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Hey Folks,

Ive become a pretty open guy and i need opinions, do you think i should openly let people know ive SA, i told one friend and she kind of gave a look to say *tut, dont be silly* and i told my mother, she didnt understand it but she said 'dont be telling people this' that they wont understand.

Im not trying to imbrace how ok i am here but i dont think you should have to hide it, i want everyone to know, main reason being people will be aware and understand why i am and have been the way i am, i have got past what people think of me that was the hard part so why should i care?
 

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Equilibrian Epicurius
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I used to be uncomfortable telling people about my SA but now I'm really open about it and could care less what peoples' reactions might be. It's not something I'd just randomly bring up out of the blue but if someone asks me why I don't have a job, I find it's easier to just tell them the truth. You know what, I think I just don't care much about the opinion that non-SAers may have of me.

Now, when you meet someone for the first time it wouldn't be the best idea to just let them know right off the bat that you suffer from social phobia. But after you start getting to know them, it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring it up. If they think you're wierd or some kind of crazy person because of an anxiety disorder then you'll know right then and there that they aren't worth spending time with.
 

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The b**** is back
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All of my friends know I have SA- some of the ones I've had for a long time remember when I wouldn't see or talk to them for months or would get blind drunk to get through social gatherings. All of them are accepting and when I'm in "retreat mode" give me the space I need. The right friends, REAL friends, will accept you as you are. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to no longer feel shame, SA does not make you a bad person and real friends will understand that.
 

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I made the mistake of telling my boyfriend years ago (I kind of figured he had already picked up on my awkwardness/shyness when with his outgoing friends) and when I told him he reacted strangely. He got very quiet.

So... from that point on, everytime we went out, I knew he was thinking about how anxious I must be... which made the anxiety worse.

He's extremely outgoing so just didn't understand, I suppose.

So I guess it depends on who you're telling.
 

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I wouldn't bother about disclosing your SA to others, unless you're close enough to the other person where you're comfortable discussing anything and everything. Anxiety disorders, and mental health in general is a very personal thing which typically doesn't do well in general 'small talk' types of conversations. It would be the equivalent of talking about warts on your feet, or about prostate problems. (Not something that most people typically want to hear about, or are comfortable discussing in general conversations).
 

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Shining Phoenix
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Ever since I found out I was suffering from SA I've told 3 people (former "friend", my dad, and my eldest sister) about it. My former "friend", shrugged it off by saying that I needed a vacation, and I realized that he never gave a crap at all after witnessing how many times he would insult me in ways that he knew would hurt me.

Same with my dad and my sister.

I told my dad about it and how SA was the sole reason of me dropping out of school, at first he sounded like he understood, but a week after, when the subject of school and continuing my education came up in our convos, he would mention how I'm lazy and a slacker and use examples of how I dropped out of high school as evidence, like I never even had that important discussion about SA with him a week ago.

The reasons I told my eldest sister was that I was (and still am) always nervous around her, and I was also starving for human attention. She understood and told me that she never thought about it that way, but gave no good advice. Now that I look back at it, there was no reason for telling them. My "friend" was a person who was suffering from addictive personality disorder, he was an alcoholic and a drugie and had major family problems. My dad is a man who is stressed all of the time, feels unappreciated, lives on an unhealthy diet, and has to work in an 11 hours shift job to take care of not only my family, but his mother, 3 brothers, and their families. My sister problems are not as big but she still has problems, acting diva like and absuing my little sister verbally and physically (although not so much anymore when it comes to the physical part).

What I'm trying to say here is that there is no point in telling ordinary people that you suffer from SA, since they either are ignorant on the subject, won't understand, or just won't care due to the fact the vast majority of ordinary people got enough problems on their hands. But I understand why you would think that you feel the need to tell people so that they can "be aware and understand". Most of us who suffer from SA would love to live in a world where people would empathize with what we're going through, heck I still remember daydreaming all the time about such a scenario when ever I felt isolated and inferior to others in social situations, but sadly, that's not how the real world is.


My advice to you is to look at those two examples you wrote and don't bother. If you feel the urge to tell someone though, tell it only to professional licensed therapists. Besides you, they're the only other ones who could help eliminate SA.
 

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The b**** is back
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I always see people here refer to "ordinary people" as if it's us v them. That is, there are people with SA, then there's everyone else. You know, there ARE insensitive a*holes and it's a shame you've experienced that, but you'd be surprised how many "normal" people have problems of their own that make them more understanding than you might expect.
 

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If I feel like saying something to someone I don't know well, I just say I'm "extremely shy". People I am closer to know more.
 

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I have told members of my family (people who I know I could trust). Even a few friends know, but I wouldn't spread it any further than that.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't make a point of telling people who don't need to know. If they don't ask why I'm dodging social engagements or why I'm quiet or whatever, there's not much point in telling them.

I think most people just won't know how to respond if you tell them. Even if they try to be understanding. I've told my mother basically what my problem is and she's in denial about it so now I feel that my own mother doesn't even get it.
 
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