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The shyness, awkwardness and social anxiety never really went away. I still vomit before job interviews or avoid them altogether.


Other people my age seem to handle life with enthusiasm but I dread almost everything.
 

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yes me too! I told my therapist this very same thing and she told me that I need to parent my inner child the way that I'm parenting my kids. I'm almost 40, a mom of two, and an HR Director... and inside I feel 12. I want to quit my job almost every day (I mean seriously what was I thinking getting into HR??) and I feel like such a fraud. And I feel embarrassed caring so much what other people think at my age. It's like everyone else grew up and stopped buying into the mob mentality, and I'm still stuck in middle school...
 

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yes me too! I told my therapist this very same thing and she told me that I need to parent my inner child the way that I'm parenting my kids. I'm almost 40, a mom of two, and an HR Director... and inside I feel 12. I want to quit my job almost every day (I mean seriously what was I thinking getting into HR??) and I feel like such a fraud. And I feel embarrassed caring so much what other people think at my age. It's like everyone else grew up and stopped buying into the mob mentality, and I'm still stuck in middle school...
Not sure about the full details, but I would love to have your life on paper when I'm around your age! You must be really solid to be able to work in HR with social anxiety(if you have it).

Sometimes it's good to care what others think. It's part of adapting to "normal" society.

Currently, I am 27 and definitely behind my peers. Over the past year, I've put more effort into improving instead of just slowly rotting away. But I still feel like a child most of the time.
 

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Do we "feel like a child" because of traumatic childhood experiences? I'm guessing, YES! I had several negative experiences as a kid and it makes it difficult to relate to adults. For example, sometimes workmates would talk about going to pleasure houses and how they had a great time, but I could never do that because I feel like I'm still underage for such places. Weird huh? lol
 

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Same here. I'm 38 and still feel awkward around girls like in high school. It's all a lack of confidence. Im guessing we will be the same way when we're 78 too. 😂😂 It would be comical if it wasn't so pathetic
 

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I have the same to an extent. It's so ridiculous, also because I kinda always saw my anxiety as just a phase like other people who are also dealing with their problems. But yeah that's harder to tell yourself when you're 32 and minimally functioning lol.
 

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I don't see anxiety and awkwardness as childlike characteristics. Kids are mostly extremely loud and unconcerned with who they're annoying, living in the moment without a care for the future.

Granted there's the fact that people always told me I'd grow out of it when I was a kid. But to me, I just felt adultlike as a child for being withdrawn and unexpressive and joyless -- not childlike as an adult.
 

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I'm in my late 40s and have not had a typical adulthood (at least not for people in the US). I still wouldn't say I feel like a child. I feel like a disabled adult. Which is pretty much what I am.
 

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I know OP is unlikely to go back to this thread.

But I relate to the job interviews or any formal social settings part. The "how you should act or feel like in your 30s" or any age for that matter if all cliche, from the way I see it at least.
 

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As counter-intuitive as it may sound, I kind of don't want my inner child to die when I'm in my thirties. I don't want to lose that sense of wonder and curiosity that the child in me tries to maintain even in the face of adversity. My future children telling me "You just don't understand me" is one of my worst fears lol
 

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I also think, there's a difference between feeling like a child and feeling immature or inferior!

I too associate with child (not with a personal childhood) positive things: Lots of energy, lightheartedness, curiosity, impartiality, no feeling for time, feeling the whole world revolves around you etc.

In a study a psychologist asked people how they define being an adult. He expected things like "build a house, have a family/son, plant a tree..." But it basically all boiled down to 3 things:

Taking over responsibility for yourself!
Accepting and dealing with the consequences of your actions and decisions without anybody else protecting you from it! Esp not your parents. And without blaming anybody else for it!

Making your own decisions!
What job do I want to have? Where do I want to live? Do I want a relationship or do I want to be independent?
Basically the search for your own individual identity! Younger people are more impatient and often there is also lots of pressure from family and friends. But around 30 most people will have found out who they are, what they want for themselves.

Financial independence!
The 3rd hurdle of becoming an adult: Paying for your own stuff!

So, you can still be an adult, even if you are still sleeping in your sponge bob bedclothes, watching cartoons or singing rock songs into your hairbrush in front of a mirror!
 

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As counter-intuitive as it may sound, I kind of don't want my inner child to die when I'm in my thirties. I don't want to lose that sense of wonder and curiosity that the child in me tries to maintain even in the face of adversity. My future children telling me "You just don't understand me" is one of my worst fears lol
I have to strongly agree. I very much prefer the company of non-stuffy adults that be who they want to be instead of act like what they think they should be for everyone else. It is a good thing not to feel your age. Its a key ingredient to what makes affable people.
 

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Other people my age seem to handle life with enthusiasm but I dread almost everything.
Well, they seem to, but actually deep down everyone is scared. Maybe some people have less anxiety, or learn to actually enjoy the challenges of life, but what you see is not what you get when someone seems to have their **** together.

People pretend they do, for the most part, but everyone is just doing their best to cope with a lot of suffering and anxiety.
 

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Well, they seem to, but actually deep down everyone is scared.
I think that's part of it, but the other part is confidence. There are lots and lots of people and we all have to make choices. Some people's choices end up paying off and being overall positive and beneficial. Like a reward system that has trained up their confidence. They love leaving the house because something nice always happens when they do. They like job interviews because they always got hired. They like talking to the opposite sex because other people liked talking to them. Its like a snowball of positive results. Even when something bad happens, it takes many bad things to derail these people.

But, then there are people who's choices resulted more often negatively. Constant rejection. People made them feel bad for tying to socialize. Every time they leave the house, they almost die. Those people slowly withdraw and isolate and try less and less which is another choice that ends negatively. A reward system that erodes confidence and trains people not to try.To give up and abandon hope.

We often hear 'fake it till you make it', and its kinda true. Swing the bat enough times and you will hit eventually. Its just kinda cruddy that for some people, their odds of hitting are 1 in a 1,000. However, the hit isn't coming until we swing and miss 950 times first.
 

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I'm definitely like a big kid lul and I'm not sorry for it.. I've been through so much in my life, why be so serious? I'm agoraphobic so that is plenty of serious enough lul I'm pretty nerdy, books & gaming and I fool around when I'm talking to online peeps, but hey I never had a childhood, why not :) I'm sure many are same way.. and I tend to gravitate towards those who are similar.
 

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I like what some people are saying. There's a real difference between nurturing your inner child vs. feeling like a child. I definitely experience both, but I have to let go of whatever keeps me in the "childish" mindset. When I have moments where I take charge of my life, I feel like I can move forward and disconnect from whatever holds me back. At the same time, there's nothing wrong with remembering the past and returning with a different perspective.
 

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Trust me, you are really NOT the only one. At least, you have the awareness to see that things aren't the way you would want them to be. I know what I've said doesn't really fix anything, but I'm glad you reached out anyway!
 
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