I decided to write this after a 2-hour teary Skype sesh with my sister, Ellis. I was telling her that I didn’t know what to write about, and she told me to write about what I know. Now, I know about a lot of things. I could write you a post about the economy and inflation, or about consumer behaviour. But that wouldn’t make for very good content would it? So I decided to write about the truth. The truth is, anxiety is ruining my life. In particular, social anxiety. How being around people makes me feel and how I deal with that.
To a lot of people, social anxiety sounds like when you’re nervous to go to a party. Or when you walk past a cute guy, or stumble over words in a new situation. Although these are all things that can happen, social anxiety is much more than this too. Social anxiety is constantly worrying about what people think of you, whether they like you, or whether they talk shit about you behind your back. It’s about having to plan social situations well ahead of time, and wonder who is going to be there so you can foresee any problems. It’s the constant struggle to remain yourself in a group, despite not quite fitting in or being less “cool” than everyone else. In groups, it’s feeling awkward and wondering how on earth other people come across so cool and collected. (Psst, they aren’t cool or collected a majority of the time).
I struggle daily with anxiety, and social anxiety is a big one because whether i’m at work or uni, I am put in situations that make me feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Now, for those of you who know me, you’ll know i’m opinionated, loud and probably kinda annoying (no shame). Those words don’t sound like someone who has social anxiety right? Wrong. I am opinionated in areas I feel passionately about because it is my opinion and no one can make me change my mind. I am loud because that’s my personality. My mind however is a different thing. My mind is the one who generates the thoughts and the worries.
Unfortunately, I worry a lot about what people think of me. In my opinion, this is one of the most damaging things to worry about as an anxiety sufferer. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. I worry about every little detail about my day like the way I walk, or look, or say hello because those small actions bring up areas of potential judgement. Let’s be honest. No one gives a flying hoot how I walk do they? If only I could rationalise these thoughts before they fester right? Haha. I also care a lot about how I look to other people which makes me super uncomfortable if I want to have a day where I don’t spend an hour getting ready in the morning.
I deal well with my anxieties around people most days, I become a bit of a people pleaser and remember that the people I am around aren’t my forever people and I don’t have to spend hours agonising over every small detail. I say hey to whoever I want to, promote my blog whenever, wherever and dress and act they way I want. If they wanna laugh at me then go right ahead. They’re the asshole right?
To conclude (fancy), I am not alone with my anxiety. I know a lot of you reading this will also suffer from it in some way. Yes it makes you act a certain way and think certain thoughts, but it also gives you the power to think “I am who I am and I don’t care”. Don’t let people intimidate you! 99% of the time they aren’t even remotely close to thinking what you assume they are. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, remove yourself and do your own thing. You are 100% in control of every situation, so don’t let yourself be made to feel like you don’t belong.
This was a bit of a weird one, and sorry for rambling. But ya know, when I got something to say you better believe i’m gonna say it.
Hope you enjoyed reading, leave any comments you want to and I’ll chat to you soon!