Sunday, March 21, 2010

Social Anxiety

Have you experienced social anxiety? Do you make internal commentary about how well you’re interacting? What does social anxiety feel like for you? Does it stop you trying to interact with others? If you choose to stay at home instead of going out is it a factor of avoidance of the discomfort of social situations; or more that solitude is a happy experience for you?

Do you think anxiety, lack of confidence or self esteem have impacted on your ability to reach your potential? Has confidence or self esteem changed over time and what has helped?

F60: I have had a tendency to let people approach me in terms of friendships rather than initiate them. It was only by he time I reched my mid fifties that I was able to make friends with people under my own initiative. I still have problems with large groups especially parties, where I know very few people. If I am in a new group I prefer it to be one with mutual interests so that I have a ready made conversation topic. In groups, I am only truly comfortable with people I have known for a very long time where I have had time to be able to connect. I still do much better one on one or in a group of maybe 4 tops.
There have definitely been problems with lack of self esteem and I feel social anxiety and avoid too many social situations eg if I have been very social one day I prefer a day to myself to recuperate. Being with people takes a lot out of me and drains me physically.
Self confidence has improved as I got older. I have worked very hard at this doing a lot of analytical work on myself as I am. That has helped me to become more self-confident and ralize there is a place for me in this world, as opposed to thinking I just didn’t fit in.

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