Social Anxiety

Shyness

“Image by roeyahram via Flickr”

Anxiety floods over me;
I can’t do this.
Society insists that I must join in.

I prefer not; I don’t know you,
banal chit-chat puts me
under duress.

Heart starts a-thumping,
adrenaline’s at full power,
sweat springs forth,
while my mouth turns to cotton.

You’ll scoff at my inability
to speak glib small talk.
And my uncomfortable
demeanor just makes
you back up.

Your eye of judgment
passes over me
while the one that
I own, does the
same thing back. 

I’m shy.
I’m sensitive.
I don’t know who you are
and rather than try and
find out you’re a nice person,
I’d rather stay home with myself.

My entry for Write2Day–Writing from the Dark Place:  http://liv2write2day.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/write2day-writing-from-the-dark-place/

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20 Comments

  1. ManicDdaily

     /  December 8, 2011

    Definitely can sympathize with this. Well-expressed. K.

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  2. I am like this. I don’t know how to engage in small talk with strangers, and then I get a feeling people think I’m dumb. If I was at an event where it about talking about a common interest I’m ok, but I simply fail at company functions where I have mingle with people I don’t know.

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    • I’m like you. Perfectly fine with people I know and feel comfortable with but small talk with strangers–no can do. Gulp…

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  3. this is me to a T. nice to know I am not the only one. probably why I am more comfortable online – no eye contact and body language to interpret and I can log off whenever I want and no one will talk about me for leaving early 😉

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    • No, you and I are far from the only ones, Sheila. Online socializing is perfect for me too although I do feel comfortable in some social situations but not where I don’t know anyone…

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  4. Tino

     /  December 9, 2011

    Amen! Panic attacks do this to me frequently these days and I hate myself and the world for it. I certainly empathise with you here. I shall not go into rant mode though 😉
    I really like the way you expressed the emotional side of this dilema .

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    • I’ve dealt with panic and anxiety issues since I was a child. It’s been hard for me at times to not feel I’m a “weakling” but now I have a better understanding of why I have this disorder. A combination of physical factors and growing up in a very unsteady environment. I’m trying to make peace with it but it’s hard when others pass judgment. I’m glad you could understand me here. Thanks, Tino. 🙂

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  5. I can certainly identify with this one, Gayle. I’m comfortable with public speaking, but chit-chat, not so. I suspect that this might be true of many word-artists. And blogging gives us such a perfect medium for expressing ourselves. Thanks for joining in this week, my friend.

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    • There’s a lot of us out here, Victoria. I’m very comfortable expressing myself with the written word–well, mostly. 🙂

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  6. Androgoth

     /  December 9, 2011

    I can appreciate the difficulties of such shyness, though I am completely the opposite and have no problems mingling, well for one that witters so much in these comments I guess that this is of no surprise? 🙂

    A nicely offered posting Gayle 🙂
    I hope that you are getting ready
    for a delightful weekend 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

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  7. No, I’m not surprised that you don’t have this issue, Androgoth–lucky you. Well once I get to know someone and feel comfortable, I usually do well. Like I could probably carry on a very nice conversation with you on the topic of werewolves, ghouls, vampires and do just fine! 😉

    My daughters are coming into town on Sunday for another shopping extravaganza–so I’m resting up and getting prepared. 🙂 xoxo

    I hope you have a pleasant weekend too. xo

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  8. This is a poem for a Highly Sensitive Person! I know the feelings you describe all too well.

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    • Oh, yes, many HSPs have this problem don’t they. I really can understand why people turn to alcohol, pills, weed–it’s to manage to make it through social activities!

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  9. nicely written…can not relate myself as i am one of those that will talk to anything that stands still long enough, not in an overbearing way but…well you get it, i hope…..but you captured the feeling well and i know plenty that struggle with this…

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    • I so admire people who are comfortable in their skins and can connect with most anyone. Mostly with complete strangers…my shyness comes out full fledged!

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  10. As an introvert, I can completely relate to this! You wrote this very well, I think. I have learned that over the years, sometimes you can tell yourself “A stranger is just a friend that I haven’t met yet” but it’s a lot easier to say it in your head and harder to put into practice! 🙂

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    • Many times, I seem to have a gut feeling about people and whether to stay clear of them. Even those online and I try to heed those feelings. We sensitive types have some gifts we need to acknowledge, don’t you think?

      I was wondering if you have ever looked into whether or not you’re an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)? Dr. Elaine Aron wrote a book on the subject and it was very enlightening and helped me understand myself better. If you look in to it, let me know what you think. I’ve come into a few others online too.

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  11. I think friendship is really important when dealing with Social Anxiety. Everyone who suffer from this disorder should talk to others on forums or join mental health friendship sites like Mapofmates.com!

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    • I think you’re right. Talking to others who have the same issue can make us feel supported. I’ve never heard of Mapofmates.com. Thanks for sharing, Madelene.

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