1. Interrupting people during conversations. Sometimes it’s simply because I know I won’t remember what I wanted to say 2 seconds later. I see how much it irritates other people but I can’t help it.
–Brittany Nicole Locklear
2. I happily agree to meet,go out,make plans and then at the very last minute I find some lame excuse to not go. At the same time I feel relieved and terrible for that…
3. Sometimes, I get snappy with people, have an abrupt or harsh tone, or blow up over something that seems small. I know it makes me seem rude, but I really don’t mean to do it. My anxiety just makes me be so on edge that, sometimes, the slightest thing can push me over.
4. I sometimes don’t make eye contact with people when they talk to me, or look down at my nails, phone, or anything other than the person
It’s not that I’m rude, it’s that I can’t always handle looking someone in the eye when I’m anxious.
5. I can never answer phone calls, I can’t text people back most of the time, I lie and say that I’m sick when my friends make plans, I avoid people in real life (I crossed the street today so I won’t have to say hi to a friend)…
6. If you’re talking to me and I’m stressed out or having an attack, I’ll begin to “zone out” I’ll usually just end up staring at you with a blank gaze and it won’t seem like I’m listening, although I am trying so hard to listen.
7. Flipping out at people I love because I am so overwhelmed and honestly do not know how to handle what I’m going through and project on them that they are judging me. I can be selfish in an attempt to do things I feel will help my anxiety without thinking about how said things affect other people. I can be demanding and bossy. Or I can shut down completely and come across as cold.
–Mykee A. Morettini
8. I ignore text messages and calls very frequently. I lie my way out of lots of social situations. I never mean these things in a rude way, I just feel like telling people I’m having a hard time is less understandable than me being sick or busy. I also frequently pluck at my eyebrows in public when I get anxious, same with picking at my nails or dead skin.
9. I am on my phone a /lot/ in group settings. I know it’s not polite. I dislike when other people do this. But if I’m having a bad anxiety day, it’s an easy way to keep my mind busy and keep it from escalating into an attack.
10. I have an uncontrollable small laugh when in serious uncomfortable situations and conversations. Being told you don’t really understand the scope of a situation because you’ve let out a laugh is devastating. And people don’t tend to believe that its not voluntary.
11. I’ll just talk and talk and talk. I’ll forget what I have talked about and repeat myself, or change topics abruptly. People who don’t know me just think I love to hear the sound of my own voice. But really, I’m competing with all the voices in my own head.
12. If I’m in a “hypomanic” mode and someone says or does something to “set me off,” I am liable to say things that will cut them like a knife…it can be very ugly and sometimes threatening snd, unfortunately, not things I can take back…I have lost jobs, relationships, and such because of this lack of ‘self-control’ sadly…afterwards, of course, I always wish I could go back and undo/unsay it…but it’s too late…. So, I can only move forward and try harder not to give in to the impulse next time…
–Sonia Marie Joiner Mullen
13. I tend to distance myself from people because I want to “focus on myself.” I don’t want to waste their time and energy if I’m not in my ideal state, because then it just won’t be fun for them to be around me. Sometimes I get so distracted I’ll realize I haven’t seen or contact certain people in a long time, and then I feel even more guilty.
14. I’ve been known to intentionally avoid someone I know out in public. It sounds rude and it’s never because I don’t want to see them or hear how they’re doing. It’s insecurity on my own part – the fear of saying something stupid, or being weird, or them not wanting to talk to me. Also, I often have a hard time going out in public at all, so I’m already keyed up and trying to focus on the tasks at hand and can’t bare the thought of veering off the path or getting distracted.
–Amanda Rawl Lowery
15. I get very sarcastic and defensive when anxious…I really just want to be left alone and it’s my feeble attempt of pushing people away.
16. I leave early, no matter what the situation. If im no longer feeling social i WILL leave the bar, party, gathering, meeting ect idc.
17. I don’t smile at people in public. I’m not here for you, I’m here to get what I need and get out. I don’t want to talk to you or interact in any way so I make sure I don’t give any such indication.
I also get irritated and loud with people over small things. When that happens, I know I need to do some self-care because I wouldn’t do that if I were fully rested and everything.
18. When I am in a huge social setting like the mall I will become anxious and sometimes walk infront of someone unintentionally because I am too focused on the task at hand. I dread everytime this happens because it is very rude, but I have not brought myself to stop. Anxiety sucks.
It keeps me from making friends and ultimately stops me from being the best that I can be. Thankfully, I know how to channel my anxiety in a positive way when it comes to professional manners and absolute necessities of life.
19. Whenever there’s a new person at my work I dread the meet n greet. The supervisor will walk them around the office introducing them to everyone and it’s just weird to me. I never know what to say and it catches me off guard. This last time they were down my cubicle corridor and I wasn’t there so they just waited a minute and when I saw them just standing there by my desk it eeked me out and I was like “…uh…hey. Do you…need something?” Then beat myself up all day over how weird I probably was. Is it so damn hard to just say “NICE TO MEET YOU”?!?
20. I’ll make plans and then cancel or someone will ask to hang and I’ll lie and say I can’t because I’m having a full blown episode with the thought of leaving my house. I know it seems rude and irrational but I can’t help it. I feel bad about it but sometimes it’s just hard to force myself to leave. And when i try explaining why it takes a lot to actually go through with a plan people ask a bunch of reasons why look at me weird and just don’t understand… But I know that’s not the only thing I do tho.