What people think of me:
Most of my friends think that I am a social butterfly, vivacious and cheery with people. I can instantly make a conversation with any random stranger on the train, cafeteria at work, elevator or any where. I just walk up to people and do not shy away from asking any questions if I need to.
What actually I am:
I am not what my friends think of me. I try hard to stay away from parties, social networking events and any gatherings. I can make small talk but not a smooth flow of conversation, unless the other party is an equal participant and we have common topic to speak about or i have absolutely no knowledge about certain topics, it makes up for good conversation. They speak with an unequivocal excitement and I have no qualms in getting interested and be very curious about. I can do well one-on-one at times, I kind of take a back seat when in group. I am an passive participant in most cases. I feel lost in a party all alone. I wish, I could just jump into some random group and become active participant. I just cannot take the plunge. If forced into such situation, there is no doubt, I come home happy being there. It is that first step to do that scares me and the follow up later. I do not follow up nor I take initiative by thinking that I am not up to their mark and let go of such opportunities.
Primary problem, I have is of undermining my presence and importance in any social setting or in any one’s life, ergo, will make me run away from such situations. I cringe at the thought of answering phone calls including friends and relatives. It takes lot of effort and energy on my mind to attend a call or try and call back. The more physical distance = most of my friendships were lost. I also, think people judge me.. who doesn’t? I keep forming opinions about others all the time.. so why should any one care of what others think?. The underlying problem perhaps – Fear of people looking down on me? I am not sure.
The next steps…
I have this problem at professional and personal level. I need to address it sooner than later. It also means to respect my self more, and treating myself as I would treat some one else. I will be taking up every opportunity to socialize and step forward with no fear to have conversation. I will not miss a phone call and try to call back at immediate opportunity.
Any good book or video recommendations or tips you have that will help me get over this fear of social anxiety? Is it even called a social anxiety?