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Problems with getting out of the house, social anxiety


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During my entire life, whenever I had to get out of the house to get to school or work I've been struggling.
I would often come late to class, sometimes a few minutes but sometimes one hour, even two or three.

Years later after I finished school I started an apprenticeship where I had to start at 6:45 am every morning. It was hard but I somehow managed at first, but after almost a year it overwhelmed me and I quit.

Since then, at every job, every apprenticeship I started I would be able to keep things up for a few weeks until I was burned out and would start to stumble again,
not getting out of bed, coming late to trade school, job trainings etc.

Until eventually I got fired at my first real job since I finished my apprenticeship in 2017. I very well know the consequences, but I have this immense lack of motivation and purpose in my life that keeps me from being a functioning human being in the work force I think.

I like being at home and it costs me each day a real conquest to get out of bed and to leave the house. I even thought about working from home or becoming independent so I can spare myself from the horrors of the outside world. My therapist said I have a social phobia. Also I'm an introvert and usually don't go out often. My mind is always circulating about the things on my PC and in my room if I'm not busy. I know this is immensely bad for me since I could start gaming or surfing, watching YouTube, Twitch etc all day and when I'm not at my job training it is likely that these things happen.

Currently I'm trying to follow a weekly plan as strictly as possible it's  for me. It also includes going out more often such as visiting the library or a chess club(but I often find myself avoiding the ones that include social activities with other people).

Any ideas what else I could do?

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First you should try to clarify what you really want. Just that only someone threw a defition at you does not mean thats really you.

You sound like you do not know yourselve good enough and did therefore not find many alternatives for your PC consumption.

Do you like to be introvert at the first place? I would answer that question myselve first. There is nothing bad about it, so don't make yourselve cheaper than you are. Some people would have less problems if the would be introvert. So there is always another extreme ?
If you like the be the silent person there are Libraries, Hackspaces, Modeling Competitions etc.
After all your not the only one who lives that way.

Maybe try to find a hobby where you do not need to interact with people that much, for example bakery or cooking play some Instrument or Painting.

Maybe you start to like your new hobby that much ,you will earn money out of it.

Like I wrote in the other post of your, your Tech habbits sound like an addiction. Try to find somethin to enjoy and slowly learn to forget about Social media and Tech.

Edited by creationlist
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  • 2 weeks later...

I also struggle with leaving the house. I also often feel that other people keep ignoring me. But I know that I don't send the right signals to have engaged conversations. So this whole going out more thing will be my next big project next year. This does not mean excessive partying cause this is just not me. But being an introvert does not mean that you stay home all day long. I heard somewhere that the difference between extroverts and introverts is the way how they recharge: Introverts like sioence or even alonetime to get energized, extroverts like it action paced. But this is not like black and white. There is always something in between, you will find introverts who like to party. I think it is therefore important to be you. Like creationlist said: Find out who you are and who you want to become. Excited to hear about your progress. Keep rolling. ?

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Hi, @Silent3d. I've dealt with/am dealing with similar issues. Here are my thoughts:

-Staying in house. 

Find something you love to do out of the house that you could do any day of the week. Hiking, biking, walking, going to the gym, drinking coffee at coffeeshops, going to the library etc. Since you struggle with social anxiety, the activity doesn't have to be inherently social. Just do your own thing. Start small and do the activity consistently for at least one month. Aim to do this early in your day so you break the chain of negative habits at home that you've developed to this point. 

-Social anxiety.

For reference, 6 years ago, I couldn't hold basic small talk with a cashier. No eye contact. Complete awkwardness. It was bad. Now, I can play around with a good portion of cashiers and joke around and make them laugh. I think the biggest misconception about social skills/confidence, the lack thereof is what usually contributes to social anxiety, is that they are fixed and unchangeable. However, they are called social skills not social talents. You can get better at these, and with practice and repetition, get better over time, which will reduce your social anxiety, or at a minimum, give you enough confidence to push through the anxiety and be more social. A prime example of this from my life was this past weekend. I've been struggling recently with going out solo for similar reasons. However, I knew the thoughts that were going to knock me off track, and I just acknowledged them when they happened and moved on. I was near screaming in my car on the way there, but once I got in and got dancing all that melted away and I was able to have fun for a bit. I've dealt with a lot recently and backslid, but with practice being social gets a lot easier.

I highly recommend the Art of Charm podcast as a starting point for learning social skills. The podcasts are usually quite actionable and will help improve your interactions with others, which obviously will make you want to be more social in the long term. 

-The worst thing you can do.

The absolute worst thing you can do is not face your fears. That makes them grow. If you don't face your fears and run away constantly, your brain will accept that as the proper response, and you will not grow. One of the greatest feelings in the world is overcoming what you thought your prior limitations were. This instills true confidence. 

Anxiety evolved to help man focus on what was going to kill them--they felt anxiety when they saw a saber-tooth tiger. Consequently, it's a tool that can be a bit too strong for everyday modern living. Anxiety is like a radar, telling you on what you should be focusing on, the most immediate threat to your existence. As you work through the problem, the anxiety will reduce. Your social anxiety is likely high since you likely have less experience, comparatively speaking. The solution to this will have to include being more social, full stop. 

I highly recommend Alice Clark's Hack Your Anxiety. Changed my understanding of myself quite a bit. My experience says the core tenet of the book is true.

Hope this helps.


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