14. Striking up or joining in on a conversation, even with people I know well enough that we could just chat for hours and enjoy it. It’s starting the conversation that can be difficult.
15. Being irritable. I never knew for a long time that irritability was a symptom of anxiety, but it makes sense for me. My parents always thought I was just an irritated teenager, particularly when they asked about my day after school or would come to my room to say something, but now I’m in my 20s and it’s still the same with family, friends, or acquaintances. I think it’s probably because my mind is always racing and thinking of everything at once because of anxiety that when I get interrupted, even if I’m not actually doing anything (but especially when I am), then I will instinctually snap at people without even noticing or meaning to. Or if I’ve been around people all day and exerting a lot of energy while feeling anxious around them then I don’t want to answer questions or talk to anyone and the same thing happens. It makes sense but it only occurred to me recently, and it seems minor but it’s something I have to actively work on noticing and combatting.
16. Small talk with my hair stylist. The salon is pretty busy whenever I go and the other stylists are casually chatting away with their clients. I’m not the most talkative person and normally I’m ok with silence, but seeing everyone else talking makes me feel pressured to keep a conversation afloat with my stylist.