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Fear of being noticed by others

KimStarrySky

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So I have noticed, the majority of my anxiety happens when around other people. Strangers, mostly. I am only comfortable around one person, my soul mate, but even around my family I feel so uncomfortable. I even have a difficult time eating or getting up to use the bathroom. I get so tense and I stutter when I talk, ramble, or say what I feel is meaningless information, due to my overwhelming nerves.
Right now my boyfriend and I live in an apartment where we have to walk down the sidewalk to get to our cars, parked in public parking, or to walk our dog. I have trouble leaving the apartment, every single time. But I do notice my anxiety has gotten better since moving here, because before I never could get myself to walk along on the sidewalk. The noises of the traffic and human chaos overwhelm me so much.
Sometimes I feel agoraphobic or that I could be very easily. But I push myself everyday. It is exhausting. I'm under so much stress because of my daily anxiety.

Does anyone have any tips on facing people on a daily basis?

I even sometimes feel scared to make noise in our apartment, because I don't want the neighbors to notice me.

I also want to mention, because of my anxiety, I spend most of my time alone. I like it sometimes, but mostly I feel lonely and meaningless.
 

bin_tenn

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The most effective method I've found for getting over my social anxiety is exposure, and many therapists employ the same technique. You gradually expose yourself to more and more social situations, and with time you grow more comfortable. Of course it will be quite uncomfortable at first, but results are long term, not short term.

I can generally hold a conversation with a stranger now, but I still catch myself unknowingly avoiding social situations. If I have to use an elevator, for instance, if someone else gets on the elevator I'll walk past it. I'll come back after the door has closed. I try to be more aware of that and practically force myself onto an elevator with someone else.

It's a chore, for sure, but life is much better once you start to gain comfortability in such situations. Sorry I don't have much else to offer, but that's what has worked for me.
 

triceps

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Hi KimStarrySky. You and I are a couple peas in a pod. I have all of the social anxiety/agoraphobic symptoms as you, some i have more severe, some less. The most bothersome trait we share is the difficulty I have when my family visits. The fear of even getting up to use the bathroom says it all. These are my adult kids that I get nervous about visiting and we have great relationships. Very, very frustrating.
Can I ask if you're getting any counseling or on any medication? Klonopin and Lexapro are attempting to settle the ridiculous thinking for me and I'm on disability. Sorry you are also going through those symptoms.
 

guitarman65

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Wondering, like Tri...are u getting any help for your anxiety like meds, dr, therapy...anything? It sounds like u are in need of some kind of help, thats for sure. If u aren't, u should have remarkable results, even with a little help. If u can get to the "ok" level, u will notice huge improvements i think...stay in touch, and dont be too shy to seek some kind of help...we all do ;)
 

KimStarrySky

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Hi KimStarrySky. You and I are a couple peas in a pod. I have all of the social anxiety/agoraphobic symptoms as you, some i have more severe, some less. The most bothersome trait we share is the difficulty I have when my family visits. The fear of even getting up to use the bathroom says it all. These are my adult kids that I get nervous about visiting and we have great relationships. Very, very frustrating.
Can I ask if you're getting any counseling or on any medication? Klonopin and Lexapro are attempting to settle the ridiculous thinking for me and I'm on disability. Sorry you are also going through those symptoms.
Thank you, I'm so sorry you're struggling, too. I am not on any medication, but am going to counseling. I try to push myself to face my fears every day, but some days it feels like I am hardly making any progress. One thing I've noticed recently is being open and honest when I can be, and communicating my anxiety and discomfort to others helps. People usually seem to be receptive of who I am, and those who are cruel to me, I have no choice but to leave behind.
The most effective method I've found for getting over my social anxiety is exposure, and many therapists employ the same technique. You gradually expose yourself to more and more social situations, and with time you grow more comfortable. Of course it will be quite uncomfortable at first, but results are long term, not short term.

I can generally hold a conversation with a stranger now, but I still catch myself unknowingly avoiding social situations. If I have to use an elevator, for instance, if someone else gets on the elevator I'll walk past it. I'll come back after the door has closed. I try to be more aware of that and practically force myself onto an elevator with someone else.

It's a chore, for sure, but life is much better once you start to gain comfortability in such situations. Sorry I don't have much else to offer, but that's what has worked for me.
Thank you, I recall learning this and have it in my mind but it's difficult to utilize this knowledge for me, always. I don't know how to approach people without feeling strange, I usually feel like I don't belong anywhere and I feel like I'm not good enough to socialize with others. I'm attempting to comprehend this, right now, so that I don't feel so stuck. I want to feel like I belong somewhere. I keep craving safety. I'm working on understanding a lot right now in life.

Where would I begin, in your opinion? How should I start getting out there and feeling more comfortable?
Wondering, like Tri...are u getting any help for your anxiety like meds, dr, therapy...anything? It sounds like u are in need of some kind of help, thats for sure. If u aren't, u should have remarkable results, even with a little help. If u can get to the "ok" level, u will notice huge improvements i think...stay in touch, and dont be too shy to seek some kind of help...we all do ;)
Thank you, I am working with a counselor currently. I just wish I could see her more than I do. I just want to feel better, like we all do.
 
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bin_tenn

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Thank you, I'm so sorry you're struggling, too. I am not on any medication, but am going to counceling. I try to push myself to face my fears every day, but some days it feels like I am hardly making any progress. One thing I've noticed recently is being open and honest when I can be, and communicating my anxiety and discomfort to others helps. People usually seem to be receptive of who I am, and those who are cruel to me, I have no choice but to leave behind.


Thank you, I recall learning this and have it in my mind but it's difficult to utilize this knowledge for me, always. I don't know how to approach people without feeling strange, I usually feel like I don't belong anywhere and I feel like I'm not good enough to socialize with others. I'm attempting to comprehend this, right now, so that I don't feel so stuck. I want to feel like I belong somewhere. I keep craving safety. I'm working on understanding a lot right now in life.

Where would I begin, in your opinion? How should I start getting out there and feeling more comfortable?


Thank you, I am working with a counselor currently. I just wish I could see her more than I do. I just want to feel better, like we all do.
How often do you go to the store? Gas station or grocery store? I started there, by striking up small talk with the person at the register when I was checking out. A simple comment about the weather, or how long my day has been. It takes some practice. Think about a topic ahead of time, but don't get caught up in all the possible scenarios. Just think about what you can say to start it off. And build from there, slowly.
 

KimStarrySky

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Right now, I mostly go once a week to the grocery store, with my boyfriend, who I have go ahead of me while I stand behind the cart as he places our items on the belt and pays for everything because I'm too anxious and shy to handle it. But, I could try harder. I usually go to drive thrus or pay at the pump for gas, to avoid small talk with cashiers. So, I know I am only reinforcing my anxiety by feeding my fears. I just have to get into the swing of things. I think it all started at a very young age. I've always been painfully shy and nervous.
 

Luna11

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I can relate ... grocery stores are so very hard for me . I can only do self check out even that gets me nervous . Cuz I’m over thinking how I might mess up during check out and look stupid . My husband does all the big grocery shopping for now . I don’t get out much I’m a stay at home mom of 3 so just doing mommy things all the time .
 
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