Social Anxiety

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/11/2009 3:50 PM (GMT -7)   
So this is my second year of college, and I think I made the transition ok after a mixed episodes of depression and anxiety. Mostly I find I have anxiety in meeting new friends/people. I would love to be the outgoing, high energy, and friendly type that anyone can talk to. Of course I can easily do this while intoxicated, but I don't want to become a major alcoholic or anything in order to meet people.
These feelings still come up:
1.Isolate myself from firends
2. Paranoid that I am being negatively talked about
3. Social awkwardness/clam up in conversation
4. Anxious to leave certain social settings
For example, I will be invited to go and hang out with friends, and then I feel like I get awkward and start to worry that i said something wrong, I clam up and get nervous to the point where I am anxious to leave. I hate this! What is wrong with me!?
I have always been afraid to try any medications.
I was wondering if anyone had suggestions to beat these feeling naturally? Anything helps :)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/11/2009 4:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Starness and welcome to HealingWell. This is a minor problem for me especially in large crowds or with people I do not know.

It's only natural to feel a bit anxious before a social event or when meeting new people for the first time. However, for some of us , what should be a source of pleasure can become a real nightmare.

Social anxiety, or social phobia, is having a fear of social situations and interacting with other people.

For most people, social anxiety isn't so much a fear of the situation itself, but rather a fear of how they think others might judge them in that situation. I feel like this may be where you and I are at.

Social phobia has a lot to do with low self esteem. When a person doesn't hold themselves in very high regard and thinks negatively about themselves, they naturally think others are having those exact same thoughts and are judging them negatively too. It's like they sense their own thoughts reflected back at them.

Try focusing outward when you are in a social situation. Socialising and meeting new people is all about outward thinking – focusing on the other person – not inward thinking. Noticing things about that person and showing an interest in them. People love to be noticed, and will naturally warm to your presence when you start to take an interest in them.

Start out in small groups and remembe to keep telling yourself that you are OK. You are interesting and charming and you are excited to meet new friends. :-)

Do stick with us and I hope this has helped you in some small way.

I wish you peace,


Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/11/2009 5:48 PM (GMT -7)   
hi there i totally concur with kitt on this i use to get real bad but i finally realized i could be fun and contribute to the group it wasnt easy but it is do able,i hope you will keep posting stay with us here its a great support site with plenty great ppl.....lyn

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 2/12/2010 11:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Social Anxiety was hell for me for years.

**I suggest that a separate forum be created on for "Social Anxiety" (because it really is it's own thing).

I also wanted to let people that I have overcome most of my Social Anxiety--

For me it came through going to Social Anxiety Anonymous (Telephone Conference Call) support groups. (They are a nonprofit by the way, NOT a business).

They have local (face-to-face) support groups in some areas too...

Post Edited (cowebd) : 2/12/2010 11:57:35 PM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 2/13/2010 2:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I went to a very large University. I've never been surrounded by so many people yet felt so alone at the same time. Classes with 750 people... It's a funny feeling... the Professor doesn't take attendance either. I really can't give you any advice except to keep up the fight and don't give up. I found... a girlfriend alleviates a lot of these social phobias and social anxiety. For me I worry and I don't really sleep. But there is something calming about having an significant other... something that allows you to relax...

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 2/13/2010 12:44 PM (GMT -7)   
you are awesome just the way you are!! never worry about what other people might or might not think. Just remind yourself that you are awesome..
I always used intoxication to fit in, but trust me, it evolves after years and can potentially become a serious problem.
I think that the idea of starting with small groups is awesome.
Hang in there star, your almost done college and your life is just beginning, rememebr daily that you are awesome :)

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 2/13/2010 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm with you "Stress?" I used intoxication a lot until I couldn't get the state change I wanted from it. Anxiety is a more powerful drug... Just know Star... In college it really is crazy. Absolutely nothing is going to make sense... do yourself a favor and don't try to make sense of it. Just know to be yourself and enjoy what you can... it's all you can do.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 2/13/2010 5:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I deal with social anxiety as well.  I'm 35 now and I understand it much better than I used to.  Looking back, I suffered all through college in many of the same ways you describe.  I could only look forward to a social situation if I knew it was going to be a drinking thing.  I did my fair share of drinking for sure, but I also did a lot of fake-outs.  I definitely hid behind the idea of getting drunk, nursing my beers or flushing them when I was in the lav.
I also spent a lot of time alone, but ironically, I dreaded meals unless there was a group of us going to to the dining hall together.  In that case, there was safety in numbers.
Enough about me, though.  I guess what I'm getting at is, everyone has their own ways of coping.  You might find that a certain group of unconventional friends are less scary for you; or, maybe you can find an on-campus job or team event that gives you a built-in support system; or team up with someone who seems to have the same caliber (for lack of a better term) of social skills as you perceive in yourself.  Figure out what will help you cope, and then seek it out.
Best of luck to you.  I can tell you, after gaining some distance from it, all that stuff turns out OK.  Just be good to yourself and you'll find your path.  It may not include movie-style life-long friendships, but that's OK.  Not everyone has that kind of college experience.
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