I’m Your Girl
Want to go out on a random Wednesday? Call me. Themed party? I am there. I love going out, even if it means just coming to your house to have some wine, talk, and laugh for hours. If I am invited to something, chances are I will do my best to make it. I have always been very social, I am an only child, so I have always taken every opportunity to be around friends.
Social Anxiety vs The Need To Be Social
If you ask people if they find me to be outgoing, most will say yes, but in reality, I have anxiety in most social situations. If it is a small group of friends that I know well and can be myself around, it isn’t as noticeable. However, with a large group where I only know a handful of people, it can be crippling. I have been told that I appear to be standoffish when someone first meets me, but that is because I am worried about making a good impression, trying to find the right times to add to the conversation, not coming off as too eager, not talking over people (add in a splash of ADHD into the anxiety) and it outwardly appears as I am just there. It usually takes me a good hour to settle into a group setting, and even then I will have to step away. I will frequently go to the restroom just to breathe and get myself back together.
It’s not just group settings or people I don’t know, it happens in one-on-one situations as well. A few weeks ago I was meeting up with a friend, who I mostly know from online interaction. She and I are both writers for Louisiana Mom, she is Lafayette and I am New Orleans, but due to COVID many of our group activities have been canceled this year. However, our relationship grew through social media interactions. We planned to meet for lunch, and the hour before the meeting, my heart was pounding, my palms sweating, lack of focus. I was so nervous and for no reason, I had no reservations about seeing her, just my body’s reaction to a new situation. Of course, as soon as we sat down, it all went away, just the anticipation of a new situation was a lot for me.
Okay, this is a new term I saw on, where else, TikTok last week, but I relate to it so much. Hangxiety is the anxiety that often accompanies a hangover, your anxiety about the prior night and what you said/did while you were drinking. Add some alcohol, and I have a much easier time interacting with people, but that’s not the best coping skill. My hangxiety can come with or without alcohol, I have post hang out anxiety, I will analyze the entire interaction and what I said or did and wonder if any of it caused people to feel uncomfortable, think I was annoying/weird/rude, were they talking about me, and would be invited next time. I will literally wake from a deep sleep and start thinking of these things, but I have discovered I am not the only one, which is comforting to know.
Thank you to my friends who, despite all my anxiety quirks, continue to invite me to functions, still want to hang out with me, and to the ones who preemptively text me afterward and say, “Don’t have any anxiety! It was a fun night”, it means so much to me. I love my friends and love them hard, I cry when you hurt, I am angry when someone is disrespectful to you, I celebrate your wins and mourn your losses. It may have something to do with being an only child or coming from a small family, but my friends are extremely important to me and I am so thankful for them. So even though I know I will be anxious, call me, I am always ready to spend time with you!