girls always seemed to like me and I've been told I'm pretty attractive. Which leads into my second issue.
My second issue is that no one wants to date me. In high school, girls found me attractive; I've had girls approaching me and asking for my number or my name and just giving those looks, and saying I was hot. Unfortunately, I never dated in high school because my parents wouldn't allow me to. But that didn't bother me because everything the girls told me had built up my confidence, and I felt that when I was ready to date, I wouldn't have any problems finding someone because according to many of them, I was really good looking. I'm 23 now and I decided last year that I would start dating. Well my social anxiety had creeped up unexpectedly, so I wasn't as comfortable talking to girls as I used to be. So I decided to join a dating site. I figured I would work my way into dating slowly. Well I uploaded a few pictures, and I had girls liking and messaging me! I was so happy! I thought there's no way I'm ugly (because another one of my high school friends said it right before I decided to join the site) So I began messaging them and I knew that the first few times I would mess up because it had been so long since I talked with a girl. Anyway it wasn't long before I started getting the hang of it again and got a girl's number. We began texting and began setting up a meeting/date. This girl went to my college and one day we just happened to run into each other unexpectedly. I was sitting in the library and she walked in and saw me and stared. I looked up and we looked at each other for a little bit and I smiled. She turned around and walked off. I texted her later that day and asked if that was her in the library. She replied that it wasn't. I never heard from her again. So I began getting a little worried...maybe I am ugly and I just look nothing like my pictures. I figured I'd try again. I got another girl's number and we again began setting up a meeting. Eventually she invited me to her place to watch a movie. Well when I got there, I noticed she cringed a little when she opened the door, but she let me in and we talked and watched the movie. I wasn't sure if she cringed at me or the way I said hello sorta nervously. So that was something I couldn't stop thinking about. We seemed to get along really well though. At the end of the night I left and we only hugged and said goodnight. So I texted her the next day and she seemed ok with talking. I was pretty happy. I thought yay, I'm not ugly! I finally found a potential girlfriend! My happiness didn't last long. We would always text but I quickly found out that she never wanted to meet up again. I again wasn't sure if it was because I was ugly, or maybe it was something I said. Let's just say this girl's name is Lisa. I will be mentioning her again.
So I decided I'll try again. I got another girl's number and we set up a date at the movies. I turned beet red when I saw her but she seemed like she didn't care and she immediately went in for a hug as we greeted each other. Again, I was so sure that she had found me attractive. We had a fantastic time together that night. At least I thought. I mean she was laughing and it was really fun for me. When I left, she gave me an enormous hug and kissed my cheek and we held hands. I went home feeling like a champ. A few days later I texted her, and I got no response. Boy did my confidence crash. It crashed even more when she texted the day after that and said she wasn't looking for a relationship. Which in girl talk means she wasn't looking for one with me. "But why?" I asked myself. I guess I just wasn't that attractive. So I offered to be just friends, and she seemed happy at that idea. Anyway I texted her once just as a friend and she didn't seem too eager to reply. Then she said she had a boyfriend and that she couldnt talk anymore. I never heard from her. I didn't understand anything. Was I ugly? Was I boring? Weird? She didn't even want to be friends. I was completely broken. So I texted Lisa again and asked her to be completely honest with me as a friend no matter how bad it might be. I told her the story with this girl and everything we did that night and how fun it was. I asked her to tell me what was wrong with me so I could work on myself. I guess she was being nice but she said "I don't know, nothing is wrong with you" That didnt help at all. I decided I would give it one last try before calling it quits and I got another girl's number. We went to the movies too, but to my surprise, I didn't blush when I met her. I was extremely calm. I was confident that this was going to be a success. Well it wasnt. We seemed to have a good time and when we were leaving we hugged and she kissed my cheek and said she would text me and we would hang out again. But the only text I got was her saying that she had fun texting and talking but she didnt feel any connection or anything. I don't understand what's wrong with me. Even this girl didn't want to be friends with me. I can't seem to make friends or even date. I get the feeling that I really am ugly and also weird and it's really killing my confidence in other social situations. Everytime I go outside and see someone looking at me, I think that they are thinking "that guy is so ugly and weird and socially awkward and lonely. He's a loser cause he can't get a girlfriend" It's getting difficult to live normally again knowing that no one wants to be around me or even just text with me. Before meeting, all of those girls would text me non stop. They would reply to everything and they'd say I'm funny, but after meeting, they didn't even want to be friends. They never asked for my facebook or anything. That's basically what I'm going through right now...just being completely shut out from everything. I want to go out and be social and talk to others, but no one wants to let me in. They just shut me out and I don't know why. I don't think I could have gotten that ugly after highschool. I mean no one poured acid over my face or anything. And I don't think I'm that boring or uninteresting. It's really getting to me. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if anyone has any advice I would appreciate it. Feel free to ask any other questions or for more details.