Monday, February 3, 2020

What Is Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety is... Fear in anticipation of social events

Social anxiety is not.... Being a party pooper or a buzz kill

Social anxiety is..... Exhaustion, irritability, or headaches and a need for down time following social events.

Social anxiety is not..... A lack of desire for connection or a hatred for interaction with others

Social anxiety is.... Feeling overwhelmed in large groups and crowded areas. Feeling claustrophobic, unable to breathe, or panicked. Feeling an overwhelming need to escape.

Social anxiety is not.... Simple nervousness

Social anxiety is.... Automatically and involuntarily cringing when the phone rings due to feeling unprepared and fear of saying something awkward and filling awkward silences

Social anxiety is not..... Blowing you off

Social anxiety is.... Sometimes needing to cancel social events or leave early

Social anxiety is not..... Flakiness

Social anxiety is...... Not knowing how to start or end conversations

Social anxiety is not.... A lack of intelligence

Social anxiety is.... Over thinking everything you said, if you said the right things, and what people were thinking

Social anxiety is not.... Craziness (whatever that is!)

Social anxiety is.... Low tolerance for small talk but often a preference for deep conversation with a trusted person

Social anxiety is not.... Being stuck up or standoffish

Social anxiety is.... Insecurity making friends

Social anxiety is not.... A lack of desire for friendship (often those who take a little longer to get to know make the most loyal frriends

Social anxiety is.... Needing to set boundaries and limits to preserve energy and sanity

Social anxiety is not.... Antisocial or rude behavior

Social anxiety is.... A type of anxiety disorder

Social anxiety is not.... All in the sufferer's head/simple nervousness


Note: This post is based on my own personal experience with social anxiety. It is not meant to represent all those who deal with social anxiety or generalized anxiety. Each person is different and not everyone with social anxiety will relate to each point. However, if you can relate to any of the above, you are not alone or weird. Please feel free to add your own experiences in the comments. Be gentle with the friends who don't always show up or stay long, or those friends who prefer one on one interactions or small groups to big parties.