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I'm am so shy and it's my way of living, yet I hate it. I'm 25 years old.

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I've been extremely shy since kindergarten and probably before that. They say most kids grow out of it, but I never have. I am now 25 years old and have no friends. I am always lonely but when faced with another person (no matter how nice they are to me) I just want to make the interaction as quick as possible. I put on a quick smile and mumble something and am on my way.


I can't make friends. I used to be able to make some friends in junior high school (that was the last time I ever had a best friend) and usually it was done by them constantly trying to talk to me. However, in high school that method failed to work any longer. I started to actually feel like I didn't want anymore friends. I don't know why. I just hung out by myself. I sang to myself and even talked to myself. I developed a sort of depression during that time. I became very rebellious to my mother, and cut myself a lot (this lasted 3 years or maybe longer) and then I stopped because I cared about my mom and wanted to try living.


So on I lived and I don't get depression spells quiet as severe as that anymore. I don't cry all the time either. I've "matured" from that. However, I still get lonely and feel like I am living in a shell and I feel trapped. Even when I walk by a person outside I feel a great heaviness and I try not to look at people. I feel small. I feel ugly. I don't know why.


I don't know if shy is the right word for it. I think it's social phobia. I don't "go blank" as much as I used to. I used to "go blank" a lot (my mind wouldn't know what to say) and then I'd be filled with extreme anxiety during the episode of trying to think of how to respond to the other person.


Now I tend more to say what needs to be said, then move on and away from people. I keep my sentences short.


Deep down I really want a way out. I want friends. I want to be able to get out of this shell and talk and be happy. Not only that, but I want to express myself in a good way (not mumbling, or in a negative way). I want people to like me.


Some other problems I've had at some point are:


Agoraphobia: Fear of going outside or leaving my safe zone. Lasted 4 years. I am over it for the most part.

Fear of Showers, being on Buses, being in cars: I do well in buses and in the shower. Cars are 50/50

Fear of hospitals: This one is a major problem I still have (since I almost died in a hospital at 22)

Panic attack disorder (used to get panic attacks all day long for 3-4 years) Couldn't leave the house, couldn't go to school, couldn't even go for a walk in the sun. sometimes I couldn't leave my bed and I'd go hungry for days. (90% better at this point in my life).


I think I am ugly (I don't know why)

I think I sound ugly (have always thought this) - used to get made fun of in school for my accent

I am afraid to pursue and to make friends, or accomplishments in life.

I have trichotillomania (compulsion to pull out my own hair everyday all day (for me it's my eyebrows and a few other places)



I guess, I'm just wondering, has anyone else ever been anything like this all their life and got out of it somehow? Is there something wrong with me? I just want to be able to hang out with friends. I miss having friends. I forget what it's like at this point. I also feel I wouldn't make a very good friend.



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I think I have a similar problem as you as far as social interaction goes. I'm very shy and I always feel awkward talking to people so I try to just avoid it altogether. I've gone days through highschool/college where I didn't say a single word to anybody. I can say at this age its really hard to meet new people and make new friends. Really the only way to become friends with someone is to find someone with similar interests. I have met a group of people through my girlfriend and at first i felt extremely awkward and shy hanging out with them, but the more I put myself through it the easier it gets.


Do you play any online games? I've met some really good friends online that I talk, game with daily, helps from keeping me from getting lonely.


Also about the thinking your ugly thing, I don't know what you look like but I can say that I thought the same about myself when I was younger. But after learning that girls actually do find me attractive (it was actually just my shyness that put them off, confirmed this), I became a lot more confident with my looks.


Anyways goodluck. Shyness is really difficult to overcome and I don't think I will ever change, but its still possible to get used to certain people to the point where your not shy around them, so hang in there.

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Hi guys. I recently split up with my girlfriend of 7 years and on the whole it was my shyness that ended the relationship. I relied to heavily on her for everything until we reached breaking point. The shyness has stopped me achieving everything I want in life, from a career to making friends to be completely unable to form a relationship with my ex's parents. I barely said a word to them in all that time. The break-up has in fact given me a right kick up the arse. I've been to the doctors and have been referred onto a course of CBT. I too have serious issues with how I look, I lack confidence and have a low self esteem. Even though I know I can achieve anything I want, I'm an intelligent, good looking guy but despite that I still can't see it.

I find it very hard to accept compliments as I always think the other person is joking.

Although I have yet to start the CBT, I've heard many very good things about it, so hopefully I can start to change my life around. About bloody time too, I'm 36!. I'd recommend looking into it.

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Nothing's wrong with you. As a shy person myself, I can relate to everything you are saying. I've found after examining my own shyness, it's like a bad habit and like all bad habits needs to be broken. As a child you learned to cope with certain uncomfortable situations by limiting social interactions. This action made you feel better so you repeated it and it continued far longer than it should have into your adult years. To this day, at 24 years old I am still shy but I have made tremendous strides. For the most part, I have a much easier time conversing with person one on one. I still have difficulties with groups of strangers but I've learned to praise my accomplishments, even though they seem small.


For me, the strides came from forcing myself out of the comfort zone. I purposely chose a college farther from home so I would not be tempted to retreat back to my parents home on the weekends. You know what, it worked! When you are forced to do something, you find a way to do it. After college, I moved to a new city for a job and I continued to grow out of my shell. I was in a new city, didn't know anybody, and yet I found a way to be happy. Not everyday is a piece of cake. What I've found is to stop setting the bar so high for yourself with unrealistic expectations. I am guilty of this too. I wanted to convert myself to a bubbly gregarious individual overnight. But I've found that I will always be cautious and mellow when meeting new people. Certain people can bring out different qualities in you and I've found that I can be that bubbly person around select few.


Don't reinforce your old bad habits by putting yourself down. You say you think you're ugly and that you "sound ugly". You need to stop thinking this way. Don't compare yourself to others, that's the worst possible thing anyone can do. Take pride in yourself. Get a haircut that flatters your face, wear clothes that flatter your figure. Then hold your head high and get out there! Remember, friends won't come knocking at your door. You have to put yourself out there.


When you're talking to others, try to direct attention from your own thoughts and instead put all of your concentration into what that person is saying. This will help to distract you from the negative thoughts that are flying around in your head (i.e. the ones that are encouraging you to cut the conversation short and run away). Believe me, I know exactly how that feels like and I've even described it to others just as you describe it here.


What are your living arrangements like? Do you live by yourself, with family? You might want to consider getting a roommate. That way you can take your time getting to know that person and likewise they can probably introduce you to a whole new circle of friends.

Gaining confidence takes time. Be patient and don't give up! Feel free to PM me any time! It's good to know that there are fellow shy people out there struggling with the same problems I have and am currently facing.

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Thanks for this. Yes I've tried online games and made friends online. It's a good way for me not to feel so lonely. I guess sometimes, after a few years, I start to feel like life is passing me by and although online games are a good substitute I really wish I had a social life outside of the online world. I've met people through my roommates but I always felt distant from them in some way. At get togethers, I'd kind of hang out away from the crowds. I'd do alright one-on-one with someone else but it was so rare for it ever to happen.


A really weird thing that tends to happen with me is I sometimes will have a friend and will talk to them normally and loudly, and then for some reason I back away from them and suddenly get really shy and nervous all over again. I just don't understand it.


The only time I ever had a group of friends was in grade school and junior high school. I had a small group of friends and it was hard sometimes. If one person entered the group of friends, that I wasn't used to...I'd slowly step back from my friends and become a loner again


It got so bad once, that once my mom visited me and my brother (I live with my brother)...and the two of them talked so much, I backed away from my own brother and mom! I got shy to my own mother and brother! (who I am 100% not shy with usually!)


It's like a curse...I just walked behind them when we went places and didn't speak a word.

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I can understand exactly what you mean in this post. I have experienced it exactly as you have. It was like that with my for all of my boyfriends (both short relationships). I was so shy that I became dependent on them. I found it hard to accept compliments too and still find it hard. Although, I smile and say thank you now, to try and be nice.

I haven't dated anyone in 2 years now, because of my shyness.


I think I might want to get some help too...I'm not sure where as I haven't looked into it. I'm sick of being this way though. I always feel like there's a socially happy and vibrant girl inside of me somewhere, that is just dying to come out, but I'm too used to living inside my shell. I feel like I'd be able to achieve so much more in life without this spell of shyness.

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Thanks, it's really nice to hear that "nothing is wrong with me". I don't ever hear it. People usually treat me differently because of my shyness. I think they just don't know what to make of it, so they avoid me, or misunderstand me. It is like a bad habit, it really is. It's like choosing to drink coffee all day instead of water or something. Coffee tastes good, but it's water that's going to make you feel healthier and better in the long run.


I developed my habit straight off the bat, as young as I can remember. Even at the youngest age I remember it as a difficult and almost suffocating experience. I just couldn't speak. In fact, my first friend I ever made in my life, ..I never spoke one word to her for a whole year. Then I finally said "hi" and she was so happy. It's moments like that one, when I was small, that really make me wish I could just talk. It's like someone grasps my throat and jumbles my words when I try and talk.


I think you are right when you said I probably shouldn't try and convert myself overnight. I should take it one step at a time. It's really hard. I don't even know where to start. I guess I'm going to have to force myself to stay positive when talking to anyone I encounter. That's a first step ...I suppose. 99% of the time I am usually thinking negative paranoid thoughts. I know it will take time to change my way of thinking. Maybe years..I don't know.


I live with my brother. I once had roommates, and I avoided one roommate out of the three. I was just shy to that one roommate and I just don't know why. I feel like I always need some one-on-one with a person before I can learn to talk to them. I can never talk to someone if they are in a group....even if the group has people I am comfortable with! It's so strange.


I know I'll probably always be shy, I think it's my personality too, but I just wish I had the reins and could control it and maybe even use it to do good things? Somehow? And just be happy with it. I just don't know.

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