I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 6 months. sometimes i’ll be completely comfortable with him and can laugh and be myself and other time i literally cannot think of ANYTHING to talk about. this really hurts me because it makes me feel like he is going to loose interest in me and i want to have a good time with him but it just comes out of no where it’s like i have to have a plan of things to talk about i know it is so weird. ALSO, what triggers my anxiety when i’m with him is going places… like out to eat or something it’s like my anxiety is triggered because i know i have to act a different way since we are going to be in public. does anyone else get social anxiety about people judging the way you talk to others? because if i order food at a resturaunt by myself i am fine but if i’m with my boyfriend i am SO ANXIOUS!!! WHY IS THIS!!! someone pls im going crazy):
Welcome to the community. You’re in the right spot because your post is all about social anxiety.
Allow me to write my own kind of example: “It’s weird because sometimes I’m anxious here when X, but then other times I’m not anxious there when Y, but then I’m not anxious sometimes when X, but then I am anxious here with Y. OMG! Why?!”
I’m not making fun of your post at all. I lived your post. What I mean to say is that the issue is social anxiety. Maybe there is no “why” to answer. Maybe there is no need to figure out why X here, why Y there, and why A or B here and there? The habit we’ve developed is social anxiety and over-thinking with automatic negative thoughts (ANTs). Sure, there’s explainable reasons why you’re anxious in a situation - in general mostly because you’re dwelling on it, thinking about it, expecting it, worrying about it, judging yourself on it, etc. The mind is pretty powerful - a tool to help us or a tool to trap us in these nonsese, endless mazes.
Some people have a “safe” person. Some people still feel anxious around that person who is usually safe. Some people would get anxiety with strangers more than people they know - because for them the judgment they’re worried about (which is an ANT) seems to be less critical in those passing interactions. Some people have anxiety in the opposite way for just the same reasoning. You having anxiety around your boyfriend is by no means weird. It’s social anxiety.
Your post reads entirely like a socially anxious mind would have us thinking, snowballing into irrational negative thoughts and feelings. It reads exactly like I would have felt and thought and acted when I had social anxiety. I’m sure others here will understand your feelings.
thanks for your response… i hope this gets easier soon
I hope so, too, hai. I hope that for everyone here. For serious social anxiety disorder, though, we don’t have to depend on hope. We don’t have to wait for hope to come through.
Do something that is proven effective - cognitive-behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder.
You could start there with a program specifically designed just for that.
And if you don’t follow this CBT program, find one that works for you. Decide for yourself to try to move toward a solution. It’s scary, it feels hard - I know that. We all stay in a place of inaction and confusion over this longer than we’d hope. Ultimately the choice is yours. That’s the good thing. You can decide to educate yourself about this and to start therapy. You can do this.
Reviewing this quote from the audio therapy in Session 21 reminded me of this thread:
“Your peace and happiness are not contingent on waiting for something good to happen. We can’t wait around for something good to happen before we allow ourselves to be happy. Rationally we can choose to be happy now in the present moment.”
Also this from Session 18 audio which refers to the handouts in Session 17:
“Social anxiety wants to tell you to ignore problem situations in hopes that they’ll go away. They don’t go away. The more that you ignore a problem situation, the more of a problem it becomes. We need to act on the Deserving Statements and be assertive if the situation calls for it.”
Now, don’t have irrational expectations either - these quotes are from later in the therapy series. By that time we have laid some of the foundation to be able to start “choosing” more, to know that we are in more control than we would have ever thought possible at the beginning of therapy. But, the main point for me here, and for this thread, is that we can’t rely on hope to change our social anxiety. We all have gone through years of blind hope, and utter confusion, just clinging to some vague notion that things will get better or shaken up in some way. Without knowing the proper way to get ourselves out of this pit, though, we are most likely to just see the anxiety worsen.
You don’t need to absolutely feel ready, or believe totally in the end result to get started on therapy. You just need to make the decision to start, and we all can do that. The tendency is to delay and despair. Consider that you could decide to start down a path now, instead, that will start turning this around for yourself now and for your future.
I’m working so so hard on this therapy doing my 30 minutes everyday trying my very best to apply these techniques to real life and it’s just not working… i just got to session 4 and my anxiety seems to be worse for some reason
Good for you for starting and staying with the therapy.
Take it easy on yourself. It’s natural to expect an outcome and to pressure ourselves for that. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want things to change, so of course this is an expectation. Like all things with this process, there’s a balance, and we won’t be able to ride some beautifully perfect line ever. Just remind yourself that you are doing, are trying, when you can remind yourself of this, without falling too far over into pressure. You can only do the best you can right now, and that’s good enough. It sounds like you are doing just that.
Many have noted an initial boost in feelings followed by feeling worse. These aren’t absolutes for everyone, but also very understandable. Instead of perhaps avoiding our thoughts about anxiety, we are now putting these at the forefront of our minds daily. Perhaps before the pain of anxiety was there, but we weren’t trying to change it so that we are more on auto-pilot. Not thinking about it at all may not have helped us, but there is some escape in the absence of thought. But now, we ask that you both do something about it and yet try not to think about it. Rather contradictory from a certain point of view, no? When I started first trying to use the ANTs stoppage techniques, it was so bloody tiring trying to use my mind in a way that I hadn’t used it before. Any way you cut the cake, I imagine most people have to deal with this.
Time, and time needed with the therapy, as you are doing, will pay off. For many of us that means sticking with this without feeling it at first, until the scales start to tip in your favor.
I agree with Mateo. I am on session 8 right now with the series. In the earlier sessions, I too, felt the same as you feel now. I felt a lot more anxiety than before and I was stressing myself and putting a lot of pressure on myself because of this. Don’t worry! Keep doing what you’re doing with the therapy and you will soon find certain situations a little easier than before. Be patient and take your time. I know you can do it!! We all deserve to overcome SA!!! Don’t give up
thank you so much your reply means a lot !!