[ Rules / FAQ ] [ meta / b / media / img / feels / hb / x ]

/feels/ - Advice & Venting

Talk about relationships of all kinds, ask for advice, or just vent

*Text* => Text

**Text** => Text

***Text*** => Text

[spoiler]Text[/spoiler] => Text

Direct Link
Options NSFW image
Sage (thread won't be bumped)

Janitor applications are open

Check the Catalog before making a new thread.
Do not respond to maleposters. See Rule 7.
Please read the rules! Last update: 04/27/2021


Almost 30, still have social anxiety Anonymous 75881

Maybe this is weird, but I feel like since I'm in my late 20s and I'm going to be 30 soon, I'm too old to still be in the phase of my life where I'm terrified of what others think of me and desperately want their validation and approval. I have no idea what to do about this.

Anonymous 75882

I'm the same as you. I once tried getting help in my early 20s by talking to a therapist and I was TERRIFIED of her the first few sessions but gradually I became comfortable around her as I felt forced to interact because I was paying money out of my pocket. Not showing up would mean a loss of money, and I like to save my money and hoard it lol. But anyway, she was a shite therapist and I didn't feel like my voice was getting heard. It didn't feel like she understood me at all and was just going through the motions of her therapist role saying things like " How did you feel?" "that's too bad," "aww.." and short snippets like that.

I think therapy is a joke and people just do it to vent to people. I remember asking her techniques to combat social anxiety and she had ZERO. My boyfriend's therapist was so good, she gave him homework to take home and practice and also some psychology tips and tricks to fool your brain into thinking you're confident and not a socially anxious wreck. It's hard to find a good therapist, I guess. Funny thing is, his therapy didn't help him, I helped him. Maybe therapy is just paid emotional support and friendship for lonely people? I would suggest trying to find friends who understand your anxiety. Maybe join a social anxiety group so you feel connected to people, not judged by a bad therapist.

Personal anecdote/vent, but I am so socially anxious that I can barely interact with my boyfriend's family and they think I'm rude because I'm socially awkward and can't go through the social dance of "thank you" "GOOD TO SEE YOU!" and "tell so and so I said hi" - I just feel so awkward and artificial when I do that. By not saying anything, normies think I am rude and don't want to speak to them kek. I mean, I guess I DON'T want to speak them because of my social anxiety, so..

Anonymous 75884

I relate to this a lot, my boyfriend has OCD and his therapist actually gave him good tips how to deal with it, whereas I've been seeing multiple shrinks for more than a decade and have had no such luck. A lot of these therapists would either not give any real useful advice or gaslight me. It's gotten me to think I'm just a broken wreck that can't be fixed.

Every time I talk to people, I instantly think they hate me. And if they don't hate me now, they're going to hate me later on. It doesn't help that I've had experiences of befriending people and they end up turning on me.

Anonymous 75886

But, that's not what social anxiety is…? i hate to be that person, but as far as I know social anxiety is being afraid/anxious of big crowds of people, talking to people, etc.

Desperately wanting people's validation and approval is another thing, most likely low self esteem.

Anonymous 75888

Also, not saying that dealing with low self esteem is easy. It takes effort to accept yourself for who you are and change yourself for the better at the same time.

Anonymous 75890

OP here. Yeah, I realized after I posted that, that I wasn't very clear on my issue.

So IRL, I'm very social avoidant and don't have any friends, and any time I am in a social situation (usually involuntarily) I instantly become afraid of talking to anyone and feel like everyone hates me, or if they don't hate me, they will eventually.

Online, it's a little easier to talk to people, but still very nerve wracking, and I am constantly seeking validation from others.

Anonymous 75891

Well I certainly can relate. But instead of feeling like people hate me I feel like they will become bored of me very quickly because I don't do much of anything in my life, so I avoid talking to people altogether. Seeking validation is really one of the only motivations in my life to do anything. I yearn for the times when I used to actually enjoy the things I'm interested in, now half of my thoughts are while doing something is "Will this impress people/make people like me/find me interesting/fun to be around?" That being said, there are limits of what I can/will do for validation. I'm never gonna sexualize myself or do stuff just to find attention or validation. My type is wanting to be impressive or interesting, not the being sexually attractive much.

Do you seek validation from a particular person/set of people or everyone you meet?

Anonymous 75892

I used to do stupid shit like seek validation from men in particular to make up for my daddy issues, but I've come to realize how bad that idea was.

Nowadays, I feel anxiety with everyone, regardless of gender. Even when I talk to women, I can't help but believe they think I'm obnoxious or something like that, even if they're being really nice to me. And like I said earlier in this thread, the fact that I've had experiences where people seem nice at first and have turned against me… That doesn't help.

Anonymous 75893

Oh, also, I've had a history of pretending to have opinions I don't actually have so that people will like me, and this is regardless of gender.

Anonymous 75900

”omg totes socially anxious oh btw my boyfriend…“ oh jesus christ please

Anonymous 75904

I can relate to this and am working on it. A lot of the time I convince myself that people hate me and I’m incredibly avoidant with my friends because I create a narrative that because I fucked up one time that they will never forgive me now. My therapist has helped me a lot with reality checking. She asks me when the last time was that I said something that I thought was super weird or cringe. Do my friends still talk to me? Yes. Even if you do things that are weird or embarrassing, most people won’t hold it against you like you think they will. And even in the worst case scenario that I do something that does ostracize me, it’s not as if that reputation is permanent and I can’t make friends ever again. I think a big part of social anxiety is taking one small mess up and blowing it up out of proportion into this huge thing when in reality people are a lot more accepting than we give them credit for. That’s not to say that I still don’t overanalyze all of my conversations and beat myself up for them, but it helps to do some reality checking every once in a while. Those instances you brought up where people have turned against you- was it really your fault it happened or do you just attribute the blame to yourself? What are other reasons behind why they may have acted that way that don’t have to do with you specifically? (And if it was your fault, then it’s a matter of examining that behavior and changing and growing from it)

Anonymous 75907

How do they gaslight you? Aren't therapists supposed to be aware of gaslighting and not do it?
Well, I think the two go hand-in-hand. If you are socially anxious, you gradually isolate yourself from people. And if you isolate yourself long enough, you start to feel inadequate compared to others who have better social skills than you.
Maybe take it one step at a time and try to talk to multiple people online. Stop yourself once you feel like you're seeking validation from them, though. Maybe try to become a listener/responder rather than seeking validation. I don't know about you, but I think validation online includes going into discord or online communities and rambling about yourself out in the void to see who responds to you in a positive way, which validates you as they are attentive to you in comparison to irl, where people ignore you and don't pay any attention to you at all.
Also, I think everyone here isn't socially anxious but may have some form of Avoidant Personality Disorder. Maybe it stems from traumatic childhood memories?

Anonymous 75909

Oh hey anon, it sounds like you got a great therapist. Did she give you anymore advice? I think I will definitely try not to blow it out of the water when I make a small social mistake. I tend to do that. We're all narcissists in that way, when you hyper focus on yourself like that and think people share the same negative thoughts as you. That's a great way of looking at the situation, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous 75926

Aw anon, I'm happy to hear you found it helpful! Honestly I've only been seeing her for a few months, so I don't have a lot to share.

One thing that she helped me realize is that avoidant behavior only reinforces itself. So for example if I have a conversation with a friend and overshare something or am afraid I'm being annoying, I'll usually spend the rest of the next day thinking about it and telling myself that they probably don't want to talk to me anymore and that I should give them space so that I don't bother them and that's how I end up isolating myself. Since I started therapy, I've tried challenging myself by doing the opposite action. So say if a friend hasn't contacted me in weeks, as soon as I start getting those thoughts of "ugh they're probably tired of me and don't want to talk to me anymore" I'll act on it and reach out to them just to say hi. Or if I hang out with a friend and am afraid I was really annoying, I'll just send them a text saying "I had fun hanging out!" or something. Once they respond I usually realize it was all in my head lol. I don't know if this necessarily works for everyone since I think anxiety works different for everyone, but I think it has helped me with reality-checking and not cutting myself off from people for literally no reason.

Anonymous 75934

Personally, I think my social anxiety has turned more into asocialness these days. I've had severe social anxiety most of my childhood and avoided social interaction out of fear, but now I mostly avoid it due to finding it a nuisance and a chore most of the time.

I've worked jobs for the past few years that got me out of my shell and helped me combat alot of my long-held social anxiety fears like talking on the phone, looking people in the face, etc. so I'm sure they at least taught me some kind of skills for talking to other people better. I just have no real desire to use them. I find most people too annoying, obnoxious, and conceited to be around. I've been misanthropic for awhile, especially due to my own experiences getting fucked over by people I thought "friends", and my negative view on humanity has been further reaffirmed with all the shit has happened in the world over the last few years, with COVID, global warming, etc. I interact with most people as a forced pleasantry in a forced context, but from my observations don't find most of them worthy of forming a close personal connection with.

Anonymous 75946

>Maybe therapy is just paid emotional support and friendship for lonely people
It really is. There's nothing a therapist could tell you that you'd be unable to research yourself. I hate how much people recommend therapy or see it as the solution to all mental disorders.

Anonymous 76044


exactly what I thought reading this thread

Anonymous 76048


It has nothing to do with whether you're in a relationship or not. I used to frequent a support forum for people with social anxiety.. At least before it got a terrible upgrade with an ugly-ass layout and started shilling itself out with a bunch of ads and premium forums that you can only remove with their over-expensive "Premium Membership" now. Also introduced a "like button".. Because I'm sure turning a place full of severely self-conscious people into Reddit will fare well. Some of you may know which one I mean.

Plenty of people were or are in active relationships there. Some are even married. My guess is that their partner found them, rather than vice versa, and/or they developed social anxiety at a later stage in life because it never affects only one group of people.

Anonymous 77416

Had to do a double take because I thought I wrote this. Literally my own experience.

Nowadays I try to feign politeness because I’ve had people tell me I’m rude my whole life and conflict makes me a nervous wreck so I force myself to at least greet people and look them in the eyes ugh.

But strangers are the reason I never leave the house, I’m terrified of being called out in public for some dumb shit or being insulted idk I’m hella paranoid and don’t think I will ever overcome this

[Return] [Catalog]
[ Rules / FAQ ] [ meta / b / media / img / feels / hb / x ]