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Old 08-09-2007
myczarina's Avatar
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I have had some questions floating around in my head for a while now and I finally decided to ask those who would know best.
I am a self-diagnosed Social Phobe; I've suffered with social anxiety since I was young, but I am making progress.
Anyway, I wanted to run some questions passed other social phobes and see how you feel.
I'm just trying to see if what I go through is "normal" social phobic behavior or if I could have other things wrong with me [ha, ha].

[Please assume unless otherwise specified that the people you may have contact with (in these questions) are friendly.]

*1 Do you feel socially anxious everywhere you are or only in unfamiliar circumstances? i.e. Do you feel better after you've gone to the same church, store, etc. for a long time?
*2 Similar to the 1st, do you have "safe zones"? i.e. places where you don't feel anxious at all OR not as much. Such as your parent's house, best friend's, favorite restaurant?
*3 Once you get to know people do you feel more comfortable to open up to them? When you have close friends can you be yourself?
*4 How long does it take you to feel comfortable around someone whom you see often? Weeks, months, years?
*5 Around your friends and family are you able to carry on a conversation or do you find it difficult?
*6 When in a new public setting do you find that you don't know how to act or what to do? i.e. If starting a new job can you associate with the other employees and (eventually) make friends?
*7 How long does it take you to warm up to others before you feel comfortable?
*8 How do you feel about "chit chat"?
*9 Do you find it difficult to show your emotions? i.e. If a friend is talking about her/his bad day, can you verbally sympathize? If your best friend's father dies what is your response when she/he tells you? What is your response when a loved one says they are getting married or have won the lottery?
*10 Have you ever found that a friend or family member was offended by your apparent lack of concern or thankfulness for their help, plight, opinion, emotions, etc? And you were completely taken off guard by their response (you never realized until they said something).
*11 Do you find it difficult to say "thank you" "hello" "goodbye", etc.
*12 Have you ever pondered (not understood, unsure of) the answer to the question, "How are you?"
*13 [As stated above] Assuming you are in a conversation with a friend, do you find it hard to maintain a conversation or to take turns talking?
*14 Do you prefer to be alone? Or, even if lonely is being in public too stressful to do all the time? i.e. do you get exhausted after a lot of social contact? Even after being with friends?
A couple unrelated to social contact.
*15 Are you clumsy (uncoordinated) or well balanced, poised?
*16 Are you often "in your own world"? When focused on a task or personal interest?
*17 Do you have a strong (perhaps unusual) attachment to animals? i.e. Are you happier to see your parent's dog than you are to see your parent's?
And a personal question: *18 If you were at the funeral (of a friend's loved one but you had not known the deceased) and everyone was solemn and quiet, viewing the casket, would you feel appropriately moved or saddened? Do you think you would inappropriately laugh if you found something (regardless of what) amusing? Do you seem to know when is the right or wrong time for amusement/humor?

Thank you SO much for any replies. I am just trying to find myself and here I have presented some of the questions that evade my understanding or draw my concern about my own personality.
I appreciate any other advice.
Please reply to each question in a way that I can tell which questions you are answering, even if you don't answer them all.
Thanks again!
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Old 08-09-2007
JamesMorgan's Avatar
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Not sure if this answers your questions but hopefully give you a few things to think about.

We are each within our own subjective world, how our world appears depends on our mind and everyone has a different mind.

'Social Phobia' means different things to different people and many people deal differently with their problems. So a person can have a social phobia and not think of themself as being a social phobe and there are others who do not have a social phobia yet think of themself as a social phobe.

What you are doing i feel is a good idea. But obviously you will get multiple different answers which each seem to contradict the behaviour of a social phobic. For example, some social phobics are actually quite chatty, some dont talk at all, some avoid people, some want to be around people, some feel comfortable in group situations, others prefer one to one, some people prefer neither etc etc.

Social anxiety is a state of mind and social phobia is when that state of mind is frequently present in ones mind in most social situations. The point is that this state of mind is temporary but our mind associates it with certain situations, people and so on, so its subjective to our life experience so no two social phobics are the exactly the same.

Everyone deals with social anxiety to a degree but when it reaches its extremes and interferes with the flow of the life of a person where they feel really restrained and it causes big problems then it needs looked at. Most people's biggest fear is public speaking but they wouldnt class themselves social phobic, yet this is blatantly a type of social phobia. If this fear were to overflow into the persons life and not just public speaking then the person would certainly realise they had a social phobia.

You only need to ask yourself a few questions actually:

'How often is anxiety present in my mind?'
'When is it present in my mind?'
'Is it stronger at certain times and where am i?'

Doing this you can actually be your own anxiety doctor and specifically identify this cancer of your mind and where you are and what triggers it.

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