Why do I have anxiety about speaking to strangers? Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
I hate speaking to strangers on the phone, I hate going into banks and having to speak to a formal person, I hate going into a workplace and asking if they're hiring etc etc

I know it's stupid and I tell myself that, but my body doesn't react to how I feel mentally so in the end my voice ends up shaking, I go red in the cheeks and I start sweating bad, even in winter.

So this obviously increases my anxiety because even though in my head I am telling myself there is no reason for me to be scared or anxious, I know that my body is going to react how I just described and I can imagine that the other person I am talking to is probably thinking what the hell is this idiot going red for in the face and why is his voice shaking.

I have confidence in myself in every other aspect except for this, I date, I have friends, I can easily speak to people my own age except for public speaking, that I cannot do. But older people or people in "charge" when I'm essentially a nobody gives me major anxiety.

I guess this sounds like I'm ranting but I just need to vent and I need some advice and help, I don't want to feel like this any more. I'm embarrassed to ask for help because I don't even know what anxiety this is, speaking in public anxiety?
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trustmeimlying1
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#2
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I hate speaking to strangers on the phone, I hate going into banks and having to speak to a formal person, I hate going into a workplace and asking if they're hiring etc etc

I know it's stupid and I tell myself that, but my body doesn't react to how I feel mentally so in the end my voice ends up shaking, I go red in the cheeks and I start sweating bad, even in winter.

So this obviously increases my anxiety because even though in my head I am telling myself there is no reason for me to be scared or anxious, I know that my body is going to react how I just described and I can imagine that the other person I am talking to is probably thinking what the hell is this idiot going red for in the face and why is his voice shaking.

I have confidence in myself in every other aspect except for this, I date, I have friends, I can easily speak to people my own age except for public speaking, that I cannot do. But older people or people in "charge" when I'm essentially a nobody gives me major anxiety.

I guess this sounds like I'm ranting but I just need to vent and I need some advice and help, I don't want to feel like this any more. I'm embarrassed to ask for help because I don't even know what anxiety this is, speaking in public anxiety?
its grand man I was exactly the same.
thankfully theres loads of ways to improve on this.
yeh gota push yourself tho.if yeh wish to skype we can have a wee chat.
we could practice..like "formal talk" if needs be:P
otherwise you could try chat rooms perhaps...build up the confidence.
get involved in societies..get a job.join spots club.join public speaking.

I still am socially retard..as well as shy..but im improving at it.
so can you..no point worrying bout it
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shawn_o1
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I know how you feel. I remember being all sweaty after presenting in front of the class many years ago, I even fluffed my lines. No surprise that I got the lowest mark then
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bluebeetle
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I get this too (but for me it's probably because of having asperger's), and I agree that it's very frustrating when logically you know everything's fine but your face still goes red and you still shake like a leaf!

I usually alternate between strategically avoiding the situation and just toughing it out. I usually check if I can get away with sending an email rather than phoning, and if I do have to phone I write down all the info I might need, even if I'm sure I'll remember it, so that I don't panic and forget what to say.

When I actually have to talk to somebody I don't want to talk to, I usually practise the conversation with a friend beforehand and ask them 'what do I say if they say this...' kind of questions. It seems silly, but my friends are pretty understanding, so hopefully yours would be too. Remember that people at the bank and at shops are usually trained in customer service, and are going to do their best not to make you feel more uncomfortable than you already are. And remember that they're probably a lot happier to speak to a socially awkward customer than to a rude/demanding customer. I also find it relaxes me if I look up a bank/shop's website and read FAQs and stuff, just so I have as much understanding as I can about the situation I'll be in and what they might say.

In terms of public speaking (which I love to bits, can't get enough of it, but I shake so hard I sometimes drop my cards), I just do a lot of practice and then force myself to do it. I've learned that people usually people won't mention or care if you do look nervous as long as you've got a sense of humour about it. Try to vary your tone of voice and don't talk quietly and shyly. I know it's hard but it does get better with practice.
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Sabertooth
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If you're looking for something to help you manage the physical symptoms of anxiety, you could try asking your doctor for propranolol. It stops things like increased heart rate/sweating or shaking which means that as you don't need to worry about physical symptoms you can focus on controlling your mental anxiety.
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shawn_o1
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it's even harder when you have social anxiety and are forced to speak a language you aren't familiar with (i.e. not your mother tongue)
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Charybde
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Obviously I cannot diagnose you but this seems like 'social anxiety' to me - a term you've probably heard before.

Visit your GP and describe your symptoms. Don't be afraid - they're trained to deal with cases like this and there are various treatments available. For example, beta blockers such as propranolol are often used in social anxiety to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as sweating, palpitations, increased heart rate etc, which would sound useful in your case. There are other treatments, such as antidepressants e.g. fluoxetine, which help reduce anxiety levels and relax you a little. They also prescribe benzodiazepines such as diazepam/valium, but they don't often do this and only prescribe for a maximum of a few weeks due to. If these fail, you could ask to be referred for therapy, specifically cognitive behavioral therapy which is very good at treating all sorts of anxiety.

I suffer from social anxiety too so I know how difficult it can be at times.
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Toriar
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I think this is quite a common worry but if you really feel it's a problem then go to the doctors and they'll be able to help with your anxiety.
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