Social Anxiety

United States
March 6, 2007 8:33pm CST
I suffer from severe social anxiety, and I was just wondering if there's anyone else out here who suffers/has suffered from it. If you do suffered/have suffered, what helps you cope with it? Share your experience(s) with me.
1 person likes this
1 response
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Mar 07
I suffer from pretty severe social anxiety. To be honest, I suppose I'm not that good at dealing with it, but I am a lot better than I used to be. What I discovered is that if I am in a situation where I can expect certain specific interactions, it is easy for me. For example, I work with the public. I find comfort in the words that are part of every transaction I do. I can say "Hi, how are you. What can we do for you today? How is everything going with your account?" etc etc all day. If I do run into a situation that I don't have any idea what to say to, I can focus on the specific problem at hand instead of the actual customer if I need to. When it comes to outside of work social interactions, I always make sure there is someone with me I trust to understand my social anxiety and help me. I don't go anywhere without one of my closest friends if I can help it. If it's a function they wouldn't be at, I'll make sure I dress comfortably, carry my phone in case I need to call one of my friends for support, focus on talking to one person at a time if possible, and always have something other than the people involved to do or focus on if necessary. I don't know if this helps you much, but I do know how you feel, and I wish you the best. =)
• United States
7 Mar 07
Thank you for responding. I'm dealing with it--probably not as well as I should, but I'm much better than I was before. It's nice to know there's someone out there who knows what I'm going through, because my family just doesn't get it.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Mar 07
It can be hard for people who don't suffer from it to be understanding. When I first met my husband, he thought I was overreacting to everything whenever we went out somewhere. It took sitting down with him and telling him exactly how it made me feel... and then giving him very specific ways to help me. If I told him "I feel like I can't breathe because so many people are talking at once" he would just look at me funny, but if I said "If a lot of people are talking at once, can you make sure I'm looking at you and talk specifically just to me for a couple minutes?" then he would do so. Sometimes it can also help to get factual evidence on your side. Do some searching on the internet for sites on social anxiety, or find some books about it. If you can give these types of things to your family members, they'll realize this is a real problem and you're not just making it up.