Today’s topics: Making excuses not to go out in a group

Anxiety is so common these days it’s as common as the common cold. It doesn’t discriminate who it comes after and just like any disease it builds itself up from a niggling issue into a much more infectious problem. Anxiety can start subtly. Bubbling under the surface before it becomes something we consider getting help for.

In this first blog we are going to explore the common sign of making excuses not to go out with a group. This may subtly be a sign a person may be beginning to suffer from anxiety or can be the entrenched habit of someone really suffering. In small amounts anxiety is normal. Nerves at giving a speech, asking someone out, moving to a new city alone, travelling etc. But the trouble comes when things that once seemed easier start to become too much for us. Again, this doesn’t happen overnight and is caught early is something we can head off and reverse.

If we see ourselves in this sign there’s no need to panic, just be curious and stop and ask is this something I was aware of and what may be going on.

Making excuses not to go out

Many times, we’re just not in the mood to go out! Whether it’s one night too many, the company isn’t our cup of tea or the money is the problem; it’s ok to not want to go out even if that’s just passing on coffee. However, if this is starting to prevent going to or enjoying important events, family dinners, educational or sports groups or just from enjoying other peoples company then it may be becoming a problem area. Something niggling might be starting to happen if we notice a voice saying: “I won’t know what to say to people”, “I won’t look cool enough in my clothes”, “If they notice I’m embarrassed it will be awful” or ”I just can’t face it these days”.

The same could be said if an after work/college event bring up things like: “oh no, if they saw the real me they’d find me XY or Z”. Thoughts like these can start subtly but can grow to become major stumbling blocks for us in terms of going about our daily lives. Feeling a growing sense of not being smart enough, funny enough or quick enough can also breath fire which burns at self-esteem. High levels of self-censoring, watching what we say, preparing conversation topics, uncomfortable emotions and body sensations in social situations all could point to the development of Social Anxiety.

The making excuses part is the manifestation and is when we know the anxiety is active. Anxiety by nature makes us to behave in ways that try to limit our exposure to that which causes us anxiety. This in the short term makes us safer but long term has consequences such as isolation, straining relationships and poor attendance. Claiming to be sick, have a headache, inventing family problems, claiming to miss the bus etc., these things don’t mean someone is a bad person, rather that there may be symptom of a problem with anxiety that has begun to hijack a person’s responses.

If we recognise any of these points it may be worth stopping to think: have I always been like this or when did it start to get more pronounced. Often, we wait till very late to seek help with things like this, but we don’t have to. Making excuses not to go out in a group is a sign to recognize. To often our Anxiety tells us what it wants us to do, but very rarely we ask ourselves what it is we really want to do.

Getting help

If the above is recognisable, it’s perhaps good just to be curious and ask what is it that I am finding difficult and what does the censoring/excuse making voice say? Some people are naturally more extroverted than introverted and that’s fine, but if it suddenly is different, awkward and less comfortable than before perhaps anxiety is starting to develop. When it’s developing it’s the best time to act before it becomes too engrained.

If curious about anxiety please feel free to visit our website, take our anxiety quiz or get anxiety help. On this page we will continue to write about Anxiety and related topics. We are always happy to answer messages to our page or I am happy to take calls/text to see how I can help: 087 063 0948. On this page we will continue to write about Anxiety and related topics.

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Anxiety is a merry-go-round, going no where fast, it’s ok to step off.

Team Anxiety Ireland

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