1. Low self-esteem.
And possibly the hardest thing to deal with. With social anxiety, you are almost never comfortable with yourself and always trying to reach a state of “perfect appearance,” though you never seem to get to it. Basically, you are almost never yourself, always trying to fit into the group you’re with. Still, there are exceptions; you have a select few people with whom you can free yourself from your disguise.
2. The fear of always being judged.
Of course, this is just an impression and goes with low self-esteem. Everything you do — even just walking the hallways at school — gives you the impression that everyone around you is looking at you, judging how you look and how you act.
3. Judging others.
Of course, being judged means you will judge other people as well. You cannot stop yourself from looking at what others are doing and commenting to yourself on every little thing they do, just so you can feel like they are not better than you. It makes you feel secure and more comfortable with who you are (though not for long and the illusion will fade rapidly).
4. Constantly being critical of yourself.
You have low self-esteem and you feel as if you’re never good enough. But only you can think that. Because at the exact moment someone else points it out — that you made a mistake, perhaps — it breaks the illusion you try to give others of your “perfection” and drives you insane. Having a boss — or someone constantly checking up on you — is a nightmare.
5. How to make friends?
With all this pressure you give yourself, you find it hard to meet new people. New school? New job? Moving to another place? Just the thought makes you feel like you want to die. You just can’t find a way to meet new people or to ask someone else out. Those things are too much to ask. And it kills you from the inside out because having social anxiety DOES NOT mean you are an introvert…
6. You have such a hard time asking people out.
Oh, that girl is cute, you think, maybe I should go talk to her. But then, on second thought, you realize she will probably just reject you and laugh at you and you decide against it. And this happens every time you see a girl you’d like to ask out. Having interactions with the opposite sex (or whoever you are attracted to) is way harder than everybody could fathom when you struggle with social anxiety. Finding the girl you can be comfortable with takes time and there will be a lot of instances when you’re mercilessly bumped to the friendzone.
7. You feel as if you lack the energy to try.
Having to deal with all of the above inevitably drains your energy. It will make you tired for no reason other than the fact that you just experienced a social interaction. And it sucks.
Having to deal with this every single day isn’t easy. Sometimes, it will seem as if you’ll never find the right person and that your friends aren’t really your friends, but you have to keep going. You WILL find the one! Your friends ARE your friends!
The struggles will also miraculously go away if you decide to do something about your anxiety. Because it’s you — and only you — who has control over your life. Never forget that.