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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Question I'm always worried that I'm going to hurt others...? - December 22nd 2013, 06:37 AM

I know it may sound silly, but I've struggled with this since I was a child. I'm constantly afraid, that I'm going to hurt the feelings of others and it's a huge factor to my social anxiety. After I see someone, my mind starts racing with thoughts like, "You were too insensitive. They probably thought you didn't care." and "You probably hurt his feelings, he reached out to you and you didn't behave correctly. He's never going to want to see you again." Even if I have no proof to validate these thoughts, I still find ways to pick apart things that I said or did. I always feel uncertain in social situations, like I'm not sure if I'm doing or saying the correct things. It feels like I cannot control the thoughts, and they make me so anxious/upset I end up in tears.
It's hard for me to go to the movies, because if the people I went with didn't enjoy the film I'll blame myself. It's hard to invite people over, because if my family makes them uncomfortable I'll blame myself. It's especially hard to text message people, because I'll be worried that I am not putting enough smiley faces and exclamation marks to show to the other person that I appreciate them talking to me. The truth is that I care immensely, and that's probably why I'm so afraid that people will think the opposite of me.
I'd really appreciate some input or advice, or if anyone knows a name for this. Anything helps, really.

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Re: I'm always worried that I'm going to hurt others...? - December 31st 2013, 01:12 AM

Hello there,

I know how you feel. Social Anxiety is different for everyone but it is a generalised headline for a large topic, I guess you can say. It's an umbrella term, covering everything to do with anxiety that is caused by social interaction.

It is very normal to be affected this way, to have these feelings so I hope you don't feel like you're alone with that. I think, the best way you can fight against those thoughts, it just remind yourself that you don't know what they're thinking. My psychologist told me that I jump to conclusions a lot based on a lack of evidence with social interaction. For instance, if someone glances at their watch, I'll immediately think that they want to get away from my very quickly. She advised me that before I let my anxiety get the best of me (which is hard) maybe you could ask them if they are late for something or if there is something wrong.

So, if you're ever stuck wondering if they didn't like the movie, or feel awkward, maybe ask what is wrong or shift the subject? It may take practice but you'll feel much better if you succeed with this

Good luck,

PM me if you need help or want to talk xo

Jay.


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