Guys? GUYS?! Have you seen this movie?! It’s got to be my favourite Disney TV movie ever! This is who I’m trying to be. I’m a person who wants to inspire and help people but I’m just too gutless to go out there and do it so I try and do it from the security of my bedroom. This movie literally depicts the effects of social anxiety so well, in ways that even outstretch my experiences. I mean, I’m bad, but I felt horrible for this girl she was struggling. Seriously, watch it, Debby Ryan plays the lead, you’ll know her as Bailey Pickett from Suite Life on Deck. Had a huge celebrity crush on her because of this movie.
What was this going to be about?
So I recently took a quiz , on seeing how severe my social anxiety actually is? Now, I’ve said from the start I don’t think mine is as serious as most people. I’ve heard of people who get attacks because their anxiety is so bad. I’m still learning a lot about it, like how seriously it’s taken as a mental disorder and whether doctors actually take it seriously. But what I have is bad enough to affect my life for the worse so I’m always wary of it. Anyway I took the quiz, it asked the standard questions, I’m sure you’ve all heard them before:
- Do you believe most people don’t like you?
- Do you ponder on actions of embarrassment days after committing it?
- Do you have trouble making friends?
As expected, I answered ‘Yes’ to all of them. My rating in the end was that I have a heavy level of social anxiety but it’s not crippling. Which sound right. I do have a small number of friends and I can act normally (kind of) around them. But I don’t have any special friends that I feel I can pour my heart out to, I fear rejection and being judged poorly and I very often lose touch with old friends. This got me thinking because I hate trivialising other people’s feelings. I don’t want to start a war with others, banging my drum, screaming, “I’m a bigger piece of trash than you!” I want to empathise and show others that I understand or at the very least am trying to understand how they feel, because, ultimately, that’s how I want people to act about me. So, as I was saying, it got me thinking what is the reason I have a this medium level of social anxiety and why is it not full blown? Was it because my parents were too strict when I was a kid? Was it because I was made of because of my lisp during primary school? I could never blame something directly because the reasons didn’t seem to add up or make sense.
So I delved a bit deeper. Now, this is just me and I’m not saying I’ve figured out who I am, if I did, I’d be working on the fourth Kung Fu Panda movie. What I know is this:
- I was taught from a very young age to respect people older than me. The consensus was they were more experienced and wise and deserved respect for shaping the environment you lived in, especially if they were family.
- So, I looked up to all the people older than me. My uncles and aunties, my teachers and especially my parents. Now, I’m from a specific background of family tradition where strict parenting was considered a necessity to ensure the child didn’t go off the rails, the background’s culture was to be held to a high level of respect. If I did something wrong like swear or hit my brother, the punishment would be harsh. Eventually, it went to a point where I learnt that doing bad deeds meant getting punished and not failing to be a better person.
- This went on to teachers. I respected teachers, not because I felt they deserved it for educating me, because I was scared they would shout at me if I did.
- And, hey, what do you know, it went to people my age, too. I made friends with a lot of the nerdy kids as our interests aligned very well, especially at the age of 10. Doctor Who was huge for me at the time. But, I was very drawn to the cool kids. I wanted to be like them because they hung in groups and played sports and they would get medals for playing well, all things that appealed to a stupid kid like me. But I was the nerd, one of the smartest in the class and it was known. Cool kids didn’t want to associate with me and that was that. I had a lisp as well (still kinda do) and that was made fun of a lot, I then got glasses when I was 11 and that didn’t help (this was before they became a fashion trend).
- Eventually, I became very judgemental myself. I had moulded an image of a “cool guy/girl” in my head from a very young age. Any time I saw someone who closely resembled someone of that image, I was too afraid to talk to them because I assumed they would belittle me or judge me poorly, too.
That’s what a day without talking to someone else does. Makes you overthink. I wish I was paid to overthink,, then I’d have enough money to buy more friends.
My point is this. It is impossible for me to know where all your guys’ problem started. Chances are I’m putting too much thought into it but I’m a person who believes on finding the source of a problem and working up from there. Maybe a weird childhood is my problem, maybe it’s not. What is a fact is this, I judge people. All the time, it’s something I’m ashamed of but my fear, sadly, dethrones the shame. I condemn myself to being ashamed of being a judgemental douche rather than having the guts to say, “Maybe s/he isn’t a bad guy.”
I don’t expect any of you guys to just suddenly start talking to people now, I know for a fact that it isn’t that easy. I’ve said it in the past, don’t try and force change. I implore you, however, the next time someone starts talking to you, try and get to know them by responding as yourself. Don’t try and be a cool kid, just be yourself. If the person accepts that, we’ll see how it goes. And if they aren’t great, then make that judgement call, you have the right to do it then. Respect the people that care for you and don’t give it to the ones that don’t deserve it. Realising that not everyone will like you and you won’t like everybody is a good step. At least, I think so.
But seriously, Radio Rebel. Watch it, ‘cos just…omg.
Good night, you potatoes. Enjoy the cocoa.