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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey. I'm a new member. After being in denial about SA for years I thought it was time to finally start working on it and push through it. At my lowest point I would sit in my room and only leave to get meals and maybe awkwardly coexist with my friends while they had fun. I got shipped off to UCLA for electrical engineering which made it a lot worse. I lived with a football player, who's a friend, but also would try to exacerbate all of my nervous ticks and anti-social behavior because it was probably funny to him. This made things a lot worse. It's been a year since then and I'm finally finishing up my second year here. I've made a lot of progress through this problem... but I don't really have many friends here beyond my roommate. I think the fact that I will literally spend a week or so walled up in my room studying as hard as I can is the main reason... but it still sucks. When I go home for the weekend I always have fun, but it takes me a while to adjust to being around people again. I'm hoping to work out most of my remaining issues this summer when I'm at home..

but anyways some tips that helped me:

-Look at all the ridiculously unfunny, dumb, and untalented people who are somehow very socially active and comfortable being around people. If they can do it then why can't you? If they aren't scared than do you have any rational reason to be?

-Get into character. Being socially isolated for a long time makes it so that you don't really know how to jump into conversation. It really helps me to kind of focus on popping into character and kind of acting like there is a camera on me.

-Cut down on caffeine. I'm an energy drink addict. I've noticed when I cut down I usually have less anxiety.

-Remember that people only think of you what you show them about yourself. People can't read your mind. Act exactly how you want people to think of you. If you want people to think you're nice, make a conscious effort to make positive comments etc... It's also a good habit to make yourself think that everyone you talk to likes you, it will usually help.

-Exercise. I personally don't like going to the gym because I'm kind of overwhelmed by all the people there, so I run a couple miles on my own everyday and do pushups, situps, and pullups in my room.

-If you're around a bunch of people and it's quiet/awkward just say a quick ice breaker

-Remember it's a process. A huge part of social interaction is confidence, which you have to slowly build up. It's important to start small and work your way up. You can't start benching 200 lbs... you have to start at a lower weight and slowly build momentum. Don't get a few friends and suddenly think you can go out clubbing.... that happened to me and it destroyed all my confidence when I started getting anxiety attacks.

Just remember you can do it. hold your head up high. Remember that there are always certain people out there who care for you. Be proactive and fight through it because no one else will.
 
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