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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone else have this experience? Formal interactions with strangers don't bother me much, but the more I find myself liking people, or enjoying situations, I get more and more tense because I want to prevent myself from smiling, laughing, exuding friendliness..
 

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me too. i just blew a date off last night because I think i might actually like him, and that made me really insecure about what I was wearing, what I would say...EVERYTHING.

do you push people away? and what scares you about laughing/smiling?
 

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o_O
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I'm the exact same way. This is why I tend to push people away the more I like them, and why I lost my chance when a guy I like a lot asked me out and I declined because I know I would not be comfortable with the situation and would not be able to deal with it. I think it's because when I like people I care more about their opinion of me and I feel pressured to say the right things and act the right way to live up to their expectation of me. When I don't like people though I don't care about it as much because I'm not expecting, or even wanting them to like me when I myself don't like them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't so much push people away as I give no one any encouragement. I probably seem 'aloof.' If I'm taking a class, for example, I enter the classroom, walk to my seat without making eye contact with, nodding at, acknowledging, or saying hello to anyone- before class starts, I'll stare into space or pretend to be busy reading something- sometimes I'll participate in class discussions, but I smile grudgingly, I never laugh at things people say, even when I have the impulse to do so, I don't make eye contact withh people as they're speaking, I don't always look at the instructor when they're speaking. If people DO talk to me, despite me giving off signals of disinterest, I usually give short, cursory answers to keep the interaction as brief as possible, so that I don't do or reveal anything embarrassing.
 

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onedimension,

I get in similar moods. (minus the laughing part..laughing is empowering and relieves tension for me, even in public) the best way to cure this (and you can!) is to FORCE yourself to look people in the eye. It all starts with eye contact. Even if you're uncomfortable with it at first, the more you do it the easier it gets. Start training yourself to chase after that discomfort, to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. No one ever grew or changed by staying in their comfort zone. You have just as much right to participate in life as the next person.

You see others laugh, smile, and be present socially, no one gave them permission..they just took it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I like the way you say "chase after that discomfort", I'm capable of making eye contact but I don't do it long enough to get used to it.

I just feel like others know HOW to be present socially, and because I was so shy/SA for so long, I worry that I'll say or do something which shows my inexperience or naivte..

I never thought of laughter as 'empowering', that's cool :)
 

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I think the more we get past the "small talk" stage, and take social situations to the next level, the more we have to reveal of ourselves. Our "safety barrier" get smaller and smaller which can lead to very stressful encounters. I tend to be distant, and don't usually let people get too close. I really don't know why, if I did, I probably wouldn't have social anxiety disorder.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think the more we get past the "small talk" stage, and take social situations to the next level, the more we have to reveal of ourselves. Our "safety barrier" get smaller and smaller which can lead to very stressful encounters. I tend to be distant, and don't usually let people get too close. I really don't know why, if I did, I probably wouldn't have social anxiety disorder.
I worry that too, like people will expect a greater level of familiarity, or they'll somehow learn more about me and my life and judge me. That's really irrational, though, I mean, you need to keep SOME 'safety barrier' even w/out SA, you don't unpour your soul on strangers..
 

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dirt person
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Yes, that's me exactly. There's people I really like and respect and I would love to know them better, but I will never get to the friendship-stage, because I'm scared to even say a word when I'm around them.
 

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I'm the same! Whenever a friendship starts to develop beyond aqquaintance level i start to feel panicky. I don't know why but i just am afraid of getting to close to people even though i yearn for closeness.
 

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Starlight and moonbeams
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I'm the opposite. If I like someone, and I know they like me, I know they're less likely to judge me, so I'm normal around them. Where, if it's someone who I'm unsure if they like me, I get extremely nervous.
 

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I'm the same! Whenever a friendship starts to develop beyond aqquaintance level i start to feel panicky. I don't know why but i just am afraid of getting to close to people even though i yearn for closeness.
Yup. That's me. Bizzare isn't it?
 
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