I have a little problem with social anxiety at the United Church of God congregation I attend. Every time any of the youth talk to me I just freak out. I don't know what to do. I was wondering if I could ask some help or advice.

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I have a little problem with social anxiety at the United Church of God congregation I attend. Every time any of the youth talk to me I just freak out. I don't know what to do. I was wondering if I could ask some help or advice.

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Sometimes meeting and getting to know other young people can be very challenging. Shyness is somewhat normal for some people, especially in their teenage years. Yet it is something one can work on and change over time. We have to be very patient with ourselves in dealing with who we are and how we relate to other people.

Consider the encouraging words of Jesus Christ: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27 John 14:27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
American King James Version×
). The apostle Peter wrote about “casting all your care upon Him [God], for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 1 Peter 5:7Casting all your care on him; for he cares for you.
American King James Version×
). Go to God the Father in prayer and ask Him for His peace of mind. Ask that Christ would help you to work through this problem. He is our High Priest and is there for you!

You should also consider talking with your local pastor. He can suggest ideas based on the principles of the Bible and His experience in helping young people. Perhaps he can help you figure out how to break the ice one person at a time. He may even be able to set up occasions and opportunities that will make it easier for you to get to know others and for them to get to know you. Sometimes cultivating just one good friend can make a big difference. Then that friend can help you get acquainted with others and form new friendships.

You may be aware that the United Church of God has been producing a Youth United magazine on the Web for several years.

It now publishes a printed version entitled Vertical Thought. In the Web version, the July- September 2003 edition focused on friendships.