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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a 31 year old man, and I suffer from mild to severe social anxiety depending on the situation. I was that kid that hid behind his mother's leg. I was and still am a "mamma's boy" and I know it is not a good thing. I've lived a sheltered life, and I've had a lot of stuff given to me. I was a straight A student; I never missed a day of school. It has taken me years to do what my peers have done. I grew up saying to myself that I would be 10 years behind everyone; well, it is true. I finally turned 21 last year emotionally.

I've been called aloof, distant, and a freak by people. I was an elective mute in high school; it was in response to the utter indignation I had for my classmates always ignoring me. So, I ignored them right back. Even to this day I get this negative feeling of everyone ignoring me. I made it my goal, however, to stop those thoughts and to think positive.

Only until recently have I been mature enough to go on a date with a girl. I've managed to finally kiss someone at 31. Best experience of my life.

Anyways, I have my M.A., but when I graduated in 2006, I could not get more than part time jobs. It has been that way since then. I know a big boost to one's confidence is a salaried job, a place of his own, a family, and a life of his own. I am working toward those goals as fast as I can.

I had to escape another social anxiety forum because the vast majority of the posters were negative, unhelpful, and devoid of hope. I need a place of positive support.

Lately because of my drive to be more social such as keeping eye contact with people, greeting other people, smiling, and no longer looking at women as the enemy. [For as long as I can remember women have been bullies, mean spirited, and emotionally unavailable to me. They rarely go beyond being courteous. I have viewed them all my life as oppressors, but since I have matured and I have aged, I am noticing that there is a large population younger than I am that I can connect with emotionally. My peers who are in their early 30s are still just as difficult as ever. It's hard to explain, but I do not see them as attractive; I do not see them as equals. They demand too much from me, and I'm not as other guys my age. I'm not experienced in the dating world. ]

Long story short, I've stopped making them the enemy and I just pretend that deep down everyone is nice. Their anger or frustration at me has some other source.

I used to be that guy that could not even ask someone a simple question in a crowded area. Something like asking for directions, a job application, or an extra napkin was panic attack all the way. I'm much better now, but I lack the ability to have small talk with most people. I'm a huge talker; mostly to myself sadly.

There are days I wish I could go back in time with my confidence; straight back to middle school and ask out a few girls. Maybe even worked a few jobs in high school. Making friends is very hard still though. I naturally avoid gossip and usually ask closed ended questions of people in the real world.

Anyways, I am here to forever put behind me the shyness and to really start to talk to people, make friends, and enjoy life with others. I'm tired of living with toxic shame, feelings of worthlessness, and very low confidence.

Each day I am getting better. I know one day soon I will be where I wish I could have been years ago. The wait has been long and torturous. It takes great effort to learn how to improve, and I know it will not happen overnight.

I'm here to learn how to love myself, and to enjoy the company of others. Better late than never.

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Welcome, Xanatos32! :)

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Hey Xanatos32 welcome. :hyper

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I know a big boost to one's confidence is a salaried job, a place of his own, a family, and a life of his own. I am working toward those goals as fast as I can.
That's good to hear. Positivity is a great antidote to the otherwise overwhelming negativity on social phobia forums. Best of luck.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for your intro. I can relate in many points you mention. When you say your peers demand too much from you compared to a younger generation do you mean by that they are more accepting?
For the past couple of years, I have noticed that anyone under my age has been friendly. I'm starting to see this happen with women. I've only ever dated one time (last year).

At lot of it has to do with being immature.

1. Raised by a single mom and sheltered.
2. I look 25 years old instead of 31.
3. Rather than work jobs in high school or college, I focused on studying.
4. My extreme shyness and anxiety in school kept me from doing normal social things that could have given me maturity at a normal age.

I am told that I have spared myself a lot of trauma going this route, but I don't think loneliness/depression are signs of victory. I'm currently in the process of conquering both.

I believe this year is the year all of that chances; I've put my past behind me. I'm doing things that are out of my comfort zone. And I have an insane desire to move out the first real chance I get.

I've noticed one thing recently, and that is I started off my relationship needy. I am conquering those emotions as I write. A part of me just wants to grab the first sexy woman I see, lock her in my house, and force her to kiss me, hug me, and never leave.

I'm sorry if that sounds scary or creepy, but emotionally I am looking at women like I would a teddy bear. They are human beings with decisions and lives of their own. I feel so wounded inside trying to fill that gaping hole of wanting love and affection.

Yet, with what little research I have done, no woman is turned on by a man who cannot find happiness without her, cannot learn to live without needing her 24/7, and playing this game of "I need you right now...ok, I'm going to pull away...and you better not act as though you should be lonely without me."

I don't know how women can operate under such circumstances, but then I realized all mature people (men and women) operate on this level. No relationship is good when one partner cannot live unless the other is there to hold his/her hand the whole time.

Basically, all the infidelity issues in this world stem from the fact that a really great guy has the ability to leave you forever. He doesn't put you first in his life, he only wants you for a short time. Women say they want a man to be there, to come home, and all of that, but it's not 100% accurate.

It's the wanting of what you cannot have that brings out attraction.

The hardest rule in love for me is learning how long to stay away, and when it is appropriate to come back. Most men are immature on the opposite end of my spectrum in that they never allow themselves to get too attached to one woman.

He makes a great "catch" or chase if you prefer, but that's all he is good at. I am working on being a great catch, and staying with her.

Those two qualities are at odds with each other though. You never can be both, but you can be somewhere in between, and hope that it is enough for her.
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