Thoughts about this Culture and Shyness

So I was just doing some research on Western and Eastern ideas on “shyness”. Although the terms “Western” and “Eastern” might be a bit reductive, as no doubt individual countries and even regions have slightly different ideas about things, the impression I’m getting is that in Western cultures we usually see shyness as anti-social or rude, whereas Eastern cultures tend to see it as thoughtf Continue reading “Thoughts about this Culture and Shyness”

Being Open about Anxiety for the First Time with Parents: Pt 3

So Part 1 was contextual waffle and Part 2 was about telling my mum. Predictably, Part 3 will be about telling Dad.

Telling Dad started off awkward, progressing to mildly comedic, progressing to absolutely fine.

By the time I got round to talking to Dad, it had been two or three weeks since telling Mum. This was because at the end of the Christmas holidays, I hadn’t found a good opportunity to bring up the subject with him and reluctantly postponed it till my next visit home. So I came back for a weekend and it got to Sunday afternoon, a few hours before I would be getting on a train back to my university town again, and I still hadn’t attempted it. So I figured I’d have to give up looking for the perfect opportunity and just out with it. Continue reading “Being Open about Anxiety for the First Time with Parents: Pt 3”

Being Open about Anxiety for the First Time with Parents: Pt 2

This is the part that is actually about me telling my parents I have anxiety. See part 1 for contextual waffle.

It was in the last couple of days before I was going to be moving back to university for Term 2 (just over a month ago). I was in the back room trying to study but thinking about anxiety (as per) and my parents were watching a film in the other room. I was mulling over the prospect of telling them about it for the umpteenth time and having just about come to the conclusion that I should tell them had got on to thinking about the how. Then I looked at my phone and the grade of my first essay of the year had come through. So I checked that and it turned out I’d got a C which wasn’t like me so I started panicking about the future and my grades and job prospects etc etc… And I felt so over the edge that I wanted to finally get anxiety into the open now without any further ado. But they were happily watching their film so I didn’t, I just sat there hyperventilating and staring at my laptop screen.

Then their film finished and my dad went to bed pretty promptly so my idea seemed to be blown. Mum was in the front room packing up Christmas tree decorations and I really just had to say something, even though this wasn’t the calm let’s-all-sit-down-together-and-I’ll-explain-that-I-have-anxiety-like-a-rational-human-being scenario that I’d intended. I composed myself a bit more and we Continue reading “Being Open about Anxiety for the First Time with Parents: Pt 2”

Being Open about Anxiety for the First Time with Parents: Pt 1

I hinted that this post was coming here, so here we go.

Context: It occured to me that I had social anxiety for the first time when I was 16 because I was really disturbed by the amount of shyness I was experiencing and this got me doing some intense googling on the topic. The idea that my extreme shyness met enough criteria to be classified as something called “social anxiety disorder” and that this was classified as a “mental illness” was probably the aspect of this which bothered me most, and to some extent still does. I feel like I’ve been thinking and perhaps overthinking this topic ever since then (the fact I have a blog about it makes that kinda self evident doesn’t it?) but in the following five years I’ve made a big thing of not talking about it (with one or two slight exceptions). Not out of any feeling of shame Continue reading “Being Open about Anxiety for the First Time with Parents: Pt 1”

Baby Steps

Just a short one today! I’ve come to a milestone, nothing major but it’s a start.

I’ve started to get professional help for this thing. I don’t know if it’ll work but I have to explore my options. And I also managed to tell someone I know about it today. And even though this is completely out there, actually talking about it, I’ve been pretty level-headed about it the whole time. I couldn’t have done that a few years ago, so I guess that’s a good sign.

That’s pretty much all I have to say. That must be a record for non-waffliness 🙂

Indecisive

As the title suggests, I’m feeling a little bit indecisive at the moment!

The Christian Union at my uni have meetings twice a week. The Tuesday one is the bigger meeting for people from all over campus and the Thursday one is a small group Bible study just for people in your particular college. I’m settling into the small groups one on a Thursday fairly alright but today is Tuesday and I am lacking the motivation to go to the larger meeting.

It’s the seventh week at university now and I’ve been to the first 2 Tuesday meetings, neither of which was especially traumatic in the social side of things. The first was just an introductory thing where a large percentage of us didn’t know each other. At the second one, I floundered a bit when everyone was just mingling but then a few second years came up and kindly started conversation with me. I sat with them for the talkie bit because I couldn’t see anyone else I knew, and they didn’t seem to mind. Afterwards I got talking to a girl who is also on two of my courses and in one of my seminars, and we had a good conversation.

Then I missed a few of the larger meetings because of my workload, but I managed to get to a few of the Thursday small groups, where there’s about 10-15 of us. So that’s all good.

Basically, the more I think about it the less I want to force myself to go to the larger meeting because I’m scared of not having anyone to talk to at the beginning or anyone to sit with. That sounds really petty but I don’t want to be seen as that girl who stands in the corner with her phone while everyone else socialises.

There are at least 3 or 4 people I feel confident talking to but I haven’t mastered the art of going up to someone I know when they are already talking to several people I don’t know and successfully joining in with the group conversation. I tried this the other week when there were just 2 people, one I did know and her friend who I didn’t know. It started off ok but then a third year joined the conversation and because I was quieter than the other two she started well-meaningly trying to talk to me, separate from the others. So I was there trying to figure out what they were talking about and join in, when she’d suddenly ask me what I was studying or something. It was sabotaging all my concentration on attempting to fit in. Then as things were going on like this, horror of horrors, she asked me “Do you know them?” gesturing towards the other two (who were none the wiser). She thought I was a total stranger just third-wheeling and not saying anything! I think my feeling of “I cannot believe you just said that” was evident on my face when I replied “Yes” because she didn’t say owt else after that.

In my defence it was early in the morning and my brain was way too slow to be chatty.

All that aside, I am leaning towards not going to the large meetings as I’m likely to just embarrass myself if I’m feeling stressed about it the whole time. I think it’s achievement enough that I’m more or less fitting in at the weekly small event, so maybe I should just let myself be proud of that. Thoughts would be appreciated though 🙂