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Am I Introverted or Do I Have Social Anxiety?

Apr 15, 2021

One of the biggest injustices that unknowingly hurts people’s mental health around the world is believing they are just innocent good little introverts.

They were probably called “shy” or “quiet” or “introverted” growing up and never questioned who they are or why their default behavior is the way it is ever since…

I know this because this was my life for over 10 years.

Everywhere I went people called me the quiet shy kid, and I thought nothing of it. 

 

But here’s the thing. I wanted to speak my mind, I wanted to be social, I wanted to stand up for what I believe is the truth. Every time I tried, my brain would force me to sit down, stop talking, and run away.

I would feel this heavy mental conflict inside of me. A part of me that wants to speak and be social. And then another part of me would come up and say, Mark no matter what you do, don’t speak up, other people will judge you and hate you, just survive.

If you’ve never experienced this before, it may be hard to wrap your head around how this is people’s reality every morning when they open their eyes, especially leaders.

Eventually, this mental / emotional / social / psychological issue leads to more serious mental health problems later down the road. You have no sense of self-esteem, no self-confidence, and therefore no motivation or energy. Next thing you know, you become unhealthier, you get more socially anxious, and now your mind is a dark prison you don’t know how to get out of…even when you try to do so..

In fact, when you try to break out of this cycle and fail. Your mind says “Hey Mark! I knew you couldn’t do it. You’re going to be like this for the rest of your life.” 

Which then continues a recursive toxic and destructive cycle that continues to keep you down and not let you be your true self.

 

Here are 3 ways to begin to ask yourself and tell the difference in your life.

 

1. Understand What Being an Introvert Actually Means

According to the dictionary, the psychology definition of an introvert is a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.

  • Being an introvert doesn’t mean every time you want to speak with someone, your body’s fight, and flight response gets triggered and you start sweating, panting, tapping your legs, and then overthink and close your mouth. 

  • Being an introvert doesn’t mean you are shy in front of 100% of the people you meet every single time no matter what the situation is. 

  • Being an introvert doesn’t mean you have no confidence in yourself.

  • Being an introvert doesn’t mean you socially isolate yourself and have no deep connections or you either have friends you keep around you to speak shallow talk with to give yourself the illusion that you have friends and everything is fine.

    2. Understand You’re Not Born with Social Anxiety

Thankfully, nobody wakes up one day and says wow all of a sudden I have social anxiety. But, different life events and outcomes may expose you to deeper elements of yourself that may lead to that, but…

Psychology says, social anxiety is usually unconsciously formed during childhood. At the ages between 9-11 most often. What causes social anxiety in a child is usually bullying, racism, social humiliation, and ostracism from a community. 

Personally, for me, I grew up in a small town, with no racial diversity, wasn’t white, and was called racial slurs and insults almost every single day.

One of the worst things about social anxiety…is that nobody usually knows….or your problem is disguised as introversion. When you have social anxiety, it becomes your mission to hide everything about yourself from everyone, including your close family and friends.

Now, the people who are supposed to help you in your life, can’t help you if they don’t know the problem you experience. And some, try to speak up but are living with people who don’t understand mental health or belittle people at any sign of weakness or vulnerability.

This usually leads to living in an unsupportive environment where people unconsciously shame you for not speaking up or reduce your complex issue to simple statements like “just be more confident” or “just be yourself.”

As a child or teenager, you go through this social issue. Don’t tell anybody about it. Your internal shame and guilt inside get worse and worse and worse. You start spending insane amounts of cognitive energy trying to hide. You get depressed and you try to find something to relieve your pain….

Junk food, pornography, excessive videogames & Netflix, drugs, alcohol…..

Which leads you to get more unhealthy by the day. Cumulative actions like this lead to long-term issues like a mental health disorder that controls your default behavior 24/7.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

C.G. Jung

 

Warning: Don’t Trust Your Memory.

When I was 18 years old and you asked me if I had been bullied or faced racism…

I would say wait, what are you talking about?

After spending quality alone time with myself and uncovering my truths…

I realized if you grow up with anxiety and depression…most likely more than half of your memories are gone or hidden.

As kids, when we encounter experiences that we don’t know how to process or understand, we send them to the back of our minds. That dark closet you just throw everything in and hope you never see it again. Unfortunately, the truth is, what you haven’t brought to your conscious awareness, will control you for the rest of your life.

If you’re reading this article as a 35-year-old and say, I have no traumas or anything like that….think again…give yourself space to truly think and remember your repressed memories.

If you want more help with this, I speak about this in my book “Screw Being Shy” under a sub-chapter titled “Truth is the chiropractor of the mind.”

 

3. You’re Not on the Right Path in Life

"You're exactly where you're supposed to be"

I’m sorry, but if you’re following someone on social media who posts quotes like that…

And the person posting is already successful….that quote is BS.

I’m sure some people need to hear quotes like that. Others, need to hear the opposite, which would be worded something like this:

“You’re not who you’re supposed to be right now”

Please tell me if this is a familiar decision or thought process for you:

  • I would apply for that job I really want but it requires me to be social, but I just don’t think I would be good at doing that all the time.

  • I would go there and do this, but I just don’t feel like it because I’m worried.

  • I could be doing that but I just don’t believe I would be successful because other people seem like they could do it better.

Social anxiety is the lock to your mind.

Social anxiety is the virus that’s corrupted your character.

Social anxiety is stopping you from doing what you want to do.

Social anxiety is what is stopping you from being yourself.

If you’re not your true self, then where you are and what you are doing don’t even matter. Because even if you get to where you want to go, and still have crippling social anxiety, will it really matter? Will you really be able to feel your happiness?

A study done by Stanford in 2009, run by head researcher Philippe Goldin states: “The idea is that if a person has the psychological flexibility to shift freely from one mode of thinking to another mode, then that is a sign of health. It's when we get stuck in certain thinking patterns that our beliefs become maladaptive. Often people will subsequently show up in their 20s or 30s with depression or substance abuse and then if you dig below that you find that what preceded all of that was an internal anxiety about performing in social situations.”

We stop ourselves from applying to that job, asking that person, reaching out, taking decisions that get us closer to being on our true path…because of social anxiety.

If this is you, you should question your label of being an introvert or being shy….

And then get on the path of healing and managing your social anxiety. Ask for help. Just “working hard” the same way you’ve been dealing with this problem for years probably won’t bring you different results.

Can I help?

Over the last several years I’ve devoted my life to helping introverted, shy, socially anxious creators, entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and professionals move these mental health obstacles out of their life so they can get busy being their real selves in front of anyone.

If you are interested in potentially inquiring about my services for yourself or someone else, please fill out this form below.

For the next steps, fill out this formhere

Have any Questions? Just reply directly to this email and I’ll respond back :)

🔥Learn about my Screw Being Shy 45 Day Step by Step Affordable Program to Stop Shyness, Decrease Social Anxiety, & Rewire your Mind 🔥

 

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