This week is my abnormal psychology class we were asked to discuss a fear we have. And I decided it’s time to let you all in on my secret.
I have social anxiety.
Mostly I joke about it, like it’s a funny quirk. But I’m starting to realize that it’s not really that funny and it’s not just a quirk. How do I know? My social anxiety causes me to do things such as:
- Skip classes when I was going to an actual campus vs. online. The reason I take online classes is because I HATED going to classes. I felt as if people constantly judged me and that I wasn’t good enough to be in the classes. Ridiculous but this caused me to do horrible in school because of the amount of classes I skipped.
- I will skip running errands because I don’t want to be in a crowded store or I don’t want to talk to the people working in the store/bank/gas station, etc. And if I am in a store and need help I refuse to ask for it for fear of looking dumb (despite the fact that I work in customer service and get people asking questions all the time).
- If I have plans with friends I will sometimes cancel. On my FRIENDS. Sometimes my anxiety is enough that I don’t even want to be around the people I love.
- I have faked sick to skip out on family get togethers that involve large groups of people.
- I text. I do not call on the phone. I used to love talking on the phone but now I will do whatever I can to avoid calling people.
It makes me sad to type this. I read these words and think “Wow, really?” And it’s funny because I was telling a coworker this the other day and they didn’t believe me because they see me as an outgoing person. A lot of people have no idea how much I push myself to seem outgoing.
I do recognize that this is a problem and in my life I’ve been really proud of some of the things I’ve done despite my phobia, such as:
- Participating in Youth in Government in high school and even applying for an appointed position 3 of my 4 years there. This program caused me to interact with A LOT of people I didn’t know and although I was scared I did it anyway and to this day YIG is one of my very favorite memories.
- I’ve gone on several blog get togethers (and made some really great friends because of them).
- I work in a RESTAURANT. And every time I get a large table I just take a deep breath and deal with it even though I want to find any of my coworkers to give it away to.
Not such a long list. But I’m trying, and that’s what matters, right?
I have to say that this anxiety embarasses me and I hate that it causes me to miss out on things. I want to try to hold myself more accountable and force myself out of my comfort zone.
I just don’t want anything holding me back anymore.