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My social anxiety makes me feel others think I'm weird

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Hi, I'm Robert.

I recently found out about your website and found useful information about social anxiety. I checked out a few other pages that have to do with it, such as 'not care what others think' and 'seeking approval'. I also read about Parag's message and I feel what he went through.

I am a victim of social anxiety and have been battling it for years now. I'm now 20 and feel I'm becoming closer to solving my social anxiety issues. I've also downloaded the hypnosis for seeking approval; I tried it out a couple times, but it didn't seem to work because I couldn't focus on it and was usually thinking too deep all the time.

In the past, I've always felt I was being judged everywhere I go: at school; going to the store, which is probably the worst; and even at home. I feel alone; I don't really have anyone I feel close to. I feel that I'm not liked, even though I know it isn't true, so I seek approval and am afraid to speak to people, afraid of what they think or are going to think. I'm focused inward 90% of the time and forgot how to be focusing outward.

I can't carry on a conversation without wondering if they agree. If they seem happy when they talk, I feel achieved; if they talk normal, I feel unliked; etc. And then I feel I seem weird. I can't even act a lot of the things without thinking even a second beforehand that I'm not cool or look weird. Even though I know I am really attractive and a lot of girls look at me, I still feel judged.

I pray for help, thank you.

This question was submitted by 'Robert'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hi Robert and thank you for getting in touch.

I think for people with real social anxiety, 20 is often a turning point for the better. So much social fear is fostered and magnified in young childhood and often the further in time you go from schooldays, the easier it gets. But of course it's great to speed things up.

It's a cliché to say that other people tend to be more focussed on themselves (unless they become attracted to you), but it's a true cliché. It sounds like you are spending an awful lot of time 'in your own head'. Focussing inward a lot on worries, going around and around, misusing the imagination to make yourself feel bad, and doing this a lot would pretty quickly make anyone feel demotivated, weird, and under-confident. It's the practice of switching attentional focus from inward to outward at will (and knowing when to do which) that enables us to find true self-confidence, both socially and in other contexts. The more you can get your focus outside of yourself, the better. I suggest you use the 'Stop Unwanted Thoughts' meditation session, which will help you master where you put your attention.

Remember that the more you relax deeply - even if it's only 5 minutes a day - the more generally relaxed you'll become as stress levels naturally lessen in your body. We also have the '10 Steps to Overcome Social Anxiety', which are based not just on tried and tested steps to help thousands of other people, but also the way I banished my own former social anxiety - which really started to shift after the age of 20. : )

All best wishes,

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - March 23rd, 2014 in

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