What social anxiety taught me.

I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee, somewhere in Italy and I started thinking to myself: “How the fuck did I get here?”. I went from being a shy little introvert who couldn’t talk to people even if my life was on the line, so I figured out I could find what made me click and what got me to radically change my life and share that here in this blog.

Quick side note, I’m not a psychologist, a psychiatrist or a therapist (so get your grains of salt out) but I know I can at least help someone realise that they matter and that they can get themselves out of this hole, because, as cheesy as it sounds, it gets better!

Below, I condensed everything that made me change into three things that anxiety taught me. It’s simple, but it sparks joy for me, so why keep it to myself, right?

A lie.

“Be better.”, sounds like something helpful doesn’t it? But if you don’t have a focus, it’s a recipe for disaster. If you want to ‘be better’ to please everyone it’ll never be enough, because it’s just not possible. Everyone has their own tastes and you can’t entertain them all without burning yourself out. (trust me, I had to learn that the hard way)

So what do you do? Change your focus! Focus on what pleases you, what makes you content. It’s not easy and it takes a lot of effort, but every time you fall it’s easier to get up, and that’s what you need to work at. What helped me the most to break out of this was mostly blogs I stumbled upon around the internet, so this is my chance to give back.

Let’s start with some reading that can help you break the cycle:
http://overshyness.com/i-have-no-personality/

A skill.

If you think about it, learning to get up off the ground is helpful but it’s not gonna stop you from falling down in the first place. So how do I do that?
Well, this one takes a bit of simple logic, so here goes:

Social skills are skills.

Simple, right? What I mean is, you’re not going to stop being awkward if you don’t try to. The only thing that makes people not ‘awkward’ is that they’ve learned their social skills. And having these skills can be vital to not spiral down into getting your emotions mixed up with reality like I did.

So how can you do it? Well, I know it’s not easy, but you need to practice your social skills by getting out and into social situations. Another blog post I have bookmarked from way back when comes from the same website as before and it talks about this exact same thing! Here it is.

For example joining a class or a sport with complete strangers which will give you a chance to talk about that sport or activity. This gives you an instant conversation point as well as views and ideas you can express and others will be able to share.

A truth.

So far I’ve talked about getting up after you fall and learning not to fall in the first place, but what’s the root of the problem here? Thing is, that one doesn’t have a simple answer like the others, in my case I got so worried about others seeing me without flaws that I forgot who I was and I lost touch with reality. I drifted so far that I couldn’t see what was wrong anymore and I felt helpless and lost.

What I needed was something that sometimes can be so easy to get, and if you’re reading this now it means you can get it too.

I needed help.

I managed to get my help through some friends at my university who saw I was blindly suffering.
I managed to get help through some people that would listen, talk, and guide me through my problems, when I got therapy.
I managed to get help when I actually looked for it.

I found the root of what was tearing me apart. And I want to help people know that they need help too.

That’s why I want to focus on what makes us content and not on making content.

Please be thoughtful, people have flaws, if they don’t listen to you it doesn’t mean you’re worthless.

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