Trouble Opening Up to People

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I am worried because I have never been able to make friends very easily. When someone tries to talk to me, I get so nervous about what they think of me that I end up seeming uninterested or maybe even snobby, probably. Im always thinking that people are talking behind my back or thinking badly of me. Whenever someone in whispering to another person, I pretty much assume that they are talking badly about me, and I panick.At school, I get so caught up worrying if I smell bad or If my makeup is smeared I immagine everyone is looking at me funny. I dont even really show any emotion, either, when im around people(especially when I am anxious). I dont talk to people about how I feel because It makes me feel vulnerable, I guess.
My anxiety used to be worse a couple of years ago, but now im just paranoid. Im always thinking that people think im a loser, and I wont leave the house without makeup, because i am horrified about what other people think about me.

I dont have much friends because Im always blocking people out. I just want to be normal.

A. I want to point out that all of your assumptions about how you believe other people view you are negative. This is usually a sign of an individual who does not hold a high opinion of themselves. It’s also an indication that they are likely misperceiving reality.

You are assuming that people are talking about you and when they do it is always negative. These assumptions have led you to the conclusion that you are not liked by the majority of your peers. It is important to keep in mind that assumptions are not facts. Reality is all that is important. The reality in this situation is that you have no way to verify whether your assumptions are correct. Therefore, you cannot allow yourself to come to conclusions about situations for which you have no evidence. Without solid evidence, you cannot realistically come to an informed conclusion.

Therapy would be the best way to address this problem. The therapist could help you to analyze your behavior. He or she can help you to develop your social skills. You may also benefit from reading books about social skills and how to develop a healthy sense of self-esteem.

I would encourage you to speak to your parents either about therapy or how they may be able to assist you with this problem. It is important to deal with this problem sooner rather than later because as you have noted, it may only become more difficult to solve if left untreated. I believe you have correctly identified the problem. Now the next step is addressing it as soon as possible. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.


Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Apr 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Trouble Opening Up to People. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/10/q-trouble-opening-up-to-people/