By Holly Riordan
1. You end up dreading events you should have been excited about attending.House parties. BBQs. Birthday dinners. First dates. You know you should be counting down the days until those events but you end up stressing about them instead. Anything that involves socializing turns you into a hot mess.
2. You come across as bitchy without meaning it. When you meet new people, you are quiet. When you are in group situations, you are quiet. When you are having a rough day, you are quiet. People mistake your silence for snobbiness. They assume you are judging them, when really, you are terrified they are judging you.
3. You lose friends on accident. You don’t want to bother your friends, so you never text them first or ask them to come over. Those friends don’t realize how much they mean to you because you never tell them. You come across as distant because you’re trying so hard not to seem clingy.
4. You cancel plans at the last second. You can’t always predict whether you’ll be in the mood to see your friends next weekend. By the time your supposed to meet them, your anxiety will probably make you run through worst case scenarios until you decide that you would rather stay home than risk making a fool of yourself in public.
5. You miss out on exciting opportunities. You don’t think your boss would be willing to give you a raise, so you never ask. You don’t think you would be able to take a trip to London all alone, so you never go. You remain in your comfort zone instead.
6. You waste too much time overthinking. Long before your plans are set to start, you are already thinking about what might happen. You never give yourself a chance to relax. You are always on edge. You are always predicting the future or resenting the past instead of living in the present.
7. You feel uncomfortable, even when there is nothing to worry about. Sometimes your anxiety hits you out of nowhere. You don’t have any big meetings or interviews to stress over, but your heartbeat still thumps and your hands still shake. Your anxiety ruins even the calmest day.
8. You let yourself get pushed around. You hate confrontation, so you never speak up when someone upsets you. You would rather sulk in silence. However, since no one knows that X, Y, or Z is bothering you, they keep doing it. They never have a reason to stop.
9. You have trouble sleeping. Your anxiety messes with your schedule. It can be hard for you to get a full eight hours of rest when your mind won’t shut off. In the morning, you might not get as much work done as you were hoping, because you are exhausted.
10. You care too much about physical appearances. You aren’t shallow when it comes to other people, but when it comes to yourself, you think you always have to look perfect. You won’t leave the house with uncombed hair or post an unfiltered selfie. You are worried people will stare at you. You don’t want them to laugh behind your back.
11. You cannot enjoy a good thing while it lasts. You are too busy worrying about how it is going to end. You are more used to misery than happiness.
12. You criticize yourself every single day. You hate how bad you are at socializing. You feel like you have no friends. You feel like you have nothing. You don’t give yourself enough credit. You spend all of your time hating yourself so there is no time left for loving yourself.