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Topic: Feeling weak and pathetic because you lack confidence

2 posts, 0 answered
  1. natsukashii
    natsukashii avatar
    1 posts
    17 April 2019

    Hi!

    I need some support, so I will keep it brief. I always feel very socially anxious and panicky when I have to talk to others I don't usually talk to without a friend. I was meant to go to a study group tonight but I only go because my friend goes, and she couldn't come. I know it must sound stupid, but I just can't be myself, and confident without someone else, I have really low self-esteem. But I don't know how to get rid of it. I have panic attacks because I just feel like I'm so self-conscious of how I act and how I talk when I'm in group and personal situations. My parents ask me why, and they often say on the lines of "you have to put in the effort to make friends". But I know that if I did go, I just couldn't! I would be almost paralysed with anxiety! It makes me feel so disappointed in myself when my parents say that, because I should be fine! Normal people are fine! It makes me feel pathetic and weak. How do I stop being like this? Any advice would help a lot :)

    Thankyouu

  2. Jackson85
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    Jackson85 avatar
    6 posts
    18 April 2019 in reply to natsukashii

    Hi Natsukashii,

    First of all, you are not pathetic or weak, let's just get that straight!

    I think sometimes the problem with social anxieties is that we feel anxious, but we also feel like everyone else is totally fine and not anxious at all. I'm over 30, have pretty good self-confidence, have no problem speaking to people when I order a coffee or interact with strangers, but I get super stressed when I'm meant to just 'be me' and make new friends. From the outside though, you'd think I was a natural, and that I had this figured out a long time ago; unfortunately not in my head! So while it seems like everyone else is just nailing it (as we often feel that's the vibe people put out, somewhat skillfully!), there are so many people like you and me who just aren't quite sure how to behave when we're nervous. So try not to ignore that idea, that in fact normal people aren't fine. Some are fine, but plenty are just good at LOOKING fine, while they're thinking the exact same things as you and me.

    Now, I don't mean to say that your parents are wrong, but I don't believe you need to put in effort to make friends. Yes you need to turn up, and once you make friends, maintaining those friendships can take effort, but just feeling a connection with nice people around you isn't a question of effort. If you don't feel you fit in, or if they're not your people, and you don't feel you can be yourself, then trying harder isn't going to fix that; you've already tried hard by turning up! You know what it feels like to have friends, because you have the one you go to study group with, and I'm sure that didn't take a whole lot of effort to connect with her.

    I'm not sure how old you are, but if you mention study group I'm thinking high school or university, and during that time, it can be hard to know how you want to behave anyway. I certainly behaved in high school in ways that now I consider "not me", but we are all just figuring it out along the way, so try not to give yourself a hard time about who you want to present yourself as to others, and just try to take a deep breath, and enjoy being with your friend, and when you are feeling more relaxed and less anxious, the friends will naturally find you :)

    Hang in there,

    Jackson85