How I Got Friends Despite My Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety is when you struggle in social situations and have a lot of anxiety about what may or may happen, so literally interacting with people gives you fear, stress, and anxiety.

I had social anxiety.

I had no friends for the longest time, I struggled with making friends and wondered what was wrong with me. I kind of assumed everyone’s judgements about me are valid. And turns out, when you are a quiet, shy person with social anxiety, apparently you can look suspicious or you leave people with an open gateway to make up any story about what kind of person you are, when you are literally someone who minds their own business.

Whenever I did try to make friends, I struggled a lot because I would have anxious thoughts that run a million miles a minute. Every interaction, I dissected to make sure that I did not mess up, or there is not some kind of judgement that someone can misconceive about me. That I was my most perfect self.

I was also in a friend group that, if I brought up an issue, I was the problematic one because I am not keeping the peace and I am making issues by bringing up things that bother me. (Which I think is more problematic and quite limits for shallow interaction only.)

Boy, was that exhausting. Made me conclude that I was an introvert because I always had to recover from hang outs with people. Or interactions with people in general. To be your perfect self worried and thinking about all the things that could go wrong drained my energy.

So how do I have friends now? A lot of friends, and how am I able to just meet new people easily and talk to them as if I have known them?

Trust me, this was not easy, I cried very often and had many panic attacks, but lets get into it:

HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS DESPITE SOCIAL ANXIETY

  1. Find someone safe to be friends with.

Make sure this person is reciprocating in friendship. Do not force a friendship. If someone actually wants to be friends, you got to make the effort. If you try to make friends with someone who does not really care to be friends with you in the first place, you are wasting your time and making yourself go through an uncomfortable situation. Then you may think more is wrong with you when in actuality, you just picked someone who was not a compatible friend and was not interested. It’s like forcing a guy who doesn’t like you, to like you, and wonder why he doesn’t like you. He wasn’t interested. Move on.

2. Practice makes perfect.

Interacting with people and understanding interactions take practice. It takes practice to be comfortable, it takes practice in knowing what to say, why people are the way they are, and what you are okay with in your life and what you aren’t. Practicing makes interacting with others easier the more you do it. You will have anxious thoughts, but slowly they will go away. But I’m talking years. If you really want to be comfortable in your own skin regardless of anyone else’s opinions.

That means any uncomfortable conversation. Do your best, stop trying to be perfect, keep showing up and trying again. Worst case scenerio, find another group of friends (if its that bad). But try not to run away if they haven’t entirely rejected you out of their group. Rejection just means clarification of the lack of compatibility. Keep practicing interacting with other people.

3. Take time to understand yourself.

If you take the time to understand yourself, you will be able to take the time to be more forgiving to yourself in your interactions, which also makes you a better person because you tend to resonate with others who make social mistakes and other people are safer to be around you.

4. Know Anxious feelings will come up.

Anxious feelings will reoccur. Remember that they are just thoughts. Nothing more. Whether it is right or wrong, people’s minds can be changed, but honestly, just focus on whether you would be okay interacting with yourself, and if you are, chill out. People are different, the right, long lasting friends will vibe with you. You won’t have the constant push and pull.

5. When you feel comfortable with your natural interactions with one friend, make more.

When you have practiced with interacting with your one friend, make another friend. Interactions become easier and it becomes second nature. Then practice interacting with that person with the variations of the kind of person they are, and just do your best. That is good enough. Then keep making more and more. Keep practicing. Social anxiety will come up. Just show up.

6. Jump in other peoples group conversations

In my experience, people who give you dirty looks for joining their conversation, are the tell tale sign to NOT make friends with them and avoid them. You do NOT want their approval OR their friendship. People (typically) won’t go out of their way for you because they don’t know you. Stop getting offended by it, and just jump in conversations. Ask questions about them, relate to what you are talking about. Then, they have something to talk about with you the next time you see them. You become familiar with them.

There was this one time that I showed up at a social event and turns out, I knew only three people. I wanted to get up and leave because I did not know anyone at that event. My anxiety raised, I did not know who to talk to, but it was way too late to just leave. It would be noticeable.

So I stayed. I jumped in conversations, and by the end of the night, I was able to chat and participate, and not be awkward. Shift your focus on the conversations. Or, just help out with preparing or cleaning if you really don’t know what to do.

Summary

In two years, I went from having no friends, and forcing myself in social situations, driving home crying because I was exhausted from social situations, to being a serial friend maker who killed most of her anxious thoughts and who is filled with the joy of enjoying friends and a good time. Living in the moment rather than living in my head. Its amazing.

Your panic attacks are just triggering your anxiety. Nothing bad actually happened. So take a deep breath, and keep going, because that’s true strength. Try again. Let your body experience the panic attack safely. Your tears, are out of exhaustion. Cry it out, and show up again. You need to cry in the middle of the hang out? Go to the bathroom, fix your makeup, and go back in. You need to push your limits to change.

I dove in the deep end cause I was sick of being alone. I did not want to live the rest of my life alone. So do what you are able to do. But it truly feels so free after all that work on my social anxiety.

If you feel inferior

I have felt inferior my entire life. I believed that I wasn’t good enough to be friends with anyone. That I was just an inconvenience in someone’s life. I believed that everyone was doing me a favor by just giving me a job, or speaking to me because they felt bad for me.

Where I got this from? I am not 100% sure but I can get an inkling.

If you are someone who struggles with being inferior, I want to give you some tips about how to get out of that mindset.

1. Understand that it is just a chosen mindset. It is not reality, it is not truth. Everyone should be treated as if they have something to offer and they should never have to fight for it.

2. The way you carry yourself is the way people decide to see you. If you carry yourself as if you know you are a burden to be around, people are going to feel burdened by you. If you carry yourself with confidence, people are going to feel confident in you. If you carry yourself knowing that you are someone who has worth and doesn’t need to prove it, people will sense that.

3. Give yourself exposure to those you want to feel closer with. Naturally people like us feel like we don’t feel good enough to talk to even the average person. But if you have a hard time getting out of that mindset, expose yourself to that person often. People naturally start to feel comfortable with people they are familiar with, and familiarity comes with frequent exposure.

Conclusion

It truly is mindset. There are a million different perspectives in this world and people are living in their different mindsets. Just change your mindset about social construct and where you stand.

You are worth the time. The moment you were born, you should have never had to fight for your worth. You already have it. And once you truly understand that, is when you are kinder to yourself, and you understand that everyone else could be struggling like you.

Follow Me On My Socials

Twitter @femininepages

Pinterest @LizMasu

Blog @Thefemininepages

Facebook Page @ The Feminine Pages

“Everything Works Out In The End, and If It Hasn’t, Its Not The End”

There was a quote I heard that says,
“Everything works out in the end, and if it hasn’t, its not the end”

And it really got me thinking.

We are all out here, living our stories and our lives, being frustrated in life because the result.

We begin to make conclusions about our lives, and we are always constantly complaining. We think that we aren’t deserving for more, or good things don’t come to us.

Why things seem like they aren’t working out

There could be several reasons why things may not seem like they are working out for you.

  1. It is not your time yet – Maybe whatever you wan’t, is not time for you yet. You may need to learn and grow in order to be ready for what it is that you want. You may not necessarily be ready and life is holding things back for now.
  2. It may not be the way you think – Just because you want something to work out, does not mean that it will work out the way you want it. Be patient, because things may work out, in an unexpected way. And it may work out even better than you could have imagined.
  3. Patience is a virtue – The best things, truly do not come quickly. As you wait, work on yourself to be the best version of yourself, and in time, things will unravel.
  4. What is meant for you will come to you – If you really want a job (literally me right now), you need to realize that just because you really want something, and it inherently may sound good, it may just not be for you. Or it may! Relax, if it is meant for you, it will come to you. If not, there is something waiting, and you just need to be patient!

What Now?

In the meantime, focus on yourself, your growth, becoming a better person that you would want to be friends with, or be the person that you would want your future significant other to have high standards of, or refine the skills that you would want to hire if you had a job you needed to hire for.

You don’t lose anything from refining your skills and getting better as a human being. You just level up in life as a person, and create more opportunities for yourself, even if the one you want does not work out.

Follow Me On My Socials

Twitter @femininepages

Pinterest @LizMasu

Blog @Thefemininepages

Facebook Page @ The Feminine Pages

Shutting Down Anxiety :: Hate the way you think? Then just don’t think like that

This post is for those with anxiety and have struggled with anxiety for the longest time.

It is not easy to have anxiety, it is overwhelming and takes up so much of our mental space. It is so hard to fight your mind because your mind is such an intimate space. It is literally the space you live in and create reality.

Literally, when people tell me. “Just stop then”. I say, oh okay, great solution, let me just stop years of anxiety just cause I feel like it.

But then it occurred to me that you have a lot more power and control over your mind than you think. It does take effort, but it is possible. You have the power to change how you perceive things.

Just Stop

So, how do you just stop? Just tell yourself, no. Nope, I am not going to obsess over that. And then focus on something in your immediate space.

Everytime your anxiety comes up again, just tell it. “Nah”

Because honestly, you are just wasting your time out here thinking of all the possible ways something can happen like Doctor Strange in Infinity War. This man really took time to see all the million different ways something can play out. And really, what does that really do except cause you more anxiety for the future?

Nothing.

Let life play out the way it plays out. Stay true to yourself, be the best version of yourself. Make the best decisions that you can at the moment. And keep swimming.

Its not easy

As you are reading this, you are probably thinking that I don’t actually have anxiety because it really isn’t this easy. My overthinking abilities and anxiety is so high, that I analyze every situation and a good portion of all the situations, I really am right about.

But I have wasted so much time thinking about it, when I could have just moved on and lived my own life. And either way, life was going to continue and unravel regardless of whether I figured it out or not.

How to deal with the unknown

A lot of anxiety comes from the unknown. Of what is going to happen next. It is fear of the future. But here is my advice:

Let the future unfold – Regardless of that one moment, a lot of factors go into why things don’t work out or why things do work out. More than you may realize.

Be in charge of your actions and reactions – You really can’t control life, but you can control what you do. So at the end of the day, you stand by your actions for every reaction you made. Or you are able to apologize or change your actions in the future if you feel you have made a mistake. Your own actions and reactions should be your only concern. Who you are is your only concern.

Make peace with the unknown – I have been working on this for six years now, and I still constantly struggle with it but I have not given up on myself yet. Make peace with the fact that you don’t know the future. Just make the best decision you can in the present, and you will always know that there is nothing you could have done as long as you did your best, and made sure to protect your peace.

Conclusion

We can’t overthink our way to peace. It just doesn’t work like that. You have to make the active choice everyday when you notice yourself overthinking, to just stop. Tell yourself, “nope, we aren’t going to do that today.” And focus on your present area.

Anxiety is an ongoing pest that will not go away unless we actively make that effort. Remember, your anxiety is lying to you.

Follow Me On My Socials

Twitter @femininepages

Pinterest @LizMasu

Blog @Thefemininepages

Facebook Page @ The Feminine Pages

Have a Good Day Out of Spite

There is a quote I heard from someone that said “Have a good day out of spite”.

It really got me thinking, what does that even mean, it sounds so negative and it sounds so unhealthy, but when this person proceeded to explain herself, it made a lot more sense.

Have a good day out of spite, meaning, if you are not having a good day, or something/someone seemed to ruin your mood or your day, don’t let that get to you and ruin your mood longer than it needs to.

Someone could take one minute out of the twenty four hours in your day to say a petty statement that could hurt your feelings, but instead of being upset for the entire day and let it ruin all the moments you could enjoy, tell yourself, that your just going to have a good day in spite of the small moment.

Have a good day, regardless of what may have hurt your feelings. Don’t let yourself dwell in the negative and despite the negative.

Now this does not mean that your feelings should not be validated and that you should shove down your feelings. No. You should feel what you need to feel, process, but keep going with your day and still remember the good.

Beat what could be a bad day by saying “You know what? No, I’m going to have a good day. I don’t care that it would normally ruin my entire day. I am going to have a good day and enjoy my coffee or the fresh air no matter what.”

Rewiring your mindset makes a huge difference in how you perceive your world and how you spend every second of the day.

Follow Me On My Socials

Twitter @femininepages

Pinterest @LizMasu

Blog @Thefemininepages

Facebook Page @ The Feminine Pages

Focus On Yourself, and Good Things That are Meant for You, Will Come to You

So, off of first hand experience, I wanted to write this article because I have seen my entire life change the moment I took action in taking active care for my mental health, physical health, and spiritual health. I don’t know what you believe in, but whatever you believe in, I believe that if you continue striving to be your next best self, whatever good is meant for you, will come to you.

Preface

I have been in a difficult depressive state, unable to control the external factors of my life for the longest time. Trying to figure out the next best move to alleviate the world around me through my actions. Sacrificing what I need to sacrifice to make everything better.

My world was falling apart, and I did not know how to hold my husbands world together either. Because the issues were effecting both of us. So we were just trying to hold everything together, taking responsibility of everyones emotions and trying to make a living and keep our peace at the same time.

What now?

We were so tired of it. We couldn’t understand why everything was the way it was. So we stopped. We stopped trying to take care of everyone else’s emotions, and we started to take care of ourselves.

We kept our distance and kept our peace. We started to take care of our own physical, mental, and spiritual health. We recognized what we had to do to keep our mental health stable. Well mostly me. He was actually doing okay. He was doing better than me, I think.

I accepted my reality, and focused on me and making myself the better self of myself.

I also worked on my spirituality because peace is so important to me. I don’t know what you believe in, but I do believe that you attract what you give out to the world. And the more I bettered myself, and loved others, and became the best version of myself.

This means, being humble. Recognizing where you are weak and what you need to work on. Recognizing your imperfections and being okay that you aren’t perfect, but knowing you are working to be a better version of yourself. Going after things that give you life and happiness rather than forcing yourself to do what cultural and societal standards tell you to do. Just loving others, and being there for others because you know that life is not easy.

Basically living your life to preserve your peace and happiness, and loving others.

The moment I chose this life, regardless of the storms around me, good things began to come to me. I live with peace, I stand by my worth, and the world is reacting to it.

End Result

When I started working on myself, not letting anyone take my self worth from me, and doing what I can to keep the peace in my heart, the people began to change towards me, and people’s reactions started to change towards me.

I am not really ready for the change, and I am kind of shocked still. My reality has changed now, but keep working on yourself. Don’t expect anything from anyone. Just keep being the better, kinder, stronger, empathetic version of yourself.

Go out there and live your life. You are the only one who can allow self care. Move forward cautiously and hopeful. Every single part of life, is a season. And it may seem like it takes forever, but you have full control of how you heal and change and grow. And your change, changes other people.

Follow Me On My Socials

Twitter @femininepages

Pinterest @LizMasu

Blog @Thefemininepages

Facebook Page @ The Feminine Pages

How to Make Friends with a Group When You Have Social Anxiety – Tested from Someone with Social Anxiety

So, you have social anxiety. And you so badly want to be a part of a friend group. I know it. This was me for the longest time. You spot a friend group and want to be a part of it and be comfortable for that matter.

But your social anxiety is what is keeping you away from it.

Mentally, if you are ready to attack this challenge and finally make friends with a group of people, this is what you are going to do.

1. First, find the right group of people

When you have social anxiety, the biggest thing you fear is the people around you. When scouting a group of people, look for a group that is accepting of differences, and open to more people in their friend group. Those are the kind of friends you want to open yourself up to. It is better to be alone than be with a friend group who is going to make your life more toxic. So be very picky when you choose a friend group.

2. Find something relatable to start the conversation

Listen, you have nothing to lose here. If they think you are weird, they were never the right group for you anyways. Compliment their outfit, or their hair, or ask where they got their shoes from. Something. Figure it out. Approach them and fake it till you make it. Act like approaching people is normal to you. They don’t know you. They have no difference to judge you for.

3. Ask them questions

People love it when you talk about them. When you don’t know what to say, just ask questions and react. “Wow! You have great style! Are you in fashion? Or do you just like it?” Then they will respond, and keep asking them questions. People love it when they feel good about themselves and will want to hang out with you more if they feel good around you.

Eventually, if it seems like you guys have had a great conversation that feels like a friendship, ask for their social. It is less intimidating than their phone number to hit them up.

4. Target the person

This sounds creepy, but it’s not. This is how I made all of my friends. They think our friendship happened organically but I honestly did all the work. Hit up the person on social media and strike up a conversation related to your previous conversation. Continuing with this fashion example, ask for their fashion advice!

Say, “hey! It was so great meeting you the other day! You have really great style, I was wondering if you could give me your opinion about my style. What kind of style do you think would look good on me? I would love to know!”

Strike a conversation. The more exposure they have with you, the more familiar they become with you. You wan’t them to be exposed to you.

If you don’t want to strike a conversation yet, start with liking their posts and eventually commenting a compliment on their instagram post. Then strike that conversation about an instagram post that you can easily start a conversation with in their DM’s.

5. After enough exposure, invite them to hang out

If they haven’t asked you to hang out with them, ask them to hang out with you to a place that has to do with the topic you bonded over. Maybe say, “hey! I saw this really awesome boutique the other day, I thought of you because of the style they had. I am thinking about going next Saturday, would you wanna come with?”

After that, if they say yes, make that plan. If they say no. Don’t ask for another hang out. They can ask for it. Don’t make it look like you are desperate to hang out with them. It becomes way too much pressure on them to become your friend at that point and nobody wants that pressure.

6. Keep up the communication once in a while

Match their energy. Keep up the communication just as often as they keep it up. I know, I know, it sounds like you are playing a high school game. But there is a reason to it. You want this friendship to be organic, and it does not look organic if you are trying too hard, and they may be disinterested in becoming your friend if you are not reciprocating.

Send a tiktok, instagram post, youtube video every once in a while and say it reminded you of them!

7. Build your friendship

Build your friendship with this person. Keep up the interaction with them and eventually they should invite you to their group. If they don’t, you can offer another hang out that is group appropriate, like an amusement park, or a city trip, and tell them that they can invite other people if they want!

This is at the point when you guys are already friends and feel comfortable with them. If it seems like they don’t want to put you in their friend group, it is okay. You still made a friend out of this, and you can keep going with this same process and make more friends, and build your own friend group.

Just invite one more friend at a time to your hang outs so that everyone is familiar with each other.

Remember, you can have multiple friend groups. It is very normal.

8. Group Chat

Whether you jumped in someone else’s friend group or you created your own by doing these steps over and over again, create a group chat to share a Tiktok or a meme of something that you guys have had a conversation about or experienced, and just keep it up. Then the friend group with naturally become a friend group the more that they get exposed to eachother.

In a friend group with a good dynamic that will last a long time, you should not be putting in all the effort. That means, other people should naturally just join in and chat with you. But do not put the expectation of keeping the friend group alive on others and be disappointed in them if they don’t. There is no expectation and it is not a true friendship to care about one another when you are getting mad at them for not putting in the effort.

Summary

Being in a friend group the way you want to, is not easy and it does not take a short amount of time. It could if the other person just invites you to their group and the entire group is so welcoming that they add you in their group chat and they love everyone, which is a gold mine. I experienced that twice actually. My social anxiety made it hard to drive to the hang outs, but eventually I got there, and when I did, everything was fine.

It could happen, but does not always happen. But there are always options. There is always an open door. You just need to be creative.

Follow Me On My Socials

Twitter @femininepages

Pinterest @LizMasu

Blog @Thefemininepages

Facebook Page @ The Feminine Pages

Other Blogs You May Enjoy

“Stop with the What If’s”

First of all, I would like to mention that this blog has felt less like a hustle lately, and more like my personal journal haha. Which I think is great. Time changes perspective, which changes attitude, then changes actions.

The beauty hacks or the amazon links are literally me just saving the clothing that I like to purchase later or just sharing it because I love it so much, and my mental health posts are literally just me sharing my thoughts online.

And the fact that I am just sharing them with 24 people is quite awesome. The fact that 24 people find my blogs useful and insightful, makes me really happy. The blogging community is one of the most kindest and supportive communities that I have ever interacted with.

I don’t get many comments on mine, but when I comment on other blogs, people are so nice, and it truly makes me happy to be on this platform.

Anyways, lets get started:

I was watching with The Game (On Netflix). And Derwin was devastated because he had a leg injury and was scared that he would never get back up again and play football. Then his baby momma says “Stop with the what ifs!” What if gas prices keep going up, what if her baby comes out an alien. Which is true. What if it does. Then what?

We spend so much of our lives stressing out about what if’s. What if this happens and what if that happens. What if it does happen? Then what? What if it doesn’t happen?

What if my blog never goes anywhere and I just wasted my time when I could have been making money in a different way?

What if I never get married?

What if everyone hates me?

What if I don’t succeed?

Well. What if you never get married. Then what are you going to do? What if everyone hates you?

What is your next plan then? What are you going to do about it? These are the questions you should be asking yourself. But you miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.

Did you know the Kentucky Fried Chicken CEO, Colonel Harland Sanders began KFC when he was 65? What if it didn’t work out? Then it didn’t work out. People go through so many business ventures until they find the one that works for them.

I lived my entire life wondering what if

My life lived on a timeline, and I lived the way I was supposed to in a comfortable but boring life because I constantly thought about the what if’s. I constantly thought about the failures.

So what. What if you fail? What if you don’t?

Because honestly, there is no such thing as uncontrolled failure. You only fail when you want to fail. You only fail when you stop trying and stop learning. You will succeed if you keep getting back up. No questions.

Now, are you hoping for a certain timeline? That is a different story. Sometimes you got to reassess and readjust. Learn new things on the way and reassess and readjust. But for the time being, do your best with the knowledge that you have.

Conclusion

Stop with the What If’s. You can ask “what if” for anything, but the only thing that does is make you hesitate.

If failure happens, reassess and try something else. You are allowed to make mistakes. Its okay if you don’t get it perfect the first time. Which nobody does. If everyone could do it, everyone would. That has nothing to do with skill or talent, all you honestly need is belief in yourself, and you can learn those skills and talents.

I can’t stress enough how belief in yourself can be so strong and powerful.

Follow Me On My Socials

Twitter @femininepages

Pinterest @LizMasu

Blog @Thefemininepages

Facebook Page @ The Feminine Pages

Blogs you may enjoy