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Im gonna lay it all out there...

ive always been very self aware about my looks and try to look good, I was bullied as a child and pretty girls were not. so I became obsessed with my looks.
My big brother bullied me relentlessly all my childhood. I was called stupid and treated like i took up too much space, on the daily. Violent father. Absent minded mother. Frequent school changes made me lose a sense of who I was - always the new scared little girl. Moved to a diff country when I was a little girl, didnt speak language, was mute for a whole year.
When my teens came in, alcohol became my crutch. I COULD not think about being in the presence of others if alcohol wasent there to help me deal with my anxiety, I started abusing alcohol. Also I was attractive. Male attention helped me survive bc no matter how awkward I always had at least one admirer around me. However, that doesnt really work. If your social life consist on going on dates with guys you dont even like, just bc thats the only social life that comes naturally to you (they approach you and want to be with you, takes zero effort or skill on your part) you are just going to keep on going on dates w guys u dont like but who like you and when you dont give them what they want they will become angry and resentful, which can affect you socially in circles and even put you in danger physically.
When I am one on one, I have no anxiety. In fact I feel like I take over. Which is not a nice trait either, people dont want to feel like you take over them. Thats why when a third party comes, they want to be more witha third party, I get it, I dont make them feel good, but I lack a little empathy, I always feel identified with asperger´s/autism descriptions.
I despise those with shining social skills because I clearly see how they use them to their advantage and to my disadvantage - their gain is my loss plus usually they tend to pick on ppl with less social aptitudes. Its annoying to me how I often just get ignored by people.
But the truth is I freeze in groups. Freeze. And when I watch others interact, it makes me so angry! angry because they are joking around and i CANT, I am blocked, frozen, cant think of a funny response, a funny story, my memory goes blank. I am SOOOOO sick of it. In my past, I tend to socialize one one one (i do have some girlfriends, i stopped going to dates w guys just to fill my social void, at least I made progress in that area, but it took me YEARS to come to terms with that reality. I hadent even realized I was doing this, because i avoided admitting it to myself, everything, even my social anxiety, almost like i thought once i admit it i will make it bigger, if i pretend like i dont have it it will magically go away. Well it didnt. Other than meeting gfs from time to time, I am a hermit!!! And I would love to have a friend group but...see text above.
I know im not per se a BAD case of social anxiety, or at least the WORST, but it is so...just feels like I am...limping, like i have a disability or something. Its tough bc life is full of groups. So i find myself battling this anxiety too often and see no advance. Also i dont abuse alcohol anymore, I accepted I would deal with my demons and not use crutches. But I swear I have no idea how to make progress. They say try putting yourself in a group but man than is psychological torture for me, i swear I always end up feeling little, tiny, crushed no matter how well it begins.

any tips...
 

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Im gonna lay it all out there...

ive always been very self aware about my looks and try to look good, I was bullied as a child and pretty girls were not. so I became obsessed with my looks.
My big brother bullied me relentlessly all my childhood. I was called stupid and treated like i took up too much space, on the daily. Violent father. Absent minded mother. Frequent school changes made me lose a sense of who I was - always the new scared little girl. Moved to a diff country when I was a little girl, didnt speak language, was mute for a whole year.
When my teens came in, alcohol became my crutch. I COULD not think about being in the presence of others if alcohol wasent there to help me deal with my anxiety, I started abusing alcohol. Also I was attractive. Male attention helped me survive bc no matter how awkward I always had at least one admirer around me. However, that doesnt really work. If your social life consist on going on dates with guys you dont even like, just bc thats the only social life that comes naturally to you (they approach you and want to be with you, takes zero effort or skill on your part) you are just going to keep on going on dates w guys u dont like but who like you and when you dont give them what they want they will become angry and resentful, which can affect you socially in circles and even put you in danger physically.
When I am one on one, I have no anxiety. In fact I feel like I take over. Which is not a nice trait either, people dont want to feel like you take over them. Thats why when a third party comes, they want to be more witha third party, I get it, I dont make them feel good, but I lack a little empathy, I always feel identified with asperger´s/autism descriptions.
I despise those with shining social skills because I clearly see how they use them to their advantage and to my disadvantage - their gain is my loss plus usually they tend to pick on ppl with less social aptitudes. Its annoying to me how I often just get ignored by people.
But the truth is I freeze in groups. Freeze. And when I watch others interact, it makes me so angry! angry because they are joking around and i CANT, I am blocked, frozen, cant think of a funny response, a funny story, my memory goes blank. I am SOOOOO sick of it. In my past, I tend to socialize one one one (i do have some girlfriends, i stopped going to dates w guys just to fill my social void, at least I made progress in that area, but it took me YEARS to come to terms with that reality. I hadent even realized I was doing this, because i avoided admitting it to myself, everything, even my social anxiety, almost like i thought once i admit it i will make it bigger, if i pretend like i dont have it it will magically go away. Well it didnt. Other than meeting gfs from time to time, I am a hermit!!! And I would love to have a friend group but...see text above.
I know im not per se a BAD case of social anxiety, or at least the WORST, but it is so...just feels like I am...limping, like i have a disability or something. Its tough bc life is full of groups. So i find myself battling this anxiety too often and see no advance. Also i dont abuse alcohol anymore, I accepted I would deal with my demons and not use crutches. But I swear I have no idea how to make progress. They say try putting yourself in a group but man than is psychological torture for me, i swear I always end up feeling little, tiny, crushed no matter how well it begins.

any tips...
I wouldn't say your case is weird at all - I think it's probably pretty common for people with moderate social anxiety, so you definitely shouldn't think you're alone.

I can identify with the relying on alcohol part - although for me it was Xanax when I was younger. I became heavily addicted to it and was on it 24 hours a day for work/Uni/socializing etc.

I think for many years I sort of pretended I just didn't have social anxiety too - especially when I was using the Xanax. Unfortunately when I had to stop it all the anxiety came flooding back.

Welcome to the forum anyway - I'm sure some people will maybe have a few tips for you.
 

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Certain parts of your story hold true for me too and I'm trying to figure out what to do. I'm also a female and might be less attractive than average (the super skinny body type is not considered pretty anymore)

In school I wasn't super social, but I had enough friends to not feel lonely. Mostly girls. In elementary school I was practically mute because if I didn't have a friend present, I would freeze, much like you. In middle school and high school I grew out of it somewhat, I was able to have normal conversations in more "free form" classes like gym and art class. In English and math and history and stuff like that though, still pretty silent because socializing isn't encouraged, so I just didn't. I suppose to some I was known as the quiet girl, and to some I was the girl who didn't shut up. It really did depend on the class. Odd huh?

In high school I think I grew out of the quiet girl persona as I made more of an effort to socialize and had a friend group with guys and girls.

Where your story holds most true is pretty recently, my college years. I moved states so I lost all my friends, then befriended a guy in my art class who introduced me to his friends. It was a nice mixed gender group of dnd and gaming nerds but due to it being more guys, the guys would seek me out and befriend me effortlessly, but of course they had ulterior motives. It led to years of me hanging out with these guys one on one, and on some level it was probably a genuine friendship, but sometimes they wouldn't stop putting me on a pedestal or trying to hit on me. I decided to cut them out of my life, not out of dislike, but because it was wrong to keep them around. Plus, I have a partner now (who actually acts just like i do when im confident, so seeing him socially suceed makes me think damn, i could be like that if i didnt restrict myself), I don't need to be hanging out with people trying to pursue me. I'm trying to make female friends but aside from a few in me and my partners friend group, I don't know where to find them.

What you experience in groups, I experience in formal settings. So work and school. If it's meetups, friend groups, all that, I'm still kinda quiet but I always pipe up with the witty commentary or some other out of pocket remark. Really the only time I've made work friends was if the topic of gaming came up or if they were an interested guy.

I think you should try to start with small talk in groups, ask individual people questions until you find a common interest. Also maybe try to work your way into your girl friends friend groups. Maybe having a friend there will make you more confident
 
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