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Lonely Boy
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Hi Guys,

Need help for my condition.

I'm not sure whether this is related to social anxiety. I tend to smile akwardly when I pass by people when walking in the streets, or even when sitting in a classroom. i feel the smile is due to that I'm shy of those people. The smile is like not appropriate as people look at me like I'm crazy. I have to look at the floor and walk ( not look upright ), chew on gum, or sing a song mentally in my mind to prevent this smiling. But they are only successful some times. This only started like beginning of last year. Before, that I was normal. I have started skipping classes because I feel very embarrassed about this smiling. I also start to dread going out to places too.

Is it normal to smile out of sudden when walking past other people? Or will it be deemed to be that I'm crazy?

It has been affecting me and my life to a significant extent. =(

Looking forward to your advice guys.
 

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I think you should keep smiling when you pass people. I do this and sometimes it feels good to get a smile back. Maybe you'll make someone feel a bit better if you smile at them, even if it's an awkward smile. If they look at you funny maybe they're just having a bad day or misinterperating it.
 

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Hi ericstar,
It sounds like it could be a SA thing. I used to smile out of embarrassment in similar situations. Is it eye contact that does it? It seemed like people could see right into me and read my thoughts, so it was either smile nervously or crawl into a hole. You might be getting into one of those feedback loop/spiral things where you're self-conscious of your smile and that causes you to smile more.

There are at least a few ways to get out of the feedback loop. Try to concentrate on something else. This may really take some effort on your part. If you can "get lost" in doing something else, you aren't being self-conscious. If you then get pulled out of it, try to look back and see what you've accomplished--something to feel good about, as a reward for not being self-conscious.

Can you turn this into a positive? Smiling is not generally considered a bad thing. Are you happy in general? What if, before the nervous smile, you start off with a slight smile out of happiness. You could nod and/or say hello or something. Most people won't notice if you're ust a little nervous.

Do you have to look at people? I remember reading somewhere that it's only rude to not look at someone when they're talking to you. You don't have to make eye contact if you're talking or if there's no talking. Not looking at people can make you seem distant, so that may not always be good.
 
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