I just had a eureka moment while I was thinking about how my social anxiety developed. I already had detailed ideas about it but this feels like the last piece of puzzle.
So I’ve always been very much a peace-loving person. When I was little, people described me as the “peace-maker” among other kids. I never set out to cause controversy or offence but still somehow managed to do that (I’m on about getting bullied, which worked mostly on the level of social exclusion- ie: the bully turns the other person’s friendship group against them, they all make up, but then it happens again and the cycle repeats and repeats)
But I guess when you think of that kind of person you think of someone who’s unflappable and calm (At least I do). But I’m also the type of person that’s always been prone to worry and stressiness.
So maybe these two traits added together + experiences eventually produced social anxiety.
Because when I internalised the bad experiences I’d had with people, despite never trying to be provocative (I blamed myself for these things when I was like 12/13) , then maybe on a subconscious level I ended up paranoid about the way I could disturb the peace with people without even trying. So I got shy and anxious about speaking, fearing confrontation. And I basically conditioned myself to have these anxieties before I realised what I was doing.
I don’t know, it’s interesting isn’t it? I’m sure it starts differently for different people, but maybe some people can relate to this. I don’t know what practical use I can really put this information to, except to urge people (esp. teachers) to take bullying seriously… Please don’t see it as something you can ignore because it’s just kids being silly or whatever, because the experiences they have now affect how they will operate when they get older.
Sorry that wasn’t meant to turn into a preach. I do so strongly feel this is important though.