The Foundry · Thoughts

Social Anxiety – A terrifying beast

Hi all,

Below are just my thoughts and feeling surrounding Social Anxiety, I had crippling amounts of it in my late teens and early twenties. I did work my way through it, and now I rarely face it.

Social anxiety is two very large words, many of us go through some form of Social Anxiety in our daily lives. We may feel some form of Social Anxiety when we are out with friends or preparing to buy petrol.We all have at least experienced some form of it, but written it off and not thought about it much.

The internet describes it as fear of social interactions, this fear can be intense and unreasonable.

It is not a productive experience, some of the more intense experiences I had, locked me down. I would stay immobile in my bus seat, thinking in my head “Everyone is watching my every move.”. To me that was happening, in almost a few bus ride I had from 15-17 years of age. Just simple bus ride to my friends house or into town would be fraught with worry of my surroundings and people.

I was lucky though that I had a some people that helped me, some people I met when I was 17-18 from University and just around the local area. My social anxiety slowly lesseened, these friends took me to cafes, bars and then clubs. I interacted more with other people then I have previously, and I feel that this was the reason why I overcame social anxiety.

Around that time it transitioned from the crippling fear to just a dull feeling on the back of my neck, I saw what was happening and jumped at the chance. I started going to improv classes and general outdoor courses in London, there were forums around at the time where people met up to hang our and do execises – long before MeetUp app was around.

We used to do stretches in Hyde park, general lunches where we chat and other stuff. However, the most important reason why I feel I feel like I overcame Social Anxiety was just talking to people. The classes I went to had a time allotted to just going up to random people and chatting to them.

Just asking for the time or directions to the nearest tube station, this I feel helped out the most. At first it was daunting, like an insurmountable mountain. Over the weeks and months I found it easier talking to people, allowing me to get used to social situations and interacting with people.

The cloud of fear and anxiety that I had slowly disappeared over the next few months, no longer do I sit on a bus worried about other peoples reactions. One thing we learned in these sessions was to make your ‘Reality’ or ‘World’ stronger, to not be pulled in by our surroundings. Before I would get swept up in other peoples ‘Realities’ which was not good.

Now I don’t mean interacting with other peoples ‘Realities’ isn’t good, but that we should not be swept away by them. We should hold firm to our own ‘Realities’, while interacting with others.

Over the years I have come to terms with Social Anxiety, it is not something I am affected with much anymore. My girlfriend states I am a very confident person, and don’t have much trouble when interacting with people. I can see that I have progress far, and I will keep moving forward and away from having crippling Anxiety.

Anyway, just a short post from me today on Social Anxiety, it is quiet a big thing for me and something I want to explore more in depth.

What are your thoughts on it, have you ever experiences it and if so, how?

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