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Author Topic: Socially anxious people might relate  (Read 419 times)

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Offline InvidiamTopic starter

Socially anxious people might relate
« on: February 26, 2019, 04:45:50 PM »
So, I am quite a socially anxious person. I've gotten better with the condition the last few years, I used to be really bad, but it's still ever present. Anyway, there is this nice little video of one of my all time favourite Star Trek characters - Lt. Reginald Barclay. The depiction of social anxiety and neuroticism, both of which I have plenty of, in his character is I think possibly one of the best if not the best depictions of those things on TV or film. The video really sums that up along with some very appropriate music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9KSoPFsbtg

The shy comment really is the kicker in my opinion. People who are not socially anxious have this misconception that it's just an extreme form of shyness. Or worse yet some people have the misconception that it's a lack of social skills or even compare it to anti-social disorders. In truth, social anxiety is the exact opposite, at least in my experience. It's not that you must lack social skills or must be inherently shy(although those things do sometimes come hand in hand with social anxiety), it's actually that you are so hyper-aware of social norms and are so worried about maintaining them that you go anywhere from becoming incredibly nervous all the way up to breaking down and panicking. It's not that you don't know how to talk to people, but that you are so irrationally worried about saying something embarrassing or breaking a social norm by mistake that you would rather avoid talking to people to avoid the stress of having to worry about that.

I have found this to be especially true now that I have become better than I was a few years ago. I am not at all shy anymore, in fact I enjoy talking to people and I love going out with friends and what not, but even despite having become much more outgoing and social, I still constantly have those stabs of anxiety every time I am going into a social situation where I might screw up somehow.

Anyway, just wanted to share that wonderful video and make a thread where maybe some fellow anxious wrecks can share their experience with such things.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 05:34:28 PM by Invidiam »

Offline Melancholy Himeros

Re: Socially anxious people might relate
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2019, 02:38:37 AM »
Aw, thanks for sharing!
Seeing as this is the internet, I feel a lot of people around here can relate to being anxious about a lot of things. I probably don't have it quite as severe as Barclay but a lot of times I have this terrible anxiety of how people perceive me. I'm afraid of coming off as stupid, or off-putting, or uninteresting to them. I constantly worry about what people think of me. I tend to cope with it by just telling myself that it doesn't matter. That won't work for people with more severe anxiety, I understand. Mostly I just take comfort in the fact that most of the people I encounter don't think about me for more than such a minute amount of time that it won't matter the next day, they'll likely forget. Or change their minds.

Under Pressure is a great song too.

Offline Hrle

Re: Socially anxious people might relate
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2019, 04:27:32 PM »
I'm not socially anxious per se, but I can relate on the anxiety part.

My dad used to give me a really hard time (understatement, but the details don't matter) when I was a kid and I would be really anxious talking about anything that wouldn't please him. Hell, I'm bisexual and my parents (divorced now, by the way) don't even know. Not even my mom because I was afraid that she would tell my dad about it and that he would have just more things to judge me and hurt me with.
After my parents got divorced and my dad left the house I said to myself that I would gain the courage to face my fears and tell him that I don't want to see him anymore. I have tried talking to him about it as well as my mom, but there wasn't a light at the end of the tunnel, just another train to kick you back again from the hole you came from. So, I did it. I called him one day, said I would come over for a chat and said I didn't want to see him anymore. He said that I should go to a psychologist for it and some other stuff that hurts a bit too much to talk about here.
Anyway, I will never see him again. I have faced the most fearful thing in my life and I have my mom and my best friend for supporting me all the way through. Now, I am thinking of opening up to them more because there is literally nothing comparable to the fear that I had towards my dad.

You might say something along the lines of: "Why are you saying all this? You know I can't just quit social interactions." I get that. I know you can't just become a hermit for the rest of your life.
What I'm trying to say is that it would help if you would get at least one person in this world that you can truly open up to and that loves and supports you. If you can express your greatest fears to someone, they can help you cope with it and they can help you see things from an objective standpoint. Maybe they even help you in the midst of a social interaction.

Take this for an example:
Lets say you're a model train fanatic, but you're anxious to tell that to a new group of friends because it might sound weird and they might judge you based on that. Then, lets say you're meeting up with this group and a friend of yours that knows about your anxiety is coming along. They could help you by starting up a conversation about model trains and mentioning that you are a model train enthusiast along the way. This will take you off guard, but you will see that people are not that rude and that they will find your hobby interesting. If someone in that friend group judges you, you can just say that to your anxiety friend there and let him know that you feel very anxious. They will help you get out of there and support you along the way. If someone judges you based on your hobby then they are not a person worth your time and you should probably stay out of that friend group. Finding new friends is also another thing your anxiety friend can help you with, so you shouldn't worry about making new friends. Just ask your anxiety friend for help, and if they love and support you, they will be happy to help you.

You still might have problems with anxiety after having a person like that in your life, but I'm just sharing how I got rid of the worst anxiety in my life and what I have learned from doing that.
Hang in there and remember that someone loves you no matter what. I would just hug all of you (socially) anxious people and let you know that you're just fine the way you are and that everything will be alright. :)