I believe that most of us understand and maybe even went through the agonizing and disturbing depths social anxiety holds. It is known to be the third largest mental disorder in the world today.
It is the sheer fear of engaging in social interactions with other people. Fear of not being able to fit in. Fear of rejection. Anxiety about the thing you said. Avoidance. Pain. Loneliness.
It’s putting up a wall so big that nobody would be able to cross it and find out the things you hide deep inside. It’s being so self-conscious while walking in public that you feel like people are watching you from their windows. And being so frightened that you start to freak out, but nobody would understand if you tried to explain your agony.
These people struggle hard to go through the day as “normal” as regular people do. If you happen to love a person who suffers from social anxiety and you felt like you don’t really know what goes inside their mind, here are 11 common thoughts that usually haunts their minds:
1. Is that person staring at me? Why?
When you have social anxiety, it seems like the whole world is observing every little move you make. You walk into a room and there’s the sudden pressure that you’re actually the center of attention for 5 seconds (which by the way feels like an eternity) and you get the feeling that everyone is eyeballing you even when they’re not. Scary as hell.
2. I bet they’re talking about me and how weird I am.
Let’s talk some sense here. Chances are they didn’t even notice you. But one of the downsides of having social anxiety is jumping to the worst possible conclusion about every situation. It usually goes like: “I know it’s me, they talk about how strange I am”, “They must be laughing at me!”; “What’s wrong with me? Why am I such a weirdo?”
3. Is there a way I could avoid those people?
One of the biggest problems anxious people face. Walking down the street and noticing a group of people you know coming your way. You suddenly freeze to death. You walk, but it’s like you turned into stone. Of course, there’s always a way you can avoid them. Sadly, you’re usually forced to face the fear and you end up talking to them.
4. I can’t breathe! This crowd is driving me crazy! Is there a way I can just disappear right now?
Most of the time, there are situations where you feel like the air is so polluted by those noisy crowds that your throat feels like it’s swelling, and you need to disappear from the face of the Earth ASAP.
5. Okay, you can do this! Just breathe, everything is fine
There are only two hours left for you to suffer through and then you’re home again under the heavy covers of your bed. Just breathe. It’ll help to calm yourself.
6. I really wish if someone could order my food for me…
Ordering food even at the drive-through can be such a complex and frightening task. You reach out to talk and all of the sudden you feel like you lost your voice.
7. I’m about to make myself look stupid.
Social anxiety makes the person who struggles with it feel insecure about its words and actions. You’re constantly putting yourself down. The fear of being wrong about a certain topic prevents you from thinking clearly and more rational. Feeling awkward is one of your most common feelings.
8. I’m weird, aren’t I?
Rarely anyone in the room knows exactly what you are going through, but you can’t help but feel awkward in front of them. It seems to you that every little thing you do is perceived weird by them. And this daunting sensation drives you crazy even more.
9. Why are there so many people here?
You find it hard to acknowledge how is it that people can coexist in such a tiny place while actually having fun and not feeling like they need to desperately cry and shout for help. On top of this, you wonder how do they even manage to fit in somewhere so pain-free and easy?
10. And how do they even manage to socialize when they have never met before?
You can’t understand how in the world would someone engage in a cheerful and fun conversation with a person whom they’ve met just 5 minutes ago. This definitively has never been your scene; however, you secretly wish you could speak so freely.
11. Can I go home now?
This thought comes to haunt your mind in the middle of every make-believe conversation you try to maintain. Don’t panic. It’s almost over. You are fine. You did great. Just breathe and hold on there.
Image Copyright: hypnocreative / 123RF Stock Photo
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