I am not a social person. Today I’m talking about how it feels to be social from an anti-social person. I’m talking about an anxiety disorder that affects so many people.

I feel uncomfortable and awkward. It seems as if I forget everything, including even how to talk. My heart races and beats so hard that my chest literally hurts. I want to talk. I want to be friendly and kind, but nothing can make it past my mind and out of my mouth. From the outside, I very well may look stuck up. Maybe I even seem unapproachable or unkind. It’s completely unfair how quickly people come to conclusions based solely on what they see. For people like me, who are not very comfortable in social settings, we are often misjudged.

When I’m in a position that I’m forced to be social, it leaves me feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck.

My head hurts, my eyes hurt, my whole body hurts, and I can’t handle hearing anything. To take care of myself I need to be in silence. My mind screams and it literally feels like there are bugs crawling all over me. I know that’s very vivid, but it’s really how it feels. As I sit there shaking, scratching, wanting to silence what is screaming at me, I try so hard to be stronger than the monsters, but they win every time.

This is what it’s like every single time I’m forced to be in a social setting. This is what it’s like living with this anxiety disorder.

Many things are avoidable, like parties, and concerts, but there are many social settings that are unavoidable like grocery shopping and attending appointments. Visiting the pharmacy to restock meds or even just getting a haircut are all social experiences that can be very exhausting. Because there are so many unavoidable settings that might force you to be social, I thought I’d share how I handle them and how I cope.

Enn’s Tips For Coping Through Social Situations When Struggling With This Anxiety Disorder

  1. Don’t overwhelm yourself. I use to try dong as much as possible in one day, just wanting to get it over and done with. I do not recommend this at all. Now I make sure to schedule things with time in between. For example, I wouldn’t do a doctor’s appointment and a dentist on the same day. Or an appointment and any sort of shopping. I’ve learned that I can only handle comfortably, 1 social situation in a day.
  2. Take care of yourself before, during, and after. The time leading up, make sure to do some self-care. Keep your mind as calm as possible. Reflect about how you’re feeling by journaling or talking. Notice your feelings during the event, and afterwards allow your mind and body to rest and settle. I think this is very important to avoid overwhelment. For me, feeling overwhelmed can lead to a fast downward spiral with my mental health.
  3. Recognize your feelings and put a name to them. I recommend doing this before, during, and after the social event. Doing this can help you to not get overwhelmed with your feelings. You may find it helpful to write it down.

If you are someone who is a support person to someone who struggles in social settings, here are some things you can do to make it a better experience:

  • understand that social anxiety is real
  • don’t pressure the person into partaking in anything they don’t feel they can
  • be supportive
  • listen to what they are saying
  • learn what triggers them so you can help them prevent any crisis situations that may happen
  • listen when they’ve said they’d had enough
  • don’t make them feel like they need to explain – social anxiety does not always make sense and is not a rational illness
  • be patient
  • focus on their feelings – not figuring out what triggered their feelings

So what is social anxiety?

It’s real, and it’s really important to understand the best you can. It’s having a significant fear in everyday interactions. Feeling self-conscious or embarassment, It can affect your entire life.

It can disrupt someones entire life, and it’s really hard to live with.

If you know someone who struggles, please think of this and be kind and understanding.

Love Always, Enn

p.s. Don’t forget to read my last post about home organization!


63 thoughts on “What It Feels Like To Be Social From An Anti-Social Person

  1. I totally relate, Enn! I am so terribly awkward, anxious, and shy. Online though I’ve really come out of my shell. You are so lovely and sweet and amazing and just wonderful the way you are, gorgeous <3

  2. There was a time where I needed to socialise to avoid having an emotional breakdown, even though I can also find socialising awkward. Now I just straight up don’t care about socialising at all and would rather be permanently on my own

  3. I do fine (mostly) when it’s with people I know and love. But even then I desire to back out at the very last moment! I’m okay for a “business meeting”, but I get the anxiety around social interaction.
    I love your tips

  4. This is eyeopening for me, I have struggled with this too. Thank you for sharing your story and I love your tips, they are really helpful.

    Sending lots of love & light your way


  5. This makes so much sense. I don’t have social anxiety but I recognize that if I socialize too much or feel pressure too it takes a toll on my mental health. I have to keep an eye on balancing my time with time with friends and time for myself

  6. I have suffered with this my entire life. This really resonates with me. If I know an event is happening that I have to attend I will rehearse how it will go in my head for days and weeks leading up to it and still be a nervous anxious wreck the day of. Usually once I get there I can find a way to muddle through it, but wow it is mentally painful. On the other hand if someone gives me a spur of the moment kind of invitation I quite honestly can’t handle it. I will usually accept with a smile then go home and throw a giant fit about it…I wish honestly that other people could be more considerate or even understand that not everyone is a people person or social butterfly. End rant lol. Thanks for sharing.

  7. While I’m not a 100% anti-social, I’m most definitely more introverted than extroverted. I love how you mentioned practicing self-care before, during, and after as that’s something I do often. I’m happy that you were able to find something that works out for you. x

  8. Thank you for sharing! As an introvert myself, it seems so hard for extroverts to understand how draining social situations can be for us. It certainly does not come natural and can be a very stressful thing for us.

  9. Wow how frustrating it must be! I’m so sorry that you and others have to go through this. I know there are allot of shy people out there but I didn’t know about social anxiety. Thank you for sharing and bring this into light for those of us that are unaware! I don’t judge people because you never know what’s going on in their life so I don’t believe I’ve ever come into contact with anyone dealing with social anxiety but I will definitely keep this in mind. I’m glad you’ve figured out how to cope with it.

  10. I am with you. I also live with anxiety, rather learned how to live with…
    It is difficult and self-care is so important. I just started a self-care summer challenge in an effort to improve the care of myself. Thanks for sharing your tips and truth through this article. I enjoyed it.
    Christy |

  11. Hi Enn, I’m also not a social person i usually keep my circle small .
    I really enjoyed reading this article.

  12. This is really great!
    I find I start to get really dizzy lately when I have to be social, it must be the ‘fight or flight ‘ mode making me dizzy or something but the anxiety makes everything really bright and I just feel confused. Very tough thing dealing with social anxiety.

  13. I related to so much of this post. I have found people think I’m stuck up (someone once referred to me as probably living in a castle, which couldn’t be further from the truth). But people also don’t understand that something that is so simple for them is physically and emotionally draining, so even doing something such as getting a bit of food from the supermarket tires me out. They also don’t understand that even though I have free time I don’t want to go out and say that because I’m free I should spend time with them when all I want to do is stay home and unwind from any social situation I have been in that day or week.

  14. While I don’t have anxiety when it comes to social, I often feel like I get tired when I talk to many people in a day and I tend to avoid talking to them in the next few days. Thanks for sharing these; people with anxiety like this would really appreciate it.

  15. This was a great post. I don’t care to be in spaces that force me to be social either. It’s always good to analyze the circumstances that make you have uncomfortable feelings and if you can help it, not be in the space.

  16. I always come across as or feel as if I am being rude when really I sometimes say things quickly to either just get them out because I feel awkward or sometimes I try to rush friends and family when too many people are around and I hate it. I hate social anxiety. Though for me I don’t find it is the same as anti-social. I want to be social, I just can’t.

  17. I’ve struggled with anxiety for so much of my life so this was very relatable and a great read. Journaling has been very helpful in helping me figure out which situations and scenarios are the most stressful for me.

  18. Taking things slow is a great tip! I do not much like crowds either, but I find that if I find one person to talk to then other people slowly join in and the whole process of meeting new people becomes a lot more fun.
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  19. I felt this post so much! I’m so unsocial and it’s gotten worse though lockdown. I find it hard to even reply to emails etc now whereas prior to lockdown I was getting better. It’s definitely something that needs talked about more.

    1. Yes definitely. I can’t even answer my phone. It’s something that’s so real and hard to live with. Thanks for sharing love.

  20. Thank you for sharing, this is something which I can relate to a lot. I sometimes find that in my head, the build-up to the event is a lot worse. I’m not really one to go places by myself, but I’m getting a lot better. Going somewhere new is the tough part, I’m okay with places I know… but like I said I’m getting better at it and it helps that I normally have people with me. Great post, thank you for sharing x

  21. This post gives great insight to how people suffer with social anxiety. I have a type of social anxiety in groups, I get the same feeling you do, if I’m asked to speak in a group. It doesn’t matter how many times I do it that heart beating fast thing always comes back. Glad to see I’m not the only one.
    Thanks for sharing

  22. I can totally relate! I am not very social, but my boyfriend is. He encourages me to go to social events with him and I usually end up having a great time! But the moments leading up to them, and during them, I get so anxious and insecure and unconfident. Setting limits on how long I’ll be somewhere has really helped me. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  23. This is such brilliant advice, especially for supporting people who have social anxiety. It can be very difficult to understand it if you have not experienced it.

    Thank you so much for sharing x

  24. Great post. Sometimes I find myself in the same situation. Not interested in socializing and looking for someone to say.. It okay to stay alone.

    1. Thank you for sharing this. I think it’s an important thing to talk about. Sending love and happiness your way.

  25. Great post. You’ve got it spot on. I’ve got a bit better over the years, especially with things that I repeatedly do, like going to the same supermarket, pub, restaurant etc..

    But going somewhere new, is starting all over again, it’s horrible and something that’s difficult to understand for those who haven’t experienced it.

    1. Definitely difficult for those who haven’t experienced it. Thanks so much for sharing this. Sending love and positivity your way.

  26. I used to feel like this some type of way especially with female folk but I don’t know what just happened, I guess I mixed with a bunch of cool female friends who put me out of that. Thanks for sharing and yes, social anxiety exists.

  27. I really like the idea of writing down your feelings in a journal so you can assess how different situations make you feel when anxiety comes about. Sometimes, I struggle with being social and often get really quiet and people think I’m being rude but I’m really feeling terrified inside. Thank you for sharing xxx

    1. Thank you for being so open. I know that you’re not alone in this feeling. sending so much love your way.

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