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Old 07-03-2011, 12:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Extrovert with social anxiety?

I'm not sure if this is really the place for me, since I've read a few posts and I don't feel like I quite fit in, but I feel like I need to work on this so I'm going to try and see if anyone else out there is in a similar situation.

I'm definitely an extrovert - when you get me talking I can't shut up. I love parties and groups of friends, I come away from them energized and I'm usually the one who doesn't want to leave.

The problem is A: I only like this with people I know well and my family. B: I often come away from the parties with anxiety over how I acted, what I said or whether people really do like me or whether they find me annoying (even with friends and my family). I often feel like even though I talk alot, I don't say the right things, I don't know how to go through the motions. I feel like I constantly see evidence that I'm just tolerated, not someone people really want to be around. I can't fake anything - I can't say 'what a nice jacket' unless I really love it, I feel fake. So I don't say the things people want to hear and I feel like I am doing something wrong but I don't know what it is.

I hate talking on the telephone, especially to strangers. I only call basically my mom and my husband and sometimes my brothers. It's not that I can't do it, I just have this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach and tend to find excuses not to. I make my husband make phone calls to business or to order things like pizza. I feel like if I call a friend or family member I am going to be interrupting something and they won't want to talk to me and I'll just be annoying them. This ruins my long distance relationships because I never call. I have a hard time faking interest if the conversation is boring me. My mom will often say 'oh I can see you are preoccupied' and end the call because I'm not holding up my end of the conversation.

So I feel like I am at war with myself constantly. I am the person who is talking in class, or will chit chat randomly with the person next to me because I can't not do that, its part of who I am. But then I think about what I said and I dwell on it and it bothers me and feeds my depression. I am constantly telling myself to just shut up and not say anything so that I won't have to think about what I said wrong before but I can't. I see evidence everywhere that people don't like me, or at least don't care as much about me as they do others. My husband and mother always have reasons why these people act as they do, but it hurts me.

Anyway, I never thought of it as being a social anxiety until my psychiatrist mentioned it. (I am being treated for depression) Is there anyone else who can relate to this kind of thing?
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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You sound kind of like me, I think I'm extroverted in a way, I'll always talk to people, once you get me talking I just keep talking But I spend so much time thinking 'oh no why did I say that' afterwards! Or I get worried beforehand. But when I'm actually around people I tend to be chatty and the person who's doing things.

So yeah I think I can relate. I think most people with social anxiety are introverts, but not all of them.


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Old 07-03-2011, 01:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Welcome, Sapereaude!
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Hey man, you're not alone. I was definetly an extrovert waiting to happen before I succeeded in my social goals.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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That sounds like me too. I am very loud and talkative with a group of good friends or family. And I get anxious over the way I acted after I leave
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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That sounds a lot like me except I'm less of an extrovert. I get really nervous after talking to any stranger and spend days afterwards thinking about everything I said to them looking for flaws. I can get this way with good friends sometimes, but don't spend such a long time thinking about it.
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Hi, and welcome!

I'm a lot like you. I even posted a reply in an old thread that was something like, 'anxious but not shy' because I didn't know if anyone else felt like I did. I was seeing a therapist for general anxiety and public speaking anxiety. Then, I realized I had some of the symptoms of social anxiety (beyond public speaking) though I am an extrovert.

I love going to parties, and I love talking to people. My anxiety shows the most when I'm tired, but you still probably couldn't tell unless I told you.

However, I analyze my own words and actions a lot after the fact. I do the same of other people. I think people don't like me, even though there could be a million other reasons why someone did or said a certain thing. I hate talking on the phone, but I do it because I have to. I still feel my heart racing in my chest, and I have to remind myself to speak slowly. When I'm in a large crowd, I think people are talking about me, though logically they are paying me no attention. I love going to restaurants, but I worry I'm going to do something "wrong," especially if it's at a lunch with co-workers.

I've gotten much better, but I generally hate the spotlight. I try not to avoid it anymore, but I still get very anxious at times. Being around people does energize me, so I don't want to avoid them.

Public speaking is the worst. I take beta blockers like that, and they work like a charm. Unlike some people with SA, I really do want to give presentations, and I think I would be good at it if I could just calm down. I volunteer to be a speaker/panelist for events when I can because I love to talk, but I get so so nervous on the inside.

I know this is long, but I hope some of my experiences are helpful. You aren't alone!
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Sounds like you've got more of a "specialized" case of SA, as opposed to "generalized". You seem like your scared or worried about a lot less things then me... You could very well be an extrovert with SA. A rare breed, I think.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I was reading this thread on here and it said:

As a result, unlike many patients with AvPD (avoidant personality disorder), social phobics are by nature outgoing, and able to form close and lasting relationships,
and even to do so easily. They tend to be happily and permanently attached or married to someone, and they are often professionally quite successful. Their problems tend to consist merely of troublesome islets of panicky withdrawal.


so maybe that fits you; I don't know how credible the thread is, but here's a link to it anyways.

http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...sorder-111380/
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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ME TOO! And I make my boyfriend order the pizza too :-)

I am always agonizing after social encounters--"I didn't wear the right thing...I was the only one who didn't get the joke...I feel like I annoyed people" are some of the thoughts that run through my head afterwards. And I also understand your struggle, because even though I feel like I "messed up," I still want to be out there, not stuck at home and lonely.

What helps is something that my friend told me: People are usually too self-centered to notice all the dumb things that you think you said or did! They were too busy concentrating on themselves! :-)
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetroDoll View Post
I was reading this thread on here and it said:

As a result, unlike many patients with AvPD (avoidant personality disorder), social phobics are by nature outgoing, and able to form close and lasting relationships,
and even to do so easily. They tend to be happily and permanently attached or married to someone, and they are often professionally quite successful. Their problems tend to consist merely of troublesome islets of panicky withdrawal.


so maybe that fits you; I don't know how credible the thread is, but here's a link to it anyways.

http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...sorder-111380/
Yo Retro, cool Sylvia Plath quote. I love the way she writes in The Bell Jar. Anyway, I can relate to the above quote. With friends and family I can be quite outgoing and pretty hyper/silly. I like entertaining the guy I'm in a relationship with and a lot of people from work/school etc. would probably be surprised that it was the same person if they saw me with people I'm comfortable with. It does seem that SA comes in more than one form and definitely at different levels of severity.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune View Post
Yo Retro, cool Sylvia Plath quote. I love the way she writes in The Bell Jar. Anyway, I can relate to the above quote. With friends and family I can be quite outgoing and pretty hyper/silly. I like entertaining the guy I'm in a relationship with and a lot of people from work/school etc. would probably be surprised that it was the same person if they saw me with people I'm comfortable with. It does seem that SA comes in more than one form and definitely at different levels of severity.
Hey Nep , yea what you said about being comfortable about family and friends sounds like the same type of thing the OP said: she is comfortable around family but nervous on phones with strangers, etc. I wonder if like someone else said, you both have a more situational type S.A.?

P.S. Agree, Sylvia was a great writer The Bell Jar is is one my favorites, I can relate to everything in it.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Actually, I think I've seen plenty of posters who are socially anxious extroverts. Some may not be quite as chatty as you, but there are some. I'm not one of them, but happy to have you aboard. Welcome to SAS!
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetroDoll View Post
Hey Nep , yea what you said about being comfortable about family and friends sounds like the same type of thing the OP said: she is comfortable around family but nervous on phones with strangers, etc. I wonder if like someone else said, you both have a more situational type S.A.?

P.S. Agree, Sylvia was a great writer The Bell Jar is is one my favorites, I can relate to everything in it.
Yeah well, I mean, I'm not always that way though, especially with my fam, when living with them I would be in my room a lot doing my own thing. I do need time to myself and don't want to talk ALL the time. My SA is hard to explain, it's definitely milder and is mostly centered around work and school, although I do get it just having exchanges with people at the store and what have you too (I'm not great at small talk and I don't care to be all friendly and talkative even if I've seen them a million times). I'm definitely better with one-on-one exchanges when it comes to meeting new people than group ones.

and YES, Sylvia Plath was a great writer. I can't say I relate to everything she wrote, but I definitely admire it and am drawn to her style.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Hello and welcome.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:36 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Hey sapereaude welcome.
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Firstly, wow, I couldn't have worded any of that better than you just did. I can relate with a number of things you mentioned in your post. 1. I feel like I am being tolerated by my friends, but not actually accepted, and liked as their friend, 2. I can't stand conversations over the telephone, and I can relate 100% with the anxiety you feel in your stomach and around your heart, while feeling the phobia of the talking on the telephone in your mind, and 3. I remember experiencing in the past extreme self-consciousness about how I appealed to my friends while being out with them. This was especially the case when I was younger because I had a lot more friends then than I do now. Back then I was more extrovert than I am now.

I think you respect yourself a lot more than you give yourself credit for. If you are out with friends and you are just talking about irrelevant stuff all night, of course stupid things are gonna be said, and you are going to think back to them, and feel more self-conscious about them. If you don't find a coat to be nice, then why should you have to lie about it? You don't necessarily have to say that the coat is beautiful or anything, but you could comment on it some other way if your friend asked you your opinion on it, or if you noticed it from the beginning of the night and felt it was necessary to say something about it. You could say something like .... "Nice coat, where'd you buy it at?" Notice you cover all bases in one small sentence here. You let your friend know you like the coat, but then you steer the conversation and the focus away from what you really think in your head by asking a question immediately after "...where'd you buy it at?" Just be casual, state your compliment briefly, and change the topic.

As for pondering over thoughts about how the night went when you were out afterward, I know just how annoying that can be. You need to come to the realization that no one cares. When it comes right down to it no one gives a hoot what you said, or how you said it. Your friends know that you are just being you, and they will respect that you are your own person, if they can't respect what your personality is inside of you, then they are the one's with bigger issues. You wouldn't believe how relieving it is when your mind comes to the realization that no one cares as much as you think they do, and that you don't have to please the world are you to be happy. It took me forever to break free from my co-dependency, but when I did, I learned to be a lot more independent of myself.

Social anxiety is not for introverts only, it can be for extroverts, and anyone in between. In your case it is with strangers, and people over telephone conversations. Instead of looking at that as a problem, I would look at it as normal. In what sense should conversing over a telephone be normal? You can't see the person you're talking with, all you hear is their voice, apart from them laughing or whatever you can't tell what facial expression they have on their face, and you feel like you have to sit or stand in one spot while talking unless you are using a cell phone. Telephone conversations are not comfortable for many people, and there are a lot of reasons why. It is not necessarily a phobia, it could simply just not be a comfortable thing to do, or your personal way of communication with people. You will however get more comfortable with the telephone once you come to terms more with your social anxiety.

I am personally not an extrovert, I can't make small talk at all, and I rarely ever hang out with groups of people anymore. I also never feel energized after hanging out with a group of people, instead I feel drained. However, when I need to be social, I can be social. But only when the time is necessary, otherwise, I just keep my mouth shut.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:24 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Thanks so much. I do try to realize no one really notices things, the problem is that often works against me since I also tend to be depressed and I just think that no one cares. I have in the past agonized over something I said that I realized was insensitive, sat down and wrote out an apology email and had the person say 'I didn't even remember you saying that'. :P


I think my depression also gets in the way of my relationships. I moved back to my hometown, where obviously I knew family, but all my high school friends had moved away, so I didn't have any friends here. It took me a good 4 years to really feel like I had friends, partially because I didn't feel comfortable just calling people up and inviting them over and also because with my depression I would go through phases of not wanting to do anything for a week or so and would cancel plans I had made to attend things I might see these people at.

I don't think I have severe social anxiety by any means but I hadn't even though about it at all until my psychiatrist mentioned it. I'm going to try to see if I can fit some visits to a therapist into my schedule, because I think that would help.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:11 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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I also am an extrovert "in so much as" ( is this supposed to be one word? ) I used to sing in front of a crowd, coach youth sports, and talk in front of large groups of people. I am always talking and making jokes and what not. Yet the simplest of things weigh me down...like calling someone on the phone or transacting business at the bank or grocery store. I guess for me it's the little things that add up to sadness and anxiety...much like the little things in love are what make me the happiest and fulfilled. It's like being punched in the stomach really hard once as opposed to getting a paper cut daily between the webbing of your fingers......the torture of the pain is more devastating than the swiftness of pain in some ways.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:36 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Oh yes,

You are not alone. I am a super networker a social talker and complete extrovert. I also have super anxiety socially and otherwise and fight within my own brain over what I said, what I did, how I looked when I said it and what others are thinking about all of it.

We are more the norm then the "abnorm". Just because we have anxiety or other "issues" as the world calls it does not mean we don't love people, enjoy company, or want to be a part of mainstream society.

I have some junk in the past that helps facilitate this. Sometimes I am ok and sometimes I am not ok. I use prayer as a buffer when I feel out of control.

To quote Lady Ga Ga "god doesn't make junk" and I try to use this as a personal encouragement tool when my anxiety gets the best of me. We try medications, therapy, alcohol, and other terrible things to treat our symptoms but I am starting to think a holistic approach is important.

Just like "everyone" we know has acid reflux now.. I think that there are more people with "issues" then people would like to think. At some point, we have to get to the core of what started this crazy cycle in the first place.

We also have to love ourselves and except the fact that we have a few bumps in the road to work around. We also have to acknowledge our gifts and how we can use what we learn through this process to help other people.
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