Understanding Social Anxiety

August 9, 2018 at 9:35 AM | Posted in Musings, Psychology | 1 Comment
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I came across this recent article about introversion and social anxiety and I was just blown away by how similar my experiences were with the writer.

I have known for a long time that I’m an introvert. I was also extremely shy as a child and kept to myself most of the time. For years, I thought I inherited my extreme shyness from my mother who was also shy and an introvert. I thought that was there to it – until I found out the term “social anxiety disorder” or SAD.

I first encountered the term when a Twitter page of an American indie film followed me on Twitter a few years ago. The film was about a guy with social anxiety disorder. Out of curiosity, I looked up the term “social anxiety disorder” and was shocked to discover that I had almost all the symptoms of the disorder. All this time I thought what I was experiencing was just a result of my extreme shyness. I didn’t know that there was a psychological term for it.

I’ve been known by my friends and family as “the quiet one” and people I’ve met always have this impression of me being suplada or masungit (cold and aloof). I know some people think of me as antisocial because I don’t interact much with coworkers or mingle with other acquaintances. But they don’t know what I’m going through. They don’t know that it stresses me out just to have a small talk with them. It causes me severe anxiety whenever I have to be around people I don’t know very well. I am fearful every time I have to attend conference call meetings with colleagues from different countries. And I hate it when I’m forced to talk or present in front of people.

I am only ever talkative when I’m around with my friends. I only feel comfortable when I’m around them where I can talk about common interests. But knowing I have social anxiety is one thing; letting people know about it is another thing. For one, there is still social stigma in my country about things related to mental health. Second, most people don’t even know what social anxiety is, let alone understand it.  So it is rather difficult to tell people about it without the risk of getting ridiculed.

Little Things

May 14, 2014 at 11:53 PM | Posted in Musings, Psychology | Leave a comment
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There’s a common saying that birds of the same feather flock together. In my case, that doesn’t always ring true. Generally, I hang out with people who share the same interests as me. My circle of friends are certainly those who I have things in common, whether in terms of interests or personality. But it’s interesting to note that my closest friends are in fact those who are the complete opposite of me. I differ greatly from their personalities. We even have different tastes in nearly about everything. And yet we blend well together somehow. We understand each other despite the fact that we have different perspectives and values in life.

But there’s also one thing that binds me with my other friends. There’s a piece of me in each of them. I see myself in them one way or another, even if it’s just the smallest detail. These little things might be trivial for some people, but for me they make up an entire character to become my collective whole.

Tip of the Iceberg

April 28, 2014 at 11:32 PM | Posted in Musings, Psychology | Leave a comment
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Three recent incidents forced me to revisit once again the common misperception that other people have about me. For starters, a new friend of mine confessed that when she first met me, she thought that I was this quiet and demure type of person. Then there was this guy who, when I happened to mention that I listen to hip-hop music, told me that I don’t look like the type who would listen to hip-hop music. I almost laughed at that but I think I raised my eyebrows instead. Recently, another woman told me practically the same thing as my new friend.

If looks are the only basis for judging a person, then I guess I’d fail miserably. I get that other people have this common misperception of me. I wear glasses and dress a bit like Rory Gilmore with an odd mixture of Daria and Blair Waldorf – if you get the drift. I am also an introvert who cherishes solitude and likes to brood once in a while (It’s why I became a writer, duh.). Personality-wise, I have similarities with Temperance Brennan. But my close friends know that I’m so much more than meets the eye. Like what I’ve said before, what you see isn’t necessarily what you get.

For instance, people would always get surprised whenever they found out that I have a tattoo (not a tiny one, mind you) and have a wild side. Like it’s a big deal. I have varying taste in music as well. I listen to rock, hip-hop, rap metal, techno/club, pop, R & B, and more. I can be a mean girl once in a while, too.

Some people like to view the world and other people in black and white. I don’t. I’m not necessarily white, but I’m not black either. I am a palette with varying shades.

The Original Idea

July 25, 2010 at 1:05 AM | Posted in Movies, Psychology | Leave a comment
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A friend of mine who majored in Psychology once told me that there is actually no original idea in the world because every person has based his idea on, or at least is inspired by someone else’s. Given this concept, that would mean that it wasn’t Christopher Nolan’s original idea to write a story about inception. Someone had planted an idea on his head to write that story and make it into a movie. It could be that he read a book before which explores the same concept and got inspired to write the screenplay. And of course I know that other people are probably thinking of the same thing, so what I’m saying now is not an original idea.

M.C. Escher's Relativity

Photo courtesy of globalgallery.com

I haven’t watched or read any interviews done with Christopher Nolan about the movie so I can’t really say for sure where he got this idea of a story about inception. I loved the movie and enjoyed it immensely but I couldn’t help but notice that it reminded me a bit of Vanilla Sky and The Matrix. The former also tackled the concept of lucid dreaming while the latter explored the difference between virtual reality and the real world. And The Architect in Inception is like The Architect in Matrix:Reloaded. But kudos to Nolan for writing the screenplay. The movie is a refreshing break from all those typical Hollywood action movies these days.

My Most List

January 18, 2008 at 10:52 AM | Posted in Animals, Food and Dining, Lifestyle, Movies, Musings, Psychology, TV | Leave a comment

1. Most Missed Food: authentic Bicol dishes
2. Most Hated Job: selling and marketing
3. Most Weird Dream: sliding down a golden staircase located underground
4. Most Anticipated

– New TV Series: (1) Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2) Cashmere Mafia
– 2008 Movies: (1) The X-Files movie sequel (still untitled – coming to cinemas this July)
(2) Sex and the City: The Movie (coming to cinemas this May)
5. Most Exciting Adventure I’ve Had: climbing a seven-tiered waterfall; exploring a cave
6. Most Supported Cause: animal rights
7. Most Boring Sport: golf
8. Most Annoying TV Ad: all the Palmolive commercials with KC Concepcion in it

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