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Hi,

I am 26 years old female, and have only had 2 boyfriends in my life that lasted a little over 1 year each. Whenever I am around men, I feel very self concuous and awkuard. I feel like I can't even move normally, as if every movement I make is being watched- espeicially eating or drinking becomes awkuard and weird.

This is not my primary concern. My concern is when I do like someone, I avoid them completely. I usually even act like I do not like them. I usually like people who are much more social then I am, more educated or some sort of thing about them that makes me feel a bit inferior (though I do realize whether higher education or etc, no one is inferior to anyone in theory). So I almost act the way I believe they have the "right" to feel about me- for example, I am not that great, so they can think they are better. So I kind of simply act like nobody important. Other things I do is act indifferent around them, or act like I have better things to do and avoid them. I do this in a very intense manner, since I am 26 years old and I have never had a fling, date, one night stand, or any remote form of intimiacy with anyone in any manner other then my respective 2 ex-boyfriends. I think this is a shame, because I am technically, by what other people tell me and observe, a relatively attractive, smart, sweet, generous, interesting person. But for the life of me, I cannot muster the courage to be around men or let people love me or be around me. This is even to do with friends, I have none because I avoid people in general. I use to think it was because I wasn't good enough, I needed to improve myself. I always do activities, sports, read, and take on projects, volunteer work, and even hang out with people in polite manner to "improve' myself. But then I stopped the hanging out with people part because I couldn't bare any more that feeling I would get that they did not like me, or I wasn't good enough. Though they did like me, it was just me that had such a terrible feeling. I feel ashamed of myself constantly, I don't know how to talk or act infront of them.

I guess this is a general anixety problem, or trust. But what I am mainly concerned with is how I "reject" men- kind of avoid, ignore, even talk indifferently to them- espeicially the ones I LIKE a lot or admire, or have crushes on. I don't ever admit I have a crush on them to myself, I tell myself I am being silly or immature. But then I wonder what I am missing, and if it is worth to simply go after, or open myself up to these people that I feel 80% sure will not be that interested in me afterall, because I think it is kind of difficult for someone who has normal social functionning to be with someone as insecure as myself- it would be a turn off, or just simply be a hassle to them, or simple not interesting. I know I have to work on myself and love myself before others can love me, but in the mean time I realize I cannot isolate myself from people. So am I suppose to just have friends that are girls? Hang out with guys in friendly terms? What happens with the people I kind of have a crush on and I deny myself? Is it ok? Because what has happened for the first time ever, is I have become obsessed with this one person I barely know. He isn't in my life whatsoever, we barely even know each other, but I know who he is. I constantly randomly think of him, it has been 2 years 1/2. I would even start going to places I knew he passed by sometimes, does this mean I have become a stalker?? What the hell is wrong with me? I wasn't going to do anything bad, I just hoped to say hi to him. I just don't have the confidence to ask him to meet me, and I like "chance" to happen. Because if I ask, I feel all of a sudden a lot of pressure to perform, and make a good impression. But if it is by accident, I feel relaxed and like I don't need to be anything. But I would still be nervous, and the thing is I can never meet somoene twice. More I meet them, more anxiety I get because more nervous I am about what to say, when usually for people it is the other way around.

Anyway this is such a long post I doubt anyone is going to read it. Its just that I'm 26, I have irrational crushes on people, and I am a pretyt, smart, kind, sweet girl, I know its true after many years of people hopelessly trying to stick it into my head as I cried because I am so shy and scared to talk to people. I wish this could stop. I wish I could be with someone I fancied. My last boyfriend wasn't even very nice because I think I cannot date people I really like because I am too scared they won't like me back. How do I get over this...

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dear Lucy,

I read through your text and had one conclussion. You are not being yourself. you have no clue how you want people to react to you. The people you choose to associate with can build or destroy your character. You are your own destroyer because you make absurd choices for weird reasons. I could label you as someone with a low self esteem from what I read about you.
At 26 you must be outgoing enjoying youself , having good friends who love and accept you for who you are, not what you want them to believe you are. hope you get what I mean.
I pity your situation because you pretend in most cases as a result others may find it impossible to know who Lucy really is, what Lucy likes, what Lucy fears, what Lucy prefers the list is endless.

Do a self introspection and find yourself. having heard of the song by Manhattans, "I've been to paradise but I have never been to me?
That's the meaning of finding the self, understanding yourself, loving youself best and allowing God to do the rest.

Good luck at your search!

ntombirad
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I would recommend pursuing alternative therapies, such as NAET, acupuncture, or cranial-sacral therapy, to help you remove the energetic (or emotional, if you will) blockages that may be changing the course of your social intentions, to your chagrin. NAET (naet.com) can be employed balance the body's energy field in relation to anything (such as allergens, but also emotions, other people, states of being, etc.. It has changed my life completely. I know exactly what is it like to be "blocked" from acting anything more than apathetic around certain folks.). If you are not familiar with energetic therapies, this description may sound strange and overly vague; read testimonials, give it a try, and you will understand yourself in a truly holistic way. Most of all, it's important to recognize that your feelings and behaviors are not your fault; although there may be "something" amiss that relates to the mechanics of your social machine, you have the power to heal yourself. It's up to you to seek out the tools you need to guide youself.
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I feel the same way, only problem is that I am 13- I still act and do everything the same- am I too young.?
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Hi Lucy! I sometimes feel like you, I have been thinking and I have and I have come to a conclusion . I think this behaviour it's like a defense mechanism you have to protect yourself in case someone don't like you.

Let me explain, you act like you're not interested in a boy because if he doesn't like you, you won't seem rejected because it would seem like you weren't interested since the beggining. 

Maybe I'm wrong, but it's something I have experienced myself and I'm trying to change. I think it would be possitve and useful for you to start having small talks with men. Start with a friend of yours or if you don't have any, some boyfriend of any girl friend of yours and go on until you feel secure enough to talk to the guy you like. 

I think you shouldn't try to look good in front of other people just to like them, show your personality! And if they don't like you it's their problem, you'lle find the perfect guy who will appreciate you just the way you are.

I hope it helps ;)

By the way, these are my words, not a Rihanna song (despite the similarities)

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Good news for you Lucy! Men don't make a distinction between being treated nicely or meanly when you first encounter them. When you show any kind of interest they get hooked..often verbal abuse gets their attention and interest quicker and stronger than nice.
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