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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I figured since I work in retail and I encounter a lot of people and deal with a lot of social situations just about everyday, I'd start my own thread where I can post about my personal triumphs rather than post a new thread everytime something positive happens.

I'll start with one from yesterday. I was cashiering at work and I usually get anxious around people I find attractive or "better" than me. This one young lady came through my line and asked me a question about the bakery. I was able to look at her in the eyes and answer her without feeling anxious. Also an old coworker also messaged me on myspace yesterday and I'm starting to talk to him again. It's not like we could ever be real life friends (he's in Iraq anyway) but it's cool to talk to him again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Worked last night as a cashier again. First few people that came through my line pissed me off. The first person complained because one of the bags I bagged was too heavy. Stupid *****. Then the guy behind her kept talking to me about my twin. Just stfu. People ask me the same stupid questions everytime when they find out that I'm a twin. I got over it eventually and had a pretty good night. I talked to one of the newer customer service people. She's nice but lacks a good sense of humor. I'm always afraid of people who don't have the same personality as me. Thankfully, most people I've come across aren't dull and humorless. I also had to bring a couple of things to the bakery. I hate going over there because I don't know anyone that works in the bakery and they all seem so dull and angry all the time.

I think I've learned that I won't ever be completely calm in social situations but I do get through most situations with only a little bit of anxiety. I've also learned that when I'm talking to someone I don't know well, my body gets "excited" and that's when the adrenaline kicks in and then my brain thinks that I should be feeling anxious. If I'm talking to someone I know well, my body stays calm and therefore my brain stays calm as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think a big problem most SAers have is that they blame their SA for everything. As if people who don't have SA never get anxious around other people. For example, I have caller ID and whenever someone calls for my mother, I don't pick up the phone because she's at work. I usually blame this on my SA. However, I've recently come to believe that maybe it's not my SA talking when I don't pick up the phone. Maybe I don't pick up the phone because there's no sense in picking it up just to tell whoever's calling that my mom isn't home and to call back later.

Or if I'm alone with someone that I don't know well, I'm obviously anxious and my SA makes me think that I have nothing to say and that the other person thinks that I'm boring. People who don't have SA that are in the same situation might not care about what the other person is thinking but he/she still would be uncomfortable.

A bit of advice for those who are uncomfortable with silence: If you think the other person is thinking that you're boring because you have nothing to say, look at it the other way around. Is the other person talking? If he/she has nothing to say, why should you feel bad because you have nothing to say either?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I worked again last night and it went pretty well. Nothing too anxious worthy. Oh and I had to cashier on the express lane for an hour and a half and I was absolutely fine. Yay!! I then went out with a couple of friends to Steak N Shake and I had a good time. I've mentioned in another thread that I truly don't care about what other people think of me. What I do care about is if someone rejects me, I know that it will make me feel bad about myself. So whenever I'm feeling anxious, it's not because I want to impress so and so. It's because, in a way, I'm trying to impress myself. For example, if I'm cashiering, there are certain things you need to say to the customer (like a greeting, thank you, and have a good day). I truly don't care if they think I'm being rude if I don't greet them (I won't greet people who are on their cell phones or customers who are rude). However, if I don't say these things, I feel incomplete. So even if I have a rude customer and I don't say "have a nice day" to them, I'll say it to myself so that I feel complete. Or if someone says something that they think is funny and I don't, I won't laugh out loud if I don't think it's funny but, again, I feel incomplete if I don't laugh, so I just laugh to myself and all is well. So basically what I'm trying to say is that out of everyone else, I judge myself the most. And I experience anxiety because I don't want to feel rejected and depressed.

Some more advice: There are a couple of things that I've found that actually work in calming your anxiety.

1) Deep breathing. Not only does it relax you, but it also takes your mind off of whatever's making you anxious. I practice deep breathing constantly. I notice that when I get anxious, my breathing becomes shorter and shallower. Deep breathing makes the anxiety melt away practically.

2) Self talk. I actually laugh everytime I read something about self talk. How do you change your negative thoughts into positive if you don't know what you're negative thoughts. How do I change these thoughts if I don't know what I'm afraid of? The other day I was thinking about this and then something clicked.. What AM I afraid of? I don't know exactly but asking myself this question makes my anxiety seem silly. If I'm feeling anxious about something, I just ask myself "Why are you afraid?" and then my anxiety is gone. Try it. It helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Haven't posted in here in a while but I figured I would since I'm about to do something that rattles my anxiety like crazy. My sister and I are in the process of buying a condo which means doing big girl stuff. This means lots of phone calls and talking to other people. Just this morning I had to call a mortgage lender and I was fine until I had to do the actual talking. Maybe what I need to do is accept that I have SA and realize that it may be a little harder for me but I DO get through it. And if I embarass myself in the process, so what? I can let it slide. I have friends and a lot of people who like me so if I stutter while talking to some stranger, it's really not the end of the world or a reflection of me.
 

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Maybe what I need to do is accept that I have SA and realize that it may be a little harder for me but I DO get through it. And if I embarass myself in the process, so what? I can let it slide. I have friends and a lot of people who like me so if I stutter while talking to some stranger, it's really not the end of the world or a reflection of me.
Good way to look at it! I try to view it as, anyone who would make fun of me, is probably someone that I should not care what they think anyway. Nice topic. Keep the triumphs coming!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good way to look at it! I try to view it as, anyone who would make fun of me, is probably someone that I should not care what they think anyway. Nice topic. Keep the triumphs coming!
Thanks a bunch for posting!! :D

I'm so proud of myself. I used to be afraid of getting anxious because I didn't like the feeling of being tense and having all this adrenaline running through my veins. And you know what? I've actually noticed that I'm happier and less anxious when I have all this adrenaline. It forces me to be productive and just... happy and social. It's weird but I love it.

I made quite a few phone calls with mortgage companies today and I also called my former job to ask for info on how to get my W2 for 2007 and then I called another number and talked to some guy about my W2. I feel proud of myself and I'm ecstatic that I've been able to make these phone calls with minimal anxiety. And even if I do get anxious, the adrenaline I get after initially being anxious, makes me happier. YAY! I also talked to a cousin today about my condo. It's not that I'm anxious talking to her but I just don't ever feel like doing it. So I'm happy I got to talk to her to get her input on the condo. I work today from 6:30-10:30 and then I'm going out with a few people to celebrate my friend's birthday. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think I know where my anxiety comes from. I am not the best talker. I stutter, I talk too fast, I find it hard to concentrate when I'm trying to retell stories to someone. And what's worse is when I have to talk to someone face to face. Eye contact can be a problem for me but it's mainly a problem because I have to think before I speak and I can't think if I'm concentrating on maintaining eye contact.

Today I was supposed to receive a call from my real estate agent. Never got it. She's usually on top of things when it comes to contacting me. I feel like I should call her but I begin to feel anxious whenever I think about it. And then I realize that I'm anxious because I don't know what to say to her. I suck at talking basically. I'm smart and witty when I'm around people I'm comfortable with but even when I'm with my family (who I'm completely comfortable with) I stutter and words just come out of my mouth unexpectedly. It's weird.

And another thing. Does anyone else think of themselves as more clumsy than everyone else? I just am. I'm always bumping into things and dropping things. That's another thing that causes me anxiety.

I can get through ANY and EVERY social situation that comes my way. I just feel uncomfortable most of the time. Ugh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Something I was thinking about yesterday...

I think what some of us forget is that everyone experiences anxiety. Some people only get anxious when meeting new people, others get anxious in most social situations. Trying to figure out what's normal vs. what's from your social anxiety is the key. It's like some of us want to be like robots so that we can't feel ANY emotion. Look, we're all different. To say it's abnormal to feel anxious in a certain social situation is just plain wrong. Feeling a little nervous in a new social setting is PERFECTLY NORMAL. But once you get over the emotional side of it (feeling as though you HAVE to please everyone else and caring about what others are thinking of you), all it is is just jitters if you think about it. And you DO get over it eventually.

It may be harder for us to go through our daily lives but there's one positive that comes from our SA: Everyday can be a triumph for you. More triumphs=more happyness. True story.
 

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(I won't greet people who are on their cell phones or customers who are rude).
Haha. I work at a deli and I think it's extremely rude when customers are on their phones when they're at the counter. Sometimes I ignore them and wait on someone else in line. It's like they have their damn phone glued to their ear.

Do you go to therapy? I had my first session with a counselor a week ago and he taught me to do those deep breathing exercises when I feel anxious. It seems to help, but I haven't been practicing long enough to really notice a big difference.
 
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