9 Struggles Of Being An Extrovert With Social Anxiety

Tanja Heffner

1. The Thing That Gives You Life Is Simultaneously The Thing That Makes You Feel Like You’re Dying

PEOPLE. People are how you get your energy. They give you life. You love being around them. And yet, when you are around them you can’t concentrate or enjoy the moment because of your sweaty palms and racing heart. You literally feel like you might keel over and die at any second. You need to leave, and yet even the thought of being alone makes you miss your people before you’ve even left. It is killing you to be around them, but without them you do not even feel alive. In the words of One Republic “everything that kills me makes me feel alive.” The theme song to your life.

2. You Want To Contribute To Conversations, But Sometimes You Hate Yourself After You Say Something.

The extrovert in you loves to contribute to the conversation, and then the moment you do the anxiety in you makes you second guess every word you just said. Talking feels so right in the moment, and so wrong afterwards.

3. You’re Great At Making Plans, But Not-So-Great At Keeping Them.

The thought of hanging with your homies brings a smile to your face. You’re pumped. You’re ready. And then it’s ten till you’re supposed to leave and you’re ready to abort the mission, change your name, and flee the country. Why did I ever think agreeing to go out was a good idea?

4. You Overanalyze Everything In Social Situations.

Whether it be the emoji used in texting, the body posture of someone sitting across from you, or the choice of adjective someone used to describe their day, you’re constantly wondering if there was a hidden meaning. Was that a purely platonic blushing emoji, or are they flirting? Are they slouching because they naturally have bad posture, are they tired, or did I do something to upset them? When they said their day was “fine” should I ask why it’s only fine and not good, or is fine to them actually good? What does it mean? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

5. You’re Constantly Fighting With Yourself Inside Your Head.

There is constant feuding dialogue inside your brain. It really feels like good cop bad cop with one on each shoulder. Except you don’t know who’s who. Which one is right? Is there a right? Are they both right?

6. You Really Want To Be Spontaneous, But Can’t Even Think About Deviating From Your Routine.

You had free time scheduled from 8-10 and you are supposed to be in bed by 11 to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep tonight. But someone just asked you to go see a movie that doesn’t end until 11:15. You think “YOLO” immediately followed by a detailed 6 page essay about the consequences associated with not getting enough sleep one night.

7. You Overcompensate How Nervous You Are By Talking Too Much.

No one would ever guess you have social anxiety. People with social anxiety never utter a peep, right? And if they do it’s a soft-spoken sentence or two, correct? So, your 15-minute story definitely eliminates any possibility for you to be anxious. HAH, you wish! Little do those around you know, the constant chatter and jokes coming from you is far from an indication of confidence. More like the result of not being able to contain the disorganized mess that is your racing thoughts.

8. Sometimes You’re Not Sure Whether You’re Excited Or Having An Anxiety Attack.

You don’t really know if you’re super psyched about your date or if you’re actually going into cardiac arrest. You’re pretty sure it’s normal to stop breathing when you think about going out to dinner with that cutie, but then again WEB-MD says shortness of breath is extremely dangerous. Do you think my date would mind skipping dinner and going to the ER instead? You know… just to be safe.

9. You Overcommit To EVERYTHING. And It Stresses You Out.

Being a full-time student, joining six clubs, working a part time job, having a social life, and raising a puppy all at the same time is totally reasonable, right? If I just cut out sleeping and breathing I should have just enough time to fit this all in. Ambition feels great until you are on the verge of total spontaneous combustion. Wait, did someone just say book club? Well, I can’t say no to that! Who needs sanity anyways? TC mark

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