More threads by HotthenCold


Hi there,

this is kind of an impulsive post, and I'm not really sure what I want to say, or what kind of answer I'm hoping for, but I feel a desire to get this out a little since it's banging around in my skull so much today.

I don't enjoy being around people very much, but I get terribly lonely. It's like I'm screwed no matter what. I spend a LOT of time alone, and often feel a sense of panic about the fact that I might be missing out on so much of what life has to offer. However, I've tried for many years to be more social, and it's never gotten any easier. In fact, the constant difficulty and pain I've experienced while being more social has caused me to recoil from it even more.

So I get really lonely, and have a deep longing to be like the "normals" who have parties to go to, friends to laugh with and cry with and get help moving from, but it's just so damn difficult and painful, and I should also add that socializing ALWAYS means I get a heavy dose of the comparison blues i.e- "I wish I was like that person, I'm not x-y-z enough"

I went out today to a street festival, and saw some people, and was in a big crowd, and wanted to hide in my hole after about 5 minutes so I wouldn't feel like people were watching me or like I had to say something.

Today hurt really bad.


Hi htc,

i don't know if I have any real solid advice, because I struggle with this a lot too and get really overwhelmed in social situations and therefore avoid them like the plague. I stick to small gatherings of a couple people and then I'm usually ok as long as I know them well.

When I'm forced into larger gatherings (a good friend of mine passed away last fall while we were on vacation together, so I HAD to go to the funeral, and it was huge) a couple strategies I used that were helpful included going as late as possible, ie arriving just before it started, and arranging before hand to meet a close friend at the door so I would have one person to cling to and who could get me the hell out of there if needed. I stayed long enough after to give my respects to the widower who is also my best friend and then I got out. I also brought my dog with me (she's a certified emotional support animal so I take her everywhere I need to). I also made sure I had the night off work so I cold go home and breathe after. Also, I talked about it before and after with my therapist.

I also find myself talking myself through the situation .... ie using CBT techniques which helps a bit and also giving the situation a very defined amount of time that I will be there.

I manage the things that are within my control and if they aren't I take a deep breath and hope for the best.

i too get lonely and am trying to work on increasing my social contacts. I've also just switched to a full time job working from home which is heaven for me but will make this even more challenging.

Anyway really I guess I just wanted to let you know I can relate and share a couple techniques I've found that help a bit....


Thanks Turtle.

It's nice to know that other people are going through the same stuff.

I guess that you can only take a deep breath and hope for the best in some situations. It just hurts to want so badly to be comfortable with myself and to not actually have that feeling.

Thanks for your caring Turtle


Ya it definitely makes me feel very awkward and uncomfortable with myself. I spend all my time comparing and counting all the ways I don't measure up to everyone else in the room, which generally makes me feel horrible and just reinforces the horrible amount of social anxiety I already have. It's a vicious circle.


I also feel the same way you guys do in social situations.

Makes me wonder how many other people feel the same way. I am always so focused on my own feelings that I have never stopped to think there could be other people(at the same social gathering)feeling the exact same way.

Too bad there's not some way to know who's feeling the same way. I think it would probably make things easier,wouldn't it?


MVP, Forum Supporter
I keep asking myself if they realise/
That their fears are really just the same as mine/
Do you know how your insecurities/
Are the same ones that are inside of me?/
So as people come and go/
Do they know they're really not alone?

-Plastic Cup Politics by Less Than Jake

Humans are all just imperfect, flawed people on a journey.... All the same and equal.

(They either a)know this, and are therefore reasonably friendly/neutral/ nonjudgmental in initial reactions to a new imperfect human; or b) don't; and therefore maybe aren't. Not your problem, no reflection on you, no loss on your part.)

NONE are without flaws and problems, or without strengths or value or interestingness. They (YOU!!) are lovable and interesting, even at different stages and adventures on the journey to each other, in different areas. There is NO specific and universal criteria to be met.

Friendly chatting, smiling, and being interested in the other person is where it's at. That can be done in our own individual way though, at our own individual level and with our own style....

It's something that is harder for some than others, and of course for some is a huge challenge mentally and physically.....

.... but as per an ACT and CBT perspective, things get easier as long as we a) keep practising; b) avoid unrealistic expectations (eg expect ourselves or others to be perfect or expect full success); c) respond reasonably and rationally to our negative and distorted mental chatter and interpretations, and d) not take the negative mental chatter seriously; realise it's just the mind doing what it does..... it's never pure truth or reality. It can't read other minds or jump to accurate conclusions very well at all... Just let it play its mischevious games... but you don't have to play.
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I feel a lot of the same ways. I also do the comparison thing seeing everybody out doing stuff and seemingly super happy and living the most awesome lives ever. I think by my exaggeration you might see where I'm going with this, the comparisons to other people (though I still often do it) are pretty ridiculous and unrealistic and most people aren't living perfect exciting lives. I find it's helpful sometimes to check in with someone you know pretty well (and know you pretty well) to see if the things you think you're missing out on are actually happening. I remember one time a bunch of people went out to party or something (I can't remember exactly what it was) and I didn't go because I was feeling anxious about it and later asked one of my friends how it was. He told me it actually was pretty boring, that I probably wouldn't have wanted to be there and that I didn't miss out on anything. Hearing that made me feel really good that I skipped it.


there is a way to know whos feeling the same way!!! and that is...... you have to be the one to tell you are feeling uncomfortable:)
of course, at the right time and to the right person, but this "right" is actually not that important if you think about it...:)


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I feel too uncomfortable when being with people around and i don't enjoy the situation.Sometimes when i know that someone is going to visit our home,i'm trying to hide in my room and be unnoticed from others or i go out for hours until they leave.
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