I have dealt with social anxiety all my life. I experience a lot of negative feelings while interacting with others, especially strangers. I find myself more worried about how I am showing up rather than being engaged in the conversation. These negative thoughts consume me to the point where I just want to run away from the whole situation. I isolate myself and often act in ways that push others away. I hate the way I show up in the world.
I have online classes and in most of them we are asked to share our ideas in groups and the thoughts that I have constantly are “They will think I’m weird or not smart enough”, “I sound so uneducated” , ” I have nothing to say”, “This is so awkward” etc… These thoughts are so engraved in my mind that when I am faced with speaking to strangers I automatically revert to those thoughts and find it hard to think thoughts that create self-confidence. There is definitely a lot of self-judgment in my mind.