When you want to make plans with someone, what do you do?
- Call them?
- Text them?
- Send them a message?
No matter what form of communication you choose, you reach out to the person with whom you'd like to hang out, right?
Well, when I want to hang out with someone, especially someone new, I can't just contact them. Instead, my social anxiety causes me to go through a bunch of steps leading up to making that contact. Sometimes, I don't like to talk about my anxiety, but sometimes I feel like sharing my experiences may be eye-opening to others.
First of all, I never call anyone. Talking on the phone is one of the most difficult parts of my life. I can answer the phone, and it's easier for me to have a conversation with someone if they called me, but it's still difficult. There's no way I make the phone call though. I mean, I can call my parents, but that's about it. I can't even call my best friend. Sometimes, for my aunt's birthday, my mom will tell me to call, and I can't even do that. Meanwhile, the woman lives alone, so it's either going to be her answering, or the answering machine. Yet, if my mom talks first, I can get on after and speak. I can't even really call to order a pizza, and I hate when I get called into work because I have to talk to my boss on the phone. It's horrible.
Anyway, when I'm trying to make plans with someone, I may not be able to call them, but I can leave them a message. Sounds easy, right? Not for me...
- I type out a message.
- I re-read the message.
- I possibly have my mom read the message.
- I re-read the message again.
- I debate whether or not I'm actually going to send the message.
- I wonder if the message sounds dumb.
- I send (or possibly delete) the message.
All of that, just to see if someone wants to hang out. It shouldn't be that big of a deal, and yet it is. The rational part of my brain (and my parents) tell me to just take the 'leap of faith,' if you will, but the social anxiety part of my brain prevents me from just going for it.
So the next time you make plans with someone, remember how lucky you are to be able to just talk to someone without worry. I'd give anything to be rid of my anxiety.
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