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I want to grow closer to people but I can't?

Ever since I was young I haven't really been the type to get friends easily-- I remember feeling pressured by my mom, who would constantly ask elementary/middle-schooler me why would I sit alone during lunchtime (my mom would often drive past the school in the morning on her way to the store and other places and she'd notice me there). Now I'm a highschooler and well-- given the fact that I deal with social anxiety I tend to get nervous and/or become distant if strangers or just acquaintances are nearby. It's something like "nope, I don't want to talk to you. Nope. No. Stay away from me. Let's all mind our own business ohgodtheyareapproachingme" Anyway, uh, to the point-- I DO have friends and want to grow closer to them but I have a really hard time doing so. I don't know when I'm being too clingy or too distant and I usually back off before they get a chance to do or say anything, thinking I might be too annoying or even creepy. I have asked my friends if they found me annoying or creepy and they said no, that they liked me for who I was, but still... It's really bothersome. For example, when I want to talk to a friend about something that happened to me but I end up thinking they won't care or will somehow get angry/annoyed. Or when I'm just trying to find a topic to talk about but I fear they might be not interested. I'm pretty sure that to them I come off as this quiet and distant, distracted and clutzy girl (the last two because I daydream a LOT and get distracted stupidly easily). Sorry for going off topic (if I did)! I would like to hear your opinion. Advice would be appreciated!
Category: Social Anxiety 4 years ago
arteria
Asked 4 years ago

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I wish I could give you advice, but I am in a similar situation. But, in my case I don't want to get close to anyone. I may be alone, but I am not lonely. However, I find myself in the position of having to force myself to let people in. All my instincts go against that so I try to stay conscious of my habits that tell me to push people away. No one can live in this world utterly alone. when you start to push people away it becomes a habit. Then one day you need someone and there is no one there. As uncomfortable as it is and difficult because of all the self-doubt, its best to keep putting in the effort to keep good, positive people close to you. It makes life easier and more bearable in the long run. Keep trying until you meet the type of friends who can get past your walls. For me, I'm thinking of replacing my friends. We have different ideas about what is fun. Anyway, although it may feel as if you are not socializing good enough, you sound like you are doing well in facing the problem instead of running from the problem. Good luck in finding those lifetime friendship type of bonds.
Artemiss
Answered 4 years ago
Artemiss

I was a lot like you when I was younger... I really didn't care too much to put any effort with the friends I had at school (basically I would never hang out with them outside of school because I didn't care). It really never bothered me to be mostly alone my whole life until recently and I am now in my 30's. Anyway, my point is don't be like me and end up looking back on a good chunk of your life with regret. It's next to impossible to make new friends as you get older, so as annoying or unnatural it is to force yourself to be more social you really should try it now that you're still young. It ends up being helpful in so many areas of your life... Whether it's finding a career or even just for your own mental health... Hope that helps!
Wrekt
Answered 4 years ago
Wrekt

I have social anxiety. caused by taking Zoloft.. and yours is possibly feed by insecurity.. if you think low of yourself or are afraid of saying something that sounds " stupid" you would avoid making friends.. there are natural products for social anxiety that help calm the nerves.. Natural Calm is one.. it is Magnesium powder you mix with water.. if you have no allergy's to supplements or herbs.. this could help while you try exposure therapy which is done slowly.. at your own pace.. if your heart isn't racing and your nerves aren't shot.. it is easier to break away from social anxiety.. and start feeling confident.. There is no other YOU.. and you have something to offer other people through friendship, having a few close friends that treat you with respect, is better than being the popular kid in school.
Maryvt
Answered 4 years ago
Maryvt

Quality is better than quantity. You may want to try affirmations and think more positively about yourself and others. There are good people out there and if you make some effort you find those and keep them. You will also encounter jerks but you can learn from your mistakes and move on. The jerk doesn't mean anything in the long run and you may even learn a lesson of what to rightfully avoid next time. I wish I could hug you. It can get better. I will share a quote with you that helps me....smile, it will make other people wonder what you are up to. If there is any sort of counseling provided at school take advantage of it.
Caldreamer
Answered 4 years ago
Caldreamer

I was a lot like you when I was young. Unfortunately, I still have social anxiety at 45! I still have trouble getting close and there are only a few people in my life I have managed to feel a degree of closeness to, and I'm still working on my issues. You are never cured, but it does get easier with time, and lucky for you, you are starting to try to get help while you are still young. However, life goes fast, and my best advice is to join every club that interests you, join a youth group at your church or synagogue, get in therapy and get on antidepressants now. Don't wait and don't let life pass you by like I did for many years, wrongly believing there was no hope for me. The anxiety is a result of a chemical imbalance in your brain. Medicine is not a magical miracle cure but with medicine and cognitive therapy, you can break the cycle of negative thoughts that hold you back. The best advice I have read is to focus on the person you are talking to and actively listen to them to try to take your mind off of yourself. That's our problem. We are so focused on ourselves and what others are thinking of us that we can't get out of our heads and negative thoughts. Try to challenge your distorted thoughts. Your friends told you they don't think you are annoying or creepy, so you have validation from your friends that your thoughts that you are annoying are just thoughts. They are not the truth. Maybe start off by asking your friend how his or her day was. Listen to see if they had anything upsetting happen and offer support, then share something that happened to you that you would like to talk about. If you listen and support your friends, if they are truly your friends, they will do the same for you. Good luck to you!
alohaann71
Answered 4 years ago
alohaann71

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