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Old 09-06-2013, 01:42 AM
 
921 posts, read 1,338,193 times
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As a result of years of chronically low self-esteem & social anxiety (and probably narcissism), I feel I'm pretty severely socially 'underdeveloped' relative to my peers. I'm not sure where it began, I know I never fully adjusted to moving to a new place as a kid, I remember being bullied when I first moved and not long after became friendless (I had no problem making friends before I moved). Since then, I've pushed anyone who tried to get to know me personally away because of a fragile self-esteem. But I don't want to get into that too much, that's what my therapist will be for. Not paying you guys to respond after all

My question is more what steps can I take to make myself a person that both men and women will want to be around, and that women will find attractive (from a personality pov)? What can I do to make myself an interesting person. I don't want tips on how to meet women (because I'm not ready for that), I want tips on how to become the kind of person that has a healthy, balanced life and I think women would come naturally with that

I'm quiet and young-looking, so two strikes against me already but I'm willing to improve
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:19 AM
 
6,981 posts, read 4,175,511 times
Reputation: 5121
First of all, this is a good start, you are addressing your issues and thinking about improving yourself, commend yourself for that.

Like you already say, you need to "work on yourself" before you think about getting into a relationship. Here's my 5 step plan. Now, there may be some advice in here that doesnt apply to you, i'm just throwing it all out there not knowing your exact situation, so if i said something that doesnt apply to your specific situation, just toss it in the trash. hopefully there will be something you can take away from my rantings!

1) Time to get over the bullying thoughts because that might just give you some kind of built in excuse to fail. Don't feel sorry for yourself, you're not the only one who has been picked on or put down, you're an adult now and as an adult, you don't make excuses because excuses just validate a reason in your brain why its ok to fail. We need to mold you into a winner, winners dont make excuses.

2)I think you will get better socially with practice. Hanging out on the internet message boards isnt going to give you that practice you need to be really "At ease" socially. You need to actually go out into the world and start interacting with society. Now, since you arent going to be approaching women right away asking for dates, what you might consider trying is to take advantage of the customer-employee relationship. For example, if you went to starbucks for a drink, make small talk with the cashier, practice in conversations with people, your brain isnt going to know the difference between your interaction with a cashier and your interaction with a pretty girl at a party, to your brain, its just one human talking about current events to another human.....now, the pretty girl at the party is the last step, but the first step is to just practice talking to people and having conversations. Practice being social.

3) when you "graduate" and feel like you are improving yourself and want to start talking to pretty girls but you feel way nervous, try this idea. Go to a mall and go into men's clothing area and wait until you find a pretty sales girl who asks "can i help you". You say "yes, i'm just shopping for some clothes, i have a blind date and i want to look good" This could be a great opportunity to have an actual conversation with a pretty chick and she's going to be more than happy to help you find a shirt or something for your date. The great thing about this idea is that you get to talk to a cute chick without any pressure on either one of you, its great practice talking to hot girls. (of course, you're going to have to have a made up story about your "date" just in case she's nosy and asks)

4) some people are really late bloomers, you sound like you might be one of those. The biggest key to your "development" in the next few months or the next couple years is to be really focused on the idea that you love yourself, you're happy with who you are, you're happy with the man you are and the man you want to become and you know that at heart, you're a really good person. Truly loving yourself and who you are has to come first because if you don't truly love yourself first, its going to be hard for you to love someone else the way they need to be loved.

5) I see this all the time, people who search for "love" because they think that being in love or having a GF/BF is going to make them "whole"and is going to get them from feeling bad about themselves to feeling good about themselves. I think that in order for a quality relationship to be a lasting relationship, you need to really be in a good place yourself. You need to be really feel like your life is taking the direction you always dreamed it would take. It feels pretty good to be in love with a great person, but make sure you get to that point where you are ready to love someone for the right reasons.

You ask about a healthy balanced life, good for you, that is a great thing to want and you are right, the more balanced your life is, the more well rounded you are, the more attractive you will become.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:51 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,416 posts, read 25,206,536 times
Reputation: 16464
It's really easy to do that. Do what makes you happy, if you have something that interests you.. learn it, get good at it. Really, the only thing you should focus on is just..enjoying life. Don't worry about 'attracting people' whether it be women or guys for friends. Focus on your own life and having fun for yourself. Meeting people is easy when you're happy with what you're doing.

As far as meeting people, be it anyone. Work on talking with a smile on your face. I see a lot of dating sites that say guys shouldn't smile at all.. but I don't agree with that at all. I remember one date I went on with a girl, and she commented "I've been smiling so much with you that my face is starting to hurt and I can't help it at all." When you put out a nice image of yourself, other people take note.

Also, nothing wrong with being quiet. Work with what you got and use it to your advantage. Tons of people prefer a more quiet person. Although, if you want to be less quiet.. simply.. practice it. Go out somewhere and try to be a louder person, somewhere that no one knows you.

TLDR; do what you enjoy, don't care about any other people, just be ..friendly.

One more thing to remember, if you're self conscious. No one out there gives two ****s about you. You can do whatever you want, because no one cares what you do. Most people aren't looking, most people aren't laughing because they have their own lives to think about.
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:39 AM
 
11,390 posts, read 12,660,504 times
Reputation: 12419
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llewelyn View Post
As a result of years of chronically low self-esteem & social anxiety (and probably narcissism), I feel I'm pretty severely socially 'underdeveloped' relative to my peers. I'm not sure where it began, I know I never fully adjusted to moving to a new place as a kid, I remember being bullied when I first moved and not long after became friendless (I had no problem making friends before I moved). Since then, I've pushed anyone who tried to get to know me personally away because of a fragile self-esteem. But I don't want to get into that too much, that's what my therapist will be for. Not paying you guys to respond after all

My question is more what steps can I take to make myself a person that both men and women will want to be around, and that women will find attractive (from a personality pov)? What can I do to make myself an interesting person. I don't want tips on how to meet women (because I'm not ready for that), I want tips on how to become the kind of person that has a healthy, balanced life and I think women would come naturally with that

I'm quiet and young-looking, so two strikes against me already but I'm willing to improve
Well, you sound like me when I was your age.

Here's what you do...

Smile. All the time not just when someone sees you. I put that permanent smile on and I was taken back when someone walked by and smiled. I forgot I replaced that stern look for a soft smile.

Second, say hi. People you work with faces in stores.

Remember names! Very important!

Lastly when you do see someone you know... You greet them like they are you best friend and you haven't seen them in a while. Like, "Hey! There he is!! What's up?!"
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:20 AM
 
Location: a primitive state
9,537 posts, read 19,409,941 times
Reputation: 11432
Oh dear. You need to realize other people are not nearly as concerned about how you come across as you are. That's like having a suit of armor.

Within reason, you can go through life wearing whatever you please and saying whatever you want to say and no one will care one way or another. Most people are far too self-involved to be judging you to any appreciable degree.

The previous respondents are correct that if you try to smile and more or less conform to normal codes of conduct and attire, you'll seem fairly normal. Over-thinking this leads to anxiety.

Just put on jeans or chinos and a golf shirt, mess up you hair slightly with a styling product and voila, you're a regular guy. If you watch a little football nd learn what's going on, you'll be even more ordinary.

Edit: is "ordinary" interesting? No, you're probably interesting enough already. Just be yourself.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
13,491 posts, read 11,027,157 times
Reputation: 23977
Good people should accept you for who you are.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:16 AM
 
Location: USA
6,171 posts, read 4,950,686 times
Reputation: 10547
Trust me you might want to work on this asap if you're really serious about it. You only have a few years before it becomes hopeless and you become a total outcast shunned by all.


I'm 8 years older than you and in the same situation so I know the deal.

There is very little you can do to be suddenly attractive to people. You either *have it* or you don't.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:50 AM
 
Location: NY
8,992 posts, read 14,197,080 times
Reputation: 11334
I would start by speaking with some professional help. There is some good advice here, but honestly, if you are truly suffering from social anxiety and have at least a somewhat strong narcissistic tendancy (if not NPD), then your not likely to cure yourself on your own. (That said, the true narcissists I have known tend to be socially outgoing.)
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:35 AM
 
921 posts, read 1,338,193 times
Reputation: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by wall st kid View Post
4) some people are really late bloomers, you sound like you might be one of those. The biggest key to your "development" in the next few months or the next couple years is to be really focused on the idea that you love yourself, you're happy with who you are, you're happy with the man you are and the man you want to become and you know that at heart, you're a really good person. Truly loving yourself and who you are has to come first because if you don't truly love yourself first, its going to be hard for you to love someone else the way they need to be loved.
First, your entire post was great and had some solid advice for where to start. I agree I'm being immature and the inclusion of the bullying was nothing more than an attempt to cast away the blame, so yes I should start by not making excuses.

But in regards to this I'm finding it difficult to love myself for both physical & mental reasons (my physical makeup & mental). I'm not sure how to make these insecurities go away when they're grounded in fact (with certainy)? I guess the best approach is not trying to control the uncontrollable, but that's much easier said than done

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellie View Post
Oh dear. You need to realize other people are not nearly as concerned about how you come across as you are. That's like having a suit of armor.

Within reason, you can go through life wearing whatever you please and saying whatever you want to say and no one will care one way or another. Most people are far too self-involved to be judging you to any appreciable degree.

The previous respondents are correct that if you try to smile and more or less conform to normal codes of conduct and attire, you'll seem fairly normal. Over-thinking this leads to anxiety.

Just put on jeans or chinos and a golf shirt, mess up you hair slightly with a styling product and voila, you're a regular guy. If you watch a little football nd learn what's going on, you'll be even more ordinary.

Edit: is "ordinary" interesting? No, you're probably interesting enough already. Just be yourself.
I might be interesting, but no one gets to know that side of me cause I don't let them.

Also I'll cover most of what other people are saying by saying it just here. I do recognize the irrationality of my thoughts and that people care way less about me than I think. However, going through life is a whole different story and the anxiety/discomfort springs up regardless of how much I tell myself no one cares. I've gotten better in some respects (went to the campus gym the other day despite feeling ashamed of how skinny I am compared to others) and worse in others. It's like a disharmony between the logical side of my brain that's telling me I'm completely normal, and the emotional that's telling me I'm ugly and no one wants to me. You just have to experience it to see what I mean, and these intrusive thoughts are present 95% of the time i'm out in public
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:40 AM
 
921 posts, read 1,338,193 times
Reputation: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1alker View Post
Trust me you might want to work on this asap if you're really serious about it. You only have a few years before it becomes hopeless and you become a total outcast shunned by all.


I'm 8 years older than you and in the same situation so I know the deal.

There is very little you can do to be suddenly attractive to people. You either *have it* or you don't.
Can you describe your situation in more detail. And what do you mean by your last paragraph?

I do fear I'm heading into agoraphobic territory

Quote:
Originally Posted by Checkered24 View Post
I would start by speaking with some professional help. There is some good advice here, but honestly, if you are truly suffering from social anxiety and have at least a somewhat strong narcissistic tendancy (if not NPD), then your not likely to cure yourself on your own. (That said, the true narcissists I have known tend to be socially outgoing.)
Yeah that's the plan, but I also was curious on what I can be doing day-to-day to become more outgoing (less curious on changing my mindset, which I'll leave to a professional)

this is where I felt I could relate to the NPD spectrum: I Feel Nervous in Public Areas, and Feel, Unreasonably I Know, That I Am Always a Center of Attention.

^ An irrational feeling that everyone cares about me and is judging me all the time



Also I just had some cute girls try to initiate a conversation with me in the elevator and I blew it meeting some peopleby giving boring, short responses
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