Updated: Jan 24, 2021
Years ago, I met a woman who was friendly, outgoing, and full of life and energy who declared, “When I walk into a room, I assume everyone likes me.” That was how she welcomed life and people. She was surprised when I responded, “When I walk into a room, I assume I will like everyone”. She liked my version, took it on as her own and we became very close friends for a time in my life.
We had a yin / yang thing going. She was extroverted. I was introverted. She was light and fun. I was serious and pensive w/ a dash of humor. She enjoyed being surrounded by others. I enjoyed getting to know others.
Both points of view are helpful when struggling with social anxiety. Even more important is learning to like yourself. This one thing eases anxiety.
Learning to relax into ourselves, who we are, and our needs relaxes our body and our ability to be more present when we are with others.
When we have social anxiety, we feel alone in a crowd of people because we are not present with people. We are in our heads, worrying about what others think of us. When in reality, they are likely doing very little thinking about us at all.
People are usually thinking of themselves: what to say, what experiences they’ve had that relate, their discomfort, their pleasure.
When we learn to accept ourselves and wherever we are in life as we are growing, we are put at ease. If there are things we want to grow and change, yet find ourselves struggling, it’s good to remind ourselves that right now I may need extra support in this area as I stretch and grow and that’s okay, I'm not there yet, and that's okay.