To The Extroverts Who Struggle With Social Anxiety

Photo: Africa Studio / Shutterstock
anxious woman

By Natalie Trznadel

Social anxiety is rough. It can prevent you from enjoying yourself with friends when out in public or when meeting new people.

While social anxiety is more common for introverts, it actually happens quite frequently when you’re extroverted.

It might look differently for extroverts than introverts, but it’s still frustrating to deal with.

RELATED: 7 Struggles Of Being An Outgoing Person With An Anxious Mind

Struggling with social anxiety as an extrovert can be hard. People don’t expect socially-inclined individuals to have problems with socializing, so they’re often misunderstood.

After all, the basic principle behind being extroverted is to be out and about and love it. But that’s not always the case.

As an extrovert, I definitely enjoy being around people. It gives me energy and makes me happy. If you’re a fellow extrovert, you definitely know what I’m talking about.

You get the exhilarating feeling that being around others brings you.

Once you’re out with the people you feel comfortable around, you blossom. You become the life of the party, the center of attention. And you love it.

It energizes you and keeps you going. That’s how you recharge, especially after a long day at work or school. It allows you to relax and focus on what you enjoy the most — being with the people you care about.

So, when social anxiety hits, it can make you feel horrible and unable to recharge the way you’ve always known how.

Sometimes your social anxiety can get so bad that it cripples you in the moment, making you want to run and hide.

RELATED: How To Calm Yourself Down When Social Anxiety Kicks In

It might seem odd for extroverts to experience social anxiety, but it’s more common than you may think. And it often happens in the worst moments possible, such as when partying or hanging out with friends.

When it happens, you want to be alone and your whole mood changes. Instantly, people assume something’s wrong. Your friends think you’re upset, and strangers deem you quiet and shy.

And at that moment, you are.

Fortunately, it’s more than common. So, if you’re an extrovert and can relate, know you’re not alone — there are many extroverts who feel the same way.

In fact, it’s more than common to be struggling with social anxiety and anxious thoughts, even if you’re extroverted. After all, each person needs to spend some time alone, no matter how outgoing they may be.

We all need some peace and quiet by ourselves to relax and regroup.

Studies show that not only introverts can experience strong bouts of anxiety when engaging in new and unfamiliar activities. If you’re an extrovert and you push yourself to do social activities when you’re not ready, you may get anxious — the same way an introvert would.

As you can see, anxiety is not a uniquely introverted experience. So, if you’re an extrovert who struggles with social anxiety, remember that you’re not the only one.

And keep in mind that it doesn’t make you any less extroverted.

RELATED: The One-Minute Lemon Test That Reveals If You're An Introvert Or Extrovert

Natalie Trznadel is a writer, photographer, content editor for Unwritten and a contributing writer for Thought Catalog. Her work focuses on love, relationships, and dating.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.