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I've Had Good Success Getting Past Social Anxiety

2905 Views 22 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  John H
I've had good success getting past social anxiety. It took many years and lots and lots of effort but it was/is well well worth it...

In my teens and into my twenties the anxiety of just day to day living was so great that at night I would often cry for awhile before I would fall asleep, just from the felt hopeless....

I got to a psychiatrist at one point. This was in the seventies, when I tried to tell him how I felt he seemed to listened but then just kind of dismissed me saying, your just the same as any one....I knew different, I knew I was in rough shape....

So what did I do, well I started working on my confidence and social skills starting point was very very low. Much of the progress that I have made over the years has been sparked by books. an early important book was "Shyness; What It Is And What To Do About It", this was in the nineteen seventies when even the term Social Anxiety was not common, I don't know if books on Social Anxiety even existed then???

The shyness book gave me some things to start with, it was the best that I had at the time....Another early book was Dale Carnegie's book "How To Win Friends And Influence People". This book gave me some insight and how to's of connecting/interacting with people. I started trying to do what I could. I will say at this point that this was not instant and transformational but rather little tiny steps, as I could over years.....

There were other books such as "I Feel Guilty When I Say No", this is about setting boundaries, saying No when you need or want to.....Other books would come later such as "People Skills" by Robert Boulten, an excellent book on connecting, boundaries and conflict resolution....Again I want to stress that this all was not a smooth, success only process for me, much of it was extremely, extremely, extremely hard. A good portion of the time I felt like it was not quick enough or that I was not making progress at all,,,depression and
despair were not uncommon...I want to be clear it was no smooth easy process!!!!

And yet beyond my doubts and despair I did make progress...over years I was developing confidence and ability. I was able to start to interact with people with growing confidence and calmness rather than terror and anxiety....

I would do some workshops (years into my process) and courses, one course I did was a eight week public speaking course. Very challenging yet worth it for the increase in confidence and ability, I noticed that after it I was more calm in every day life.......

I did other courses including studying conflict resolution for the better part
of a year, valuable!!!! I also got involved in the public speaking group Toast Masters. I did this for a couple of years, with this I became more confident and sure of myself, again not instantly or smoothly but rather week to week, month to month, bit by bit, some steps forward, some steps back.....

I am writing some of this out because I feel that I am an example that social anxiety can be beat, I hope that I am also making it clear it was not easy or smooth, much of the time feeling hopeless....and yet I got through it, I am now a confident and calm person while connecting and interacting with people more often than not...... I say more often than not because it is not perfect, more often than not is a great place to be, it is where many average people who are not, have not been afflicted by social anxiety probably are... I'm very happy with "more often than not that I feel confident and calm...."

To start to wrap up I hope that some of my success may be encouraging to some,
not that you would do exactly the same necessarily but that it may give you some
ideas and encouragement......

Each person needs to find their own way, I do think that with time that a lot is
possible, again when I was in it I often did not feel that way, but now that I'm
past it I do.......

I just encourage each person to take whatever steps, even if tiny tiny steps,
they can to build confidence and abilities in interacting with people......

Anyone who wishes to correspond with me either on this Forum or directly threw
e-mail, [email protected] , please feel free to do so....

All The Best To You All

John Hutton
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Hi John H. Welcome to the board. :wel

It's really Great to hear your story and of the success you've had over SA. Very inspirational & uplifting. :hs

I agree with you 100% about not giving up, to always try, (even fail), pick youself up, and try again and again, and to keep going forward at all cost. (Something I, myself need to start doing again).

Great Advice, Sir! :)

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