I can say that I’ve become a regular participant in class discussions, but that’s a lie (a lie big enough to make many teachers roll their eyes). However, it became a regular occurrence for my classmates to come to me after class and ask for my opinion on what we had learned.
Conversations about homework led to discussions about life, and to my surprise, I found myself to be an incredible conversationalist. And my years of obsessing over every detail of every social interaction has helped me to sense people’s moods and know when someone is upset. I have improved my ability to know if something is making me feel uncomfortable.
of martial law, There is a famous saying of the Chinese general Sun Tzu, “Know your enemy.” After years of thinking that people were my enemies, I became an informal expert in understanding how emotions work and reading between the lines of what people told me. , social anxiety was what I thought was the biggest impediment to my ability to make friends, and it became the most effective tool for having meaningful conversations.
If this were a fairy tale, all my problems would have been solved here and I would have lived happily ever after. But real life is never easy. I learned better ways to deal with my social anxiety, but it still severely impacts my daily life.
I’m still scared to talk to people. There are many days when I want to go to Antarctica. But I’ve learned that connections are two-way. It’s like sensing your friend’s mood and letting them know when you’re not feeling well. When I withdraw into the darkness, it comforts me to know that my friends are there to pull me back towards the light.
This article is part of Stripe, a special publication on bdnews24.com that focuses on culture and society from a youth perspective.