Wednesday, December 28, 2016
6:37 pm est
"I know what people think of me."
6:35 pm est
Do you believe this? People with social anxiety do. Is it even possible to read people's minds? Of
course not. But there is a good indicator whether someone is comfortable being with you. It's very simple: they stay
with you for 5 minutes. It's not a question of whether someone is comfortable or uncomfortable around you. It's a question
of degree, not all or nothing. The question is how uncomfortable are they. Are they uncomfortable enough to matter?
If they're still with you for 5 minutes then they're not "uncomfortable enough to matter." Or "they're
comfortable enough" to want to stay with you. The other question is how frequently are they uncomfortable enough to matter.
If they're sometimes staying and sometimes leaving it's a pretty sure bet they're generally comfortable with you. Everyone
has competing priorities for their time and also have obligations or other friends they also wish to see.
the bottom line is this: People would have to leave you most of the time after just a minute to prove that they're uncomfortable
enough to matter. And what would you have to do to make them want to leave you consistently most of the time? It would
have to be something extreme. You'd have to scream and threaten them, punch them in the stomach, or consistently curse them
out, not shower for a month, or sleep with their significant other.
So this begs the question: why are
people willing to spend time with you, despite the ordinary risk of them once in a blue moon feeling uncomfortable with you?
Read future posts to this blog to find out.
Why is making friends so hard?
Have you ever asked yourself that question? People with social anxiety do all the time. They place extreme demands
on themselves to be accepted. They think others somehow have cracked a code and know exactly what to do. They think
others are interested only if they know what to say, are smart, attractive, humorous, friendly, outgoing, a good listener,
successful, have similar interests, backgrounds and values, etc. It's daunting; it's also not true.
11:08 pm est