The world we live in today is a race, and no one wants to come in last. There’s competition everywhere, and people are either considered strong or weak. We all live in this world; having success as one goal, we walk on different paths.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because I too had, what people call weakness. And it took me quite a while to understand that there’s no such thing. And nothing is part of a plan.
I never had friends I can rely on since I changed school in 4th grade. Everything was new, and people were simply mean for no reason. I grew distant and didn’t want to have anything to do with anyone. But as social status is a matter of concern as we grow up, I started finding myself in need of acknowledgment.
Social Anxiety is not that difficult to understand, yet not that easy to overcome.
I was never socially awkward when I was a kid, but then people started comparing me with others and going with those who served better to their needs.
Being a kid, I thought there was something wrong with me. I remember when I was in 7th grade, I became a topper so that people would consider me as someone and let me play with them. And no doubt, I succeeded, and I was happy. Then I had friends whose influence caused me to lose interest in studying because it wasn’t considered ‘cool.’ Even though it did not cause me to fail or score too little, there was still pressure from home and comparison with siblings.
With all of this, I developed an immense need to please everyone, and eventually, I failed hard at it. Because no matter how good I tried to be, there was always something that I lacked in others’ eyes. Now, little me started working hard to perfect myself and be seen by everyone and be liked by everyone. And in no time, all of this backfired; I lost my ability to talk to anyone without thinking too much about it. I lost the ability to answer freely.
To me, people were now a puzzle that I had to solve before I reached an end. And I thought a million thoughts after having a conversation, digging out what I said wrong, even if it mattered a little to nothing. I lost my ability to ever having a peaceful and thoughtless mind. That caused me many failed presentations and opportunities to stand out.
Now, my parents had to force me to play or talk to people to not have to depend too much on them or others to do my job. But everything was already settled deep inside my heart.
When I grew up, I found out that this is what they called social anxiety. And to me, that was yet another big problem. “Oh no, what if I have social anxiety. What do I do then?” I started thinking of stuff like that. And of course, I thought there would be no end to it. But that wasn’t the case.
I did not go to therapy because this isn’t what people do where I come from. I did not talk about it with others because I didn’t think they would understand. However, I should have, probably, things would have been a bit easier to cope with.
I read a lot, not about Anxiety and anything related to it but about fictional characters finding love, peace, success, and everything; by that, I developed a mindset that everything is better in the end, and goals are to be worked on, not just setting. I watched many movies and series to boost my confidence and also escape reality sometimes. This is what I called my comfort zone.
And not long ago, I realized that everything that you feel is okay, not because people say it is, but because it’s only natural. It’s what makes you human. Feeling sad, happy, worried, overjoyed is what makes you human. And everyone is only human, with faults and flaws, just like you do. Some are just better at hiding it, and that doesn’t make them inferior or superior.
It’s said that ‘be yourself and the right ones will stay by your side.’ it’s true.
- Having Social Anxiety Doesn’t Make you Different, or Weak - October 25, 2020