Many people lump social anxiety in with general anxiety when in fact, they are not the same thing. Trust me I have both so I can tell you there is a difference. If you get nervous about going to a party or being out in social settings but once you get there you end up being just fine then you don’t have social anxiety.
Now if you not only get nervous but come up with reasons not to go, blush for no reason, get tremors, and a whole host of other things then you probably have social anxiety. I come off horribly in social situations because of this especially if we meet ofr the first time.
I may sit alone and not speak to anyone except those that I know. I know that many people have made remarks that I am just weird. The problem for me is that I am so concerned about what people will think about me. What if I don’t say the right things? what if I don’t get their jokes? Which, the way, has happened way more than I would have liked. What if…What if…What if…
That is how my brain is wired. I can’t get it past it either. Now with general anxiety, I may be what many call a worry wart. Little things will make me worry like there is no tomorrow. However, over the years I have learned how to control that sort of anxiety. I can recognize that and get my brain to stop. I know, logically, that worry if the electric bill is going to be twice as next month the moment I pay the current month isn’t going to do me any good. I can talk myself out of that sort of thinking now.
There is no reasoning with social anxiety. I can be logical all I want. It doesn’t matter, My brain won’t accept that. Parties are the worst if I don’t know anyone or if I only know one or two people. I once spent the entire night sitting alone in the backyard at the party of a friend of my brother’s. My brother forgot about keeping me company and it wasn’t until he was ready to go that he remembered I was with him. He felt bad but there were plenty of moments throughout the party that others had come outside as well.
They didn’t speak to me so I didn’t speak back. After we left I haven’t been back to their house. I’m embarrassed and worried that everyone there thought I was a weirdo. I know they aren’t but I can’t help myself. It just is what it is. The friends who threw the party have called said everything was fine. They understand my issues.
The problem with all of that though is that I can’t be fine with all of it. It just won’t let me be. Now, if we already know one another and you know about my issues we can hang out and have a blast. You will understand that I may not get your joke or that I may give you a random fact for no reason. That’s just me and those who know accept me for who I am.
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Having social anxiety may not be the end of the world but for those of us who have it feels like it is. Don’t think that the wallflowers are odd or weird, it could be they are battling their brains and being at your event or party may take more out of them than you will ever know.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM SOCIAL ANXIETY? SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH US INT HE COMMENTS PLEASE.