I'm a new user and was browsing through the topics.
If you're still a SAS user; do you mind sharing any progress you may have had with SA since this post?
This sounds familiar to what I experienced when I had to introduce myself around a group table or do presentations. I never took any meds though because I fear it would become a crutch for me.
Sadly, I would mostly feel that way today if I had to do a presentation or introduce myself to a group
The one important thing that's changing for me is I'm realising that the unsuccessful social interaction/ weird facial expression we replay and agonise over in our heads all day long or longer is long forgotten by others.We can forget that others have problems and thoughts flying around in their heads all day long.
Our 'weird' actions due to social anxiety at a given moment is not on or even near the top of a list of things that occupy them for more than a minute (if that) let alone preoccupy them for an extended period!
Thankfully, what we did or said 'imperfectly' is not at the centre of other people's thoughts all day long.
It's a subconscious cognitive distortion to think we're being observed under a microscope by others or that our imperfectness is somehow the centre point of other people's lives. People have better things to think about and do with their time. And so do we. Their lives do not revolve around us.
I've repeatedly observed and experienced this in my real life. Due to my distorted thinking at first this surprised me. Now that I solidly believe this and therefore my subconscious is slowly beginning to accept it as well- it's a relief. It takes a little bit of pressure off me.
Remember, the person who cares most about our social 'failure' in a particular moment, analyses it the most, and then has the longest memory about it afterwards- is always us!