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Going to places alone with social anxiety - April 11th 2018, 01:44 AM

My older sister wants me to go this place alone with all these random people I don't know.

I have a bit of social anxiety and I really don't want to go alone but I HAVE to because she already paid for me to go! And she'll be really angry with me if I don't.

I could get my little sister to come with me but she's never got on a bus alone herself and goes cray without a parent or guardian even though she is 12.
I feel so trapped!
I know some of you might tell me to just suck it up and go but I'm really bad with people and every time I go to places alone I either hide somewhere pretending I am not there or I get some social anxiety attack
   
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Re: Going to places alone with social anxiety - April 11th 2018, 04:00 AM

Hey,

I know how you feel. I have real bad social anxiety. I often don't leave the house. I very rarely go to places that are busy by myself. Do you take any anxiety meds? Because I know those can help. If you don't maybe you can go see a doctor and ask for some.


With that being said you actually don't have to do anything you don't want to do or something that will make you uncomfortable. Just because your sister paid for the ticket doesn't mean you are obligated to go, unless you told her you would go before she bought the ticket. I would tell your sister that you do not want to go and feel uncomfortable and that she should give the ticket to someone else.

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Re: Going to places alone with social anxiety - April 11th 2018, 05:42 PM

Hey there,

It's definitely not as simple as just sucking it up. Social anxiety is hard. I've actually attempted to go places alone and I'd get there and leave because I knew I couldn't get out of the car. I think social anxiety is different for everyone because there are certain things that I can do alone but that's only because I'd never be able to do them if I waited for other people so I've had to adjust over the years. I know my boyfriend has social anxiety slightly worse than myself and he tends to avoid most places.

I know you said that your sister would be upset if you didn't go but she should have consulted you before making the purchase. If she did and now you can't go she should also be understanding about your decision. If she isn't that is on her because you cannot control other people's reaction to things. I know that is easier said than done but all you can do is your best. If it comes down to it you could tell her that you had something come up that you couldn't get out of it. If you think your sister might be understanding try and talk to her. If she would react negatively and it would make your situation more stressful than there is nothing wrong with avoiding that conversation.


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Re: Going to places alone with social anxiety - April 12th 2018, 10:52 PM

Social anxiety can definitely make going to new places an incredibly difficult thing to do, especially when you don't have someone you know well to go with.

As others have said, you don't actually have to do anything that you don't want to do. Perhaps you can talk to your sister about the trigger that attending with strangers will be for you and explain that, while you appreciate the gesture, it's in your best interest not to go. If it's something you're able to do, you can also offer to pay her back for the ticket or help her find someone to sell it to.

If you'd still like to try to go to avoid addressing things with your sister, perhaps you can start small. Depending on how long you have until the event, you can try taking baby steps to help ease you into feeling more comfortable in social situations. For example, you can start out going to a familiar, fairly uncrowded place by yourself a few times until you feel comfortable doing that. Then, you can try going to a familiar, more crowded place such as a mall and repeat the process. This is a process called systematic desensitization and can actually be really helpful when dealing with anxiety!

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you're making the choice that YOU want to make! You have to take care of yourself first, after all.

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Re: Going to places alone with social anxiety - April 13th 2018, 08:24 AM

I'm really glad someone understands. While I did manage to go, I was stressing the whole time.
I'm glad I did though because now my family is proud of me and my sister said that this experience it will gradually become less scary to do similar things like this.
Also, thanks for the idea of going to a familiar place, I'll definitely try it! I have tried to go the shops by myself once...I think it's okay when people don't notice you...but paying for things is a whole different story haha
I really appreciate these answers, thank you so much guys this is my first time posting on here so I wasn't really expecting anyone to answer...
   
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Re: Going to places alone with social anxiety - April 13th 2018, 03:13 PM

Hey,

I am glad you went. I know that wasn't an easy thing to do and you should be proud of yourself for giving it a try. I do agree that the more you do it the easier it can get. I used to not be able to go to the movies alone or order food alone and, gradually, I became comfortable with it. There are times when I get too anxious about a certain place and go somewhere else but things have gotten better for me since I was younger.

I think that trying out familiar places is a really good idea. That's actually what I started doing. I was comfortable going to the bookstore alone so I started going there. I eventually worked up to buying stuff there etc. As I got more comfortable in the bookstore I tried out the movie theater. I would going in the early morning so that there were not as many people etc. It is scary and it might help to have a friend accompany you and slowly work into doing activities along.

It can get better but it's likely something that will always be around. If you are able to it might be worth talking to a therapist about your social anxiety as they might be able to help you work on it and find coping skills.

I am so glad you gave it a try and that you seemed to enjoy yourself.

Best regards.


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