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Old 03-03-08, 03:30 PM
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These are all great responses. Its difficult to open up this much even though a forum is somewhat anonymous. I have had social anxiety at times (Back in high school I was the runner up to second most quiet in my class back after another student who had a severe speech disability). I'm not sure where yours stems from. As another poster said, mine was worrying what other people think and feelings of inadequacy.

I was a big nerd I guess back in grade school. I had severe allergies that I can recall since the age of 5. I mean really bad. I wasn't that big of a kid. I don't know if it was the allergies but my lung capacity wasn't great so I was never good at athletics. I also moved once and did not transition well.


1. Anyway some solutions to your problem. First off wear sunglasses. Tom Cruise could be going down the street on a bike wearing sunglasses and a hat and me and everyone else would have no idea (unless it was regular paparazzi territory). I found a cheap pair of sunglasses that my family agrees make me look cool and I wear them regularly when I ride.

2. Can your wonderful girlfriend go riding with you?

3. I don't know if your condition is environmental or genetic but either way environment will influence it. My mom has paranoid schizophrenia and will never be normal but we have learned to accept some things and help her out. In my moms case she thinks people are after her like the mafia or the russians. If she orders a salad and points to one in the display case, but they bring her another one, she will not eat it fearing poison. As you can imagine we have learned to kind of laugh about it and try to reassure her nothing is wrong (my dad likes to grab his throat and pretend to be dying of poison, great joke).

If your issue is social in nature maybe you need to work towards defeating the heart of whatever is wrong. In my personal case I took several steps. First I realized that some people are stupid and trashy and I will not care what these people think. I cite my malicious grandma. I have a grandmother who is mean. That is her nature. I sit in my boxers and eat doritos while I watch tv on the rare occasions when she is allowed over to my parents. My parents ask "how can you sit like that in front of grandma?". I explain so honestly that she does not exist in my world. I choose not to let her exist in my world. Not to care what she thinks or what she says. This is how you truly defeat someone who doesn't care about you and shows it. And I still work on this to this day. One thing that comes to mind is "will this person I'm talk to remember this conversation a year from now?". The answer is, they won't! So don't take every word so seriously.

The next step I took was I realized I can be great. I wrote this down: "I am capable of great things." Don't be afraid to give yourself a pep talk. I once asked my dad, a very successful businessman, how do some people have huge amounts of confidence? Basically they fake it until it feels natural. Can I walk into a bar and ask a girl out without copious amounts of alcohol right now? Not unless I fake it. Theres nothing wrong with faking confidence.

So if part of your problem which I am assuming here is confidence, you need to also build real confidence while you give yourself a nice pep talk. In my case I wanted to feel handsome and athletic. I have taken steps to get towards that through working out, weight lifting, knowing how to dress myself, how to style my hair. My last girlfriend said something very classic. I invited her to my parents house to meet them for the first and last time. She saw my high school picture and said "wow, I would have never dated you if you looked like that" HA!
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