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Smiling unnecessarily
#1
Hi Guys,

I would like to share about a concern which I am facing.

I have mentioned in a previous thread before that I developed social anxiety (https://gayspeak.com/Thread-Words-can-kill).

One of the effects I experience is that I end up smiling awkwardly when a person or people is/are looking at me (sometimes my own family). It happens involuntarily and I found it hard to control my smile.

I will hang my head slightly when I end up having the awkward smile because I feel very embarrassed. I know the smile is awkward because people have stared at me like I was a lunatic and avoided interacting me after they have seen my awkward smile. I could not make friends in university due to this.

For now, it is manageable, because I am wearing a face mask in public due to the pandemic. I am able to hide this awkward smile with the face mask. But I still experience it in restaurants when I am eating without the mask.

This meme somewhat explains partially what I am facing:
[Image: 7e6ba6ce1dada4badfff36c7b166d964abde335f...1129_1.jpg]

My concern is that whether is this really a big issue to be concerned about. I'm not sure if this is something that can be "cured" somehow.

In the future, if I am dating someone or something, I don't want this issue to frighten away all my potential dates. That is why I feel concerned that this issue might affect my social life.
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#2
Well that is a good question. In the US people do smile a lot (and make small talk) and people from other countries seem to find that weird. So if you were in the US, that would be considered normal for the most part and would really only come off odd if you gave off a weird vibe, like if people can tell you're uncomfortable, but it wouldn't be a big deal. That being said, I know nothing about the culture and social norms of where you're at, so it might be a bigger deal than it would be in the US, but I doubt it is anything to worry too much about.

When it comes to social anxiety, one way to help with it is through exposure therapy. Yes, that's right, the best way to combat social anxiety is to put yourself out there in more social situations and yes it takes a long time and in my experience it never fully goes away but you learn to deal with it much better. A lot of people are nervous on dates, even straight people are nervous on first dates so don't be surprised if your date seems a bit off as well. It is also easy to misread someone as being uninterested when they're just anxious or it could be something else. The point is to not worry so much. Sometimes dates go well and sometimes they don't, the thing to remember that just because things didn't go well doesn't make you any less of a person. Learning to be comfortable in your own skin, accepting and loving yourself is a big deal and not all too easy to do for many people, same with social anxiety, it can be dealt with but it isn't all that easy but very much worth your time and effort.

Hope that helps some.
[-] The following 1 member Likes InbetweenDreams's post:
  • soulfulriver
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#3
Here in Britain we do awkward smiling a lot, followed by overthinking of the awkward smiling, followed by playing the situation over in our heads and picturing how we could have handled the situation in a cooler manner.

Easier said than done, but you should be more concerned over your concern of your awkward smile, more so than being concerned by the smile it's self. I doubt many people think it's awkward and are in fact, most likely thinking of something similar about an insecurity of their own rather than focusing on yours.

IBD is right, and again it's easier said than done. But put yourself out there and with time you'll feel a lot more comfortable. Remember that we all think negatively towards ourselves and if you're feeling embarrassed, maybe switch that negativity into positivity and compliment who you're with i.e. I really like your top, eyes, hair etc...
[Image: 20c62a6f57503c8c9ad8f289b603d0d4fd37b8e2_hq.gif]
[-] The following 1 member Likes Rawr's post:
  • soulfulriver
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