Social anxiety

Social anxiety for me can be explained this way.

I will doubt myself after being with someone and analyze everything.

Did I say the right thing?

Did I just sound stupid?

What if this, what if that?

It really is exhausting.

I have to constantly remind myself, who cares.

If you have to worry so much about being with them, then they don’t belong in your tribe.

If they are easy to talk to and they accept you for who you are, then focus on them.

I think this comes from a traumatic experience that happened to me when I was five. It’s so traumatic that I remember. I’ve dealt with that trauma but socially I really have a hard time trusting people. I was born shy, tender hearted and sensitive. I see it a little in my children, so I know it’s an inherited trait.

It’s just so hard being socially anxious. I like smaller groups. I like real and meaningful conversations.

But reminding myself not to take things so personal helps. As the book, Four Agreements says that it’s not about you. It’s about them. We all can’t mesh and that’s okay.

So being social is hard for me. I take a step and can get hurt. Just like stepping on these goat heads (in the picture) really hurts. Sometimes, it brings you to tears. But you heal and can learn where and where not to step next time.

— Leandra Richie


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The One Project is a community of passionate creatives, advocates and caring friends or family members working to support each other and change the conversation around mental health issues like depression, anxiety and more with therapeutic photography.

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