Help to stop being a flake/social anxiety/someone save me from this hell

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Opal, Sep 1, 2016.

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  1. So it's no news to some people that I have a lot of difficulty responding to people in a timely manner. Or sometimes at all. Not sure when this started, but I have social anxiety, and at some point down the line, even talking to people over the internet became too much for me, and instead of pro-actively working to kick this anxious habit in the ass, I just let it fester like a fool. Now it's, like, completely ingrained in me. It's a horrible cycle, and I hate it.

    Shit goes down like this:

    I want to [role-play, talk to an old friend, make new friends]. I feel motivated and healthy and think I can do it this time. I will make a big effort to be a sociable, dependable person.

    It's been [a few days or weeks], and I'm doing great. I've [started a few role-plays, exchanged a few messages] and I'm able to keep up with them. I feel confident and happy.

    SOMETHING HAPPENS OH NO! Sickness, I get busy, I get tired, I have a few depressed days. I don't reply to someone for a few days.

    I get embarrassed. I apologize to this person for taking a while to reply. They say it's okay. I try to keep things off the ground.

    I am still embarrassed. Talking to people is more difficult. I find it intimidating. I don't want to make a bigger fool out of myself. What if people don't like me? What if I say something wrong? I stop replying right away. I tell myself I'll do it later.

    'Later' turns into 'much later.' I get too intimidated to even look at my inbox. I'm scared to reply. It's hard. I've disappointed people. I can't apologize any more. I should just give up.

    I give up. Months go by, with my continued radio silence. I take time to get my confidence back up.

    I want to [role-play, talk to an old friend, make new friends]...

    It's genuinely awful. I am a flaky ass person. I am not dependable at all. My life is totally dictated by my anxiety, yet I still think I can do something different and stuff will change. I desperately want to change, I hate behaving like this. I've made so much headway in conquering my other bad habits and recovering from depression, but this one little (big) thing just stays the same. I don't really know what to do different or how to go about it.

    I know it comes down to 'dude just fucking do it, like ???' but unfortunately the human brain is more complicated than that. I also know that theoretically my best bet is to make an appointment with my psychologist, but I can't afford that right now. Therefore I'm posting here in hopes some other terribly anxious people might have some coping mechanisms/ways to get themselves to 'just fucking do it'. I'm really tired of just doing the same thing over and over. :/ Life is too short for me to continuously shoot myself in the foot like this, and also one of my worst fears is to hurt or upset people, so this is just a really bad situation all around. I want to role-play, I want to make friends. I'm tired of being dictated by this stupid anxious response!
  2. Aww sweetheart :c </3 I'm sorry to hear you're going through this - I know how painful this can be, seeing as I've also been through it, so I can definitely relate.

    Luckily for you, there's no need to spend money on a psychologist when the friendly peoples of Iwaku are here to help you out!

    So I suppose starting from the beginning; seeing as you're able to actually put yourself into the appropriate mindset of posting and having the positive energy to actually speak with people, that doesn't strike me as someone who cannot interact with people, but more-so someone who doesn't enjoy interacting with people; and I get it, people are scary... especially when you don't have a face to a name.

    My advice to curb your issue would be to find certain things you love, and strive towards putting every ounce of yourself into said certain thing. This allows the brain to realize its potential in certain circumstances, and ever get over the paralyzing fear of speaking with new people. Don't force yourself to reply to something you no longer have interest in. If your brain is stopping you from this, it's a clear indication that there is something wrong there, and that you need to move on.

    Another suggestion would be to try beta-ing people's stories - I know this is an available feature on many websites, but it's a good exercise to get you branching out, because it involves speaking with people, and writing - so it's a win win. Anyways, please don't hesitate to PM me if you need some more advice ^-^ Take care ♥
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  3. I am currently running into this problem myself a bit, but in the opposite direction. I make a new friend, or talk to current ones, but then I get worried that I'm hanging around too much or talking too much, etc and then run away and stop interacting with them for a while so I don't seem so 'clingy'. If I'm not as close to them, this inevitably ends up with me never speaking to them again or at the very least being super awkward and ruining things that way.

    What we both have to remember is that sometimes, we need to force ourselves to reach out even if it scares us. Just a simple, 'hey, how's it going?' can be a casual way to get things going again and making it a habit to check in with people like this can get you used to reaching out more(I actually use this one on my dad when I realize I haven't talked to him in weeks).

    Also, spamming everyone with this because it's an invaluable lesson and far too relevant not to hand out to anyone and everyone right now (SPOILERS for those of you who watch Steven Universe and haven't gotten to this episode yet)
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  4. I understand how you're feeling. It's a terrible thing when you feel like everything you do is wrong, where it feels like everyone is going to outright reject you, and you really feel like you can't handle it because your mind is just a garbled mess of emotions. It's frustrating and I'm sorry you have to endure it. A few things I've done to help get over my anxiety in the past is think positive thoughts and just breathe. The more I thought positively, the more I realized that I didn't need anyone else to dictate how I felt.

    Now, I also understand that this is a difficult mindset to latch onto. It took me more than a couple of years to finally get out of the mindset that kept making me so damn miserable. The key is to combat those negative thoughts. If you think someone is going to lash out at you for taking a while to reply, just slowly breathe in and hold your breath for three seconds, then slowly let it out, and PM the person, giving them reason(s) why you've been unable to reply for the past few days or weeks.

    I never realized this until a while back, but people are extremely understanding when you leave notes explaining your absence. It doesn't matter how little or detailed it is. Even a simple "Not feeling well for the past week, will be taking a break from this date to this date" lets them know that "Hey, she or he is having a tough time, I need to back down and let them cool off for a bit" and if not, then those people are assholes and truth be told, people who aren't understanding to a beautiful writer like yourself don't deserve to write with you, because your mental and physical health is faaaaaaar more important than replying to a stranger's writing online.

    A few other things I would do in your situation:
    • Schedule a day and time you're free to go online and reply to whatever roleplay you're feeling at the time
    • Take days off, even when you're feeling great, and do something else you love to do, such as reading or drawing
    • Exercise- this doesn't even need to be a whole lot, just a nice walk or jog around the neighborhood is good
    • When you're in distress, talk to someone and/or write down how you're feeling that day and what is causing it
    • Write down six things you've accomplished at the end of the day; this personally helped me a lot
    • Just breathe, Opal. Just breathe and relax. Take a nice warm bath, drink a nice warm cup of tea, and breathe.
    • Things will get better. It's okay to not be perfect. Keep telling yourself that and it's sure to come true! (:
    I hope you feel better soon, Opal. You're a beautiful writer and person. I know your place all too well and it's a very scary feeling and thought. I still have anxiety sometimes and it's taken me a very long time to conquer it as a whole so that things aren't bad anymore. I send you lots of hugs and reassurance your way. Just remember, put on a bright smile and tell yourself "I can do this, I can beat this" and good things will come. Think positive. Combat that negativity. If I can beat it, so can you!
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  5. I can relate, actually. I've got a bad habit of building things/stuff I need to do up in my head to the point that they seem insurmountable, which means they languish for months without ever getting done.

    Can't help you on the psychology behind it all, but what I can suggest are some solutions that have worked for me.

    If you're like me, a lot of those fun, anxious feelings stem from a feeling that you don't really have a handle on the situation, that you can't remain in the drivers seat. It's all well and good to have a handle on things when you're at your peak, but if everything flies off the handle the second life throws a curveball at you (which it's a fan of doing) then you're perhaps needing to implement a bit more structure in your life.

    There's a book I'm currently reading about personal organisational skills called 'Getting Things Done' by David Allen, and it's genuinely worked wonders for me in terms of keeping on top of things. It's just simple, we'll explained techniques for preventing issues from building up and overwhelming you, and I'd seriously recommend checking it out.

    Even if that's not your thing (which is totally fine, errybody's different), I really would recommend finding your own way to implement a bit of structure and organisation in your life. Even just the small step of having a means of tracking what you need to do can give you a sense of control, which really helps to keep anxiety at bay.

    Hope that helps and isn't too waffly.
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