16 Things People With Social Anxiety Want You To Understand
No, we can't just "get over it".
Social anxiety has the potential to control your life and causes severe feelings of uncertainty, fear and panic.
When we're uncomfortable in social situations we experience physical symptoms such as sweating, rapid heartbeat, and hyper vigilance.
We're chronically exhausted from being in a constant state of stress and feeling a high level of discomfort.
We aren't anti-social, we're just fearful without an easy-to-give explanation.
We wish we could give you that explanation, but sometimes we can't even understand it ourselves.
We have a nervous habit that develops into a natural reflex. These include but are not limited to teeth grinding, jaw clenching and nail biting.
We understand that our thoughts and feelings are irrational, but we still have a difficult time believing or thinking in rational terms when it comes to socializing.
Hearing your cell phone ring is the equivalent of a fire alarm going off. It's terrifying. Please, just text us.
We become overwhelmed when there are more than a few people in one room, and all the stimulation throws us into "flight" mode as we tune everything out.
Contributing to a discussion in progress is intimidating. We want to avoid being criticized or feeling unworthy of the conversation.
Phrases like "Don't sweat the small stuff" and "You just need to push yourself" only make us feel worse.
One of our worst fears is embarrassing ourselves in front of a large group, therefore, we try to avoid public speaking, eating in front of others, and meeting new people.
We avoid saying hello to an acquaintance in public not because we don't like you, but because we have no idea what to say or how to react.
We are overly concerned with our physical appearance at the risk of being judged by others.
Please don't force us to go anywhere we don't want to be, especially with people we don't know.
We'll become emotionally drained and suffer physical implications.
There are many cognitive-behavioral therapeutic techniques that help us cope with our social phobia, but you need to give us time and let us progress at our own pace.
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