A New Perspective On Social Anxiety

Anirban Saren : silhouette of boy sitting on grass at dusk looking at the sky Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

I would like to write about my privilege.

Before that, I would like to tell you a story.

Once there was a boy with a mental illness. But people didn’t know that his condition was due to mental illness. The boy acted normally except he wouldn’t socialize much. Most times he wouldn’t socialize with people and would avoid people. He would also do rude facial expressions and sweat a lot. He would sometimes passively say rude things to avoid people.

So people thought he was too arrogant and self-centered.

But the boy asked for forgiveness from God in his heart every time he did something rude. He would say to himself in his mind,” I don’t want to be rude. But I can’t help it. I have social anxiety. Hope you understand.”

Only time will tell but I hope the boy finds peace and happiness in life and so do the people in his life.

Now let’s talk about my privilege.

I have been on both the receiving and the giving end of the spectrum of the above story.

I have been through social anxiety and I have seen people go through social anxiety. I have misjudged many people and I deeply regret it. And I have been through enough situations to understand people’s pain.

My privilege is that I have been through mental illness to be able to relate to the pain of others who are going through mental illness.

The reason I wanted to bring this perspective to your attention is that I think people suffer in silence even though other people see them as inflicting the suffering.

I think we need to have more empathy and actively seek to include people.

This verse from The Bible says it best-

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” – Luke 6:37

Also, I think we need to take it one step further by trying to forgive them even before they ask for forgiveness, and by thinking good thoughts for them.

This applies to both perspectives of the story.

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