so...you have social anxiety
(so do i)
I brought this line from last week’s newsletter to my therapy session: “With each frantic phone call to a friend, you are telling yourself that your opinion of you is not good enough.” It struck a chord with me, because I know things are getting bad when I suddenly feel the need to tell every person in my life about my problems, rehashing the same story a dozen times to different ears.
With each new person I share my anxiety with, I feel worse—not better. Not because my friends aren’t supportive, but because with each person I tell, it’s like my circle of anxiety gets bigger. So, heeding the advice from our very own newsletter, I went to what I thought would be a very stressful party and designated one (ok, maybe it was two…) people to be my “safe space,” as writer Kendra Austin put it. It helped to have friends who knew what I was thinking about, but the boundary of not making it into a 10-person ordeal helped contain my feelings. That and, there was zero opportunity for me to freak out over the possibility that someone heard me complaining about [redacted] on the subway.
This was a short one I know, but I’ve had a week!
More next time, Mi-Anne
“Regrets Her Behavior At” Notecards, $40. The newsletter-to-newsletter-recommendation pipeline is HOT with this one. We found these notecards through "Hung Up” writer Hunter Harris, who found them through “Opulent Tips” writer Rachel Tashjian. For those who find themselves reliving every social encounter, these notecards provide yet another way to relay your dissatisfaction with the way you behaved by making you seem so funny and self aware!!!
Aromatherapy Roll On, $12. Everyone says that as you get older, you’re more sure of yourself. Welp, not for me! With each passing day it feels like my anxiety grows exponentially. I used to think aromatherapy was useless, but now I relish the moments when I get to roll on this peppermint-scented oil, close my eyes, and deeply inhale.
Face Gems, $10. Sometimes you are not confident. That is just a fact of life! It doesn’t always work, but putting on a few face gems can do just enough to trick your brain into hyping yourself up. The compliments that come with them help some, too.
To-Go Pack. Deodorant, gum, extra eyeliner in case you cry yours off…bringing a to-go pack is essential to any social activity where you want to avoid thinking about all the reasons why you need to go home.
G-Cal. One day on, 12 days off. IYKYK.
Games. If you are worried you’ll have nothing to talk about at the hang out, bring a game! Some personal faves: a deck of cards, Catan, your Nintendo Switch (with extra controllers!), or even a question card game to facilitate titillating conversation.
Cell-Phone Jail, $70. Every day, two hours before bed, as the doc recommends, you now have the option to put your phone in purgatory. If the mindless late-night scroll is giving you agita, lock your anxiety away in this cell-phone jail! You won’t regret it.
Over-ear headphones. Guaranteed to ward off the tiny mic TikTokers wandering around your area.
Bringing A Book Everywhere. I was once so avoidant of small talk that I brought this book to a bar to meet someone I really, really wanted to be friends with. I placed it on the table, knowing that she’d ask and it would prompt us to immediately talk about therapy and our feelings. We became friends and a year later when she moved from NYC to LA, I gave her this book as a token of our friendship…and my social anxiety.