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Is anyone here social phobic and anti-social / introverted?


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Hi, 

I'm just wondering if anyone else feels their social phobia has at least some element of anti-socialness about it? 

 

My social anxiety has been quite bad at times, to the point where I never went outside for quite a while.  But over the years I have become more comfortable speaking to people and I can function day-2-day and manage tasks like grocery shopping, albeit with some anxiety.  

 

The thing is I do wonder sometimes if it is really my anxiety that keeps me isolated or if I am just antisocial in some way.  Sometimes I literally just want people to f*ck off out of my way, often times I'm just not interested in their inane chit-chat and small talk.  I have a very large personal space bubble and I physically and mentally cringe when someone sits next to me in a lecture or waiting room or whatever. I struggle to engage in normal small talk with acquaintances  like "hello, how are you..." , because I simply don't care.  On the other hand I can form meaningful relationships and have indepth conversations with certain people who I feel safe with and have some respect for. 

 

Is is weird? Is it part of social anxiety? 

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Yes, I am socially anxious and I don't really enjoy small talk with acquaintances. I don't think it's a part of social anxiety, but maybe it's from being used to spending quiet time on my own.  I'm thinking it's similar to someone who lives alone for a long time and gets set in their ways. It's hard then to adapt to sharing the space with someone else. Maybe I'm set in my ways of (not)conversing  and it's off putting 

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Yes, I am socially anxious and I don't really enjoy small talk with acquaintances. I don't think it's a part of social anxiety, but maybe it's from being used to spending quiet time on my own.  I'm thinking it's similar to someone who lives alone for a long time and gets set in their ways. It's hard then to adapt to sharing the space with someone else. Maybe I'm set in my ways of (not)conversing  and it's off putting 

I wondered if it might be borderline or 'mild' aspergers or something, if such a thing exists. 

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I am both anti-social and have anxiety also, but I see them as separate things (well, they could be).  The anxiety I have isn't always with just people; I have anxiety about almost everything to some extent.  Also have agoraphobia, which is pretty much under control.  But being anti-social doesn't cause much anxiety with me, if any.

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Honestly, some people are just asocial, introverted.

 

For myself, I had severe Social Anxiety w/ Selective Mutism for most of my life (21 years). And after about 13 years I became asocial. Not just being socially withdrawn from anxiety, but not caring to be around people at all & enjoying my own company.

 

I also had a very large personal bubble, to where if it was poked I would get very uncomfortable (although I attribute this to social anxiety).

 

When it comes to Autism & Asperger's (ASD) it generally goes by your symptoms you have had throughout your childhood. Many of times asocial people, or people with social anxiety can have similar symptoms of ASD, while many people with ASD have anxiety. If it is something you are worried about talk to your pdoc.

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I am both anti-social and have anxiety also, but I see them as separate things (well, they could be).  The anxiety I have isn't always with just people; I have anxiety about almost everything to some extent.  Also have agoraphobia, which is pretty much under control.  But being anti-social doesn't cause much anxiety with me, if any.

This sounds a lot like me.

As a teenager I had a very active social life. With the onset of my anxiety came closing off (mostly because as I started to stay home more and more and was able to go out less and less friends who didn't understand dropped off the radar). Now days it doesn't bother me that I don't really have "real" life friends. I don't enjoy small talk except with a few select people and I hate having people in my house or answering/talking on the phone.

I guess I like to be selectively social. I'm quite happy to hop on a forum or website to talk to people when I'm in the mood, but I like that I can turn it off too unlike real life where you're stuck.

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Honestly, some people are just asocial, introverted.

 

For myself, I had severe Social Anxiety w/ Selective Mutism for most of my life (21 years). And after about 13 years I became asocial. Not just being socially withdrawn from anxiety, but not caring to be around people at all & enjoying my own company.

 

I also had a very large personal bubble, to where if it was poked I would get very uncomfortable (although I attribute this to social anxiety).

 

When it comes to Autism & Asperger's (ASD) it generally goes by your symptoms you have had throughout your childhood. Many of times asocial people, or people with social anxiety can have similar symptoms of ASD, while many people with ASD have anxiety. If it is something you are worried about talk to your pdoc.

Well I don't have a pdoc so I am a bit stuffed there!  Anyhow I've done a couple of online screening tests and I score highly for ASD/AQ... the thing is it strikes me that a lot of the questions which could indicate ASD could also be caused by anxiety.  Anyhow I'm not really sure how having another label would benefit me so I'm not sure I will follow it up in any detail.   I certainly feel as though I don't quite 'fit', but maybe that is because I'm studying at university and surrounded by people that are mostly 5-10 years younger than me.   I do vastly prefer my own quiet space though... I absolutely cannot stand other peoples noise (chit chat, coughing, rustling food packets) it drivers me insane and almost physically hurts sometimes.   On the flip side I can enjoy socialing on rare occasions with the right person. 

 

I could never tolerate someone 'poking' me... most likely I would flip out at them.  I get pissed when people sit next to me if there are other empty seats nearby!

 

 

I am both anti-social and have anxiety also, but I see them as separate things (well, they could be).  The anxiety I have isn't always with just people; I have anxiety about almost everything to some extent.  Also have agoraphobia, which is pretty much under control.  But being anti-social doesn't cause much anxiety with me, if any.

I guess I like to be selectively social. I'm quite happy to hop on a forum or website to talk to people when I'm in the mood, but I like that I can turn it off too unlike real life where you're stuck.

 

I think both the above could apply to me.  I'm extremely selective....... only on my terms and when I'm in the mood !

Edited by crazyguy
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I am both anti-social and have anxiety also, but I see them as separate things (well, they could be).  The anxiety I have isn't always with just people; I have anxiety about almost everything to some extent.  Also have agoraphobia, which is pretty much under control.  But being anti-social doesn't cause much anxiety with me, if any.

 

The line in bold:  the only time it does cause me anxiety is if/when someone points out how I don't get out enough and am not around people enough.

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I am both anti-social and have anxiety also, but I see them as separate things (well, they could be).  The anxiety I have isn't always with just people; I have anxiety about almost everything to some extent.  Also have agoraphobia, which is pretty much under control.  But being anti-social doesn't cause much anxiety with me, if any.

 

The line in bold:  the only time it does cause me anxiety is if/when someone points out how I don't get out enough and am not around people enough.

 

So basically other people judging you based on their perception of your social life and their own view of what is 'normal' when it comes to 'getting out'.    :(  It is sad how we allow other people to drag us down really... I do wonder if those of us with 'social anxiety' would stop feeling so damn anxious if more extroverted people didn't directly and indirectly apply so much pressure on us to be one of them. 

Edited by crazyguy
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I am both anti-social and have anxiety also, but I see them as separate things (well, they could be).  The anxiety I have isn't always with just people; I have anxiety about almost everything to some extent.  Also have agoraphobia, which is pretty much under control.  But being anti-social doesn't cause much anxiety with me, if any.

 

The line in bold:  the only time it does cause me anxiety is if/when someone points out how I don't get out enough and am not around people enough.

 

So basically other people judging you based on their perception of your social life and their own view of what is 'normal' when it comes to 'getting out'.    :(  It is sad how we allow other people to drag us down really... I do wonder if those of us with 'social anxiety' would stop feeling so damn anxious if more extroverted people didn't directly and indirectly apply so much pressure on us to be one of them. 

 

Yes, that is right.  Others judge me based on their idea of what "normal" is.

 

You're right ... It would be really nice if the more extroverted people didn't apply any pressure on us to be one of them.

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  • 2 months later...

I have social anxiety and I'm an introvert. One better days, the fact that others pressure me to always participate bothers me less and I'm more able to function (for a short period) without worrying how everything I do is being looked at by others. When at its worse, the anxiety can turn to anger and I make sure to stay away from others rather than risk an outburst I'll never live down. The embarrassment of past outbursts has really made me more aware of my own limits.

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i think it really depends on the individual person. living with social phobia/a lot of anxiety for your whole or most of your life tends to make someone averse to maintaining relationships etc. because they haven't really had the room to make good memories and have good experiences. others are just naturally introverted. i do know people with social phobia (from group therapies and stuff) who really desperately want to have a "normal" or healthy social life but just feel unable to because of their anxiety.

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I have difficulty discerning the difference between symptoms of  depression and what is social phobia at times. I do know that I began to isolate myself because of depression many years ago and that long term habits are challenging to change. Change is possible but it requires energy and motivation and it seems that depressive illness makes it harder to summon enough energy and motivation to make a consistent effort to change. The age old question of self esteem fits in here too for me. I have to believe that I am worthwhile before I will seek out the company of other people in person and this belief wavers a lot.

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I'm introverted, but I didn't start out that way. I've heard that it doesn't change in people, but thinking back on my life I seemed to have changed after some trauma.

 

I have a block about leaving the house and I don't understand it. It's anxiety about getting to whatever place I'm going. If I'm depressed, every moment until I get home feels like I am in hell. If I am not terribly depressed and manage to get out, I don't stop going until I run out of energy

 

I love having one on one conversations with other people, but large groups can suck the life out of me.

 

I don't have "social stamina". When I get home after being social, I am usually burnt to a crisp and need a couple of days to hide out. Really really sucks. 

 

EDIT: I forgot to add, I imagine that being socially isolated doesn't help outsiders to look upon us favorably. It's not like they see a whole lot of us since we're hiding away/aren't upfront about being socially isolated.

Edited by M@ri
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I don't have "social stamina". When I get home after being social, I am usually burnt to a crisp and need a couple of days to hide out. Really really sucks. 

 

 

I definitely share this low social stamina. When I go out with people I almost always have immediate consequences of paralyzing anxiety and regret. Maybe it's partly because the people I socialize with tend to be "mom" friends --people I know because our kids have grown up together, some of whom might not have been friends under different circumstances. If I lived near enough to go out with the one or two people who count as close friends, who have known me in many different contexts and accept my flaws and crazy, it would maybe be different.

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I have a block about leaving the house and I don't understand it. It's anxiety about getting to whatever place I'm going.

 

Me too.  I used to HAVE to be out of the house or I'd go crazy, but it is the complete opposite now.  I can't pinpoint anything that changed it, but something clearly did, around the late 2000's.

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I have a block about leaving the house and I don't understand it. It's anxiety about getting to whatever place I'm going.

 

Me too.  I used to HAVE to be out of the house or I'd go crazy, but it is the complete opposite now.  I can't pinpoint anything that changed it, but something clearly did, around the late 2000's.

 

this is me all over. As a teenager and young adult I never wanted to be home. Now I can barely leave it.

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Hi, 

I'm just wondering if anyone else feels their social phobia has at least some element of anti-socialness about it? 

 

Yep. I'm not actively misanthropic, but apart from social anxiety, I just don't have the desire to maintain relationships with people. I get no pleasure from social relationships, so basically I'd be forcing myself into anxiety for no reward. I keep my interaction with people superficial as much as possible.

 

 

Is is weird? Is it part of social anxiety? 

 

I think a lot of extroverted people who get pleasure from being social might say it's "weird." I know it seems to cause people to withdraw from me after awhile. I think maybe they get to thinking I don't like them.

 

As for whether it's part of social anxiety, I don't know. I've been given to think that social avoidance and anxiety often includes a desire, deep down, to have relationships, which causes discomfort. But I suppose if a person's been socially phobic for a long time, a sense of general avoidance/indifference might be adjunct.

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