I have social anxiety and mostly socialise either online or at meetups of socially anxious people organised via a community web site. However I'd like to become comfortable just being around other people in my local café and possibly (not essential but would be nice) be able to have short chit-chat conversations with the staff too. Honestly at this stage just getting out the apartment regularly and being around others would be a valuable thing in itself, I don't expect a shouted greeting like Norm in Cheers :) but maybe I could get more from my visits too. Is there anyone who is a regular at a bar or coffee where they visit by themselves but still feels quite at home and comfortable talking to the staff? How did you get to that point? [more inside]
If you find social interactions to be a breeze, can you impart some of your wisdom on this envied ability? [more inside]
I know intellectually that I shouldn't worry so much about people judging me, yet my mind still goes there. Any advice/tips? [more inside]
I used to be very shy. Through years of pushing myself (I'm 33 now), I've become pretty amazingly functional. But I find myself in an unexpected spot. While I very much want to be around people and I can now handle it without freezing up, my experience of actually being around people is one of gritted teeth and willpower. There's very little joy in it. In theory, I'd like nothing more than a bushel of friends hanging out in my kitchen on a Sunday night. In practice, I push myself into social situations like dunking my arm in freezing water, pulling it out with a huge sigh of relief as soon as I let myself. That's not a recipe for forging new friendships, which I know take time and certain amount of vulnerability. What can I do to take myself to the next level -- from functional to genuinely friendly? Do people ever make it to the next level? On the phobia scale, it's not enough for me to be able to let a spider crawl on my arm without having a panic attack, I need to be able to lay down in a cave full of spiders and love it. (I've been in therapy for a year, but aside from that, I'd like to hear from you all.)
I've suffered from severe social anxiety for around 7 years. It's not as paralyzing as it once was but I still find it very difficult to talk to people. I never know what to say in social situations so I keep pretty quiet which seems to make people really uncomfortable. I've been told I across as aloof and self involved. I feel like I should let people know why I'm so quiet but I feel weird telling people that I have social anxiety. Is there a way I can communicate that I have a hard time talking to people without coming across as a weirdo.
I have this terrible habit of skipping school out of social anxiety or shyness, even for the smallest reasons like not bringing an important book, arriving late or not knowing where the class is. How do I stop this and be a regular? [more inside]
Where can I find, order and purchase, by this evening, a T-shirt that says "Lurker" in big white letters? (Or would that be a bad idea?) Alternatively: please help me find ways to minimize or avoid social anxiety awkwardness at the PDX meetup. [more inside]
What steps did you take to find your partner in spite of social anxiety or severe shyness? [more inside]
This one is for the extroverts. As someone who has struggled with social anxiety/shyness to varying degrees my entire life, I'm very curious to know what your inner dialogue is like? [more inside]
Is there a way to tell clients I want them to communicate with me through email instead of the phone that doesn't make me sound weird? [more inside]
Late-bloomer-filter: I was a painfully shy, geeky, withdrawn guy with almost no friends and no social life. Over the past few years (I'm 28 now), I went to therapy, got a new job, moved from my sleepy suburban town to New York, got tons of people-practice, made new friends... and then this year, it all suddenly and magically clicked. It's unreal, but instead of nights alone with my laptop, I'm out almost constantly with tons of friends, hanging out, going on dates, drinking, dancing, and generally having more fun than I ever believed was possible for me. But I need your advice before I create a monster. [more inside]
I'd like to be nicer to people. I'm generally anxious, socially awkward, and don't enunciate very well. I have trouble with spontaneous conversation and small talk, and get flustered by clumsy social encounters. As a result I've developed a reputation as aloof and unapproachable. What can I do to be a more pleasant person?