Social anxiety is generally a fear of offending people or being judged or humiliated. Everyone experiences it, but on different levels. For some people, greeting the security guard can be almost an instinct; for others, it takes a lot of courage to even look them in the eye and smile politely.
Even the smallest of everyday things are enough to trigger a socially anxious individual—and we found that these are the most common situations that make them most uncomfortable.
1. Phone calls
What could possibly so important that your friend couldn't take two minutes off their time to type into a message whatever it is they want to tell you? Ack!
2. Placing an order
Long lines in fast food chains are a blessing in disguise because you get to rehearse your order in your head before getting to the counter. Now, if only the cashier would stop interrupting you to ask if you want to upsize your drink.
3. Getting lost
Before you leave to visit a place for the first time, you make sure to Google or ask your friends for directions. The only thing worse than looking like you're lost is approaching a stranger to tell you where you need to go.
4. Meeting new people
You're afraid of the kind of first impression you'll be leaving on someone. You're very careful with the words you say because you don't want to seem rude. Then again, you become too careful with your words and you can come off as too shy. What to do?!
5. Small talk
If there's anything you dread more than your Uber driver initiating a conversation with you, it's the uncomfortable silence that comes after he senses that you're not up for a chat and stops throwing questions—and you're still 25 long minutes away from your destination. Yikes!
6. Random run-ins with people
It takes you a lot of time to mentally prepare yourself for social interactions. That's why you'd rather try avoiding eye contact with an old friend who's walking towards your direction than have your brain go into overdrive.
If you're worried about being the only one who experiences discomfort in the most normal situations, you'd be surprised by how many other people actually share your struggles. What triggers your social anxiety? Share with us in the comments below!
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