I really need some advice, I am what you call "anti-social". I refuse to socialise with others due to extreme anxiety. I always thought it would go away but it hasnt and im now 29 yrs old! Throughout my years in school I avoided social gatherings unless I was absolutely comfortable. Now I am married and I refuse to go to any social gatherings with my husand, we recently moved to a different state and I know no-one therefore he is all I have. What do I do? This is tearing me apart.
Im not sure why im so anxious about meeting new people, I've considered taking anti-anxiety pills but the thought just makes me sick!
Many people have similar experiences. Whenever an individual moves out of their comfort zone, anxiety is triggered. It’s part of our natural defenses designed to keep us safe or in our comfort zones. If you take a step back and realize that if you were shy and uncomfortable in social situations when you were younger, it will only get worse if you are in more unfamiliar environments. Moving to a different state as an adult is much harder than being a child. You are more set in your own ways. Also, social gatherings or networking can be very stress provoking for anyone that isn’t comfortable being a social butterfly. So, go ahead and take the pressure off. Just decide that for right now, maybe social gatherings won’t be on your calendar. Instead, you might take a look at exploring an activity that you really enjoy, instead.
Therefore, the key is not a makeover. The way towards success and happiness is to first accept yourself. Everyone is designed differently. Once you begin to understand what your anxiety triggers are, it will get easier to meet your own needs. Sometimes, common interests help you move into more comfortable arenas. For example, since you just moved, you might ask yourself are there any activities that you would like to do? Not for the sake of meeting new people, but just to have these experiences? Perhaps taking a class, becoming more involved in a hobby, etc. If you like reading books, there are groups that meet at the library or bookstores, as well.
Above all, you need to increase the support that you feel right now. It is very isolating to move to a different place, let alone a different state. Do you still keep in touch with your friends who live elsewhere? I would recommend talking to family or friends at least once or twice a week to start.
Another way to increase your support system is to seek out a counselor. Consider that you are experiencing one of life’s transitions and it would be helpful to have extra support during this transition. You might enjoy reading the book, “Transitions” by William Bridges. Even though it may be difficult for you to reach out, consider that you took a risk by asking this question on this forum. There is support waiting for you, it’s just important to acknowledge that at this time you need additional support.
First ask yourself what is making you anxious to be around others? I always felt that way in High school because I was shy and I just didn't think others cared for me. You're married so there must have been some form of social activity! Do not let this rule your life. You'd be surprised how many people feel just like you do. Just my opinion, but if you can, just try to fake it. You must have some good qualities if you are married. Don't be so hard on yourself.
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