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Constantly overthinking what I said “wrong”

Lobster21

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Hi all, I’m new to the forum!
I wanted to share a part of my social anxiety and ask for some advise and also some general questions. I am super socially anxious but mask it somewhat well, coming across as quiet and possibly stuck up at times (though my passiveness in conversations is just because of my anxiety). I am a planner my nature (in everything I do), but especially when it comes to social scenarios and what I am going to say. However, as we all know, conversations can change frequently and you really can’t plan everything (or even most) of what you are going to say. As a result, I get super anxious when speaking and sometimes speak without thinking. For example, I think I sometimes say something that could be interpreted as rude or presumptuous out of context. I can never tell if when I’ve made a ‘blunder’ others a) agree that it was inappropriate and or came across as inappropriate and/or b) will remember what I said after the conversation. From my personal experience, I remember a ton of details about things people say to me, particularly if I dont know the person well. So after I commit a ‘blunder,’ I obsessively think about it and experience tightening in my chest, stomach aches, and my heart absolutely races for hours. I was wondering how much you remember of conversations you all have with others, if this happens to you, and how you know if you’ve crossed a line or it’s all in your head? For a bit of context, people would generally describe me as someone who is siper careful with what they say and polite (but I’m wondering if that makes my blunders stand out all the more).
 

Aries

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that makes my blunders stand out all the more).
Probably this. You need to watch those "Your cousin from Boston" commercials. I don't really like being around people much so I make lots of inappropriate jokes. The other week I asked one of the managers if someone could come by with his.22 rifle and shoot into the window to see if it would penetrate my cubicle. As a safety exercise.
 

Misfits_Yoga

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OMG. I hear you on this. I get “social hangovers” as I call them (to myself) after being around others, especially when I feel good around others and talk more. Basically it’s just a lot of anxiety that rushes in as soon as I’ve left the social situation and I over analyze everything I said.

My imperfect solution is to remember that most people, if they’re paying attention, are actually paying more attention to themselves. Realize that most people don’t remember a thing you said bc most people have bigger things to worry about. The people (like us) who tend to remember lots of details about conversations are people who are anxious and thus sensitive to others with anxiety. If someone says something to you that seems a little off and you suspect they’re anxious, are you mad at them? Probably not, you’re probably empathetic bc you know how it is.

Anyway, it’s hard, it’s a practice in self-talk. I wish you luck!
 

Vincent

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I've had lots of trouble with this. After chatting with somebody, I'd replay the conversation obsessively. I'd almost always come across something that would make me worry.

For me, I think it's rooted in low self-esteem. I brought this up with my therapist recently, and within a few minutes it was clear that we were in an area that needed work.

I too keep in mind that most people are too worried about themselves and what they want to say next. I also try to remember that a reaction from the other person, like falling silent for a second, isn't always the negative event I interpret it to be. A lot of times my worry comes from me filling in a wide-open blank from the perspective that I must have done something wrong.
 

Misfits_Yoga

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I've had lots of trouble with this. After chatting with somebody, I'd replay the conversation obsessively. I'd almost always come across something that would make me worry.

For me, I think it's rooted in low self-esteem. I brought this up with my therapist recently, and within a few minutes it was clear that we were in an area that needed work.

I too keep in mind that most people are too worried about themselves and what they want to say next. I also try to remember that a reaction from the other person, like falling silent for a second, isn't always the negative event I interpret it to be. A lot of times my worry comes from me filling in a wide-open blank from the perspective that I must have done something wrong.
All of this feels so familiar to me. It’s hard work, but awareness that the area “needs work” is the first step in building response habits that lighten your load. I think over time you will start to develop some self-talk or nice responses like “it’s probably not as bad as I think” or “I’m allowed to be imperfect” instead of “omg this person will hate me forever”. Allow yourself to grow slowly, that’s how things happen. I’m cheering for ya!
 

Izthewiz

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Let it go man.
Have confidence in yourself if people don't like what you say or you, who cares let them be miserable.
Say the things you want ,God gave us a mouth to speak, don't change who you're to appease anyone.
Just be yourself.
 

Vincent

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All of this feels so familiar to me. It’s hard work, but awareness that the area “needs work” is the first step in building response habits that lighten your load. I think over time you will start to develop some self-talk or nice responses like “it’s probably not as bad as I think” or “I’m allowed to be imperfect” instead of “omg this person will hate me forever”. Allow yourself to grow slowly, that’s how things happen. I’m cheering for ya!
Thanks for your support! I've been reminding myself of those very things. I remind myself that conversation shouldn't be so competitive that one less-than-ideal comment will get you booted. I guess there are people who are that competitive, but they certainly aren't the people I hang out with.

Of course, I can't allow my new "don't sweat it" approach to excuse me from any responsibility. If I truly do slip and say something thoughtless, or at least sounded thoughtless, I need to be conscious of that - in a healthy way. I'll apologize or clarify once I realize what I said, and more often that not the person will say they didn't interpret my original comment negatively and knew what I meant.
 

Misfits_Yoga

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Thanks for your support! I've been reminding myself of those very things. I remind myself that conversation shouldn't be so competitive that one less-than-ideal comment will get you booted. I guess there are people who are that competitive, but they certainly aren't the people I hang out with.

Of course, I can't allow my new "don't sweat it" approach to excuse me from any responsibility. If I truly do slip and say something thoughtless, or at least sounded thoughtless, I need to be conscious of that - in a healthy way. I'll apologize or clarify once I realize what I said, and more often that not the person will say they didn't interpret my original comment negatively and knew what I meant.
Yay! Sounds like a very healthy approach to conversing. I know it’s one of those things that ends up being a constant awareness practice but it gets easier. Keep it up!!
 
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