I think I have social anxiety...
I scored a 68 on the social phobia inventory. I think that it might be a little higher than reality, but I'm pretty sure that I have social anxiety issues.
I don't like talking to strangers, and I'm terrified of being mocked, teased, or judged, even in a friendly playful way. When someone play-teases me it's secretly really upsetting.
I hate making mistakes in front of other people, and anytime I get the courage to talk to someone, I always say something wrong and it really bothers me.
I have a really difficult time making friends. Actually, I don't have any close friends - just acquaintances.
When my roommates have a party, I stay in my room by myself for fear of being judged.
I'm not necessarily afraid of constructive criticism - when it comes to writing. I write papers a lot and it doesn't bother me so much about making grammatical mistakes. But I would hate to be criticized on anything else - like speaking, etc.
Public speaking kind of terrifies me.
I also have issues when it comes to things like driving. When I first started to learn how to drive, I was absolutely terrified. I've gotten a lot better but driving places sometimes makes me nervous - because I'm really scared of making a mistake. I don't like driving in uncharted territory - I always stick to the same roads and I don't like driving on the interstate at all. I think it's a confidence issue. I remember my first wreck - it wasn't my fault and my car was just scraped a little but it was absolutely traumatizing.
There's so much else that I can talk about but the main point is that I feel so held back by my fears and inhibitions. I look around at everyone else and wish I could be like them. It's just hard when I'm scared and nervous about everything. Sometimes I try really hard to break through this barrier, but it never works. Maybe I'm just afraid people won't like me.
I don't necessarily have any physical problems because of it, but when I'm in a bad situation I tend to make the absolute worst out of it and my heart beats fast and I do get kind of sweaty.
Just the fact that people can tell I'm awkward and shy makes me anxious. I hate that people can judge me because I don't talk enough. I feel like they think that I think I'm too good for them or something. And I remember a couple of times when people would greet me, and I would greet them back, but so quietly and softly that they wouldn't hear and would get really angry.
I don't really know what to do. I just feel so held back from my fear of being judged.
Maybe what bothers me the most is the absolute terror of finding a job. I have a little one, but I didn't have to interview for it and there's not a whole lot of scrutiny or too much social contact.
I'm scared of being interviewed and just the whole idea of it makes me nervous. Some people like my aunt think I'm just lazy, but I don't think that's true. I want to work hard for my money like I work really hard academically, but the idea of so much social contact makes me anxious.
Does anyone have any advice?
I'm sorry for the double post. But I don't know how to edit the post. My score was 62, not 68. But I still think that's a little high.
Yes, if I may I could offer you some pieces of advice. Since the first step in solving a problem is acknowledging it, you now just need to solve it properly. For that you might need to check with an expert in this domain, such as a psychologist. Also, you need to convince yourself that people do not judge you and that you are normal - only you can do that; in the case that some rare very uneducated frustrated mean individuals do decide to verbally offend you, just ignore them - whatever they might say is not true. Again, this relies almost entirely on you to trust yourself and know that people don't judge you (it makes sense, I don't think anyone has the time or effort to judge EVERY person he meets in a day, so it is completely illogical to fear that others think less of you). Also if you have self-confidence, you will automatically induce it in others' thinking, meaning they will see you are a self-assuring person and will tend to treat you as a strong person. Ultimately, a good method of learning how to overcome social anxiety is by socializing very much until you realize your fears are completely gone. Again, if I may, this might require some expert's guidance and advice. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck and hope you will defeat social anxiety.
Originally Posted by jeremyprk6