Anxiety

Like a lot of people with Aspergers that I have met both online and offline, I am what you might call a naturally anxious person. My main source of anxiety is social interaction. I have improved a lot in this area since starting work as social interaction is a necessity but there are still certain circumstances that will always act as a trigger for my anxiety.

One of these is being assertive. I know that, culturally British people are often stereotyped as being very polite and passive but I take it to an extreme! This comes from a fear of confrontation and a fear of making people angry. To me, someone raising their voice is as intimidating as them raising their fist. I find it very hard to judge how people may react in certain situations such as how a member of staff in a restaurant might react if I were to complain about the quality of the food. Although logically I know that it is their job to be able to deal with people making complaints, my mind starts feverishly over thinking and coming up with scenarios about how angry they might be and so I clam up and don’t say anything.

I like to be in control of my interaction and so, anything that is different from my usual social experience, tends to make me feel quite anxious. An example is ordering a taxi or a takeaway delivery-something that most adults my age give little thought to as it’s an easy task. For me, it takes around 15 minutes to pluck up the courage to dial the number. My biggest achievement recently was having the courage to cancel a taxi that I no longer needed. Again, not something that would bother most people but makes me very nervous that I will have angered them.

Then, of course, there is the anxiety brought on by sensory discomforts. I can’t cope with crowds and loud noises can terrify me. As a young child, pre diagnosis, I used to attend my primary school annual Bonfire Night display wearing large ear muffs as the bangs scared me so much. These days, it is not so common for me to become anxious through sensory situations as I have learned what triggers my anxiety and so avoid these triggers where possible (I am lucky as I don’t have as many sensory issues as some people on the autistic spectrum and so it is relatively easy for me to avoid my triggers).

I often find myself reflecting on what it would be like to not be so anxious over things that others may term as trivial. In ways, I think I would be a lot more easy going and chilled out but I think, in ways, anxiety makes me more sensitive to other people and this is not always a bad thing.

Anyway, that’s me done for today-just some musings on my personality!

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5 Responses to Anxiety

  1. This sums up much of how I feel. Thanks for putting it into words so clearly.

  2. sjmarsh2013 says:

    Thanks for reading and commenting, progmike.

  3. marieolivia says:

    I’ve been thinking the same thing, ‘what would it be like to not be so anxious about things’! Because, think about it, how much energy do you spend every day worrying! And if you hadn’t spent it worrying, think about all the energy you would have for other things, positive things, and not to mention time. Because sometimes, I actually spend TIME worrying. It sucks. But I also agree with what you said about being more sensitive to other people and picking up on small things.

  4. Aspie Guy says:

    I know exactly how you feel regarding the ordering of things over the phone! I always feel so awkward on the phone, although I’m not all that much better face-to-face I guess. 🙂

  5. Angela Goodwin says:

    I do not like talking to companies on the phone. Arranging phone contracts or getting a problem solved is horrible for me so I do try to avoid at all costs which can get me into trouble. Oddly enough getting my hair cut at vidal sassoon always leaves me highly strung even though it’s enjoyable as it takes so long.

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