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Anxiety as an extrovert

People are shocked when I tell them that I have anxiety because they perceive me as confident. But they don't seem to understand that social anxiety and anxiety are two different things. People complain behind my back because I'm 'Too loud' but it's because I get scared of silence it makes me feel so awkward. But talking less is something I'm really trying to work on. I've been told a few times also that I'm exhausting to be around which is really hurtful not gonna lie. But overall I like being an extrovert. But over the past year my anxiety is getting in the way of things so much. It makes me stress out excessively over things I used to look forward to like meeting up with an old friend. If I'm going out in public to meet a friend I worry excessively about how strangers perceive me. I never know where to look in public or what to do with my face. And if I'm somewhere where theirs not many people or it's getting dark then I terrify myself imaging out scenarios that someones going to attack me. I can't help it the thoughts just flash into my head. My anxiety makes me paranoid that my friends all secretly hate me or at least find me highly annoying. Btw dose anyone else really prefer being in a big group of friends? I feel like because theirs more people to bonce off and make conversation with and fill in the silence that it makes me so much more comfy. Sorry for ranting I just hope someone can relate x

Comments

  • RileyRiley Posts: 759 Super Moderator
    Hey bubblegum_girrrl,

    Just to say I moved your thread to Health & Wellbeing where it should fit in a bit better. Having anxiety about difficult or social situations is very understandable and I think a lot of users on the boards can relate to how you're feeling. I'm glad you felt comfortable talking about this here, I hope having a good rant about how you're feeling helped you feel a little better! :yes:

    - Riley
  • nish215nish215 Posts: 64 Moderator
    Hey bubblegum_girrrl,

    Anxiety affects a lot of people whether they're an extrovert or introvert, so you're not alone in feeling they way you're feeling and I'm sure many can relate to you. It's great that you like being your extrovert self because how we perceive ourselves is very important but it's understandable that you still care about what others think, although if you feel it's getting out of hand, perhaps you could talk to somebody? Like a close group of friends to get things off your chest, or even if you want some more practical advice , you could talk to your GP. Anyway, I hope your rant made you feel better and we're always here to listen at the mix!

    -Nish :)
  • peachysoopeachysoo Posts: 151 Boards Initiate
    Heya @bubblegum_girrrl :)

    Relaying off of what everyone else has said here so far, I completely agree.

    Anxiety affects a lot of people irrespective of whether they're introverted or extroverted. Sometimes, if not most of the time, it can be hard for some people to understand how each other is feeling - as humans, we're not necessarily so great at picking up signs of anxiety or low moods all the time, and it may feel like, sometimes, no one cares or wants to help.

    But sometimes all it takes is to open up about how we are feeling, because people want to help, it just might take being explicitly told this to understand that they're needed to help though. I say this like it's an easy thing (to open up), but it's not! I understand you must be thinking that too - it can be really scary to bare your vulnerability to others, especially if you worry about how they might respond (e.g. you might feel like it might upset or disappoint them, or maybe you won't be taken seriously etc.)! This must be particularly tough when people view you as extroverted, because it can be hard sometimes for people to understand that anxiety isn't limited to one type of personality only.

    I'd start with maybe talking to your closest friends about how you are feeling, like maybe discussing your worries and insecurities. I know this must be really scary, but if they truly love you as a friend and care for you, then this communication is vital to getting rid of these worries of them hating you. Alternatively, in the worst case scenario, and it turns out your anxieties are true, then you can remove the toxic friendships from your life. Of course, this is much easier said than done, and it'll hurt in the short term definitely, but in the long term, you will be free from these toxic relations and no longer plagued by your anxiety, because you have dealt with it head first and that is a huge achievement in itself!

    What I am trying to get at here is that, most thoughts that come about with anxiety are just that - thoughts. Unless you have any evidence to back them up, they can't do anything because they might not be true. Our minds, I feel, can be our best friends or our worst enemies like this, because it can make up all sorts of nasty thoughts that we keep thinking about until we just have to assume they're true, even if there's nothing to back them up!

    I watched this BBC documentary in form recently on anxiety, and (since I also have struggled with anxiety for quite a large proportion of my life) it was quite comforting in knowing how the things that I have felt aren't a struggle just to me, and hearing other people put these feelings into words make the anxiety feel less like a thing that isolates me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZkQv1us8ys

    Please feel free to always rant and write about your feelings! It can be really helpful.

    -peachysoo
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