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She-Wolf
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i wish i knew. i'm always so closed off. i severely lack social skills. thats passed my social anxiety, e.g. when i don't feel any. i've always been like this and i always am. the only times i am not are when i rely on substances to make me more comfortable and outgoing, but i can't do that every day of my life.
i've been doing a lot more exposure in the past six months, but nothing drastically changes.

even at my worst points, when i've honestly thought there was no point in living if i am so defective in this way, i've gotten told by doctors various things like "well, humans are naturally social creatures so it doesn't make sense that you wouldn't actually know how to socialize". but i am not making these problems up, it's honestly a struggle just to say "how are you doing?" to people, to my family even during the day. and by worst points i mean those times when i've wanted to end my life and ended up in the hospital, because it just seems so hopeless. i don't know how to change it.


i know everyone hates it to, in different ways. if it's friends or acquaintances they either laugh at me or jokingly comment on it, and ask why i am so shy, and why i don't just talk and just say what is on my mind. but i often draw a blank. even when i'm not put on the spot, i honestly don't know what to say. it's like my mind is completely empty and my thought processing is slowed. and when i have something on my mind, my thoughts aren't organized well enough to let them out eloquently, or just quick enough to think of when i'm having a convo in person.

i just find it humiliating. i wish i knew what is wrong. no one gets it. when i've gotten to know people over the years who are also shy, and sometimes even have SA (not just from SAS, elsewhere). i tell them how shy i am and how i'm awkward and they say it's okay and they understand. that makes me feel a little at ease but once they ACTUALLY get to know me and spend more time with me, they realize "hey she wasn't exxagerating, she is way too quiet" and just get relaly frustrated with me. and tell me that they understand my shyness, but it's just ridiculous and excessive and it shouldn't be this bad. and to just "open up", cause it's not that ****ing hard to anyone else. it is to me.

even my family doesn't understand it. my mum often tells my brother how hurt she is that i don't talk to her enough, that i don't open up to her and that i always seem cold. i've told her that i'm always like this with everyone, and that i'm naturally this way. but she doesn't understand that, and neither do my brother. "how are you always like that? i'm sure you're not, it's not at all hard, just say whats on your mind all the time when you think of it". but the problem is i DON'T think to say anything. i don't know what to say and when. to anyone else they don't understand how i am not like this. my family takes it personally, and they say that since i have friends i can't actually be this way. i always am this way, i just adapt to it (avoid one-on-one situations) and rely on drugs to help.


even when i've expressed this to doctors, they don't get it. i have done CBT/still do. i take benzos when the anxiety is too bad. but it does not actually help opening up and help get me to think of what to talk about. any conversation i'm reccomended by doctors to say seem so contrived in situations and just plain boring ("seen any good movies lately?", etc).



just felt like getting that out. anyone know what i'm going through? understand?
 

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I kind of understand. I can never think of anything to say either. Just can't find the words. I end up being mute all day and like a shell of a person. It's frustrating. I don't use drugs to cope, just severe avoidance.

Socializing seems so unnatural, like a foreign language that is really painful to learn.
 

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Just wondering if you actually do think of nothing or if your thoughts are negative and you believe saying them out loud will not be beneficial to your or to others?

I find that throughout the day, im constantly having negative/anxious thoughts about myself or my co-workers, some of them are valid, some exaggerated, and some are total overreactions. I also have alot of gripes about political issues, and the state of the world. But from prior experience I've learned saying these thoughts out loud will NOT benefit anyone, including myself. And these subjects are rarely bought up in the convos I have anyhow.

I really have no interest in many contemporary subjects which I find to be materialistic, or just simply of no interest. And I really despise gossip. So I find myself with nothing to say alot of the time. The thing is, in certain social situations, if not for the anxiety and the feeling that people will judge me, I'd be happy to say nothing. But there are also the mind blanks, where Iam in a convo iam interested in, I know I have an opinion but nothing will come to mind at the time of the conversation. Even if I try to think, try to remember my mind will be completly blank, anxiety has free reign. This is pretty effective in shutting me down in a convo and for sometime after the initial convo. Later, usually too late, it will come to me.
 

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i've been doing a lot more exposure in the past six months, but nothing drastically changes.

even at my worst points, when i've honestly thought there was no point in living if i am so defective in this way, i've gotten told by doctors various things like "well, humans are naturally social creatures so it doesn't make sense that you wouldn't actually know how to socialize". but i am not making these problems up, it's honestly a struggle just to say "how are you doing?" to people, to my family even during the day. and by worst points i mean those times when i've wanted to end my life and ended up in the hospital, because it just seems so hopeless. i don't know how to change it.

i know everyone hates it to, in different ways. if it's friends or acquaintances they either laugh at me or jokingly comment on it, and ask why i am so shy, and why i don't just talk and just say what is on my mind. but i often draw a blank. even when i'm not put on the spot, i honestly don't know what to say. it's like my mind is completely empty and my thought processing is slowed. and when i have something on my mind, my thoughts aren't organized well enough to let them out eloquently, or just quick enough to think of when i'm having a convo in person.

even when i've expressed this to doctors, they don't get it. i have done CBT/still do. i take benzos when the anxiety is too bad. but it does not actually help opening up and help get me to think of what to talk about. any conversation i'm reccomended by doctors to say seem so contrived in situations and just plain boring ("seen any good movies lately?", etc).

just felt like getting that out. anyone know what i'm going through? understand?
I can relate to a lot of this. Some doctors aren't great about understanding social anxiety. I find it really difficult to explain to people, and had trouble explaining it to family to justify myself, because on the outside we look fine to other people, they have no awareness of our internal tension and distress. Hang in there.

I think if a doctor says you know HOW to socialize, it's a way of saying that they think you have the ability, even if you're not able to utilize it. If you really had NO social skills, it would have cropped up with symptoms other than just quietness. I know what you mean, though.

Now about the "blank mind" problem, I've been through that too. It feels very real and genuine, and I'm not sure we have thoughts "deep down" that we're stifling. It's more like we're paralyzed by anxiety. Something that has helped me is to think after or before interactions about things I could have said, NOT in a self-critical way, just as brainstorming. Or, tell yourself that it's ok to be quiet and say nothing, but see if you can think in the moment of something to say, with NO INTENTION of actually saying it. That could alleviate pressure and give you experience in reacting mentally to the comments of others.
 

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i wish i knew. i'm always so closed off. i severely lack social skills. thats passed my social anxiety, e.g. when i don't feel any. i've always been like this and i always am. the only times i am not are when i rely on substances to make me more comfortable and outgoing, but i can't do that every day of my life.
i've been doing a lot more exposure in the past six months, but nothing drastically changes.

even at my worst points, when i've honestly thought there was no point in living if i am so defective in this way, i've gotten told by doctors various things like "well, humans are naturally social creatures so it doesn't make sense that you wouldn't actually know how to socialize". but i am not making these problems up, it's honestly a struggle just to say "how are you doing?" to people, to my family even during the day. and by worst points i mean those times when i've wanted to end my life and ended up in the hospital, because it just seems so hopeless. i don't know how to change it.

i know everyone hates it to, in different ways. if it's friends or acquaintances they either laugh at me or jokingly comment on it, and ask why i am so shy, and why i don't just talk and just say what is on my mind. but i often draw a blank. even when i'm not put on the spot, i honestly don't know what to say. it's like my mind is completely empty and my thought processing is slowed. and when i have something on my mind, my thoughts aren't organized well enough to let them out eloquently, or just quick enough to think of when i'm having a convo in person.

i just find it humiliating. i wish i knew what is wrong. no one gets it. when i've gotten to know people over the years who are also shy, and sometimes even have SA (not just from SAS, elsewhere). i tell them how shy i am and how i'm awkward and they say it's okay and they understand. that makes me feel a little at ease but once they ACTUALLY get to know me and spend more time with me, they realize "hey she wasn't exxagerating, she is way too quiet" and just get relaly frustrated with me. and tell me that they understand my shyness, but it's just ridiculous and excessive and it shouldn't be this bad. and to just "open up", cause it's not that ****ing hard to anyone else. it is to me.

even my family doesn't understand it. my mum often tells my brother how hurt she is that i don't talk to her enough, that i don't open up to her and that i always seem cold. i've told her that i'm always like this with everyone, and that i'm naturally this way. but she doesn't understand that, and neither do my brother. "how are you always like that? i'm sure you're not, it's not at all hard, just say whats on your mind all the time when you think of it". but the problem is i DON'T think to say anything. i don't know what to say and when. to anyone else they don't understand how i am not like this. my family takes it personally, and they say that since i have friends i can't actually be this way. i always am this way, i just adapt to it (avoid one-on-one situations) and rely on drugs to help.

just felt like getting that out. anyone know what i'm going through? understand?
The problems you mentioned in your post sound to me more like symptoms of the larger problem. The larger problem I am talking about is not social anxiety, but instead it is most likely toxic shame. In fact, the word "defective" that you used to describe yourself, is one of the words that the author John Bradshaw used to describe how those with toxic shame feel about themselves. If I were you, I would seriously look into this somewhat little know subject (toxic shame). Please don't look at the words "toxic shame" and automatically judge it has nothing to do with you. I originally thought it had nothing to do with me until I kept seeing posts about it in another forum. I finally took a close look into what it was and realized it explained everything about my social anxiety and other similar problems in my life.

Check out my thread titled, "Toxic Shame - the core of our social anxiety". I will admit my posts there went a bit overboard and sound a bit "preachy" as someone there had said. But this is only because I am so passionate about letting everyone know what toxic shame is and how it can ruin your life.

I recommend you get a copy of the book, "Healing The Shame That Binds You" by John Bradshaw. You can either purchase the book online, at a bookstore or maybe find it at a library. You can also request from me some documents I created ... a condensed version of Bradshaw's book. I also made a condensed document from another book (written by Mike Pilinski) that had a chapter devoted to this insidious condition. Even if you get my documents, I really strongly suggest you get Bradshaw's book. This is because his book goes into much greater detail and gives more info about toxic shame than my document does. The book is 316 pages, but my document equals to only about 35 pages of his book (the document is actually a 20 page document, but I figured out it adds up to about 35 pages of the book).

Whatever you do, don't ignore this subject. Read everything you can about it before you come to your conclusion.
 
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