I’m still doing poorly at times with managing my anxiety. I get upset when the change starts blooming inside me. It can happen on a subconscious level without me even realizing there has been a shift in my mood. Or maybe I do recognize it but I don’t know how to seize control of what I’m feeling and just deal with it without having it affect my outward behavior towards other people.
One aspect of my social anxiety is it can be hard for me to initate conversations if I feel it’s a topic that may make me more anxious. Several factors are at play here. I may fear becoming anxious because of whatever topic I want to talk about. I may be fearful of the person’s reaction to what I share. Sometimes it’s not even the topic but I have a negative association with the person to the point I feel fearful of the person and assume the conversation is not worth having at all. That’s where the avoidance comes in.
Since my mom has been away on vacation and my dad is often leaves for work early, these days I go about my breakfast alone and without the anxiety that riddles me when either of them are around. I do feel in some respects that my apparent preference for having no one around is a mixture of just enjoying my moments of solitude but the other part where I seem to feel pressure and/or discomfort around my own family is me not wanting to deal with whatever perceived fears I have when interacting with them.
I get such a horrible feeling building up inside whenever someone in my family asks me a particular question and my response is to become anxious. I end up giving the most vague or general response to the question because I’m scared of the person’s reaction if I tell the whole truth. And if the person follows up with another question, I start feeling defensive and almost like I’m a bear in a cage being poked at. I know realistically that is not what my parents are doing when they ask me questions, but my mind just instinctively goes for the assumption they either have an ulterior motive for asking me xyz or are asking me on purpose to worsen my anxiety. It is probably my mind’s way of perceiving the anxiety. Rather than seeing my own emotions as the problem, I see my parents as such.
Earlier I acted wrongfully towards my dad. He asked me if I was going out tomorrow. I said yes and left it at that. He followed up by asking if I was going to yoga class and if it would be during the afternoon. I wasn’t exactly focused on the conversation when it was happening as I was busy texting someone on my phone. I affirmed that I was going to yoga class and stated sometimes the classes were in the morning. Then he asked me if I went shopping or browsed around elsewhere afterward. At this point, I felt agitated by his continued questioning. Maybe he asked so much because on my end I wasn’t offering much to the conversation. Half of me answered his questions hoping he would eventually get the hint that I didn’t want to share much. Maybe he felt curious and was just asking to satisfy that curiosity, but it rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps I got anxious because I didn’t want to say what I actually do after yoga class. Wander around the streets. Walk down several blocks to get more exercise. Stop by a grocery store to have my lunch. Go window shopping, or browse a bookstore. There’s nothing wrong with doing all this, yet part of my mind just kept thinking if I told him how I actually spent my time, he would find it stupid that I did all these activities alone. So I didn’t even reply to his question in this instance. Why do I go for that particular thought when it’s obvious I have no way of knowing that is what he would think of me?