I'm new here and I think i have social anxiety

I'm 14 and I think I have social anxiety.

Whenever teachers pick on me to answer questions i go bright red my hands become extremely sweaty and clammy, my heart begins to beat really quickly and i automatically think everyone in the room is judging me. When i talk to people i don't know, i stutter a lot and feel very embarrassed that i can't talk to them without going red and finding it hard to breath. I fake being ill on some days if i have to do a presentation in front of my class because i'm terrified of people laughing at me because of the way i look.

Recently one of my maths teachers asked me a question that i couldn't answer but she just kept asking me until i worked it out, it made me cry and i found it hard to control my breathing because my heart was beating too fast. So for the next couple of lessons i would say i felt ill and stay in the girls toilets for the whole lesson in fear that i would be picked on to answer a question again. Eventually my best friend found out and told me to email my teacher and sort it out (which i did and now its fine).

But this happens all the time and it makes me cry every time i have to do something in front of a group of people.It probably doesn't help that i am very shy and don't talk to anyone other than a handful of people. i also constantly hate myself and feel worthless or not good enough for people. I always think that no one likes me and that people are just being friends with me for a joke. And that one day they will all leave me because i'm not good enough.

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2 Replies

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  • Rose, there's no reason whatsoever to feel inferior to anybody else and you can be absolutely certain that others at your school are not talking about you and laughing about you behind your back. Despite your fears and slight lack of self confidence you are as good as anybody else in your class and probably a lot better than most of them if the truth was known.

    So you must engage with others on a basis of being their equal - and if occasionally some teacher asks you a difficult question just do your best to answer and if you can't it's no big deal.

    All that business about stuttering and your heart racing is quite normal foranyone in a difficult situation. So if you have a presentation to make just plan it in advance (Napoleon used to say 'All great battles are won the night before') and then slowly and calmly say what you have to say and remember to speak loudly and project your voice to the back of the room. The develop the ability to talk well in public is a great power and it brings great satisfaction and you can develop it as much as anyone else.

    The only reasons people are friends with you is because they like your company, why shouldn't they, and they do NOT stay friends with you because you are a joke - no way are you a joke and please don't think that way ever again. So face your dchool and everybody in it with confidence knowing that you are every bit as good as any of them. I have a feeling youhave reached a turning point and everything is going to go well for you from now on, good luck with everything, Rose.

  • First of all, I doubt anyone wouls be willing to put effort into "being frienfs just as a joke". And if you feel that way over someone, maybe it is time to move on. You should have faith in your friends and select them with care. And internet is always an option to find more people to chat with.

    Next, many people experience those feelings. You are not alone. It indeed sounds like social anxiety.

    But please, realize this. When someone else does a presentation, do you actually pay attention? When someone makes a silly mistake, do you remember it and laugh at it for long? Most kids probably forget it quickly.

    Also, it might help if you laugh with them. You made a mistake, pfff, so what. Everyone, no seriously EVERYONE makes stupid mistakes. And probably at leadt half of your class is nervous about presentations too.

    An example. I am 23. A college student, with a lot of friends. Everyone considers me an extrovert. I play in school theatre.

    Yet I'd rather wander aroumd for an hour instead of asking stranger for directions. I stood 10 minutes in front of a door and then left instead of ringing a bell to be let into seminar.

    We all have our fears and anxietes. But sometimes there are situations when we have to fight yhem face on. And next time, they are a little less scary. Hang on. We are here for you. :)

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