My Anxiety Is Completely Destroying My Social Life And I Don’t Know How To Stop It

My anxiety is often debilitating, draining, and intense to say the least. Feeling regularly nervous and on-edge is a terrible thing to experience and it’s gotten to the point that it’s severely affecting my social life and how I interact with others. The trouble is, I don’t know what to do about it.

I come across bored in social settings.

When I get anxious in social settings, I tend to completely disengage. To other people, this can come across as bored, angry, or judgy. People who are dancing and laughing see me sitting alone as if I’m too good for them. To be honest, I probably kind of do come off that way. Part of me sometimes feels bitter when this happens, perhaps because I’m mad that I can’t partake in that carefree feeling with my friends.

I have serious RBF.

The fact that I also happen to suffer from RBF, or resting bitch face, doesn’t help matters. When I’m feeling anxious, and especially when I’m experiencing physical anxiety symptoms, I completely shut down. That typically means my facial expressions shut down too and I’m left with a straight face until the feeling passes. Unfortunately for me, my straight face makes me look like I want to murder somebody.

I get annoyed with other people’s problems.

I’m a very empathetic person, so I often take on a lot of other people’s baggage along with my own. This is a quality I typically admire about myself. However, when I start feeling anxious, I suddenly feel like everyone is burdening me. In order to cope with this, I tend to write off other’s problems in addition to trying to write off my own.

I convince myself that people don’t understand so I don’t bother to explain.

I don’t think that anybody will be able to help me when I’m experiencing anxiety, especially because anxiety can come on with no actual explanation or reason behind it. Because of that, I tend to take on this brooding, woe-is-me persona because I get this false belief in my head that no one understands.

I don’t want to be bothered when I’m working on feeling better.

Attempting to get myself out of an anxious headspace is quite a task sometimes, so when I’m doing all that I can to try and help myself, I just want to be left alone to do my thing. I don’t want anybody to talk to me or interfere with my process, so I can tend to be rude and bitchy in order to keep people away from my space.

Yelling is how I release my stress or frustration.

When I do try to express how I feel, I start getting so mad at the world and myself that I begin to yell and use tons of profanity. Because of how angry I am and because human beings tend to take everything personally, most people think that I’m yelling at them and are not sure how to react to it.

The last thing I want is a hug.

Physical touch is totally uncomfortable when anxiety has my chest tied in a knot. Many people think that some sort of affectionate touch – a hug, rubbing one’s back, etc. – is the best way to comfort a person feeling anxious. For me, this is the absolute last thing I want, which can be off-putting to some people.

I project onto others and I’m harsh.

As psychology explains, projection is a common coping mechanism that people use where they see qualities that they dislike about themselves and get mad at other people for possessing those same qualities. I tend to do this with my anxiety quite frequently. I’m really hard on myself for a lot of things, and that trait triggers my anxiety. When I notice other people doing the things that I rag on myself for, I call them out about it. When I get upset with myself for drinking too much, for example, I lecture other people about how they need to watch their drinking habits. After getting worked-up because of my anxiety, I’ll notice that I’ll tell other people that their over-dramatizing their problems and they need to calm down. It’s sort of like an extremely unhealthy way of giving advice to myself.

I’m bad at expressing myself.

Even when it comes to the people I’m closest to or care about the most, anxiety makes it difficult for me to express myself, especially when it comes to expressing affection. I don’t tend to act very lovey-dovey with anybody because it makes me uncomfortable. Thankfully, the people in my life really do understand me more than I sometimes give them credit for. Although it may not always show, I am always trying.

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