Ah Social Anxiety. You massive pain in the arse.
My whole life i’ve struggled in social situations; never really clicked with them. When I meet new people they think i’m shy or probably think i’m a little rude for not talking. The truth is that i’m not a shy person, once you get to know me you’ll see that but if I feel any whiff of anxiety in me then you’re not getting a word out of me. If I meet you for the first time, i’ll come across as shy; same probably goes for the second and third times. But If I can sit opposite you and have a conversation after knowing you for a short period of time then you best believe I enjoy your company and that I feel absolutely comfortable around you because there are people i’ve known my whole life who I still feel like I can’t have a conversation with.
It’s not that I don’t like people. I love people. They’re great. In fact I know some pretty fucking amazing people. No it’s not that. It’s that in situations where there are lots of people I feel like screaming and running away. And that’s not a nice feeling. I don’t go out much but when I do I end up having a great time. I love talking to people, love listening to them talk passionately about something they love. In fact I’ll sit listen to you for hours if I see that you have a smile on your face and you simply can’t stop because it excites you so much to talk about whatever it is you love. So it’s not that I don’t like being around people. It’s that my brain, whenever faced with loud noises and dozens of people talking all at once says “RUN. NOW!” But I don’t want that. So I’m working on it. And it’s hard but I know I’ll get there.
Look, i’ve never spoken about my mental health and i’ve suffered for it. Over the years my social anxiety got worse and I find it very difficult to cope in a lot of social situations. But recently i’ve made some changes in my life-small changes i’ll admit-that i feel are a step in the right direction to where I want to be headed. The most important thing i’ve made changes on is that I’ve learnt to care less about what people think of me, or more importantly, what I think people are thinking when they look at me.
You know when you’re walking down the street and you think that everyone is looking at you and judging you? Well yes, it is true that in most cases that isn’t what’s happening and people are in fact getting on with their lives and couldn’t give a shit about what you’re doing, what you’re wearing, what colour you’re hair is etc but I happen to know for a fact that when i’m walking down a street people ARE looking at me. They are staring at me and it’s for one very annoying reason. I’m tall. Really tall. And i’ve seen he looks that i get from people, as if i’m some sort of alien. And for that reason I think I always dressed a certain way because if I can draw as little attention to myself as possible i’ll be alright. So that’s one thing i’ve started tackling, not giving a fuck about what people think when they see me. So I wear the clothes I want to be wearing and I dye my hair the colour I want it to be because that’s how I feel comfortable. And now, when I see people looking at my new funky clothing (which is all fucking AWESOME by the way) I figure i’m doing something right, not wrong. Let them look. Fuck ‘em.
You might think it’s crazy, “Surely changing your wardrobe can’t help things”. Well it can’t, not everything anyway but one of my biggest obstacles is confidence and if I can feel more confident then it changes my outlook on a whole bunch of stuff.
I’m gonna leave it there for now. I feel like i want this to be a more serialised set of posts for i’ll keep them nice and short. Think of this as an Intro to the bunch.
If you some how stumble upon this and you feel like you feel the same way then feel free to drop a comment and let me know your thoughts on the whole Social Anxiety subject.
Until next time…