Your Mind

8 Phrases You Should Never Say To Somebody With Social Anxiety

By November 1, 2015 0

A lot of people have some form of social anxiety. I suffer from a moderate to severe case of social anxiety disorder which, if you didn’t know, is an actual mental illness. However, regardless of the severity all socially anxious or socially awkward people can relate to the criticism that comes with being unsocial in a social world. Here are eight judgmental phrases we socially anxious people are tired of hearing.

  1. “Are you okay?”

Other variations of this include “are you sad?” and “are you mad?” Okay, maybe this sounds like a person who genuinely cares about my welfare but it gets really frustrating after a while. I usually respond with “I get that a lot” or “it’s just my face.” Trust me, if a socially anxious person looks upset, that’s just the face of a person who is constantly nervous.

  1. “Smile.”

Attention ladies, it’s not just you. Women hear this one a lot but a socially anxious person, male or female, definitely hears it a lot more. Again, an anxious person is bound to look nervous. Don’t tell him/her to smile. It just makes us more nervous! Also, mind your own damn business.

  1. “You’re just shy.”

Noooooo! The dreaded “S” word! Social anxiety is different than shyness. I am literally terrified around you people. This is a mental disorder.

  1. “You’ll grow out of it.”

No I won’t. He won’t. She won’t. Do you even realize this can be a permanent illness with no cure? It has absolutely nothing to do with age or maturity.

  1. “I used to be shy too.”

Most of the people that say this are the really outgoing people who are trying to find a way to relate with me so they pretend like they were once shy even though I know it’s bullshit. Social anxiety is not shyness, and neither is being an introvert.

  1. “You just need to practice socializing.”

Actually, socializing makes the anxiety worse. That’s the entire definition of the disorder. No amount of practice can rid a disorder just as practicing being happy doesn’t rid depression.

  1. “You’re just faking.”

Stop. I am officially diagnosed. Look here at my diagnosis. Authentic. Leave me alone.

  1. “Stop being nervous.”

Are you even paying attention? That’s like telling a paralyzed person to stop being paralyzed. Nobody can just stop being disabled, physically or mentally.