Tuesday, 11 December 2018

How social anxiety makes me embarrassed to make and keep friends

How social anxiety makes me embarrassed to make and keep friends

Do you ever walk towards a crowd of people and feel...
your body sweating, uncontrollable trembling, your mouth feels dry, your breathing becomes heavy, you suddenly feel sick, you become dizzy, and your thoughts are racing so fast in your mind, one after the other telling you to turn around and run straight home. I feel like this on a daily bases and it makes socializing extremely hard to deal with.

Ever since I was young, I've always had trouble relaxing in front of people even my closest friends if there's suddenly a gap in the conversation I'll feel like it's my fault, am I boring to talk to? do I sound moody and miserable? do we have nothing in common? would they much rather be talking to somebody else?
Because of these thoughts, I much prefer to be alone being sociable is extremely stressful for me. When I do make a friend I'll be way too anxious to keep in touch, I can't send a text message, without feeling those nervous butterflies in the pit of my stomach I'll begin to read through what I've written a dozen times before I press send and then comes the long agonizing wait until I receive a reply then when I do I'm too anxious to look in case I said something offensive. I'll feel like everyone hates me, and instead of enjoying my company, they're just putting up with me because they have to and see me as some kind of burden.

When a family gathering or work party is approaching, I'm immediately thinking of excuses to get out of it and stay home but there's only so many lies I can tell people before they begin to notice. I've written previously about how I handle evenings out and all the worries, and fears that accompany it you can read that here. However, there is usually three things I'll do during the entire evening, and I've spent countless times attempting to figure out why I do these things, and if they're normal or not particularly when I notice I'm the only person in the room experiencing these worries.

Bathroom breaks

Honestly, the amount of times I've taken bathroom breaks is ridiculous. Whenever I'm feeling that nervous, anxious feeling bubbling up inside, everything will become hazy and it feels like the walls are closing in I'll quickly get up and excuse myself, smile my way through everyone, and close the bathroom door, place my hands on the sink, and take long deep breaths until I feel able to compose myself and rejoin the party. 

Fiddle with my phone

I cannot go anywhere without my phone it's the perfect distraction when I'm feeling unable to join in conversations, or if I find myself suddenly sitting alone I'm scrolling through phone menus or re-reading old conversations while having a look of confusion on my face, to make it seem as if I'm doing something important.  

Follow a friend

It's weird because I love to be alone and feel a lot more comfortable when I am but I also hate it at the same time. So when I'm at a social gathering I usually have that one person who I kind of follow, laugh along with and try to act like I'm having a great time just so they want to spend time with me.

Social anxiety sucks, its one of the loneliest feelings I drop plans with friends, become jealous of my friends spending time with others because I feel like they have found someone better than me. I don't interact with friends unless they talk to me first because I'm frightened of saying something embarrassing then they will judge or laugh at me. I'll often push people away by pretending I'm not well or makeup plans so I can stay at home and feel safe away from judgment and negativity. Truth is, I would love to spend time with others, have fun and feel even slightly normal but anxiety prevents this and makes me feel very isolated and it's sad and upsetting.

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Do you struggle with social anxiety? 

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