I have Social Anxiety (Mental Health Awareness)

I will be first in line to admit that I have social anxiety (I believe I have mentioned this many times before) and while many people are in shock when I tell them this, because I come off outgoing and very talkative – this doesn’t mean anything, just means I mask it fairly well – not to mention, if you don’t understand social anxiety and what it means, you might not know what to look for when I am put in situations where I react. Now with this being said, this post will be both informative and yet, I will speak from my own experience as well, so hopefully you enjoy stories and perspective. I will start with the basics, what does it mean to have “social anxiety”?

 

Social anxiety is fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people BUT,  it stems from having a fear or anxiety of being negatively judged or evaluated by other people. —- I have dealt with this fear ALL MY LIFE and it sucks because I wanted to be more like the ones who “don’t care what others think” but even when I try, I know deep down I still care (even when I play if off like I don’t) now with this being said, yes, there have been times where I literally do not give a shit about what others think of me, or how they perceive me, and that usually is when I am at the gym or grocery store because I just feel like I have built confidence in those scenarios/environments. Although if you put me inside a new gym or a grocery store in a different town or area, my social anxiety will kick in because it is a new surrounding with new faces and I don’t know how to handle it.. so I just freak out in my mind. For some people they avoid situations like so, but I have learned to force myself to step outside my comfort level and make myself intentionally uncomfortable in order to fight my anxiety. 

 

Now let’s discuss some of the symptoms & I’ll share which ones i have, if any:

 
  • Rapid heart beat- this is another one I experience
  • blushing or sweating- sweating is one for me
  • feeling of mind going blank – I have this one
  • makes little to no eye contact 
  • speaks with overly soft voice
  • self conscious in front of others, feeling of embarrassed or awkward – This one I have
  • Being very afraid that other people will judge them – this one I have
  • Stay away from places where there are other people

Now, as you can see, I have quite a few signs/symptoms and some people have more or less, and not every situation do all these sign/symptoms display themselves. I personally know another sign/symptom that people I have dated have noticed and even people I have talked to, I tend to ramble when I speak in a conversation with someone, especially if I am interested in someone, or if I don’t know how to end a conversation, or if my nerves are all over the place. I know my ex used to mention that I ramble a lot on and off the phone and she would make jokes about it and I knew that sometimes it was awkward but since that relationship, I have been trying to get better at catching myself ramble and doing it less often. I guess for me, it is really tough to not ramble, because it is my way of comforting my anxiety or “hiding” it, but when people notice and make light of it, it makes me feel a little discouraged at times or feel insecure or puts me in an awkward position where I don’t know what to do or how to handle it – and that just means I went from social anxiety to now I am upset with myself and feeling really embarrassed by my actions. None of my friends or family have ever made comments on my rambling and that might be because I don’t ramble with them .. it’s weird, but also I am comfortable with them. I never notice other’s with social anxiety, it goes over my head if someone does and they are talking to me, because I am so focused on my own response and reactions & trying to come off less awkward that if anything I just assume you are shy and nothing more. 

 

Another thing I have noticed is, depending on the person and type of compliment they give me, I tend to get weird and say quick thank yous without even looking in your direction or I am pleasant and want to connect with you and my thank you comes off more friendly. I handle compliments better coming from females vs males as well. For some reason, I have yet to ever be awkward with a female who compliments me, but when it comes to males, it happens often unless I am comfortable with the male figure. Growing up, it wasn’t always like this but as I got older, it started to make sense as to why (& we won’t get into that at this point) but regardless I love compliments but handle them differently depending the nature of them, the sex and how comfortable I am with that person. I have known both, people who are flattered by compliments and others who get really tense and don’t like them.   

 

Causes:

There is NO one cause of it, but many factors that can lead to one possibly having social anxiety – but doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get it just because you happen to have these issues but the chances could be greater. 

My mom has social anxiety and her’s is worse than mine, I would say, but she reacts to it differently than I do, on the other hand both of my younger siblings don’t seem to have it from the outside looking in, but I am not a professional so I wouldn’t actually know if they did unless they told me – so families can carry this trait. 

Misreading people’s behaviors toward you can be another cause of social anxiety- and I think I am decent at reading people, but I do tend to over analyze at times.

Underdeveloped social skills – this is a possible cause for myself. Growing up, I had friends but I was always the awkward duck, I didn’t know how to properly interact with others and not feel like an outcast and I think because I lacked some self confidence at times, I was always doing weird shit or saying weird random shit that in my mind was my way of trying to fit in but in reality was probably causing people to think I was weird or pushing people away. I developed a more comical personality in order to handle social situations and instead would always be the class clown and make people laugh and that is how I combated my own issues. 

 

As far as treatment goes, I never saw a professional for it, never had therapy or medication for it, and I refuse to go that far for myself because I think I have more of a handle on it now than I did in the past and I don’t feel like mine is very severe compared to other cases. I have learned to mask some of it, in order to push through and I have learned that if I force myself to confront my anxiety by stepping outside my comfort zone, it helps to build my confidence and encourages me to find ways to manage it better. For example, last year and previous years, I would go to Columbus here in Ohio for a weekend and stay in a hotel by myself and explore the city – downtown area, just walk and explore the stores, bars, etc all alone and  by doing that, I met people, I learned to find my own way and to handle situations that would make me uncomfortable and I loved doing that. This year, I went to a bar in my town alone, and the first time it went well, but the second time it went horribly and so I haven’t done it since then but I might consider doing it again at a different point in my life. My new goals to battle my social anxiety is to attend a movie alone and to eat at a restaurant alone because I am so used to doing them both with friends or family, so I want to step outside my comfort zone and do them by myself – also, I would like to attend a concert by myself and would love to drive out of town by myself again and explore another area .. so those are all goals to help me. 

 

I would love to hear from all of you with social anxiety, speak on what helps you, or try one of these ways of coping and let me know if it worked. If you enjoyed this post, like, comment, share and follow! 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

 
 

Published by WonderWoman & Fit

You can assume I have a love for fitness & a love for Wonderwoman -- both assumptions are correct. I am an ACSM certified personal trainer of 7+ years -- I currently reside in Ohio and live a simplistic life at the age of 29. If I am not lifting, I am eating, sleeping, traveling, exploring, or movie watching. I recently moved during a pandemic, now I am focused on self care (self love), building a business of my own in personal training, becoming a professional blogger, starting a podcast and doing things that make me happy! I am a sister, daughter, and loyal friend --- I love everyone's dog and I am on a mission to pet as many dogs as possible everywhere I go! LOL. My mission is to talk health (physical/mental), design programming, motivational speak, learn, grow, prosper, build others and make as many people smile as possible because I want nothing more than to be the change I seek in the world.

28 thoughts on “I have Social Anxiety (Mental Health Awareness)

  1. I have Social Anxiety and I wouldn’t say it’s horrible but it’s not the best. You forgot some of the symptoms such as shortness of breath, feeling like you can’t get enough air, lightheadedness and sometimes fainting or blacking out in social situations. What has helped me so far is forcing myself into because anxiety is irrational and once you prove to your brain that nothing bad is going to happen it gets better. Also meditation and yoga helps me control my mind and learn how to calm myself down. It really helps me relax in situations that would otherwise make me very uncomfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, thank you for adding the other symptoms on the list as well! those are just as important, thankfully none of them I have experienced first hand. I know meditation is something I want to do again, because it seems relatively calming, so will aim to start doing that 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You’re welcome and unfortunately I have experienced some of them although my social anxiety has gotten a lot better!
      Yeah meditation has really helped me and I just don’t want to take medication for it because I want to find a way to control my mind and thoughts by myself. I found a really nice spot at university to meditate and there’s a Buddhist temple too so I may go there sometimes!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Well it’s like an hour away but I can take an Uber or something. Yeah I’ve made a few friends and people seem nice! I also want to join some clubs so I guess that will help me meet some people too.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Lol I actually met this girl who reminds me of you because she’s from the US and interested in fitness too! She almost made me join the track team 😒 She’s doing a semester abroad!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well it is quite possible you could just be an everyday shy person. Nothing is set in stone, I just know from what I have experienced, mine is beyond the shy. lol. Although if you do have this, it could be very mild.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for understanding and not passing judgement. I know for some people this doesn’t seem like a huge deal on the outside looking in, but for those of us who experience this, it can be difficult at times if we don’t work on it and find ways to manage it better.

      Liked by 1 person

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