Monday, 2 October 2017

Beneath the surface

Hello I hope you're all ok? Sorry for the slight delay in blogging since last post. The focus of my latest blog is looking beneath the surface especially when someone finds social situations more challenging.

It's important to remember that no two people are the same but for some who experience social anxiety and/or struggle with confidence in social situations it can mean getting to know them can take that bit more time. It can take a while to feel comfortable or feel more confident when meeting new people and sharing information about themselves and ideas more challenging.

On the outside they may appear bored, rude, aloof or simply just quiet. You might think that they simply just don't care or don't want to be in your company or being flaky. Social anxiety is more than just being shy: it’s a mixture of physical symptoms and thoughts and can be really difficult and frustrating to live with. It’s important to get to know how it affects someone differently and take time to help them feel more comfortable and confident but most importantly in their own time. Take your time to understand someone’s challenges but also try and boost their confidence to help them grow.

The words you use can make a huge difference. Having social anxiety/anxiety doesn’t mean someone doesn’t have an opinion or a voice, but you can help build up their confidence by simply listening. If you know someone is going through a rough patch with their mental health a listening ear can mean so much. You don’t know how much hard work it can take for someone to be able to do something you might take for granted. Don’t  put someone under pressure,  let them do it in their own time, your patience can mean a lot.

Most importantly  everyone is a person, someone with a story. Everyone has a story, and you never know what people may be dealing or struggling  with behind closed doors. You never know who may have a mental illness, disability or difficulty invisible to the eye. Whilst I wanted to focus this blog on my anxiety/social anxiety, I’m also dyspraxic and many people may have another difficulty alongside any mental health challenges.

As someone who has social anxiety/anxiety  and can experience panic attacks meeting new people groups of people can be a real challenge for me, speaking up, sharing my ideas all of the anxiety and overthinking which can come beforehand and all of the overthinking which can happen afterwards and low self esteem/low mood. It's lead to some misunderstandings and difficult situations.

But I hope those who know me well know more  about me and of my  life experiences and that I care and empathise with others. In previous blogs I have discussed my anxiety/social anxiety and situations I find challenging. An example can approach wanting  to approach someone or go into situations  with ideas and things you wish  to share. But the physical feelings and thoughts and worries of being judged or coming across as boring or annoying go alongside of this.

I can find small talk not the easiest, and like to get to know what makes someone who they are by looking deeper to get to know their heart and soul.

I hope to become more confident and manage my anxiety in time, and if you relate to any of what I've talked about I think it's important to go at your own pace, find people who understand your struggles but who also encourage you to grow. Asking questions or taking that little bit of time to get to know someone who has anxiety or finds social situations more challenging can mean a lot, and cause a lot less misunderstandings. You never know what you might find out about someone.

Until next time....

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