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Do I have social anxiety or am I just awkward? Watch

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    Im starting y11 and have thought since year 9 that I had social anxiety
    In yr9 I was put into classes with people from different tutor groups (they moved my year group around because of our option choices). I only knew about 5 people in my class which has remained the same for most my subjects. I haven't rlly made friends with anyone in this new set of classes.
    It was around this time I started to turn red and feel self-conscious a lot, when previously things like that wouldn't bother me.

    It got particularly bad when I started to dread lessons where I thought something would make me feel embarrassed even though it hadn't happened yet (e.g. having to sit in the middle of a table who were talkative and have to think of something to say, and would feel exposed inthe middle of a group of people even if i wasnt saying anything).
    For a few months earlier this year I didn't feel comfortable with my group of 6ish friends so I avoided the canteen and ate lunch with one of my best friends who is also fairly quiet. Me and my friends have drifted apart a little, as I'm only in classes with a few if them. But now I'm eating in the canteen again.

    But I looked at some blogs of people with social anxiety who seem to be facing a lot worse than I am. I don't get panic attacks and some people with SA seem to... and also I can sometimes be louder and a bit more outgoing, epecially when I'm with my friends in class.
    It's making me think that I don't have it, and it's all in my head (excuse the pun, but you know what I mean).

    This is what I do have:
    I turn red at everything... talking to teachers, talking to practically anybody of the opposite sex, when embarrassed or speaking in front of the class (but i think that's normal), meeting new people, stupid things like if I catch somebody looking at me, and lots of other weird random reasons. I think it's at the point where if I'm worried about blushing, or rather not being able to hide blushing (E.g. in a classroom where everyone can see me) I WILL turn red.
    I feel self-conscious most of the time especially when sat on my own in classes
    I never wear my hair up for fear of turning red and not being able to hide it. also don't go without makeup.
    I'm quiet in classes and can never think of how to start a conversation with someone I don't know that well.
    Always worry about parties, events, concerts (I play in a band) in advance. Sometimes get self conscious during a music performance and turn red just because I can see that the audience are looking at me, or that I played something wrong. I faked feeling ill to get out of the last concert we did... I used to really enjoy them but now I just feel too self conscious to enjoy myself.

    Aaanyway, I'd just like a few opinions since I haven't told anyone about this, and would like to know if I genuinely have a problem or whether my friends will just think I'm being stupid if I tell them.
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    You might have mild social anxiety. You should discuss this with a GP.
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    Only trouble is, how would I get to a GP appointment without my parents knowing? Also I'm fifteen and not sure if I can even legally make an appointment on my own...
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    There are different degrees of social anxiety, some specific to situations and some more generalised. You have identified situations in which you feel anxious and your blushing is a symptom of attention. You are now preoccupied with it.

    Telling the right people is important because it can feel like there is nothing to hide anymore. I think that blushing is helped by voicing it, if you have the courage and can trust them. A small minority at your age will use it against you and you need to be prepared to react to their comments. But this is character building in the long term if you are ready for it.

    Without patronising you, do you think that you can see the lighter side of your blushing? When you can, you will downgrade the severity and frequency of your response. One reason why people blush is because they have something to hide!

    A way to manage (vent) your anxiety is learn how to breathe to relax. It takes practise, but it can be very effective: http://www.clinicalhypnotherapy-card...ng-techniques/
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    (Original post by All in the mind)
    There are different degrees of social anxiety, some specific to situations and some more generalised. You have identified situations in which you feel anxious and your blushing is a symptom of attention. You are now preoccupied with it.

    Telling the right people is important because it can feel like there is nothing to hide anymore. I think that blushing is helped by voicing it, if you have the courage and can trust them. A small minority at your age will use it against you and you need to be prepared to react to their comments. But this is character building in the long term if you are ready for it.

    Without patronising you, do you think that you can see the lighter side of your blushing? When you can, you will downgrade the severity and frequency of your response. One reason why people blush is because they have something to hide!

    A way to manage (vent) your anxiety is learn how to breathe to relax. It takes practise, but it can be very effective: http://www.clinicalhypnotherapy-card...ng-techniques/
    Thank you for the article, I think I'll try this next time I feel like I'm about to blush. Tbh I think ill still be too paranoid about blushing to be able to prevent it by relaxing my breathing, but I will try.
    I get what you mean about people my age ‘using it against me' - on a few occasions in class I haven't been able to hide it and a few more popular people have noticed and laughed, and started whispering to each other about me - and of course that just makes it worse.

    think there is a friend I would possibly feel OK about seeing me blush and not feel they would be judgemental about it (although I'm not as close to her anymore bc of different classes). I'm meeting up with her and another friend in the holidays, maybe I'll tell her about it then.

    And i know what you said about not taking blushing as seriously would help, but even if I dont take it as seriously and think it doesn't matter, I'm still worried about what people think the reason I'm blushing is (the most common conclusions they jump to are 1. That I'm guilty of something or lying and 2. That I fancy someone). I think the blushing could be a reason I haven't made any new friends, as if someone is talking to me and I feel myself starting to blush, I'll abruptly end the conversation asap and turn away to hide it.

    But thank you for the advice especially about finding someone to talk to, I think I needed to hear it.
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    Breathing exercises won't "prevent" blushing, but it will help to vent it.

    The novelty of someone blushing can wear off. After a while it no longer becomes a hot topic. Let it happen and come out of the other side. Don't see it as an obstacle to anything; particularly as a reason for not making new friends. People won't dislike you for your blushing; only you will dislike you for it. They will think that they have done something to offend you (there's lots of mixed messages going around!) Unless you do a U-turn with your coping, it will harm your self and social esteem.

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm still worried about what people think the reason I'm blushing is .
    Here lies the reason that you are struggling with your blushing. You are in conflict and you are convinced that you can mind read others and this is splitting your attention. Focus on what you want to achieve in your verbal communication regardless of your blushing; dismiss the importance of what others' think.

    By talking, you will find that the majority of your peers have anxiety symptoms, some visible and some hidden. Not many will have the courage to speak about it.
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by All in the mind)
    Breathing exercises won't "prevent" blushing, but it will help to vent it.

    The novelty of someone blushing can wear off. After a while it no longer becomes a hot topic. Let it happen and come out of the other side. Don't see it as an obstacle to anything; particularly as a reason for not making new friends. People won't dislike you for your blushing; only you will dislike you for it. They will think that they have done something to offend you (there's lots of mixed messages going around!) Unless you do a U-turn with your coping, it will harm your self and social esteem.



    Here lies the reason that you are struggling with your blushing. You are in conflict and you are convinced that you can mind read others and this is splitting your attention. Focus on what you want to achieve in your verbal communication regardless of your blushing; dismiss the importance of what others' think.

    By talking, you will find that the majority of your peers have anxiety symptoms, some visible and some hidden. Not many will have the courage to speak about it.
    Thanks again for the advice, it's helped having another opinion. Next time I blush I'm just going to let people see it and focus on the conversation (unless its a situation where I could end up like REALLY REALLY publicly humiliated and not be able to explain why I'm blushing, you know ).

    Do you think there is any ‘cure' for blushing though? Not necessarily something to stop social anxiety but just the physical symptoms, like some sort of medication or something. And preferably nothing id have to go to a GP for because then id have to explain to my parents and i doubt they'd understand how serious I was about it, or think that everything could be solved by moving me to different school classes or something.
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    The "cure" is to change your reaction to it. Let it come and go and over time, you will build social confidence. Socially confident people blush; they just don't make a big thing out of it.

    Keep steering yourself towards social confidence as you move into adulthood. Confront your anxiety rather than avoiding it.
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    #2

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Only trouble is, how would I get to a GP appointment without my parents knowing? Also I'm fifteen and not sure if I can even legally make an appointment on my own...
    You can legally make an appointment on your own.
    However, if the GP feels the need to tell your parents anything, he is allowed to (as far as I'm aware, without your permission).
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    Ok thank you for all the advice :-)
 
 
 
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