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So I'm just starting to realize that I have social anxiety. Well I guess I've known for a long time but never admitted it to myself or anyone else. I always come up with excuses or reasons for not putting myself in social settings. Mainly, I've blamed my small network of friends and lack of social life on my situation - that situation being that I moved 18 hours drive away from where I grew up to go to college. Part of the problem was that when I moved up here I had 6 other friends of mine (that were in a band) move up with me to the city to "try and make it" so I never bothered making a connection with anyone in college because I already had a close network of friends with me.

Then they moved back 'home' and I stayed and started a career at 19 working for a small technology company that attempted to develop an automated aircraft guidance system. They failed. I was given the choice to move to their head office (yet another city) or stay but be out of a job. I decided to move with the company because well I had nothing to lose - no friends or family around anyway. I stayed there for a bit until the airport authority called me up to come work for them and try to finish the project that the company I was working for started (I was 21 at the time). So I moved back and left the firends I had made with the company I was working for. I started to work for the aiport authority but never really met any 'friends' here for many 'reasons' (or what I convinced myself were reasons) - those reasons were that I was so young compared to everyone else they already had their network of friends established or they were all married and had kids, etc. But I stayed becuase its a good paying and secure job (the airport isn't going anywhere).

The point I'm trying to make is that at work although I can 'force' myself through interactions with people as long as its work related - I can't seem to 'force' myself into social situations outside work. So for the past 8 years (I'm 29 now) I've basically just been going to work and interacting with people through there and never anywhere else. Although this is the way I like - I don't like the person I'm turning into because of it. I don't think its healthy to be spending this much time on my own with my own thoughts - not because I'm thinking of negative thoughts. But I am thinking too much about everything and when I do talk to people I talk about my thoughts on certain subjects and I think the stuff I think about goes way over their head - and I end up just looking crazy. So thats why I don't think its healthy because I think I'm appearing to be crazy to people (to the point that I've noticed that I'm talking outloud to myself at home more).

Thats the thing though at work I can appear normal and hold a steady 90k a year job without issue where I am interacting with multiple people all the time and I can handle it. But if there is ever a social engagement that I'm invited to I cower and think up every excuse not to go - to the point that once I even flew out of town just to miss a work related social even (Christmas Dinner) as one example.

The other thing is that I even took up another part-time "on-the-side" job as a consultant where I meet new clients and meet new people all the time and even sit through CRA (Canadian equivelent to IRS) audits where they are questioning the reports I put together for clients (I write technical reports for companies looking for tax credits for doing Research and Development work) and again although I'm not entirely comfortable doing it - I can still manage without issue. But the thought of going out to anything where you have to be social in a casual non-focused way freaks me out and I don't want to participate or go to anything like that.

I was just wondering if anyone else could classify themselves as having social anxiety similar to this? I think part of my issue is that I don't like 'small talk' or 'fluff talk' as I like to call it - I think most people actually like small talk but I'm just not able to do it. I wish I could do it......sometimes.
 

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I am like this. If anyone seen me at work they never would guess I had a problem. I have to be very social in my job since I work in the social services field. I have to talk to my clients, and coworkers a lot. But I don't have much of a social life outside of the place. I can spend the whole weekend without talking to anyone outside my parent's. I also just hate going to any social function and luckily we don't have many of them for some reason lately. As long I an in environment where I know how to act I am fine. I am also bad at small talk. The guy across the street always tries to engage me in it if I happen to be out in the yard. That is why I always look out to make sure he is out in his yard when I go out into mine. It is worse in the winter because I always have to be outside doing snow removal duties, and that is when he catches me.
 
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