Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

I don't understand social awkwardness/anxiety? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    I read a lot of stuff on here from people who say they're so anxious they hate things like shopping, going to the doctor, talking to people, etc. I'm not arrogant enough to think that because I don't understand it that it doesn't exist, but I do not understand how people cannot do these things. What do they think is going to happen if they talk to a cashier or a receptionist? Why do they care what people think of them? Why does it affect their lives so much?

    I used to be shy, but I never had a problem with daily life. I got a voluntary job in a public-facing role and started talking to people whenever I could at work, making conversation with cashiers in other shops when buying things, phoning to complain about things to get my telephone skills up, etc, and now I'm really confident with social skills. Why can people with anxiety not do things like this? It's not going to get any better if they sit around and moan about it. Nobody really cares if you stumble your sentences in the real world, as long as you're nice to them.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    People have trouble doing these things because of past events that traumatise/ruin confidence. It's not their fault. As a person with social anxiety, if I could change things, I would but it's not that easy. Just consider yourself lucky you don't have such a crippling mental illness.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Some people really are traumatised. Others really do have disorders. Nuff sed. :closedeyes:
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by emmalouise-)
    People have trouble doing these things because of past events that traumatise/ruin confidence. It's not their fault and as a person with social anxiety, if I could change things, I would but it's not that easy. Just consider yourself lucky you don't have such a crippling mental illness.
    Exactly.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by emmalouise-)
    People have trouble doing these things because of past events that traumatise/ruin confidence. It's not their fault and as a person with social anxiety, if I could change things, I would but it's not that easy. Just consider yourself lucky you don't have such a crippling mental illness.
    Well what do you do about your illness (not asking harshly, but genuinely interested)? Your confidence and people skills are not going to get any better if you don't try and talk to people you don't know. Could you not start slowly, like asking a cashier what their day has been like, or asking someone in the street for the time?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pectorac)
    Well what do you do about your illness (not asking harshly, but genuinely interested)? Your confidence and people skills are not going to get any better if you don't try and talk to people you don't know. Could you not start slowly, like asking a cashier what their day has been like, or asking someone in the street for the time?
    Well I for one am doing a mixture of CBT and exposure therapy at the moment, I very much want to get better and I'm trying hard to make that happen. I know it's hard to understand that something you find so easy and maybe take for granted could be so scary for someone else but it is. There are also different levels of SA. I have no problem speaking to a cashier or going into a shop, but meeting new people and making friends is a huge task for me.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ApeMob)
    Some people really are traumatised. Others really do have disorders. Nuff sed. :closedeyes:
    (Original post by ApeMob)
    Exactly.
    Well helping themselves to overcome their trauma and live better lies is not going to happen if they don't try to take small steps to talking to other people, instead of moaning about it on the internet. Surely their doctors and counsellors tell them to do things like this, combined with medication to try and help their problems too?
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    J
    (Original post by Pectorac)
    I read a lot of stuff on here from people who say they're so anxious they hate things like shopping, going to the doctor, talking to people, etc. I'm not arrogant enough to think that because I don't understand it that it doesn't exist, but I do not understand how people cannot do these things. What do they think is going to happen if they talk to a cashier or a receptionist? Why do they care what people think of them? Why does it affect their lives so much?

    I used to be shy, but I never had a problem with daily life. I got a voluntary job in a public-facing role and started talking to people whenever I could at work, making conversation with cashiers in other shops when buying things, phoning to complain about things to get my telephone skills up, etc, and now I'm really confident with social skills. Why can people with anxiety not do things like this? It's not going to get any better if they sit around and moan about it. Nobody really cares if you stumble your sentences in the real world, as long as you're nice to them.
    I didn't have it that bad, but I had it enough to make me dread those things too (not shopping, but stuff like speaking to the Doctor/people on the phone etc). Basically I'd get a huge adrenaline rush and to the point where all I could think about was how much I wanted to avoid the situation for fear of making a mistake so everyone judges you... It's pretty hard to explain. The only reason I can think of that caused it for me was from year 7/8, where if I got a question wrong, I'd be taunted by half the class. I irrationally applied this to many other social situations which was not good, although eventually I got the guts to get over it by giving myself mini challenges.

    Edit: I think you have to be self motivated to get over it... Until then it's easier to hide

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pectorac)
    instead of moaning about it on the internet.
    That's really quite insensitive? Many people who 'moan' on the internet are having counselling. Internet forums can be therapeutic, it's a space for people with SA to vent because they don't necessarily have the confidence to speak to people in person
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by emmalouise-)
    That's really quite insensitive? Many people who 'moan' on the internet are having counselling. Internet forums can be therapeutic, it's a space for people with SA to vent because they don't necessarily have the confidence to speak to people in person
    It gets tiresome when I see people saying things like 'I've had counselling for two years and I'm on X medication and have Y many doctors appointments, but I still can't do (whatever social task) after all this time. I'm really sad and isolated and I don't have any friends and I don't know what to do'.

    Obviously a paraphrase but that's the gist of some of the things on here. It's pretty obvious if they carry on the way they are then nothing is ever going to get better for them. A lot of them don't seem to be making any effort and expect the medication and counselling to be magically fixing their lives, without them having to do anything themselves.
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    When I used to be a naive little kid, whatever I spoke gave people the following impression: "wtf is he babbling on about?"

    Once I became aware of that I stopped talking.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pectorac)
    I read a lot of stuff on here from people who say they're so anxious they hate things like shopping, going to the doctor, talking to people, etc. I'm not arrogant enough to think that because I don't understand it that it doesn't exist, but I do not understand how people cannot do these things. What do they think is going to happen if they talk to a cashier or a receptionist? Why do they care what people think of them? Why does it affect their lives so much?

    I used to be shy, but I never had a problem with daily life. I got a voluntary job in a public-facing role and started talking to people whenever I could at work, making conversation with cashiers in other shops when buying things, phoning to complain about things to get my telephone skills up, etc, and now I'm really confident with social skills. Why can people with anxiety not do things like this? It's not going to get any better if they sit around and moan about it. Nobody really cares if you stumble your sentences in the real world, as long as you're nice to them.
    What is hard to grasp about the concept of 'irrational' fear?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by emmalouise-)
    Well I for one am doing a mixture of CBT and exposure therapy at the moment,
    **** & ball torture?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pectorac)
    It gets tiresome when I see people saying things like 'I've had counselling for two years and I'm on X medication and have Y many doctors appointments, but I still can't do (whatever social task) after all this time. I'm really sad and isolated and I don't have any friends and I don't know what to do'. Obviously a paraphrase but that's the gist of some of the things on here. It's pretty obvious if they carry on the way they are then nothing is ever going to get better for them. A lot of them don't seem to be making any effort and expect the medication and counselling to be magically fixing their lives, without them having to do anything themselves.
    You're not getting it. For many people with SA some of the smallest social tasks can take up a ridiculous amount of energy. Essentially, a tiny amount of effort to you would be like climbing a mountain for someone else.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    What is hard to grasp about the concept of 'irrational' fear?
    The irrational part. It just doesn't make sense to me that people cannot think that they are being so irrational that it is possible for them to change if they really try.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Trust me, worked at the till in a shop, phoned many times to complain/enquire/book appointments and put myself waaay out of my comfort zone. It's not usually easy and environment is also a factor. If more people were understanding enough , it'll be easier for those who have such issues to consistently tackle them
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Ziggy Sawdust)
    **** & ball torture?
    yeah
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pectorac)
    Well what do you do about your illness (not asking harshly, but genuinely interested)? Your confidence and people skills are not going to get any better if you don't try and talk to people you don't know. Could you not start slowly, like asking a cashier what their day has been like, or asking someone in the street for the time?
    My sister has the disorder. It's not a choice, or something that can be quickly fixed with a growth of 'confidence'. It's a mental condition. She's 11 and has a genuine fear of leaving the house. The idea of doing a trivial task of going up the corner shop gives her panic attacks. Therapy and baby steps can gradually help, but it's a very long winded process whereby you have to train your brain. The best way to describe it... Back in cavemen times, if they were walking through the forest and heard an animal move in the trees, they would assume the animal is going to eat them alive. Nowadays, we've adapted and we wouldn't assume that, we'd just think it was the wind or a small animal passing by. People with anxiety have the 'old version' of the brain if you like, and have to actually retrain their minds to think differently. It's something that can suffocate people's lives. Personally, a few minutes ago my younger sister watched the Florida advert on TV and stated "I wish we could go there mum, if only I wasn't too scared". It's more than just a moan on the internet, or somebody being shy. But I appreciate you've asked and are trying to learn


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    There's a difference between shy and social anxiety; social anxiety is an intense fear of being judged or scruitnised. It's hard to know what it's actually like unless you're experiencing it.

    It's an irrational fear; that's why it's classed as a mental disorder.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pectorac)
    The irrational part. It just doesn't make sense to me that people cannot think that they are being so irrational that it is possible for them to change if they really try.
    In an anxious moment, the rational, logical part of my brain is completely overridden by my irrational socially anxious side. It's only in hindsight when I can think 'that was an irrational thought'
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: July 26, 2014
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.