too uptight - how to loosen up?

hey, I just graduated from college. I’ve spent most of my college years getting perfect grades and trying to get to where I wanted to be. Recently, I really wish that I had spent less time studying and more time just having fun with others. I guess that I’ve been overly self-conscious and shy. I am trying to transform, to listen to others more, to try to get to know different people’s lives and to take initiatives in showing interests in others. I guess I am still not very confident in my social skills. Anyone who’s had experience of making that transformation from being uptight to very fun-loving and laid back? Thanks!

It sounds like you got a pretty good handle on it. I think you just need to give it some time my friend.

Also, try to include yourself in group activities. That will help.

Check out your local community center, Y, temple, whatever, for exercise or dance classes, Tai Chi, yoga, whatever level of involvement or activity floats your boat. Chances are you’ll find something you can join in on without having to be instantly gregarious, and they’re usually happy to have new people around.

And, there’s always drinking, but recent studies show you might want to save that as a last resort.

You know where you want to go. Sometimes it can seem difficult to get there, though. I was never Mr. Social, but in school I always had a small group of friends who were classmates and who shared interests.

Outside of school, two avenues are beginning to socialize with colleagues at work and joining organized groups related to a hobby or interest–amateur theater, photography, book discussion, civic groups, social causes, hiking, biking, tennis. Those aren’t the only two ways, but those two will put you with other people you already have things in common with.

Then. . . just be YOU. Don’t try TOO hard to fit in. Don’t fake it. When you are among people you belong with, the friendships will simply develop on their own. You’ll feel comfortable and relaxed because it will just be right

Very best wishes.

Don’t force yourself to be something you’re not. Yes, you can be less self-conscious if it is really holding you back, but maybe are you just more reserved than others. And that’s OK. You can’t force yourself to be the life of the party and you’re not some kind of failure if you don’t. Get out there and engage with people and see how it makes you feel; see where you’re comfortable and don’t make any excuses for not being how you think you should be, because you are the special person you are.

thanks folks. lots of great advice. definitely going to find some good clubs/groups to join and have some fun. i guess i’m not sure if friending people on fb after a cool party is an uncool move - definitely had a great great time and thought everyone was nice and fun. but someone seems to be friending others besides me. hurt my feelings a bit, but I gotta stay happy with myself no matter what happens. any words of wisdom on that type of overthinking? lol

awww. thanks! this is so nice. :slight_smile:

Be funny. No seriously, make people laugh and shock the shit out of them! Seriously. I have panic disorder-social phobia and OCD, no one but my family knows; to everyone else I’m an irreverent, bold, sarcastic, and pretty damn funny chick if I do say so myself.

To me at first, it was like putting on a mask. In school I was painfully scared everyday. Even before I was put on meds, I used to say to myself “its time for your mask”. I quietly slipped under most radar. Its how I got through it. It actually got better in college and now it seems the older I get, the bolder I get!

Sorry for the long story, I start a new job tomorrow and am “a little uptight” as well. :eek::smiley:

Maybe just ignore my post, the others seemed so much more helpful. :smack:

Just play it cool.

First, don’t try to be perfect. You’ll never achieve it, and it isn’t a great goal anyway - the best lessons people learn are from their mistakes. Mistakes are very valuable.

Second, I have a bit of a parable for you - if you’re driving in your car and you realize you’re going to be late getting somewhere, you can get all upset and worked up and worried and be late, or you can just be late. What’s that saying - life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you make of it.

And, in closing, why take life seriously? We’ll never get out alive. :slight_smile:

I am not kidding when I say this: start smoking cannabis. Instant laid-back-ness.

ETA: Make sure you have a valid medical prescription in a valid medical-marijuana state, blah blah blah.

If you are religious, get involved in your church. If you are not religious, look into a Unitarian church.

Does your office have a softball team or a bowling league?


Prune Juice, Extra Large. It is a warrior’s drink!


Yeah, my first thought was “weed.”

I’m pretty tightly wound, and after hanging out with some online friends who smoke, I really wonder if it might help me to loosen my grip a bit!

That said, I’ve also become comfortable with being an introvert. It’s not that I can’t function socially, but that being around people and out of my house is tiring after a certain amount of time, and I need to be alone in my “nest” to recharge. Knowing that is very helpful.

Also, make sure to pay attention to NOW. Be interested in what you’re learning/doing, not just getting through it in the most superficially perfect way possible to achieve the next step of your life plan. Because I got to the last step and didn’t know what the hell to do then!