What is the worst thing about social anxiety?
For anyone that has social anxiety there are probably a number of things that come to mind straight away.
Whether it be speaking in public being comparable to skydiving, or the simple act of going out for coffee with a friend bringing on an extreme unsettling feeling.. Social anxiety sucks. And that’s putting it nicely.
But what’s the absolute #1 worst thing about social anxiety?
What comes to mind for you?
Considering that social anxiety is basically an irrational fear of social situations.. Your worst thing about social anxiety could range from an understandably daunting task, like standing up in court, to an everyday task or situation like spending time with friends, grocery shopping, catching public transport or meeting someone new.
People meet new people all the time! It’s what human beings do, right? *mingle mingle* Well, for someone with social anxiety, meeting new people becomes problematic to say the least. From personal experience.. I haven’t met anyone new for a number of years. My social anxiety means that I keep to myself. And that in itself creates social anxiety.. But I digress.
Here’s a brief list of a few things that were in the running for the worst thing about social anxiety, saving the absolute worst for last.
Some of the Worst Things About Social Anxiety:
Making friends is HARD
Ugh.. Good friends are hard to find at the best of times and aren’t made easily for someone with social anxiety. As someone who shies away from social situations, I’m rarely in the right position to meet new people. And whilst I prefer it that way, I’m doing myself a disservice.
That Feeling When.. Shopping
Social anxiety does a good job at making me feel like an incompetent human being.. Like I don’t know how to ‘person’. Frequently, during everyday tasks and situations such as going to buy bread and milk from the supermarket, I’m reminded that I’m socially inept. I count my money at least twice before lining up at a cash register. And if I can’t find a product I’m after.. There’s no way in hell that I’d ask a store employee for assistance. Okay, maybe a snowballs chance, because I am getting better at challenging my anxious mind, but more often than not, I’ll simply purchase another brand of said product.
The Lonely Hearts Club of One
I’ve been single for 5 years. Enough said? I’ve had an OkCupid profile for forever.. but guys have got to catch me on a good day to even get a reply. And then, if in the first few messages an invitation to meet is put out there, I freeze up, and it’s all downhill from there.
Mass Invites to Events on Facebook
Have you ever been invited to an event on Facebook only to realise that every single person on your friends friend list has been invited too? Straight away you jump to the conclusion that your invitation to the said event is actually an afterthought, and not actually an invitation for you personally to attend at all. You’ve been invited because it’s too much of a hassle to personally invite everyone.. And that the event host simply invited ALL of their friends. I must admit that I’ve jumped to this conclusion many times. Oh the joys of my socially anxious mind. #amiright?
But the Absolute #1 Worst Thing About Social Anxiety is..
When you turn down invitations so often that people stop asking.
For me, this has to be the absolute worst thing about social anxiety. Truth be told, not everybody understands how social anxiety works, and understandably, the constant turning down of invitations makes people you were once close with think that you simply don’t want to attend their events and/or spend time with them.
I can tell you now, for someone with social anxiety, this couldn’t be further from the truth. My friends might get the feeling I don’t want to hang out.. But usually I do, and just can’t, for lack of a better explanation.
So the constantly turning down invitations to parties or to go out for coffee results in the said invitations becoming few and far between. And it’s depressing. Suddenly you realise that years have passed and friends you once considered close.. really aren’t, anymore.
So What’s Your #1 Worst Thing About Social Anxiety?
Above I’ve mentioned a few things that truly suck about social anxiety followed by my personal absolute #1 worst thing about social anxiety. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments!