For me, my triggers are likely to be as follows:
Telephone calls – I hate talking to voices of people I can't see. I can't picture emotional expressions and I often find myself stuttering when it comes to phone calls. I'd much rather use e-mail than telephone. I've always been the same… Whatever I can do to get out of a phone call, I'll do…
Crowds of people – I will actively avoid crowds where I possibly can. If I need to go into a particular shop and I'll see it's crowded, I'll go into another or simply find something else to do until the crowds disperse. I've also been in very busy pubs where I've ended up heading out into the beer garden (regardless of weather) just to give myself some space. However having said that, I was in London back in August and I was largely fine… There wasn't too many moments where I felt claustrophobic. I think this is one area where I feel I might have self-improved slightly in recent years.
Disagreements – If someone generally disagrees with me, I'm fine. I have no issue. However, if they pursue a disagreement, particularly face to face, I'll start sweating and stuttering. At worse, I'll either find myself shaking and having to walk away or I'll snap back. I don't verbally lay into someone I disagree with and I would expect the same treatment back. Sadly, I find people are usually very picky, overly negative or obnoxious if they disagree with me. Hence I try to say as little as possible in the first place.
Mistakes – We all make them. Every single one of us. People usually just laugh them off and that's the end of the matter. I feel I’m made to dwell on them as people remember mine from literally years ago. They're highlighted, underlined and put in bold. I'm therefore usually slow at doing most tasks at work because I'm worried sick it'll be just something else to add to the list they'll put on my 'permanent record'
Alpha males – The loud, animated, proud, domineering, often inconsiderate of others around them, usually tall and these days often come with stubble or beards… You know the sorts… Why do they need to be this way? I feel intimidated and under threat by them. Sadly, many women swoon over these types of men and then wonder why all men are a**eholes… (nope – just the ones they choose to notice/acknowledge – over and over again).
Talking in groups of people – I'm okay in front of two or three people I know well. More than that? I struggle terribly. I'll react in a similar way to what I describe in disagreements – barring walking away. I'll just end up sweating, stuttering, slurring and just about everyone will completely misinterpret what I'm saying.
The biggest trigger of all though – is in the below quote:
Originally Posted by naes
Lots of stuff triggers me, but being ignored and rejected really makes me depressed/anxious.
Snap. One of the biggest triggers for me is knowing I've made effort and this effort goes by unrewarded. Yet, I see other people doing exactly the same thing as I do, if not less and they seem to get ten times more respect and acknowledgement. It hugely frustrates me and given I've put in an enormous amount effort over the last 12-18 months to make some steps forward, it doesn't exactly inspire motivation or confidence to continue trying.
It's just another example of how Socially Anxious people are purposefully singled out and stigmatised - yet regular people genuinely wonder why we are the way we are...
I don't want to be the centre of attention. I don't want the 'red carpet' rolled out for me. All I've ever wanted is mutual respect from others and the same perks they have when I know full well I've done at least the same amount of legwork. I just want to be treated as a regular 31 year old guy – and not relentlessly stigmatised and probed for my appalling luck on making zero lifetime progressions.