Where is my confidence?


I am 20 years old and I can’t remember a time where I haven’t been described as the ‘quiet’ or ‘shy’ one. It seems like I am losing more confidence as I am getting older which is a big problem – I’m finding it hard to be independent and I’m missing out on great opportunities. It’s really easy for people to tell you to ‘grow up’, or to ‘get a grip’ which makes it even easier for me to realise they do not understand AT ALL. I wish I could get a grip and do a lot of things – But I cant :(

Even family members, friends, my boyfriend – describe me as strange or weird at times which doesn’t help the situation at all. I am sick of being introduced to people as ”This is ***, she doesn’t talk much” which instantly puts me into a place of thinking I now HAVE to be quiet because I can’t be anything else. I am always being belittled, and I don’t think people realise the impact certain words have on someone with 0 confidence in themselves.

I have looked into various websites, with some of the symptoms and problems I have, and I THINK i have a social or anxiety disorder – if not both, and I don’t expect anyone on here to be able to tell me I do, as I know it’s the doctors job but I can’t even pluck up the courage to speak to a doctor about this. I just feel stupid and hopeless. I need someone to be supportive for once and say, ‘This isn’t right you need help’ in a nice way…

Here are a few things to help you understand…

- When I know a social event is coming up I worry about it until the very day it comes. On the day i’ll feel sick, try and get out of it, i’ll sweat, shake and will feel on edge until it’s over.

- When I’m asked to go out for a dinner the first thought that comes into my head is the shape of the table! If its a circular table, I do not want to go! People will be looking at me from all angles and I will be forced to face someone for the whole of the sitting. Weird I know. :(

- I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years and today we argued because he told me to walk into his house (not answer the door) – and I knew there were people in there I’d never met. I told him to answer the door or I wasn’t coming in. He didn’t answer the door so I went home. I know it seems dramatic but the fact he belittled me made it even worse.

- Public speaking is a NO. I have managed to go through my whole school life by not reading out loud in class, doing a presentation etc. If I knew we were doing presentations for example, I would stay off school to avoid it.

- I can’t speak to people or make conversation unless they speak to me first, even then I will only reply with an answer and probably not ask a question back.

- When someone is speaking to me I can’t even give them eye contact because I’m worried someone else is looking, watching, listening in… noticing that I can’t hold a conversation properly.

- I care SO much about what others think about me and I am so paranoid. At parties if a group of people are talking amongst themselves my brain instantly says it’s about me.

- I currently do not have a job but I have been invited to group interviews which are a definite no no. There is no way I would stand up and introduce myself to a group of people!

I think you get the gist… These are just a few of the things I am weird about! But I need to know if I actually have a problem or I am just being as dramatic as people tell me. I do not want to be like this for the rest of my life.

Category: asked September 1, 2014

3 Answers

I agree with both answers in parts, it's hard to live with it but you can learn tips an tricks to make your life easier. It does get better if you want it to get better but I also know how hard it is. Internet is full of useful stuff and true stories to learn from. I personally love imagery techniques, they help me a lot it doesn't only release stress but it prepares you mentally for social events and helps you through them.
You definitely have social anxiety. I have it too and I know how hard it is to live with that curse. I would gladly listen to you and help you if you want. Just add me and send me a message. Trust me, life is too valuable to waste it like this. I really want to talk to you. I hope you reply this...

I work in the health-care profession. What I have discovered is that young people need to learn skills. One of those skills is how to be in social situations. Some of the other skills are basic communication.

If no one teaches them, the simply don't know,

When they don't know how to do basic things and don't have basic confidence, suddenly they have a PROBLEM.

Well, it's not a problem! No one ever showed you how to do certain things. No one ever encouraged you. So, how are yo supposed to know?

From what I hear you saying, it seems you got very little in the way of guidance growing up. You had to figure it out on your own. And you're unsure of yourself.


You can look for groups led by therapists that teach you about self-esteem and confidence.

You can look for groups about communication.

Groups for shy people.

Look for any kind of group or class that teaches you the things that you are having trouble with. With some effort, your anxiety can be alleviated; you will start to feel stronger, and you will start to do more things.

I can also suggest the Landmark Forum. It's a weekend training that addresses all these things you're struggling with. Here's their website: http://www.landmarkworldwide.com/

They have lots of workshops everywhere in the country. And they are very inexpensive, relatively. And there is no question that paying for something like this, that effects your whole life and your future, it would be money well spent.

Also, there are many self-help books about all these things. Just go to the bookstore or the library and look around in the self-help section.

Of course, seeing a psychotherapist for support would also be of great help.

Bottom line, from what you have written, I would say that for you it's a matter of learning certain skills, learning about yourself, getting some encouragement and support; that will start to improve your situation immediately.

There is no reason for you to be so deprived and feel so much fear. You can start to change that around right away by looking into some of these resources I have named.

And you can look forward to a fulfilling life going forward.