Socially anxious introvert

Hello everyone. Some time ago I wrote a similar post, where a couple of girls from work wanted me to go out with them and I said no. This time it's the big staff party and everyone is pressuring me to go, saying that if I don't go, I won't get to know any of them and such. But the thing is, I already spend most of my time with them at work, I think it's understandable that I would rather spend my free time with my family, boyfriend, or even alone, curled up with a book on my couch. I've been an introvert all my life but social anxiety also plays a huge part in the way I behave. I overthink everything, procrastinate, worry about what people will say about me. I explained that I really like them all but I would rather spend the evening in a different way. I even promised that I'll try going next time (which won't happen of course). My point is, why can't people just understand that I'm just not a party person and that does not mean I don't like them? And please guys, don't tell me to go and try to have fun, it's not gonna work, I've been through this before and I feel awful every single time I go out like this. Is there anyone else here who shares the same opinion, who has also experienced something similar?

10 Replies

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  • I know how you feel. I hate when people think you can't know your colleagues unless you go out with them. I don't go out with mine as the majority of them weren't very welcoming when I started nearly 2 years ago and haven't really spoken to me since so I don't see the point of wasting my time with people who haven't made the effort with me in the first place. I don't think having alcohol in the mix will improve things! I'm also very socially awkward and have anxiety plus I have food allergies making it difficult to go out (but is also a great excuse to get out of stuff!). I've been feeling rather lonely because of the situation but I'm only there for another year and then I can hopefully go to a friendlier workplace and make friends. But yeah I wouldn't feel guilty for wanting to spend time with your boyfriend and family! You've already spent 8 hours with these people so why spend any more time if you don't want to? lol x

  • Phew, finally someone who understands! :D They kept saying that I should go because otherwise I won't get to know them better and I thought... but it's only work, having friends at work isn't so important to me! And yes, alcohol and social anxiety don't mix well, I tend to become a crybaby when a little drunk, it's like the alcohol brings out all the bad memories in me and I break down in tears. I don't feel lonely because of my anxiety because I know I have my family and my boyfriend and to me that is plenty of attention. I just hope they'll understand how my mind works and accept it the way it is....

  • Well if they don't understand then they're not very nice people! Not everyone likes to go out! I hope that they stop pressuring you as it's so annoying. Christmas parties are the worst for that! I didn't bother going and so many people were like 'Oh no why? You should come'. I had no regrets! All I want to do at the end of the day is go home and get in my PJs lol. Plus I don't like being late out at night unless I'm with my boyfriend as I live in a dodgy area so I'd rather not risk it. Lets just stick to being who we are and enjoy our cosy nights in!

  • Oh no, Christmas parties... they already mentioned there will be a Christmas party coming up. I am afraid they will think of me badly when I refuse to go every single time. I'm good at my job and my supervisors see that, I just want to continue doing my job without having to fake that I love everyone and get along with everyone. I'm generally a nice person and I'll talk to people as much as my anxiety allows me to, in work I put on this mask that helps me get through the day. I suppose they won't fire me for not going but the struggle is real. Also we recently moved out to a town located around 15km from the place I work at and I just don't fancy making the extra effort to go there and socialise after hours.

  • I also know how it's like, that feeling of being anxious and you don't want to socialize more with people at work, because 8 hours is enough. I don't either like parties and events were there are too many people, I just get anxious TT I get anxiety attacks daily anyway and my only way to calm my mind and soul is with the music I love and having free time for myself at home. But at work it's somehow easier to talk to the children I work with, they are 3-6 years old in the kindergarten and I'm just an intern. But to me I get to be better at communicating and feel like I can say something(teach the children things they don't know or can get better at) than to talk to employees who I don't have anything in common with. By the way, I'm also an introvert.

  • Thank you for your reply! I totally understand what you're saying. I explained to the girls I work with - look, you're all great I enjoy working with you, but I'd rather not go. Some of them still think I'm exaggerating and should go because it's expected of me. I fear that they might perceive me in a wrong way if I don't go, that they might cast me out, call me a weirdo or an outsider. I'm a nice person and I will chat with people as much as my anxiety allows me to, but forcing me to go somewhere to fake enjoyment in socialising is just stupid.

  • I know how you feel because I'm an a socially awkward introvert with severe anxiety and depression. I don't understand how people feel like the best way to get to know your colleagues is to do things with them outside of work. I feel like you get to know them well enough when you work with them 8+ hours a day. I work as a housekeeper and my coworkers and I have gotten pretty close just because I've been working with them for almost 4 years. I don't go out with my coworkers because they are all 21+ and like to go out for drinks after work, but I'm only 19 (almost 20) so I can't drink. Even if they decided to do something that I could participate in, I still probably wouldn't go out with them because I have anxiety attacks just thinking about it. Lately, some of the girls on my floor (college dorm) have been trying to get me to go out partying with them, but I always turn down the invitation. I feel like they think it's weird because a lot of college students love to party, but that's just not me. A small part of me wants to go out because I don't have many friends and that would be a good way to meet new people, but my anxiety always stops me. Don't ever feel guilty for wanting to spend your free time with your boyfriend and your family. Your coworkers should respect that.

  • I totally understand how you feel. I used to go to parties but only with my very close friends and now that we live in different countries, I'm more used to spending time on my own. There is that stereotype that all college students love to party, but that's obviously not true, not everyone enjoys nights of heavy drinking and socialising. I just know that if I go, I'll feel alienated and uncomfortable, it'll be pointless to go there for even just an hour. I thought that maybe I should talk to my manager (since she is the one who came up with this idea of "getting to know each other") and explain how I feel. I can't even go to the cinema with the office girls, let alone endure a night of heavy drinking with all the sales, office and warehouse staff. That's terrifying.

  • I think if you genuinely don't want to go then that's fine. Those sort of do's aren't for everybody. But if it's mainly because of social anxiety then you are avoiding your issues rather than dealing with them. Wouldn't it be better to work on them so you have a free choice in the future? I am not saying go to any parties etc. because that is probably too big a thing to face, but maybe pushing yourself a bit socially would be a good thing for you? Your family might not always be there and neither may your bf and you don't want to end up one day lonely and isolated because you haven't tackled your anxiety do you?

    That's what I think for what it's worth anyway.

  • I too share same opinion,and I have most of my life procrastinating and avoided people.I am a sufferer.Somebody showed me the you tube video of sanjeet MAHESHWARI. "How to control your mind"On creating a gap in thought.it was new for me

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