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Social Anxiety


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I have had this internet friend I've been keeping in touch for quite some time now, but it got to the point where he started asking for phone calls. I've already had to decline his request a few times in the past, due to my social anxiety. The problem is that I can already sense a frustration in him and perhaps he starts having that doubt that I'm trying to pretend to be someone I'm not, which is not true. I really don't want to disappoint him but every time I imagine holding a conversation with him, I just freeze in fear. (I've never really liked how my voice does sound during calls, so I just don't want to sound weird). I know this might sound like a ridiculous scenario to deal with, but I would appreciate any advices given :) .

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Hey

 

Welcome to Community and thanks for your honesty. It is not ridiculous at all and you would be surprised at how many people share this anxiety. For a long time when I was younger, I hated answering the phone I used to get really nervous and anxious.

 

Please don't give yourself a hard time for finding this tricky. The good news is I promise this can change and it doesn't always have to feel like this. Do you avoid the phone in general?

 

Apart from not liking the sound of your voice what other fears come up for you when you imagine yourself talking on the phone? It is always helpful to get really clear about what it is going on.

 

The last question, for now, have you explained about your anxiety with the phone to your friend? I know it's obvious but soemtimes when we are embarrassed about things we can skim over the details and then they don't understand because we didn't give it the time explaining it that it needed.

 

We can help for sure, sending support and positivity.

-Peach311

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Thank you both for your supportive responses :) . Yea I do avoid picking up calls, unless they are by close people I know. I think a part of what makes me so anxious is the fear of "what if he finds my voice weird and make assumptions about me based on that" . I know how ridiculous that sounds but the doubts are just there. I've also mentioned to him that I suffer from social anxiety but if I decline the call again, he will think it's just another excuse to not talk to him. I don't know what to do :/ .

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No worries, I am here to help.

 

How much do you want to talk to him out of ten, with ten being the most and 1 being the least where would you put it?

 

Is this friend someone you are interested in romantically? Is part of the fear he won't like you based on your voice?

 

??

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From the scale from 1-10 it's maybe a 7. I was really looking forward to make a call in the near future but now I feel obligated to do so and clear any doubts on the theories he might have made. I'm not romantically interested in them. We've been friends for years now , but started chatting active since 2017. I'm just scared that our friendship will lose its tight and that he might turn his back to me if I keep postponing this call. I keep my friends circle small and I don't wan to lose him after all these years.

I also believe the cause of year has something to do with the past. I've been in groups where I had to lie I'm a couple of years older just so " I could be accepted" in their crew or even talk to me. I think that's when I started hating the sound of my voice too, because whenever I picked up the phone, it sounded different and childish, in comparison with my real one.

 

I really appreciate your help, Peach311 ^^ it means a lot.

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I totally undrestand why you are scared, pressure, when we are not quite ready to do something makes everyone feel fearful.

 

What has the reaction been when you have explained why you aren't ready to talk? All you can be is honest as to why you aren't ready yet. Hopefully, if they value the friendship they will do their best to understand and give you more time.

 

I would try practising talking on the phone with people you feel most comfortable talking to. Another thing I wanted to ask was have you shared with those closest to you about you feel about the sound of your voice and the anxiety it gives you?

 

You are doing amazing, being honest is the most important starting place when we want to try and change something that is holding us back.

 

Sending positivity

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I did explain the issue to him and he told me it's alright because he didn't want to push me into something I'm feeling comfortable with. Yet, I can still sense on another lvl his expectations , which make me peer pressured. I have had conversation with the closest ones about that topic but I was taken as a joke. They either think I just make this things up for attention (they believe I suffer from " shyness" which I have to "overcome" , or doesn't take my words seriously.

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Hey

 

That's really helpful to know, thank you for your honesty. I know it's hard too but you need to trust your friend when he says he doesn't want to push you into doing something you aren't comfortable with. If he does have expectations that's for him to share with you, if you can avoid doing his thinking for him I think it will take the pressure off of you.

 

How did it make you feel hearing that they didn't believe you? I am really sorry that they didn't get it. People can really struggle to understand something they haven't been through themselves. Especially when something is invisible like anxiety is. You are not making anything up anxiety is a very real and lived experience for many many people. What do you find helps when it gets bad?

 

Do you feel up for talking to them again?

 

 

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