what is it that we're exactly afraid of? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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what is it that we're exactly afraid of?


hi all,



what is it that we're exactly afraid of?


With me, it's anything and everything. Praise or criticism is the same with me. I guess I'm afraid of evaluation period, any time I'm being evaluated. Geez, so hard to get by like this.



What about u guys?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by nikica View Post
hi all,



what is it that we're exactly afraid of?


With me, it's anything and everything. Praise or criticism is the same with me. I guess I'm afraid of evaluation period, any time I'm being evaluated. Geez, so hard to get by like this.



What about u guys?
For me I think it's negative evaluation - I don't mind if it's positive.

I often wonder why I even really care what people think about me anymore - but on some level I obviously do. It's actually quite annoying.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 05:19 AM
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But haven't we been raised to be fearful of negative evaluation? Getting and F on a test in school was something with shame attached to it.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 02:42 PM
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 03:08 PM
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It's difficult to narrow it down, I think mostly being trapped in situations without having an easy out. I'm also very uncomfortable with sharing personal stuff in real life. I also have some degree of general anxiety.

I often feel like people are an overwhelming presence that I'm hyper attuned to so it's like if I hear them around me that alone can sort of drive me insane depending on my mood. I think that's more of a sensory processing thing.

Very bubbly/friendly people make me uncomfortable too. People who are emotionally unpredictable.

There's a bunch of other stuff too like I hate being asked to do stuff, uh it's difficult to break it all down yeah. Some of it's basic SA, some of it's autism-like/sensory symptoms, some of it's generalised anxiety, some of it's issues caused by past abusive situations, and a sensitivity to people being controlling or people having too much influence over my decisions or being too involved in them.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 03:08 PM
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Judgement. Harassment. Negativity. Rejection. Sometimes just ****ing up in a conversation and it all turns sour. I guess that counts as negative evaluation. People getting too close.

On a plus, beginning to care less and not feel as bad about it.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 08:31 PM
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For me it's being criticized, people having negative opinions about me and also saying or doing something embarrassing in front of other people.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Cascades View Post
For me it's being criticized, people having negative opinions about me and also saying or doing something embarrassing in front of other people.
That's basically the same as me.

And then to make it worse is when they can actually see you're nervous or embarassed.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 09:07 PM
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I think for me the main thing is people seeing I'm anxious, I didn't grow up that way so it hit me hard when it happened.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 09:09 PM
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But haven't we been raised to be fearful of negative evaluation? Getting and F on a test in school was something with shame attached to it.
I see what you mean but I don't think we were raised to be afraid - or at least to show it. I think it's socially unacceptable to most people to show fear or even anxiety - unfortunately even moreso for men, although that might be very slowly changing. (or is supposed to be - I don't actually think it is at all)

I remember as a teenager telling my Dad I was scared - I even remember where we were. He looked at me like I was an alien and said "What do you have to be afraid of?" Then again he'd left London at 16 to join the Navy, then moved to the other side of the world, so I guess it's not hard to understand how he found it difficult to relate to.

They aren't the same thing but it's probably not an uncommon reaction. People just don't understand what we have.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 01:57 AM
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I get worried about doing the wrong thing or accidentally doing something that is "socially unacceptable" or annoying. It feels easy to do, especially when you can't tell what anyone around you is thinking and you hear people complain about others a lot. When I used hand cream in a waiting room once, I wondered if it was okay to do that. Other times, when we've had visitors, I've felt like I stood up and walked around too often, and that they might have been thinking I should have stayed still because by moving, I was being distractive somehow.

My biggest problem now is that I worry I'm being rude, and the thought of that makes me wish I could get better so I could show a nicer side of myself instead of it looking like I'm ignoring everyone because I couldn't talk to them.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 09:24 PM
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I'm afraid of what people think. I know society always encourages us not to feel that way, and I hear countless people telling me that I can't be afraid, but it's not that easy lol. When I enter rooms and am around people, I fear that they are thinking bad things about me. I'm not being selfish thinking that everyone is thinking about me, but I dealt with this a lot when I was in school. I was bullied my entire time there, and I guess it kind of introduced me to those feelings.

I'm also afraid to make friends. I seriously want some, but I'm afraid of what happens once you have friends...like trying to keep them interested, that fear that they would just get bored of you one day, or people just not caring anymore.

And of course, rejection.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 05:33 PM
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I'm afraid of humiliation and looking stupid in front of others... which I do anyway.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 07:01 PM
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Anything and everything for me too. The thing about positive situations is I always feel like Icarus. My wings are up and I'm heading skyward but the sun's going to get too hot or a missile is going to shoot me down. Something is going to deflate me.

I find it hard to trust anyone. On a related note, almost any time I hear stories of dating it reinforces me not wanting to date. Like someone will say, "I wasn't really into them I was just hanging out with them because they made me feel good." Implying and at times even outright telling you that they're just waiting for someone better to come along.

You begin to feel like some kind of robot, like a Harvey 2000, and even if someone likes you for a while a newer, better model will come out and replace you. Or in some cases they'll keep you around but have exhausting expectations of you. I'm not really capable of enjoying being around others enough to make the work/effort involved seem worth the gamble. So **** it.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 07:21 PM
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I think for me it boils down to being rejected. People say you should be yourself, but I'm starting to think that I don't have a likable personality. But I don't know how to be anything else.
I'm like hypersensitive to verbal and nonverbal cues from people. The smallest cue from someone can make me question what I'm saying or doing and end up making me feel rejected and like I need to completely change everything about myself.
I try to tone it down but then I feel dull and boring. I feel like I am always "too" something. I'm not in a normal range of anything. So it's better to be reclusive and keep to myself to avoid rejection either from being too sarcastic or too boring or too something.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 07:30 PM
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I would say it's more of a sense of dreading. Not necessarily fear. Like if I know something is gonna happen which is gonna put me in an awkward spot, I (quite naturally) don't like that and don't want it to transpire. And therefore, as the date of it draws nearer and nearer, the feeling of not wanting it increases to the point to where it becomes.....more than a slight irritation.

But also, if there is a certain type of thing that I just don't find pleasant that happens regularly, I cannot relax even when I have time to relax because all my mind wants to do is constantly be on alert for it and to be dreading it. And often, these types of things are unscheduled events so they just happen when they want to. And so, you can't know when they'll happen. So you can't relax at any time of the day or night. And as soon as you do, that's guaranteed to be the moment when it'll happen. And it'll be all the worse because it caught you off guard. Which is (funnily enough) a diabolically harmless-seeming sort of trauma that is cumulative and can really mess with you over time. And thus, a lot of people just don't "get it" because it seems ridiculous if it isn't you.

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 09:32 PM
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I'm left handed. I think I naturally do things differently, whether it requires my hands or not, than the majority of people. I just don't quite feel like I fit in with everything. I think doubt and anxiety makes it worse by making me not want to do the extra work it takes to relate with people.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 12:53 PM
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It's being judged by others. Especially negatively judged. The feeling of being humiliated. I don't let anyone in because I don't want my life to be judged by anyone else.


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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 02:57 PM
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I think as I have gotten old I have realised that I don't fear being judged or rejected anymore. I don't fit in with most people in society and I'm ok with that.

One positive thing to come from having anxiety (for me at least) is being accepting of others. I know how it feels to be rejected for being different and how good it feels when someone likes you anyway, warts and all.

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 03:21 PM
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there is no exact answer. a large set of various things. people are afraid of spiders and things that look like spiders and the threat of possible spiders or spider-like things and shadows and dark places where spiders might be and movies about spiders and so on. what a spider is is not the entirety of what the fear covers. fear isn't confined to our rational conceptual space. its both innate and conditioned.

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