Living with social anxiety can be pretty hard. You always live with the fear of the other. Small talks become lifetime torture, ordering food can be impossible sometimes and having social interactions is just unbearable. Social anxiety is often confused with shyness and introversion.
Well hear me out,
Shyness is more defined as an emotion where someone is not really comfortable talking or meeting someone but not necessarily fear these types of situations. However, introversion is a personality treat which means that you are born with it. It doesn’t really have to do with talking and interacting since introverts mostly just like to be alone and do their own thing.
On the other hand, social anxiety is a mental disease that affects almost 15 million people in the US. Some might have been already diagnosed, and some might still be misunderstood. This mental issue triggers fear when being in a social situation such as a professional meeting, an interview, a date, etc…
And since people can be very judgmental, social anxiety patients can quickly be misunderstood!
here are some things people who suffer from social anxiety are tired of hearing!
Why Are You So Shy?
No, I am not shy. Shyness is a feeling, it triggers those cute emotions of yours that make you blush and nervously laugh. I am socially anxious, you talking to me makes me anxious.
I don’t blush. No, no, no. I sweat, a lot! So much that people think I just showered!
I’m not shy,
I’m just scared,
It’s way more different and complicated…
You Always Cancel Plans! How Rude of You!
Let me tell you something. The moment someone asks to make plans with me, I accept it right away. But later on, whether if it’s for the next weekend, the following week or month. I will literally think about it throughout this whole time, making scenarios in my head, trying to come up with good conversation starters, etc…
I don’t necessarily want to cancel plans. But I just can’t cope with all the irrational thinking and I prefer to reassure myself by not going than to go and end up leaving because I’m having a panic attack.
You Do This Because You Have Never Tried Meeting New People!
Well, honey, I did. Plenty of times! I used tinder and other similar dating apps. I went to art exhibitions, blind dates and more! But it always ends up with me feeling extremely uncomfortable and anxious.
Spontaneity and I are literal enemies.
I always have to plan things weeks ahead so that I prepare myself for any sort of social situations. I learn a couple of conversation phrases, I try to rehearse in front of the mirror, etc…
But most of the times, I never make it till the end and just cancel.
Just Chill Out!
Hehehehehe, do you think I am not trying to chill out? Do you really think it’s that easy? Do you ask a pregnant woman to chill out when she is giving birth? No, you don’t! SO DON’T SAY THAT TO A SOCIALY ANXIOUS PERSON!
It is true that most people diagnosed with SAD ( social anxiety disorder) tend to become more friendly and talkative when drunk. But come on, do you really think it’s the best solution? What about meetings and dates? What’s gonna be now? The Anxious Alcoholics Anonymous? AAA ? Seriously?
Wait, But like, Do You Get Panic Attacks Every Time You Go Outside?
No Karren, not EVERY time!
Living with social anxiety is hard especially when you are an active person and you have to go to work or school, take public transportations, etc… But you cope with it and try to rationalize everything around so that you don’t end up in the emergency room after a cute guy complimented your outfit.
You Sound Like a Kid!
Ugh… for the last time: I CAN’T HELP IT! I JUST CAN’T!
You Will Eventually Grow Out of It!
Social anxiety is not a pair of jeans you will, later on, give up because it will become too small for you, No. It is a mental issue that really is serious. You can get treated with medicines. Or, you can go to therapy and coaching sessions to feel better and behave better! Do you really think it is easy to just let it all go, and just stop overthinking and live life normally? I wish I could do that but unfortunately, it’s harder than you can imagine!
Mental disorders are real issues that should be given the right amount of attention and care. If you are suffering from depression, anxiety or anything like that. Please reach out for help. Go to therapy, talk to people in forums. Just don’t let your fears and thoughts consume you!