The following is an extract of the views expressed by one of our group members. It is been reproduced here with their explicit permission. Would love to hear your comments and reflections. Odhran

Looking back on my life, I can see it wasn’t so much social anxiety itself as what I did with it that caused most of my problems.

One thing I would say is I wish I had been more honest and open about what was going on for me, rather than backing out of things and coming up with excuses as much as I did.

I think a better approach would have been to say ‘I have a problem with anxiety at the moment – I’m working on it and I’m getting help with it – but I would find it difficult to go to do ……. and go ……. at the moment, could we go here and do this instead’. So not just saying to the other person that I can’t do these things and letting that be the end of the story, but giving an alternative (maybe you can go this place or do this instead) and if you can, letting the other person know that you are taking steps to address the issue.

I’m not talking about announcing to the world that you have anxiety as if though it is your identity. I’m just talking about the appropriate circumstances and with the appropriate people – if it comes up and it’s causing problems – to take a chance and be open with people. And again if you say you’re getting help with it, I think people generally respond well to that.

And I do wish that I had done that with certain people in the past, given them a chance to step up to the plate. And maybe they would have and maybe they wouldn’t, there are no guarantees, but at least I would have done everything I could have on my ends of things.

Bye for now

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