“Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. You could say social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people.” –Social Anxiety Association
You could also say that social anxiety is being stuck in a gooey pit of self-absorption…
To some the previous statement may be a little triggering and something that most people won’t agree with. But the above description taken from the Social Anxiety Association, in my own judgment, leads me to believe that social anxiety might just be a little narcissistic.
The definition is true, my fear comes from the fear of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people. Isn’t it a little self-absorbed to think that people really care that much about me? Because in hindsight I know they really don’t.
So social anxiety does have a bit of narcissism to it.
I don’t say these things to anger or misrepresent social anxiety. The fear and struggle that comes with social anxiety is very, very, real. It’s crippling and frustrating and something we know that shouldn’t be. Deep down to our very core, we know something isn’t right. We sit in our own personal jail cell, locked up by our own negative thoughts. The jail cell also become our safety blanket, we think by staying on the outside of socializing, we’re safe from judgment. And then we sit and watch our lives pass us by. We watch opportunities get passed on to our friends and coworkers. We see our possibilities fade into darkness; It’s a very lonely safety blanket.
I’m exploring this idea of self-absorption and narcism because I know, for me, this is a place to start for change. The realization that I’m so caught up in the fear of other people’s judgments just might be the catalyst to help me end this way of thinking. To remind myself that in my deep dark moments, when I am in pain and fear, I can tap into the idea that the people I’m socializing with are not really thinking about me as much as I think they are. Telling myself to stop being self-absorbed just might help me snap out of my caged induced anxiety and help be settle back into the present moment.
And even if social anxiety does have a layer of self absorption to it, I know it wasn’t born there. I didn’t wake up one day thinking everyone was judging me negatively. No, this fear was not born from a place of narcissistic tendencies. It was born from trauma and pain. A place of pressure, a place where perfectionism wants to take control. A place where my deepest darkest voice wants to remind me to say nothing. Be nothing. You are nothing.
Because they can’t hurt me anymore if I am nothing.
But it’s not true. It’s not. I won’t let nothing continue to become my life!
And I hope you stop the nothing from becoming your life, too.