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Socially awkward :(

Hi I am worried because christmas is coming up and that's when I usually need to go shopping with my mum and the problem is that i'm socially awkward and I can't make eye contact and I go red when I see someone I know out of school with my mum. And when I go out people I know from school are around there because they live near me and now i'm nervous to go out again with family incase I see someone I know and when I see them I go red and have no eye contact because i'm socially awkward and it's even worse if they talk to me or even say ''Hi'.' Help me please!
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi,

Thanks for your letter,

It sounds like the thought of Christmas shopping with your mum is really worrying you.  You aren’t alone in feeling awkward at times, we can all feel embarrassed and uncomfortable, but it seems like this is getting to a stage where it’s really getting you down. You’ve made a great start asking for help.

There are lots of things you can try for yourself to slowly build up your confidence. Check out the ‘Building confidence and self-esteem’ page in explore for some ideas to start with.

Sometimes talking things through can help, if you have a good relationship with your mum you could think about letting her know how you feel either by talking to her or writing a letter, she may be able to understand and support you. Perhaps she could help you practice how to respond to people from school if you meet them in town. You could try just smiling and saying “hi” in the mirror, to see if this helps you feel more confident.

It’s also worth remembering that when we are feeling self-conscious, it’s easy to imagine that things like blushing are really obvious to other people. Often other people are far less aware of it than we think they are.

If you feel like your anxiety about meeting other people is stopping you from enjoying things, then it might be worth talking to someone like your school nurse or GP. They will be have heard from lots of young people who are worried or scared about things, and might be able to give you some useful suggestions.

You are welcome to come to talk in 1-2-1 or by ringing 0800 1111, a ChildLine counsellor could talk with you about how long this has been happening for you and how things might be able to start changing. Another thing to try is posting a message on the Childline message board. Other young people will have experienced similar feelings and you might get some great advice.

Take care,

Sam

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