How to make friends with social anxiety
I assume you have social anxiety and aren't looking for people with social anxiety... That's just weird stalker LOL
I think we need to look at this from a slightly different direction...
People who identify as having social anxiety usually personalize it and say things like "my social anxiety" or say "I have social anxiety" like they say "my hand" or "I have a head".
IT ISN'T YOUR SOCIAL ANXIETY!!!
You don't own the social anxiety you're experiencing... it isn't your possession like a car or a sweater or a laptop...
Social anxiety is simply a grouping of physical and emotional responses to specific situations... probably things you do habitually... Like when you wear shoes to go to school or work but don't wear them swimming or walking around on the carpet in the house… Does social anxiety kick in when you’re playing video games alone? Or when you’re reading a book, or making something to eat? Probably not…
So stop calling it YOUR social anxiety!!!
And stop letting something that affects a TINY slice of your life control your whole life! I know… I know… A rudder is small compared to a ship and look what that does! Let’s not think of social anxiety as being as important as a rudder… Your brain can be the rudder… The habitual behaviours that you engage in that you label as social anxiety could be the handrail going up the stairs to the deck that the steering wheel of the ship is on.
So if it's a grouping of feelings and actions you engage in in a particular situation... you can probably learn to do different things in those same situations. Am I correct?
Secondly… Get out of the mindset of giving so much over importance to a particular feeling in your body… What does social anxiety feel like? Describe it to me…
Do you get a weird feeling in your stomach?
Do you start to sweat?
Do you feel light headed?
Do you get tightness in your chest?
Do your legs shake?
It sounds to me like you’ve got covid or you’re in love.
And those may be the exact same feelings someone who is about to go skydiving feel… So if they are about to do one of the most adrenaline filled activities known to humankind… a mix of fear and excitement… Maybe what you’re feeling is the exact same mix of fear and excitement.
So why do they jump out of a perfectly good airplane… even if it’s their very first jump? Because they’ve got a parachute. No one is throwing them out of the plane without a chute.. They’ve been trained somewhat… and not only do they have a chute but they have a backup chute… They will most likely be just fine.
You have a parachute too… but you may not be aware of it.
You’re supposed to feel the sweaty hands, the racing heart, the wide eyes, and the tingling ears… just like when you were learning to ride a bike for the first time as a kid… But nowadays you’re feeling those feelings and you interpret those feelings as impending doom instead of excitement!
The feelings you label as social anxiety is exactly what you’re supposed to feel when doing something new… except it’s not socially acceptable to run to your mom when you’re feeling those feelings of fear and excitement as a teenager or adult.
The problem is that you feel those feelings… instead of doing the thing that causes those feelings… you have a world full of people cheering “Don’t do the thing that scares you” Don’t do the thing that scares you!” “We will sympathize with you and give your social media posts likes for NOT doing the thing”... “Don’t do the thing!” “You’re so brave for not doing the thing and posting about your fears!” “We’ll give you validation, adulation, and admiration for posting about your brave battle against the thing!” Let’s pat ourselves on the back for wanting the world to be a different way than it actually works!” “We love you for fearing how gravity pulls you to the earth… You are soooo brave for standing up to gravity and laying on your bed and not walking… Damn you gravity and all the oppression you cause!”
You learned social anxiety… so you are capable enough to unlearn it… or at least learn some new skills to take the place of these feelings when you start feeling that mix of fear and excitement when you spot a stranger who is probably feeling the exact same thing as you!