Help with social anxiety

#1
Well I use to think that my fear of blushing was just self caused. My first problem ever with facial blushing was self caused. But I believe the problem quickly evolved into social anxiety as well. I know what to do, I need to retrain my brain to think differently and positively when I either speak in a group or to a single person but I need help on the "how" and I need baby steps. I'm a quiet person to begin with, I was beginning to not be such a quiet person before my first incident 10 years ago. I would say I am almost a severe introvert. I don't really want to talk to anyone 99% of the time so how do I refrain my brain to not be so introverted? I basically panick when I'm sitting down and someone approaches me, I panick because I can't just run away, I feel cornered. So what are some tips to help and what are some baby steps?
 

Sacrament

Well-known member
#2
You need to ask yourself if you actually don't want to talk to people 99% of the time, or if you're scared of talking to people 99% of the time. If it's the latter, work on your charisma. Try talking to a mirror as if you're talking to someone else. Also, work on your hobbies and on doing things you enjoy doing. That way you'll have things to talk about when you meet other people. Remember that if you're sitting down somewhere already terrified of the possibility of someone approaching you, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy and it'll go poorly. Practice being more open to the possibility that people won't be as judgmental as you assume them to be. Cynicism is horrible for social anxiety, it just makes it a lot worse because you assume people are dicks and will make fun of this or that characteristic of your looks or personality.

Depending on your level of avoidance, take little steps. Say hi to your neighbor and ask him/her how they're doing. Or if you see a neighbor walking their dog, try petting the dog and asking the owner what breed it is, things like that. Or if you have a dog yourself, take it to the nearest dog park and start a conversation. Just the other day I was walking my dog and it ran off to play with an attractive girl's dog (who was pretty calm up to that point). I jokingly apologized to her for how much of a bad influence my dog was on hers, and she laughed. Ice breaker right there.
 
#3
You need to ask yourself if you actually don't want to talk to people 99% of the time, or if you're scared of talking to people 99% of the time. If it's the latter, work on your charisma. Try talking to a mirror as if you're talking to someone else. Also, work on your hobbies and on doing things you enjoy doing. That way you'll have things to talk about when you meet other people. Remember that if you're sitting down somewhere already terrified of the possibility of someone approaching you, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy and it'll go poorly. Practice being more open to the possibility that people won't be as judgmental as you assume them to be. Cynicism is horrible for social anxiety, it just makes it a lot worse because you assume people are dicks and will make fun of this or that characteristic of your looks or personality.

Depending on your level of avoidance, take little steps. Say hi to your neighbor and ask him/her how they're doing. Or if you see a neighbor walking their dog, try petting the dog and asking the owner what breed it is, things like that. Or if you have a dog yourself, take it to the nearest dog park and start a conversation. Just the other day I was walking my dog and it ran off to play with an attractive girl's dog (who was pretty calm up to that point). I jokingly apologized to her for how much of a bad influence my dog was on hers, and she laughed. Ice breaker right there.
All good suggestions but I feel like it should be natural to break this cycle. I don't feel like I should have to go out of my way but there's a reason why this habit hasn't been fixed. I'm just wondering if this might be a deep seeded problem, a lot of my extended family members are on anxiety meds. I'm very critical of myself but I don't think that's such a problem. I guess I've just been in a bad mindset for awhile now. I just need to associate being social with positive emotions. I agree that I set myself up for failure, 100%! I use to be quiet anyways but that really wasn't a problem, I could handle social situation no problem, it was just something that I didn't seek out. I'm sure I seem irritated and not wanting to talk by others. I need to work on body language, being uncomfortable shows in your body language. Just need to break down the things that set me up for failure and attack them!
 
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