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When you are suffering from social anxiety, building a friendship may be difficult.
You might feel uncomfortable sharing your experience…
You might not be able to hang out with them because of your differences…
You might feel that they do not like or approve of the things that you want to do.
And in this episode, hear Sebastiaan as he gives concepts on how to form and build a good friendship.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy finding your tribe!
How do I make friends? I have social anxiety!
Hey, this is Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com. Thanks for being here. And I’m going to answer that question today that was sent in by nobody!
I just came up with that title because I wanted to talk about a particular concept, which I know is very important. And that’s the following:
GO WHERE YOU’RE APPRECIATED MOST.
What do I mean by that?
So, I have social ease. Thank God, right?
So, I’ve been doing lots of work to be able to get to that place. And now, it’s been that way for years and years and years, and I can talk about normal social life now, and what other people experienced too, in a way that hopefully helps!
And I thought that this state of being was really miraculous. So when I had severe social anxiety, I thought it was a eutopia; I thought it was something for cool people; I thought only certain people could do that.
I had built it up in my mind so much. But really, there’s nothing to it. Lots of people experience it, and it’s just the absence of anxiety.
It’s just the absence of super insecure feelings.
It is an acceptance of yourself, of being okay with whatever the hell comes out of your mouth.
And trust in your ability that you can handle whatever comes your way. And not taking yourself a freakin serious, and giving other people permission to be the way they are, to think what they think of you, to judge you if they want (which they do anyway), and give him permission to do that; and like yourself.
Now, that being said, even though I experienced social ease, there are certain people that I feel more comfortable around than others.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I feel anxious around these people, that I don’t feel so comfortable around. It just means that I feel more comfortable around and other people I feel less comfortable around.
Now guess what I’m doing?
I’m hanging out with the people that I feel more comfortable with. Of course, right?
I’m a 36, going on 37-year-old man now. And the things I’m interested in these days are mostly salsa dancing, and I like exercising. I like going out with friends for dinner, every now and then going to the cinema or going to the beach. Basically, it’s all healthy stuff. And it’s fun stuff. And there’s not any drinking involved like 99% of the time.
Now, if we’re going back to my early-mid-20s, pretty much all of it had drinking or some kind of a consciousness-altering substance.
And so, I was always drinking. And I was always partying because I still had a fair bit of social anxiety. But when I was drunk, I didn’t have any.
And it was just a lot of fun to drink at that time!
Now, I’m just not that interested in it anymore. It’s kind of boring to me most of the time, and I just really don’t like being hungover.
And so my lifestyle is very different now.
Now, being around people that are around that age, they’re into partying, and they want to look cool, the kinds of things that they’re interested in — that’s not really my crowd anymore. So I don’t feel as comfortable there, as I feel with my friends now that are into dancing, that is into health, and that is into making their business grow, helping other people and being healthy and this and that diet and whatever.
I find that more interesting, and I feel more comfortable around these people.
This is just one example of one particular group. And the group of people that I’m more interested in that I like more guess what? They’re more interested in me and like me more, so it’s easier to hang out.
It’s easier to be appreciated, to be accepted for who I am.
Now, a bunch of years ago, I made the mistake of forcing myself to be able to be comfortable and be able to be social with everyone all the time, and I can be social with pretty much anyone.
And there’s no problem there. And I feel comfortable there.
I’m not contradicting myself. Just wait.
I feel comfortable there, but I just don’t feel as comfortable there.
They don’t really get me so well. “Why not drinking? Why not partying? You’re boring. You’re one of these healthy people. What, you’re into dancing?” — that kind of attitude. And so that’s just different.
And that’s okay.
They don’t need to love me.
They don’t need to like me.
They don’t need to approve of my lifestyle.
They don’t need to think “Wow, Sebastiaan, that’s cool”.
They can think, dude, what the hell’s wrong with you? Are you dancing salsa? Oh, my God, that’s so gay. Are you not drinking? Why? You’re wasting your time. You’re wasting your life. Are you one of these boring people? — blah, blah, blah, they can have all of their judgments. It’s totally fine.
It’s totally completely fine because I have found my tribe.
I’m looking for the people where I’m appreciated most.
I like hanging out with people who like hanging out with me.
And so go where you’re appreciated most.
And if you don’t know what that is, then go find it.
That means to figure out what you like, hang out there, and go there frequently until eventually, you naturally kind of start to build friendships.
Now I know when you’re suffering from severe social anxiety, that’s very difficult. But you want to do the work. That’s the hardest thing. It’s not as easy as going there and just going there for what – you need to neutralize the excessive emotions, process the stock cycles, neutralize the perception of threat so that you can be yourself, and then everything is going to be easier.
It also matters where you go.
If you’re not into healthy people, or you’re not into dancing people, or you’re not into, you know, working out all the time. That’s not your thing. You like partying, you like going to the pub and drinking, and that’s your thing, then go to these people.
Because you’ll have things in common, they like you and so on and so forth.
I think I’ve landed the plane here. Go where you’re appreciated most because it’s easiest and why to hell not.
Life is short. And you want to have a jolly good time, and it’s a lot of a lot easier to have a great time when you’re around people that you like that like you. Okay?
I hope this is helpful.
Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com
Talk to you soon.
Bye for now.