My story and how I got rid Social Anxiety.
My whole life I've been really shy. I hated it. I couldn't make phone calls. My family would be mad at me because I'd never talk to them. I would lose friends because I wouldn't make the effort to contact them. My work life suffered. If I saw an old friend at the mall I would hide. But I thought "that's just the way I am."
But a few things happened in my life that showed me that I don't have to be like that if I don't want to.
- Psychology. I've always loved social sciences, and it's proven that phobias are treatable. And that's what I had, an irrational fear of humans. :) (Mixed with low confidence)
- Reddit. There's a lot of self-help subreddits that helped me. r/getmotivated, r/loveyourslef, r/TwoXchromosomes, and r/seduction. I know r/seduction has a bad reputation, but it really is made for people who have anxiety and undeveloped social skills, and teaches them how to be confident.
- I learned to dance. This is like a booster shot of liquid self-esteem. When you're able to just flail your arms and shake your booty without a care in the world as to what other people think about it. It's really freeing.
So in the last two years, I've been on a mission to rid myself of my shyness. It's not completely gone, but I'm more than halfway there, and I've never been happier. It's f*cking hard work, but omg is it worth it.
Things I do to practice.
- Look people in the eye when I talk to them. Always terrifying to me before, but gets easier pretty quickly.
- Smile. It's cliché, but it has lots of positive effects. It makes your brain think you're happy, so it releases dopamine. People think you're friendly so they're more likely to talk to you.
- Talk to All The People! Make small talk, then ask open-ended questions. Asking open ended questions is what makes a real connection with others possible. It allows you to really get to know someone.
- Allow yourself to love yourself. Say supportive and positive things in your mind, or even out loud. Things like "You're awesome!", "I'm the Boss!", and things like that. Self Fulfilling Prophecies work. (Just don't become arrogant, you will if you take it too far.)
- Start liking people more. I used think I hated people. But I think that was just my brain making excuses because it was afraid of them. I saw a quote from Niel Gaiman that really resonated with me.
Everyone has a secret world inside of them. All the people in the whole world, no matter how dull they seem on the outside, inside them they've got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds."
I now think that every single person, has at least one thing that they have in common with someone else. And that one thing can create a connection between those people that they can be friendly over. I think I'm actually turning into an extrovert.