I've been an introverted person since I was a small child. Never in my life have I ever enjoyed other's company to a great degree. I've never been social. I've always been quiet. I ended up leaving high school my freshman year to become home-schooled, because I am so "anti-social". I couldn't make any friends in school. I had one friend, who wouldn't talk to me as much as she used to. She was moving on. And, well, I think choosing to be home-schooled made everything worse for me.
I am 22 years old. And since I was 14, I have not had any close relationship with any human being. I've lost the ability to know what to do or what to say around others. I cannot "connect" with other people. I don't know how to be myself. I can do it online, but when it's in real life, I just can't.
Recently, I went to visit this guy I'd been talking to for five years. Long distance relationship. We met online. We'd talked on the phone a few times, but even then I wouldn't say much. We would Skype, just to see each other. He would never call me or Skype with me often enough in order for me to really feel comfortable talking to him. Mostly, we just IM'd or texted. All this time. Yep, for five years. We were pretty "inseparable" so to speak. And were committed to one another as a couple. He said he was in love with me, and I him. So, last week on July 18-21, I went to visit him. On the first day, I couldn't even look at him. I was so afraid and anxious. I think I had focused too much on my fear. The entire time I was there, I hardly spoke a word. I just couldn't talk. Nothing would come to my mind. He tried to talk to me, but all I could do was smile at him or say yes or no in response to his questions. Long story short, after I came home, he told me he isn't in love with me. He said I was bad at conversing and too negative. I ruined it.
It's left me to a lot of thinking about my life. And I realize how dysfunctional I am socially. I feel as if it is beyond repair. And I feel as if I have thrown away so much of my life because of this disorder. I think all the time about how my life would have been different for me if I'd stayed in high school, had one or two friends all the way through, had social experiences, maybe even had boyfriends or went on dates. Because up until this past week, I'd never been on a date with anyone. Few boys had asked me, in the past when I was younger, but I always declined. I've never given myself the chance to meet people, make friends, or try to have a boyfriend. I locked myself away because of my social anxiety.
Part of this is just letting some of this stuff out. And the other part is, how do I overcome this problem? I will never be an extrovert, it's just not in my nature, but how do I "fake it"? For any of the rest of you dealing with social anxiety, how do you deal with day to day social situations?