Take what they are doing to you, and learn. Do you want to make other people feel like that? Do you think thats even fair? Hell no it isn't. Take this and enroll it in your life. Even if you learned it in a crappy way, you've learned a valuable life lesson on how to be a good, caring person.
As for your parents? Literally blow them off. If they wanna watch you while you are doing something, stare them dead in the eye and keep going. Listening to you talk? Enunciate every word and keep eye contact, even if your on the phone with someone else. And when they have a melt down? Remind them that EVERYONE makes mistakes, and at least you are making an attempt at life and being a decent human being.
My parents are the same. I believe that they are the reason that I have social anxiety. And my sister too. We both are not comfortable in public places, around strangers, etc.. But when we are together, we are really comfortable. Glad that me and my sister can support each other and be normal when we are together.
When my mom gets angry she tells to Dad, "I hard a hard time growing up these two kids, just marry them off!!!"
And when talking about studies and jobs my Dad tells, " Look at the other kids. Look at how well they are doing. What is your problem?" :|
Hey Ryan. Your post is very similar to my own experience except my parents "hold it in" a lot less. If I make mistakes or even hurt myself by accident, their response is actually to get mad at me, as if I annoyed them or something by doing it. In addition, they'll usually point out to me the mistake I made and berate me about the ways I could have avoided it.
It's this kind of small crap that really makes SA-ers like this. Think about when you or I were kids, who make mistakes or hurt themselves all the time. Do you think my parents comforted and protected a 4 year old me after a mistake. Hell no. They likely responded with all the negative criticism they do now, which is toxic to an exploring child.
Like you a lot of times my parents will go months without addressing me, but have blown up about my personal life from time to time and about how I'm not social enough or don't spend enough time outside.
The reality is your parents are probably very insecure. The social anxiety you have and the flaws they have from parents both come from insecurity, they just have reacted to it in an opposite way. Some people who are insecure get more negative about others to make themselves feel better.
As for a solution, well we're all looking for it. I mean you need to find a way where you aren't in "self protection mode" likely caused by being raised by your parents. This is something very hard to do. The real solution is probably finding people who love you... but when one lacks our social skills... where do you find them? And even then... I found someone I loved in college, but she was out of my life within a year (other than walking past her on campus by chance)... I was too emotionally screwed up for the relationship (my only human relationship even though we were never romantically together) to last. She was the only time I felt emotionally connected to someone, but the newness of that freaked me out to the point where I couldn't have been with her even if I had the courage to confront her about how I felt. It was too big of a leap for me to make after being emotionally locked down all my life. Maybe for her it was the same.
Ok this is random, but I had to rant - I'll give you an example of the last "sketchy moment" between my parents and me... about 2 days ago we were in a car ride getting back from vacation, we stopped for gas, they got out and I stayed in the car... my dad locked the door with his keys on the way out. Anyways my mom comes back and tries to open the car door but it's locked, so I open my door for her. The car alarm goes off. Since I don't drive or really know how cars worked, when my dad got back I said I think the alarm went off because my mom was trying to open a locked door. Apparently I set off the alarm by opening a door from the inside that was locked. Anyways the fact that I insinuated my mom set off the alarm, made her blow up in my face and go on a rant about how it was all my fault and not hers that I set off the alarm. Basically it was a complete verbal attack, caused by the fact that I had mistakenly claimed she made a tiny mistake, making her, probably the most insecure person I've ever seen, lose her mind. I may have raised my voice in response to why this was happening, but she used the opportunity to launch into a second attack about how I had gone most of the vacation without "causing trouble" until this incident and how disappointed she in me for this argument. Which made me pretty upset because this argument clearly was not my fault whatsoever, it was her for attacking me over a pointless car alarm. She then started referencing another time I had caused trouble so to speak, and started saying how if I don't smarten up a stranger is going to punch me in the face, repeating that she's scared someone is going to punch me in the face. Now I was pretty angry at this point, so I made a mistake by responding "Don't bother giving me advice because the person I'm trying to be is the opposite of you". This was met by 20 seconds of shocked silence, then my dad angrily told me to explain myself. I said it would only make things worse to, but then he yelled at me to explain myself so I didn't have my choice but to say something. I said give me a few minutes. After a few minutes I told them "My opinion is everyone in this family has an insecurity problem. I am trying to be someone who has less insecurity and by way of that anxiety and stress". Anyways my dad's response to that was immediately to protect himself (not my mom or anyone else in the family) by telling me "Explain to me how I have insecurity". I told him once again it would only make things worse to continue the conversation. Then he said "I do not have insecurity. If your perception is I am insecure. Then you are wrong." Anyways after that the argument/incident was pretty much done with and a few days later it's as if it didn't happen.
To me it was just the latest example of many of how I do not have healthy parenting whatsoever. I mean good parents are supposed to protect their kids. In the above example they just protect themselves.
I lived with a very critical mother, so I believe I was self conscience about everything I did or said. Luckily I had the kind of freedom to explore my environment from an early age. Being in the woods or in nature has always relaxed me. That could have been therapeutic.
I know exactly what you mean. You're not alone. Yesterday my dad called me stupid and pathetic for wanting hand tattoos. He's always trying to bring me down just like a lot of people. I'm quote alternative, piercings, dark clothes etc. nothing like the pink princess they would like. They probably wouldn't be as mean if I was like that. But it's not me and I won't change for anyone and neither should you.
They should NOT be doing this to you, but as you know, many people don't think before they speak and assume its okay to criticise and judge others. It's not. Of course you're going to be anxious around other people after situations like this.
But please try your best to not let it get to you. You are you and you should be very proud of that. If you feel what you said was okay, but your parents didnt, then forget it because it's YOUR life. They should spend more time judging themselves than you. There's no point trying to please them because then you spend your life, well as I said, trying to please others and if this happens thn you can never be happy e cause you aren't fulfilling what YOU want.
I know parents can be a pain in the arse, believe me I do, but you're old enough to speak how you want, do what you want and overall be your own person. Do what makes YOU happy and when they begin to judge you on something just tell them this 'I am doing this because I feel comfortable and happy with it'. 'If I am happy then why judge me on what I'm doing that's making me happy?'