Hello there! 🙂
I'm new to forums in general and don't know the rules yet.
I'm 19 years old and I'm not entirely sure if I have social anxiety or not. I'm not diagnosed.
I've always hated public speaking; presentations at school were almost always torture and I tried to avoid them at all costs. But for the last couple of years my overall social skills have seen somewhat of a decline. This is especially true when it comes to interactions with people my age. I have started university the past fall and still haven't made new friends because it's so hard for me. I am always afraid that I'll come off as weird, unlikable, arrogant and mean. I get really nervous the moment I have to talk to strangers and I hate when participation is mandatory for a good grade, because every time I have to raise my hand my heart starts racing and I am so afraid of saying something wrong and embarrassing myself in front of others. That's one of my greatest fears. People talking about me, making fun of me, not liking me... It makes life hard. Sometimes I imagine that people, who don't even know me, are talking about me... I do try to tell myself that it's not true but it's still lurking in the back of my mind.
I have also never been in a relationship. I am not sure how I would manage that anyway. I also lack self confidence which has to do with the relationship part but not just.
The weirdest part though is, that I can still talk to people. I can appear like everything is fine. I think a lot of people don't think I'm even struggling all too much because I can act as though nothing is wrong and sometimes I can even forget about my anxiety. It always depends on the situations but I can't pinpoint them exactly. I can be totally true to myself with the friends that I made before I started to develop these patterns; I'm not overly cautious with them.
I don't know if this is a thing but I'm often wondering if I actually have some sort of a social phobia or if I'm just imagining it.
I have no idea where this is coming from; I've always had friends, I have never been bullied; my parents love me and they never pressured me to be perfect or made me ever feel bad about myself.
It's just hard for myself to understand.
I'm so sorry I just had to get this off my chest.
Thanks for your time 🙂