Yah, this. I think it depends why your SA manifests itself. For me part of my problem is that I sometimes have difficulty communicating effectively and that never goes away, even if I get to know someone better. It's always a challenge and so can make communicating difficult and anxiety provoking. It all depends on what the underlying cause of your anxiety is. So many different reasons why someone can feel anxious in social situations.
yea I know what you mean, I can't really relate much to people my age who have a partner and kids, it seems to be most of what they talk about is married, family life etc. whereas my life consists of me being a loner and doing nothing exciting or normal parent lifestyle related whatsoever. and I get what you mean about imposter syndrome, people will figure out how boring I am eventually and it will just lead to disappointment.
Well, in my case I actually managed to overcome the low self-esteem problem. I don't think I'm boring, and my lack of personality just comes from the fact that in childhood I was forced to suppress my natural personality and put on a quiet and passive shell in order to not trigger abuse. Gradually in adulthood I was able to get rid of that shell, but it's like I've replaced it with a bunch of masks of what I think "acting normal" looks like in a given situation. I don't think I ever got to build a personality underneath it all.
I think people with "classic" social anxiety experience it in specific situations, like public speaking or eating in front of others or standing in line at the store or whatever. But I think they still have a coherent personality that they are able to slowly reveal outside of those specific situations. If they go to school or work or a club or some place where they are around the same group of people regularly they can still naturally make friends without too
much trouble. I've seen it happen over and over again with people who call themselves "shy" or "introverted". (Often their shyness even makes them endearing.) But to me that process seems kind of like a black box, like that whole "??? ... Profit!!!" meme.
In a way I feel like my problem is the opposite of classic social anxiety. I do quite well in structured situations - I can handle public speaking if I'm well-prepared. Of course I am still nervous, but it's like I know my stuff and I can focus on that. But in socialising and relationships it's like, just focus on "being yourself" - what on earth is "myself"??? Has a mental breakdown
I was a teacher briefly and sometimes when I'm socialising I feel myself slipping into "teacher mode" and inwardly cringe at myself. It's almost like I'm doing a lesson about hobbies and I'm all like, "I like to read. What do you
like to do?" and stuff. Ugh.
I wonder what it's like to feel like an actual person...
Anyway, this video
explains the nuances really well. I have a lot more to say about avoidant personality but I've already written a wall of text 😂