Feeling down..

Hello, I am a 19-year old female and often get anxiety/uncomfortable in social situations. This is causing me to feel worthless. I know God loves everyone, but I can’t help but to feel like such a failure because of this. I have been shy all my life, but never really had issues with getting friends, keeping friends, working in groups etc. Only a couple of years ago this started. On public transport (which I have to take daily to get to school etc) I look down on my phone or read a book just to avoid eye contact with strangers. In school when we are assigned to work in groups or pairs I get nervous. I think a part of it is my desire to be liked. I am afraid to do something that will make someone dislike me, for example looking at someone with a mean stare by accident, coming off as rude working in groups because of my shyness, etc. In my school most girls are very outgoing and social. This is making me depressed, I have had slight depression for quite some time now, on and off… Also, I don’t like my appearance at all, neither my face nor my body. At social gatherings at church I am just the quiet one, and a lot of people comment on it. ‘’Why are you so quiet?’’ ‘’Well, you don’t say much, do you?’’ which makes me even more embarrassed of myself. A lot of the times in these situations, I just don’t know what to say. My head just goes blank. I try to smile and interact but I feel like I have nothing to contribute to any conversation. And I start to feel like people dislike me because I’m so quiet in those situations… I have never had a boyfriend and I know I probably won’t. I know that no decent guy will want me, firstly because of my look – and the few who might find me okay will think I’m weird because I’m quiet. So I have given up on love, I think a person like me is not likely going to find anyone. This is saddening since I really long to have a family one day… But I am starting to accept things the way they are.
I try to think positive thoughts, I try to think about all the blessings I have; my health, my freedom, my parents being alive and well, having food on the table etc. It makes me feel good for the moment but then the reality hits me again.
What can I do about this? :confused: I apologize for this rant, please pray for me.

Dear Rose, I’m a fifty-eight year old man, old enough to be your grandfather – just about, so I offer you my prayers and maybe a little bit of insight: I think you might be suffering from social anxiety and should ask your doctor about it. I suffer from that myself, although I was brought up to greet everyone, smile and be social, so it was ingrained in me to interact respectfully with all others. I’m not saying your parents didn’t do that; I’m saying that I was able to counteract my awkwardness by rote, if you will.

I want to tell you something else. Some of the most beautiful people I’ve met have not been particularly stunning. I had a friend in high school who was about 4 feet tall, and she was really special. I also had another friend who was probably 300 pounds and sweet and kind as she could be. Then there were the pretty ones: one was one of my best friends, but I know she had a snobby attitude. Some of these people with attitudes are only insecure and they have a need to feel superior. And last, I want to tell you that one of the “geekiest” girls in high school showed up at the 10 year high school reunion and she had simply blossomed, while the quarterback of the football team, who was very handsome and admired, showed up already bald at the top. Both of them were the talk of the reunion, and if you really think about it, it is all so shallow. You want to be deeper than that.

I once heard a priest’s homily in which he addressed Mother Teresa’s unattractive and wrinkled face, and then he remarked, “But imagine those who died in her arms. To them she must have been as beautiful as an angel.” Those were not the exact words, but it drives the point home. The important beauty radiates from your soul. Beauty also radiates from your personality, and to that I can only advise you to greet others and see Christ in them. Little by little you will become more comfortable, and that’s a small step. Also, if someone asks you to speak, be yourself and tell them, “I just don’t know what to talk about. Any ideas?” or something that will break the ice.

I hope I’ve helped. Go on and ask Jesus Christ to help you. You can do it. You also need a real life person you can turn to for support. Look for that. God provides.

May He bless you and all those whose path you cross.

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance & direction in your time of need.

Though you probably can’t change from an introvert to an extrovert, you can take steps to help your situation. On transit. Put away the phone/book. Become part of the world you are in. People watch and interact with other members of the Body of Christ. (people)

Develop a sense of humor. Joke. No one hates someone who has joy and is lively. Let your faith show through your personality. You are hiding your lamp. If you being joy and life and confidence to others you are bringing them Christ. And then if they reject you, they are not rejecting you, they are rejecting Jesus, and that is what he said would happen.

There was a fellow, a lifelong city dweller, who was driving from one sales meeting to another on what seemed to be a deserted road, far out in the countryside. He had a flat. He had a flat and when he went to fix it, he had no jack. He had a flat and when he went to fix it, he had no jack, and when he tried to call for help, he had no cell phone service.

How on earth was he going to get out of this? He was in the middle of nowhere, on a road not frequently travelled. He remembered that he had passed a farm house not long before the flat, and he realized that this farm house was his one chance. He started to walk toward the farm, in the hopes of finding help.

As he walked, he ran through his mind what he would say when he got to the farm. Every time he thought it through, he got more pessimistic. Why would the farmer want to help him? He was a stranger, he obviously had the hands of a person who never did manual labor…the list of reasons why the farmer was certainly not going to help him only got longer, the more he thought about it. He imagined the farmer telling him to get lost., and maybe even pointing a shotgun at him. He had no idea what he was going to do, and he started to get angry.

Imagine the surprise of the farmer when he came to answer the knock at his door. Before he said a word, what did he see? A man in a suit, obviously angry, yelling at him as he stomped away from the house! “Oh, yeah? So fine! Don’t help me! See if I care, Mr. Big Farmer Man! Keep your d&%$d jack!!!”

Don’t give up on love. You only have to find one, and he’ll be a very happy man when you do. You wait and see!

Don’t worry about people who comment that you are quiet. When something bothers people–think about it–they usually say it behind people’s back. What they say to your face, they don’t mean it as anything that ought to upset you. Most people are nice and most people like you. Don’t they like other quiet people? Yes, they do, and you know it. They just know that they themselves are chatterboxes, and they’re afraid* you* are not talking because *they are monopolizing the conversation. As often as not, they are afraid that you don’t think much of what they *have to talk about. Reassure them that you are happy to be with them, but you’re just quiet. That is probably all they are looking to hear.

Yes, talk to a counsellor, if you get a chance. You know if you had a friend who was feeling as you are feeling, you’d talk her into doing it. Well, don’t be a hypocrite. Do what you’d try to talk a friend into doing, in your place. Then when you meet that friend, you’ll be able to say, “Hey, when I was feeling down, I went to see a counsellor. I wouldn’t tell you to do it, if I weren’t willing to do it myself!”

Accepting things the way they are is good – but you probably don’t know the way they are. You can be certain of your feelings, but your take on what people think about you is almost certainly false. I’ve always found quiet people charming and intriguing – and often their visible embarrassment can make them even more charming.

My guess is that having just one close friend could help you come out of your shell. Not a romantic partner, just a friend.

Here’s what you need to accept, wholeheartedly: that you have a lot of growing to do. Your embarrassment about that is, in a sense, shame that you haven’t figured all this out yet. But the shame won’t help you. Pray against it. Eventually, you might be able to consider feelings of shame and embarrassment temptations; if you resist them, they will flee from you. I don’t think that can happen all at once, but you have a LONG LIFE to grow. Nurture one or two relationships, be honest and transparent (like you’re doing here!), and let God work.

You know, i was the same at your age!

I used to be so shy and nervous around people! It was terrible! I used to sweat about it and get sick in the stomach. It was really horrible!

You know, as time goes by (I am in my 50’s now) you will be surprised how you change. You will look back and ask yourself, ‘was i really like that?’.

I wish i knew God then as much as i know now! You are lucky to have found this forum and more importantly to have found God!

Nothing wrong in the way you are feeling may i add.

God loves you as you are. Pray to God and ask him for guidance and help. Be sincere about it. God wants you to ask. God wants to help us all.

God loves you and wants you to be happy. Prayer is a wonderful thing. Pray can open doors!

Be strong, but most of all BE YOURSELF!

You are what God made you. Life is a big journey and it seems to me that you are the right road. Keep praying and asking for God’s guidance.

God bless you

Thank you all for praying and offering me advice, I really appreciate it. I have a few close friends who I have talked a bit about this with and they all say I need to come out of my shell, that life is too short to be shy all the time - and while I agree, it’s harder to actually do it. But I will just keep on trying, taking it step by step.

The question is whether or not *you *want to “come out of your shell.” Honestly, we live in times that ask for what another era would consider a shocking amount of self-disclosure. Provided that you are willing to do the works that charity requires and receive people in love, you don’t have to re-make yourself if you don’t like talking all of the time.

If talking all of the time were some great virtue, why would there be monasteries that required a vow of silence and no monasteries that require a vow of chatting? Listening to other people who feel a need to be heard is a work of mercy, but if you don’t want to chatter about yourself, that is no spiritual fault. I will tell you that I know several couples who are not big chatterboxes. They talk to each other, but in big groups they both let other people do most of the talking. That is not only OK, but probably something the world could use a bit more of.

Your only concern ought to be whether you give people the impression that you don’t want their overtures of relationship. Other than that, if you aren’t talkative, that is OK. (Believe me, I’m one of those people who make up the difference. :rolleyes:)

Thanks for your support :thumbsup: I know I will probably never be the supersocial person in the group, but I at least want to be able to feel comfortable in social settings so I see your point.

If you want to be a private person or a quiet person and yet put other people at ease while you enjoy their company, you’ll find that simply looking for opportunities to ask people to expand on what they’ve been saying will do 90% of your work for you. Try things like, “Oh, yes, I’ve noticed that, too. Why do you think people do that?” or even just “Go on…tell me more! This is interesting!” Then let them pick up the ball and run with it a few more miles.

If you let people know you enjoy letting them do all the talking and you find it interesting to hear their thoughts, this will help ease their fears that they are boring you, monopolizing the conversation by failing to give you a chance to talk, or failing to sense that you are giving signs that you need some emotional support or just wish you could get away from the situation. Sometimes people want help in carrying the conversation, but sometimes assurance that you want them to do most of the talking is all that they really need. They are just checking in to make sure they are giving you what you need from your time together. When they prompt you to say more, you can say, “Oh, you know me…I’m more of an interviewer than anything. I don’t have a lot to throw in myself, but I’m very happy to just hear what other people think.”

The truth is, there are so many of us that do not even hear what others have to say because we are so busy composing what we are going to say when our turn comes around that if you are the person who listens and answers intelligent questions about what others say, you will be a breath of fresh air. Thoughtful listening is such a rare and sought-after gift, you may find yourself a very popular social companion!

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