Sep 30, 2012

Social Anxiety

I went to a function last night.  I was REALLY nervous about going!  This is not a weight thing, its an anxiety thing.

I am a very reserved person in real life and extremely shy around those that I do not know.  I don't know why, as I am fine around those that I know, but with those I don't know, I am a mutant!  I don't know what to say, I don't talk much, I just will sit and listen.   Situations where I am going to a party where I know a few people, but not many, makes me sick, I will actually get an upset stomach and a massive headache as the time to go draws near.  I regularly back out of going to functions.  I will buy a ticket, then just not go.  I will have a "headache" or a "wardrobe malfunction", they are my usual excuses for backing out last minute as the anxiety of going it just too much.  The headache is not always a lie, often I am just so nervous about going that I do actually get a bad headache, but as soon as I send that text message and get out of it, the headache goes.  I'm just not a big party or big function sort of person.  Maybe that's just the way I am, I think I have always been this way.

I love small gatherings, like having lunch or coffee with friends (provide I know everyone or most of the people going).  I don't love them so much if there are say 10 people going and I know only one or two people, then my social anxiety takes over again.  I often have to really force myself to go to things. Most of my friends now know that I don't go to things.  They do invite me and more often than not I do buy a ticket to the event (they are usually fundraisers of some description) but then I don't go.   I will sometimes just use the "I have to work" excuse and not buy a ticket, but this can be a bit tricky!  A month ago, the week before 12WBT started I was out shopping one day, grabbing a few last minute things before it started.  I was at Big W and I received a text from a friend saying "where are you?"  It was a mother from school, not someone I talk to often, really someone I catch up with at school events, but I thought she may have seen my car at the shopping centre.  I sent her a text back saying where I was and I didn't hear back.  I spent most of the day shopping, then when I got home I logged into Facebook and saw photos of her and the rest of the group at their luncheon!!!!  It was the luncheon that I had said I couldn't go to because I was "working".  OMG, I was caught out on my made up excuse.  When I went to school pickup that afternoon, one of the mothers stopped by my car (in her car) and put down her window and said "so, you were out shopping, I thought you were working".  I had to then say that "work didn't need me (it was volunteer work at a local charity), so went shopping, I thought it was too late last minute to get a ticket to the function, so went shopping instead", LOL.   She then said "when we text you, I told everyone you don't go to things".  OMG the pressure!  Of attending a function!

Everyone is going to the 12WBT finale in Sydney, to the final workout and/or the finale party.  The thought of going to that party is terrifying.  I know that there is just no way I will be able to go.  I don't know anyone going, all of these people going seem to know lots of other people going.  Who will I talk to all night at the party.  It's the standing by myself looking like a friendless weirdo that worries me.
I have joined groups on Facebook, all of these people seem to be working out together, meeting up to exercise and I can not bring myself to go.   I would like to go and find some exercise buddies but for some reason I just don't feel that I can.  I may be ok turning up knowing that everyone going is in the same boat, but these groups seem to all know each other already, they have been exercising with each other for other rounds.

When I got to the function last night it was fine.  I chatted to those I knew, had a really great night and was so glad I went.  I almost didn't go.  It was a fundraiser event.  I had got 4 of my friends to buy tickets to the event, so I couldn't back out.  I couldn't get people to buy tickets then not go myself.  Then about an hour before the event started I received a text message from two of the friends who were cancelling.  They said now you don't have to go, LOL (they know me so well, they are the ones I got caught out using the work excuse with).  I told them that it was fine!  I was the queen of the last minute cancel, LOL,  so it wasn't a problem and that unfortunately I had two other friends going so I HAD to go.  Anyway it was an awesome night, all of the people that I work with at my local charity were there and it was lovely seeing them, I had fun with my friends.

I don't seem to have the same problem though in situations like this.  Blogging, or on forums where it's anonymous,  I can be myself, well the non reserved self and chat with strangers, I just can't do it face to face.  I wonder why that is?  I don't think I could be the same on my blog or on forums, if any of my friends or family knew about my blog or followed the same forums.

Oh well, that's just the way I am I suppose.  A friend gave me a book on "Highly Sensitive People" and that's me!  I did a test online to see if I was a highly sensitive person and I am definitely one of those people.

So here I am, chatty and free to express myself here, not worried about what anyone else thinks.  But if any of you ever meet me in person and I am quiet and don't speak much, it's not you,  it's just because I am painfully shy and reserved and nervous.   I will loosen up as I get to know you.


  1. You're definately not alone in the anxiety department. I do recommend meeting up with others to exercise though. I remember in pre-season everyone seemed so gung ho about it all and I posted in the forums about what area I was in. I got an invitation to a coffee and was like "there's no way I'm going!!!" - but after 2 different people sent me messages about it saying "no worries about not coming, no one has met anyone before so it'll be super friendly" - I decided to bite the bullet and go. Then when the first workout got organised my bf had to kick me out of bed as I didn't want to go work out with people I didn't know. Now I'm getting out of bed at 6:15am on a Saturday (so unlike me) to go workout in two different groups - and it's great. So I hope you give it a go too :)

  2. Carol, I am so sorry, somehow your comment was deleted! I have no idea what happened or where it has gone or how I did it :(

    But thank you SO much for your comment! I don't know anyone going to the finale so will be so nervous about going on my own, or even getting to the venue's by myself as I don't know Sydney very well (aside from shopping in the city and Taronga zoo, LOL). I am a last minute planner though, so you never know. A lot can change between now and then and I may pluck up the courage to go. If so I will hopefully get to meet and say hello to you :)

  3. Thanks so much for your reply Jen, I would love to join in, I need to get rid of this annoying anxiety, LOL :) I hope that I can get the courage like you and become involved.

    I really don't like talking negatively, but In my local area there does seem to be a group but to be honest, I haven't found them to be very welcoming or friendly :( They have a FB group (which one of them posted on the 12wbt forums), it's really not a positive inspirational group feel, due to a small number of members, who dominate the group. I've just said to a friend today who is also doing 12wbt, we need to start our own workout group as there are many others in the fb group who feel the same way about the feel of the group. My friend is a member of a gym that I am not a member of so that's why we haven't really worked out together.

    I am a member of a couple of other FB groups for my state and they have group workouts and are an AMAZING group of ladies, they are so friendly, supportive, positive and inspirational and are warm to everyone, the groups have such a great warm welcoming feel, created by the all of the members of those groups and if I lived a little closer to where most of their workouts are I actually would go, but they are about an hour or so away from where I live but I would like to attend one of their group workouts.

    One day I will pluck up the courage to join a workout group :)

  4. What a brave post Monnie. Thank you for sharing. I really hope you do make your way to Sydney. Would love to meet you!


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