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Author Topic: SA at lunch with acquaintances! Was doing better I though :(  (Read 448 times)

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Offline YoloGirl31

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SA at lunch with acquaintances! Was doing better I though :(
« on: February 12, 2014, 12:29:58 AM »
I'd been trying to reduce my stress lately, meditate, breathing, all sorts of things to reduce my SA and for a while I really though I was seeing improvement. The last few weeks at work there have been a few new ppl around, which at first totally was freaking me out socially. Somehow I managed and after a few days I saw improvements in myself, even initiating convos and joking! All was good until we all went out to eat lunch today. There were 5 of us including myself, the table was kinda small and I sat at the end facing the wall while the others faced each other. At first I was fine, and I felt myself getting quieter and quieter. Then internal panic! I felt pressure to speak yet I couldn't, then an awkward silence led me to feeling even worse. I felt myself wanting to run away, I kept thinking I'm trying to hard to sound interested in this convo about the Olympics and such. I felt I was staring to hard at the person talking and felt I did not know where to look while listening. I almost felt claustrophobic which I've never felt like that before. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? I just feel awfull about how I reacted especially after doing so much better with these ppl the last few weeks. I worry if tomorrow I will be better again or go back to square one feeling socially awkward again.  definitely depressed now  :(
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Offline Potatoes

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Re: SA at lunch with acquaintances! Was doing better I though :(
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 12:46:00 AM »
Hey girlie,

I'm with you on this. I also was diagnosed with Social Anxiety and I think dinner situations are the worst. I know where you're coming from. It feels as if there is a beam of spotlight shining down on you with every single action, move, comments, or even beathing pattern you change, it seems that everyone notices. As you mentioned initiating in conversation and joking... Friends and strangers and even family find me as a very humorous and joking kind of a guy, and I'm good at it. But little do they know, I do it as a deflection of my insecurity in the situations. I get nervous, I notice that my breathing becomes more focused and uneasy and maybe even start to sweat.

This seems to be a burden, that you are internally focusing on your actions when everyone around you seems to be carrying on with comfortable atmosphere. You're not alone. Sounds like you are taking great steps to lightening this type of anxiety with breathing and meditation. I have yet to try meditation. Try to convince yourself that what you think people are noticing probably isn't real, most often they are not focused in on these types of things. Sometimes it is hard to jump into conversation and a lot of people take it as an offense if you don't, but just simple agreeing words can get you involved in the conversation and chime in on topics you feel most comfortable about. Even bring up a topic of your own. This is difficult at first because you feel as if you are giving a speech to 100 people and you wrote it the night before.

More often than not, even just about all the time, You're really not giving off those signs that you have anxiety, so in situations like that... just dress the part and keep cool. try not to think so much into it. It's easier said than done girlie, I'm with you on that.

Great post. :winking0008:
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Offline clippergoodwill

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Re: SA at lunch with acquaintances! Was doing better I though :(
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 05:18:23 AM »
Interesting topic. Last week a friend of mine sent me a text asking how long I had been dealing with anxiety. I forgot that I had ever told her, or told her during one of my bad attacks and lost the memory of it. Bad memory has always been an issue with me long before anxiety ever came into the picture. Anyway, she made the comment that she had never picked up on my symptoms while we were out together, she would just talk and assumed that me being quiet was just me listening to her. Naturally I never intended to go silent, it's just hard to engage in active conversation while juggling the effects of anxiety. So I'd just listen and give answers and comment as needed, and not attempt to carry on in conversation until the anxiety had passed.

Oddly, she came out and told me she suffers from similar symptoms as well, last time we had lunch that was almost all we discussed, and I never had a single symptom bother me. Strange how that works.
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Offline Potatoes

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Re: SA at lunch with acquaintances! Was doing better I though :(
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 06:42:30 AM »
I feel like my anxiety leads to poor memory. benzos don't help me either clip.
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Offline tinam7

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Re: SA at lunch with acquaintances! Was doing better I though :(
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 08:22:54 AM »
Just want to add to great posts that our life with too many screens and too little building of inner confidence and assurance is at least one issue. The suggestion of "simple agreeing words" is very good. Or extending praise. Who doesn't like praise?

I am big into meditation, CBT, yoga, tai chi, the gym, even walking. Meditation brings fine results with patience and persistence. Maybe not every day, every session, but over time it can work magic.
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Offline YoloGirl31

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Re: SA at lunch with acquaintances! Was doing better I though :(
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 10:47:18 AM »
Tinam, I use to do yoga 3x a week but my work schedule has change and where I live most of the classes are early in the morning while I work. So needless to say I pretty much stopped. I always felt better doing yoga, and amazingly during yoga I would not feel the anxiety I normally would in a crowd. Without a group or partner though I have lost motivation. I still meditate, and lately I listen to anxiety therapy music that I find on YouTube. There are so many on there, and I have had amazing results with it! Some are specifically for SA while others are for positive thinking, relaxing, being outgoing, etc.  Give it a try, I swear you won't regret it, I felt a big difference after only a week of listening to it while I try to sleep!
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Offline tinam7

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Re: SA at lunch with acquaintances! Was doing better I though :(
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 12:15:18 PM »
Sure can understand your drift away from yoga. But maybe we can jump start it and get you going again. There is a yoga thread in Inspiration. Maybe it can be helpful to join there.

I love meditation. Sit twice a day (or more) and also like to meditate with music. Have my own CD's or even ancient cassettes.
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Offline Betsy21

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Re: SA at lunch with acquaintances! Was doing better I though :(
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2014, 10:01:53 PM »
I could relate to so much of your post, especially feeling the need to fill the silence and also not knowing where to look! And the part about becoming quieter!

But you made such a good effort going out to lunch, and please don't let this set you back! Do not feel like it is your responsibility to keep up conversation, I know its like telling a chicken to stop acting like a chicken but PLEASE don't stress about this, have you ever noticed that stressing about something is like putting fuel to a fire? Try and keep it from your mind and when you see these people next you won't feel as anxious.

I hope I helped  ;D
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