Advice needed….

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    Hi guys,

    This is my first post on this forum, so I look forward to getting involved! My name is Blake and I’m a 25 year old audio engineer

    First of all I am five years into my recovery from social anxiety and whilst I can definitely see I have come a long way since, I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy and self-consciousness/insecurity. One trigger is my verbal articulation/mental performance in conversation, which fluctuates heavily day to day and when I start to feel mentally sluggish and words don’t flow easily, I feel dumb and I get frustrated to the point of nearly snapping. I still live at home with my mother and this really only happens with her. I tend to be a perfectionist and I have a history of being bullied offline and online, so maybe this is a potential cause?

    I also have these feelings around others, in public and at work. Some days I feel really happy, confident and myself, others the complete opposite. I’ve never had a girlfriend, don’t really have ‘friends’, only professional acquaintances and I quit social media nearly two years ago, as it was a time-suck and I felt worse about myself.

    Coincidently my moods fluctuate throughout the day. I could be happy when I leave the house, but by the time I get to work I could be in a slightly negative mood for no apparent reason, which is confusing me. I meditate daily, get adequate sleep and do yoga and walking for exercise, so I don’t quite understand? Could it be my one daily coffee? My lack of connection with others apart from my parents? I don’t know….

    I would love to hear your comments.


    Hi Blake,

    I’ve suffered on and off from social anxiety. As you get older it gets a little easier. One thing I’m learned (am learning) is that to have a friend you have to be a friend. So I had this list of likely people I would love to hang out with more. I looked at the list and was literally sweating bullets. I called some of them, and invited them over/went out for coffee. They LOVED it! I didn’t “want” anything form them, and I called them for THEM. They know they have a friend. Everyone is so busy now or has an agenda, it’s hard to have real friends. What a gift you are giving potential people. Think of it that way.

    Maybe it’s time to live on your own? You might feel temporarily isolated, but that soon changes as you get roommates and a relationship.

    Work on your diet. Take herbal supplements or chamomile tea to calm you down.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 2 months ago by Inky.

    I am the exact same socially, and am at a similar age (25). I think there are two things you should consider:

    1) Some people are naturally introverted and some are naturally extroverted. I am introverted, and by your post, I assume you are as well. You know you are introverted if you find large groups of people off-putting, and get drained rather than energized at large gatherings or parties. But… as an introvert you long deep relationships with others. You long to find an individual who can be friends where you really understand eachother. You don’t care for shallow things, and usually find shallow people or mundane conversations boring.

    As an introvert you should realize that this is normal. When I was younger I thought it was natural to be extroverted, and thought something was wrong with me. I would try to be extroverted and often do stupid things. I would say stupid things just to talk, and would go to parties/events just to socialize (even if I didn’t want to go out). A lot of anxiety comes from the guilt of this. You need to realize that it’s ok to have alone time, and don’t feel awkward about being silent. I go to the coffee shop on weekends by myself and have coffee and a cake by myself. I like it that way. I sometimes talk to people if I see soemone I know, but most of all I relax and enjoy my time alone. I go for walks alone and enjoy being outside. Because I enjoy this and don’t feel guilty, I seem natural in public. Someone can look at me and say “Hey, that guy is pretty cool just chillin by himself. He seems like a natural guy.” You will not seem out of place.

    2) Follow Inky’s advice. You can have fun being alone, but don’t let it become a vice. Be open to new conversations. Go to that coffee shop alone, but if someone wants to talk, then talk. Hang out with people one on one. You don’t need to be going to parties or have large groups of friends, just have a few close people you enjoy beign around. After work ask if anyone wants to go for a pint of beer. Maybe make plans to go for coffee on the weekend. Join clubs that have similar activities where you socialize.

    But most of all try to balance the too. oOnly you know your balance.


    Thanks guys!

    Yes I definitely agree it’s a balancing act being the more introverted type. Making an effort to reach out to people will be a new priority in my life. I’m now finding that if I have a sense of kindness for others, then it’s harder for me to feel bad about myself. There are a couple of people who have made the extra effort to contact me via email (as mentioned I’m not on facebook), so people like those are ones that I should nurture.

    Moving out is not an option for me at this point, as I’m only an intern and not making enough money to do so, plus my mother is currently unemployed and my rent contribution is being relied upon. I’ll have to just hang in there for the interim, but I reckon being in a room mate situation with a couple of others would do me the world of good.

    Any further comments please let me know 🙂

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