How can shy people meet friends?

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
25,045
3,399
126
My needs:
I need to be able to meet a friend, be able to actually phone him/her to ask to do something, and to be able to follow through and do it. Does anyone here have advice?

My disorder:
I'm self-diagnosed with social anxiety. I have several symptoms but the ones which affect me the most are:
1) Inability to speak when there are more than 3-4 people in the room. I have to overanalyze everything I say to make certain I won't be made fun of again. By the time I've gone over the sentence several times the subject has changed and I'd be an idiot to finally say my witty remark.
2) Inability to use the phone. I'm terrified of even ordering a pizza and my mind goes blank when trying to say anything.
3) Inability to ask others do to things with/for me. I'll gladly help anyone, anywhere but I just can't bring myself to ask for help (in person that is, I'm fine with forums).
4) Inability to have attention on me (public speaking, acting wild, etc).
Specific examples listed here if you scroll to the 6th post.

Background
I had a lonely childhood and few friends. I'm satisfied with 1 or 2 friends and certainly don't want more (otherwise I get into situations where there are more than 3-4 people in the room). I was never very happy even though I succeeded in many areas.

That is, until I met my wife. I've known her for 10.5 years. She is far better than I could have ever expected in many areas (tallent, intelligence, and beauty to name a few). Never in a million years would I have thought anyone like that would talk to me, let alone want to date me. I've had all of the happiest moments in my life with her. I was so happy that I nearly overcame my disorder. Whenever I was with her I could do almost anything (except speak in a crowd). We had friends, went out, etc. We both were very happy. Everything was wonderful. Of course, there is a big problem that developed though.

I pretty much have used her as a crutch. With her, I can do things I want to do and have fun. Without her I'm a worthless lump. This fact been dragging on her. Over the past year she has pretty much pulled away 100% from me. She doesn't want to do anything with me anymore. After a heated discussion the last few days, I'm pretty sure a separation is inevitable and most likely a divorce. The biggest thing she wants from me is to have friends on my own (so she won't feel guilty spending 100% of her free time with other people instead of me).

So I need friends.

Without my wife, I cannot enter a social situation. I'm terrified of bars or other similar places, horrified at the thought of meeting people, and have nothing to say when I do. They get bored with me and move on with their life. I end up a wall flower all alone. That's the worst feeling in the world to me - to be lonely in a crowded room.

Even my work friends that I have seem to enjoy being around me. But I'm too terrified to call them to do something. When I ask if they want to go out after work sometime, I get the response "that sounds great". Weeks pass and nothing happens. I'd bore them to death if we went out.

Any advice?
 

acemcmac

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
13,712
1
0
I really hate to be blunt, but you need to hear this:

Get your pee-pee out of your mouth and be bold, brash and brasin. Stick your kneck out, you have nothing to loose.
 
Aug 26, 2004
14,685
1
76
Originally posted by: dullard
My needs:
I need to be able to meet a friend, be able to actually phone him/her to ask to do something, and to be able to follow through and do it. Does anyone here have advice?

My disorder:
I'm self-diagnosed with social anxiety. I have several symptoms but the ones which affect me the most are:
1) Inability to speak when there are more than 3-4 people in the room. I have to overanalyze everything I say to make certain I won't be made fun of again. By the time I've gone over the sentence several times the subject has changed and I'd be an idiot to finally say my witty remark.
2) Inability to use the phone. I'm terrified of even ordering a pizza and my mind goes blank when trying to say anything.
3) Inability to ask others do to things with/for me. I'll gladly help anyone, anywhere but I just can't bring myself to ask for help (in person that is, I'm fine with forums).
4) Inability to have attention on me (public speaking, acting wild, etc).
Specific examples listed here

Background
I had a lonely childhood and few friends. I'm satisfied with 1 or 2 friends and certainly don't want more (otherwise I get into situations where there are more than 3-4 people in the room). I was never very happy even though I succeeded in many areas.

That is, until I met my wife. I've known her for 10.5 years. She is far better than I could have ever expected in many areas (tallent, intelligence, and beauty to name a few). Never in a million years would I have thought anyone like that would talk to me, let alone want to date me. I've had all of the happiest moments in my life with her. I was so happy that I nearly overcame my disorder. Whenever I was with her I could do almost anything (except speak in a crowd). We had friends, went out, etc. We both were very happy. Everything was wonderful. Of course, there is a big problem that developed though.

I pretty much have used her as a crutch. With her, I can do things I want to do and have fun. Without her I'm a worthless lump. This fact been dragging on her. Over the past year she has pretty much pulled away 100% from me. She doesn't want to do anything with me anymore. After a heated discussion the last few days, I'm pretty sure a separation is inevitable and most likely a divorce. The biggest thing she wants from me is to have friends on my own (so she won't feel guilty spending 100% of her free time with other people instead of me).

So I need friends.

Without my wife, I cannot enter a social situation. I'm terrified of bars or other similar places, horrified at the thought of meeting people, and have nothing to say when I do. They get bored with me and move on with their life. I end up a wall flower all alone. That's the worst feeling in the world to me - to be lonely in a crowded room.

Even my work friends that I have seem to enjoy being around me. But I'm too terrified to call them to do something. When I ask if they want to go out after work sometime, I get the response "that sounds great". Weeks pass and nothing happens. I'd bore them to death if we went out.

Any advice?

well...you seem to do just fine on the forums...6K posts...you've had something to say, obviously...i know this is going to be passe and i'm sure you've heard it a million times before but try not to worry so much about what other people think about you so much...its not going to kill you to have a few people think you're an idiot...i dont even want to think about how many people think that of me ;) or maybe you should just stay drunk all the time...i dunno, dont listen to me, what do i know
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,816
83
91
pills?

if you're going to go out with friends from work (which is a great idea in your situation), don't just say "let's go out sometime." make definite plans. if you leave it at "sometime," they're probably waiting on you to advance the plan.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
25,045
3,399
126
Originally posted by: acemcmac
Stick your kneck out, you have nothing to loose.
I've thought about sticking my neck out on a railroad track and I'll have just one thing loose.

Don't worry, I won't do it. I don't have the guts to do it, nor to impede on the lives of those who it would affect.

 

neonerd

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2003
8,746
1
0
perhaps ask one of your closest friends about this...talk to him/her about it and see what they think. They probably know you and the situation better. Tell them what you just told all of us. I'm no psychiatrist or whatever, but that's what my $0.02. Hope it helps....GL :)

oh, and really try to get out there...it's not that bad out there ;)
 
Aug 27, 2002
10,043
2
0
drink a beer, seek professional guidence (someone not on the internet ;)) from a certified councelor, straiten things out with your wife(with counceling). a broken family will only make your condition worse.
 

BlueWeasel

Lifer
Jun 2, 2000
15,940
474
126
Live anywhere near Tupelo, Mississippi? I'm always looking for new friends because all my current ones just use me for computer advice. :)
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
25,045
3,399
126
Originally posted by: quakefiend420
maybe you should just stay drunk all the time
There is the problem. The only alcohol I like is things like strawberry daquiries (spelling?). Going to a bar and ordering those has proven to be humiliating. Beer just makes me vomit within a few sips.

 

BlueWeasel

Lifer
Jun 2, 2000
15,940
474
126
Originally posted by: dullard
Originally posted by: quakefiend420
maybe you should just stay drunk all the time
There is the problem. The only alcohol I like is things like strawberry daquiries (spelling?). Going to a bar and ordering those has proven to be humiliating. Beer just makes me vomit within a few sips.

Yeah, I used to think the same thing about beer, but then it just grows on you. If ordering the colorful drinks is embarrassing, just try a basic mixed drink like Captain Morgan/Jack and coke.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
25,045
3,399
126
Originally posted by: lobadobadingdong
seek professional guidence (someone not on the internet ;)) from a certified councelor, straiten things out with your wife(with counceling).
Worthless in my experience. I tried that about a year ago when things started deteriorating. They all say the same thing. They aren't there to give advice. I need advice.

What are social situations where I could go that I might not be thinking of?

I live in Nebraska.
 

acemcmac

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
13,712
1
0
Originally posted by: dullard
Originally posted by: acemcmac
Stick your kneck out, you have nothing to loose.
I've thought about sticking my neck out on a railroad track and I'll have just one thing loose.

Don't worry, I won't do it. I don't have the guts to do it, nor to impede on the lives of those who it would affect.

well, dude. You have two choices. Keep beating yourself up or do something about it. Dating is a contact sport. Make contacts. Practice, practice, practice. It's nowhere near as hard as it looks.
 

llamajizz

Golden Member
Apr 25, 2004
1,194
0
76
I've always been shy and never had many friends.. I guess that, and my dad always having jobs that revolved around technology, are to blame for me being such a damned geek.
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,816
83
91
Originally posted by: dullard
Originally posted by: lobadobadingdong
seek professional guidence (someone not on the internet ;)) from a certified councelor, straiten things out with your wife(with counceling).
Worthless in my experience. I tried that about a year ago when things started deteriorating. They all say the same thing. They aren't there to give advice. I need advice.

What are social situations where I could go that I might not be thinking of?

group therapy sessions? it's social, and everyone else there is messed up in the head too :)
 

James3shin

Diamond Member
Apr 5, 2004
4,426
0
76
are you active physically in any way? Do you play any sports or engage in activities like Skiing or something out there in Nebraska? Getting out into the world will get you started.
 
Nov 7, 2000
16,404
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you are a teacher right? time to institute that A for "effort" program

haha

seriously though, if this is a recent development, dont try to rush to do anything. just remember you are born alone and die alone, and ultimately the strength to do anything comes from within.
 

Descartes

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
13,968
2
0
Originally posted by: dullard
Originally posted by: lobadobadingdong
seek professional guidence (someone not on the internet ;)) from a certified councelor, straiten things out with your wife(with counceling).
Worthless in my experience. I tried that about a year ago when things started deteriorating. They all say the same thing. They aren't there to give advice. I need advice.

What are social situations where I could go that I might not be thinking of?

I live in Nebraska.

A bar is the WORST place for a person like you. Why would you want to be in not only a crowded environment, but an environment that puts more stress on one's sociability than anything else? Seriously, seek venues that are more fitting with your personality: A bookstore, coffee shop, or any relaxed environment that attracts people more interests in conversation than booze.

My tupence.

[edit]Maybe the conversation element isn't appropriate either, because you did admit to having trouble starting one. Ignore me.[/edit]
 

IGBT

Lifer
Jul 16, 2001
17,948
130
106
..mabe a club/hobby/support group of some sort. Don't give up..mabe a pet?? Cat/dog?
 

neonerd

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2003
8,746
1
0
Originally posted by: BlueWeasel
Live anywhere near Tupelo, Mississippi? I'm always looking for new friends because all my current ones just use me for computer advice. :)

:thumbsup:

most of mine too....they're not really friends i guess then, but w/e
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
25,045
3,399
126
Originally posted by: ming2020
Don't mind me asking, but with your condition, how did you end up getting married in the first place?

Btw, perhaps you may want to consider resources from this site (if you haven't already):
http://www.socialanxietyinstitute.org/
Just posted nearly the same post on a similar forum. I'll see if anyone answers in the next few days.
Short story:
[*]Loved her looks, loved the way she acted, and loved her beliefs.
[*]Drooled over her for a month or so.
[*]One day, someone in my group of highschool outcasts asked about pretty incoming freshmen.
[*]I mentioned ~6 of them but said one was the best of all (my wife).
[*]Friend called them all up and none answered the phone (Saturday afternoon).
[*]He remembered my wife's number and called later when I was gone.
[*]She knew who I was and somehow had a crush on me. Everyone else that I liked has asked me to never even look in their direction.
[*]We got on the phone together and spoke for 4 hours straight. 8 hours straight for every day of the next week. I've never felt shy with her.
[*]Married 5 years later (after I graduated college).
 

skim milk

Diamond Member
Apr 8, 2003
5,784
1
0
church is a good place to meet people
if you go to the right one, people are welcoming and you may feel part of the group in no time. I know people that are active in church, organize activities, go on missiong trips etc. because usually they have no "real" friends either and have nothing else to do
 
Nov 7, 2000
16,404
3
81
whoops, im stupid. you are phd, but i doubt you are a prof considering the public speaking issues...

exercise is a great activity. it helps you get to know yourself better and builds confidence (and will help your looks) all this is great for social situations. i think you and I are alike in very many ways... and i can definitely EXACTLY relate with how your mind is working and the your situation...