Social Anxiety

I’m sure you could say that to an extent I’ve always been troubled with some sort of social anxiety, though it seems like in recent years it’s starting to get worse and I don’t exactly understand why.

Case in point – last night Sara & I spent the day over in Orlando and ended up at one of those mystery dinner shows because she’s been itching to check them out for a long time. I was willing to go because she wanted to, but I’ll be honest, I was pretty apprehensive leading up to dinner and even a good portion of the way through the show itself because it was the kind of show where they sit a bunch of random people at a table together, and in this case, it was pretty clear that we were going to have to work together to solve the mystery!

By the end of the night, I had pretty much gotten over it and ended up having a really good time, but it still baffles me as to why this has gotten stronger in the last couple of years.

Like when we went on the cruise for our anniversary last year – we had Anytime Dining and there were only two of us, so it was known that there was always the chance of us being seated with whoever else was waiting at the time … and I hated it! Realistically, I think we only ended up sitting with other couples maybe two or three times and in each instance, they ended up being ok, but … I don’t know.

Same thing with those Japanese steakhouses where you all sit around the grill and watch the chef do tricks with your food … my wife and I both really love the food, but unless we’re going with a group big enough to take up the entire table, I’m always worried that I’m going to get stuck making small talk with some random stranger.

I think that might be part of the problem because frankly, I really don’t like  small talk – I just don’t see the point of it. Having a conversation just for the sake of having a conversation with another random person has always felt kind of meaningless to me, whether I’m checking out at the grocery store, sharing a waiting room with somebody, or an elevator, or whatever. If we have a legitimate reason to talk to one another, then I usually don’t have a problem … I’m sure there are plenty of times when my wife wishes that I’d shut up for a change with her! … but if we just happen to be occupying a space together for a short period of time? It’s all just talk about the weather or where you’re from or how’s your day (fine), and personally I’d rather just stare at the wall and wait for the time to pass if I had it my way.

…which admittedly does seem a little bizarre when you consider all of the blogging and tweeting that I do, but then again, maybe those are safe because for the most part it’s a one-sided conversation of me just posting things that I find funny or interesting … very rarely would you ever find me posting about the weather…


You know what I meant. 😛

Anyways, I wanted to write about this just a bit under personal challenges because it really is something that I want to get over, or at the very least try to get a little back under control so that my anxiety doesn’t end up preventing me from doing the things that I want to do. I’ve wondered for a long time if it’s something that I should actually be taking some sort of medication for, although those kinds of drugs kind of freak me out because it scares me the idea of having to rely on something like that to manipulate my brain into taking it easy. Sara, being the loving, overbearing nurse that she is, suggested years ago that maybe I should be on prozac on an as needed basis because every now and then I’ve also been known to temporarily go off the deep end and it usually isn’t pretty, but I’ve avoided that for the same reason, and besides, can you really just walk into your family doctor’s office and go, “Hey, doc – every once in a blue moon my stress gets the best of me and I go a little crazy … can I please have some pills for that?!”

I actually got a lot out of the PATV episode where they talked about both Mike and Jerry being on Lexapro and how it’s essentially changed their lives, but I’m not sure if that’s the point where I am with all of this, and what it would take to get me to that next step.

At the end of the day, drugs are scary and I don’t want to feel like I need something like that in order to live my life. Just food for thought, maybe I’ll exude more on this one another day…  😳