Being an extrovert with social anxiety is not easy and is, at minimum, extremely contradictory. Here’s why:
1. I’m always lonely
I love being around people, they are where I get my energy. Sadly, being with people and making new friends terrifies me. Unless one of my trusted close friends is available to sit in hiding with me, I’ll probably just suffer the loneliness.
2. Being alone makes me just as anxious as being with people
But being with people is more dangerous. I might say something or do something stupid with a witness. At least if I’m alone, the only person I am freaking out is myself.
3. I’m a leader
I am a natural born leader. I know how to delegate, how to do things logically and orderly, and I know what sacrifices the team will have to make to succeed. I can even motivate people to do exactly what I want them to. However, talking in front of people is usually not an option. Instead, I’ll just do whatever someone else says to even though I thought of a better way to do things 3 hours ago and quietly seethe.
4. I love parties
Parties are the best things in the world. Even if I am just standing in the corner quietly, inside I am glowing. My birthday party is the best day of the entire year because I get to hand-select people who I am comfortable with to surround me and embrace the rare opportunity to let my real personality show—the talkative, loud, fun one. However, a party can be immediately ruined if I am forced to meet someone, do something I don’t want to, am criticized for observing rather than participating, or drink too much to numb the anxiety. Being too drunk at a party means I will be the life of the party…until I throw up.
5. I HATE surprises
Birthday parties are the best day of the year…unless they are a surprise; then they are the worst day of the year. I have walked out of restaurants because I found out that the waiter was preparing to sing to me. I need to know who I am seeing and for how long before any social interaction begins. I may even need a week to prepare for the event. Another reason birthday parties are great: I have an entire year to mentally prepare for them.
6. I’m a flake
I will make plans with you when I’m feeling relaxed and get really excited about them. If I happen to be feeling nervous when it is time for us to actually hang out, or if the impending doom of accidentally seeing someone who isn’t you is too much to handle, we are going to have to reschedule. Sorry. I really do want to hang out, though. Maybe just come over to my house instead?
7. I’m accidentally awkward
I’m an open book. I have no secrets. Unfortunately, in social situations I sometimes panic and say inappropriate things to an acquaintance. I am naturally talkative but being scared to speak ends in me having 90% of the conversation with you in my head. Sometimes parts of this secret conversation accidentally come out and it is nothing less than awkward. What it looks like: some quiet girl standing their silently most of the time and then randomly blurting out something way too personal. Examples have included health issues and bad childhood memories.
8. I’m adventurous
In the past 6 months I have lived in 3 different countries, but I haven’t made any new friends. Instead, I’ll just sit at home and Skype of Facebook Message people I already know. But I really, really want some cool foreign friends. Text me (no phone calls, please).