Social Skills (or lack of)

I have a hard time relating to people. Its not that I intentionally want to be seen as quiet and weird, it just turns out that way. Its not that I hate people, its just that I find it difficult to connect with others. Most of the time people make me very uncomfortable and, try as I might, there always seems to be this negative energy that makes me feel stupid, useless and inferior. I simply don’t have the confidence to make any sort of presence in a social situation. Ironically, this negative self-programming is a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way, since I will eventually display physical signs of the worthless loser I keep telling myself I am.

Because human beings will always try to avoid unpleasantness, I will always avoid people and social interaction, given a choice. I love my comfort zone. Its boring as hell and most times very depressing, but that’s the price I pay for not having to interact with others. To me, solitude is pleasant and social interaction is uncomfortable – plain and simple.

This attitude doesn’t come without a price, however. After a lifetime of avoidance and seclusion, I find myself ill equipped to deal with any type of social encounter at all. I missed the usual training most people have while growing up. As children, we interact to gain many critical social skills that will be used for the rest of our lives. I missed out. While the other children played together, I hid.

As an adult, I feel ill equipped to handle social encounters. I don’t have good manners. I dont know how to greet people properly. I forget names 30 seconds after being introduced, I cant start conversations, and I panic when someone engages me in a conversation. I don’t have the usual social graces that many take for granted.

Im sure that many people think of me as standoffish. I dont smile at others since I dont know how. I dont greet people warmly because I dont know how. Could they possibly know what I’m going through? I doubt it. I am simply treated the same way that I treat others – aloof, uncaring and business-like. No smile or hint of friendship or camaraderie, just a cold, unfeeling, hows it going?

I would love to be able to have the confidence and skills needed to greet people with a warm smile and engage them in stimulating conversation, but I simply dont have that. Although I am educated and in my 30s, in many ways I feel like a child that has much to learn about the ways of the world.

53 thoughts on “Social Skills (or lack of)

  1. Pam

    Oh my God! You described me perfectly. I’m in my late 20s and I completely missed out on all those social skills that I was supposed to learn as a child. The anxiety has gotten better with time, but my lack of social skills continues to hinder my life. People often think that I’m mean or stuck up, and I don’t know how to show people that I’m actually warm, kind, and caring. I wish there was a social skills class for people like me, as most seem to be geared toward children and people with autism. I feel like I’m somewhere between autism and shyness and there’s not much help out there for people like us. Oh well.

  2. Leslie

    My situation is kind of similar to yours. I’m a female in my late 20s. I spend a lot of time by myself reading books on science, math theory and logic. It’s hard for me to relate to most people because I view a lot of my peers as beer chugging baby makers with no real social responsibility. It’s not that I think I’m better than anyone, but when you consider who is on the cover of cosmo as the most important “current event” I can’t help but be bored out of my mind! I believe the only thing that keeps me sane after spending so much time alone is realizing that I can’t let myself get upset by comparing myself to other people who are more social. If Einstein compared himself to college graduates would he have kept moving forward with his theory? For those of us who have a hard time relating to people it’s because were not surrounded with people who share the same interest. One thing I believe we fail to remember is that those who seem to be very good at being social are only that way because they have had a lot of practice. And do you really think that “practice” is productive? If so, then the simple solution is go out more. Don’t fool yourself to thinking you have to be intimidated in any crowd. The natural human behavior of people who are very social have come across a lot of different personalities and they really don’t notice your awkwardness as much as you think.

  3. Michael

    I am in my mid 20s and I feel that same frustration when interacting with others. I am not depressed. I am not a sociopath. I am compassionate, nonjudgmental , and intelligent enough to read people’s behavioral cues. But I still come off aloof and cold. People consider me quiet and “nice” but that’s because I have to fall back on politeness and introversion because I lack the verbal gymnastics to stand toe to toe in social interactions. When people are talking to me I feel I am swimming in an invisible impenetrable fog. I have a college education from a prestigious university. And I am reasonably attractive physically. But these factors put greater pressure on me professionally and socially because people expect me to be more charismatic than I am capable. I don’t know what to do. It is frustrating because I recognize where I need to be, what I need to say and do, but am unable to execute. I am almost considering mood altering drugs, but have not yet upon principle. I am much more expressive when I write.
    I agree with all of you above. I did miss out on alot of the playground training when I was young. I played legos and video games. But I knew how to make friends as a kid. But somewhere in my early adolescence through highschool, college, and now, I just became lost. When I tried immersing myself with my peers in college, it seems forced, unnatural, and “fake.” That’s not who I am, but I cannot stand putting off anymore people from the real me. What should I do?

  4. OMG!!! Thomas

    Dude you just gave a summary of me I am only 16 but i have been traveling with my mom and not meeting people i have no social skills

  5. barney

    I feel like I’m somewhere between autism and shyness and there’s not much help out there for people like us. Oh well.
    It is most certainly not well Pam!
    It is a disgrace that people with these problems can not get help. I am in the same situation, and am not doing well. My lonelyness and isolation led me to the brink of suicide! Is that my fault?! that my parents made a lousy job bringing me up? Cause who do you think is responsible for a childs social skills?

  6. Pedro

    Im 18 and I am EXACTLY the way you said you were. I cant talk to people properly, I cant start a conversation, I cant maintain a conversation… I cant make eye contact for more than 5 seconds… And yes, I also have my comfort zone, and sometimes it gets, very, very lonely (never had a girlfriend, and not close to, either….).
    I guess this as to do with the reason already stated above: lack of sociability in the childhood/adolescence. I didn’t get much of group activities, i just played videogames and stuff… The reason to that? Don’t know… Now I’m in college for about 4 weeks now, and I only know one guy that only helped me to know the building.

    I only have one true friend, but with his friends its the same old thing: empty smiles and polite answers…

    I still dream of meeting someone like me, who knows, get a girlfriend like me…

    I think the only solution to this problem is that others start to see how we are, because we aren’t gonna change. my opinion…

    well, good luck to all the others with the same problem and I have to say THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH to the creator of this topic, I find it a bit more comforting to know there are others like me out there.. ;)

  7. Jason

    Just wanted to drop-in and say that I’m going through the exact same situation. I recently self-diagnosed that I have AvPD. Your post seems to hit all of the symptoms directly on the head. There is a support network for people like us. Try and search for avoidant personality disorder.

  8. Alan

    I dont believe in those disorders people with no self esteem misdiagnose themselves wirh all kinds of things. It judt sucks that things turned out the way they did for people like us, I hate it i hate being so fucking invisible and i seriously dont know what to do to make things better live is so dull and empty

  9. Stephanie

    I am fascinated by all of the posts on this page. They describe who I used to be. I was a painfully shy child, adolescent and young adult. Most of the comments in my high school yearbook were along the lines of “You seem like a nice person, but you never talk, so I don’t really know you”. Throughout college, I sat in the back of the class and never spoke due to a complete lack of confidence. But I am 45 now and am a different person. I am socially confident in any situation and regularly speak to large groups of people with ease and comfort. How did it happen? My belief is that it has been a series of influences. First, I always wanted to work and just happened to choose jobs that forced me to be sociable. In my early twenties, I was a waitress and learned, through observation and direct instruction, how to make small talk with anyone. From my late twenties to the present, I have been a teacher, the best social skills training there is. I was very uncomfortable in my job at times in the beginning, but because there rarely peers evaluating you, just you and your students, it is a natural lab for practicing interaction skills and improving without much judgment (I recommend teaching immigrants and young children). Most teachers I work with (at the community college level) are introverts who have become people who love to talk (recovered shy people – there are a lot of us in teaching). Second, I started taking anti-anxiety medication at age 37 and that really changed my life. The anxiety washed away and I have become the person that was hidden behind my social anxiety. Friends from my childhood and twenties don’t recognize the confident person I am now. There is hope out there for you if you act. My 40 year old brother has always refused treatment and challenging situations and, as a result, he has no social interaction and believes that his social discomfort is a fact that cannot be changed. He lives at home with my parents and has no social contact with anyone besides immediate family. I highly recommend getting treatment and finding situations that support your growth as a person. Best of luck to all of you.

  10. Tony Portwood

    This post pretty much sums up how I feel right now, save the anxiety symptoms. I grew up in a repressed environment without a real father figure. I always always taught to be extremely nice and not make fun of others etc. There was no teasing allowed, even if it was playful. Hence I am easily picked on and still don’t know when someone is messing with me or if they are serious. I also had socila phonia and was very self-isolated up until I was 19. Even thought my social phobia is gone, I too lacked that crucial 12 years of social rapport development growing up, so I still reap the effects of social anxiety in the form of lack of social creativity.The only conversations that I partake in that come across as fluent on my end are ones that are extremely scripted in my head or are ones I have practiced before (such as meeting someone for the first time, presentations (yes believe it or not they are very comfortable for me), etc). What I lack and I believe alot of social phobics lack is that social creativity that IS what makes up your personality and your individualism. It is what makes somone say “oh haha oh Ted he is witty, what a great guy). This is because are personalities are essential mirrors of what is socially acceptable and also the people around us.

  11. sue

    i am a female in late 40. I am still very quiet. I don’t know how to start a conversation. When i started to break the ice, people don’t seem to continue the conversation. Now I don’t want to interact with people anymore. I want to be like others.

  12. alec

    My names Alec,i discovered this website by accident,because at 54 ,i have spent my entire life without being able to form a deep relationship with anyone ,mw parents were both loners with the same problems as i have had all my life,my mother woiuld run and hide when anyone came to our door ,and my father favorite pastime was to smother me and put me down,we lived miles out in the country and all my formative years was spent wandering the hills,with no social was a nightmare,though i excelled academically.this became my way of getting some sort of attention,and i also began at an early age to run for miles in the breaks in school to gain acceptance in my physical prowess.After school,ther was no social interaction and if we went anywhere where other children were ,i panicked and sweated and could hardly speak,there were only 11 pupils in the school and at 12 i had to travel daily to a huge 1500 pupil comprehensive at which i was tormented on a daily basis ,and as aresult ran away and refused to go back and took to the hills ,the only place where i felt safe.There was no one to talk to and i lost the opportunity for university .THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I HAVE DREAMT OF WRITING ABOUT THIS AND I DONT KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT,PERHAPS SOME ONE TO READ THIS AND UNDERSTAND,EVEN THAT MAKES ME SEEM SO WEEK.
    I HAVE ONLY EVER BEEN ABLE TO COMMUNICATE ABOUT MY WORK,AND HERE I AM WILDLY ENTHUSIASTIC AND BASICALLY BORE PEOPLE ,I HAVE HAD 2 FAILED MARRIAGE ,WHICH WITHOUT DOUBT WERE CAUSEDBY MY NEED TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP OF ANY SORT,AND FAILED MISERABLY BECAUSE I COULD NOT BE EMOTIONALLY INTIMATE AND SUFFERED DREADFULLY BY FEELING USELESS AND INCoMPETENT ALL THE TIME .SEX HAS ALWAYS BEEN VERY DIFFICULT AS I CANNOT LET MYSELF GO AS I DO NOT FEEL ACCEPTABLE OR WANTED .Iam in a relationship that was forged by work and 1 year later , my partner seems to have spotted all my flaws as she saw me as a totally different person in my work mode.Going back to my childhood if i saw my father in the local town where i worked ,i would have to avoid him as we could not talk ,unless it was work.
    In my secondary school days ,i had to hide to avoid the bullies.
    The same patterns have been there all my life ,yet i can emoathise and sort peoples problems out and am avery caring and compassionate fellow,but i cannot relate closely with my three daughters.
    I havent a clue what to do ,and it is made so much worse as i am an intelligen man who at 54 should not be in this state.
    Tonight i wanted try and share my symtoms/life so that if there is anyone out there who feels or has felt like this ,get in touch ,or can someone tell me how to not spend what is left of my life in abject misery

  13. nicole

    This is me right to the T. I am shy and come off as stand-offish and weird. i am 30 and i have been this way my whole life, it gets harder as u get older, more noticeable as an adult, not cute anymore or quirky, just plain weird and creepy.. im starting a course next week, and i fear im not going to follow thru, because of my shyness and lack of social skills, it’s depressing and soul souring, i feel lonely and inadequate, and it feels like i have wasted most of my life stuck inside my head.

  14. Polly

    Sadly, this is who I am as well. I am 31 years old. I hate being called shy, although I am a quiet person. I like being by myself, and I hate being around loud and rude people. I have always been a nice person, I have a good heart, I’m a great listener and I have always heard from others that I am inteligent and beautiful. I can be quite funny when I feel safe. I did, and sometimes still do, try to interact with people. But when I think things are going ok, I’ll find out that people think I’m weird or rude, and I’ll be quite shocked and then I’ll retreat to my lonely ways. It seems that most people don’t like me or think bad things of me, and it’s always quite unexpected and hurtful for me to learn that. I don’t know what it is that I do that offends people, and I just don’t understand how people really see me. I have heard that I come across as awkward, but I do not understand what that means. I have also heard that I come across as standoffish, arrogant, and too direct… when I am nothing of the sort, I am actually quite interested in what others have to say, I engage people with questions, although the reverse is almost never true. My tone of voice is always warm and I always smile when I interact with people, so I just don’t get it at all. Even relatives reject me. My brother doesn’t even interact with me at all. For a while I just thought that maybe it was because people just felt intimidated by me… I don’t know what vibes I’m sending off to people, but I hate being so misinterpreted. I am nice and people just reject me out of the blue. So I have become very resentful of people, and I have cut contact with many friends who talked about me behind my back. I am tired of spending so much energy trying to be nice and getting weirdness and rejection in return.
    People don’t go out of their way to engage me in any sort of conversation, and somehow I am tagged as being snooty when most people know full well that I am shy, yet somehow I have to go out of my way to engage THEM lest I be rejected. Just makes me mad.
    If someone can shed a light on what I seem to be doing wrong, I’d appreciate it.

  15. Greatrf

    I have almost the same problems. I was amazed how many people have similar problems. The problem with me is that although I don’t avoid public meetings as I have been participating in speeches and public events. I also don’t primarily avoid public interaction rather it was secondary to my failures in social interaction.
    I think we all should make a group on a social networking site like facebook and interact with one another. Maybe we will make great friends.
    I have made one such group its on Facebook and the name is Friends to be
    URL is

  16. Elle

    WOW!!! This is me! I’m wondering how most of you got in my head and why you put my thoughts on the internet. Really, this is what I battle daily. I am almost 30 years of age and I primarily spend time alone, not because I’m so much afraid of social interaction but that I’m afraid of how I will be viewed during and after the interaction. I’ve always been the shy/quiet one but as I get older the terms have changed to weird/crazy. As a child I went to school but didn’t interact with my classmates too much outside of school and it only got worse the older I got. Then in college, I thought I was becoming a social butterfly but that was brought about by alcohol and other bad decisions. So here I am, feeling lost and that I definitely was absent during some crucial life lessons. I wish I knew where to go or who to go to for help.

  17. Jennifer

    Sounds like you all need to get together and work on these issues. If you are having trouble dealing with people who are not like you – then try dealing with people who ARE like you. You haven’t described me at all… I’m a very outgoing person, but I always know how to befriend any sort of personality. I think that all of you who have said “that describes me perfectly!” should get together and hang out. Who knows, maybe that’s the best way to overcome what you have all been going through, or you all may just feel more comfortable being yourselves because you are all alike. Good luck everyone!

  18. yoon

    After reading the posts in this blog, im so glad to know that im not the only one feeling this way. Im 24 and spend most of my days going to school, studying, and severely isolated from any social interaction but it wasnt always this way. In the rare instances where im engaged in conversation, I fumble over my words and feel so much pressure and after a few exchanges clam up making the whole moment feel extremely akward. I even went to a psychiatrist for a few years and was treated for depression due to worthlessness that I felt for not being able to socialize and conversate with people like most of the people around me. Any type social interaction whether it may be job interviews, parties, school group projects, even dating woman have been unsuccessful. This is not just a problem I have had with just a few people I meet, but has effected every imaginable relationship that I’ve had. All the people whom I thought were my close friends have completely abandoned me and I hate running into people I know because the first reaction that they have is, “omg you fell off the face of the earth where have you been” type of reaction. I was born raised and still live in the same neighborhood but dont have a single good friend who likes to be around me and truly understands my personality or lack thereof. I understand what all of you are going through and feel your pain and wish I had a solution to your problem. Its a personality trait. The only glimmer of hope is that we all find good hearted people out there who enjoy being around people like us even though there isnt much conversating happening. I always think about running away to a place like the mountains and keeping myself isolated from the whole world. But logic and reality tells me that I have to face my fears head on because no matter how far I run, my problems will be near me like my shadow.

  19. Eric

    I don’t know if this describes me. I deffinatly see some of myself in what you describe, however I find more that I don’t really care that much about people. When I am around people I am able to talk and smile or laugh. I don’t feel uneasy although I do seem to prefer to be on the outside and just observing. Which is how I feel alot of my life has been, just observing other people interact with each other.

  20. Dave

    This sounds almost like me. I just turned 22 almost 2 months ago. I have never done so much as kissed a girl, and I feel like a loser.

    From Jr. High onward, I was/am a social outcast. In fact, I guess my shyness affected me so much, that according to who was then a very close friend to me, people apparently thought I was MENTALLY RETARDED. This made a part of me die. During the first 2 years of high school, I was so scared of being judged as a loser/retard that I actually hid in bathroom stalls before class, or just mindlessly walked around where there wasn’t anybody. I didn’t want anyone to see me and judge me as a loser/retard. Ironically, this is exactly what made me a friendless loser. =(

    Around senior year of high school, I made a couple of “buddies”, people I talked to, but nobody I actually hung out with outside of school. I stopped hiding in stalls, and actually worked up courage to talk to a girl I liked and asked her to Homecoming, and I got rejected, probably because of the obvious nervousness – fast talking, jittery movements, just trying too hard in general. But hey, at least nobody thought I was retarded. In fact, people started viewing me as one of the “really smart kids”. It was true, as socially incompetent as I was, I scored pretty high on standardized tests.

    Well, I entered college at 19 years old, and things didn’t really change. People still act indifferent to me, and I feel very nervous when I interact with people. Sometimes I wonder, “Why don’t people just talk to me?” “Why am I the one who always has to start conversations with other people?” At first thought, I guessed that is because they already have friends and a full social life, and don’t feel the need to have more friends or talk to people. However, I see everyone else talking to one another in class, and I’m quite often the only person in class, sitting next to other people, who doesn’t get engaged in conversation. Nobody even says a word to me. Obviously, someone has to start up a conversation to get one going, so why does it always have to be me? You’d think after going to college for nearly 3 years, at least one person sitting next to me in class would try to talk to me. Do I look unapproachable/unsociable?

    So, because of the above, I am the one trying to talk to people. Every time I meet someone, I am the person who always has to initiate conversation. This tells me that others don’t want to talk to me. I am a terrible conversationalist, I can never seem to carry a smooth conversation for more than 5 minutes. I feel that everything I say is forced. It’s not that I can’t think of anything to say, I just feel uncomfortable saying it. One advice I see quite often on conversations is to ask questions and actively listen. But when I’m about to ask questions, I always think things like “What if that’s too boring or dull?” or “What if that’s too personal?”. But I know I have to say something, so I either force it out of me, or I just don’t say it. I believe that because I am actually FORCING myself to talk to people, my discomfort is showing, turning people away from me. Maybe I just seem uncomfortable in general, and that’s why people don’t talk to me. But in the past, people have also criticized me for being too quiet. When I hear that, I just think, “Well, f—ing talk to me, dumbass!” So, I feel forced to talk to people, but nobody seems to reciprocate or want to talk to me again.

    In light of this, I’ve come to a general conclusion. I guess I have to find the mentality within me that just doesn’t care what others think. I’m guessing the best way to accomplish this is to simply find happiness within oneself. Perhaps this applies to all of you as well. I believe most of us here would agree that we would be happier if we had more social relationships. This could be true to some extent, but apparently most people do not like needy people. This neediness is conveyed from your discomfort which stems from your NEED for other people’s approval. I believe if you are already a happy and emotionally balanced person, you will become less needy and dependent on others, which will in turn make you more comfortable in social situations and become more attractive to people.

    The question is: How do we do that? I guess we should start by appreciating the more simple things in life – maybe fix what we can of ourselves. If we don’t like how we look, we should change it. Also, perhaps we should wake up and be happy for what we are. After all, we do have food in our stomachs and computers to type on.

    BTW, Polly, I think people may misinterpret you because you are shy, and therefore uncomfortable. Apparently, most people don’t normally deal with shy people, and they can largely see the difference between a normal person and a shy person, no matter how hard the shy person tries to be social. But I think your problem is the same as mine – you are TRYING. Trying = uncomfortable = fake = all the derogatory labels you have listed – at least, to most people. And yet, when you sit alone in your comfort zone, nobody wants to talk to you.

    Wow, for someone as quiet as me, I sure as hell wrote quite a bit. I’m glad to know that there are other people in the same boat as me. If you have read my entire post, thank you very much. I hope my words have lent you further insight and provided you with some level of comfort. If you need someone to talk to, my E-Mail is Feel free to introduce yourself and talk at your own pace.

    - Dave

  21. Cory

    Wow, I didn’t realize how many people felt this way! I have felt lonely and isolated all of my life as well.

    Like many of you, I never experienced that “training” during those crucial years in elementary school and adolescence. I was usually picked on because of my shyness and ostracized as a weirdo because of it. I was almost always sitting by a tree alone during lunch and recess watching with envy and sadness the other kids play mirthfully with their friends. On occasion a friend of mine (we are still friends today after all these years) would come hang out with me, but most of the time he would go about playing with his other friends. I can’t blame him for doing so since he wanted to experience the fun and excitement of interacting with a group of people.

    By the time 6th grade rolled around, I started to get depressed and thoughts of suicide started to creep in my mind. I was tired of being alone, rejected, and made fun of since preschool. Unfortunately, these suicidal thoughts are sometimes still with me today.

    Though my social life has gradually improved after high school, it is still very unfulfilling. I don’t know how to make friends, have never asked anyone out on a date, have been in 2 unsuccessful relationships, get tired of hearing how college is supposed to be the best years of my life socially (I guess it has replaced high school for the younger generation), and even get nervous with the idea of having to ask a store employee where something is if I can’t find it.

    What’s even worse is that these lack of social skills severely limit my career opportunities since in the workplace I have never been able to forge those necessary bonds with coworkers or management that I feel are crucial in order to make any advancements in the workplace. Time and time again I have seen where people that were really outgoing and at times on the verge of being kiss you know what were given the opportunity to advance even if they were not the best workers. I was just left in the dust.

    With college it is also important to be able to establish social contacts with your professors or TAs if you want to go to grad school or a professional school since you need letters of recommendation to be considered. To get those letters you either have to visit office hours and talk one on one with the professor or regularly participate in class and speak in an eloquent matter which of course is usually difficult for anyone that is shy to do in front of a
    big group.

    It is evident that a lack of social skills not only hurts ones social life, but also ones life chances which in turn hurts ones economic chances in life. In a way both the economic and social are tied to each other since unfortunately in the U.S. many people often define you by what your occupation is. If you are too afraid to ask for references to put on your resume or if you are too nervous and awkward during the interview, you will not get that job. If you aren’t able to get that job, you run the danger of being judged as an underachiever that is lazy and has absolutely no ambition at all even though in reality your lack of success in landing a respectable job that pays enough for a middle class lifestyle is due to your lack of social skills.

    My greatest fear is that I will be 40 living at home off of my parents working at an unfulfilling job with a bunch of teenagers and more cynical than ever about life and weary enough of social interaction (thought it’s something that I do crave like every human) that I become a hermit during the time I am not working. Once my parents are gone, I have no idea what I will do. I worry that I will die a miserable and lonely life and will hardly be missed once that day comes.

  22. Joseph

    So, I guess I am not alone and that does provide some comfort. I know exactly why I am like this, the lack of “training” received as child. We lived in the quiet suburbs of a small town in an isolated part of the woods with nobody around. My parents were first generation immigrants and didn’t speak the local language and so they avoided all contact with others.My mother was a stay home mom and I was a “momma’s boy” and because of this stayed home until the age of 5 when I entered school. When I did enter school, I was completely lost and shocked. I remember spending the first few weeks along and dazed. I never understood how they everyone interacted with such ease (and even today I wonder the same when observing others at work, parties etc). People do see me as aloof and “strange” ; however I am not. Once people get to know me, they realize I am a wonderful person (not trying to brag here).

    Over the last 10 years, I do feel as if my situation has improved. This is because I have been forced to be in social situations due to work and I have learned by observing what others do. I don’t think I will ever be a “social master”, but hopefully I will at the level where one day people won’t see me as “the aloog one”.

  23. Luiz

    That’s incredible,i’ve always thought i were the only one who feels that way. Useless,stupid,inferior.

  24. Luiz

    But truth be said,our only real problem is the lack of will to do something about it. It’s just easier and tempting to give up and say “that’s how it is,nothing can be done”. Recently,i’ve decided to work on my personality. I’m taking dance classes in order to improve my overall confidence and,be more comfortable around girls. I’m also on Kung fu because i’m very weak in my body language.

    But i think the best thing you can do to change yourself is acting. Theater,to be more specific. You will be able to express yourself better,and will have no problems at interacting with people.

  25. Nique

    Wow, I guess that awkward stage never leaves you. I too have had the same or similar experiences as you all have. My inadequecy to relate to folks was due to being brought up in a strict household. I could not go to social functions with my peers and if I did go anywhere it was with my brother and (male) cousin. I took alot of social cues from them and their friends, which of course made me afraid of girls and act like a boy. I unfortunately did not have an adult female or a big sister that I could model myself after. I struggled during my school years in social situations and was deemed quiet, shy but very nice. I smiled alot in those years to overcompensate for my inadequecy, but in my adolesence and teen years I scoured to keep people at bay. Now at 49 I still have a bout of inadequacy, but I placed myself in social settings (dance class, public speaking, self-defense, etc.) to gain some confidence. I am aware that I still have a ways to go, but one day at a time. I try not to think about how far I “think” I have to go, because no one is perfect and I think it is a flawed character to think that being social all of the time is the best you can be. Keep your heads up. It will all work out.

  26. Hans

    Hi. This is the best site I have found. I thought nobody had it worse than me but you all have similar experiences. I am a finanically successful 31 year old male. I was so shy I never left my house or had any friends until I was 20. I was depressed most of my life due to my anxiety issues controlling me. I never learned to ride a bike, swim, roller skate, went to a school dance, or had a date. I let fear control my entire life. I still have troubles, but I gained alot of confidence through maturing in my profession. My biggest problem now is I get massive anxiety still with interacting and approaching women. I feel so lonely because I live away from my original family, still single, and I really don’t have many dates or relationships. Since I was alone (0 friends or dates) until I was 20, virgin until 27 (yes, virgin), I feel the current situation of little friends and minimal women is even more depressing because it remeinds me of my entire first 27 years.

    What medicines did you all take that helped overcome social anxiety?

    What other advice can you give me because i am so sick of not having enough friends and intimacy in my life. People is what make life great, and I don’t want to be solitary anymore. I avoid situatins like bars to meet people, because I know the pain in rejection and the nervous energy my body feels. Its very uncomfortable.

    This is the one area in my life that is preventing me from being happy and living a “normal”, good life. I hope one day to meet a woman who would love me, but its hard when you can’t meet them because your anxiety causes all this negative fear and negative emotions. I never know what to say to new females I meet.

    My email is – I would love to hear from you all.

  27. Hans

    Cory – I’ve taken dance classes salsa, and thats improving me some. But you are right, the most important thing in life is social skills!

  28. Miguel

    So much of this rings true for me. For all of us. I remember being a normal outgoing kid with friends up intill 10 years old, and things started getting weird. I used cry a lot when the kids made fun of me for something. I was easily shattered. I had the same childhood friends up intill 14-15 when I got into internet gaming which I still abscess over to this day at 26, but not as much as I used to. When I look back at things, I was always very shy and quiet, so I wonder what those kids saw in me in the first place.

    When I was 15 I remember always hiding in the bathroom during family gatherings. I ended up dropping out of high school because I skipped too many classes. I went to a “special” school where all the other flunked failures ended up, but these kids were all dope smoking party animals. A lot of the girls there had kids. I was a total and complete loner who quite literally had N0 friends in this place, where everybody else was really tight. It was a small school of like 50 students or so. During lunch and recess I would just walk up and down the streets of the neighborhood, playing videogames in my head. I did get straight A’s and B’s though, so that seemed to make my parents happy…

    I was such a videogame addict though. For years it was all my life revolved around. My self esteem and happiness was completely dependent on videogames. It was my meth, my crack cocaine. My parents tried to cut it off, but I went wild. I would kick doors down and yell and scream intill I got my fix. I had such clueless terrible parents. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t even born. Lalalala

  29. Sheila

    A coworker of mine seems to fall into this category. She has to be about 50 and unfortunately she has earned the nickname of ‘lint’. She has the personality of a ball of fuzz and seems to awkwardly cling to others in social situations. For example – in a group setting, if a couple of people are chatting about where to go for lunch and (we’ll call her Jane) Jane is nearby, she may just start coming along to lunch. She just starts walking with you. There is no comment made about “mind if I join you?” or even “sounds good to me!”. She just floats along behind you like a shadow. Most people are tolerant of this and will turn around and say “oh, are you joining us for lunch?” to officially include her but I have a hard time with this. Her actions come off as rude. She wasn’t invited. Other traits she exhibits is the twirling of her hair. Its constant at times. She just sits there twirling a specific section of hair between her fingers, occasionally sticking it in her mouth. I had to say something to her about that once. Gross. Other than that I kind of ignore her. Its easy to do. She doesn’t join in conversations but she’ll sit there are eavesdrop on yours. She’ll stop what she’s working on to turn and listen to what you’re saying to another person and then turn to go back to her work when you’re done. Again – a lot of people are tolerant of this and will actually go out of their way to then include her in the conversation. I can’t do that. I wasn’t talking to her and she doesn’t actively join the conversation so why should I direct things to her? Its very frustrating. I want to be the bigger person and be nice, I just can’t anymore.

    Given the nature of our job, its has an impact on the clients as well. They often come to other people, behind Jane’s back, and ask what’s up with her. She quite often stares when you ask her a question. She’ll just sit and stare back at you so you don’t know if she doesn’t know the answer, she doesn’t want to answer, or if she even heard you. It may sound mean, but I don’t want to waste my time trying to communicate with someone like that so as I mentioned, I mostly just ignore her.

    I’d like to clarify that I’m not an ogre. I have tried, for several years, to get Jane to come out of her shell. I assumed that people just aren’t friendly or accepting of her and that’s why she is that way. But after failed attempts, I realize now that no, its just the way she is.

    Well, she’s a grown adult and has made it this far. She’ll be fine. But in the meantime its frustrating to work with her which isn’t fair to us. I’ve tried having a straight conversation with her and even confronted her about some of her behaviours (the work-related one, not the personal behavior ones) to no avail. I explained that some of her actions – like not getting work done because she’s staring out the window or not communicating about the status of a project – make a frustrating and tense work environment. I checked for understanding by asking her if that made sense. Jane said ‘yes’. That was it. A one word answer to the fact that she knows she’s difficult to work with. Ugh. No apology, no “I realize this”, nothing.

    At this stage of the game I can understand there isn’t much to do. She is the way she is and I’m the one who has to find a way to come to work everyday and not pull my hair out.

    Thanks for listening.

  30. D. Stone

    I used to be like this. What all of you have written here described me perfectly. I was homeschooled for 6 years.
    I was smarter than everyone else. Yet I was “incurably” shy. I was a permanently depressed child. However, nowadays i am successful and happy. It’s a happiness unimaginable unless you know it. So how did this happen you may ask? I’ll tell you how.

    First off i want to say that the more EXPERIENCE you have talking to people, the better you get at timings and appropriateness and manners and being humorous etc, etc. the key is this–

    There’s no such thing as “looking” like something. People don’t look at, say, a picture of someone and say “he looks shy”. Because its not possible. The only reality is what you DO. You are what you act. Human beings uncontrolably act like how they feel. Think you don’t? You do. Someone can look at you and see that you are ACTING shy.

    They say you look shy, but you act shy. If you don’t seem happy, then what are you sad about? Oh you must be shy. People assume other people are happy. When you are shy you are unhappy.
    Then you act unhappy and quickly people will see you are shy. As soon as you stutter and stumble and don’t give them a good feeling, they know.

    This is why, even though you are sad, you need to ACT happy. Smile and laugh. Appropriateness is just what you feel.
    Don’t try, no never try, just think. The only thing that exists is how you act, how you act is the energy you put off to other people.
    If you FEEL uncomfortable, the person next to you in a couple minutes also will FEEL uncomfortable. Its the truth. Then they won’t talk to you.

    You need to have the energy, the feeling, of being relaxed, happy, carefree. Put yourself in a relaxed position and laugh at the jokes your teacher makes, if its a joke that you can laugh at and not be gay.Its not hard to tell whats gay and what isn’t once you spend some time LEARNING about it. All that comes with experience.

    Anyways, once you learn how to act happy, people will talk to you, once enough people talk to you you will learn how to talk to people, at the same time this will make you more HAPPY.
    Then you will ACT more HAPPY, more people will talk to you, you will have more experience talking to people and then you will suddenly be a NORMAL person. Its NOT NORMAL to be so unhappy.
    Once you learn this you will realize HAPPINESS is the normal state of humanness. It is just RIDICULOUS how UNHAPPY shy people are, all of us. How SICK it is to be so UNFORTUNATE compared to other people. Other people are so much more happy they cannot IMAGINE what your problem is. That is why they don’t know you are shy.
    Even if they do, it brings down their social status if they talk to a “gay” person, and that will make them unhappy. Therefore the cycle continues.

    There are a 1000 things keeping the unhappy down and the happy up. There are a 1000 things keeping the social social and the shy shy.
    Once you make yourself approachable in how you ACT then you will start the first good thing in your life. When I say that I don’t mean ACTING like big actions. I mean tone of voice, pauses in gesture, laughing, looking people square in the eye. ALWAY LOOK THEM IN THE EYE. DONT FLINCH. DONT BLINK. Dont look fearsome or something either. Just confident. Looking strangers in the eye means you don’t care what they think about you.

    It is proven that Alpha Males are quicker to make eye contact than the lower in social status. Once you are talking to some people, have half-decently started to be normal, then worry about how you LOOK. Just wear what everyone else wears. Notice trends. Don’t wear what the nerds wear. I know it’s fucked up to not be who you were, but clothes are just gimiks anyways, figmets of everyones imagination. And if you are still in highschool make friends with who you are COMFORTABLE being with, once you get experience then learn how the “cool” people think, and you can start making cooler friends.

    Life is just a game. If you lose you don’t die. You just get set back a level. Nothing should matter so much that you are too nervous to do it. Your past doesnt matter. What people said and thought to you doesnt matter. All that matters is NOW. NOW is always going to be all that matters. That goes for everything in your life.

    In summary, act happy, make friends, be happy, make more friends, then experience comes, make more friends, get more happy, good job, now everyone you know has about the same level of shyness that you do.You can use this to manipulate people by taking advantage of their NEED to gain your approval, however Im not going into that. Oh, and everyone, no matter how “cool” makes social mistakes and embarrasses themselves. Just laugh at yourself. Get a couple people to laugh at you with you. Then you still have group appeal.

    Im done. Hope I helped some people. Let me know what you think about my little speech–

  31. grp

    most all of these posts about shyness remind me of myself. a freak of nature to be sure. i will be shy, and 46 in a few weeks. talk about a waste of a life!
    i’ve avoided going to a doctor for anti anxiety meds. mainly because it is humiliating for me to admit that i need them to a doctor. but also because of the horrible side effects from using them.

  32. Harrison

    I’m 19 and you pretty much described my situation. I lack social skills and I tend to spend alot of time alone(In my comfort zone).
    It sucks because i get bored and depressed and sometime feel crazy when i dont get much social interaction. I feel like Im wasting my life away but i just can’t find a solution to the discomfort i get when I am trying to interact with people.

  33. poncho

    i wish one could response to individual comments cuz then i could say to alec that i read your story and i feel the same and your not alone, im 22 , i have had girlfriends that really hasnt been a major issue for me, also have some friends, but i tend to ruined every relation i get involved in, i cant identify if what i say is correct in a situation and that makes peopole who at first liked me end up hating me,if i make a joke then suddenly something i thought was harmless and funny becomes totally innapropriate socially, i have friends yet if think about it they arent real good friends i barely see them, its cool hanging out with them but in a tought situation im sure i cant count on them, i feel very lonely althought i have a family that loves me, i dont feel inferior but i do feel very angry at myself for not acting the way i was supposed to in my friendships or relationships, im lonely yes but to be honest loneliness kind of grows on you and it isnt that bad, i dont mind being alone, i dont want a person to come to my life and fix my life im not a broken blender i dont need to be fixed , this is who i am, and yes i want love in my life but i dont rush , if it happens it happens if not then i now ill be okay, however getting girls is not my problem, its keeping friends and keeping relationships, iget jealous at my brother cuz although we share the same friends, they never call me to hang out, bt they always call him, i often say harsh things , and although i would love to help people, they often think im selfish and wont , so they never call unless i call them, im starting to worry cuz time after time i say something that gets a miss interpretation, and people end up hating me, and that makes me feel like i lack something or did something wrong, im kind and loving but cant seem to get that across, im not shy, if i dislike something i will say it as well if i like it, im direct, but sometimes my intentions were good, but people tend to interpret my words as if they were bad, bottom line, i dont know whats causing this recurring failure in getting friends, i get women, but no friends,and the women i get involved with its like either they get bored with me or i get bored with them,

    i get very lonely sometimes to the point i want to scream my guts out in the middle of the night, its not lack of love, its not lack of wealth, i feel like complete idiot , i kind of hate people, why cant i get people to like me, why do i need people to like me? actually 99 percent of the people can hate me or love me , i wouldnt mind, there is only a few people i want to be accepted by, i want my family to feel proud of me, i want to help them,i wish i could go back in time and make everything allright, the girl i was in love with tried to make friends with me, and i made a dumb joke and made myself looked like a fucking idiot, i tend to ruined my relationships as soon as i open my mouth, and i dont have any real friends, although i wish with all my heart i did, if i die tomorrow my family would be very sad, but thats it, i dont have any real friends and i used to love and admire my brother but now i feel that love is diminishing, he is selfish and uncarrying and im starting to feel like he is a bastard, he fucked a girl i used to date right after i dumped her, and although i didnt love the girl at all, i felt betrayed, i mean comon he was my brother at least he could have waited, man that made so fucking angry cuz i loved my borther so much, he was the only friend i thought i had , but when i asked him for a favr he didnt make an effort to help me although he isnt working nor studying, man the only friend i thought i had turned out to be this selfish bastard, i dont love him as much now, i dont hang out with him that much either, i have lost every single friend i have ever had and im sur eit cant be a coincidence,

  34. Tammu

    I have always thought about myself as a social misfit. In the beginning, as a kid, I never wanted to mingle with kids my age and always found excuses to avoid them. Instead I drowned myself into all kinds of books. My father was extremely social and outgoing and he often complained about my unsocial attitudes and even labeled me as “antisocial” even though I have always been extremely peaceful/affectionate and kind to everyone around me. As I grow up, I have a good job and a very loving boyfriend i do not have more than 3 close friends in whole world and i find myself hating any possibility of a social contact even if it is just a 10 minutes coffee break with my collegues. I do lack confidence and I visibly appear stressed and tensed when i am speaking with people and always feel very conscious about myself.
    I do not drink or smoke, noise and crowds make me extremely unfomfortable and nervous, so I cant enter a pub.

  35. a girl far away

    I feel very unfomfortable around people too… I really want to communicate with others but it’s very hard for me. I always seem like an indifferent loner. When I try to be someone I’m not, I get nervous and people dislike me even more. My problem is being too serious and lacking the ability to talk about simple every-day subjects. I’m 18 now and I’m going to study in a university. I just pray to god people will except me for who I am, because I know I can’t change.

  36. Tim

    Hi.I’m 37 year old male.For all my life i had SA.No wife,no kids,no decent profesion,no happynes as result. It’s really shame to lose so many years for nothing, if there is nothing after death.The doctors really don’t know what’s the reason of SA.So i would like to suggest you one very interesting and inspiring verson of phobias.I beleave it or not 50-50.No one really knows if it is true or not.Only heart will tell.So here we go: .Read about light workers first.I personaly felt much better after reading it as we all with SA disorder used to critisize ourselves …Hope it helps.Sorry my english,it’s not my native language

  37. The Middleman

    I would describe myself as an introvert, geek (for as long as I can remember), and a person with mild social anxiety. Like others, I usually warm up after getting used to people for a while but it can be difficult for me to let people by my barrier. I have feelings, emotional, sexual, physical, just like everyone else. It’s just hard for me to express them when I want to.

    I have been shy/quiet all my life, and like others I’m well versed in public speaking but drown in smaller situations like parties with new people and small talk.

    I’ve been in college the past few years (turning 20 soon) and have taken mostly large lecture classes because I was still very nervous around others. Blending in with the masses was my way of coping, but that only makes the problem worse. Eventually I started looking around and noticing that people weren’t talking to each other very much. Lecture hall or small class alike, people who sit next to each other day in and day out know nothing about each other. This struck me as tragic since I expect myself to be withdrawn/shy around others but when it’s entire classes that behave this way even I had to admit something was wrong. It just seems weird that in a class of 25+ people nobody reaches out to each other. It was then that I realized I had to do something about that. So I started my change a little over a year ago now.

    My anxiety has hampered my romantic life like many others. It’s not that I don’t like women, I would love to experience a romantic relationship with the opposite sex, I just never understood how to get there. This could be because I have lived with my mom my whole life and have basically no relationship with my father (least not to where I feel comfortable/trusting enough to ask him about this stuff), no real male role model(s) (Batman and Brock Samson don’t count unfortunately), and my own shyness/introversion. Even through my failures, I remain positive about the future – more on this later. I have tried to make jokes to myself more often to train myself to make my own humor instead of going with that of others. This same humor I see as useful in ‘breaking the ice’ with anyone because laughing makes people feel good, it does for me. I have no goal of becoming a comedian but it does help to be able to stimulate others in conversation rather than following along. I want to have a family one day not just because I can have sex, but because I want to have kids and create a family life/environment for them that I never had. If I have a shy/introverted child I will be able to connect with them and help them to adjust to the world around us better. Son or daughter, I want to be able to share with them the knowledge I’ve gained and prevent them from making the unnecessary mistakes that I’ve made. Mostly I would love for them to become better individuals than I turned out (my mom did a great job with me, but a single parent home does not imo produce a well rounded experience for a child; at least in my experience).

    I also learned that you should not approach a woman with intent of a romantic relationship unless you already know her well or if you are in the correct environment for that kind of thing (night club, bar, speed dating/dating site, etc). This applies especially to environments where you will see the woman relatively often (like one of your classes or at work). If you run into a woman in the city who you think is cool, go for it. But in the classroom environment, expressing your intent too early will make them think you are needy or clingy, which is NOT who you are or want to be. Just do your best to keep the contact relaxed with no pressure and try to make a new FRIEND, don’t seek a girlfriend. Hope that you don’t end up in the friend/’nice guy’ zone if that isn’t what you want, although this is contradictory to the previous sentence I acknowledge. And be careful to not talk too much or ask too many questions (I’ve done this before because I worried about me not talking enough when the opposite became true in those situations). Especially when in the classroom environment, too much talking/questions will just creep them out so be yourself and make initial contact if you have to and beyond that continue if the other person wants to continue. All of this I’ve learned from my collective failures; I tried my hardest to identify things I did wrong according to the dating game and the above makes the most sense to me. If you had no idea what to do around women before you read this, I hope it gave you at least a push in the right direction so that you will not make the same mistakes I have made.

    This semester I tried to get as many smaller sized classrooms as possible so that I would be forced to be around people in close quarters and help me to make contact with others more smoothly. Fall semester hasn’t started but I’m hoping for the best.

    One more thing I want to say is that for people like us, we cannot give up. We have to keep a positive outlook on things because dwelling on the negatives in life is not living. What helped me out a lot recently has been me trying to see things in a comedic light; successes, unexpected results, tragic failures. Laughing keeps you away from negative vibes and also works your abs a bit, so its great for fitness too! Some aspects of a person’s being can be changed and others cannot. This aspect that we hold CAN be changed with enough effort and determination.

    My freshmen year I would walk to classes with my knees wobbling underneath me and my face pointed to the ground except when necessary. I was so nervous about other people watching me and judging me that I could barely walk to class! I was in bad shape but eventually I realized that I needed to change if I wanted certain things in life so day by day I made an effort to try to stop worrying and just walk with my head up and facing where I wanted to go. I eventually got the hang of this after a few months but I still could not make eye contact with strangers. Forcing myself at every opportunity since then I can now walk through stores, school, the mall and make an effort to make eye contact with everyone. Not a gaze, just a quick glance to acknowledge that I/we see each other. Sometimes eye contact is not reciprocated but that’s ok, maybe they’re having an off day or maybe they are at a period where you once were before you yourself could make eye contact with others. It’s no big deal. My current project is smiling. Sometimes I’ll share a few glances with a woman but my inability to smile ensures that nothing happens from there. I have to remind myself everyday now to smile when I go out because it feels like I forget at times. No progress so far but my past success in changing these things tells me that it will take time until I see results.

    If you got anything of use from my post that’s great, that was my intent. Mostly I just want to spread a message to others like myself to remain positive, there’s potential for every day we go through to change, the only thing necessary for that is a little direction and determination. Good back posture while walking is necessary too!

  38. george

    hey am 20 and just got into college few weeks ago.. am really good looking as far i can notice.. cuz basically girls seem really interest on me but i cant keep the rithm.. i mean i am the kind of guy that knows the whole ppl of the university but just got to talk like the few initial talking never get to gain the confidence.. i kind of pass by and say hello etc.. but at the end its nothing.. i might be wrong wich would be a good notice cuz i gotta surpass this nightmare some how of not been able to have normal social skills i feel really bad inside myself when i see all my partners talking and laughing… am just sitting right next 2 them but i dont make much of a thing.. i dont think they wuold notice if i dont go to collegue or anything related to me.. am pretty much screw.. i talk of course but only for like study things and that, basically greating… i might get some cancer or someting am really worry bout this fealing cuz its really intense an makes me feel like a retard so..
    in my high school i never had friends i always was the lone wolf and the worst thing its that this apply for all of my social life interactions is that when i dont socialize the nerds and some fat ppl or something i mean there are always dumb or exclude from the group that wants to get to know and like be friends

    i mean am really interest it but am a damn fool cuz i cant resonably react about it.. so please leave me a comment and suggest me or i dont know say something usefull ok tanks!

  39. Poulomi

    Till I chanced upon this web page , I never knew that there are others who feel the same way.
    I am 26. I’m qualified , well read , widely travelled , and good at what I do. I am married to the person I love.
    But,I have always found it difficult to connect with people. I don’t have the courage to say hello , smile or strike a normal conversation with most people. I dont know why . May be it is the fear being judged.
    As a child I was very shy. My Parents were extremely strict and critical of what I did. They wanted me to be perfect. I have always felt stupid and inferior as long as my memory goes.I remember being bullied, tormented and trampled upon in school.I lack confidence in my self.
    I have conciously tried to come out of my shell. I am a differnt person when my husband is around. I am happy , assured. I can trust him. I know that he doesnt judge me.
    And I know … if I have a child, I would rather let her be happy than perfect.

  40. Nadia

    so good to be here. I have found this site by chance and feel glad and thankful to the person who created it, as well as to all the people who have shared their stories here. We all share the same pain and the same relief when we realise we are not the only ones in the world.

    My story and feelings are very similar to many people’s here. I am in my late 40s, never married, with many abandoned projects and career plans behind me. I have felt socially awkward and wanting to avoid other people for as long as I can remember. I can sometimes be OK in 1-2-1 situations but completely thrown off my balance in groups (for example, a work team or a class.) It’s as if, with others present, I cannot be myself anymore. I tend to be a lousy conversationalist and a poor listener, never having any thing witty or funny to say… I have been handicapped by my social anxiety and feelings of inferiority, made worse by a very poor body image, in all areas of life.
    Although I struggle and get depressed at times I mostly accept myself as I am. Although I’m single I have a friend who is almost (but not quite) equally unsociable, and who has taught me the art of being oneself without trying to compromise. It is good to have at least one similar person to relate to.
    A good way of overcoming loneliness, if you can bear it, is attending therapy groups. I am not in one at the moment and badly miss it. I have found that when vulnerable people come together they tend to be kind and supportive as we open up and share our pain. This may seem to contradict what I said before; but therapy groups attract people like me – like us – not those with normal social habits.
    I am not in a good mood right now; I have signed up on a challenging course and am already finding a lack of rapport with my classmates, which is distressing. Feeling an outsider in a class has always interfered with my education – I get too emotionally upset about feeling like the odd one out to pay much attention to my learning; and typically let myself fall behind and give up. This is why I have always been an “underachiever”. But at my age I strongly feel that the time to actually finish a project is NOW – otherwise I’ll go through my entire life not completing anything and not achieving anything. I feel trapped in my mindset, with all the negative thoughts playing over and over in my head and becoming my reality. God help me to break through! It’s been such a long and sad journey, God is my only hope of recovery from this.

  41. Jantzen

    This is exactly my case, and yes I am in my 30s. I am getting very worried and it makes me very depressed because I don’t click with no one. I was picked on abusively all throughout elementary, high school, and college. I am also uncomfortable with my gender and my associations to same-sex and opposite sex are horrible. My goal is to relate to one good person who can understand me, but I don’t want to be a burden on anyone. As a result of this condition of mine, I have purposefully withdrawn from society and am living in my world, as a throwback to the 1970s, and even in that department I would love to find someone, a special lady or something, to share my retro activities with. Maybe I ask for too much, but even before I made myself a throwback I have not been well equipped with the right social skills, and I owe that to an oppressive father who controlled my every move and on top of that was not a positive male role model. My model for life has been my mom, perhaps that is why I feel like a woman, but my body also does not feel right. Can someone please help me and let me know if my lack of social skill sis due because of a poor self image of myself as a man, or should I seek transgender therapy because I was bonr in the wrong body? Yet, I still long for a heterosexual relationship with a gorgous woman. Please help me…

  42. Michelle

    Hi, my name is Michelle and I am currently taking an Addictions Couselling course. I am working on an assignment that has to due with dealing with people with addiction and disabilities. The disability that I am doing is when people lack emotional and social skills. I have read all your stories and I can honestly say I can relate to everyone of you. I have never had a lot of friends and I always seem to scare people off because I don’t know how to socialize properly. But my question to you guys is….. Have any of you ever turned to drugs or alcohol to deal with this issue? Everyone says that alcohol is a social lubricant? Have any of you used it to do just that? I would love to here all of your feedback. Thanks

  43. Wayne

    Hey I too am suffering like most of you on here. I can’t help the way I feel, I want to be friendly to people, but I am so shy and quiet I can’t speak to a lot of people. I have problems at work too, I hate using the telephone and when my boss tells me to phone people who I haven’t spoken to before I usually just pretend to dial and then tell her that they didn’t answer then I just email the person. I am a gay guy and I have a lot of gay friends, but I think this is because I know how to relate and interact with them coz I am able to be myself around them coz they are like me, I can have decent conversations and feel comfortable too. In other situations where I have to deal with straight people (usually men) I come across as very awkward and probably appear quite stupid, I am so shy that I even appear rude, but I can’t help it! I have problems going to the shops on my own I even quit my last job after a week of being in it because I couldn’t cope coz I thought everyone I was working with thought I was stupid and that I myself couldn’t do the job. I know that this sounds very irrational but I don’t know what to do.

  44. Allyson

    Ah! I feel exactly the same. I am 15 now, turning 16. People tend to think that I’m rude and stuck up too, because I never greet them “Properly” and I don’t always contribute and share my exact thoughts in conversations.

    I know that I do not have an anxiety disorder; I just sometimes experience mild social anxiety.

    I also tend to avoid most social interactions and I think it’s because my previous social interactions were uncomfortable and negative, so I feel like the next one will probably just cause discomfort again.

    I have read about SST (social skills training), but so far I haven’t found any SST “workshops” in my area. I think that something like that could help.

    But I’m just going to have to settle for a self-help workbook for now.

  45. trey

    oh snap! i feel the same as you people. i am currently in high school and i do not have alot of friends. i have one friend but he makes me uncomfortable and inferior. i always long to talk to someone who i feel comfortable with.

  46. Amy

    Ok. Even the shyest, dullest, quietest person can be a good listener. Just nod your head every so often and ask questions. Doesn’t have to be a good question. Any question at all will do. Make stupid remarks about the weather if you’re stuck. Most people won’t care that you’re dull; they just like yapping. You really don’t need to do anything except encourage them to yap some more and pretend to listen. Heck, you don’t even have to pretend.

  47. Mark

    In all honesty I’m 25, been through it all and it’s never going to get better. No one wants a dull knife when the drawer is full of sharp ones. There are 7 billion people on this planet no one wants rejects. God fucked us from the beginning. Enough said. Might as well off yourself anyway.


    I tryed being a tool
    asked questions (people hate questions)
    Being more open with people
    Tryed meds
    positive thinking
    went drinking, partys, to bars, keggers, raves, bowling etc etc

    You have to look stupid and degrade your “self” to their level to fit in.

  48. Daniel

    I am 20 years old. Going to be turning 21 very soon and I have allways felt socially awkward when I was younger but Ive seemed to slowly be growing out of it. But what seems to play very important roles are little things. If I meet someone new at work I can easily speak to them because of the environment that I am familiar with. While if I meet someone at school I seem to have little or no interest in speaking to them. I love to avoid conversation yet sometimes I love to attend in others. My biggest problem of them all is speaking with a group of friends. I feel like I dont have a chance to speak. Or it isnt something thats even worth mentioning. Specific people tend to take hold of everyones attention. On the outside I seem like a very confident strong person. And maybe I am. But my lack of social skills causes me to doubt myself. I am extremely judgemental in some situations. But especially to myself. I feel like alcohol may be the only answer. I dont want it to lead into becoming an alcoholic. But it really is soo much easier to relax this way. Im sorry if my writing wasnt organized in any way. I kinda just wanted to write whatever. I guess this is just all an effect of being isolated from the world for soo long and just expecting yourself to adjust in a short period of time.

  49. Teen

    I’m a teenager and I’m not sure if I have this issue. I am overly self-cautious when I talk to people. I think hard before I speak, and when pressed to speak immediately, I sometimes say things that are offensive. It’s not that I am purposely doing so, intending offense. When I meet people I am not sure how to greet them, and most of all, I do not know how to depart from a conversation. I try making eye contact with people because every article says that is best, but I get the feeling that this only makes the person feel uncomfortable after a while. Then I start looking away and the other person starts doing the same, and soon there is an awkward silence. I do not know how to keep a conversation going, and I’m always confused about how to become “better friends” with someone. Should I just ask them to come to my house? How acquainted must you be for that? Or if I want to join people playing or talking, do I just walk up to them and join? I have been given annoyed glances and butted out before. I’m just so confused. Any help?

  50. Luke

    I need to open up more to people, but I’m afraid of being judged. I don’t have a lot of friends and the friends I do have, I made on the internet, not in real life. I’m very good at expressing my thoughts in the form of writing, but I lack when it comes to talking face to face. I still don’t quite know why I can’t walk up to someone and start a conversation with them. I believe it has something to do with the speed and rate I think and process information. Like the above post comment by Teen, I have the same issue. I think before I speak to avoid sounding stupid and because I really need to take a second or two to gather my thoughts after the person finished talking before I talk. This is makes the conversation take longer then it has to be. It there something wrong with how I talk to people face to face? I can’t seem to make any friends who live in my area and I don’t hang out with anyone except my friend who I knew since pre-school (he lived 2 houses down from me so we hung out a lot). I have some metal issues with developmental that may explain my lack of social skills. I never seemed to fit in with the crowd and still now I have a problem with finding someone to talk to even in a group. I’m seeing some professionals about fixing my social life, but I’m wondering if you had any thoughts on my story. If you take the time to read this, thanks.

  51. Shirley

    I have spent most of my life feeling like the world is not ready for me. I feel misunderstood daily and I am constantly worried about how I am being perceived. I grew up in a very strict home and didn’t have much opportunity to learn how to develop friendships and must tell that not having that skill haunts me to this day. I tend to have trouble holding my tongue in issue driven conversations. My job requires me to be very active in helping the patients I see find better ways to be safe while maintaining their independence. Some of the people I work with are content in saying very little that sways from the ease of the system. I guess you could say I have a problem pushing issues aside especially when someone’s well being is at stake. As a result I am sometimes met with cold shoulders afterwards. I dont feel I have any close friends and I tend to struggle in conversations that don’t include world issues. I like conversations that allow me to think. I find myself speaking to several people first and trying to carry on a conversation, but don’t do well in maintaining the conversation. God did bless me with a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters; so I am very thankful for my family. I just wish that my social skills were better so that when I have do things at church or their school I don’t come across so socially awkward. I just want be the best wife and mother I can be without embarrassing them having people talk about me behind my back. I want to talk to the ladies at the school and church, but I am always limited by not knowing what to say and just moping around feeling alone. I have spent all of my life never fitting in and being socially awkward. I know I have a wonderful family,but I still feel lonely when my husband spends time with his friends and I longed to have friends that I go shopping with or just hang out with. I will continue to pray to God to help me with this problem and I thank him for leading me to this website. Unforturnately, it is very easy to assume you are the only one that goes through these things. I will continue to go God for guidance and strength for myself and others that deal with the same problems. If anyone can offer advice let us hear from you.

  52. Katie

    Hello friends,

    We are all trying to fix our lives and find better ways to cope. I feel so depressed not being able to communicate with people…and virtual communication is a babysitter, it does not fix the problem only slows it down. I feel something is lacking here on the web.

    Anyway, SD is bad. When I am in laboratory class, I keep to myself and work by myself while everyone is a group. In a group, I get so confused I do not know whats going on. I need to work through the work myself step by step and any distraction or deviation causes me great frustration or panic.

    So I was thinking…how to get social interaction. I want to join clubs with others that share similar interests (go to Also dance classes (I take Zumba, looking for archery for focus) are a great way to get social interaction without talking. If you want a closer connection I suggests raves or dance clubs. I like raves because of the electronic music (hugs not drugs of course).

    Speaking of drugs…i hate pharmaceuticals they make me feel ill. I tried Luvox for social anxiety. Never again. Made me nuts and more anxious.

    I would love to take to new friends on A.I.M. or any other instant messenger service. I have pidgeon so any is good. My AIM is sunshinefairy55…hope to see you guys there :)

    -Katie >^..^<

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