Each and everyday we almost required to interact with someone in some form. Whether that’s at work, at school, with friends, on the phone or even online, we generally all have to deal with other people. For people with social anxiety disorder, trying to navigate these social situations can be a nightmare. Even the most basic things we tend to dwell on for the longest time. Want to know a few? Well let’s do this, shall we?
- Standing In the Checkout Line
Everyone knows that standing in lines can be boring, but does one ever consider it can be anxiety provoking? First of all, there’s the actually picking a line to get into and making sure you aren’t cutting in front of someone. Cutting in front of someone would cause a confrontation. Except of course if people cut in front of me, I just keep my mouth shut and angrily glare at them. After all, it’s not worth embarrassing myself over. Then there’s the little matter of people wanting to talk in line. Thanks to technology, most people tend to be on their phones in lines, but not everyone! Sometimes there’s that one person that just HAS to talk to you about what you’re buying or sometimes even about what they are buying. When this happens I tend to do a lot of polite nodding and smiling because I am not here to have a conversation. I am here to check out and it’s already taking too long!
- Making Small Talk
Let’s face it, not a lot of people are great at small talk in the first place, but when you throw social anxiety into the mix, boy do you have a problem. We all know that the first topic to pick from is the weather, that’s a no brainer, even I can do that. But when it comes to getting past that (when they start asking those personal questions that you don’t really want to answer but you’d feel rude if you just ignored them all together) it becomes a bit of a mess. How do I know what to say? Are they versed in what’s going on in the news or dare I even bring up the news? Should I ask about their interests or is that too much for small talk? The list is endless. That’s why I just carry a book around with me everywhere and ignore the world for a bit.
- Going to Parties
This is probably the hardest out of everything I’ve mentioned so far. Parties are NOT fun if you have social anxiety. But then there’s that fear of missing out we all know too well so we try to go and make the best of it. It couldn’t be that bad, right? Wrong! It’s horrible.
First of all, there’s the constant stressing out about your appearance. Everyone knows this is going to be Selfie City, so one has to got to look their best at all times because how embarrassing would it be to have your messed up hair and wrinkled shirt all over social media? Then there’s the meeting new people bit and trying to be interesting enough to keep their attention. Not going to lie, that is hard to do when you are secretly stressing about every word that comes out of your mouth! The entire event is just anxiety provoking. Honestly, most of the time I go to a party I end up wishing I had just stayed home.
This list could of course go on forever, but these were just a few to highlight how different people with social anxiety see the world. It’s not always easy for us to just do normal, everyday things that others don’t even think about. So if you know a friend or an acquaintance of yours has social anxiety and you notice their everyday struggles, try not to judge them, because they are doing the best they can. Over and out my friends.