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I don't want to pretend I'm "hard" anymore, but I'm SO afraid...

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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    OK, here's the deal. I'm the most insecure person there is. I feel like a total loser all the time, even without reason. Many people think I'm not shy and I talk quite a lot. But then again, when I'm with people that I don't know or don't get along well, I don't talk. Err, at all.

    I would like to just 'come out of the closet' as a very shy and quiet person, because that's what I really am. The constant pretending that I'm not that shy, that I'm actually just hard and cold and independent, it's really wearing me out. The problem is, I feel like that if I just take off my mask, I will just break down. Seriously, I'm not hard, I'm so SOFT that I don't think I would be able to take it. All the criticism, stressful encounters with new people, etc.... I think I have some sort of a social anxiety, because I can't survive social situations without pretending to be easy-going and confident. In reality, I am none of those.

    This really is like a dead end street. I don't want to pretend anymore because it's exhausting and wrong, but I don't want the whole world to see how nervous and unsociable I really am.

    And what I fear the most, is that no one will ever want me as his girlfriend. Let's face it, there are millions of more confident and appealing girls out there...
    I am so sorry to hear that you feel like you can't be the person that you want to be around the people you care about. The impression i get is that you are in a very dark place with how you feel about this stuff. Its natural to have some social anxiety and if how you feel about interacting with other affects your day to day living, ie not going outside, you need to think about getting some professional help- ie going to your GP. I think the important thing you need to hear is that:

    You are not a loser. No one is- sometime people find life challenging and make a few wrong decisions. Anyone who thinks your a looser isn't worth knowing. Your self esteem must be so low for you think that about yourself. Have you thought about treating yourself? Maybe buying a new dress, getting a hair cut or both :P? Might help you feel a bit more confident.

    I think you would benefit with getting some counselling and taking off that mask in front of that person and letting yourself break down in a safe environment. Its not a sign of weakness asking for help, its admitting that your a strong enough person to recognize you cant do it alone. The way you feel is never going to change over night but it will get easier, you might find it useful to try and challenge your own way of thinking about things. For example if you look a pretty dress and say that's never going to suit me, how do you know if you don't try it on?

    I hope this helps and you find the support you need.
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    I guarantee that there have been times when you've been walking down the street, through school or uni, in the park, or anywhere for the matter, where you've passed someone who's found you attractive.
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    #1

    Thanks, everyone You're lovely!

    I was diagnosed with social anxiety today.

    I thought I should clear some things up here: I can be completely relaxed with my friends - the ones back home who I've known since childhood. It's different with people I don't know that well. I have a couple of friends in uni but I can't really be myself around them, and I barely talk with my flatmates. I skip seminars because I'm terrified of groups. I CAN be relaxed and comfortable with 1 to 1 situations, though. That's what I want - good 1 to 1 relationships, but everyone else seems to prefer groups...

    Those who said that I can't be shy if I can pretend that I'm not: It's worse than being shy, really. It's AVOIDING all interaction. I can appear confident and composed in brief, meaningless encounters, because I get out of them so quickly no one even notices that I'm tense and anxious. Or maybe they do, and interpret it as me being a bit rude and distant...

    I don't know about you, but I want to be myself, and not a fake. Even if that fake was a seemingly better option. I have tried it - back in secondary school I was so pretentious, but it only made me feel worse and gave me very dark phases where I felt extremely depressed. So I'm happy to say that got help
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    I just want to write to everyone who feels self-conscious, who feels like they are 'hiding' and pretending to be someone they are not.

    I want to tell you that 99.9% of people out there feel the exact same way. Most people are really good people who are afraid, who want love and acceptance and doubt their worthiness of these things.

    I want to tell you that your doubt of your worthiness is called humility, and your possession of this humility means that you are a kind and wonderful person. Who DOES deserve love and acceptance.

    It is completely normal to be nervous, afraid, and to try and cover up your insecurities. The truth is, most of the time, everyone feels like a 'hack.' I have talked to great doctors, surgeons, entrepreneurs.. and the one thing that all great and successful people have in common is that they often feel like they are not good enough - that they are pretending, and they are terrified that one day people will 'find them out'.

    It is important to know that there is nothing wrong with you for feeling soft and scared and shy - or for trying to pretend you're not. You are extremely brave to face your vulnerabilities like that, and to find the strength to go out there and be bold sometimes.

    It is important to know that even when you think you are just pretending to be confident, you don't know your own power, your own strength. Because to find that courage in you means that somewhere deep down you do know what confidence is, and you do know your own worthiness of being loved and having meaningful relationships.

    You don't need to be strong and 'on' and confident all the time. Just because sometimes you have it together and sometimes you are full of doubt, that does not mean that you are one thing or another - or that you are someone who lacks confidence completely. It just means that you are an introspective person who has the wisdom to see that sometimes, life is just really hard. And we can't be happy and cheerful all the time.

    I am the same - someone who everyone always thought was so confident. Outgoing, popular, not shy at all, funny...but inside I felt like I was falling apart. eWhen this was a huge problem, I was having major anxiety attacks, and I was feeling very low, almost hopeless. Then one day my friend and I had this conversation:

    Me: I don't want to go to that baby shower.

    Friend: Why not?

    Me: Because I'm nervous. I don't think anyone likes me.

    Friend: Of course they do! But if they don't who cares?!

    Me: I do! I care!

    Friend: Do you want to see your friend who is having a baby?

    Me: Yes, very much.

    Friend: Do you want to go and eat food and watch her open her presents, and let her know how much you care about her?

    Me: Yes.

    Friend: Then this is what you do. You go to that party! And you tell yourself, I want to be here. I deserve to be here. I have a right to be here. I am here to show I care.

    And that's what I did. I sat my butt on the couch, ate lots of yummy food, and didn't feel any pressure to be anything, say anything or pretend anything. I didn't care what people thought, because I WANTED TO BE THERE.

    That thought has healed me in social situations. I want to be here, I have a right to be here. And just sit where you want and enjoy yourself. If you feel like talking, talk. If you don't feel like talking, don't talk. Look around and realize just how much everyone else is freaking out, trying to figure out what to say, how to be. And find comfort in knowing that you don't have that pressure. You're just where you want to be.

    If you don't talk, people will be interested in you, they will think you're mysterious and that you must know something. If you do talk, you will be doing it out of kindness, and believe me, you'll make some shy person's day by taking the burden off of them, by making someone feel like they have a friend who understands.

    Be gentle on yourself, it's not easy! But you are a kind and wonderful person who deserves love and has a right to be where you want with no pressure of pretending or performing. Give yourself some credit for your humility. You are on the right track.
    #3

    I'm the same sort of! I pretend that I'm tough and independent and that I don't need anybody when in fact I do! I find it hard to trust people let alone hold down any form of relationship. I pretend that I don't need one but in fact I do! I'm unable to let people in or let my guard down but it is the way I am I suppose!

    Just be yourself I say and try not to worry about what others think
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    (Original post by hypercaine.)
    Was expecting a chav saying hes bored of trying to act 'hard' in front of his mates so I guess ill be going now, no lolz to be had.
    ah same, thats exactly why i clicked on this thread !!!
    #4

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    OK, here's the deal. I'm the most insecure person there is. I feel like a total loser all the time, even without reason. Many people think I'm not shy and I talk quite a lot. But then again, when I'm with people that I don't know or don't get along well, I don't talk. Err, at all.

    I would like to just 'come out of the closet' as a very shy and quiet person, because that's what I really am. The constant pretending that I'm not that shy, that I'm actually just hard and cold and independent, it's really wearing me out. The problem is, I feel like that if I just take off my mask, I will just break down. Seriously, I'm not hard, I'm so SOFT that I don't think I would be able to take it. All the criticism, stressful encounters with new people, etc.... I think I have some sort of a social anxiety, because I can't survive social situations without pretending to be easy-going and confident. In reality, I am none of those.

    This really is like a dead end street. I don't want to pretend anymore because it's exhausting and wrong, but I don't want the whole world to see how nervous and unsociable I really am.

    And what I fear the most, is that no one will ever want me as his girlfriend. Let's face it, there are millions of more confident and appealing girls out there...
    When reading your post, I felt as if I was reading something that I had written myself. I COMPLETELY relate to you!! You're definitely NOT alone, don't worry.. And when you said you are the MOST insecure person out there.. let me tell you, that I can guarantee you, I am 100% more insecure than you. I see myself completely Negatively.. I cry every few nights when I think of what a failure I am. I can't really advise you, because I am in the exact same boat, but just know - You are NOT alone!.. I'm a girl btw..

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