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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At some point does it become too late to change? Like your social anxiety could improve, but it wouldn't have a significant affection on one's life because one has too many past/present abnormalities to explain.

For example, the questions below will most likely arise at some point during a friendship and the answer to those question would cause rejection regardless of current social aptitude. Watch how these relatively innocent questions will lead to rejection.

1. How long did it take you to graduate college? 8 years. Ooh, so you were working full time? No, part-time. Why did it take so long? I had to deal with some public speaking issues before I could finish. = Rejection

2. Do you have a girlfriend? No. When was your last relationship? Never had one. = Rejection

3. You still live with your parents? Yes = Rejection
(3) Comment= this could be fixed easily enough by moving out but then....
4. You lived at your parent house while you went to college, but you just graduated, that means you live with your parents for, at least, 8 years after high school right? Yes. = Rejection

4. We've bee going out for a month now, but haven't even met one of your friends yet, what's going on? Ooh, I don't really have any friends. = Rejection

These are just a few examples.

My point is that social anxiety does irrecoverable damage to one's life. It might be possible to improve one's social anxiety, but one can not change the past. That is, one can never replace the lost social activities and life normalities that should have occurred during the time one was suffering from severe social anxiety.

I surmise that at some point, anxiety improvements don't help much. The only way I could see around this is being evasive and/or moving far away where one has no reputation and a very good excuse for having no friends, etc... Or lying about one's past.

What do you-all think?
 

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I recognize your way of thinking, I do it myself to. But you forgot to mention you can write new "past/history" for yourself. Just a couple of months of "normal past" can be enough to make you feel "part of the rest". If you want have a "normal" past then plan to do the things you think you needed to do in your past.

Sport? go to the gym for a couple of months.
Party? go out every weekend from now on.
Work? find a job
Education? Start on something that doesn't take 4 years, so you can be as soon as possible "normal".

For everything is a first time, which maybe will be awkward but after ten times you can lean back on it and pretend that this new lifestyle is the lifestyle you always had. After that period you can begin to make friends, your new lifestyle will probaly attract people. Even if you're a loner at that time.
 

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I've certainly thought along these lines before. I'm sure people wouldn't be impressed with some of these things you mention, but they aren't necessarily so bad as you say. A friend I get to know may have had a very dark past ... maybe something they've struggled with the greater part of their life ... I guess what matters more to me as a friend is that we can still at least have a good time now. Some good humor goes a long way. If you can laugh a little at the past, even if it was a dark half-century or however long, that means something today. Really, as a friend, our friendship is in the present.

You know, I've had a few friends who really struggled with social anxiety. (I think most of my friends turn out to have some pretty good issues going, actually, it's why we get along well. ^^)
 

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It's never too late to change and progress,

and why would you want to be with someone who doesn't like/love you for exactly who you are, INCLUDING your past? If anybody rejects you for any of those reasons you have stated, they are shallow and do not deserve your affection.

The only thing stopping you from changing or making progress is you thinking things like that, nothing to do with time or your past.... don't lie about yourself or avoid it altogether....

The only way of having a past your are proud of and want to remember is going out there, getting yourself better and making those good memories...:)
 

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I don't think it's ever too late.

Sure there are people who judge you based on your experiences, I had to make excuses or "embellish" my experiences with certain people. But there are also really great people who don't really care about your past and those are are open-minded enough to accept you as you are.
 

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The longer you are without a job, the harder it is to get a job. At some point, you are unemployable, and will be forced to a criminal life to stay alive. Once you throw away your moral values, it shouldn't be a problem. i'm kinda joking, but i keep thinking this, being a lazy out of work ******* myself
 

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My point is that social anxiety does irrecoverable damage to one's life. It might be possible to improve one's social anxiety, but one can not change the past. That is, one can never replace the lost social activities and life normalities that should have occurred during the time one was suffering from severe social anxiety.
J.T., I could have written your post myself word for word...and then some. Social anxiety has destroyed any validity I would have had socially, and makes me look like a delinquent or failure at life. I dare say I value education more than a lot of people (I've wanted to get a Ph.D. since I was a preteen), but of course I haven't graduated college yet because of all my issues.

I'm attracted to educated, self-motivated girls--qualities I have myself--but WHO would date me if those qualities are hidden under a string of academic and social failures?

Another aspect of this is that life just isn't the same when we become full-fledged adults approaching the age of 30. I can't go back and do all of the rebellious, teenage coming-of-age things that I still long for so desperately, back when everybody else was experiencing them and everyone was in the same boat. Now I have to live in the "real world" with other adults who are completely past that stage of their lives.

I recognize your way of thinking, I do it myself to. But you forgot to mention you can write new "past/history" for yourself. Just a couple of months of "normal past" can be enough to make you feel "part of the rest". If you want have a "normal" past then plan to do the things you think you needed to do in your past.

Sport? go to the gym for a couple of months.
Party? go out every weekend from now on.
Work? find a job
Education? Start on something that doesn't take 4 years, so you can be as soon as possible "normal".

For everything is a first time, which maybe will be awkward but after ten times you can lean back on it and pretend that this new lifestyle is the lifestyle you always had. After that period you can begin to make friends, your new lifestyle will probaly attract people. Even if you're a loner at that time.
I think dutchguy's answer was excellent and perhaps is our best hope for moving past this. I'm so thankful for all of the good I HAVE had in my life and continue to have, but my social issues have traumatized me. I can only hope that after a few months of being "normal" I can "forget" about all the pain.

I'll have to stop myself from writing now...

EDIT: Just to add an encouraging note. No, it's not too late to change. (Even though it feels like it is as I'm writing this.) We can start changing TODAY. The sooner we start, the more time we'll have to enjoy "normalcy." The trick is to actually get out there and get the ball rolling.
 

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1. How long did it take you to graduate college? 8 years. Ooh, so you were working full time? No, part-time. Why did it take so long? I had to deal with some public speaking issues before I could finish. = Life isn't a race, yeah I took my time, soaked the information and felt comfortable enough to where I can live out in the real world. Plus college is where the fun is at!

2. Do you have a girlfriend? No. When was your last relationship? Never had one. = I spent too much time on my studies and trying to find myself before finding another person to be with in my life.

3. You still live with your parents? Yes = Saves money.
(3) Comment= this could be fixed easily enough by moving out but then....
4. You lived at your parent house while you went to college, but you just graduated, that means you live with your parents for, at least, 8 years after high school right? Yes. = Saves money and I don't have a huge debt like most of you do who live out on your own and have to pay rent, car bills, and insurance every month/year.

4. We've bee going out for a month now, but haven't even met one of your friends yet, what's going on? Ooh, I don't really have any friends. = Come on baby, I want to spend more time with you than with my "friends". Plus I like your friends better than mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I recognize your way of thinking, I do it myself to. But you forgot to mention you can write new "past/history" for yourself. Just a couple of months of "normal past" can be enough to make you feel "part of the rest". If you want have a "normal" past then plan to do the things you think you needed to do in your past.

Sport? go to the gym for a couple of months.
Party? go out every weekend from now on.
Work? find a job
Education? Start on something that doesn't take 4 years, so you can be as soon as possible "normal".

For everything is a first time, which maybe will be awkward but after ten times you can lean back on it and pretend that this new lifestyle is the lifestyle you always had. After that period you can begin to make friends, your new lifestyle will probaly attract people. Even if you're a loner at that time.
I think that is a good way of thinking. Perhaps, if I can just experience a few months of normality, I will be able to use those normal experiences to diminish the abnormalities of what will eventually become my distant past.
 

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I think that is a good way of thinking. Perhaps, if I can just experience a few months of normality, I will be able to use those normal experiences to diminish the abnormalities of what will eventually become my distant past.
Glad it was somewhat helpfull.

More hopefull thought: Most people ask about what you did last week, not what you did the last decade!

Ofcourse, relatioships,education, are long term goals. But I think if you fix the basic things like.

-Sport<2 months is enought to make people thing you are a sporty "type"
-Work<Find a job, 2 months later nobody asks what you did before.
-education<I've started a short (1year) education program so I can have a "decent"job and seem "normal" for other people.
-hobby<choose something, after 2 months nobody aks about what you did before.

In the beginning of your new life it seems still hard to me to find new friends, but after a period of 2 months of living your new life you seem to be very normal for other people. Exept the part of not having friends. But if I think rationally, I know this is not a problem for everyone!

So actually, everything can be fixed!
I imagine finding a girlfriend becomes more in the picture after all this!
How old are you?

ps. I would not recommend to fall in the trap of "chaning yourself" to become accepted by others, in someway you are actually doing this. But don't become become obsessed with trying to hard to be liked by others, and just doing all this stuff because you are araid of judgement for others.

I plan on doing all this for myself, because I want this "normal" life, and it would make reconnecting with my peers much easier!

pss. Feeling similair to others and part of the rest is something every human do's. Not all people are as individualist as they say or think they are.
 
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