Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The plague that is social anxiety.

I hate my social anxiety. A lot. It makes me absolutely miserable sometimes. Not only does it hold me back from doing things I want to, making conversation, making friends, but it also makes me question any action I have taken so that I become convinced that I am utterly socially inept and start to hate myself, feeling miserably embarrassed over normal social interactions.

Lately, I've been trying to organize a fun event at my church. It's become painfully clear that it needs to be extensively marketed but I absolutely hate marketing because I feel like I'm annoying everyone and imposing on their time and I assume that if I've told people something once they've heard it and never want to hear it again. In my own life, I hate trying to promote my own music or skills because I feel like I'm bragging or annoying people. I assume that because I've posted on Facebook about my music once or twice that everyone knows about it and feel bad posting again. Then I will find out that friends of mine have no clue that I post music on YouTube, etc. and I realize that maybe it's not so dumb to market oneself obnoxiously.

But I just feel obnoxious. I tried emailing people I know about the event and got lackluster, almost passive aggressive responses. I'm not sure if I just am so paranoid that I am misinterpreting their coldly typed memos or what, but all the same it leaves me feeling so utterly idiotic for having stepped out of my carefully constructed boundaries of social comfort to email them and I just want to crawl into a very small black hole and die.

I sometimes wonder what it's like to be able to say and do whatever you want and talk to whomever you want without anxiety or care. I felt very bitter this past weekend looking at all the people like that and how little they care for others yet how highly praised they are among the masses. Why was I chosen to suffer in silence because of the silence imposed on me by some inexplicable force unseen to anyone but me? Why is the world so prejudiced towards quiet people and so worshipful of the gregarious, the loud?

Why was I doomed to a life of unhappiness for committing normal social activities when the blessed loud people are the ones who are atrociously inconsiderate, unsympathetic, and even outright rude and yet still worshipped for their friendliness because their victims are unable to fight back or speak of the crimes committed. Even if they did share, no one would give ear to their protests. Those charming people have won over the crowds and can do no wrong. I know because I've tried to speak up and have been shot down for being unreasonable. People always brush the incident under the carpet and insist, "Yeah but he's a good guy." Even if the "good guy" hurt them, they refuse to acknowledge it. I guess that's why I don't like a lot of gregarious people. I feel bad about it sometimes but then I remember the unchecked arrogance, the subtle manipulation, the blatant self-centeredness, ignoring the little guys and picking their friends. Their lives are like a moving stage play, performed to a captive audience who has already published their five star reviews a few minutes into the show.

Maybe it's not so bad to be quiet. I may suffer, but hopefully it keeps me from hurting other people by keeping some dangerous words unsaid. However, it also leads people to discredit anything I say, including speaking out against those who are dangerous.

But maybe I shouldn't have said anything.

Read more about Social Anxiety Disorder.

Read my own article on living with SAD.

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