Hi! I’m Smile (anonymous nameish), and I want to know how social anxiety feels like, if you have it, in your own point of view. I was researching information about social anxiety to create one of my characters, and I stumbled upon lots of information which made me curious about how different people experience it in different ways. Whether it is your world speeding up, slowing down, blurring, or being black and white, I want to know everything you want to get off your chest, don’t hold back. I want to know this information in order to implement it into the development of one of my characters and also to let the people who have social anxiety know that they (I would type aren’t alone but it sounds way too ironic) can share their experience with others to make them feel connected. Thank you if you reply.
I used to have social anxiety. Not anymore, though. My experience isn’t necessarily the same as everyone else’s.
You feel like you’re constantly being judged. You worry too much about what comes out of your mouth and how people (albeit strangers) view you. You constantly question if you’re being awkward. At the end of the day, you think back to the moments you deem ‘embarrassing’ and lowkey torture yourself.
I’m glad you don’t have it anymore. Did this happen only around strangers or did it also happen around your friends?
Only strangers or acquaintances
Wow, how’d you get over your social anxiety?
By growing up and slowly building my self-confidence, I guess? To put it in simpler terms, I just stop giving a shit.
Lol the way you put it though.
Best way to put it, in my opinion.
social anxiety is weird for me.
I’m afraid of ridiculous things. I have many shirts but only 6 I wear to school, and I’m so afraid of getting made fun of for my clothing (or that something bad will happen, like a rip or stain will appear) that I only wear those 6 and never anything new for the past 2 years.
I’m scared of people judging me even for the food I eat. Luckily this part has gotten better because now I eat in a classroom with my close friends but when I used to eat outside (California!) I would get afraid of people laughing at my food so I’d skip lunch.
In some classes they require you to raise your hand to get participation points, like English. I always have something to say in English but I don’t want to get laughed at so I never speak. When I do, even to say three words my pulse speeds up and I feel like I can’t breathe and sometimes it’s resulted in crying oof.
I’m never going to wear makeup or change my hair. I’m afraid it’ll look awful, in fact, I’m afraid of any changes to my appearance, having braces was the scariest thing.
I’m always afraid to text/call people, because I imagine them seeing my texts and laughing at me. It’s weird because most people with social anxiety worry about the other person being late to text them back but I’m the one who’s always late to text back so I can figure out what to say.
When I make a blunder in conversation it’s pretty much the end of the world and I can’t stop thinking about it and criticizing myself for doing that.
Parties, as you could imagine, are like hell, I never have parties or go to them (or big events like sports games).
When I order food I need to memorize my order so I don’t mess up and embarrass myself. When the waiter comes earlier than I expected I freak out.
If you end up publishing that story I’d like to read it.
Wow, are you getting better slowly? Because that sounds like hell. I can relate to the food thing, I hate whenever I forget my order, and I feel this massive pressure to say something because I feel like the person taking my order is getting annoyed. Your case sounds serious, but I believe you can get through it. I personally don’t know if I’ve ever had social anxiety, but maybe I’ve had it in the past because the fear of being rejected and the feeling of everyone judging you feels oddly familiar. I used to be scared to be seen in public places or even asking to go to the restroom because I always had that feeling that I was always doing everything wrong and just embarrassing myself everywhere I went. Where do you trace the root of your anxiety (It’s ok if you don’t want to answer)? But I think mine originates from how my mom used to always feel like I could never improve, I used to feel like I’d never change so I’d hide. I also used to get bullied over how I spoke in elementary school, so I never wanted to speak.
Yes, this is essentially my experience with social anxiety. Unfortunately, I still have it, although it is not as bad as it used to be a few years ago. Combined with depression, it is not enjoyable, but I’m still alive. A large problem I struggle with is giving answers. I see someone ask a question, such as a teacher or someone in a chat, and I feel as though I know the answer, but refrain from giving it due to the fear of being wrong. Then when someone gives the answer I had, I am frustrated and vow to say my answer next time, but I rarely do. My past school grades have teachers giving me low scores in class participation; class presentations particularly made me anxious to the point of vomiting. Talking to strangers makes my heart pound. It’s an infuriating existence, knowing that social anxiety affects me, but I have gotten better.
Aww, thank you, I’m working towards being more confident/trusting. A lot of the things you mentioned looked familiar to me, I hope things are getting better for you. I can’t really trace my social anxiety back to anything. I guess it began when I started preschool, because that exposed me to a lot more social interaction. I was bullied too later on so that just worsened stuff.
It’s nice to read these other replies and feel less alone.
Thank you and I’m glad you’re getting better. I’m sorry to know that you were bullied and yeah, you’re not alone at all <3.
My social anxiety, if you wanna call it that, is being afraid that I left a bad impression on some one or I screwed up something as far as talking to people and now that other person will think I’m a weirdo or something. Sometimes it can get so bad that in some situations I literally have no idea what to do I feel trapped. Those times happen when I’m at a party. Like a full blown house party. If I’m unfortunate enough to go to one. I was visiting a friend in Dallas this summer and she took me (more or less dragged me) to a house party that someone was throwing. A lot of drinking, a lot grinding, and a lot of pretty girls. I pretty much just sat in a corner on my phone to distract myself from the chaos of everything.
I probably did have it when I was younger but I guess my depression has eaten that up just like every other emotion …
Not saying you should be depressed If you wanna get over it , hell naw!!! It isn’t any better …
I remember feeling really cautious on what I say in case someone will take it the wrong way and diss me . But that soon led to me hardly ever talking because I was so afraid .
Everyone’s anxiety is a little different. For me, I have a really hard time articulating my thoughts in a coherent way, like I know what I’m trying to say but I can’t say it well. Also my voice pitches up like 5 octaves but yeah, like what a lot of other people have already said, there’s the constant feeling that people are gonna judge you and it makes it really hard to communicate. Sometimes I freeze up too. I remember a while ago someone gave me a bunch of flyers to hand out for this fundraiser, and I physically couldn’t do it. I could not force myself to walk up to random people and ask them to take a flyer, and I can’t even really say why. Just the thought of it was subconsciously nerve wracking.
Not always, but depression often goes hand in hand with anxiety, as it does for me, and at least for me it can make it worse, but that’s another whole topic by itself.
I never knew social anxiety was a thing, until I started using social media. From then on it all made sense. When I was younger (primary school), I was afraid to approach others, asking them if I could join, so most of the times, I found myself crying behind the bushed/benches because I felt lonely.
This went on until the third/fourth year of secondary school. No matter how many friends I had, I always felt lonely. For some reason, I felt like they would abandon me any moment, so I started to distance myself from them :/. It’s still one of my current (bad) habits.
You’re always afraid of approaching others, afraid that they’ll judge you, talk behind you back, make fun of you, abandon you, even hate you.
I also get very anxious when talking to basically everyone, except those who I’m close with. I starts shaking, blushing, sweating, my voice starts slightly shaking, my hands get sweaty. I also can’t (directly) look people in their eyes for too long. The same thing happens with presenting.
It’s definitely something I’m working, little by little. It might not feel that way, but looking backwards, I can definitely see I’ve made some progress.
Good luck with creating your character!
Oh, I’m sorry you feel that way. It’s not cool to feel dragged somewhere you don’t want to be, and I realize how hard it must’ve been to feel like you’re trapped in a sea of people.
Eh. My friend just wanted me to have fun. I did drive like 4 hours to see her lol But yeah me and parties dont get along. Like at all. I just dont know what to do in social situations like that.
Oh no. Depression is much worse in many extents. Although I’m glad your social anxiety is over, I feel for your depression. About your depression: keep fighting and reach out whenever you can because although depression is a battle fought within yourself, you don’t have to go through it alone.