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Is there a chance? (Questioning Avoidant)

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Is there a chance? (Questioning Avoidant)

Postby MintLatte » Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:33 pm

Hi,
I'm 19 years know and probably one of the most socially awkward people I know. Something that haunts me from my past was being to shy to call 911. I've run away from people asking my name. I've had to get a close friend to ask the teacher to go to the bathroom for me.

I'm in college today, and I basically have no friends. I'm too shy to talk to my roommate. I usually do fine on the internet, but still I get scared of people replying to emails and stuff. And since I'm usually on forums I want to look perfect. I want to make friends but I feel like barely trust anyone. You can invite me to sit with you at lunch, but it'll take me awhile to tell whether I can sit with you on my own. I want to go to school events and have fun but I fear being humiliated. My social flops run through my head a lot, even if it's just saying something corny a few months ago. I feel conflicted by wanting to have friends and being highly drained by people. I have this weird paranoia of seeing people I know. Like if my roommate walks by it's like in my head, "Oh, it's her again."(them thinking that). Heck, I get shy to talk to my family even though I'm known them for 19 years. I spend a lot of time on my own-in my room, eating lunch alone. I like taking the elevator because I get to be alone. So yeah, I isolate myself a lot.

Am I overreacting or nah?
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Re: Is there a chance? (Questioning Avoidant)

Postby PainedAvoidant » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:04 pm

You're exactly like I was at your age. I had a group of people I hung around with at school, but I didn't really talk to them much (only one of them really). Then when I left secondary school and started further education I was always sitting on my own and couldn't bring myself to try to talk to other people. The funny thing was, if someone spoke to me first I could hold a conversation well enough, as long as it was just me and them.

I remember when a new woman joined the course I was on part way through the year. I would often stay in the class while everyone else went to the cafeteria at break. But because she was new she stayed in the class with me on the first few days. We spoke and got to know each other a little. Then she got to know someone else in the group and started sitting with them, and that stopped me from talking to her again.

Another time, in my early 20s, the business I worked for merged with another, so we had to go to a get-together with the other firm. There were a group of people from the other firm who were about my age and I felt like they would make fun of me if I tried to talk to them. I even refused to talk to them when one of the Partners from my firm suggested I should.

But thinking back now, I can see how wrong I was about that assumption. They wouldn't have reacted negatively to me talking to them. These days I would go and introduce myself and we'd have a conversation.

I used see other people socialising and enjoying it, and I thought I would never be able to do that. That I would always be as awkward and afraid of people as I was. But it can get better.

I know how difficult it can be to challenge the automatic negative assumptions we make. But part of the way of overcoming them is to actually step outside of our comfort zone slightly. Start with small steps like asking your roommate how their day was, or about one of the classes they have. You could even see if there is a local social anxiety group, which helped me a lot.

I still have awkward days, especially because I didn't have much opportunity to socialise and practice my conversation skills over the last two years, but I'm not the same person I was in my teens and early 20s. You don't have to be either.
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