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Social Anxiety and Giveaway Winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who wished Alex and I a happy anniversary yesterday. Though nothing could compare to last year’s event, we had a fantastic day full of quality time with each other, lunch with a new friend, walking in the sunshine, and delicious, favorite foods.  I also wanted to say congrats to everyone who raced and killed it this weekend! If you missed it, I put together some tips on surviving the gloriousness that is the taper. Today, though, we are going to talk about a different kind of anxiety, and something that I struggle with regularly.


 

Alright, fess, up: who is sun burnt and hung over?? Not me, luckily, but I saw some people looking a little worse for the wear last night, and they might not be much better by now. I hope that everyone had a safe and memorable Memorial Day weekend–we sure did.

howells cheese curds suzlyfe

Alex and I had the great pleasure of welcoming 2 of our greatest friends from med school, and what a time we had. We barely shut up (either from talking, drinking, or eating) from the time they arrived until the time that they left. It was honestly one of the best times I have had with anyone beyond Alex/family in a long, long time. Their visit reminded me a great deal of my visit to Pittsburgh to see Caitlin–you know, it was just easy.

ben lara alex me chicago

But, for me, being social/sociable isn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes, being social and choosing to engage in social situations can be downright difficult, and anxiety-inducing for me. This is not a problem for Alex at all–he is someone that almost needs to have people around him at all times, whereas I really do require a balance of people- and me-time. I get exhausted by small talk (though I am perfectly capable of it. I am, after all, a proper southern girl raised by a southern mother and I was in a sorority. I can small-talk you to death). Of course, I love to meet people and develop relationships–as much as might joke about it, I am not a misanthrope–but that moment of meeting and working to establish a connection is at times enough of a reason for me to bow out of social situations. Typically, once I get going, I am fine; getting going is the difficult part. So is believing in myself.

I think that this is a performance anxiety of sorts (in fact, I know this to be true), and such a mindset is part of the reason that I prefer sports that combine individual performance with team representation. Horses, running, yoga, blogging–these are all sports/pursuits that are directly individual but indirectly communal. My performance is based on me; but I often choose to represent something larger (Team Challenge, UVA, a brand). Some of these experiences, when I represented something greater, have been some of the most rewarding and transient moments of my life. But they also push me to the bring of my mind’s capability to manage anxiety. When I ran my marathon, I chose not to wear my Team Challenge singlet–I needed to do that for me. And I also needed to release myself from the pressure of feeling I had to “perform.”

Standing by myself, but not alone. I almost stopped during this race--until I remembered what I represented, both to others and to myself. And I finished the first of the TC runners. At that moment, I felt like I was bringing it home for those who couldn't run, but could dream.

Standing by myself, but not alone.
I almost stopped during this race–until I remembered what I represented, both to others and to myself. And I finished the first of the TC runners. At that moment, I felt like I was bringing it home for those who couldn’t run, but could dream.

In a lot of ways, for me, socializing parallels working out/running. On the one hand, they are both acts that I crave, that I need in my life, that make me feel human, and that keep me going. On the other hand, there are so many days that I wouldn’t workout if I wasn’t training for something simply because I don’t have the brain engagement. Or I will go and just dial it in–not working hard at all. I often make plans to go and to be social–events, meet ups, meetings, happy hours–only to cancel. And why? Because I just want to go home. Because going home is easy, or easier than putting myself out there and, god forbid, expending energy.

A new friend! Alex and I met up with Gabi of Lean Green Island Girl yesterday at one of my favorite Thai places, Ma and I

A new friend! Alex and I met up with Gabi of Lean Green Island Girl yesterday at one of my favorite Thai places, Ma and I

When I lived by myself (I had roommates, but let’s face it, I lived alone) in New York, I was both content and miserable in my isolation. Content, in that I could do whatever I wanted when I wanted; miserable in that I had no one to share anything with–I would go and work on my own, but I didn’t want to go to museums, etc, because I would rather have someone to share that with. Now, the first question one should think to ask is, quite simply, couldn’t you have just invited someone to go with you? And my answer is: yes. I could have. But I didn’t. I chose solitude. And it kind of drove me nuts. It took a while before I decided that I was valid.

If you try to tell me that you have never had the desire to wear a tiara, I am going to call your bluff. Tiffany's Intense Yellow Diamond Tiara

If you try to tell me that you have never had the desire to wear a tiara, I am going to call your bluff. Tiffany’s Intense Yellow Diamond Tiara

So often we self-sabotage, and I think social anxiety is one of the chief ways that we do this. Social anxiety is us getting in the way of us. It’s like saying you don’t like a food having never ever tried it before, or saying I don’t/can’t run without giving it a proper try. “I can’t” is the inertia of life–>believing one can not change from the path one is one. For some, being social is easy and natural, and for others of us, being social on a scale beyond a single other person requires work like building strength–discipline, consistency, frequency, and pushing beyond one’s comfort zone.

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This week is a big week for Alex and I: our friends came in this weekend; our anniversary was on Monday, we leave today to go to Charleston, where we will see one of my oldest friends and then spend the weekend celebrating the wedding of one of Alex’s oldest friends (with whom I have become a good friend of, and I adore his soon-to-be wife). Then comes June, a month were we will be highly social every weekend. Some of these engagements are not even a thought–they will be easy and comfortable. Others will require me to be a Big Girl, put on my BG pants, and push myself.

But if there is one thing that I have learned from my marathon training and from my recent career change, nothing worth having is easy, and only by pushing your limits do you discover what you are capable of and what is truly important to you.

Here is to being brave.

Have you ever suffered from social anxiety? Or do you crave interaction constantly?

How do you deal with feeling overwhelmed in social situations?

Did you win the 479 Popcorn Giveaway?

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60 Comments

  • Reply Tom @ Raise Your Garden

    Your husband and I are both very similar. I enjoy getting together with lots of people and having the small talk. My wife and the other hand is more of the homebody and wouldn’t leave the house unless she had to. It’s a good thing she has Emma (our 4yr old) who forces her to go somewhere. “Mom can we go somewhere today.”

    May 27, 2014 at 7:03 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Awwww that is adorable. I get the heeby jeebies if I feel cooped up–often I will just start standing in the middle of the living room, and Alex will ask, does Susie need to go somewhere….? But then, once I get comfortable, bets are off. I just need to feel like I have somewhere to go, and with people with whom I am comfortable. I think it is also a fear of feeling trapped.

      May 27, 2014 at 9:13 pm
  • Reply Sarah @pickyrunner

    Yep, I relate to this so much. I can talk to people when I need to and I won’t shut up once I get to know you and am comfortable, but there’s usually a ton of anxiety building up to meeting people. I haven’t felt the same anxiety meeting up with bloggers because I already “know” them but when my friends ask me to go out to bars, I get anxious and uncomfortable which is why I tend to drive myself there. It gives me the control of being able to leave when I want to. I’ve definitely bowed out of social situations because the anxiety gets the best of me, and when you said you chose to not wear your singlet for Team Challenge to reduce the anxiety of feeling the need to “perform,” that really hit home. I feel the exact same way, but I have never been able to put that into words.
    So have a great week, and keep that anxiety at bay because you deserve to have some fun with friends 🙂
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…BelongingMy Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 7:13 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We are perfectionists–we want to be able to do EVERYTHING, from racing, to school, to being friends, to the nth degree. I, too, haven’t felt nervous on the concept of meeting other bloggers because I know that we have such a solid base leading up to it. I think it is the nerves of living up to a social obligation or expectation (like, being able to stay out late, or drinking, etc) that makes me self isolate. But when i put myself out there, I usually enjoy it, so I don’t know what I am waiting for!

      May 27, 2014 at 9:24 pm
  • Reply Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles

    I related to this SO much, I am already having some anxiety over the conference I have to attend at the end of the week where I am going to be put in front of Drs I have never met before and I not only have to be on my A game, but it’s my first time working in this therapeutic area, so I am SUPER nervous already and I don’t even leave until Friday! I am an introvert, so having to play an extrovert at work is draining! Have a great week lady!!
    Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles recently posted…Weekly Wrap UpMy Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 7:43 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      BREATHE YOU ARE GOING TO BE A SMASHING SUCCESS. Oh, do I know what you mean! Especially now that I am trying to reassert myself in a new field, it can be so intimidating going and standing up next to people who could have written the book from which you studied. But I think that you will find your groove once you get started–you’ll discover just how much you really do know!

      May 27, 2014 at 9:21 pm
  • Reply Laura @ the gluten-free treadmill

    First, if somehow I didn’t say happy anniversary yesterday – happy anniversary!

    This post really made me think. I don’t have social anxiety, but I am an introvert. It means (for me) that I really hate small talk and feel super-exhausted after social events. It’s something that has been hard for some friends and family to understand – but that my idea of a great weekend is some serious time to think!

    So glad you had a great weekend and anniversary!
    Laura @ the gluten-free treadmill recently posted…Millet TaboulehMy Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 7:54 am
    • Reply Michael Anderson

      Ha – love this comment right at same time as mine … no wonder we get along so well 🙂
      Michael Anderson recently posted…Take Care Tuesday – Helping Your Non-Running Family UnderstandMy Profile

      May 27, 2014 at 8:10 am
      • Reply suzlyfe

        Hahaha we are sooooooo good. JINX

        May 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm
      • Reply Laura @ the gluten-free treadmill

        Yes! I also think it is probably more common in bloggers because we control when and where our social interaction is.
        Laura @ the gluten-free treadmill recently posted…A weight loss storyMy Profile

        May 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! I find this very interesting–the simultaneous occurrence of introvertedness and the lack of social anxiety. That actually is really making me think as well. What is the line? I think that there is a real benefit to being comfortable enough in your own skin to be able to have that time with just yourself–like you did this past week. That removal of all distractions can be terrifying for many people. It takes a very strong person to be able to be comfortable and self critical, and with balance.

      May 27, 2014 at 9:18 pm
      • Reply Laura @ the gluten-free treadmill

        Have you read Quiet? It’s about introverts and was really good for me to read!

        I’m introverted because of what energizes me – which is time alone. Big social events (and small talk) is something I can do well and may even enjoy it, but is so draining. People are always shocked when they find out I’m an introvert because I don’t appear to be at all, but I so am, just without the shyness or anxiety that so many introverts do have!
        Laura @ the gluten-free treadmill recently posted…A weight loss storyMy Profile

        May 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm
        • Reply suzlyfe

          I haven’t and now I will have to. I am so the same way as you just described.

          May 28, 2014 at 8:01 pm
  • Reply Michael Anderson

    I have never wanted to wear a tiara … just sayin’ 🙂

    Sounds like a great weekend – so glad you were able to pack so much awesomeness!

    Social stuff … I am pretty much a mixed bag – I am an introvert and fairly shy, yet I have no problem working a crowd, talking to anyone, and speaking to a crowd of over 1000 (I’ve done several talks like that). I am very comfortable with just being alone, but I love being with those I care about.

    As for the ‘party weekend’ – mine was about 30 miles running, yard work, more yard work and still more yardwork … oh, and a trip to the ER Saturday night as our younger son broke his foot doing DDR at the mall arcade! haha
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Take Care Tuesday – Helping Your Non-Running Family UnderstandMy Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 8:09 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      So he really did break his foot? I knew that you all had taken him in, and I say in your pic today from the weekend that he had a mini boot on. Well, at least he when down…being awesome. I have mad respect for skilled DDR’ers. I am worthless at it.
      It takes a real princess to wear a tiara. Mine must have gotten lost in the mail.
      I am so similar to you in that I am on the shyer side, but put the spotlight on me and it is ON.

      May 27, 2014 at 9:09 pm
      • Reply Michael Anderson

        haha yeah, cos-playing Will Graham of Hannibal and doing DDR with two girls (also 16) as Cas and Sam from Supernatural … they are a crew. The ER folks were priceless because the one girl who helped him is quite the artists so it was very real looking from a distance, which made him look older than 16!

        And I think one of my boys would definitely rock a tiara, the other is like me and ‘not so much’ 🙂 It is whatever releases your inner awesome royalty, right?
        Michael Anderson recently posted…Take Care Tuesday – Helping Your Non-Running Family UnderstandMy Profile

        May 28, 2014 at 3:21 am
        • Reply suzlyfe

          Bahahahahahaha preach it my friend

          May 28, 2014 at 7:18 am
      • Reply Susie's mommy, Clare

        As I recall, when we did the Nashville TeamChallenge race (or was it Virginia) you WORE your pink glitter and felt tiara the whole time!
        You didn’t lose it, you just flat wore it out!

        May 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm
        • Reply suzlyfe

          Don’t get it twisted. I wore mine back out after the race, but not that night–you did.

          May 28, 2014 at 7:54 pm
          • Susie's mommy, Clare

            oh, yeah……… I did, didn’t I? I still have it somewhere!
            lovely, hmmmmm

            May 29, 2014 at 8:37 am
  • Reply Cassie

    I definitely have my bouts of social anxiety. I hate being in crowds and I really like being alone. I feel like there is a stigma to “doing things alone” but as I get older, I realize it’s all in my head. If someone wants to judge someone for eating alone (which I’ve done while traveling) then that’s cool – it’s their loss for having that extra time to be a judgmental person.
    Cassie recently posted…Trail Mix Oatmeal MuffinsMy Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 9:02 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Love it–it’s their problem! I am usually quite comfortable eating by myself, etc, but I think that where I have issues is wanting to enjoy alone what I enjoy so much with another person. Sure, sometimes I just want to go and do something alone, but what is becoming more prevalent, particularly in the past few years, is that I want to save experiences to have with Alex, that I feel guilty for having them alone.

      May 27, 2014 at 9:03 pm
  • Reply cait @pieceofcait

    I am like you, while george is like your husband. I could be fine doing my thing all day errrday and alone! Sometimes its bad because I choose to be that way, but I really enjoy my time alone. While George constantly needs to be around people. We have both helped each other, he helps me get out of my shell and I help him realize that his alone time shouldn’t be taken for granted, we all need a happy balance.
    cait @pieceofcait recently posted…MDW weekend picsMy Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 9:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Yes yes yes. And I think that is why I’ve gotten more cloistered with Alex being in the hospital all the time–I rely on him to bring me out of my shell, rather than doing it myself. I think it is one of the few things that I am truly dependent on him for. He reminds me, and pushes me, to want that balance. And then, I start to crave it (not to the same extent as him) but I definitely look forward to it far more.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:56 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    I like to think of myself as an introvert with some extroverted qualities. I thrive (and even like to be the center of attention) in small groups of people that I know, but if the group is too big, or I don’t know 90% of the people, or there is an extrovert with a BIG personality, then I kinda hide in my shell. I feel like it’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older!

    I found that this list from the Huffington Post perfectly sums me up!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/introverts-signs-am-i-introverted_n_3721431.html
    Sarah recently posted…10K Training Recap Week 7: 6 Days Away!My Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 10:09 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      EXACTLY. I am so the same way, the only difference being that sometimes the big extrovert gets the competitive nature in me, and I’ll vie for it. Or I will just shut down and clam up, as you said. I would agree with certain aspects of this increasing as we get older, and I think that it might have to do with the knowledge of what and who is important to us, and not wanting or being willing to compromise my standards. But sometimes, we have to be willing to do just that, compromise. Maybe not our standards, per se, but at least our desires. I will definitely check out that article–thanks for sharing!

      May 27, 2014 at 8:51 pm
    • Reply Susie's mommy, Clare

      This article is excellent. Thank you so much for providing the link, it is very revealing.
      As those in our “home” family would tell you, I am the extroverted one. That may be true for THAT group of people, but I have always been very shy and awkward around people I don’t know. If I appear to be overly gregarious, its because it is an act. I am very good at putting on my “party face” and I’m not speaking of all the fancy makeup, although that is so much fun! The makeup and the party face make a great mask–I can hide behind it.
      Giving a speech in front of a big crowd is really enervating–if I know my subject well, but the afterwards part, the repartee, is exhausting.
      I have learned to “not be shy” but I am the loneliest in crowds. Maybe that is why I love the airplane conversations-its one on one with someone you will never have to apologize to later for saying what you really think.

      May 28, 2014 at 3:51 pm
      • Reply suzlyfe

        Me too, me too. Except for the airplane conversations. I wish they would leave me alone 😉

        May 28, 2014 at 7:54 pm
      • Reply Sarah

        I’m glad you liked it! I feel the exact same way. When I need to I can socialize with new people and be charming, it just gets exhausting after a while!
        Sarah recently posted…Simple Green Breakfast Smoothie RecipeMy Profile

        May 29, 2014 at 9:51 am
        • Reply suzlyfe

          Hey, being charming IS exhausting. That’s why I usually go with being a pain in the a$$

          May 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm
  • Reply Mama Salt

    I am such a bad friend. I’m sorry I missed your anniversary, you beautiful couple, you!! I’m so glad you guys had a wonderful one and a wonderful holiday weekend too. BTW you are one of the most photogenic people I’ve ever seen in my life.

    I don’t know if I really get social anxiety…I’ll travel anywhere or throw myself into any crowded situation alone at the drop of a hat, but I do feel like I’m super awkward when I first meet people. I worry about people liking me so I think I overcompensate for that by being really loud and obnoxious. I’m trying to learn how to dial it back a notch. Work in progress. 🙂

    May 27, 2014 at 11:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Awww, thank you, and apology absolutely accepted–you had quite a lot going on! And it was a great weekend, just what we needed. When I’m keyed up, I am very much the come-on-too-strong type. I did that in a big way when I started at the restaurant last summer–in short, I had spent so much time alone in the preceding month, and was just so excited to be around people again, that I think I majorly overdid it. Plus, you get the adrenaline going, and BOOM Suzplosion.
      We are going to be hilarious when we finally meet. With our powers combined, we will be unstoppable 😀

      May 27, 2014 at 8:46 pm
  • Reply Ursula

    Thanks for sharing Susie. I feel like I can relate and Ian is a lot like Alex. I can be social in the right setting but I have had to work hard to put myself out there and it’s definitely a conscious choice, not something I do naturally. When we first moved to Fort St John I found it hard immersing myself in the large group settings. I’m definitely better at getting to know people on a one-to-one basis and I would sometimes avoid the bigger groups, which can be so isolating. Eventually, I figured out that if I made the effort to get to know people on an individual level (where I’m comfortable) then when I attended the big group parties, I wouldn’t feel so alone. For me, it was important to learn that being alone is okay but I can’t isolate myself because of anxiety. And really, everyone is trying to better themselves in one way or another right? As long as we try 🙂
    Ursula recently posted…My Closet #2: Nautical MaxiMy Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 11:35 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      So well said. It’s like breaking down a training plan–you can’t go into it thinking about the entire thing, otherwise you’ll a) combust b) hurt yourself and c) never do anything well because you have spread yourself too thin. And finding that balance, where you are ok to be alone but not too comfortable with it, is key as well. It is definitely, as you say, not always a “conscious choice” to put yourself out there. But in the right setting, it is like something just clicks. And absolutely, we have to try, and we should always have something that we are working on. Otherwise, what are we doing?

      May 27, 2014 at 8:42 pm
  • Reply Caitlin

    Oh hell to the yes. I would usually get a little nervous before new things growing up, but that got 100000 times worse after my ed came to light, and it took me years to break myself of the habit of making plans and then canceling them because I was too tired or it was just easier to come home. Rarely is anything that’s easy worth doing (with some notable exceptions of course), and that’s what I reminded myself of when I was tempted to cancel. I told myself I made the plans/agreed to come, I could handle 20 minutes (could go home after that if things were bad), and that I never wanted to be a person people couldn’t depend on to do what they say they’re going to do. It still isn’t always easy, but thankfully it’s rare for me to cancel things….unless I’m dying. That’s the exception to the rule 😉
    Caitlin recently posted…MomentsMy Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 11:45 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Well, please don’t die, out of principle. One of the reasons that I knew that our friendship was special was that I really didn’t hesitate for a second when you invited me to come and see you in PGH. I think that I knew subconsciously, whether or not I truly realized it at the time, a) that we were destined to become great friends (even twinsies) but b) that you wouldn’t have taken that leap if you hadn’t felt strongly as well. Right before I left, Alex told me that he hoped that we got on as well in person as we did via email, and it wasn’t until that moment that I even thought about it. Which is so, so uncharacteristic of me. I get nervous when I go to stay with my oldest, closest friends, but I never even thought about it when I was going to see you!
      The 20 minute rule is the ace in the hole–just like with working out, if you can make it 20 minutes, you’ll most likely feel very differently. Or you’ll be dead, so there you go.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:36 pm
  • Reply Susie's mommy, Clare

    Yes, please, I want THAT tiara……………my birthday is……….
    Those of us who lived in the house we will always call “home” were and are perfectly capable of entertaining ourselves. I’m the most extroverted of that four, but now, with Alex in the mix, he might haves me beaten.
    I feed off of the energy of people and I love the little one-on-one moments with perfect strangers. I am the person you don’t want to sit next to on an airplane……yeah, I’m that one.. As you have so often commented, I could have a lovely conversation with a post!
    There are times when I am too lazy to move, however, if I get moving, I’m usually right up there on the extrovert scale.

    May 27, 2014 at 11:58 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I get my energy-feeder tendency from you–that is a big reason that I was able to make it through college with as little drinking as I did: I rode the wave of energy. But yes, you could have a conversation with a post. It would be a lovely conversation, though. And you would know where all of its brethren were located.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:31 pm
  • Reply Kate @ Baking in Yoga Pants

    I love how open and honest you are on your blog and how through sharing, others can relate and connect with you! I’m a pretty social person and with that being said, I do appreciate me time too 🙂
    Kate @ Baking in Yoga Pants recently posted…Grandma’s Chocolate Caramel BrowniesMy Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Part of the reason that I can be open and honest is that I know that I have people like you reading and receiving what I am saying–you all offer me as much support as I hope that I offer you. I think that your blog title “baking in yoga pants” kind of sums up a big part of you–you love to bake (for others) but yoga is an inherently personal though communal activity. And pants, well, they are just necessary haha

      May 27, 2014 at 8:29 pm
  • Reply Hilary

    I am so glad you posted this, I was planning on posting something similar soon! I realize that social interactions and events can be tough and hard for me at times. I love one on one time, or even small groups but when events get to big I usually end up bailing out as well! I am for sure an introvert so after so much social interaction I get exhausted! So glad I can relate 🙂
    Hilary recently posted…Spill It Sunday- Jen Edition!My Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I can’t wait to read your take on it–I am such a small groups person as well. When it is my people, hanging out with them isn’t even a thought. But as that group grows, or as it involves more and more people that I don’t know, chances of me bailing grow and grow.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:26 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    I definitely suffer from social anxiety, on a small scale. Which is funny, because I am a “theater person,” and the stereotype for theater people is that they are loud, friendly, outgoing party animals. I love to have a good time, and I love to make new friends, or spend time with the friends I have, but I, too, often choose the couch over social situations. It’s easier and safer than putting myself out there.

    I’m a lot better than I used to be, but I still have to force myself to take the step of actually making plans and following through on them rather than just thinking to myself, “Wouldn’t it be nice to see so-and-so this weekend?” and then sitting all alone in my apartment for hours instead.
    Rachel recently posted…Manic Monday – 05/26/14My Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know EXACTLY what you are saying, and I think being a “theater person” takes several different forms, one of which is the loud, outgoing party people, another is the “theater geek”, another is the people that find comfort in the act, but are really quiet at heart. Look at me with serving/waiting tables. I was EXCELLENT at it (I loved theater and would have killed to be an actor throughout school, but I rode, and that took my afternoons)–it is all a performance. I was EXCELLENT at my presentations and delivering speeches, and I can be just the right amount of authoritative and “bring it” when need be. But I, too, find comfort in the retreat. I think that I used to be better at making and sticking to plans. Now I’ve gotten lazy and too comfortable. But I will say that blogging has really helped with it. I am far more comfortable in my own skin now, even from behind a computer screen.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:24 pm
  • Reply Brianna @ I run He tris

    I have social anxiety to a degree. I love me time and having a 16 month old I rarely get time to just sit 100% alone and just be with my own thoughts. That’s where running comes in for me. My husband is a social buttefly and NEEDS to be around people. We’ve found a very good balance and that is part of why we work so well together. He pushes me outside of my comfort zone and sometimes I have to pull him back down to reality. It’s a good balance. I try to remind myself that most of my anxiety is really just a mental thing. You may say something silly but you will probably be the only one playing that over in your head a million times over. My anxiety comes when I know I’m going to have to put myself out there. I’m so much better at sharing my words written down rather than saying them out loud (therefore I blog!)
    Brianna @ I run He tris recently posted…The start of the next chapterMy Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We sound like echoes of each other! Are you sure you aren’t me (minus the behbeh lol)? You mention the fear of saying something silly–so true. I have a horrible phobia of/reaction to embarrassing myself. But it’s rarely something I think about until that moment, and then it is anxiety city. I think another part of me is scared that I will be the “bummer” party pooper–when I get tired, my body is done. But then I get started, and I’m fine…until I’m not. But we have to give ourselves that chance!

      May 27, 2014 at 8:18 pm
  • Reply Carla

    This post came at a perfect time! I was invited to a blogger even this weekend and I can bring a guest. I don’t like to go by myself because I don’t know anyone. I don’t invite anyone because I don’t feel like I have any close friends. Then I get upset that I don’t have close friends. But the chances that I’ll step outside of my comfort zone (i.e., my house) and invite someone are pretty slim. I’ll keep mulling it over and see if I can’t get up the nerve. I wasn’t always this bad but as I get older it gets worse.

    Happy anniversary!
    Carla recently posted…Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’My Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 3:04 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am someone who has a select handful of close friends, but none of them live near me–they are all on the east coast, and spread out even at that. I constantly find myself wishing that I had a close friend that lived in Chicago so that I could go to things with them, and then I get sad because I just wish one of my girlfriends was here. And then I think about how I should call them. But do I? No. I stick in the mud.
      Seize the moment. Invite someone–maybe they WILL become your close friend. Or find someone there to meet up with–that way you are accountable. You can do this.
      And thank you!

      May 27, 2014 at 8:13 pm
  • Reply Courtney @RunningforCupcakes

    Yes I can completely relate to this! I feel like you just described me. I’m a quiet person and because of this people think I am shy. When in reality I’m not shy at all- I will tell it how it is and I will tell anyone anything they want to know, but I won’t just say it out of nowhere. I only talk when it seems necessary unlike some people who talk just to hear the sound of their own voice (I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either) I like being around people but I also need my alone time for sure which is why I love running!
    Courtney @RunningforCupcakes recently posted…5 Reasons My Run SuckedMy Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know precisely what you mean. I would say that I was rather shy when I was a child–I would shrink away from being introduced at family gatherings. I think it was a combination of being overwhelmed by the onslaught and my tendency to be embarrassed rather easily–I wonder if that is what shyness really is: the culmination of being overwhelmed and shyness.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:10 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    I totally relate to this. I’ve always found it hard to be in large social settings especially with people I don’t know well. Finally I realized that I was an introvert and that there wasn’t anything “wrong” with me. I just had to prepare myself for social situations but not feel defeated if I had to bail early. This realization was a light bulb moment for me and I’ve found it easier to deal with as I’ve gotten older.
    Sarah recently posted…And I’m back……….My Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 10:21 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Such a fantastic point–preparation and not beating yourself up if you bail early. It’s those little reminders and things like that that make all the difference, truly.

      May 28, 2014 at 7:17 am
  • Reply Gabi @ Lean Green Island Girl

    It was so great to meet you and I would have never guessed you had social anxiety! I was actually so happy you reached out and made sure we met up, because I can totally relate to your post for both the workouts and social activities! I am often the same way. Oh and are those fried cheese curds from the restaurant in the Tribune building…ah can’t remember the name of it, but I’m pretty sure I shared those with friends on Saturday with a delicious dipping sauce!
    Gabi @ Lean Green Island Girl recently posted…Tri Talk Tuesday: Bike MaintenanceMy Profile

    May 27, 2014 at 10:24 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Howells and Hood. And it’s totally the starting aspect–that’s part of the reason that I wanted to make sure that we met up, to break the cycle, and I am SO SO glad that we did 😀

      May 28, 2014 at 7:16 am
  • Reply Katie @glutes and ladders

    I definitely get social anxiety when I am in a large group setting. I really thrive in smaller groups and will talk your ear off. If I’m in a bigger group and don’t know the people as well, I tend to be quiet and reserved. It’s like I almost get nervous before speaking. I live and work on a construction site. The living situation is almost like a college dorm, so I’m constantly surrounded by friends and others. It can be difficult at times, but it has really pushed me out of my comfort zone in a good way.

    May 27, 2014 at 11:10 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think that moving out of the dorm situation/living with roommates other than my husband has been a bit detrimental to my willingness and tendency to go out. Maybe not even from an anxiety stand point but from just a get up and get OUT dammit standpoint. I need that external motivator.

      May 28, 2014 at 7:14 am
  • Reply Back to Business #MIMM #UltimateCoffeeDate | Suzlyfe

    […] feel like the week truly was extended, from our friends joining us last weekend to our anniversary in Chicago to our anniversary trip in Charleston to the wedding weekend in […]

    June 2, 2014 at 6:05 am
  • Reply Inspirational Blogger and Life in Pictures: Mental Release | Suzlyfe

    […] I was rather shy as a child. I’ve spoken on with regards to my version of social anxiety before, but I really was very tight lipped and would hide behind my mom at events. On the other […]

    July 8, 2014 at 10:00 am
  • Reply Kerri McGrail

    I can so relate to this! I think for me its a fear of being judged or being embarrassed of myself- I never know what to say or do around new people and have been in such a rut of just hanging out alone at school! Literally, I hangout in my room while my roommates are downstairs. How do you push past those times where you don’t want to be social?

    February 28, 2015 at 10:22 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think you are so right–it goes along with this idea that we might embarrass ourselves–whether that be because we don’t know what to say, we say the wrong thing, or we just want to be able to go home! Sometimes, you have to almost think of it as a workout that you aren’t in the mood for–get yourself together, go, and if you still aren’t feeling it after a certain amount of time, then call it. But sometimes? You end up having the best workout ever!

      March 2, 2015 at 11:09 am

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