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The “Hmm” of My Social Anxieties

We went to a party last night and I’m having the same day-after reaction as I do after every social event. It’s a characteristic of my social anxieties that has become so predictable that I’m surprised it still gives me pause when it happens.

Here it is: I’m doing a lot of Hmmm-ing today.

Parties are tough on anyone with social anxieties. It takes a lot out of you from the moment you agree to go, to the moment you walk through the door. We’ve had two parties recently and I’ve gotten severe headaches before both of them simply from the stress of going. This can be a lot for some people to have to go through every time they get invited to an event or have to interact with people. This then comes as no surprise to find that some people who suffer from social anxiety may opt to use CBD anxiety capsules, to help manage their symptoms a lot better.

Because I spend at least 24 hours, sometimes more, replaying every moment from the night before in my head. And as I replay them, I find myself humiliated by many of those moments all over again. Maybe I spilled something, maybe I tripped over something, maybe I said something dumb, maybe I did ALL of those things REPEATEDLY. This is usually the case because I’m just a mess in social situations.

And with each moment that I replay in my head that I find embarrassing, I have to do SOMETHING to stop that reliving that moment so that I don’t have to feel that embarrassment again. And for me? It’s an audible, “Hmmmm…”

For example, I was making Wes breakfast and I remembered something embarrassing I said (Which is as common of an occurrence as breathing for me because I’m just a moron) and to try to stop myself from reliving the embarrassment so I said, out loud, “Hmmmm…” Wesley heard me and said, “What? Why did you say, ‘Hmmm…'”

It’s a game I’m playing with myself, Wes, to see if I can stop reliving embarrassing moments over and over again.

My embarrassing moments rank on a scale of 1-10. If it’s a “1” then that vivid feeling of humiliation that comes from reliving the moment will fade after 24-72 hours and I’ll no longer need the vocal tick to stop me from feeling the original embarrassment all over again. If it’s a “10” then I’ll still be feeling that same level of embarrassment a decade later. I have a few 10s that still produce an involuntary, “Hmmmm…” out of me when I feel my brain revisiting them.

I don’t think I had any 10s last night, thank GOD. But I had 3-5 moments that probably all rank as a 1 or a 2, so for the next few days my family will just randomly hear me say, “Hmmm…” as my brain revisits something embarrassing from last night and I try to stop myself from feeling the humiliation all over again.

And this is why I don’t like to go to social gatherings. Because they haunt me for days/decades after. Now, maybe if I wasn’t such a basketcase, I could leave a party and not have these moments trigger humiliation and verbal ticks later. But – as it is – I’m a total train wreck that leaves embarrassing moment debris wherever I go.

How about you? Do you have any social anxiety verbal ticks in your arsenal?

8 thoughts on “The “Hmm” of My Social Anxieties”

  1. Not a verbal tic, but I shake my head back and forth like I’m saying “No, no, no, no.” I don’t know if I’m saying “No” to the memory or just physically trying to shake it out of my head.

  2. I’m right there with you with reliving the embarrassment from humiliating moments decades after they have happened. And of course with reliving the embarrassing moments from last night’s party, yesterday’s work event or anything really.
    I haven’t noticed a verbal or any other kind of tick related to reliving those moments though. Maybe I should keep a closer look on myself when I relive those moments…

  3. For me, it’s an audible groan. What I really wish I could have is a way to make the loop of shame stop playing completely!

  4. Now that I think about it, I do let out a low growl (at myself) for some of the stupid things I said/did in social situations. I, too, replay these parties and what-not in my head over and over again. I don’t know why, I just get more upset at myself. Why do we do this to ourselves?

  5. Which is why I consistently re-read Brene Brown’s material on Vulnerability Hangovers- self love, self forgiveness… The reason we feel this way is because we have been courageous enough to put ourselves out there and live, which is so very, very brave and for which we should applaud ourselves, loudly over the noise of the negative messages taped in our brain and playing on a constant loop. Everyone gets points just for showing up and being seen.

    And, your company is always joy-bringing. 🙂

  6. I silently but with lips moving repeat akward conversations. I’m not al tripper, faller usually. Sometimes i practice what i should have said. This actually helps reducing potential 3-5 situations to 1 or 2. Doesn’t work with 10 though.

  7. I do the same thing. I’ll re-play conversations in my head for YEARS, and just beat myself up for being so stupid about it. And yes, I’ll sigh. I often get a, “What’s wrong?” from the people I live with. How do I explain, “Oh, nothing… Just thinking about something I said to your mother SEVEN+ YEARS AGO THAT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE A TOOL.”

    I hate going to parties. Between the introvertedness and the social awkwardness. It takes me weeks to recover sometimes. I’m still exhausted from Christmas, and that was just visiting family that I see often.

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