afraid to join in, scared to approach them
I see them all laughing, and having a good time
how I long to be a part of that, be like everybody else
I wish I could join in, but the feeling is too much
I cannot breathe, my heart is pounding
what if they laugh? think that I’m strange?
They don’t want me with them, I am better off here
away from it all, in my little corner
I’ll stay as quiet as a mouse, that’s the best thing to do
The poem you just read was a piece that I published on my last blog ‘Lauren Says It All’. The poem encouraged a lot of people to reach out to me and I received some really heartwarming messages. Knowing that my words actually made a difference to others, inspired me continue down the kindness and supportive path.
Social anxiety sucks.
Hearing people laugh near you. Not speaking because you are afraid others will judge you. Isolating yourself. Always planning out conversations before you have them. Fear of making phone calls and answering them. Eating in front of people, and making eye contact. These are just some of the obstacles people with social anxiety face.
It is all just part of a daily routine which seems like it will never go away. So many people suffer with social anxiety, me being one of them along with other issues. We are not selfish, we just never feel good enough. But you are not alone.
Why am I not alone?
The world isn’t always full of doubt and negativity. At some point in your life you will come across someone, or if you’re lucky enough – several people, that get you. People that can relate to you and what you feel. What you’re going through and have probably been there themselves at one point. There are kind people out there. Help doesn’t always come to you, sometimes you have to reach out and get it. Whether it’s speaking to a professional, confiding in a friend or family member. Or even connecting with someone online.
If you’re not familiar with social anxiety, some of the symptoms include:
- Fear of criticism
- Avoiding social interactions when possible
- Ignoring telephone calls
- Finding it difficult to do a task when somebody is watching you
- Standing away from a group rather than within it
- Appearing uninterested or bored when being spoken to (though you’re just worried about how you are being perceived by the other person)
- Worrying about the way you look when doing things and if people see you as ‘weird’
But it’s okay
All these symptoms are perfectly normal and can be a part of your social anxiety. There are many more symptoms and it may be that you don’t experience all of them or even different symptoms altogether. Either way they can be dealt with with the right approach.
I’ve tried to develop a care-free attitude when my social anxiety is at a high point. I get so worked up and panicky over situations that I explode inside and think ‘fuck it, I don’t care if people think I’m weird, I’m going for it’ and I’ll approach a conversation or do something that scares the shit out of me, through pure adrenaline and burrowed fear.
Weird approach? I know it’s not your usual, and I do believe in pushing yourself to overcome your fears although it’s okay not to at times as well. Each situation and each day is different, so you should approach things at your own pace.
Read my anxiety coping tips next.