Do you experience social discomfort?

Sounds like some new kind of disease that a drug company would think up to sell a product they have created. But what I am talking about is the experience that you have when you are in the company of other people in social situations. You know what I mean – the shyness that takes over, the sweaty hands, the inability to find anything to say,  the butterflies in the stomach and the burning desire to hide somewhere.I’ve been dealing with this all of my life and once again this has become a real problem for me. Lately, I find that when I am with people, even those that I know, the social discomfort  takes over. I’m not bad when it’s only one person at a time, but more than that sets me off.

I had been doing really well with this for a long time. I learned to tone down the discomfort I felt and was really good at faking it, a skill I mastered as a teenager when I so desperately wanted to fit in. But with being off work for so long and spending most of my time alone, it has become harder to ignore this part of who I am.

I’ve gotten connected to a really wonderful group of spiritual women and have spent a couple of evenings with them lately. But, even before I walk in the door, that old familiar discomfort takes over and my body and emotions react as has happened so often in my life.

I try to fit in. I try to find things to say. I listen carefully for an opportunity to speak up, but word don’t come out of my mouth, and in fact, I don’t even have any thoughts in my head to give me an idea about what to say. I just sit or stand there in stun a lot of the time- feeling rather foolish – and so unsure of myself. I’ve lost the social banter, the ease of just chatting with people, the comfort of being part of a group.

I feel pretty uncomfortable when this happens, but I am not running away – my usual tactic for social discomfort. And to avoid this all together, I most often just stay at home and avoid people. But I’m not doing this any more.

I want to live a full life and a large part of this is connecting with people, coming out of hiding and letting people get to know me while I get to know them. This has been a missing part of my life this year – just being connected to people. I long for a feeling of belonging to a “tribe”, the group of people where I fit in.

I’ve made a commitment this week to finally come out of hiding and get back out into the world more often and find my tribe. I’ve reached out to other writers to connect via the internet at the Spiritual Author’s Cafe, which anyone who is working on a writing project is welcomed to join.

I have decided to volunteer a couple of afternoons a week at Bibles for Missions – a local thrift store. I plan to keep attending the woman’s group and am setting up times to meet with friends.

I expect that the social discomfort will be with me for a while, but I know from experience that it does go away over time as I get comfortable being with people. There is only one way I’ve learned to cope with this challenge. It’s like the famous book, “Feel the Fear And Do It Anyways” or my favorite strategy, “Fake it till you make it”

Blessings, sheryl

8 Responses to Do you experience social discomfort?

  1. sheryl says:

    Thanks for all of the amazing feedback. It’s great to know that my challenges can help others. I believe in turning the lemons of life into lemonade.

    I’ve also been inspired by this response to write a series of ebooks for shy people focused on surviving in the workplace.

    Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love you Sheryl, sweaty hands and all. You don’t ever have to say a word in group if you don’t want to. People respect you and admire you. I of course, am one of your biggest fans! and I hope to see you soon.

    Aloha, Susan

  3. matarikidimension says:

    Hi Sheryl

    What a great gift for you that you touch so many people.
    Feeling uneasy in a social situation or whenever I have had to stand up and talk infront of people has held me back for most of my life. Like you … just when I think the feeling has gone it comes up again.
    I traced this feeling back to my childhood … moving around a lot so that I was always the new girl and the `toughen up’ attitude of my family which caused me to suffer in silence and use things to mask what I was feeling.
    It wasn’t until I read an article about Panic Attacks that I realised that this was what I had been expereincing. It helped such a lot to know that other people felt the same way and it wasn’t just me.
    I have done a lot of inner work … and I thank you for bringing this up again so that I can look at it, bring it out into the light … and finally release it.
    I am writing a blog … thanks to you 🙂 which is really helping getting my feelings and thoughts out and with synchronicity yesterday I wrote about Charlie Brown and how we all identify with his `unsureness’ about himself.
    This is the most important part of our journey .. learning to love ourselves… ALL of ourselves. It’s only through love that we will be able to heal and move forward.

    Thanks Sheryl

    Much love

    Eileen

  4. Karla says:

    Omg!! I am experiencing this, but now it feels even a bit worse, in some situations.

    Today I even made a decision. Almost a year and a half ago, I began meeting some people with similar frequencies as me on a network. Since last month, many people began joining and I even had a group, we talked daily. Well, an example of how our energies can trascend time and space now, I began feelng so overwhelmed while connecting, that along with a huge transformation I am going through, led me to take the decision to stop connecting to those people. They are all very spiritual like us, but I feel their energies so much, and they feel mine, and that has made me feel so uncomfortable recently.

    Now I am starting to distribute my time much more, beign alone, being with people from my job, a friend who is not on the same page as me but who helps me keep myself grounded, and less time with my spiritual friends who are on the same page as me, or who are no longer on may page…maybe.

  5. Dorothy says:

    It’s been the bane of my life since I was little! Social discomfort was horrible. No parties for me, give me one or two people at most. At 48 I had an epiphany watching someone else who was so confident in himself and funny and joyful and uncaring what the world thought. I thought for a long time that his way was not right and kind of dumb, then realised one day that I was jealous of him! So I decided I could be and wanted to be like him and began to use that mantra…Fake it til you make it. I was always afraid of what others would think of me so I said nothing, now I know they don’t have to like me and as long as I love me and act in a loving manner, it’s all good. Go figure…not everyone has to like me!!! That was enormous. I am not always comfortable but I take a deep breath and ask for help from spirit and go for it.
    You have a lovely resource in your Lady, but I have to take it all on faith because I don’t have that sure connection yet. Use your connections to give you the courage to be in those situations you find uncomfortable. As your Lady said in her latest message, call on them for help, they are bored waiting for us to ask!
    I love reading your blog and I adore your Lady of the Light, she is delightful. What an awesome journey you are on Sheryl.
    Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Blessings,
    Dorothy

  6. Lightworker says:

    Love this post and so relate. I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about fitting in also.
    Welcome to the club🙂

  7. Gwendolyn says:

    For me it is just that mundane talk bores me and most people I know cannot carry on a conversation with me about spiritual things and I sound like an alien to them. Then when I realize they are not understanding me I become awkward and have trouble explaining what I am even talking about. I prefer to be around my sisters. With them I barely have to say anything, we are so telepathic with each other and can finish each others sentences, or not even need to complete the thought because the other one “gets it”. Same with my husband.

  8. Rosana says:

    Wow, that’s me in every social situation Sheryl. I believe I am seen as anti-social to most people, I hardly get out of the house. I do try to fit in but the more I am out there the greater is the sense of not belonging anywhere.
    I know that I have a lot to share inside, and soo much love for humanity but when an opportunity comes all I can do is hide, then feel guilty for missing another chance to express myself. I really want to overcome this before I am forced to face it the hardway.
    Sometimes I wonder if the reason for my behaviour is fear of my own personal power due to previous lives, that perhaps I got tortured and killed for speaking up or even the opposite, I abused of power, I don’t know.
    Thank you for sharing this, much love and light to you.

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