Dealing With Social Anxiety

The battle of getting out of bed, getting dressed and going out every day is one that used to completely depress me. I tag it a battle because it was a huge fight for a very long while; needing to prepare for lectures and interacting with other human beings or staying under the covers in bed with just my phone and the ever interesting internet. For a very long while, the bed won and my grades and real life started to deplete completely. I had to handle my social anxiety or watch my life waste entirely.

Firstly, I had to remind myself that people outside were just people like me and not super human beings that had life completely figured out. Normally, I would start my day thinking of activities I could turn down to have as  much time alone as possible to work on something important to me or just avoid people everywhere but this time I consciously allowed (forced) myself to be around people. I started with studying people around me and situations around me instead of the people in my phone. I started walking to my classes and everywhere else without my ears plugged to allow myself listen in on random conversations.

Then I started asking people questions, allowing very short conversations with the occasional smile and I kept reminding myself that they were all as anxious about something as I was. I noticed the “clique” system (basically how people moved in groups with people that balanced them out or made them feel completely comfortable) and I hated that. I decided to be fluid. After studying some people for a while, I started the ancient act of socializing. I asked anyone questions when I needed to and it felt like I was noticing a lot of people for the first time. It wasn’t long before people started calling when they didn’t see me in class early enough or them saying hello and starting up conversation without me feeling uncomfortable.

With time, I noticed that a lot of people had the same issues I had. They could barely maintain eye contact or keep up a conversation no matter how short it was, this was enough inspiration for me and I found myself gravitating towards people like this. All I needed to do was say hello and ask them questions that needed one word answers. With time, these kind of people started loosening up when it came to talking to me. I never had a clique, I just allowed myself talk to anyone and everyone.

I found myself waking up on time, getting dressed and heading to my lectures or anywhere else without the constant fear of having to talk to anyone. My lectures and normal outside activities were not as torturous as before because I felt comfortable doing a lot of things outside the walls of my apartment with actual human beings. It wasn’t a very easy process, some days and some actions from other people made me hate the outside world completely but I always focused on what was important to me. Having that at the back of my mind made the entire process a lot easier to handle.


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