Friday, August 5, 2022

The Thoughts

Someone asked me about social anxiety recently and the thoughts that surround it. This sort of goes with last week’s post regarding the desire to not let anyone see the way autism plays out in my life. So, here’s the thoughts that come about in a random social encounter…

I struggle with initial interactions. I’m never the one to say hello first, or ask how someone is doing. Why is this? It’s the process of these thoughts, “where are they looking? I’m not sure, but not at me. Don’t look. Don’t look. Okay, are they mad at something? Can’t tell, but if I ask them something they might get mad at me. Really? Hard to say, but it’s a risk. Okay, play it safe. Avoid interaction. It’s the only way to guarantee safety.”

Those are the initial fears and thoughts that come about at every interaction. And yes, it’s that extreme. I fear that, if I introduce, wave, or say hello to a person the outcome will always be anger. Why would I want to make someone angry? Since I don’t want to, this means that all social encounters will always have to be initiated by another person. I do know that this makes it appear as if I’m uninterested in others, but it’s the fear of making people angry that lends itself to avoidance. 

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