We all feel anxious about something, or certain situations; an exam, going on a trip somewhere on your own for the first time, asking someone to go on a date with you. It's all different for everyone. Things that I might find easy, you may find difficult, and vice versa. But for some people, like me, almost everything makes me anxious, even things that I have done a million times before. But I'm fighting it, and if you're like me, hopefully you're fighting it too. It’s hard to be living everyday afraid and/or worried about a lot of things! We’re literally living in fear!
Just to paint a picture for you before anything else, here are some of the few things that most people find easy, but that make me feel extremely anxious:
- Entering a store: I rarely ever go shopping for clothes by myself, unless I know exactly what I want to buy and I am 100 percent sure that it is available! This is because, as silly as it sounds, staff members approaching me to offer their assistance makes me extremely anxious! There have been times where I am about to buy something, but instead I end up leaving with nothing except slight regret, wishing that what I want would still be there when I get the courage to buy it, or when I go shopping with my family! And then there’s also the worry that I must have seemed so rude for leaving so abruptly after being approached by the staff member!
- Ordering food: Honestly, whenever I eat out with friends or family, I always ask them to order for me. I even make sure that they know exactly what I want, because the thought or actually being asked by them to confirm my order in front of the waiter/waitress makes me so nervous!
- Talking to people who know members of my family: I go to church twice a week, and because of my anxiety I rarely talk to people apart from family members or those that I have previously talked to and have known for a while. But there are the occasional new people that I have to interact with that start the first two minutes of the conversation with me saying "I know your sister" or "I know your dad," and I just do not know how to respond to them or what to say! All of my family members seem to be so good with people socially, and I get so worried they expect the same out of me, and when it doesn’t happen, I just look mean!
Anyway, I think, or at least I hope, I’m getting better at “fighting” these fears, because I really don’t want to be like this forever. Here are some of the things that I do that I hope would help you too!
- Communication: it used to worry me whenever I admitted how I felt to people with me (i.e. family and friends), but now I realize it’s really helpful! Because they are aware of my anxiety, they encourage me to fight it, and yes sometimes it feels like they’re pressuring me, and maybe they are, but it helps. There are times where it leads to a fight, because it becomes too much, however, in the long run, the “it’s my turn to order next time” really happens!
- Taking a deep breath whenever I see a staff member/waiter/waitress/stranger come talk to me; I take a deep breath and imagine myself being “emotionally prepared” to converse. When they finally reach me, I focus on what they are saying, take a deep breath to process my thoughts, and then reply to whatever it is they’re saying!
- Acknowledge that you have made progress! This is important, because if you have done it before then you can do it again!
I truly hope this helps you if you get so much anxiety like me or at least like I used to, or I hope this helps you understand how we feel and/or how to help us if you know someone like me!