Struggling with social anxiety — Scope | Disability forum
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Struggling with social anxiety

Marie88
Marie88 Community member Posts: 114 Courageous
I've been struggling with social anxiety for many years, since childhood. I'm now in my 30s and haven't got any friends. I did have a couple of friends a few years ago but we lost contact as I found it really difficult to stay in touch. I was bullied at school from an early age and I lack self esteem and worry so much about what others think of me. I'm not very good with words or expressing myself. I may have a language disorder and I'm really slow at processing and thinking. I find it hard to talk about topics, I never seem to have an opinion on things. I often don't underatand what people are taking about and I feel stupid. I manage to work part time but find it so hard talking to colleguges, I've been in my job over a year and still can hardly speak to them. It's pretty lonely not having any friends and I feel so invisible in society. I just dont know how to change. Thanks to anyone that reads this.

Comments

  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,979 Disability Gamechanger
    I have read your post and hear you @Marie88. It sounds like you have a really difficult time in social situations. I would, firstly, like to say we are all your friends. I think we are a supportive and friendly space and, hopefully, you will find the same. Although my social difficulties may not be due to the same reasons as you - I am autistic - I do find we are an understanding and empathetic bunch of people.

    Is there anything, in particular, which might make all of this feel more manageable for you at the moment? Obviously, it does not get better overnight but I recognise how heavy all of this can feel and your feelings really matter to us and so do you. Please don't hesitate to let us know if there's anything we can do to help. Otherwise, at the very least, I can say we are all here with you and listening to you  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,171 Disability Gamechanger
    I don't really have any friends except online friends for similar reasons. I know I'm not stupid but in social situations I feel it because I can't figure what to say and process what they're saying and hold on to my thoughts at the same time. So I either end up talking over people, finishing their sentences for them, or forgetting what I wanted to say or becomming too anxious to say anything so seem weird and quiet.
    It would be hypocritical for me to give advice but I do know that the more you do these things the easier they get. Is there any one person you work with you could try and talk to more?? <3 
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,285 Scope online community team
    You'll find many people here have had similar experiences as you @Marie88. I know there's a bunch of people, including myself, who are happy to get to know you and become friends :). Talking online in a forum setting like this one gives you the time to respond, there's no rush in needing to think of exactly what to say. I find it more relaxing. I know not everyone feels the same way as I do but I think online friends can be just as good as in-person friends. 

    Are there any topics you do like? For instance, I love flags. I can pretty much identify every country flag there is and even some non-country flags. It's a topic I certainly don't get to talk about with others a lot because it's quite niche! Do you have anything like that?
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • life
    life Community member Posts: 527 Pioneering
    So I either end up talking over people, finishing their sentences for them, or forgetting what I wanted to say or becoming too anxious to say anything so seem weird and quiet.

    This is me. I've been told so many times that I talk over people that I just stay quiet instead. I finish their sentences too. 
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,171 Disability Gamechanger
    life said:
    This is me. I've been told so many times that I talk over people that I just stay quiet instead. I finish their sentences too. 
    Yep!!! It really knocks at confidence and just can't be helped! I'm sorry you've experienced it too @life <3 

    People should see it as a compliment, if I'm finishing their sentences it is because I'm engaged and excited by what they're saying and keen to get to my part! :D 
  • life
    life Community member Posts: 527 Pioneering
    Lol yes I agree @Biblioklept.

    I think it's that because I'm on my own for months at a time that when I do see family or other people I can't help myself from doing it 😂
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,285 Scope online community team
    For me the finishing other peoples sentences was a symptom of my ADHD. Something I really had to work on. I wouldn't even think about it and it really made me anxious. I still do it now and then, still improvements to be made. 

    Hope you're doing okay @Marie88!


    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
    Online Community Specialist

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  • Marie88
    Marie88 Community member Posts: 114 Courageous
    edited August 2023
    Thanks so much for your replies, I really appreciate it  :) I’m sorry as I’m not very good at knowing what to say in response so I hope this sounds ok!

    @L_Volunteer I don’t really know I guess I’d like to find help for my anxiety and other issues I’m struggling with.  I suspect I might have adhd or dyslexia or something else. As well as my processing and language issues, I was really bad at maths at school and still am but I never had an assessment and I can’t afford one privately.

    @Biblioklept I’m not great at talking to people at work but there are a couple of people I feel more comfortable with so I try and make conversation with them. It’s still hard but I do things like offer to make people at work hot drinks or offer to give them a hand with certain tasks. I think people at work think I’m nice but they do comment on how quiet I am.

    @Jimm_Scope I’m not too bad thanks. Yeah, I find writing better than speaking, it does take me ages to come up with replies and I do struggle a bit with what I want to say but there is a lot less pressure and than in person. That’s really cool you learned so many flags, how long have you been doing that? I don’t really have anything like that but I do enjoy drawing but I don’t do it all that much because of work and other life things but I would like to do it a bit more. 





  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,285 Scope online community team
    @Marie88 Since I was a kid, I used to sleep with an atlas book under my pillow, it had all the flags of every country too. 

    What kind of things do/did you like to draw? I've seen people in my town's church park often drawing sketches of the old church. I never could draw but always been amazed by people who could.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
    Online Community Specialist

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  • hyancinth
    hyancinth Community member Posts: 27 Courageous
    I rarrely go on here but Im listening to a Youtube documentary this very moment as Im doing other tings. It spurred me to go on here (to post for myself) and Ive found your post.
    Its.... Silentstu  Social anxiety: Afraid of people.
    Its 80s but the biochemistry information is still current. I think the bullying you had compounded what may be inherent. 
    I cant give you any advice. Im suffering myself. Im so negative Id say stay away from people. People are monsters for the most part. And you being sensitive they will hurt you more than tough skinned, gregarious hahaha Im great types. 

  • Marie88
    Marie88 Community member Posts: 114 Courageous
    edited September 2023
    Hi, sorry I’ve taken ages to reply, I get quite overwhelmed at times with what to say!

    @Jimm_Scope oh cool 😎 I enjoy drawing animals, botanicals and landscapes. Art was my favourite subject at school but I didn’t do any drawing for years, until lockdown where I started watching artists on YouTube and following tutorials. I don’t do outdoor sketching or anything as I worry about people looking! I must get back into it, hopefully when things calm down a bit.

    @hyancinth I’m sorry you’re going through this too, hope you’re okay. Thanks for letting me know about the documentary on YouTube, I’ll have a look. I struggle with being so negative and always thinking the worst, I guess it’s another reason I find it hard to talk to people.

    Anyway sorry not sure what else to say but I hope you’ve both had a good weekend 😊
  • life
    life Community member Posts: 527 Pioneering
    Hi @Marie88 hope you're feeling OK. I don't really see people, mostly on my own.

    I've been feeling down at the moment because I want to be around people but paranoid and scared most of the time. I get anxious just thinking about being around people. Im on meds but still feel this way.

    I hope you start feeling better 🤞
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 6,983 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Marie88

    If you love art, we have a thread called KaleidoScope: Our own gallery for members' art work, crafts and photographs that you may like to join in with :) 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • birdwatcher
    birdwatcher Community member Posts: 17 Listener
    I understand what you mean. Due to mobility problems I've not been out of the house on my own for over two years. I've got a friend takes me to the local shop sometimes but his backs been playing up . I don't want , or expect,  him to push my wheelchair. We've not been out for weeks
    I'm lucky I've still got friends call in to see me . But when it comes to going out I'm quite happy stopping at home with my dog. To be honest the idea of going out now makes me uneasy even though I know I'm safe with my friend. Does that sound strange? 
    I did wonder if I've got some sort of anxiety? I don't fret about it. I'm just happier in my own home than I am out of it

Brightness

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