Social anxiety is something I’ve had experience of in the past. But before lockdown began, I had it in check. So it surprised me when the same old negative, berating thoughts took hold since I’ve been able to see my friends again.
When we were first allowed to meet up with people one-on-one again, I felt really anxious. I found that the voice in my head was shouting that I wouldn’t have enough to say, I’d say the wrong thing, or the person wouldn’t turn up.
When government guidance changed again a few weeks ago and we were allowed to meet in groups of six in outdoor spaces, I thought the social anxiety might die down, but it didn’t. I went to meet some friends in the park and my social anxiety definitely came too. Now it shouted that I was talking too much and monopolising the group’s conversation, that I was making people feel left out, or not asking the people I hadn’t seen for a while the ‘right’ questions.
My social anxiety was meaner in a larger group, which took me by surprise. It was so overwhelming on this occasion that I ended up leaving early.
Since then, I’ve thought about what I’m going to do next time so I defeat my social anxiety. Here’s my list:
Where to get support
If you are struggling with social anxiety, we have lots of information, tips and suggestions of where to get help on our anxiety page.