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Is Your Anxiety Making You Look Like a Jerk?

Kris Connor / Stringer
Kris Connor / Stringer

A writer for Thought Catalog, Holly Riodan, has caught my attention with an article she published on the Thought Catalog website. She explains how her anxiety makes her look like a jerk even though that isn’t her intentions. As someone who struggles constantly with anxiety and depression I can relate to this.

“I come across as a snob, because I find it hard to talk, hard to force a smile. But I’m not trying to be a bitch,” Riodan says. “I’m only trying to survive because, to me, social interaction is a war zone. It makes my cheeks redden, my lungs flutter.”

I love this quote because it is so honest. Riodan explains that almost every form of communication is difficult for her. I can’t relate completely to this statement because not “all forms of communication” is difficult for me. Anxiety has multiple forms and has a different impact on each person.

I struggle with large groups. I struggle with being put on the spot or being in the spotlight in general. I struggle with reaching out to people and staying connected to those I love. This is something I strive to be better at, but I am not perfect.

Your Tango explains it perfectly! They mention in an article that people with anxiety either talk a mile a minute or say nothing at all. This shows the double edge sword of anxiety. That one minute we can be “social butterflies” as Your Tango puts it or completely shut off to the world.

“And if I need to compose myself, I’ll escape to the bathroom and heavy breathe inside of a stall or splash water across my face, and then walk back into the room like I’m perfectly fine,” Riodan continues.

The struggle is real, and I don’t mean that as a joke. It is tough. Everyday can be a battle. If you do struggle with anxiety, I hope you find the courage to fight to stay above it and not let it define who you are or the person you want to be. If you have a friend or loved one who struggles with anxiety, I hope you find the strength to be supportive and encouraging.

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