Firstly, let me start by saying....this is not about bragging. I have made many, many mistakes in life. My only hope here is that by sharing some of my triumphs with you, you may feel encouraged that SA does not have to control your life.
When I joined SA, I was terrible at social interaction, I was terrible with women, I could not speak up in public settings, and when something upset I would just take it because I couldn't bring myself to express my anger properly.
Somethings have changed, some things have not. I gotta say thanks to my parents though. Even if they did not know exactly what SA was...they recognized that I wasn't as....they put it 'outgoing' as my other sibbling and never tried to force me to be more like them.
Also I must say that having gone to university...it helps. It's like exposure therapy...I don't know the proper term. The point is...when you're put in a situation where someone constantly puts his cup of coffee right next the the electrical outlet that your-cannot-be-replaced-cuz-I'm-too-broke laptop is plugged....and you're faced with 2 choices...
1 momentarily overcome your SA and call him out on his nonsense or
2 remain quiet and risk losing your laptop and all of your textbook information
well, let's just say that day was the first time many people heard my voice LOL.
So yea... I took the advice of some of the older SA members here and tried applying it to myself in university.
PS....university is not like the Hollywood movies....you don't leave college as a nerd and magically become a jock or a stud in university.
I tried going to parties. The first few times was mainly me standing in a corner thinking too hard about everything and missing out on all opportunities to dance by the time that the party was over.
But I was lucky, or blessed if you're religious.
Unlike my classmates in highschool, and college....my roommates did not
make fun of me. Instead they actually actively encouraged me. Purposefully inviting me out with them. Giving me dressing tips. Creating situations where the girls would have to interact with me.
In 2 years I went from standing in the corner of the party...to getting 1 or 2 good dances at a party. Like I said...it's not a super transformation like in the movies....but 2 good dances with female friends that I grew comfortable with sure was better than standing in the corner feeling lonely for the entire party.
I grew to love myself. I grew to understand that... even if transformers, Coldplay and Power Rangers may not necessarily be the sexiest topics in your first interaction with the opposite sex.... it's not something to be ashamed of.
I grew up in the ..well ghetto ? Where you were expected to listen to rap music and jamaican dancehall and be a huge football fan. Being a power rangers fan and listening to alternative rock was a one way ticket to the inside of your locker LOL.
Thank God the ppl I met in university weren't as closed minded.
I also learned that SA, introversion and shyness are interrelated...at least for me.
Meaning that...don't expect that overcoming SA means that you will start breakdancing in the middle of parties, and turn into the most envied ladies-man.
Even today, if I go to a party and I am not in the mood...I may still end up standing in the corner
The difference is that I don't dwell on it like before...and I guess that change in attitude shows, because somehow even when I try standing in the corner I still get asked to dance...even if it's just once in the entire night.
Embrace small victories. It is the only way to progress. Everytime you have a conversation with someone, that doesn't end with you being called lame or boring, pat yourself on the back.
And lastly another hard truth I had to learn:
SPOILER, PLEASE DO NOT TURN MY NEXT STATEMENT INTO AN EXCUSE TO TURN THIS INTO A MALE VS FEMALE THREAD, I'M TRYING TO BE POSITIVE HERE.
Somethings about gender roles are not fair...society is not fair....but wasting your entire youth complaining about the unfairness of what is expected of your sex / gender.....will not get you anywhere and guess what ?
Whilst your busy complaining about the opposite sex...they are busy living their lives as well as the other guy who knows that it's not fair and goes on anyway.