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Overcoming Shyness/depression/loneliness Success Stories??


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#1 askjas

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 12:54 AM

i'm a 21 year old new college grad and i've had dysthymia since high school. i'm also really shy, which is hard for me to deal with because i have really few friends at home and in this economy, the social, happy people who network are the ones who get jobs. i have a really hard time connecting with people. like in class when they make u do those ice breaker things and talk to strangers, i would always end up not having anything to say to my partner beyond the basics. it's hard to feel free and be expressive around strangers and even my friends sometimes - like when someone says something funny, everyone else will laugh and i have to try so hard to fake it. most of my conversations are so rigid, even with people who i genuinely like, and very few people end up seeking me to hang out with.

i hate being shy. some people might think, just accept yourself. but i just feel like there is the REAL me inside - the happy, always laughing and cracking jokes person i was before high school. even in high school when i didn't have a lot of friends, i drew my confidence from the classroom. and if i USED to be great at public speaking and i USED to interview complete strangers for the school newspaper, i know it's possible again!!

i know i have so much potential, but i worry that my shyness and depression will keep me from accomplishing great things.. it's just not fun in the office with the girl who never talks or bonds with co-workers.. i've been that girl at some of my previous internships!! i worry that i'll have some dead end job that's unworthy of my qualifications, i'll never get married, i'll never have a support system, and i'll always be lonely, especially because i was depressed during my formative years. i guess i'm just looking for hope and i want to know if other people have overcome shyness, even as adults who have already developed their personalities. how have some shy or lonely people recovered from depression or that feeling of not being able to connect with others? if u can relate to that feeling of not being able to connect, how did u build a support system?

#2 Trace

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 04:29 AM

Hi and Welcome Askjas

You have definitely come to the right place for support and we can be a wonderful support system to you.
The internet is a great place to reach out and start to make connections, when you are shy, there is hope and eventually your confidence may grow and overflow into the real world.
I was a very shy child, but I was like you, I was good on stage or with public speaking.
I am not that talkative now and don't really go out of may way to interact at work and such, but I learned to accept that is who I am.
On the other hand, I am not nervously shy anymore, what helped me was to say a simple hello to anyone that I would come across in day to day activities, like cashiers in shops and such. They are normally happy that someone greets them and its a start. You don't need to start a conversation, but a simple hi, eventually helps your confidence to grow.

Learning to accept yourself and knowing who you are and being ok with it, helps greatly.

Trace
Listen in deep silence. Be very still and open your mind.... Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world. - A course of miracles.

True beauty must come, must be grown, from within.... - Ralph W Trine.



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#3 duckling

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 05:49 AM

Hi Askjas,

I relate to what you are saying. I am an only child and my parents were a lot older than most and I never went around to peoples houses they did not come around to me. I was a loner, and scared of talking to people although I was the one who was the joker in class but at breaktimes stayed on my own, but older kids used to bully me because of my weight so I hid away.

now I am in a job where I can be isolated just me in the office and never talk to anyone, but sometimes I have to lecture in front of students, which I can do, but as soon as I am finished thats it.

Occassionally work colleguages arrange nights out for a meal, I can't face that because I don't know what to say I have done it before and felt like and outsider because I don't know how to strike up or continue a converstation unless it is work related. Even at home, my husband and I can sit for a couple of hours and not speak, I don't know what to say to him, I will not even answer the front door when someone comes if I don't know who it is.

So Askjas, I know how you feel. The problem I have running alongside my depression, is lack of confidence and no self esteem, I am about to start working with a psychologist to see if it helps. The other thing I am thinking about doing which I said I would never do is go along to a group run by my community mental health team looking at different aspects such as relaxation etc..., I hope it would give some confidence to talk to people.

I have to say though, my shyness has not stopped me progressing in my career, it has perhaps enhanced it a bit - How??, well like you I can do public speaking, but being quiet in meetings, it means I can listen to the whole what is going on and when I feel it necessary will say something and it makes people listen and often what I have said is a mixture of what others have said, but it makes sense.

However, when someone asks for help say for example on DF I want to respond to them, but I often don't know what to say - a bit like this response. I want to tell you I know how you feel, but let it stop you developing yourself both professionally in whatever career you choose and personally in making friends. I think I can manage the professional side, but making friends and talking to strangers in a non work related setting is still a big problem for me.

This response might not help, but just wanted to tell you you are not alone in the way that you feel.

Duck

#4 Guest_CH1980_*

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 10:29 AM

I was similar to you, before high school. Always cracking jokes and laughing, and just generally happy. I don't have depression, but there have been times since high school that I've gotten really sad and suicidal. Eventually, the happy times started to disappear and I was just living a sad life that was not me.

Through therapy, I remembered that I wasn't always sad and self-conscious. I used to be happy.

The thing that got me out of my slump was the luck of making a quality friend that I went to visit in person. Since most of my socialization has been only online for the past 4 years, it was quite different to hang out with a real-life person. It made a huge difference. I spent the weekend hanging out with him and his room mate. When I returned home from the visit, I felt inspired to go out and meet more friends. I joined about 20 different Meetup.com groups in the local area and went to their events. Now I'm in the process of attending those events and meeting new people and forming new friendships. That first friend that I mentioned helped me realize how important relationships to other people are.

So sometimes it just takes one small event to start a domino effect in our lives. Maybe you can start by trying to make some friends in a similar way that I did (start online?) and then see if you can hang out in person. It doesn't have to be a huge gigantic party with a billion people. Just start with one or two people to chill with. Then go from there. It has been a huge success for me, and improved myself esteem (well, along with a whole bunch of inner soul-searching and lots of therapy visits). :-)

#5 AngelOfTheMoor

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 10:42 AM

I know a little about how you feel, but I think my situation is a bit different. I've always been a very shy person. I was never really a happy child, and I've never been comfortable with public speaking. I'm still shy and depressed, but I think that I am slowly overcoming it (albeit very, very slowly). For instance, I laugh a good bit now, whereas I used to hardly ever laugh until I reached high school. If you'd like to begin to overcome some of it, I think beginning by participating in online communities is a good start. Sometimes I force myself to go to gatherings, and that can help, too. Even if you feel uncomfortable doing so, it would probably be good to attend social functions at the office. I'm actually very worried because where I currently am, networking is important, and I've never been very good at that sort of thing. Like you, I worry about not reaching my full potential. I don't have much advice, since I have problems in this area as well, but I do want to let you know that you're not alone.

#6 brainiacbelle

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 01:25 AM

I am an only child and my parents were a lot older than most and I never went around to peoples houses they did not come around to me. I was a loner, and scared of talking to people although I was the one who was the joker in class but at breaktimes stayed on my own, but older kids used to bully me because of my weight so I hid away...

...Occassionally work colleguages arrange nights out for a meal, I can't face that because I don't know what to say I have done it before and felt like and outsider because I don't know how to strike up or continue a converstation unless it is work related. Even at home, my husband and I can sit for a couple of hours and not speak, I don't know what to say to him, I will not even answer the front door when someone comes if I don't know who it is.


Duckling ...this is spooky. This is exactly me. It's lovely to know someone else out there has been/is in this situation and that I'm not alone. Then again, it's also a little saddening.

#7 jazlen

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:13 AM

hi askjas

i just read your post and it reminds me alot of myslef..im 21 yrs old aswell and graduating at da end of this yr..and my depression is takin its toll on me nw..i dnt hv any motivation wt so ever and hv become very pesimestic..i cnt even be stuffed make my cv for nxt yr cos i dnt tink il make it in my career...i neva had any probs with studying, and answering questions on paper bt wen some one asks me orally i go blank..im shy and nt very friendly bt i have never accepted it, like u said i hate being shy, cnt *** to terms with it..i dnt accept it bt dnt do anything to change it either cos as much as i want to i jst dnt belev we cn change our personalities if shyness is in my nature i have to live with it, and dat belev jst makes everything worse..i have always thought i ws different to everyone else..theres no1 like me and it kills me to be soo weird..i feel like im a liability to the society and im not gud at anything,
well all im trying to say is dnt wory deas sum1 'me' if nt shyer, is as shy as u so ur nt alone..

#8 SecretMist

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:10 AM

hi askjas,

we can be your support system right here. i can totally relate as to how you feel although in school i was very shy and in my adult ages i was still shy but not with the friends that i thought were my friends i felt comfortable with them but still i was limited in really getting too involved in major conversations. i then learned they weren't the kind of friends i needed because of my depression they didn't want to hear any of it. the last time i was in the hospital which wasn't really a hospital because they were full so i went to like a half way house to where you could go outside, walk around the block go to the corner stores, some of the people there would go and buy alcohol and make things hard on others as in triggering others for their violent behavior. it was then that i began to act out and come out of my shyness, i had never thrown things and argued back especially to staff members but i stuck up for myself and i felt good that i stuck up for not only myself but for others who were more triggered by the other patients who were there. i even went as far as writing a formal complaint letter to the hosp/halfway house. with my therapist checking out the letter i had written she thought it was a great step in the right direction for me. she didn't want to send me to this facility for she knew it wasn't the place i needed but she had no choice. anyway the point is that you can get past this and there is a future of happiness and friends out there to share your life with. are you seeing a therapist? you may want to give it some thought, they may be able to help you in the right direction in dealing with the feelings that you are having.

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If we can't stand alone to help ourselves,
with support we shall stand together
to make the changes and a difference within our lives
and the lives of all for the better.
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#9 askjas

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:45 AM

secretmist - yes you're right. i went to see a professional yesterday and i'm ready to begin confronting my shyness because i don't want to be held back in life by this fear anymore!!

jazlen - i was down for a few days thinking about how i might be doomed to shyness, but i think it is possible to overcome shyness with therapy. perhaps cognitive behavioral therapy? we may be introverts or extroverts, but shyness is based on fear and it doesn't have to be a part of our personalities. introverts can be social - they just focus inwards and need time by themselves to recharge. i read that barack obama has the tendencies of an introvert, which made me feel a lot better! if we can overcome the fear of "messing up" in social situations and what other people might think, then we can be more free and speak up.

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 12:25 PM

secretmist - yes you're right. i went to see a professional yesterday and i'm ready to begin confronting my shyness because i don't want to be held back in life by this fear anymore!!

That is great!!!!! :hearts:

#11 asrod

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 01:31 AM

Hi Askjas,
Your story reminds me of my experience, I've always been shy, extremely shy on public, and I am still shy. Couple of times my shyness screwed me quite bad - I turned down couple job offers because I was shy to go, I didn't attend family meetings and celebrations, which caused bad relationship later, et cetera.
Funny enough things started to change, when I faced my worst nightmare - performing on public. We had big corporate New Year party, and I was signed to participate in "Whose line it is anyway" type of sketch in front of my colleagues, their families and guests. I thought 'screw this, I would rather quit my job, that do this' and I tried to run off from the party. Fortunately enough my buddy caught me and talked me out, so I took another strategy - tried to get wasted. My cunning plan was to get so drunk, people would leave me alone. Couldn't do that - I drank a bottle of alcohol an hour before the show and I wasn't even remotely drunk, so I had to go out and suffer the torture. It turned to be not that bad, in fact, I did very well somehow. The best thing is that this whole story made me less shy, I still have issues, but now I can ignore them most of the time. In fact I'm planing to take an acting class to overcome my shyness and feel completely comfortable in public. Hope you find my story useful :)

#12 SecretMist

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 12:20 PM

secretmist - yes you're right. i went to see a professional yesterday and i'm ready to begin confronting my shyness because i don't want to be held back in life by this fear anymore!!

jazlen - i was down for a few days thinking about how i might be doomed to shyness, but i think it is possible to overcome shyness with therapy. perhaps cognitive behavioral therapy? we may be introverts or extroverts, but shyness is based on fear and it doesn't have to be a part of our personalities. introverts can be social - they just focus inwards and need time by themselves to recharge. i read that barack obama has the tendencies of an introvert, which made me feel a lot better! if we can overcome the fear of "messing up" in social situations and what other people might think, then we can be more free and speak up.


i'm glad to hear that you went to see a professional yesterday askjas, it does take time but you are confronting your shyness and it will also make you feel more confident about yourself. your doing good.

*********************************
If we can't stand alone to help ourselves,
with support we shall stand together
to make the changes and a difference within our lives
and the lives of all for the better.
******************************************



#13 askjas

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 12:28 PM

thanks for all the advice. i will try looking into a performance class.

i guess i worry about the fact that when i talk to people, i rarely feel any connection to them. i've talked to so many people throughout high school and college and i WANTED to feel the connection, but in the past 8 years, there have only been a select few that i've been able to feel like myself around. with everyone else, it's just empty conversations to me. i wonder if the lack of connection is because of the depression or if this is just how it is. i think my shyness comes from poor parenting choices and bad school experiences.. i get so sad when i look at old baby pictures of myself because i just wish i could back in time and start over.




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