General Question

rockfan's avatar

Do you think it comes across as neurotic to have to explain one’s anxiety to other people?

Asked by rockfan (12796points) 1 week ago from iPhone

So a few days ago through an invite on Facebook, I was invited to a potluck by a friend of mine. We’re not best friends or anything but we’ve hung out a handful of times and keep in contact on social media. Her boyfriend of 6 months was also going, so at first I was sort of nervous to go by myself, thinking I was going to feel out of place. Decided to go anyway, and when I got there I awkwardly said hi to them, then milled around for a couple minutes talking to the people who organized the potluck, and a few minutes later I was overcome with really bad social anxiety. My friend and her boyfriend seemed like they wanted to have time to themselves, so when I left I didn’t say bye. I felt like I was imposing.

Do you think I should explain to her about by anxiety? Or do you think I’m over analyzing the situation?

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11 Answers

chyna's avatar

Were you just there a few minutes? Not sure from your question. If so, I would explain it. If you were there for a while, I wouldn’t explain it

rockfan's avatar

I was there for about 15 minutes. I barely even talked to them. I said hi once and when they moved over to the side of the park with their blanket and food, I didn’t go over and talk to them. Because of my anxiety.

chyna's avatar

I think I would leave it alone, then. Unless your friend asks you about it. And even then, since you aren’t close friends, I wouldn’t go into any details. Just something like “yeah, I had to take off early.”

janbb's avatar

I tend to over-explain and it is sometimes to my detriment. I left a Zoom meeting recently with the explanation of a headache and later told two people in an email that it was also due to unhappiness with the meeting. Neither of them responded to my email which made me feel much worse.

I would leave it be since you weren’t really interacting with them. Just carry on as you normally would and if they ask you why you left, you can explain. Chances are they may not have even noticed you were gone right away.

Part of social anxiety is thinking everybody is looking at you; growth is realizing they probably weren’t.

rockfan's avatar

So I ended up sending her a short message, saying that I left early because of some anxiety. But didn’t go into too much detail

rockfan's avatar

Main reason why I feel like a jerk is because in the past she was looking forward to finally getting together after the worst parts of Covid were over.

chyna's avatar

There is NO reason to feel like a jerk. You weren’t a jerk at all.

rockfan's avatar

I think what @janbb said is perfect. That overcoming anxiety is realizing that they probably didn’t even notice or get offended in the first place. Should’ve just messaged that it was good to see them

JLeslie's avatar

Depends on the exact situation, but I would likely send a quick message saying something like, “hey, sorry I left the potluck so early, thanks again for inviting me!” I might add a cute emoji.

I wouldn’t explain why. People who demand explanations are nosy and can become very annoying, and people who give too much explanation sometimes sound like liars. Liars usually give too much information, it’s a tell. They over prepare for being interrogation and blurt out their prepared speech. Saying you have anxiety would not sound like lying, but it’s unnecessary information, unless this is a friend who you want to share that information with.

Your friend might ask if you’re ok, and you can just reply, “yes I’m fine, I just felt badly about leaving early and wanted to apologize.”

Then if you are interested in seeing her again you can pivot and say, “let’s get lunch soon, I’d love to catch up.” Or, whatever you are comfortable with.

Probably, they didn’t notice you were there such a short time.

si3tech's avatar

@rockfan I’m reminded of this: We wouldn’t worry nearly so much what people think of us if only we knew how seldom thy did. I mean this in the kindest way. I don’t think you were a jerk. You were uncomfortable and opted to do what would make you feel better.

flutherother's avatar

It was nice to be invited and it was nice to accept the invitation. I don’t see any need for anyone to apologise. You felt somewhat uncomfortable and so you left. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Your presence at the potluck will have been noticed rather than your absence.

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