Social Anxiety | INFJ Forum

Social Anxiety

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Quinlan, Aug 18, 2008.

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  1. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    Have any of you ever experienced this? or know a bit about it?

    I suspect I might have this, I always expect negative reactions when interacting socially. I am terrible at small talk and the more concious of it I get, the worse it gets.

    I wonder, which came first the introversion or the anxiety?

    Did my introversion lead to poorly developed social skills leading to anxiety.

    or did my social anxiety lead me to live an introverted life?

    or are they completely unrelated?
     
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  2. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    oy, yeah, one of my best friends (probably my best, if I had to rank them) has this actually. She's still extroverted, but right on the borderline between the two.

    I don't know anyone else with it, so I dunno if she's just an odd case of someone who wasn't forced into introversion because of it or not. It's very unlikely that introversion leads to social anxiety, though, because there are plenty of introverts without it.

    I was reading up about it, trying to see if there was anything I could do to help out, and different sites said that the symptoms and fears often increase dramatically if you buckle to them and start avoiding social situations. My guess is if you've been introverted for a while and the symptoms are light enough that you still only "suspect" you have it, you're probably just a normal introvert... because she's extroverted and still absolutely terrified of group situations. My guess is unrelated.
     
  3. OP
    Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    How would you tell a socially anxious extrovert from an introvert?
     
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  4. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    I'd say unrelated. I've had periods of social anxiety and periods where I've been happily sociable. For me it comes and goes depending on what's going on in my life and depending on whether I'm paying attention to my own needs or not.
     
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  5. OP
    Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    hmmm that sounds interesting and somewhat familiar.
     
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  6. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    Well, in her case, she desperately wants to make friends, but dreads doing it. She's also pushed past the irrational fears (I think they have to be irrational to be the actual "social anxiety disorder") to the point where she can force herself to go interact with groups of people, but tends to shut up once she's actually there. A healthy introvert, on the other hand, generally won't go interact with big groups very often out of preference. Maybe the relationships are too impersonal for them, maybe the conversation too shallow... whatever the reason. It's not generally that introverts are "scared" of groups, it's just that their energy comes from being alone and they would (at least sometimes) choose to be alone or with one or two other people, rather than many.
     
  7. OP
    Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    Would you say that avoiding having to stand up and talk about yourself in a class of people or engaging in "getting to know you" activities would be introverted behaviour or socially anxious behaviour?

    Sometimes I am not very self aware about these sort of things... :|
     
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  8. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    could be either... but I'm guessing introverted. Social anxiety is like... this girl would walk around the church for hours while her dad (very patient guy) would try to convince her to go in, just because there were people in there. At the worst, full blown panic attacks would start and she'll need to be reminded to breathe and stuff like that. It's much worse than your average "I don't want to talk in front of the class" kind of thing.
     
  9. G.Kai

    G.Kai Community Member

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    I think socially anxious extraverts start talking even more.....
     
  10. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    yup. extremely angry extroverts don't talk at all.
     
  11. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    depends on what you mean by "social anxiety," I guess. I think because I had just been reading about it, I automatically thought you meant "social anxiety disorder." Extroverts with that still shut themselves up... the only difference is they eventually get really mad at themselves for shutting themselves up and go crazy, needing the people they're terrified of. I'm not sure how much I believe that a lot of "disorders" actually exist (primarily because I eventually read a page on "clinical depression" and thought "wait... you're kidding me... that sounds like a mild variation on how I feel")... but I think standard weaknesses that most people share are worse in some people, and psychologists start calling it a disorder. That is, the depressed person's logic may be twisted so that they tend to see the bad outcomes before they happen, or the socially anxious person may care far more than the person with average nervousness about how other people view them.

    I think it's just a spectrum of "how nervous are you" kind of thing. A little nervousness may make extroverts talk more than normal... but it does the same to me, if there's only one or two other people in the conversation. It's just the way I was raised, to think silence in a conversation is awkward. For social anxiety to be strong enough to "drive" someone to introversion, though, it would have to be debilitating (again, because I have an extroverted friend who was bad enough to get panic attacks over people, and she's still extroverted... just a little shallow on the spectrum).
     
  12. palettesirens

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    Even though extraverts can have social anxiety, wouldn't it be more common among introverts? Can't introversion be a reinforcement factor since it's easier for us to remain in the pattern of avoiding social situations and accumulating fear? The more extraverted you are the more you may be more compelled to seek help overcoming it in its earlier stages?

    It's more of a natural tendency for introverts to withdraw into inhibitions if the environment is uncomfortable, would self-consciousness be more magnified for introverts than extraverts with SA? or does it depend more on where on the anxiety spectrum one is?
     
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  13. otaku

    otaku Newbie

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    I suffer from social anxiety and it has become worse with age some of it is normal but much of it I fear is not.
     
  14. palettesirens

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    I used to romanticise my social anxiety, but now I have a crush on a real person :S
     
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  15. Madison

    Madison Regular Poster

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    I appreciate this post.

    When I am in large groups I tend to shut up. Recently, I was eating dinner with a group and quietly zoned out.

    The conversations were very light. When someone asked, "How are you?" I assumed they didn't want a real, detailed answer so I simply replied, "Good." From experiences in the past, I was afraid they would run away if I said any more than that. People probably thought that I was unfriendly but I wasn't sure they could handle any infjness in that particular context.
     
  16. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    There's a really good book about Social Anxiety called 'Diagonally Parked in a Parallel universe' by Dr Signe Dayhoff. It's well worth a read if you suffer from SA/SP, or think that you may do. The first part of the book is all about understanding the problem and the rest is devoted to very useful practical advice and exercises for overcoming the illness, or at least moving towards recovery. It's good because the writer is a psychologist who has also suffered with SA/SP, so there is all the neccessary expertise backed up with empathy and understanding. I recommend it.
     
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  17. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    That would be socially anxious behavior. An introvert wouldn't avoid those kinds of activities out of fear.

    SAD is pretty severe and goes beyond mere introversion. Introverts are still social, just not in the same ways as extroverts.
     
  18. daydreamer

    daydreamer Permanent Fixture

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    Yeah, I even sometimes feel weird when I give a hug to my friends, plus I can be clumsy so it makes it even worse. Once I even tripped on my own two feet :m041:
     
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