How can I want to make plans
June 7, 2012 7:12 PM Subscribe
I have social anxiety that psychs me out about making plans. I moved to a new city about seven months ago and still haven't seen old friends and extended family members that I really should see. Even though I enjoy hanging out with them, thinking about hanging out with them can feel like a stressful chore. I'm trying to get it together to see them and start being social, but a) how do I explain that I DO like them and am not trying to be a dismissive jerk and b) how can I stop having this problem?
posted by anonymous to human relations (11 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
When I'm in social situations, I generally enjoy them, seem to be well-liked, and feel pretty confident. But making plans, especially with new people or people I haven't seen for a while, is something I rarely do and almost never want to do. I've really been struggling to make friends in this new town because I never want to go out and meet people. I like people, I'm not stressed out by social interaction in the moment, I just never seem to want to do it. This has always been the case but has gotten much worse since I moved, since the friends that used to seek me out and get me socializing are still in my original city.
When I plan social interaction, I'll often start to subconsciously tell myself that no one will like me, that I won't have a good time, that I'm awkward... standard negative self-talk. I've talked to a therapist about this a bit in Old Town, but the only therapist I've seen in New Town was pretty horrible and alienating, so I haven't gone back (this opinion of the therapist is not a result of social anxiety, but a result of how weird the therapist was. I've had many other good therapy experiences with depression and non-social anxiety). I plan to go back, I'm just looking for other solutions and help to supplement therapy and help me get over this. I'm lonely in New Town, end up watching a lot of TV and spending a lot of time on the Internet for lack of other things to do, and it's really the anxiety that seems to be the root of the problem.
I'm fine telling friends that I've been depressed (this is true: I have dysthymia) and that's why I haven't seen them much, but I'm not sure if it's appropriate with the extended family I've been ignoring. Are there other ways to communicate this in a way that doesn't make people feel like I'm just a flake who doesn't want to hang out with them?
And how can I stop having all these struggles with going into the world and seeing/making friends?