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This is the problem: YOU. HAVE. SOCIAL. ANXIETY.
But you haven’t told anyone about it, and you are keeping it to yourself.
Maybe because you are scared to be judged?
Maybe because you are afraid that your friends and family might not understand what you’re feeling?
Or maybe because you are trying to escape the awkwardness of the situation?
In this episode, Sebastiaan will be answering the question:
“Is it better to tell my family and friends that I have social anxiety?”
Watch the full video to know Sebastiaan’s answer and insights.
Is it better to tell my parents and friends that I have Social Anxiety or not?
Hey, this is Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com
And I’m a former Social Anxiety Disorder sufferer. And I help people feel calm and relaxed in social situations.
I’ve been doing it for a long time. 12 years. And I answer questions sometimes like this one. Here we go:
Is it better to tell my family and friends that I have Social Anxiety? I’m hoping that by telling them, they will understand me. However, I fear what they will think of me a fear of what they’ll think of me after I tell them. I’m afraid that it might feel more awkward once they know.
Good question! And I’d say – it depends.
First of all, if you’re going to tell them, then saying “I have social anxiety,” they cannot really relate to that. So you would need to tell it to them in such a way that they can actually understand it.
Sometimes (I got this for my mom, actually), writing a letter or sending an email is easier to communicate. That’s just sometimes, and it’s case-dependent.
For other people, they cannot read your body language; they only have the words. So they cannot hear the tone of your voice, and so on. So, they might not take it seriously.
Or they might take it really seriously because it’s something that you’ve written to them at something more official. It just depends. Okay?
There’s no perfect way. You need to get a sense of what is best for you, yourself.
Some people do it in that way; others do it in another way; some don’t tell it.
I’ve actually never told it until the problem was pretty much resolved. And that’s not a recommendation by any sense of imagination. But I was just too ashamed of it. And I didn’t think that they would understand that I didn’t have that problem occur around them anyway.
And by the way, I’ve not lived with [my family]… Like, I left the house when I was 18/19. So I’ve been living abroad for the longest time. So this is my family.
My friends – yes. I told some of my friends, but only once I was already had already made significant progress. And I was on the way to being anxiety-free.
But that’s me.
I had a big problem with arrogance to the degree I probably still do. I’m working through the layers of it. And so, I was way too proud to get that support or to share others and benefit from the support that you get. Because you’re right about what your anticipation is, it is really nice to be supported.
In our social confidence club. Are there many people that have said, “well, I’ve told my best friend, and now, it’s on the table, so they know. So, there’s not that that hiding that needs to happen anymore”.
Or people that have told their partner and have a very supportive partner that makes them feel so much better, so much support, and so much more compassion coming from another person. That can really, really help. Absolutely!
There’s a lot of benefit in doing it.
But sometimes, the situation is just not right.
Certain people are just too closed off to understand.
If you’re going to communicate it, I will communicate in such a way that you’ll really help them understand, hey, this is what’s going on for me. This is not something I’m faking. This is not something I’m making up. This is a real problem that I’m having, and it bothers me a lot. And I’ve taken a long time to determine, Hey, is this actually something I’m going to tell because it takes a lot of courage and a lot of vulnerability to express, hey, this is what’s going on for me.
And it would help you a lot to work on your own acceptance of the issue. So that you no longer see yourself as a socially anxious person, and that you no longer judge yourself for this issue with anxiety that you’re in the process of overcoming.
And that it sucks but you’re doing the best you can.
In other words, you’re coming from a place of compassion towards yourself.
All of those kinds of things will make telling other people easier. And then you can get the support.
However, in some situations, it’s probably better not to tell it, because certain people just don’t get it. It depends on what your age is and the kind of people you’re surrounded with.
But I would say, typically, when you tell someone, that person is going to be kind and understanding.
Most people that are quite healthy, that are emotionally quite healthy, they’re going to feel a sense of compassion for you, and they will want to help or support [you].
Some people are really closed off, they got their own issues. And those are probably not the best people to tell it to.
Though it’s up to you. You’ve got to decide for yourself.
So I can’t give you an exact answer because it’s dependent on the person.
I’ve not done it.
Lots of people in our community (in our Social Confidence Club) have and they’ve got a lot of benefits, and a lot of support from it.
And one story that comes to mind is, is a guy that told his best friend, and then his best friend “confessed” that he had depression and certain anxiety issues as well. And now they could support each other.
How great is that?
That’s the case with me and my best mate Tom as well. At one point, after we knew each other for a while. We met in the Philippines, then both moved to Thailand, we were living there together. We were interested in exploring personal development. Well, soon enough, we start knowing of each other’s issues.
And now we can talk about each other’s issues, and support each other, give perspective, help each other to laugh at it, and not to take it so seriously. All of that really, really helps.
Talking with someone about your issues that you trust that you feel comfortable with, that you know, has your back — really, really helpful. It brings a lot of relief; brings a lot of comfort.
Anyway, not an exact perfect answer, because there is no perfect answer for this.
But I hope this helps you in making your decision whether you’re going to tell it or not, then let us know. Okay? Let us know how you get on.
All the best.
This is Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions.com
Bye for now.