Social anxiety is not just being shy; social anxiety is not just being awkward. Shy people will still go to that party; they will still go out and try to have fun. Social anxiety is isolating yourself even though you want to go out and “have fun.”
Social anxiety is a perception that the world won’t like you, and therefore you don’t give the world the chance to get to know you.
Social anxiety is lurking on Facebook and seeing what everyone else is doing and feeling left out.
Social anxiety is hiding in your classroom while other teachers go out to lunch and feeling rejected and unloved because they didn’t invite you.
Social anxiety is traveling an hour into the city to a new bar with your significant other to see a World Cup soccer match and having a panic attack at the door because there are too many people there.
Social anxiety is not being able to just go up and talk to people because you always appear awkward.
Social anxiety is an ability to connect with people on a professional level but an inability to transcend that to a personal level.
Social anxiety is isolating yourself because a fear of rejection and a fear of criticism.
Social anxiety is preferring for people to think you are cold rather than having them find you unlikable.
Social anxiety is feeling more comfortable with 7-year-olds than with adults.
Social anxiety is preferring to feel ignored rather than rejected.
Social anxiety is being considered the cold, bitch-wife by your significant other’s friends because you have zero social skills.
Social anxiety is not going to new places (bars, restaurants, sporting events) because you don’t know how to act there.
Social anxiety is staying in your dorm room during meals instead of braving the dining hall.
And you, fellow Persephoneers, what is social anxiety to you?