Holding in Pee Until You Get Home
If you have social anxiety, you understand the fear of using public restrooms. You do not have the trust or desire to be in a social situation and be vulnerable. Plus, these small spaces often require polite conversation and close contact – things you try to avoid.
Trying Not to Vomit While at a Party
If you have mustered up enough confidence to attend a party, you may will spend the evening calming the pit in your stomach. Social anxiety often lands in your center with debilitating pain and nausea.
Calling in Sick to Work Because You Cannot Breathe
Work is a unique bear. You have to go so you make money to survive, but on days when social anxiety disorder is at its peak, work is not an option. You begin to hyperventilate or struggle to breathe at the thought of being surrounded by all those people for eight to nine hours. People who are judging, criticizing and evaluating everything you do. The only way to breathe and stay alive is to stay home.
Cancelling a Date Because of Diarrhea
Oh, the joys of dating when you have social anxiety disorder. The date was probably arranged by a mutual friend, because talking to strangers is not on your list of priorities. If you agreed to the date, it was probably to please your friend and the closer it gets to date time, the worse your stomach feels. If it gets bad enough, the resulting diarrhea has you cancelling a date and avoiding another awkward social situation.
Social anxiety causes worries about every thing and all the time. These are not the normal feelings of shyness or hesitation in social situations. Instead, you worry about what you say, how you look and what others think of you. Worries wake you in the middle of the night when you remember a comment you said to you boss and now you worry you will lose your job. You worry that you’re worrying too much and worry about how to stop the worrying.
Analyzing Everything You Said and Did
People who live with social anxiety disorder analyze everything. You may remember a conversation you had a month ago with a friend and now wonder why you haven’t heard from her since then. Did you say something to offend her?. What about that car you accidentally cut off in the parking lot? What does that person think of you? (That person has moved on and has not given it a second thought, but you cannot let it go.)
Avoiding School Because of Confusion
If the situation is highly stressful, as school may be, you may become confused or experience at “out of body” feeling during these social situation.
Crying All Night Long
The reality of social anxiety includes crying episodes. These may occur throughout the night when your anxious thoughts get the best of you. Or, you may have to take a moment in the private, office restroom to let the tears flow before you can continue with the day.
Rubbing Hands Together
Social anxiety may show itself as a nervous tick when you do venture into social situations. Some people rub their hands together or pick at their fingernails. Others slap their leg and laugh. You may lick your lips, rock back and forth or tug on your ear lobes in an effort to calm yourself.
Sweating In Line at Store
Standing in line at the grocery store is typically not enough of a workout to make you sweat, but the anxiety of being surrounded by people and possibly having to make small talk with the cashier is. You sweat as your body tries to cool itself from the racing heart rate and increased breathing that should be the result of exercise, not anxiety.
Refusing to Speak
If you are asked to communicate at a party or other social gathering, you simply may not be able to. You refuse to speak because otherwise your shaky voice is a giant signal to others of your discomfort. It is better to feign laryngitis than be laughed at for the stupid thing you might say.
Having to Quickly Sit
At times, social anxiety will manifest in dizziness or light headedness. When this happens, you need to sit to gather your balance and try to find a way to calm your breathing and steady your head.
Expecting the Worst
The same way in which you worry and analyze every situation, you expect the worst from every encounter. You expect that you will disappoint the sales person if you do not make a purchase and they will yell at you or not like you. You expect that your friends will suddenly hate you and never speak to you again. You expect that your performance at work is never good enough and you will be fired.
Tensing All Muscles
You feel there is danger everywhere when you leave the house. In an attempt to protect yourself from this danger and to be prepared for all attacks, you tense your muscles. Over time this leads to headaches and exhaustion which you worry about too.
Keeping Unwanted Items
As difficult as it was to go to a store to make a purchase, you will never return to the store to return an unwanted item. You keep things you do not need or are defective because you do not want to have a conversation with the sales person and explain why you are returning an item.