View Full Version : Scared of meeting others

22-06-06, 18:22
I thought I would just post a piece I wrote about the difficult process of meeting others through my anxiety, I hope it helps someone in some way.

Take care Paul

Donít worry about how you come across to others

This was one of the things I struggled with during my recovery. I was so keen to come across as normal that I would hold on to myself, hoping that I would not crack and that people would not notice how strange I felt. Most of the time, I would just try to avoid meeting people, full stop.

I just told myself not to care how I came across in front of others. If I came across as strange, then so be it. When I recovered, they would see the real me. This avoiding was getting me nowhere. It felt strange at first trying to accept feeling odd in front of people, but I did it, and once I had told myself not to care how I came across, I did feel better. It was like releasing a cork from a bottle and I no longer felt I had to keep a grip on myself.

I stopped feeling like two people, one trying to hold a conversation and the other watching myself and my reactions. This in turn allowed me to feel more involved in the conversation. I did this in every situation, however I felt, and I found it got easier and easier, and with my other teachings I was able to overcome this part of my anxiety.

This is a very good example of changing a habit; a lot of anxiety is habit, habits that need to be reversed. I had avoided so long this avoidance had become me. I reversed this by ignoring what my body was telling me to do and just went forward anyway. In time this then became my new habit, it became less strange and easier to put myself in the front line of battle, I had gone through my fears faced the bogey man head on and finally achieved something. This realisation help me with so many other parts of my anxiety, I realised I did have some power over the way I felt and I could take some control.

Eventually I learnt to stop worrying about how I came across to others. I stopped holding on to myself and putting on an act, hoping I could bluff my way through. I let go, despite how I came across and, for the first time, I could follow a little of the conversation. I did not crack like I thought I would. Through letting go, I relieved some tension and felt more at ease. I had been convinced that I had to hold on to myself, otherwise I would crack and the game would be up. How wrong I was. I still felt tense and strange during conversation, but I was okay. I was told that I had to go through this many times before I felt more in touch with reality. Even if you give strange answers, just let go and do not worry about how you come across to others.


22-06-06, 19:17
Thank you Ollie,

good advice. I try to put this into practice but at times find it very hard. If I say something that I think sounds daft or badly put together I can pick myself apart about it but it is true its best to forget it and think what the heck!

I do try and listen in conversations, I still find I come away blotchy and red after (in social and sometimes 1 to 1) as if its taken every bit of my energy to converse.

I did an exercise in listening recently on a course and I was so nervous about my next part in the exercise( I had to make conversation about myself and list lots of things about myself) that I hadn't heard the points I needed to be remembering, I felt really bad about it as I had to admit I wasn't really listening due to my anxiety!

Anyway glad you have found ways to tackle your anxiety,
best wishes

22-06-06, 23:25

you are a genius did you know, its good to have you on here i love reading all about your experiences, keep up the good
take care

Ruth x x

02-07-06, 10:34
Wow - that was really refreshing - I am getting married on Saturday and have social anxiety - worried I will crack under the pressure but like you say - go with it and be yourself - sometimes by trying to work it out you work against your true self and it makes it worse - so yeah - take the mask off and go with it.
Inspiring read!