Social Anxiety … fabricated, or is it??

Do you feel anxious while going out? Are you socially awkward? Is there such a thing or it’s all in your mind? Welcome back, after so long I have finally decided to start writing again and the first thing that comes to my mind is the world ‘Social’. Stay tuned and read it out. Please give your thoughts in the comments as well.

What is Social Anxiety?

Before I start on what I think, it’s imperative for you as a reader to get clarity on what we are talking about. Let’s take some examples to make you familiar with the terms ‘Social’ and ‘Anxiety’.

Social. I’m pretty sure you already know this term, hundreds of interpretations, but the real one is ‘Interacting with another human being‘. That sums it up, nothing more to discuss here on Social. The next term however, Anxiety, holds a meaning so large and complex that 10 whole books will fall short of pages to describe it. Not to worry, I’m here to shorten it for you. It’s a state of human body during which your heartbeat races, leading to more blood flow throughout hence increasing your energy output. Now you’ll be like what the hell is he talking about. Take a deep breath, read that again. This is what happens to your body when you’re anxious. Now, how your brain perceives and reacts to this sudden change in your body is what is termed as ‘Anxiety’. There are various types of anxiety, as you can see from the heading, we are only dealing with social anxiety here.

Club those two words together, you get social anxiety. When you feel anxious while interacting with others, it means you suffer from social anxiety or do you? Let’s find out.

Why Social Anxiety?

We have covered the ‘what’ so far and I hope I was able to simplify the meaning for you. Now let’s move on to the ‘why’. Why do you feel anxious when socializing, if you do that is. Go back to the heading.. Is it a real thing or fabricated? Why am I saying so. How can it be fabricated when it’s a proven medical condition? I must be joking right? As it turns out, no, I am not joking. Anxiety is a medical condition and there are medical treatments for that. What I am referring to when I say ‘fabricated’, is the use of term Social Anxiety. Once again you are like, “social anxiety is a real thing, what the hell is he talking about”. Wait a second, hear me out. Continue reading…

Kinda went off course there. Back to talking about ‘why’. Take a page from your book – You go to a cafe or a club with your so called “friends”. Take a step backward, your friend calls you to come down to a club this weekend to chill out. As soon as you put down your cellphone, you start thinking of ways on how you can say ‘No’. I’m not saying all of us feel the same way, but yeah, most of us do. So, why do you want to follow this line of thought, why not just say yes and go out and have fun? Keep this particular example in mind, for we’ll be focusing on this very question to answer why is this social anxiety fabricated?

Fabricated, or is it?

Same question – why not just say yes?

Reason 1 – The guy who called is just a friend in name not in game, in layman’s terms, a friend for show. You don’t really like the guy but keep your ties just for the sake of having such a person in your circle. The urge to say ‘no’, emerged from this very predicament that your friendship itself is fake and fabricated. Now, you’ll still feel anxious, but is this social anxiety? No way. Whatever it may be, it’s clearly not social anxiety.

Reason 2 – You are not a club person. You don’t like dancing, drinking or smoking, but for the sake of not looking like a nerd (*Peer pressure) you are contradicting your own thoughts and pondering over to say a simple yes or no. Once again, is this social anxiety? What do you think? This is your heart throbbing (you’re feeling anxious) because you don’t want to leave your comfort zone but at the same time want to be liked and respected among your peers.

Reason 3 – You are not financially stable, but you don’t want the world to see you as such. You present a different front to the society in which scenario only you are aware of the truth behind the scenes. Now, you don’t have a penny, but you still want to go to the club. Pondering over what to do, obviously you’ll feel anxious, but is this social anxiety? Is it?

Can you guess, from the above 3 stated reasons, which one is actually a real example of social anxiety. OfCourse, if you have read carefully, you’ll know that 2nd and 3rd reasons are the real deal. The person in question feels anxious, because he is afraid of being judged by others. And yes, this is typical example of social anxiety symptoms. Some other common symptoms include –

  • Excessive blushing
  • Rapid speech
  • Fear of being judged by others
  • Saying something then feeling embarrassed / humiliated later
  • Trembling
  • Palpitations
  • Uncomfortable to meet new people
  • Paying very high attention after an activity

Forget the above scenario for a sec. You meet your same friends in school/ college or wherever. Do you feel anxious then? No. So, where’s the gap here. What’s missing? To answer this question, people have come up with a term “Social anxiety”. Once again, I am not denying social anxiety as a whole. Yes, people do feel anxious going on a blind date or talking to a stranger, etc. What I am calling fabricated is, the way most of the people these days simply point out to social anxiety and get away with it, but in reality, the issue is somewhat different as you can grasp from the above example.

How can we help people deal with Social Anxiety?

This is the 21st century, or as I would like to call it the ‘Materialistic Century’. It’s very common to find yourself struggling and suffering.

Your sibling, friend, parent, relative, cousin…etc., anyone could be suffering from social anxiety. The beauty of this is (I joke) that they won’t ever tell you that they are socially awkward or anxious, you’ll have to figure it out for yourself. Easier said than done, but unless you figure it out, in the meantime make people comfortable around you. When your friend/sibling anyone thinks of you he or she should be comfortable to share his/her thoughts with you. You’ll have to be that warm place for them to come back to in a dreary winter. Think about what I am saying here.

This goes along the same lines of depression, which is also a medical condition. But social anxiety is far easier to deal with than depression. This was what you could do for others. Now, if you are one of them suffering from social anxiety, as hard as it sounds, I would suggest you reach out to your loved ones, your friends and family. I know this is the hardest part of the process but is the only way forward. Once you have opened up about it to someone, the next step would be to consult a professional. Trust me, this is the best you could do for yourself if you are the one suffering.

No one can help you if you don’t want to help yourself.

To sum it up

Anxiety is a medical condition. Social anxiety is a type of Anxiety and a very common one at that. People who do suffer from this truly know the hardships they face and hurdles it brings in their life. For anyone to justify their materialistic excuses in the name of social anxiety, is just sad, very very sad.

The whole point of my blog was to make you aware of this, and to look after your loved ones. I would also like to point out that people like to and will use this term very lightly to hide their ugly excuses and materialistic reality. But the truth of the matter is that this is a medical condition which is caused due to various environmental and genetic factors.

I will leave it up to you to decide for yourself if a person is faking social anxiety or not. If anyone does suffer as such, don’t turn your back on them, especially not on yourself.