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Old 04-04-2007, 01:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Social Anxiety Around Family

It bothers me enough that I have anxiety about being around people in general, but to top it off I tend to get anxiety when I know there is a family get together. I know a lot of it is because I don't see them much, and the more you do stuff or see people, the better it gets. Anyways, the anxiety is not as bad with family as with strangers or whoever, but I always dread get togethers. I guess I feel they are going to judge me or ask me questions about my life, and I will get embarassed or something. It seems like the anxiety is the worst right at first, but after I'm around them for maybe an hour, I start to feel better. I feel like I just want to get away. I can't ever relax completely. It just makes me sick that I'm like this even around my relatives. Anyone else like this?
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I'm like this around my entire family. Its just stupid when you think about it, but they're the major reason why i have SA in the first place.

I don't even attend family affairs anymore. I don't think they miss my presence anyway. Matter fact, I saw one of my cousins yesterday in Wal-Mart(yes walmart!) and she didnt say a word to me. Tried to pretend like she didn't even see me. I don't care though. Life goes on.
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I tend to think a lot of people have this problem, even ones who dont normally experience social anxiety. Sitting there with your grandmother as you both realize you have nothing to talk about and so you make idle conversation about how school is and pray you can fill enough dialogue to stall until someone conveniently rescues you by alerting everyone "Dinner is ready."

I'm sure this isn't much of a consolation but I don't think you should assume the worst just because you're anxious at family gatherings. They're pretty uncomfortable in general.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default SAD Around Family Members

My daughter has social anxiety disorder including around her immediately family. She doesn't like to give any details about what is going on in her life. When she visits home, after some initial converation and catching up, she hides in her room and doesn't even want to eat with us unless we are having an official holiday dinner.

Since some of you feel the same way, what do you think I could do to make her feel more connected and comfortable? How do you think I could bring her out more? What things should I avoid doing?
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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My daughter has social anxiety disorder including around her immediately family. She doesn't like to give any details about what is going on in her life. When she visits home, after some initial converation and catching up, she hides in her room and doesn't even want to eat with us unless we are having an official holiday dinner.

Since some of you feel the same way, what do you think I could do to make her feel more connected and comfortable? How do you think I could bring her out more? What things should I avoid doing?
For starters, don't ask her 'what's new in your life' or 'any boyfriends' or things like that. Ask her more about her interests if you want her to open up and become more comfortable. Things that don't have any pressure. Like..."So I heard the new Harry Potter movie is good...do you like Harry Potter?" (or something that doesn't sound quite so lame). Things like that. Also don't fire a dozen questions at her. Maybe suggest playing a board game or something and while you're playing, ask the occasional question. I know that makes me open up more is if we're doing something relaxing like playing a game...I chit chat more.

If she doesn't want to play a board game, ask if you can browse her bookshelf and that you're looking for a new book to read or something. If she lets you in there, start chatting about some of the books, ask questions, etc. It might get a conversation going.
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Old 11-28-2010, 04:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default family fears

Sorry hummingbird5, i have no insight for you as i share the same feeling of wanting to disappear most times i'm with my family. I love htem all to death but i have nothing to say most times and i feel like a fifth wheel or something. What really makes my dread rise is the extended family and friends bash or funeral, anything big. I get so freaked i can't drive and i'm the only one in this part of town who can. When we finally arrive i'm a mess and always forget everyones names in the extended family, no matter what. I blame the memory a lot on having ECT treatments but my memory was never any great shakes. It's a nerve wracking experience to go to these events and parties and i don't enjoy them at all. Not that you can enjoy a funeral, lol, but it's still hell on earth.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Had a family gathering just now, and omg.. it was terrible...

It seemed like everyone had something to do and I was just like sitting alone looking retarded and daydreaming.
I just felt like I don't belong to the place. I was having panic attacks, it was so hard to breathe. I didn't want to let anyone know, so I pretended like I was just bored.

I was feeling so down and moody, I really hope i don't have to go to family gatherings :/
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I'm usually comfortable around my immediate family, I just keep my own space. But during family gatherings and stuff, I'm more introverted. Relationships with cousins are none existent for me.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I get anxious around family members I don't live with and see all the time. We don't meet up that often but that's what makes me get more anxious because the longer we leave it til' we meet again the more anxious I get to meet up. My dads half of the family live in a different country so it's not easy to meet up with them. But my mum's family live in England we don't meet up that much but when we suddenly do I get anxious. I don't really talk, I like to listen to my parents and my family members talking together. I sometimes feel uncomfortable just sitting there all quiet. But i've always been quiet around them and I feel if I did talk, it would be weird, and like 'Hey she's suddenly started talking.' So it's best to be there and around and not hide but just stay quiet
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I quit going to any family gatherings a long time ago. I find it much easier to stay at home in my own little world with noone around to judge me. I am 45 and have been this way for longer than I can even remember. I use to try to go and "be brave" and try to act like I was suppose to act. But it just got too hard. I have a hard time even going grocery shopping anymore. I try to pick times when there will be fewer people there. I do better around people that I do not know. I guess I figure if they don't know me, then maybe they will not be judging me as much. But then I also spend the rest of my day replaying in my head everything I did and said and wondering if I acted right. I do work and I am okay at work for the most part. I work in a small office and behind a desk most of the time. The desk is what saves me really. I like the barrier between me and the people that come into my building. I don't know if anyone notices that I am different. I do however avoid any type of office parties. I can make up a million excuses as to why I can not attend. At least as far as my family goes, I don't need any excuse anymore, they just know that I will not be there. I have a son that is going through this same social anxiety as I have. I don't know how to help him, but I do try. His dad does not understand what we have and tells him to "just get over it", which only makes matters worse. I feel so guilty for passing this on to him. I tried to explain to him that it is not his fault. I am not sure that I can truly help him though, as I can not even help myself.

I am new to SAS, but by reading through all the posts on here, at least I don't feel like I am alone as to the anxiety I feel on a daily basis.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I use to try to go and "be brave" and try to act like I was suppose to act. But it just got too hard.
You're entire post reflects exactly how I feel, this particular quote especially. I just don't feel connected to my family. I'm supposed to go to my aunts house tomorrow because my uncle is visiting from Peru. My entire family on my dad's side is going to be there. Of course, I have to work. I made sure of that.

I'm ashamed of it in a sense. I want to be able to enjoy their company but i just . . . I'd rather be alone. My brother says I hate my family because i never come around but that's not true. anyway, I'm relieved to find this online community. Glad to know I'm not alone in my aloneness.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by hummingbird5 View Post
Since some of you feel the same way, what do you think I could do to make her feel more connected and comfortable? How do you think I could bring her out more? What things should I avoid doing?
See if you can develop a buddy relationship with her alone where there is no pressure to answer questions in front of a firing line (that's what I feel like it is and I'm 37!) I feel more comfortable when I'm with my husband going to places like the company holiday party because he's my buddy and can manage the small talk for me, even though they are my co-workers. He takes the pressure off me.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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I'm really uncomfortable at family gatherings as well. Everyone is so outgoing compared to me. One year at christmas everyone was singing and having a good time, and I was just sitting in the corner feeling very awkward. Eventually I just got up and left the room because the anxiety was too much. It made me feel like I really didn't belong there. I'd prefer not to go but I know they would make a big deal about it.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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You're entire post reflects exactly how I feel, this particular quote especially. I just don't feel connected to my family. I'm supposed to go to my aunts house tomorrow because my uncle is visiting from Peru. My entire family on my dad's side is going to be there. Of course, I have to work. I made sure of that.

I'm ashamed of it in a sense. I want to be able to enjoy their company but i just . . . I'd rather be alone. My brother says I hate my family because i never come around but that's not true. anyway, I'm relieved to find this online community. Glad to know I'm not alone in my aloneness.
It has been a year since I "joined" SAS and nothing has changed with me as in the way I feel. I made that dreaded trip to the grocery store just today and I thought I was going to have an "attack" and have to leave without getting my groceries... but I told myself to just get it done and I would be okay, and I was... I guess...

I am ready for January 2nd to get here and be done with all the holiday madness already also.

I hope you are doing okay... and DON'T be ashamed at all. It is really not anything that you, or I can help... even though most people don't get it at all. They should experience what we feel, then maybe they would get it.

Hang in there.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Yes. And I hate it because your family members are supposed to be the ones you are most comfortable with out of any one. It's frustrating because I feel like I am missing out on having close relationships with my family members and they really don't even get to see the "real" me. I sometimes am afraid that I won't be able to open up to them before it's too late....
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Yes, it's always the personal questions I anticipate that make family gatherings the worst...I feel compared a lot to what my cousins are doing with their lives and the shame gets a bit overwhelming. I feel embarrassed, and believe they are further embarrassed by me with every passing year. So to deal with it I usually say very little, find a corner to seat myself and just say I'm tired if someone asks why I'm so quiet. I don't know how to make it any easier, especially when my life hasn't progressed as much as they always expect by the time the family gets together again.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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I'm relating so much to this thread. Thanks again for the millionth time for showing me I'm not alone.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Yes, it's always the personal questions I anticipate that make family gatherings the worst...I feel compared a lot to what my cousins are doing with their lives and the shame gets a bit overwhelming. I feel embarrassed, and believe they are further embarrassed by me with every passing year. So to deal with it I usually say very little, find a corner to seat myself and just say I'm tired if someone asks why I'm so quiet. I don't know how to make it any easier, especially when my life hasn't progressed as much as they always expect by the time the family gets together again.
This right here is what is makes me back out of going to Thanksgiving every year with my family. I wanna tell them about my SA but I have no idea how to go about it. I don't think they will understand.
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Thanks. Those are good suggestions! It really helps to hear from someone who feels the way my daughter does.



Quote:
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For starters, don't ask her 'what's new in your life' or 'any boyfriends' or things like that. Ask her more about her interests if you want her to open

up and become more comfortable. Things that don't have any pressure. Like..."So I heard the new Harry Potter movie is good...do you like Harry Potter?" (or something that doesn't sound quite so lame). Things like that. Also don't fire a dozen questions at her. Maybe suggest playing a board game or something and while you're playing, ask the occasional question. I know that makes me open up more is if we're doing something relaxing like playing a game...I chit chat more.

If she doesn't want to play a board game, ask if you can browse her bookshelf and that you're looking for a new book to read or something. If she lets you in there, start chatting about some of the books, ask questions, etc. It might get a conversation going.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:33 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Oh boy, I can relate. We have these get togethers with my mom's side, and they are all at least 5 years older with careers all set. They literally all have their own businesses, with one cousin opening a fourth branch of his business in 2 years. I just have nothing to say whenever I see them because I don't really know them and I feel like I don't understand their 'older people' lifestyle of travelling, being successful, having their **** together. They are nice, but I just can't speak up and if I try, I probably won't be heard because my voice is so quiet. They are all social people and I feel like the retarded one.
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