Growing up, I struggled a lot with my social anxiety. I don’t feel as though I was born with it, I truly believe it was developed over time due to my social environment.
I was always a go getter growing up, I loved having a large circle of friends and I loved meeting new people. My mother put me into school a year early because I was so eager to get started and make friends.
I was a social butterfly, and I still am.
Due to severe buying for years, it damaged my exterior confidence with speaking to new people and putting myself out there in social situations. I had learned to withdraw.
Now as an adult, I have gained a lot of my social skills back but I have much to learn and get through. My social anxiety comes across as not awkwardness but probably a cold shoulder to new people I meet who are lovely and friendly.
I have wonderful people that I work with every day, who used to ask me to go out for after work drinks and social gatherings almost every weekend.
They couldn’t understand why I always said no.
Well, my social anxiety is so bad that I would never say no I would say yes out of fear of saying no but make up x y z excuses to not go when the social gathering came close. They no longer ask me anymore. They barely talk to me, and they will find ways to joke about me when I mention I left the house on the weekend. “YOU actually left the house?”, of course I leave the house.
It can become hurtful hearing these comments.
These people have never done anything wrong. They have been nothing but lovely to me, and they genuinely just want to be friends. They don’t realise that it isn’t them, it’s just me.
Social anxiety is a real problem.
It is a genuine struggle to deal with every day.
I’m nearly 8 months pregnant and I can’t ask people who are filling up the seats on public transport if I can sit down. I will stand until my feet swell and my body freaks out, because I can’t speak aloud and ask for help.
If I purchase something from the grocery store that I damaged or open, I won’t go back to the store to ask them to exchange it because I’m terrified to do so.
I can’t call people back if they call me, and if I need to make appointments I ask my husband to help me because I get so anxious doing it.
As much as I struggle, I’m learning every day to better myself and keep pushing my boundaries. I will continue to do so, even more now that I have a child on the way. I will have to get out there, and it will be good for me.
You can be the most outgoing, confident individual who loves people and making friends but your environment can change you, and unfortunately it can beat you down to be someone that you no longer connect with internally.
It feels like you internally conflict with how you actually are.
Social anxiety is the real deal. It isn’t something that you can’t change, you just need to be persistent and work on yourself every day. Recognise your limits, understand yourself and be patient with yourself.
Rome wasn’t built in a day!