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herp derp
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We hear alot about people whose SA is very severe on here so I thought it would be interesting to hear from the other side of the spectrum (as in, those who pretty much can get on with every day life):

To what extent does SA affect your life? Do you have friends? Can you socialise? What are your worst and daily symptoms? What did you think about your SA after coming to this site? Etc etc, discuss. :).
 

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Banned
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Hmm...Yes, I have some friends, though most of them either have SA themselves, or some other mental health condition. I can socialize, but not with people I consider to be too drastically different than me. Since I began socializing while feeling socially inept, I got to be pretty good at making small talk, and at finding conversational topics between myself and others. The problems arise when I look nervous in doing so, which is often.

Daily I avoid others at the workplace, and tend to isolate in my office. On the days when I have to work with others, I'm not avoidant at all, because we have work to talk about and I don't feel awkward about that.

This site made me more aware of my own behaviors and those of my friends, but it didn't really change my perceptions too much. It did give me a few reality checks though. I think I complain less, knowing how much worse some others are feeling.
 

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A Living Woman
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3,464 Posts
Mine used to be very severe but now it's not so I'm gonna answer the questions. :)

To what extent does SA affect your life?
It makes it hard for me to try new things/go new places. I want to but I get so anxious about it, especially if I have to go alone. If I have someone with me I'm much more relaxed.

Do you have friends?
Yes, I have many friends but I don't get to see them often. 1 of my best friends lives across the country with her boyfriend. Another one of my best friends lives in Florida (college). Another friend is at college. Another friend has social anxiety, too, so she doesn't always wanna go out. Blah, blah, but I do have friends and I am friendly with everyone.

Can you socialise?
I'm better at it on some days than I am on others but I can manage!

What are your worst and daily symptoms?
My worst symptom is the shaking. It think it's the worst because it's visible. I can make excuses for it in the colder months but in the summer time I pray no one notices, haha. I don't have anxiety every single day. I get some nervousness if I think about too much at once and overwhelm myself but that's normal I think.

What did you think about your SA after coming to this site?
I think had I not come here I wouldn't have given myself as much credit for my hard work! I also like the people here. :yes So I'm glad I registered.
 

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Prince Procrastinator
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237 Posts
To what extent does SA affect your life?
Difficulty keeping conversations going, many awkward, emberassing moments but not enough to kill social contact.
Do you have friends?
Yes. Three close ones.
Can you socialise?
With difficulty, but yes... I need time. And luck. And kind people to socialise with...
What are your worst and daily symptoms? What did you think about your SA after coming to this site?
Shaking, turning red, stumbling. Making the wrong split second decisions, then feel bad about it later.

My SA was medium-level when I came to this site (lot of difficulty making friends and go out, A LOT of shaking/red faces). It has improved. I'm much lighter on SA I think but it still bothers me everyday.
 

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Lost
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342 Posts
I guess my SA isn't as bad as some peoples.

To what extent does SA affect your life?
Anxious in big crowds and around strangers. Trouble keeping conversations going and feel awkward a lot of the time. Constant negative thoughts and feeling like everyone hates me or thinks i'm weird. Feel depressed a lot of the time. I have trouble meeting new people and putting myself out there. It's affected me growing and developing as a person. I got a great first job out of university last year, but I had to quit because I just wasn't fitting in. I'm quite lonely generally and spend a lot of time by myself.

Do you have friends?
I do luckily. I've got a few lifelong friends that I made back at school. I see them every so often. None of them are real close though...I'm not close with anyone at all. A few of them are best friends though and they would probably see me the same way. But generally I don't have a lot of friends. I haven't made any new friends really for the past six or seven years. It's just really hard for me to get to know people.

Can you socialise?
Yes sometimes. I get quite anxious and down in some situations and i just end up being really quiet...it really depends, if a couple of my good friends are there I do ok I guess. I'm catching up with a few friends this weekend actually.

What are your worst and daily symptoms? What did you think about your SA after coming to this site?
Symptoms are depression just feeling like im not getting anywhere and feeling sad. Whenever I get talking to someone my heart beats really fast and I freak a little bit and sometimes go red in the face. I stumble a bit also and my mind goes blank and just really constantly doubting myself and what i have to say, so I end up just saying nothing.

I think I've just learnt to accept my sa after coming to this site. I think my sa has got slightly worse because I've just kinda accepted it and can't do anything about it. But yeah its good knowing people have the same problems I do.
 

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Quo
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101 Posts
To what extent does SA affect your life? Do you have friends? Can you socialise? What are your worst and daily symptoms? What did you think about your SA after coming to this site? Etc etc, discuss. :).
I wouldn't consider myself to have severe anxiety, I function well enough, I go to university, I drive to places, I shop, and can handle any non-social issue that life throws at me, like finding houses and sorting out utilities. I was much worse two years ago but I am slowly improving.

I have two or three people I consider to be friends, and then another four or five acquaintances, but the buck stops there. I can socialise in my own peculiar way, but only if they initiate. People often say "You're funny, Luke" but I never quite know if it's genuine or tinged with a hint of condescension, my main trick in social situations is the funny anecdote, I have a sort of awkward, deadpan delivery that makes people laugh, but it's honestly just me being me.. and you only have so many funny stories to tell.

My worst symptoms are an inability to make eye contact with anybody, and an inability to intiate anything like conversations, meeting up etc. Daily, I have what you might call a flattened affect, I find it almost impossible to show things like anger or affection or to laugh, right down to using smilies on message boards. This isn't so bad, but it does make me seem cold.

I like this forum because reading others' experiences is helpful, you know many are in the same boat as you. It's a good place to vent too.
 

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To what extent does SA affect your life?
Well, it depends on my mood actually. The more "down" I feel, the more SA symptoms I'll still have. Such as blushing excessively, inability to talk. Other times I will feel mildly anxious but am still able to get through whatever it is I have to get through. And yet other times, it seems virtually non-existent. It is weird when I look back and compare how bad I WAS. I was almost completely mute, a constant bag of nerves, very tense, extremely low self esteem and self worth. Now, I can talk better (although sometimes if I start to get self-conscious about what I'm saying or how I'm saying it, I'll mess up words and stumble, end up feeling foolish). Around some people, I feel like they are being very critical of me.

Do you have friends?
I have a husband and 2 kids. I have my 2 childhood best friends. Although we've grown apart in a lot of ways, I try to keep them there - sometimes I wonder why. It's like we're from different planets. (I know I came from Andromeda so that may be why) They'll make fun of different things I say and do which in turn makes me very angry. Yeah, they have their moods/ways. I think since they know my insecurities, they use it against me because of their own~to make themselves feel better. But I've been letting it be know that I'm no longer taking any crap. I don't care if they think I'm a b&*^* because of it either. Either they want to be there and can see my point of view and accept it or -> there's the door. I've always supported them through anything and everything. I expect a little more from them than how they've been acting over the last few years.

I have another "newer" friend who is more like me but she has a wall around her (she even admitted this) so it's hard to share feelings back and forth. . . because she has a wall. I don't want it to be all about me so I just try to encourage her to tell me more - without my judgement, just to listen/care. It's nice. I need more though. Hopefully over the years I'll meet more "open" "non-judgemental" people.


Can you socialise?
Normal socialization, yes. I talked to my son's soccer coach for about a half-hour the one day after practice. He did most of the talking, he's even a cop - so it was a little intimidating but I coped well. It all depends on the situation and who is around/watching, etc. . .

What are your worst and daily symptoms?
I don't have as much anticipatory anxiety because I just try to let whatever I'm going to be doing come as it may. You never know what is going to happen. It's a waste of energy to anticipate anything. Worst daily? I'd say if I blush for no good reason. That still happens at least a couple times a week. Stumbling over words - forgetting what I was saying bc of self-reflection, that happens too daily.

What did you think about your SA after coming to this site?
I realized how I had practically no SA online (except when I tried chat type stuff with friends) and how others did just trying to leave comments/responses, etc. It also made me realize how far I've come from what I was. How much I can still empathize with those going through any stage of it and how I can have caring feelings for so many people here. The best people I've met online have been the ones with SA. In general, they are a lot more caring and empathetic than others, also - a lot less judgemental, which is always nice. :)
 

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To what extent does SA affect your life?

It still affects my life quite a bit, but I am able to cope by using medication and forcing myself to socialize. I am not where I would like to be socially, but I am slowly progressing and I have high hopes. Recently, I have reached many social milestones. I am certainly not allowing it to control my life, as I am currently in med school trying to live the dream.

Do you have friends?

I do have friends, but not very many. However, that is really a function of my anxiety and my anti-social behavior. I am not one that likes to be surrounded by hundreds of friends. I prefer a few close friends.

Can you socialise?

Yes, I can obviously. Otherwise, I would have considered myself to be someone with extreme anxiety.

What are your worst and daily symptoms?

My symptoms are pretty typical, I think, of someone with SA. I still, to this day, have issues with eye contact. I stutter occasionally or say something stupid because I will be so nervous. I still have much anxiety around people with authoritative power such as professors. Casual conversation is difficult, but somehow I manage. It is difficult to break through my shell and form strong relationships, but again I am getting there slowly.

What did you think about your SA after coming to this site?

It just affirmed my belief that I am not the only with this problem and that it can always be worse.
 

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To what extent does SA affect your life?
I can still function somewhat normally in most situations. I have a job, I get along well with my immediate family, I don't have many problems using public transport, or going to meetings at various places around Europe with coworkers. I don't particularly like making phone calls but I usually manage to get through them without a great deal of trouble. I do feel my SA gets in the way of my job at times, I'm not good at speaking up in meetings or disagreeing with people even when I know for a fact that they're wrong. I also don't like to tell people I'm too busy to help them, so I end up with too much work to do sometimes. I have problems showing strong emotion to anyone, I pretend to be easygoing and neutral almost all the time even when I'm feeling tired and pissed off.

Do you have friends?
No, except online I have no friends, and haven't had for years. This is mainly a result of my SA being really bad in school, I stopped talking to all my existing friends and never made any new ones during university or since I started working. I don't see this changing anytime soon.

Can you socialise?
To some extent, yes. I sometimes go out for a drink or a meal with a group of people from work, and when we go off to project meetings abroad we end up going to restaurants in the evenings in groups of 10-30, which I usually manage to cope with. I don't contribute to conversations much though. I still have a habit of avoiding these situations if I can find a plausible excuse, because it's such an effort for me to be around so many people for several hours at a time.

What are your worst and daily symptoms?
I tend to start sweating quite easily and then find it hard to stop. If I start sweating even slightly (usually on my forehead), then I feel really self-conscious and embarrassed, which makes me sweat even more, and so it becomes a vicious circle. When this happens I can end up sweating really badly for 5 or 10 minutes until I can calm myself down.

I always feel really self-conscious unless I'm in a room by myself. It doesn't matter where I am or who I'm with, I still feel the same. This is part of what makes it difficult for me to socialise, I never feel completely relaxed around other people.

I tend to give very short answers to questions when I'm talking to someone, which usually means some awkward pauses in conversations if they were expecting a fuller response. Sometimes I'll actually have a long answer ready but just mumble something shorter instead because I don't want to talk for too long.

What did you think about your SA after coming to this site?
I had only just started reading about SA online, and I was surprised and encouraged to find so many people with similar problems to me.
 

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To what extent does SA affect your life?
It depends on the day. If I don't need to make any special trips or talk to anyone regarding logistical things, then I usually do okay. It's gotten worse since I moved an hour away from my friends and family onto a college dorm where I don't have friends outside of my roommates and everyone else seems to know each other.

Do you have friends?

I have a lot of friends at home, and a lot of acquaintances around whom I feel quite comfortable. But like I said, things have gotten worse since coming to college. I don't have any group where I really "belong." I feel like I forgot how to make friends.

Can you socialise?

Yes. Some days are better than others. Initiating conversations are the worst, but in the middle, I can act and feel pretty normal. The brief interactions with people can be pretty stressful. I'm bad at small talk, not sure when to smile or look someone in the eye, and I often screw up my "hello"s and "how are you"s.

What are your worst and daily symptoms?
General panic. My anxiety doesn't manifest itself physically unless I am really nervous, like before a presentation or on the first day of class.

What did you think about your SA after coming to this site?
This site has helped me to acknowledge the progress I have made over the years and to take myself more seriously. It's so easy to slip into self-hatred and a sense of alienation when surrounded by people who don't appear to have any trouble socializing. It's useful to remember there are people out there who know exactly what you are going through.
 

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SAS Master
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943 Posts
To what extent does SA affect your life?
I can function everyday, but it is kind of an emotional struggle to. I got to college and there are many things that irritate me very strongly that I have to face everyday. At work, I fear leaving my lab and going into the hallway because it's not busy. If I see the people who work in the office or the janitor I HAVE to interact with them, because we'll be the only people passing each other. It would be fine if I could build up a relationship with them, but it is a perpetual "hey, how are you" that I hate. Between classes, I try to to find a quiet place to read, but there is basically none. There are spots that I found are the best and they irritate the hell out of me. Because they are quiet except for every few minutes someone walking through a double set of doors that are loud as f&*$ so scare me/irritate me every 2 minutes or the same thing in the other place, but it's hearing people walking towards me down a REALLY long hall. High heeled shoes are the worst!! Just walking across campus gives me a good deal of anxiety, as I'm looking to see if I recognize anyone and kind of hoping I don't. At home I am mostly fine but the people across the street from me are always sitting on their porch facing my house, which makes me self-conscious to leave and to open my blinds too far. As you can probably tell, though I haven't been diagnosed, I'm a pretty paranoid person. Despite all that, I go to class and work every day.

Do you have friends?
My mom is my best friend. And I like my brother but he frequently likes to lecture me about how I should live life. My relationship with my dad is usually neutral, he gives me a lot of advise too and sometimes he's a huge dick. I basically don't have friends. I don't hang out with anyone, but I'm good at small-talk, joking conversations when it is one on one, so I make a lot of casual friends, friends that I don't hang out with. Well, not a lot, actually. I probably have four real good friends from college, that I would consider real good friends even though we don't regularly talk or see each other.

Can you socialise?
I'm pretty good at faking it. I think people when they meet me for the first time, sometimes might think I'm a happy-go-lucky fun friendly guy. But it doesn't last, because I'm good at faking it. Unfortunately, even if I come across good in a social situation, that confident guy isn't the real me, and I'm not really enjoying myself as much as I may seem to be.
 

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yeah, life is great
 

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nm jc
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I've had SA but managed to live a pretty average life. I have friends and can socialize well with others. Mostly, because I've become just so goddamn good at faking confidence......I have never been described as "quiet" or even "shy".
 

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Banned
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To what extent does SA affect your life?
It affects my life as I missed out on all the opportunities and some new ones that I avoid. The SA is kinda now like an annoying mosquito bite that doesn't go away instead of a large cloud raining permanently over my head like it was earlier in my lifetime. I tend to get by quite well now. I've accepted that will have just a little more anxiety in social situations than the avg. person.

Do you have friends?
I have a handful of good trusting friends. Though this is based on coming from a big city and a good environment for socialization and me being good at sports. I also consider myself to have a good sense of humor and am generally a nice person.

Can you socialise?
I attest this to having social butterflies as friends my whole life. Though I feel left out compared to them, some of their attributes have rubbed off on me. People will ask me here how i know how to make conversation, or 'why am i here', lol I say it's not that hard to talk to someone. It takes a lot of effort, but I try EVERYDAY to socialize and make conversation with people. You'll never know til you ask and you'll never know til you try. I guess I don't want to have doubt or worry anymore.

What are your worst and daily symptoms?
I am quite paranoid and avoidant. I am not good at making eye contact though I am getting better. I also tend to avoid face to face conversations with strangers. I avoid physical contact greetings and goodbyes. Haha I have hid in the bathroom til everyone left on more than one occasion. I have learned to focus off the anxiety using a friend to chat with or my listening to my ipod when alone, or wearing sunglasses. It's hard to walk around the world thinking people are constantly judging you. I feel this way in crowds of people all the time, but the focusing has helped. As far as that, being dependent on others to do things so you can avoid the anxiety has hurt me though; I need to do things alone socially more. I can't even go shopping to the mall by myself, or get a haircut.

What did you think about your SA after coming to this site?
Well I knew it wasn't so bad; But I knew it wasn't OK the things I was doing. It was not helping me grow as a human being. I guess I just hit a real bad patch of depression that month and decided I was tired of having the whole SA thing on my back, and going at it alone.
 

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Looking for an argument
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2,347 Posts
The answer to that riddle is nothing isn't it Banzai? Isn't that from The lord of the rings book? Here's my answers:
To what extent does SA affect your life?
To what extent doesn't it, it touches every single interaction i have with another human being.
Do you have friends?
No none, i'm a bit jealous of the others in this post, i only have acquaintences from my past.
Can you socialise?
Yes, but its usually uncomfortable. At the moment i don't it at all, but i've found the less i talk and listen to others the more i enjoy it.
What are your worst and daily symptoms?
Just a general unease and constant paranoia around everybody, i even feel anxious walking around my flat worrying what my flatmates think of how i'm walking.
What did you think about your SA after coming to this site?
This site probably does more for me than any therapist or medication ever could, i feel inspired by people on this to just live my life the best i can despite the discomfort, i doubt this problem will ever go away.
 

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herp derp
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The answer to that riddle is nothing isn't it Banzai? Isn't that from The lord of the rings book?
Yup :). As for the Lord of the Rings thing then, I'll take your word for it that it is... I have yet to read it (yes, shocking) so I have no idea :D.
 

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My social anxiety has got a lot better since high school. My biggest problem is how paranoid I am. I think it has to do with how people have treated me in my life. I have a fairly good amount of friends and a ton of acquaintances. My SA can change on a daily basis. It got kinda bad again when I was in a cast, but it hasn't been too much of a problem since I've been going to the gym 4-6 days a week again. I can socialize with people, but I'm not great with small talk. Coming to the site made me realize a lot of people deal with it and I seem to be better off then a lot of people on here. I don't have that "quiet/shy" label anymore, like a lot of people on here still get. I still get jokes from people, but I at least have some type of identity.
 

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I used to have really bad SA, but in the past couple of years it's cleared up a lot.

To what extent does SA affect your life?
It doesn't affect me so much in my day to day life because I just go to work and come home and hang out by myself most days. I avoid most situations that would cause me anxiety. But if I can't avoid something, I can usually get it done with little worry.

Do you have friends?
No, when my SA was more severe along with my depression it was impossible for me to keep friendships. I haven't really had a chance to make any more since then.

Can you socialise?
Yeah, sometimes. When I am at work I can have long conversations with people and it can be awkward but I can handle it.

What are your worst and daily symptoms?
My worst symptom is the nervousness I suppose. A lot of people tell me I look really high strung most of the time. I also have a difficult time speaking and thinking when I am nervous...so yeah... it causes alot of awkward conversations and moments. But somedays I don't have this problem at all. It's mostly just when I am meeting new people or in a crowded place.

What did you think about your SA after coming to this site?
When I first came to this site, 4 or 5 years ago I felt comforted in knowing that people had the same fears that I do. Now though I feel sorry for a lot of people on here knowing that I have improved so much while others are still in the same rut.
 

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I can get along pretty well. I think I just come off as weird. I can hold a conversation and be around people at school okay. It used to be worse, but now I think I'm getting more mature as I'm not a teenager anymore, and it's easier to suck things up and do them when I know they're important for me.

I have people I talk to in my classes at school, but no real friends.

I need A LOT of alone time though. I need at least a few hours a day to be by myself. I would like to have friends and hang out with them, just so long as I could always get time to myself.

My worst habit about all this is being my own friend, and inventing things in my head to entertain myself. I am very good at this. To a certain extent it doesn't matter, but when I'm uncomfortable I'll just sit there and daydream and be able to do it for hours at a time.

Coming to this site helped me because I don't feel so different anymore. I also don't feel like I'm weird anymore; I feel unique in a really good way. I'm sorry for the people who have it harder than me. I really hope it gets better for all of you.
 

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To what extent does SA affect your life?

It mainly affects my direct interactions with people. I don't speak when I'm supposed to, and when I do, I mumble. I feel like everybody thinks I'm a clown and a loser, so I tend to avoid people, even fairly good acquaintances, and I never participate in class.

Do you have friends? Can you socialise?

I have a couple of good friends plus a few people I'm fairly comfortable talking with. I can't really socialise. It's extremely difficult for me to hold a conversation with someone I don't know that well. Alcohol makes it a little easier, but not much.

What are your worst and daily symptoms?

Some days I don't really have symptoms at all if I don't run into anyone or anything that causes anxiety. My worst symptoms are probably elevated heart rate, blurred vision and blushing. I've never had a panic attack or anything like that. For me the worst is probably having to speak unprepared when there are a lot of people listening. Talking to chicks in any context is a very close second. At this point I'm actually pretty good at avoiding anxiety-provoking situations, so often the problem is not the feeling of anxiety itself, but the avoidance.

What did you think about your SA after coming to this site?

This site really opened my eyes to SA in general. I found out there are people out there who are struggling with these same issues. It put my problems into perspective as well. After all, my anxiety could be mistaken for just terrible social skills and shyness, so reading about people who can't speak on the phone or get panic attacks at the grocery store was rather humbling.
 
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