How I’m Getting Over My Social Anxiety

I’ve always been a worrier, and while some might think this feels good to me in some way (or else why would I keep doing it), it can be the most frustrating thing about me, even for my friends and family. One of my biggest issues with worrying is the anxiety I go through before a social event. Before the event, I worry about what I’ll wear, how I’ll look compared to others, what I’ll say, what others will think of me. I’ve found some unorthodox ways to work through it: My family.

The two people who help me grow every day!

The two people who help me grow every day!

My husband is the comedian who not only often plans the social get together I attend, but can sometimes be the center of attention. While I know a lot of women who are threatened by this, I rejoice in it. Part of that comes from the relief that the pressure is taken off me to entertain, while the rest comes from being proud that this man, who can add light to any room, is mine. Not only is he boisterous in public, but he’s loud and hilarious in private, too. His outspoken nature helps me especially when he comes up with simple, boarder-line offensive, “suggestions” for  my worry. “Dude, shut up. You look great, and everyone loves you,” is usually the way it goes. While other women might think, “HOLD UP! Don’t be a bossypants,” I welcome the jolt out of my swirly mind full of unrealistic expectations.

The second surprisingly helpful person, has been my nearly one-year-old baby girl. This shocks me, since she can often be the source of my pre-gathering jitters. “Will she have what she needs? Will she need a nap? Will she have something to do when we’re out? Does she look presentable…” On and on the list goes, and it probably helps me because I’m focused on whether she is alright, instead of whether I’ll be.

So, with my naturally attention grabbing crew in tow, I really don’t have much to worry about. Will I have enough to talk about? Sure will! I’ve got a great family to fill up the luls in those conversations.

The majority of my stress comes before the event, and I end up having a blast when I do get out. Being a natural homebody can be challenging! Now, this baby is going to force me to go out in the world, and trust people. Making friends is going to happen inevitably, which is surprising to me since I have trouble trusting women. I’m still stuck in the mindset that most women are catty, gossip-loving, meanies like in high school.

Now, I’ve learned that we have to take risks. We have to love others even if it means getting hurt, because we don’t want to miss out on the love we might find just because we might meet a few thorns in the rosebushes of life. I’ve learned that practice really does make perfect. The more I get out there and spend time with people in places I’m unfamiliar, the easier it becomes. While I’m still far from my goal of switching from an intro to an extrovert, it’s kind of the one day at a time concept. Today, I go to the store with baby in tow. Tomorrow, I go to a mom’s group at a church. Maybe someday, I’ll build up the courage to actually go to a church service.

The whole point is, I’m working on it, because life is short; and I have a little one to be an example to. You’re beautiful because you are you. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good. Don’t waste another moment worrying about what other people think about you, because it’s none of your business. And harsh as it is to say, don’t think you’re so important that everyone is spending their day complaining about what you said or didn’t say or what you wore or didn’t dress your baby in. Most people are good and have better thing to fill their thoughts with. Just be you!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Meg
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 23:43:47

    Really nice Rachel. Your a wonderful girl. You will do great. To me you seem outgoing. But that baby is going to make you the most outgoing woman you ever thought you could be.

    Reply

    • Rachael
      Feb 19, 2014 @ 13:19:16

      Thanks, Meg! I’m pretty good at hiding my nervousness, although my mom and husband can sense now when I’m worrying. It’s kinda funny! I’m excited to see how B helps me get out of my shell! Your kids seem great, and I’m glad they can cheer you up even when you don’t feel well. 🙂

      Reply

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