My Anxiety Makes Me Feel Like I Have No Friends

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Anxiety makes it seem like I don’t care about the people who matter the most to me, because I’m terrified of coming on too strong. I don’t want to compliment them and have them think I’m weird. I don’t want to invite them over and get turned down. So I stay quiet instead. I let them think I don’t care at all instead of letting them see I care too much.

Anxiety convinces me not to text anyone, because I don’t want to bother them. I don’t want them to feel obligated to answer me. And after all, if they really wanted to talk to me, then they would have initiated a conversation themselves, wouldn’t they? If they haven’t been reaching out to me, then they must not want anything to do with me.

Anxiety makes me feel like I don’t fit into any group. Like everyone else would be happier without me around. That’s why I never feel guilty about canceling plans at the last second. I feel like I’m doing them a favor. Like they’re secretly relieved we’re not going to hang out.

Anxiety makes me stay locked inside my house, even when I’m feeling restless and want to find something exciting to do. It convinces me that I’m safer inside of my room. That I would feel uncomfortable if I decided to go out to a restaurant or a bar, because there would be too many people around to look at me. To judge me.

Anxiety stops me from flirting with anyone I’m interested in, because it makes me overthink until my mind feels raw. It makes me wonder if I’m talking too much or if my face has turned red or if my outfit makes me look unattractive. Instead of having some fun talking to the person I like, it only causes me more stress.

Anxiety even stops me from joining dating apps, because the thought of talking to someone over the phone is enough to make my heart pound. I hate waiting for replies. I hate spending the time between messages wondering if I said something stupid and if the other person is going to hate me for it.

Anxiety makes me nervous to do something as simple as add someone on social media. It convinces me to lurk in group conversations so I can read everything even though I never type anything. It makes me afraid to join in because I don’t want to ruin the fun.

Anxiety stops me from talking to strangers online and at the supermarket. What if I say something wrong? What if they’re rude to me? Or even worse, what if that stranger is a serial killer who is going to hurt me?

Anxiety makes me overthink everything and undervalue myself.

Anxiety makes me feel like I have no friends — because it stops me from interacting with others. It stops me from reaching out to people that I love the most, because I don’t want to get rejected or feel awkward of embarrass myself.

Anxiety makes me feel like I’m all alone, even though I know that’s not the truth.

By Holly Riordan for ThoughtCatalog

Related article:

My Anxiety Convinces Me That Everyone Hates Me

Because of my anxiety, I take everything personally.

If a friend takes a little too long to answer a text, I start making assumptions. They don’t want to talk to me. I’m annoying them. They’re ignoring me on purpose. They don’t like me. They hate me. 

I dread sending the first text because there is a chance of rejection. Knowing that someone saw my message and decided against answering it makes me sick to my stomach. It makes me feel invisible.

Even if I receive an answer after five short minutes, I will still look too far into details. If the text is short or sounds snippy, then I will worry that I am wasting their time, that they are only answering me to be polite. I will fool myself into thinking I shouldn’t have sent the text in the first place.

It doesn’t matter how long I have been friends with someone. I need constant reassurance that I am loved. Otherwise, I will jump to the worst case scenario. I will assume that I have done something to upset them, that they don’t want me around anymore, that the friendship has ended.

My anxiety makes me overanalyze every situation. It doesn’t matter if someone can’t hang out over the weekend because they have to work late. I won’t believe their excuse. I will convince myself that they are lying and they secretly don’t want to see me.

My anxiety makes me feel like the world is against me. I assume that if something bad can happen, it will happen. It’s hard to be optimistic when I have been through so many awkward moments, when I have embarrassed myself time and time again.

I never know what to say in social situations. I am either too quiet or too loud. I don’t know how to behave like a ‘normal’ person. I don’t know how to make myself fit into crowds.

Since it’s so hard for me to hold a conversation with family members I’ve known for years, let alone with strangers in front of me at the supermarket, I assume that everyone hates me. I assume they are all laughing at me behind my back.

That’s why I have so much trouble when it comes to dating. I never flirt back, because I assume that people are just being nice. Even if it’s clear they are interested, I won’t get my hopes up. I will convince myself that it won’t last long. That as soon as they see the real me, they will realize I am not worth having around and will run the other direction.

My anxiety makes me doubt my self-worth, which leads to doubting everyone around me. When someone compliments me, I don’t believe them. When someone tells me they love me, I don’t believe them. I can’t see how it could be true. I can’t see why they would want anything to do with someone like me.

Because of my anxiety, I struggle to see my value. I only see a million flaws.

By Holly Riordan for ThoughtCatalog

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