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Im A Teenager And I Think I Have A Social Phobia.

Im 18 yearsold girl. I don't have any friends at school now and Im really alone. I feel so uncomfortable being around people and I feel that the only place or people I feel comfortable is at my house with my family. I do have two close friends and few people I feel comfortable being around from my high school but most of the time we got to be close through texting or chatting(except for my two best friends). Now that we are all in college, I dont get to see them as much as before, and seeing them enjoying college and making new friends worries me that they might be forgetting about me. And that is aggaravating my loneliness even more. I sometimes texted them but most of the time they reply very late or very short unlike before they reply with much details and things to tell me. Now they seem to heve lot of things to do and busy with other things and i feel left out. I tried to make friends at my school now but it didn't work. Everytime someone talks to me i answere very quick and short. I cant even think of a topic to talk about so the conversation stops and the person talking to me endup getting bored with me and talk to someone else. I was even invited to eat lunch with a group of girls. They seem really nice but I couldnt relate or enjoy to any of their conversation and while I was sitting with them at the cafeteria, I couldnt stop but to feel so awkward and uncomfortable and I felt like choking or suffocation(figuratively speaking). Some peole tried to talk to me and smiled at me but I cant smile back properly.( cuz im anxious that wen i smile i look like im in pain or an idiot...) so many of my batchmates think like im a loner and dont wanna be friends with them. But i dont blame them for thinking like that. Im just not confident enough to think that somone actually wants to be friends with me or interested in me. now, Some of my classmates talk to me or say hi but i just say hi back and try not to talk longer cuz i feel like their doing that out of pity for me and i dont want anyone to think that im feeling lonly. im pretty much sure why i am like this. I've been like this since 6th grade when i was bullied by group of boys and I was loner for the whole entire year. since then i became so anxious and unconfident with myself and until now i am not recovered from the painful experience i had during my 6th grade. I really need help and advise. even a word of comfort might  ease my loneliness.   
cavalierprince cavalierprince 18-21, F 25 Responses Jun 9, 2010

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Get some counselling, I promise you'll feel much better afterwards=]:

Wow! I can relate entirely! There was a period in high school when I felt exactly that way. Not having much to say, not able to think of topics to talk about. I could actually see people whispering about me and giving me pitying looks. Then, I didn't want to sit next to people because I thought either they'd think I was annoying or they didn't want me there. And I'd put on a cool face so that I didn't look lonely. I think it made me look a bit stuck up though, people instead thought that I think I am too cool for them or something.<br />
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By a stroke of luck, I met a group of people on the first day of college, and they were patient. After getting to know people a bit, I can become more talkative. Now the problem is that they are all guys (due to the course I am studying) and it is a bit awkward being the only girl. However, knowing them has given me a lot of self confidence, and I feel like things can improve.<br />
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So, the message is: be confident, be happy of the way you are and don't be afraid of getting to know people. There will definitely be someone out there who will accept you for the way you are, there are people who won't, too, but you need to rebound from rejection.

I think I have the same problem. Even now that I have a job, I still feel less confident in front of people who I'm not close to. I'm always not the one to do the first step in trying to know someone better.

some thoughts on being alone,loneliness,shyness-the damaging impact of shyness on others i always find deeply affecting.one of lifes paradoxes for me is that i can nearly always show more sympathy for others than i give myself.my ability to express that sympathy for otgers is i think only limited by my own shyness.<br />
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professionally and in my activities,having been a self-motivated"mover",all my life since i was about 15,seems boundless and fearless,but socially and personally im still shy at 58 years old,very private and sometimes withdrawn.<br />
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i dont mean to patronise any young or younger people in writing this;im not going to advise you or tell you anything,only that i still have it too.<br />
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i think i was very timid as a boy,and given my age i dont think i got much chance to mix until i started school at 5.i dont think there was much child care provision then,and my mum assumed she would care for me.i remember meeting and mixing with the children next door,of approximately similar age,of those withing a few doors and a younger boy down the road.<br />
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i remember being introuduced to other childrebn on my first day at school,and those i was bornin the same hospital ward were pointed out to me,but i remember feeling alien,a stranger,in the wrong place.i eventually came to terms with the feelings of daily abandoment every time my mum walked away.i coped.i made friends.but every now and again the feelings would return and i wanted to run away and hide.some of those feelings continued into my time at grammar school,and when adolescence arrived i felt like people couuld see through me.i would analyse and reanalyse nothers responses,trying to second guess them and fuind their real motivation and reaction to me.eventually i suppose i just got on with it.<br />
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when i discovered self-activity,that i could do things myself or with others,i joined and i think most of my friendships have been made inthe context of doing and/or working alongside people.that said once an activity was over i would have difficulties finding a way to continue the friendship unless some other activity with that person orthose people took over.i now realise that its with both men and women,although its harder with women.<br />
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i always felt and still feel tongue tied,that i might rehearse a conversation in my head and then either not be able to act on it,or look up and find the person gone.or i would be too shy to even look.or i would second guess that the other person would run from my intensity-something i do not deny-or would see my motives as a "come on"even when that was not the case.<br />
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i struggled with boy-girlfriend relationships.i did not like the attitudes of many of my male peers,even though i might otherwise like them and be forgiving of what i found appalling.i did not understand the rules of the game and i always felt inferior.<br />
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my first successful relationship was with a very fiery,young woam a few months my junior,who was also and oddity who crashed into my life and made me feel like i was likeable,that it was ok to be odd,and who loved me.although we eventually split up not long after she went to college-an experience i delated for a year,inthe days before gap years,we remained friends for many years,and indeed it is only in recent months that she brought that friendship to a sudden and complete end,saying taht we had grown apart and that to continue even in the light of some 43 years personal history would be inauthentic.<br />
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i cant help but feel,especially given other apscets of my personal circumstances/history,which i dont want to talk of here,that i have done something wrong and that i am at fault.it has also knocked my sense of content with my discontent and my learned self assurance that its ok to be out of step,different,quirky,eccentric.<br />
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recent retirement has however given me perfect circumstances in which to"convert"other relations like colleagues into friendships,and if i trick myself into seeing this as activity perhaps i might get through or past it.buyt i still dont cope with it very well.<br />
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then there is aloneness and loneliness,which are not the same thing but which may overlap and easily get muddled.<br />
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in the hubbub of semi-urban or urban life,being alone can be difficult,unless you learn to make mental space for yourself.i think ive done this.yet it might be contradicted by an aparent need for music or things on the radio when i am alone.yet i think music was always an aid to self discipline at awork or activity,and the radio provides the background in imitation of the noise levels of city life that ive got used to.that said i do listen,often keeping one ear or eye on news and other things to keep up to date especially as im often writing comment or short pieces on news,politics,issues,and a variety of other things.<br />
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then there is loneliness.when i was ac hild there was often times when i felt i spent a lot of time amongst adults rather than peers.my timidity and then awkwardness and shyness often led me to fel i was an alien,strange and different.learning to be self motivated and active brought me into the relationships i needed.<br />
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adolescenec is often described as atime of being and discovering being oneself,when it might seem that young people just spend time hanging around or hanging out,but i alwasy discovered and expressed my being through my doing to the extend that i now use the following mantra that <br />
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i is not i.i is we.we are not yet but we are coming.<br />
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..that we discoiver and express ourselves in relation to others in our doing.<br />
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and yet i still know loneliness-through my senses of difference and odditty,through a political and spiritual sense of alienation,and not least through only partly understanding and not being able to come to terms with my shyness and personal intensity that accompanies it.<br />
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that it seesm to me is compounded by beliefs,attitudes and outlook that i seem unable to dump and mostly would not wish to do so-a belief in human solidarity,the importance of love and that so much of what we do is ba<x>sed on conventions that do not fit people like me who dont share the ideas that seem to dominate about how our emotional loyalties in a hierarchy of values-love of god and higher values,nation/state,community/humainity,then family,sexual/erotic love andthen the negatives of lust and the dodgy stuff.whilst some of this may be ba<x>sed on truthful insights i dont accept the hierarchy or rigidification of it.whilst im not that tactile and touchy feely i suspect that because ive found the rules of it so constraining and alien that i simplyt fail it.<br />
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but then part of me goes..bah humbug...its all posing self indulgent,pretensious nonsense.<br />
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yet i suspect it is not..somebody told me about polyamorism or something recently....perhaps thats a clue,or perhaps not.<br />
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does any one else have any c;lues to this map of life.id like to hear it to.<br />
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al i can say to the 16,18 or even 30 or any year old,is you are not alone,i have it to.<br />
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and waht i also found interesting is the signs of recognition of some of it,or that others"suffer2some of this experience too in the telling of part of my story or beginning to articulate what might be the problematic.<br />
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so can anyone out there help me too.....or am i just plain nuts?

So, I guess we all have our own journey to partake on. whether your 13, 17, 30 or 54, I am 36 and feel like I should have it all figured out by now, but I don't I am in the beginning stages of trying to overcome this social inferioirty anxiety complex that I have. I am living with family now because I can't work for the past 6 years!! I have not worked but I am trying to go out on my own and work for myself through woodworking so maybe one day i can support myself again. I am not a lazy person by anymeans and am not just living off my family, I really have been cripled by this and finally acknowledging it is a first step. But going back to school is one of the second steps that I will have to take and that seems all but impossible to me right now. But I am going to give it a try nonetheless. I need to do this for me to have a successful and happy life because they both go hand in hand. I'm not sure if I have any advice for you becasue I am just trying to live life and cope unfortuneately, I want to live! though live and enjoy it. yet my social paranoia and anxiety keeps me from all things. You write like you have a lot of insight and knowledge about your own life and it is commemrable that you went this far with your social anxiety. Have you ever done therapy? I'd recommend it. I am in it right now and it seems to be helping to get to understand myself and see that I do have delusional thought processes born out of the way I was raised and now has taken a toll on my quality of life. We are all on different journeys in life and come to crossroads when we need to. good luck and you are not alone. I have 'it' too. there is another person with the social anxiety out there as well.

Wow you seem just like me.... I am always lonely... I have no friends. I went off to college as a transfer hoping to make at least 1 but I made none..... it was so hard and depressing. I did EVERYTHING alone.... and my roommate was no help.... she just quietly slipped out of the room everyday like some sort of cat. I got so depressed and was failing all of my classes... a first in college history. I was there for 7 weeks and hadnt had a good laugh. Im the type of person who laughs at everything when im with my family.<br />
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I dont know.... I couldnt take it so I just left.... I figured my mental and emotional health was more important that a semester at college.... <br />
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Now Im home.... still friendless... but at least I have my family.<br />
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If you need anyone to talk to you can message me :)

I think Ive got Social Phobia , and I just found it out, After crying after my day at Uni. I just can't talk to anyone and when I say something its short and no one usually hears me. I am studying Nursing and want to overcome this I don't want to be the quiet freak anymore People don't even say HI to me .. I want to make some friends! I don't want to feel lonely, and every time have to think what to say, i wanna feel comfortable when I 'm talking. Does anyone with this problem want to talk to me ?Just send me a message.

Hey, I can tell you that I have the same problem. Maybe if people don't say hi to you, you can be the one to say hi to them. I know in the past that I got really happy when someone talked to me like that. I had very little self-confidence then, but these days, I find most times when I greet people, they wouldn't be so mean as to ignore me. And if they did...well, they're not a very nice person anyway. Also, I find that some really talkative people liked to come talk to me, maybe to find out why I'm so quiet. Maybe try talking to one of them, and let them do most of the talking?

im 15 going on 16 and i really really know EXACTLY what ur saying sometimes i get so frustrated with myself for not talking to this person or that guy longer. because they usually come up and say hi or try and start a conversation. and they think im ignoring them because i feel so awkward with everything. And please listen when i say this unless ur sick and diying or so depressed u feel suicidal U DO NOT NEED meds. because if u start taking them and relying on them to much u can be hooked for life. and im not some super religous person trying to tell u "u just need god and prayer" blah blah blah iv just seen what can happen to people who depend on pills for even the slightest pain or drama so if u can DONT go there. how i got over it was i started with big group things like a reading club or a talk group (more like gossip :P) but it helps to find a realitivly large group of people with similer likes and dislikes and from there ull see people who make u smile and talking comes eaiser and u feel happy with them and most likely they'll have friends and most likely ull be friends with there friends and before you know it youll have plenty of friends :D i really think u should try this it worked for me and im in High school. i wish u the best of luck :D

im 15 going on 16 and i really really know EXACTLY what ur saying sometimes i get so frustrated with myself for not talking to this person or that guy longer. because they usually come up and say hi or try and start a conversation. and they think im ignoring them because i feel so awkward with everything. And please listen when i say this unless ur sick and diying or so depressed u feel suicidal U DO NOT NEED meds. because if u start taking them and relying on them to much u can be hooked for life. and im not some super religous person trying to tell u "u just need god and prayer" blah blah blah iv just seen what can happen to people who depend on pills for even the slightest pain or drama so if u can DONT go there. how i got over it was i started with big group things like a reading club or a talk group (more like gossip :P) but it helps to find a realitivly large group of people with similer likes and dislikes and from there ull see people who make u smile and talking comes eaiser and u feel happy with them and most likely they'll have friends and most likely ull be friends with there friends and before you know it youll have plenty of friends :D i really think u should try this it worked for me and im in High school. i wish u the best of luck :D

I'm not going to say I know how you feel but I was a bit like that when I was younger. I guess I grew out of it. I'm not saying my situation was the same but you just have to try your best to make friends.<br />
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What I suggest is finding something you like then people to share them with. You don't need a really wide circle of friends and be like the "popular cheerleader" or anything. I like a few different activities such as snowboarding and XC mountain biking (which can be done solo) but I also do some more "geekier" things like D&D and play special video games (not COD or WOW or anything like that games that need a special audience to appreciate).<br />
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Additionally find someone who you can share your life with. I'm not saying you need to find a boyfriend or life partner or anything (or that it's even a high priority, it may very well come after you meet someone nice) but one or two really good super best friends (and no I'm not saying like platonic "BFF's") that you can share anything with goes a long way. I've found an amazing woman, who I'm at ease with. We're both a bit socially awkward and although don't share all the same likes/activities we've made it work and can depend on each other.<br />
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Also, I'm not a doctor or anything (so don't be a hypochondriac) but maybe you should talk to your university doctor/counsellor/psychologist about social anxiety since they'll be the experts and be able to direct you to the help you need if you need it or at least help you work through your social anxiety.

I'm alot older than you but grew up with social phobia. I'm sociable today because I wanted to better me as a kid and knew I had a problem. I still have trust issues. Your problem probably has to do with trust. Maybe you had bad experiences when you were very young with family and friends or parents that were social phobic. My parents were very soft. I suggest you find something you really like to do such as listen to music or go online, maybe in school find activities that you like alot. My way out of my shell was my love for music and Duran Duran in the 80s lol. I found other people like me and started to talk a little. It's alot easier to communicate when you have friends like yourself. Maybe find a support group for other social phobics. Your problem is not uncommon. It's horrible to feel we are on the outside looking in. I'm still there @ times.

I totally get how you feel I was bullied by this one stupid kid since kindergarten and I think that may be a reason why I am so shy. It sucks to be this way, trust me I know, because you feel like you can't control it. If you ever need a friend, just message and I will try to help :)<br />
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Good luck :) hugs xoxo

You may have a social phobia. I've been there. It helped me to hang out with the "misfit" crowd. They're usually the best friends you'll ever have; and, more often than not, you can work out your problems better with them than you could with anybody else.

It is great that you could write this post. It means that you are on the right way. <br />
Try also another kind of people go to some charity club like Red cross or church. See that there are also good people. Try internet. When you see other people not only your class you will see the world is very large and diverse and it will be simpler later to talk them too. <br />
Have a life outside your class. <br />
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About talking: try not so much speak about yourself, let other people speak. And listen/ have mimic that you listen very carefully/ reask even if you have understood they will think you really get deep in their poblems/ thoughts.<br />
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There are some people impossible to find topic to speak about, so search for others. <br />
And use this site and posts- it is your communication already. See how many people replied to you; you really are not alone.

Dear Cavalier:<br />
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Loneliness is part of the human equation. We all experience it at some point in our lives.<br />
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IMO, you are too young to be worried about "loneliness". Give it time, give it space, and you'll get there.<br />
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I've been where your are. I, like you, suffer from "social phobias". In my particular case, I suffer from agoraphobia. I'm afraid of "open spaces" --- crowds and the like. This has distanced me from (those whom I thought were) "friends".<br />
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You will, in time, discover self-poise, grace ---- and the social accomplishments that come with those.<br />
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Many people, in our lives, live quietly with the problem of loneliness. You are (as a paradox) are not "alone".<br />
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Take heart t in the fact that ---- after all is said and done ---- you are NOT alone. Your're among friends on this forum --- and those of us who understand where you're coming from.<br />
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Most of us have been there. I promise you --- that you'll succeed and overcome your loneliness.<br />
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It will happen. Just give it time.<br />
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I wish the best for you in your struggle with loneliness. But, as you post this ---- in later years, you'll look back upon your experiences ---- and there will a new you. It will happen. Just give it time.<br />
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You're never "alone". We stand behind you.

i haven't read the comments so far, but i'll comment anyway :)<br />
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i'm 43... i was you.<br />
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you will proberbly be the most interesting thirty-something-year-old, the only problem is, you have to make it to there.<br />
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i'm not going to tell you my related story and bore the *** of you but you have to understand, YOU are the one people will aspire to be in the long run ( popularity is fleeting). the very fact that you question yourself makes you more real than most..

i agree with jettys instead of being busy doing somethng else hang out with more ppl ull get to know diffrent kind of ppl n if u hang out with thm more ull get usto thm n thm to u u can help friends and do many more thngs look i know most of the kids in my school if i dnt like wat thy talk about i join another group just stay there n dont say any thing n u can look for ppl tht are in ur school in the internet n try to talk to thm u can talk about how teachers are annoying n give to much hw n about other students

Don't worry I feel the same way you did in the 9th grade, people would always mess with me.

Some people with such problem have asperger, which is just having a different personality than normally people have. But good news is creative people like Einstein and Bill Gates also have asperger. Try to check if you are one of the group.

when you are grade 6, what people bullied about you?

when you are grade 6, what people bullied about you?

your exactly like me because i remember being pushed around by some people so then i feel so unconfedent about myself and im only comfotable with my friends that i know for a while now and i feel comfortable at my house with my family and i always feel like when people say hi to me i feel like i look like a loner so they say hi and i do the same by just saying hi and thats it and for school speeches i hate going up cause i start shaking and i have this habit where i get nervous and my leg shakes when im sitting

Hi, I wanted to tell you that if you really think you have this condition look for help, get a real diagnose and treatment, it aint easy, but I can tell you from my own experience once you start your medication and the therapies and when you realize that you are worth as much as other people, and that you are capable of doing things you thought you'll never do.<br />
you know one of most valorous things my therapist told to me was... you are the one putting those thoughts in other people minds, (it means it's my imagination the one who's telling me.. hmm.. look at the way she looked at me, she must be thinking that), to be quite honest I dont understand how a social phobic can think "twice", thinking about what other people are thinking or saying about them and at the same time having your own thoughts and analyzing all the info.<br />
If you have any questions, I'll be happy to help you.

*this message is the same i sent to a girl with the same issue*<br />
*sending it to you too cuz maybe it will help*<br />
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I used to have social anxiety too, and i think it hit me when i hit highschool, before high school i had sooooo many freinds and would get along with everyone, but when high school hit pretty much all my freinds went to other schools and i was just left with my best freind and she was never their, and their was a group of girls that made school horrible for me and my freind because I was dateing her ex so i just stoped going because i felt all alone, so a bunch of things happend after this my boyfreind ended up dateing one of those girls and ruined my life tormenting me, and after all this i kind ove hid for like thre years from everyone and i think that whole experience lead me to completely isolate myself off from the world. I think this whole thing triggered my anxiety about people, but anyway it got to the point where first i couldent be in crowds without haveing to like run away and be by myself, then i couldent be in small groups with even close freinds , then i couldent be around even my family without get anxiety and feeling extremely akward, and then it got to the point where i could only be around my boyfreind, i wouldent awnser my phone i couldent even go to the store without feeling really anxious.... and due to feeling so lonely and board i would go out but only if i self medicated myself with alcahol before i left, i would have to be hammered before i could leave the house to go out, and then finally i decided enough of liveing like this i had to make a change i couldent live like this forever... so i forced myself to go see the docter, it was so hard by this time to be around anyone i felt so nervous around the docter and the nurses, but i told him everything i told him how i felt and that i really needed something to help me get out of this, and that day changed my life!!!!! no kidding, im not trying to premote drugs and say hears the quick fix but at that point i had no other choice, so he prescribed me Effexor XR i worked my way up to takeing 250mgs a day, this drug is made to help cure.... yes CURE social anxiety... and it deals with deppression.... it took about 2 months to fulling kick in and now im liveing my life but i am able to be around groups crowds one on one and just live a normal fulfilling life... finally! I have two freinds who also had social anxiety and my mother had it, my mom is the one who told me to ask the docter about this specific drug, she had it and now she is perfectly fine... my freinds had it and they thanked me so much for telling them about this their life was too becomeing more and more isolated... i know how this sounds but honestly this medication changed ! My! Life! so i really would tell you to give it a try if your docter says it would be a good idea... i hope this helps :) .... you deserve better for yourself,<br />
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P.S when i said cure i said that because this medication you only need to take for 2-4 yrs before it this fixes something in your brain i dont know exactly what it does to it but it makes it so you can deal on your own... with no more medication.... but just look it up on google or yahoo... :)

My 17 year old son has quite an extreme case of social anxiety-he barely went to school this year,but is now agreeing to counselling so that he can try to move forward in his schooling.His Dad has it in situations where he has to converse with anyone including me,his father & his sons,& have only have it in speaking in front of a large group of strangers. Me,my son & my father--in-law have all had panic attacks,& depression is linked to it also.I know it's genetic,so I really feel for you.<br />
Find the right doctor or anxiety clinic that is well rated for results...I also know its a very common illness & there are also medication to treat it. Make sure your friends or family are supportive in helping you to help yourself.....I wish you all the best,we are in the same boat.Let me know how you are doing,,,signed creativejoy

I'm alone too, it's hard for me to talk to people, i never make the first step, i don't know how to do it.<br />
Like you i have friends but i don't see them very much and they also answer me later when i send them a sms