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It's getting worse again for me because people are much worse through the pandemic.  There's no such thing as friendly anymore.  A bull dozer sums it up well.  Everyone is all for themselves.  They barrel in like a freight train toward whatever they want at the time and they don't seem to care what damage they cause.  In like a tornado and out like a tornado just as long as they get what they came for.

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I remember walking past a small group of women, I briefly stole a glance at them. They seemed to glance at me and then started laughing with each other. I was convinced they were laughing at me. I felt shame, ugly, loser.

I remember walking past a woman and forcing myself to catch her gaze. Then I offered a small, gentle smile. She glanced at me, quickly looked away and then she fixed her hair as we passed. I felt handsome, confident, manly. 

 

Is there a difference between these two stories? No and yes. In both, people are reacting to their own thoughts. Believing that I'm the object of their thoughts is what's identical in each. In reality I'm not the object of people's thoughts hardly ever. Most of the time, people are thinking about themselves, how something affects them.

But I have an anxiety disorder, and it demands a chew toy (else, why would I feel nervous?). My anxiety disorder believes I must control everything around me--or else! So everything people around me do has to be all about me. My flavor of anxiety can sometimes seem nearly indistinguishable from narcissism: I'm either a piece of crap or king of world. And the doubt concerning which I am is literally driving me mad.

 

It's a melodrama in my mind. 

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1 hour ago, Atra said:

I'm either a piece of crap or king of world.

That's how my bipolar disorder makes me feel.  It's a very destructive thing for me.  When I'm depressed everyone hates me.  When I'm manic everyone is attracted to me and flirting and thinks I'm the most interesting person they met that day.  Nothing good can come from this at all.  Of course it's all in my mind but in the moment you absolutely believe things are exactly the way you think they are.

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The most prominent intrusive thought for me in crowds or waiting on a line is feeling exposed.

I rely on music to help self-sooth. I worry a little that someone may try to talk to me or ask me something, which I'll miss because they don't see the small buds blasting calming, ambient music inside my ears. But that's a better problem in my view than listening to the litany of anxiety in my head. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

I used to have social anxiety really bad i would have panic attacks from sitting at the park and run home.

its gotten better from working and having to deal with people. Im okay as long as i have some goal like shopping isnt a big deal for me because i have a goal but i dont walk anywhere because i feel uncomfortable i just get a feeling that eyes are on me i know nobody is looking at me but it just feels like eyes, i dont like where i live anyway so i dont walk anywhere anyways. i have it better than some for sure.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have still severe social anxiety when going out to shop or eat out with my family, evening taking walks by myself. I do tend to look down at times still when passing people. However currently this year  I'm becoming more confident and braver slowly with my therapy and standing tall looking up more at people. Not caring anymore if I get looks of what I look like possibly racist wise still, who knows.

( I'm one of a kind unique looking since I'm seven ( 7 ) ethnicities. Some find me cute and fastening,  others don't like how I look and either stare like "what are you? " or possibly still be racist towards me judging me. ) I try my best to walk each day to get fresh air be in nature and get a workout from it. However it's sometimes hard for me to get outside still and do that from developing being afraid to leave my home, plus just afraid of people as well in general.

Lastly I really don't like where I live since we really have no real nature to look at or be around. Plus it gets dangerous hot in the summer time. I can't move sadly due to my family not wanting to move at least not now I think. They like there jobs plus my therapist is here as well. Though they don't like it here much as well weather wise and nothing to due in my city.

We shall see what happens going on in life for me. I'm not ready yet to live on my own so I'm grateful and very happy I'm roommates with my sister. As for online social anxiety I'm  extremely cautious and  can get very nervous when talking to others online sometimes. Due to being hurt countless times by people online starting when I was a pre-teen. However I know how to read people extremely well online and in person with my strong intuition and know all the red flags to protect myself and be safe.

 

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