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Hi all, registered yesterday and browsed through a lot of threads.Thought i should post one of my own to vent and see if anyone can help!

I am 27 and I think i have always had social anxiety, and more recently avoidant personality disorder.

In my teens and early twenties I was painfully shy, and that, coupled with incredibly low self esteem made life very difficult. I never had many friends and i suffered. Somehow though I managed to get and keep a job.

When i was 23/24 I managed to make a few friends and my life got better. It wasn't perfect, but i felt like i had enough of a life to be relatively content. No girlfriend or anything like that but i always thought that would come in time.

Two years ago I had a few setbacks. Rejected by a girl or two, my mum was very ill (she's fine now) and had a serious falling out with one of my best friends. These things hit me hard and this is when my avoidant phase kicked in. For the last two years i have just avoided socialising in almost every way. I just didn't like or feel like i could connect with anyone so i gave up.

It hasn't been all bad though. It made me realise that the most important thing is what you think of yourself and after a hard 18 months or so i really feel ok about the person i see when i look in the mirror. I have plans for my career, I have hobbies. I'm good. I think i could even be a good person to know!

I've accepted that I am an introvert. I will never love being around large groups of people or be the life and soul of the party. It's just now who i am and i accept that, it doesn't make me any less worthwhile as a person. But i could stand to express myself a little bit more

My problem is.....i don't know where to start. I got in touch with a few old friends last week and didn't get much of a response. How exactly do you go about meeting new people? It's like....it's something i want to do but i just don't know where to find the bravery to take the first step or actually where/how to do it!

Sorry for rambling. Any advice out there?!
 

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I honestly have no clue how to meet new people with similar interest outside of job or school, sorry.
That's my fear for the future too...
 

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As someone else has already mentioned, work and school are good places to meet people. Otherwise you could try joining something... interested in cooking? Take a cooking class. Want to learn how to draw? Join some drawing sessions that are offered. You can try volunteering somewhere as well.
 

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It's good that you've learned to accept that you are an introvert. It's hard for young people to do, because they have more pride and to have to listen to other people their age talking about going clubbing, partying, etc. every weekend, when they spend most of their time at home. I think learning to accept it is an important step in maturing, getting better. Introverts can have satisfying social lives, but they have to realise that they are probably not party animals.

There have been some good ideas mentioned already. Maybe you could try joining a meetup/social group, a sporting club, or something relevant to your interests. Be patient, it will take a while to make new friends.
 
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