I need to share a thought and moment of vulnerability.
My social anxiety generally comes and goes and it’s something I just “deal” with. It’s usually not a huge issue for me.
Last weekend during Atlanta Pride, it got so bad that it was almost crippling. It was the worst I’ve ever experienced. I was a lot quieter than I usually I am (which isn’t at all). As an extrovert, this dichotomy is frustrating as fuck to deal with.
I’ve been doing a lot of self reflecting since I got back and also saw this meme and have come to some conclusions for myself.
First, I need to be proactive about when I’m experiencing this anxiety and to take steps to move out of it or minimize it. It controlled me way too much last weekend and I didn’t bring my whole self out with most of my friends.
Second, I need to know my triggers. I actually figured out what triggers it for me earlier today, which is a revelation to me since I didn’t know before.
My trigger is intact friend groups. If I try to hang out with an established friend group, that quickly shuts me down. I become paranoid that they won’t want to be my friend or that I don’t belong. Once I realized this, several moments in my life flashed back with context that makes sense.
Working past this is going to be a huge step forward for me.
Third, I need to give myself more positive pep talks and reaffirmation of positive behaviors instead of tearing myself down or excluding myself. I do more of the latter in those situations.
I freely talk about my anxiety but it’s starting to sound like an excuse. I don’t want that. It’s a hurdle, not the end of the world. I want to acknowledge and overcome it. That’s the game plan moving forward from today.