I have been deceived by social anxiety countless times. It always makes me automatically jump to the worst conclusion.
From making me panic that my friends are only putting up with me, to believing that every person that laughs in my general vicinity is laughing at me.
Social anxiety has this twisted way of poisoning your mind, making you believe terrible things that aren’t true.
A perfect example of this, was when I was deceived by social anxiety on the train…
Sat on the train one sunny late afternoon at Bristol Temple Meads, I caught a glimpse of someone in my peripherals, staring at me from the platform.
It would be at least 15 minutes before the train departed, so I started to feel quite anxious about why this person could be staring at me.
Was it my face? Was it making a weird expression?
Was it what I was wearing? It wouldn’t be the first time someone made fun of me for the clothes I had on.
About a thousand different negative thoughts swirled around in my brain as I tried to comprehend why this person was staring at me.
I started to feel shaky, sweaty and rather sick.
I couldn’t make eye contact with the person because the train wouldn’t be leaving for a while and that would make things much more awkward.
So I sat there, worrying and feeling shit about myself for an intense 15 minutes, seeing them still glaring at me in my peripheral vision.
Then, finally, the train started to pull away from the platform and I was on my way to the sweet comforts of home.
As the train started to depart, I thought “Now’s my chance, I can have a proper look at the person who has been staring at me all this time”. Thinking how much of a relief it will be when they can no longer see me yet still frustrating that I will never know why they chose to stare at me in the first place.
I plucked up the courage to turn my head to the window and look at them as the train moved slowly away, only to feel completely deceived by social anxiety.
All that panicking, sweating, shaking… all of it had been a total waste.
They hadn’t been staring at me at all.
In fact, it wasn’t even a person. It was a fucking signpost.
So, the real conclusion? Social anxiety is a lying prick. The end.
I’m not being stuck-up, I just have social anxiety