How Those With Social Anxiety Are Misunderstood

April 18, 2018  |  
1 of 15, Barcelona. Young traveler near the sea, enjoying the beach.

I’ve been with a man who suffers from social anxiety for a little over five years. You might wonder how we ever even clicked in the first place since, those with social anxiety can have a hard time dating. But I’m very forthcoming, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I say exactly what I mean—my personality type works very well for those with social anxiety. I tend to disarm them, and help them stop questioning, “Was she being serious? Is she mad? Is she telling the truth about what she wants? Is she unhappy and not saying it?” and the other endless worries those plagued with social anxiety have. But just because I put my boyfriend at ease doesn’t mean I haven’t seen him be incredibly anxious. In fact, I’ve had to explain some of his behavior (triggered by his anxiety) to my friends and family many times. Here are ways those with social anxiety are misunderstood.

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People think they’re rude

I attend a lot of plus one events solo, or if I do bring my partner, he might sit with the same few people all night and not really mingle. It isn’t because he is rude. If he stays home, it’s because he worries the event is a minefield for his anxiety triggers. If he tags along but sits with the same people, it’s because he feels safe with them.

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