Tired of Being a Loser

Hello everyone. I am a senior in high school, going to college this Fall, and I want to change. I am tired of being unable to look people in the eye, being unwilling to even consider social events, of being an outcast. I've never even tried to ask a girl out.

The problem, I think, is environment. I have gone to a small Christian school (graduating class of 30) since seventh grade, and my class is basically unchanged. As is their perception of me. As a jerk, a gamer, and a wierdo. I don't blame them, I have done a lot to accentuate this, but I haven't had an opportunity to break that stigma and really change.

I'm sure several of you have gone through similar situations, and I would like to know: What should I do to become a socially functional human being?

It's simple man. Mean well and try your best to not care about the potential failure, aim to succeed and if you fail, keep aiming to succeed.

That sounds easy, but it can be difficult to get into that mindset. Especially if you expect rejection.

Yeah, I know that all too well, man. You've just gotta be realistic about your chances.

Well, easiest answer would probably be try and use the change of socal environment in your new school in autumn to be a new person without the problem of having been known as a weird jerk for years.

That's the plan, but the problem is carrying it out. I don't know how to start.

gonna sound stupid but get yourself a job cold calling especially door to door if possible
odds are the extra cash can't hurt but trust me from experience getting constantly told to fuck off helps with rejection issues and trying to get a handful of words out before being told to fuck off helps with your social skills

Face your fears of looking others in the eye. Face your fears of going to social events.

The only one that can change yourself, is you. And I believe that power is in everybody. You just need a way to find that power. The fact that you -want- it, is already a big step in the right direction. Now you just need to act it out.

START looking people in the eyes, START going to social events.

Don't EVER call yourself a loser, though.
Don't let your self-esteem get in the way of things.
You're as strong as you want to be. You're as strong as people percieve you to be.

The Scythian:
That sounds easy, but it can be difficult to get into that mindset. Especially if you expect rejection.

Stop having such low self esteem, calling yourself a loser doesn't help, keep your chin up!

I had the same problems, I was the quiet kid in the corner for my first year of secondary (high) school, but as second year rolled around, I buckled up and talked to people, made friends and the problems faded away fast! I never asked a girl out either (I was asked out a few times though) But honestly, get to know a girl, ask her out, if you get rejected, well, there are more fish in the sea!

Stop looking at yourself in such a way, it may be hard to get down to it, but changing yourself isn't easy.

Can i suggest maybe something along the lines of maybe something like Meetup? it did me the world of good.. its basically people in the same position as you in a lot of cases... either new to the city or a local.. just looking to get out to social events and make new friends.. and trust me many a time have a had people say to me how scary it was for them to first show up and get over the hump.. but once they started.. they never looked back! ... its a really good idea for meeting a lot of new people and getting out to things you might enjoy.. plus they have groups for EVERYTHING lol. www.meetup.com it was a godsend to me.. so maybe it could help you too!

Hmm. I'll take that into serious consideration.

The Scythian:
Hello everyone. I am a senior in high school, going to college this Fall, and I want to change. I am tired of being unable to look people in the eye, being unwilling to even consider social events, of being an outcast. I've never even tried to ask a girl out.

The problem, I think, is environment. I have gone to a small Christian school (graduating class of 30) since seventh grade, and my class is basically unchanged. As is their perception of me. As a jerk, a gamer, and a wierdo. I don't blame them, I have done a lot to accentuate this, but I haven't had an opportunity to break that stigma and really change.

I'm sure several of you have gone through similar situations, and I would like to know: What should I do to become a socially functional human being?

Hey man, I suspect that if you could talk to a thousand other high school students you would realize that you are not alone. But you're going down a bad path because you're worrying about how you will be perceived. You're worrying about something that has yet to happen, and that may lead to behavior which will cause it to happen.

It reminds me of this one joke on The Onion about a rumored market crash, resulting in a market crash.

Worry instead about waking up on time and understanding the coursework.

The harsh truth, the terrible reality that you may encounter in college is: not many of your fellow students will care. College can be a very lonely place for a lot of kids. That's where the saying "Freshman 15" comes from. Kids are either so stressed from being lonely or constantly eating crap food that they gain weight. Also, there's the booze. God there's always so much booze. Don't do that by the way. It's the stupid ones that think college is supposed to be like the movie Animal House. It's not. The Simpsons made fun of it and they were right to do so. Kids go to college thinking they have to be wild drunks and it's only because that's how they think it should be. Fuck that noise. Save it for Spring Break (please drink responsibly). Be one of the kids who are there because they want to be there.

All you have to do is study. Look for fellow students with common interests and maybe you'll become friends. You will become your own person. And you won't have much trouble fitting in since you're into games. Look, there are too many kids in college trying to "find themselves". That's why psychology is such a common first-semester major.

Regarding your original thread, I find that humor works with women. Also, if you feel the need to refer to yourself as a loser, at least do it with a smile. Laugh while you're saying it. Make it your "N-word". Own it, but never believe it. Ever.

Thank you.

Confidence comes with patience and practice, start saying hello to people. Worst case scenario, they think you're weird. Nothing lost. After a while it gets easier and then you can start making friends with ease. A new environment will do you good. The same old situations can be depressing.

The Scythian:
What should I do to become a socially functional human being?

My big trick is what I like to call "lying to yourself." If you're anything like me than certain things like introducing yourself to others or whatever creates anxiety, so as a result you avoid the anxiety by avoiding unpredictable social interaction. I've learned to recognize the fears in my head are strictly internal, so I behave in public as if I were not afflicted with anxiety. Even though it feels unnatural, I'll behave in a socially respectable way and speak all those social niceties that allow us to make friends.

Once you go to college you'll be meeting people whose entire concept of you is based off of how you act in this new environment. Regardless of what kind of "loser" you feel like, just don't act like one. Act the way you want people to treat you, and pretty soon your new personality will stop being a "lie," and just be you.

The Scythian:
Hello everyone. I am a senior in high school, going to college this Fall, and I want to change. I am tired of being unable to look people in the eye, being unwilling to even consider social events, of being an outcast. I've never even tried to ask a girl out.

The problem, I think, is environment. I have gone to a small Christian school (graduating class of 30) since seventh grade, and my class is basically unchanged. As is their perception of me. As a jerk, a gamer, and a wierdo. I don't blame them, I have done a lot to accentuate this, but I haven't had an opportunity to break that stigma and really change.

I'm sure several of you have gone through similar situations, and I would like to know: What should I do to become a socially functional human being?

A couple of things that I've found:

-be interested in people. Ask them questions about themselves and their interests, and follow up. Learn about some of the things they're interested in, and try to learn from them.

-exercise. It will make you happier, and I honestly feel it makes me more extroverted.

-drink. It will reduce your anxiety and help you be more social.

-Attend social events, even if you don't feel like it. Doing things with people, and interacting with people, with make you both better at people and more comfortable with people.

-Learn. It can't hurt to keep up on the latest happenings in the world, either in politics, religion, music, movies, etc, so you have go-to conversation topics.

Wow, glad to see these new responses. I do keep track of the world, even if I don't interact with it often. But, I do think I am getting better. Thank you all.

One more thing that I forgot.

Listen and remember what people say. As it turns out, that matters a lot to them.

All of what fapper mentioned, except don't rely on alcohol as a confidence boost. a small buzz maybe, but if you depend on it too much, that's a highly dumb thing you'll do because then EVERYTIME you go out, you'll be "I need another drink to relax", then give it a few years and hello alcoholism.

I like lechat's idea, I was thinking something similar.

So one thing you need to try is force yourself to be extroverted even if that means making an ass of yourself... actually especially if that means making an ass of yourself. Go to a mall that you don't frequent away from people you know and go and have a few random conversations, you know those occasions where your go get something from a coffee shop and the barrista asks how your day is going make a conversation besides saying something like, " not bad". And it can't just be people you have to interact with to buy something, random people ESPECIALLY WOMEN. You'll probably say wow how could I have acted so awkward and guess what... absolutely no repercussions from any stupid comments.

Another thing that comes off the top of my head are those chat roulette sites, ignoring all the pornography you can have random conversations with who ever about anything and have conversations especially drunk people they are the funnest.

Another thing, stop the self hate and insecurity, it affects the way you act and how people perceive you. So what if your a severe introvert your trying to change that, that's a fault your trying to improve upon and while it might be odd it isn't amoral.

The Scythian:
I'm sure several of you have gone through similar situations, and I would like to know: What should I do to become a socially functional human being?

Like most skills, you will learn by doing. So to be socially functional, function socially. Make friends. Meet new people. Do new things. Find out what you like, and what you don't.

Oh, and a little trick that helped me when I was young and shy- if you can't look someone in the eye, look at the spot on the bridge of their nose just between their eyes. Most people can't tell you're not looking them in the eye, and it isn't as threatening if you find eye-contact difficult. It works better for public speaking than close face-to-face but it still works. From there you can graduate to real eye-contact.

You're only a loser if you think you are.

Anyway, you're going to college? That's good. If US college life is anything like the Netherlands, that means that nobody is going to give a rat's ass what/how you were in high school. Teenage angst and teenage bullshit are utterly meaningless now. To quote Tony Blair, although he was referring to something else completely:

"The kaleidoscope has been shaken. The pieces are in flux. Soon they will settle again. Before they do, let us reorder this world around us."

The key component and, admittedly, the hardest part is to take action. You will have to assert yourself. How?

Join a club/students' society. Admittedly, I don't know anything about American college culture, but over here student cities/campuses are filled to the brink with societies of all kinds. Debating societies, student theater cliques, comedy collectives, student sports groups (which are not directly affiliated to the university), knitting clubs, you name it; it's there. Joining one is a great way to get access to a "clique". You're part of the group, you're all sharing a common interest, easy and fun.

Second, to quote Goethe: 'Im Anfang war die Tat'. Or, first there's the action, the thought comes second. You will have to take action, and all actions have consequences. Don't focus on the consequences a priori. First do, rationalize later. To be sure, Goethe's quip doesn't really cover drunken behaviour. When you're drunk and you're about to do something, you really have to think first.

Finally, consider this:

Happiness is worth inconvenience, and the road to happiness will be inconvenient. You will be rejected by girls and by others. There will be many little losses inbetween the few great victories. I'll write it in comfortable bold font: don't panic. You'll be fine.

Try to be more social, even if it feels weird. Who cares if it feels weird at first, it's what you want, right?

You just need to get in there and go for it.

May I ask why you think people think you're a jerk, or a weirdo? Or even a gamer? I've known many the sad nerd who can't go without their sonic shirts, or talking about video games to everyone, and if it's anything in relation to that, I'd suggest that you make social interaction not entirely about a small subset of interests. Games aren't weird, people who are fixated on them around people who aren't are.

For a comparison, it's like band-shirts. If you wear one every once in a while, you look normal. If you wear them all the time, you look like you're completely absorbed by music, and will be boxed in as some sort of a metalhead in most peoples minds, which doesn't help you to socialise.

I used to have a huge problem in being confident around people, especially girls. I was even nervous in answering the phone at work, which actually cost me a job when I was 18.

I started hitting the gym, working out, running. It changed my life dramatically.

So just based off this, you need to be confident in yourself before you can be confident towards other people. Otherwise thats where the creepiness factor comes into play.

If you have trouble holding a conversation then maybe start reading newspapers, so you can start talking about current events. If it does come up, sure, admit you're a gamer. Who cares? I am, and I say it proud! But don't be totally obsessed on it and talk about it tirelessly to anyone. Appeal to your audience.

Let me just give you an advice, if you wanna succede in your new school, act normally, it may sound cliche but you gotta be yourself in order to make things work well, don't try to impress who doesn't worth your effort, if some people think you're weird or a nerd just leave them and go live your life, i've passed through similar situations on high school, i just lived my life and things started to work for me, i don't even know what happened to the people who harassed me, but the people who actually cared about me are my friends, very good friends

I think lechat's advice is pretty spot on. Get a job dealing with the public. I used to have really bad social anxiety in high school, but being forced to talk to dozens of people a day helped me develop the skills to have a social life. The word "skills" is really important. Being social isn't an immutable personality trait, it's a skill that needs to be learned and (more importantly) can be learned. Like anything else, it just takes practice and the right mindset. I've found that working at restaurants and in retail made me appreciative of and eager to interact with people who are kind/friendly and to give less of a shit about people who aren't.

Also, any new environment is a chance to reinvent yourself because you're dealing with people who have no preconceived notions of you. Fake it till you make it: if you don't like some aspect of yourself, try forcing yourself to act/think differently. It feels weird at first, but eventually you internalize your new values and/or change your personality. It's kinda like self-brainwashing... maybe not everyone would be comfortable with it, but it helped me a lot. I came out of high school an incredibly angry and misanthropic person. I got over it by just being nice to people and acting like I cared, even if I didn't. And over time, just by repetition, I noticed myself starting to want to be nice and actually start to care. It's weird to look back on, but I essentially trained myself to be empathetic like one might train a puppy.

(Incidentally, this is pretty much how AA works, and it's the basis of behavioral psychology. You said it can be tough to get into the mindset, and I totally know where you're coming from. My advice would be to do your best to just change your behavior. The mindset will follow naturally.)

So yeah. I know it can be tough, but your personality is remarkably malleable. Just try to take it one step at a time, and you'll make progress. The key is to put yourself as far out of your comfort zone as you can handle; whether it's baby steps or leaps and bounds, don't worry about it. You can get there.

And on a different "personal enrichment" note, I'd advise taking a wide variety of "general" courses in college, regardless of what your actual major is. Take philosophy, take mathematics, take sociology, take literature, take gender studies, take programming, take religion (even if you're not religious; I'm an atheist, and the secular Bible study course I took was one of the most rewarding classes I've ever been in.) I think people who focus too much on one area of study throw away a great opportunity to broaden their horizons and learn to see things from multiple angles.

(And knowing a bit of everything makes it easy to participate in convos about anything. I've learned a lot from other people at bars/shows/whatever about subjects that I wouldn't have understood at all if I didn't have any foundation. [Plus attractive, intelligent strangers love flirting with people who understand their interests/passions.])

Oh, and I dunno if this is a city thing, or just my city, or just the circles I travel in, or what, so ymmv, but no one I know asks anyone "out" (ie on dates) anymore. Most "dates" are more like one person texting the other day-of and inviting them someplace they'll be with their friends anyway. It can be really ambiguous if people are into you or just like hanging out. But at the same time, it's a lot more casual than traditional "date" type things, so there's a lot less stress/pressure (at least imo.)

I think most people coming to college are thinking "OK, I am going to start over new, and start a whole new different image for myself".
I know I was one of those people...

I think the most important thing to do is not to over do it.
A lot of people, especially people not used to being popular, over do the friendliness thing in the beginning, and crash and burn before the semester is over.
I would suggest that you stay under the radar until others crash and burn.
You will figure out who to approach and who not to approach.

Dont be the fool that steps o his own toes because college can get loooong if you do.

Wow, I really wasn't expecting all this. So, the game plan for preparation is basically to get a more social job, and start working out. Join clubs and be nicer. Okay, that is possible. But, for those off days, is there a way any of you reward yourselves for pressing on? Or should it become it's own reward?

The Scythian:
Quoted for attenshun

How you carry yourself has a huge impact on how people view you. If you're always slouching around, people will think less of you. Having some basic manners and a positive outlook on life will generally make you appear more likable.

The hardest part is breaking out of this negative cycle you've lost yourself in. Start doing positive things, and people will eventually change their views on you. Being honest goes a long way. I constantly find myself explaining myself to new people, who do not realize that I'm a little goofy and seems awkward due to being socially retarded. And it's okay to say it out loud.

Eventually your friends (or friends-to-be, should you lack current ones) will learn to understand these things, and you can have a laugh at them. I've been through these steps, although I never quite viewed myself as a loser. It'll be a longer, harder path for you, but trust me when I tell you that it can be done.

Also, as a side note, I'll probably never personally become a master of social interaction, but we live in a day and age where it's okay to be a little weird. I noticed that you wanted to become a socially functional human being. This may never happen the way you hope, but it's not a deal breaker. Outsiders like us live our lives with different social rules than the rest of the population. You can learn, and to a degree become a social person, but don't worry so much about becoming a "socially functional human being", and instead focus on just becoming a better you.

Best of luck. I hope you find something useful among my ramblings.

Howdy, I would change gradually.
First thing is not a massive change but will make every other change much easier.
.. do something every day that scares you. This may be something as small as a phone call where you have the option of a call or e-mail.

Secondly I would start exercising. This can give you greater confidence in yourself. If at all possible do this outdoors. Its free and will the fresh air is good.

Thirdly change your diet if it is bad, start eating healthily

Dont do all these things at once or your body might explode..

ONce these three things are part of your routine I bet that you will find that others perceive you differently.

I can honestly say that I grew a lot more confident (this is coming from a guy who would get in fights in bars when I was younger but couldnt deal with people on a adult straight level etc etc) in dealing with people when I was getting in confrontations in work regularly once my job changed. (I work for the government now and fight with people trying to screw the system, not the normal guy the big screw up)

But seriously take it one step at a time and if you give yourself goals and meet them you will find your confidence growing which leads to your social skills growing which leads to more social engagements.

I hope whatever you do works out well.

Go to every possible social event you can. That way, even if you don't talk much (although you have to talk a bit) and don't really know anyone, you become One Of The Guys Thats Just Always At The Parties. People will invite you just because you're always there, and thats the way it is, and this gives you the chance over time to actually get to know them.

The Scythian:
Hello everyone. I am a senior in high school, going to college this Fall, and I want to change. I am tired of being unable to look people in the eye, being unwilling to even consider social events, of being an outcast. I've never even tried to ask a girl out.

The problem, I think, is environment. I have gone to a small Christian school (graduating class of 30) since seventh grade, and my class is basically unchanged. As is their perception of me. As a jerk, a gamer, and a wierdo. I don't blame them, I have done a lot to accentuate this, but I haven't had an opportunity to break that stigma and really change.

I'm sure several of you have gone through similar situations, and I would like to know: What should I do to become a socially functional human being?

Join the club. It's the environment for me too. Most fo the people here assume that if you don't go and and get rat-arsed every friday, saturday and sunday then you've failed in life. I gave up around here, that's why most of my friends I only know thorugh Xbox Live and don't even live in the same county, some not even in the same country. I'm not saying you shouldn't try and get to know people near you, but don't rely it, not from my experience anyway.

EDIT: the reason I gave up on locals was their attitude towards life, and i know every response I could possibly get around here, but you can make a fresh start, a clean slate as it were, with new people. when you get to college, make a first impression on how you want to be seen

 

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