Social Anxiety watching TV with a friend - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2021, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Social Anxiety watching TV with a friend


Does anyone else get social anxiety watching a show, TV, or a movie with a friend? Even if it is someone I am comfortable hanging out with or talking to or someone I consider a pretty good friend, I still feel as though there is awkward silence of us just sitting next to each other. I know we should be focusing on the show and the silence is normal but it still gives me so much anxiety. I wonder how to not feel this way or if anyone else feels this way too.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2021, 12:50 PM
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I probably would. As far as I can recall I've only done that once in my life, in 2011. But any sort of one on one interaction where I might be expected to carry conversational load is awkward since I'm not sure what's normal. With a TV on, it's hard to tell if talking would annoy them or if not talking would annoy them.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2021, 02:16 PM
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I get this massively. It is worse especially when it is something that I have chosen to watch. I was saying to someone when I came out of my last relationship that I had really, really enjoyed watching a movie on my own; there was no worry of what to say whilst watching it, no anxiety of are they bored because I chose it. This is one thing where my social anxiety levels are high. In my last relationship I only chose what we watched about three times because when I did choose I would sit there unable to watch it and just basically waiting for it to end.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2021, 02:27 PM
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I went to the cinema with a young adults mental health group and had to sit a few seats in front of them all, so that I did not feel like I had to talk to them. If I were to sit with them I would not have been able to concentrate on the film at all because the pressure to talk is immense.

Through my relationships I have sat in silence whilst "watching things" and just not really getting anything of what is happening because of the pressure to talk.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2021, 06:01 PM
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I had a panic attack once while watching a move in a theater with some friends. Something in the movie kind of freaked me out (I forget what exactly) but that spooked me then all of a sudden realizing I was surrounded by a horde of people made it worse and I started to panic. So I just stared up above the screen sorta off into space and just tried to pace my breathing and after a couple of mins I calmed down and was OK and could go back to watching the movie again.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2021, 10:27 AM
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Not really, because odds are the person I'm watching with is either a family member, or a very close friend I've known for years who is basically like family. That's about the extent of my TV-watching social circle.
Granted, if we're watching something I suggested and they're not familiar with, I'm probably carefully scrutinizing their face to see what they think of it. But that's probably something else entirely.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2021, 03:22 PM
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Nah, I actually welcome watching stuff, especially if I feel anxious I know we'd just stare at the screen and I wouldn't have to fill a dreadful silence lol. So kind of at the opposite in that regard, I suppose.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2021, 04:39 PM
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When I visit my family, we watch TV and none of us talk. Personally, I find it excruciating. But talking would be even worse. And idk if that's social anxiety so much as just having a completely dysfunction and schizoid family. I don't have as much trouble watching stuff with friends, but in the last 7 years that's only happened once.

I get anxiety in movie theatres, but that's mostly related to crowd size. I'm okay in a mostly empty theatre. But my OCD kicks up in weird ways in public, which creates anxiety of a different sort.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2021, 02:04 AM
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I only really watch TV with my wife or on my own so it's not a problem. We don't get anxious with each other.

I don't like busy cinemas though - not really a huge fan of them at all much nowadays. I like to have plenty of room around me there, it gets on my nerves if people are too close.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2021, 02:30 AM
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I'm horrible with awkward silences indeed. Especially bad for me because I am notoriously horrible at starting and sustaining a conversation. It's hard for me since I do not have much interesting things to share personally. During the movie is ok. But before the movie starts, just watching the cinema ad slideshows, while trying to think of things to say to the friend sitting side by side staring into the screen. Meanwhile everyone else around you are chatting enthusiastically with each other.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2021, 10:08 PM
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Yeah, I know what you mean. Like there's this awkard tension. Although I don't really feel it that much with close family, with everyone else though, yes.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2021, 11:07 AM
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Yeh I do. Even though we're watching something, I still feel like I should be talking to them to make it less weird.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-08-2021, 11:24 AM
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Yes, this is an anxiety issue for me, sometimes I can’t even focus on the show because of it
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2021, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing - hearing that others also go thru this makes me feel a lot better. I weirdly have no social anxiety at all in any way with my significant other, so watching movies or tv with her is super easy and I love it. But with literally anyone else (with members of my family it is actually pretty okay tho), it is pure agony. I more feel the anxiety not because I am scared of what people will think of my choice in movie or show, but more because the awkward silence is so loud in my brain and idk if they expect me to talk or if they also think it's awkward.
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