Everyone is afraid of something. What is normal for one person, can be a major problem for someone else. Having fears isn’t a weakness. During the evolutionary process, it was necessary to survive. Fear is like a body’s alert system. Every person handles a situation differently, based on her experience and knowledge. Nothing new can’t be assessed easily. So it’s quite normal to be afraid at first. But when will anxieties become issues and how can they be overcome?
Being afraid is nothing to be ashamed of. There are many different kinds of fear and anxiety that cause stress. Fear is a response of the body to real danger, but anxiety is caused by a specific experience, without being actually in danger. They only become a problem if they control a person, and keep her from having a normal life, like social anxiety. These people feel uncomfortable around other people. Social media can help, because most of them feel less pressure to interact with people when they are not standing right in front of them. But there are also extreme cases who cannot even write with someone online.
No matter what you are afraid of, if you feel your anxiety holds you back too often, you need to find what causes it. You need to come out of your comfort zone. Become your fear’s worst enemy. Don’t let it control you life. You have to control your fear.
As a kid I was extremely shy. I only spoke when someone sat next to me, and said something. Normally kids are free. They live in their innocent bubble, not knowing how tough life can be. I was the same, before I went to kindergarten. Because there, I mostly played on my own. No one was interested anyway. So I thought it’s just the way it was. I didn’t understand its purpose. Playing alone was something I could have done at home as well.
When I went to school, I had to sit next to someone. So I had to talk and I made friends. My best friend and I are still in touch and see each other regularly. After being friends for more than 20 years now, we became some sort of sisters. The older I become, the easier it is for me to talk to people. I love to get in touch with them, meet new ones, online and offline. But I have never been one of those who could easily talk to somebody on the street, asking if he was willing to drink a cup of coffee with me. Because mostly I think: why would he wanna do that? Why spending time with me? I have nothing interesting to say, just living a normal, boring life.
Sometimes I wish I could go back into my bubble. Kids are the most real persons. They are simply who they are, say what they think. A kid is not mean, not lying. At least not, until she learned from the adults how to do it. I think most social anxieties are caused by other people, who once had made someone feel uncomfortable in a certain situation. Or from overprotective parents who didn’t want to see their child fail, and so they do everything for her kid. But this makes the kid even more insecure, thinking she can’t do anything herself.
I love my parents and that they supported me in many ways. But I also realized that after I started working, it changed me. My parents were no longer there 24/7. I was responsible for what I did. I was scared at first. Could I handle a job? Me, who felt to be unable to live on her own. What seemed so easy for others, felt like hell for me. But I faced my fear and realized that I can do more than I thought. I became more confident.
Fear might be like a beast, hard to control. New situations are scary, the adrenaline rushes and there are only two options: run away or fight against the fear. I’m still an insecure person who cares way too often more about what other people think of me. There was a time I was seeking for love. Call me crazy, but back then I wasn’t awaiting a hug, but likes and followers on Twitter. And every time someone unfollowed me, I was critizing myself, wondering what makes people not liking me? Twitter is still my favorite social network. Because I love to express myself, share my thoughts and opinion. And nothing is more real than words. Or have you ever seen a message being photoshopped? I’m less on Instagram, because people are mostly like actors there, showing the ‘perfect’ lives and looks to their followers. It is hard to find ‘real’ and honest people there, who dare to show their true selves. I do use it and love to see pictures of my friends and some very few celebrities I follow, but to me, IG is mostly made up. It is currently the fastest growing network and in my mind perfectly reflects our society: compare your true self to people who put much effort into effortless looking pictures and losing your self esteem because others seem to be better.
For people dealing with social anxieties, seeing these beauties on Instagram, can make them feel even more miserable and less comfortable around people. The networks become their real world. I sometimes also feel more secure behind a screen. But does it have an effect on my real life? Not anymore. Hugs are better than likes. If I really want something I can overcome my fear sooner or later. Because there is a man I care about a lot, but I always think: why would he wanna get to know me? I kept saying I was protecting myself from getting hurt by not allowing many people being too close to me. Now I wonder why I could not realize sooner, that for so long I kept myself from becoming happy.