I literally didn’t give a second thought to “”self-diagnosing”” social anxiety (as a teenager, before I spent much time online, before I’d ever heard the term “self-diagnosis.”) It seemed pretty foolproof. I had anxiety about social situations: social anxiety.
But the more I read in-depth stuff by and about people with social anxiety, the more convinced I am that I acutally kind of don’t have it. I don’t have the same kind of anxiety about social situations that most people mean when they say “social anxiety”, anyway.
One of the big differences is, social anxiety is supposed to have “self-monitoring” as a big component– like, wondering how other people are perceiving you, what-iffing about negative ways you might be perceived, doing extra careful things to make sure people perceive you the way you want them to. And with the post about bars, I got to thinking about the fact that I do the self-monitoring thing sometimes (see the points about dancing), but I don’t really do it that much.
And when I do, there’s either an anxiety/shame snowball effect where I very quickly worry myself into total incapability, or it sort of dead-ends because I have no fucking idea how people actually perceive me, what I might be doing “wrong,” or what I might need to do to “fix” it, so I just exist in this state of tense balance/calm given-up-ness where I think I should probably be doing X, but I’m probably failing, but I’m going to keep trying to do X anyway.
I’m not smart enough to what-if during social situations (and I don’t really do it outside them either.) I’m not quick enough. I don’t have enough extra brain capacity. If I really start what-iffing, I stop talking (and probably start crying.)