I really have a huge problem with self help forums for social anxiety. Although my loneliness has increased massively in recent years and I have a longing to make contact with people using forums has not helped at all. In the many years I have scoured the internet for forums I have genuinely made only one true friend. I even see her and visit several times a year. Yes, its a miracle!
I say that because virtually everything else has been a failure. I was speaking online to a couple of people only in the last few months. One has stopped replying and the other may be seriously ill and appears to have vanished off the net. I pray shes Ok but have no way of ever finding out. I did not even know her real life name.
You see its been such a failure that the conclusion would be that it’s entirely my fault and I must be doing something wrong. This of course diminishes my self esteem and makes me even more avoidant.( more bitter and twisted too!)And there you have it. Just like real life. Being very SA and then doing things that fail due to your SA destroy your confidence and makes you even more SA and avoidant. Thats why lots of people never truly recover from SA and still have it in later life.
This quote from the SAUK forum comes to mind again:
“You have to be fairly proactive and join in/initiate stuff for people to interact with you, its human nature. “
Wish of course is like saying dont be shy,. Its like saying you have to act normal from the very start in order to succeed and become accepted. What if you go meet someone and blush and stutter and act nervous and awkward from the beginning. You come across as a weirdo and people avoid you in future. Even on a forum if you come across as negative, miserable and poor at communicating with other people then you will struggle and become ignored thus fueling your paranoia and making you feel worse.
Its like being thrown in at the deep end with never learning how to swim. Some might succeed but many will sink.I dont know how to improve my SA because almost all the situations I have put myself in make me worse so I never gain the confidence to improve. if you make a bad impression with people the first time you meet you often dont get a second chance so its back to square one every time.