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Hi I'm a gay male currently a senior in college and right now I have this major phobia of talking to people. It not that I'm afraid of people, but rather its just the fear of not knowing what to say and what people thing of me that causes great anxiety. Can't someone please tell me what's wrong with me, give me advice on how to fix this, or something... Anything.

The problem manifests itself anytime I really have to talk to people on a one to one basis. I perform well in groups and have no problems doing presentations in front of many (in front of tens probably, but thousands I would probably feel anxiety like any normal person). I really just don't know what to say to them. On the phone, in person, over the internet on chat. I find myself always have to fake my interests in the topics and I get this anxiety feeling.

I don't know if its social phobia or anxiety though because to tell you the truth I don't think I'm afraid of people (maybe I am, I don't know). It just I don't know what to say and really don't want to say anything most of the time, but feel as if I don't say something to someone when I am alone with them there is this awkwardness. This awkward silence is the immediate cause of my anxiety in social situation. So for the last two years I have pulled away from social events and people.

The saddest part and what breaks my heart is this happens with people I love and care about deeply. I feel as if I'm losing my sister, I'm losing my close high school friends. And eventually I will just end up living alone in my world. Right now I try to force the friendship to continue, by forcing myself to hang out with these friends that were once so close to me. Is this just because of that old thing where close friends can fall apart, or is it because of of my poor ability to socialize and not know what to say. But then again we hang out every weekend or at least I force myself to call them and hang out. But then we don't have anything to say. My life is pretty boring.

I used to the yearbook editor, president of leadership clubs, crowned homecoming king. Speech I remember used to come so fluently for me. I loved the ability to say anything I wanted and I always knew how best to say it. Not any more though.

Has anyone has this same experience. I'm really at a lost for words. Is this because of the low self esteem that naturally comes with being gay. I feel as if I used to have a purpose, but ever since this started happening I see my dreams fading too.

O yeah I think this started maybe when i feel in love with my straight male best friend and didn't know what to say to him. I remember being so freaked out by not knowing what to say to him, yet wanted us to continually talk because I felt I would lose him. Alls the while I worked at a research lab and I would try to befriend the people and force talk and after a while I just gave up. Force talk just takes up too much energy. Could the anxiety have arisen from that time.

How do I fix all this. Anyone with the same experience. Thanks.
 
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