If there was one thing I would change about myself, it would be eliminating my social anxiety. Every now and then, I enjoy catching up and spending time with friends. However, curling up in my room while journaling or surfing the web is always the more comfortable option for me than trying to make small talk with others.
Here is a more-or-less exaggerated (slightly-silly) scenario of what goes through a person’s mind when they experience social anxiety at a larger social function.
1.) I really don’t want to go to (insert party/event/gathering).
2.) But, there will be free food…
3.) That attractive guy might be there….
4.) Oh, but my bed and Netflix are so heavenly!!!
5.) Maybe, I’ll just slip in for 10 minutes, get my food, and leave.
6.) Yes, that sounds like a plan. *Goes into ninja mode*
7.) Gah, I don’t want to dress up!!! Pajammas are acceptable, right?
8.) No, I should wear that pretty dress in case attractive guy is there.
9.) Do I really NEED makeup? I’ll only be there for 10 minutes….
10.) Okay, I’m ready!!! Not really, but….
11.) WHY AM I SWEATING SO MUCH???
12.) Alright, so far I don’t recognize anyone….good because I really don’t want to talk to ANYBODY.
13.) I feel like I’m being watched and it’s REALLY freaking me out.
14.) OMGosh attractive guy is HERE!!!! Act natural…..
15.) Dang it, I look SOOO socially awkward. He’ll never ask me out.
16.) Okay, where’s the food, where’s the food???
17.) I really don’t want to look like a pig eating all these cookies and chips. NOBODY JUDGE ME!
18.) GASP, I see people I know….Don’t make eye contact!!!
19.) I love them, but I’m just NOT in the mood to talk. I hope they didn’t notice me avoiding them.
20.) I think I have a better relationship with food than people. That’s really sad.
21.) What’s wrong with me???
22.) There is literally NOTHING to do here expect for talking to people. I think I’ll just stick with eating.
23.) How long does this event last for anyways?
24.) I think I will go to the bathroom for a while.
25.) *Looks in the restroom mirror* I look like I just saw a ghost while running a marathon.
26.) Okay, I came, I ate, I conquered. Time to leave!
27.) Is it wrong for me to feel happy about this?
28.) I AM mentally drained and tired.
29.) Okay, the coast is clear….RUN.
30.) Well, don’t RUN, but walk out quickly and with purpose.
31.) I’m almost out the door! Freedom at last!
32.) SOMEONE JUST CALLED MY NAME.
33.) I can’t just look like I’m avoiding the world. Okay, I’ll talk for a little bit.
34.) I hate small talk that lasts forever….I don’t do small talk.
35.) I could be doing a lot more productive things right now.
36.) Wait, I think she/he is wrapping up the story.
37.) THERE IS A SILENT PAUSE.
38.) Whew, NOW I can say it’s time for me to leave.
39.) WHY do people always have to ask WHY I’m leaving??? It’s none of their business.
40.) I just want to stay in my bedroom and enjoy some alone time and peace.
41.) I don’t want to stay longer. I’ve already stayed 30+ minutes longer than I intended.
42.) Fine. I’ll stay for 10 more minutes. Then I’m leaving for real. I’m only doing this for you because I love you.
43.) Wait, where did all these other friends come from???
44.) I think I’m going to faint from social exhaustion.
45.) People are starting to leave! I guess the gathering is nearly over!
46.) YES, I FEEL SO RELIEVED! ALLELUIA!
47.) I’m almost home! YAY!
48.) Whew, that was a long event.
49.) It WAS good to talk with my friends, though.
50.) Maybe I’ll just curl up in a ball and go to sleep now.
What other thoughts go through YOUR mind when you experience social anxiety?