Social Question

rockfan's avatar

Recently started to get over my social anxiety, but now the holidays are starting to freak me out. Can I just get some words of support?

Asked by rockfan (2441 points ) December 16th, 2013

I love my relatives, but they can make me feel really insecure, especially my cousins. They’re just so incredibly well spoken and funny. I know that I’m capable of being like that, but no matter how hard I try, I just can’t. Anyone else feel the same way?

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7 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Thank you very much for sharing this problem with us. It takes a lot of courage to reach out and invite insight from other people into our own dilemmas.

I am not a doctor. I am, however, a Hawaii Certified Peer Specialist in mental health. I work with people with mental illness, because I have one, too. I do not suffer from social anxiety as you describe, but I understand anxiety all to well, unfortunately.

I get anxious in crowded stores and other places. There are other situations and things that cause me anxiety, too. When I feel anxious, I practice deep breathing exercises: in through the nose and slowly out through the mouth. I also remind myself that the feeling will pass. There are rare occasions when it doesn’t pass, and I require medicine.

Holidays are difficult for the vast majority of people for one reason or another. You are not alone. Families are especially prone to cause us negative emotions. It’s sad but true.

I don’t give advice, but I can offer you an Internet hug. I hope you make it through this time unscathed.

rockfan's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Thanks, your comment means alot.

Smitha's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake has given you a great reply. You must definitely practice deep breathing exercises. It helps you keep your calm in social situations and will also help you bring your physical symptoms of anxiety back under control. If relatives visit tend to worry you, make a plan for how much time you will spend with them and stick to it. We all have weak points, but the world does not end. You just need to build some confidence.
I too appreciate the courage you took to share your feelings with us. Having people whom you can talk to and receive support from is a huge comfort.

JLeslie's avatar

How you feel is very common. You stated you are starting to get over some of your social anxieties, but the holidays are startingnto trigger some of your insecurities. You have every reason to believe the holidays will be better now that you have been feeling better in general, try to remember that. Also, practice the wonderwoman stance, right before interacting with these people. Hands on hips, stand up straight, and say out loud, “I am funny and confident.” no matter what, even if you don’t do that, walk in the room with a straight back and a smile. Fake til you make it. The more confidence you project the more people will treat you equally and come towards you. Also, holding our bodies a certain way, and doingnthese like smiling, releases certain chemicals in our brains, it’s all a feedback loop.

Are your cousins older than you?

janbb's avatar

You might want to take your socializing in small doses. Don’t feel you have to attend everything you are invited to or stay until the end. Pick the ones you are most interested in going to. When you get there, introduce yourself by name to people who don’t know you. If you can find someone to engage in conversation for a short time early on, it will help you feel more comfortable. These are all things I am practicing too and they are helpful to me.

rockfan's avatar


Im 22, and my cousins are 21, 24, 25, 27, and 30.

JLeslie's avatar

@rockfan I don’t know if this will apply to you or help, but I offer that being the youngest, or one of he youngest, especially if you are a girl, can be a difficult position in the family, even among extended family. For instance, a lot of younger sisters are jealous of their older sisters. The older sister seems cooler, more grown up, more confident, and there can be zero reality in the idea that they are more cooler or more mature, except for the fact that they are older. To children a 3 year difference can be huge, forget an 8 year age difference. When you are 9 and still in elementary school some of your cousins were in middle and high school. They could joke with the adults easier, had more interesting things to talk about, and could keep up with conversations better, because they were older. Not because they were better, or more clever. Now you are an adult to, you aren’t the little kid in the room. Sometimes it is hard for us to not always feel like the little kid when that has been the ongoing poisition in the family, but you can overcome it. More and more experiences where you are right in the mix as an equal will help you feel more confident I think. If any of that rings true to you, just do it in small doses, leave the room and take a break for a while if you get overwhelmed. I really think over time this will all get better just like it has for you in other parts of your life.

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