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Question regarding shyness and when to confront

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Old 03-07-2005, 08:31 AM   #1
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Question regarding shyness and when to confront

I thought this was a phase that I'd get over as I grew older, but I guess this is just "me". The never wanting to go out, never wanting to spend time with people other than my immediate family and my boyfriend, the constant feeling of awkwardness and feeling "out of place" in any social situation.... I guess this is something I have to deal with for the rest of my life.
However, lately this has been affecting my relationship with my boyfriend. We've been together for 6 months now, and I still have to force myself to spend time with his friends or family. I like them a lot, they are all great people, but the pressure of always having to say the right thing or be good enough for all of them as "Tim's girlfriend" is almost too much for me to handle. What should be just hanging out and having a good time with his buddies at his apartment turns into anxiety building as I drive over to his apartment. Then once I get there I become quiet and very conscious of every movie I make.
I feel like I'm not the "funny and outgoing" girl he'd like to show off as his girlfriend.
He's the 'party' type who likes to drink and make everyone laugh. I feel like having me there holds him back and damnit I just feel like such a dull person!!
This is getting bad. And I realize how silly it is.... I mean, for example: his friend is getting married in 2 months and I'm already nervous about going to the wedding knowing that there will be a ton of people that I don't know but that my boyfriend does.
Is this something I should talk to him about? Obviously he notices the different versions of me (the 'me' when it's just him and I, and the 'me' when I'm in a social situation) so it's not like it'd be something he hadn't noticed... But talking to him about it would be embarrassing. And I don't know what it would get accomplished besides MORE awkwardness since he'd know what I was thinking as we were hanging out with his friends.
For those of you who have been here before, or who have an opinion, some advice, a slap in the face perhaps, PLEASE help me.

(I am not on any medications nor am I seeking professional help -yet-... But maybe that is what I need to help me out of this rut)

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Old 03-07-2005, 09:33 AM   #2
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sculpture HB User
Re: Question regarding shyness and when to confront


I am married to my husband for 4 years now and we went through the same thing. I never felt "good enough" to be around his family and friends because I was not as outgoing or accomplished as they were. It bothered me a lot. I am stil suferring from it a little now so I don't want you to go through the same thing. Your relationship is still new so you have time to get it under control.

You are a unique person. There is only ONE you whoever that is. YOU are the way you are and you don't need to change for anyone because it will only make you nuts trying to impress everyone else. Highlight and focus on your positive qualities and you will realize you are just as worthy as everyone else. Just be comfortable with yourself. Your boyfriend obviously likes you a lot otherwise he would not be with you, right? So I am SURE he does not think of you as "dull" at all.

No need to discuss this issue with him because it might just make matters worse. My husband says that now he cannot enjoy either because he is always worried about me and if I am having a good time. I think it is better if you just deal with this on your own. I wish I would have kept my feelings to myself now. You should just build your confidence and self-esteem, take up some hobbies or pursue new things that you like.

Everyone, no matter WHO they are, are always conscious of themselves all the time too so they hardly ever notice anyone else's discomfort in situations. People who are loud are only covering up their own insecurities too. There was a quote from some famous person I remember that goes something like "When I walk into a room full of people, I don't think 'will they like me?', I think,'will I like them?'" It makes sense. Even confident outgoing people are concerned about impressing others. So at the party next time try to consciously be aware of their efforts to impress and you will probably smile about it.

I have realized that people will mingle with you only if you make the effort to mingle with them. If I go to a party and just sit in one place the whole night, no one comes over to me especially if I don't know them too well. But if I go around the room and start or join in conversations or get involved in what they are doing then I will get along better with others AND I myself enjoy more. Of course it will probably be awkwardand hard at first but then it will get better and better and soon presto you are fitting in the group. Believe me this works-I know through trial and error! Isn't this what outgoing people do? They just do things without letting their self-consciousness control them, right? They are self-conscious but it doesn't overwhelm them.

I hope this LONG post helped a little. I just wanted to write because I just don't wish anyone else to feel the way I did.

Last edited by sculpture; 03-07-2005 at 09:39 AM.

Old 03-07-2005, 10:34 AM   #3
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stan HB User
Re: Question regarding shyness and when to confront

it sounds like social anxiety which i have i get nervous around people and very shy i never speak because i dont want to say the wrong things and make a fool of myself i try to avoid social situations if i can talk to him and tell him what you are going through and also see your gp as he can perscribe you meds for anxiety or you could do cbt which helps

Old 03-07-2005, 01:42 PM   #4
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hry33 HB Userhry33 HB User
Re: Question regarding shyness and when to confront

read up about social anxiety disorder on the net, its common

Old 03-07-2005, 02:15 PM   #5
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Re: Question regarding shyness and when to confront

Yes, it definitely sounds like social anxiety to me. I have those feelings a lot in social situations, although not to your extreme. I am a little shy at first, although after I get to know someone, I open up pretty well.

I noticed I always feel ill at ease in a group of people, but not just one on one.

Old 03-07-2005, 02:54 PM   #6
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Re: Question regarding shyness and when to confront

Can social anxiety be just being uncomfortable around groups of people? I am fine one on one but in a group I tend to be very shy...

Old 03-08-2005, 04:37 AM   #7
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Re: Question regarding shyness and when to confront

Originally Posted by 1blueangelz
Can social anxiety be just being uncomfortable around groups of people? I am fine one on one but in a group I tend to be very shy...
yes it can be with just a group its more common to have it when you are around alot of people together its just hard to relax around people but it can happen when your with 1 person but easier to relax if its just 1 person because your not thinking of all the negative things so much like everyone is looking at me or if you think your going to do something wrong in front of others i try not to go places where there is crowds or lots of people because of it

Old 03-08-2005, 07:05 AM   #8
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Re: Question regarding shyness and when to confront

A good thing to try if you are uncomfortable in a large group of people, is to strike up a conversation with just one person in the group at a time. Don't try to converse with everyone. I did that at my Christmas luncheon and felt pretty comfortable. It was about 10 people from my office.

Old 03-08-2005, 07:35 AM   #9
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Re: Question regarding shyness and when to confront

I struggle with social anxiety too. Even in my childhood I would get freaked out about going to school. Today I'm in my 40's & still tend to be a loner, and that's OK! One thing I discovered recently in a college class is that there are basicly two types of people: introverts & extroverts. I am an introvert. It's not a bad thing to be an introvert! There's not "something wrong with me" because I don't act like an extrovert. Many great writers and artists are introverts. We are just more comfortable in our own cozy niche. Yes, we do have to deal with social situations, but work on developing who you are by goal setting & defining your dreams. Who knows, you may be destined for greatness, but you need to find that in your own space & in your own way. There is a book titled "The Introvert Advantage: How to thrive in an Extrovert world" By Marti Olsen Lanley, Check it out!

Last edited by Porcelain_doll; 03-08-2005 at 07:43 AM.

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