Not-So-Independent Girl

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  • Mimi
    March 9, 2023 at 11:38 pm #1119078

    One of my lifelong goals is to become more independent. All my life, my parents have always shielded me from the outside world, causing me to be extremely uncomfortable when around other people, especially around those I don’t know well.

    I really want to go to softball practice, but I have no friends who go there. I understand the point isn’t about friends, but i feel more comfortable when a friend is there with me. Without a friend there, I feel like I just don’t want to do it at all. It’s like if someone isn’t accompanying me with something i’m interested in, I don’t want to do it at all. I want to get rid of this feeling, because it’s affecting my mental health badly.

    There are many opportunities that I have lost due to my anxiety, I honestly HATE IT!!! I want it to go away! I have no therapist to talk to, my parents barely acknowledge my feelings, please someone help me! What can I do to make this feeling go away!?

    March 10, 2023 at 12:01 pm #1119084

    Hi Mimi. How old are you? Do you live with your parents? They contributed to your anxiety so they are likely not going to be too helpful or understanding.
    I would see if you can talk to a school counselor if you are still at school or college etc. Can you talk to a family doctor and see about some medication?
    As far as softball or other activities go, once there, you could meet and make friends. If you could push yourself to go without a friend, even if it is uncomfortable ( many things are for people and then they get used it/relax)you
    could try to just do it. Then I am sure it would give you a measure of confidence and pride and you could build on this step to make progress in other situations. You can overcome this!

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    March 10, 2023 at 12:44 pm #1119088

    I agree with @peggy that the way to be more independent and grow your confidence is to just… push yourself to do more things outside of your comfort zone. Like, can you commit to going to softball by yourself just once? Tell yourself you only need to do it once and if you hate the experience, you never have to go again. Or maybe you can pick a different activity to start with — something where you can give yourself a time limit to duck out if you’re not having fun. When I was new in my city and barely knew anyone, that’s what I did — I said yes to every invite that came my way and told myself I’d go for an hour during which I’d give being outgoing my all. If after an hour I knew it just wasn’t the place for me, I could go home. I grew immensely as a person being by myself in a city and having to force myself to put myself out there and exist outside of my comfort zone.

    I’m assuming you’re in high school since your parents seem to still have so much involvement in your life and second Peggy’s suggestion to reach out to your school counselor.

    March 10, 2023 at 8:32 pm #1119089

    I have been to literally thousands of softball practices in my life and I think there have only been a few times I’ve known anyone on the team before joining. I have made some of the best friends I’ve ever had in my life by going along though. I’m actually going to a friend’s 40th tonight, we met when she joined my softball club waaaay back when she was in her 20s.

    If you can handle it I think it’ll be worth it to try. It’s easy to forget that there are likely other people on the team who are scared and nervous as well, it just takes that little push.

    March 10, 2023 at 9:36 pm #1119090

    The only way to get over this feeling and fear is by doing things by yourself. It’s like a muscle that needs to be exercised. You’ve just been incredibly sheltered and don’t have much experience doing things alone.

    A sports practice seems like the perfect opportunity to focus on the sport you love and not worry about having a chaperone. You will make more new friends going to things alone, anyway. They aren’t total strangers, right? They’re other students in your grade level with one thing in common- the sport. You can do this.

    Good luck.

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