It particularly annoys me when you see people try to people encourage those with extreme shyness and anxiety to go out and do things and then they seem amazed that they don’t act normal. This sort of thing is common by people you know a bit like work colleagues or even on anxiety forums. They think you will be fine, they think you will come out of your shell, enjoy yourself, chat and have a good time. The usual advice for moderate shyness, not chronic anxiety. Then of course they guilt trip you if you don’t go like it’s all your own fault. Good, I could do with even more guilt! When you do go out they ask why you are acting weird, they tell you to speak more or speak up, they even wonder why you are saying such strange things. This is what having social anxiety is like you stupid asshole! You act weird and awkward and people laugh at you! As per usual they expect you to act normal from the off and don’t like it when you don’t. Some people even seem annoyed at you as if you did this on purpose. They knew you were anxious but did not realise that you could be embarrassing or act weird.
I saw part of an episode of First Dates the other week on Gogglebox or The People’s Couch in America where we see viewers at home talking about the TV they are watching. This one guy was extremely shy and awkward when meeting the girl on his first date. The Gogglebox viewers at least seemed to feel sorry for him and his awkward and shy personality rather than ridicule him. However they were amazed that he started to talk about politics or something just as weird. The girl seemed to lose interest and not want to see him again. What a surprise. I thought he was tremendously brave to go on a TV show and be filmed with such shyness issues. You could see the awkwardness and his face going crimson and struggling for things to say. Mind you he was quite unlucky to get a girl who appeared to not say anything unless spoken to first and expected him to make all the conversation.
You see this is why so many people don’t improve. Going on such a humiliating and pointless date would have made me far worse, not better. In fact this has been the story of my life not with dates of course as I have not been on even one. The countless times I have done things have often ended up embarrassing or awkward which made me more avoidant. I stuttered, I blushed and thinking of anything intelligent or relevant to say to strangers was a nightmare. The advice of just keep doing it in case the 1 in 100 event is good does not in any way make up for the 99 bad ones. In fact the 99 bad events crippled my confidence and made me worse. I am even now worried about going to the dentist for the first time in 8 years on Monday. The pain is so bad I have trouble eating and drinking but my procrastinating shy behaviour has let me get this far rather than go to see anyone. It might be OK. It probably won’t go well, nothing usually does. That’s why I have a negative mindset. It’s not irrational thinking, it’s from experience. I have no confidence in myself not acting shy which is why I have no confidence! If it goes badly however as 9 out of 10 things do if not quite 99 out of 100 then I won’t be going back for another 10 years.