Having social anxiety is massively life changing disorder. But add friends into the mix and it's a recipe for disaster.
Personally, I have a average sized group of friends. Granted, I knew them all before my social anxiety even became a massive problem, but it still makes hanging out difficult.
That infamous text that says 'Are you out tonight?' or 'Meet us in the park at 5'. What do I do? Do I go out? Who will be there? Will I be able to hang out for a reasonable amount of time before having a panic attack?
All these thoughts swirl around your brain when it should just be a simple 'yes or no'.
Here are some coping strategies to help with the decision as well as if you do decide to brave the great outdoors.
Think about these three points;
1.Who will be there?
2.How far away from home will you be?
3.How long do they plan on being out?
It's always best to find out who will be going, then you'll know what to expect from the people you'll be around.
If your friends plan on staying in your local area, then go for it! If you've already established who's going and you're comfortable with it, then try it. Even if you go for a half hour, that's still a half an hour you went outside! Be proud of yourself.
Lets say they plan on having a party that starts at 5, but doesn't have an ending time. Maybe try going for a little. If you need to leave, be honest with a close friend or make up an excuse if you have to (though it is always better to tell the truth). Remember, its not how long you go but the fact you went. Be proud of yourself!
2.Coping before you have to go anywhere!
Before the problem is even presented, find ways to cope with your social anxiety. Here are some coping strategies I find useful;
Not only does it make you feel better, exercise is also great for when you're experiencing panic attacks, as it distracts the mind.
2. ME time
Take that nice bath, watch that film. Treat yourself! Taking time out for you will overall relax your mind so when these situations do occur, you'll be able to handle them better. Never feel guilty for taking time out for you!
3. Talk to somebody!
If you can't talk to somebody you know, there are always these sites you can go to;
^Some nice coping strategies for social anxiety^
^Information on social anxiety^
^Talk to professionals online^
(Confidentially is always promised unless they think you or somebody else is in danger)
If you still need more information, don't be afraid to contact us on our social Medias;
My TWE firstname.lastname@example.org