The Everyday Girl Guide to: Stress (Social Anxiety)

July 7, 2012

I am not shy (which will actually come as a surprise to some who think they know me).  I actually like people, love having social interaction, and get a little bit down without any at all.  I am, however, a true introvert and too much social interaction, especially with large groups or unknown quantities, stresses me heavily.

Holmes and Rahe developed the Life Stress Test (the Holmes and Rahe Social Readjustment Rating).  This test shows how much “life stress” you have and, based on the numbers, is a predictor of stress-related illness.

I took a version of this test and failed.  Worse than failed, really, since my score was twice the base for failing.  I have a very high-stress life right now.  Ill parent (who I live with).  Divorce.  Children not living with me.  Multiple new jobs, new homes, new schools in the last three years.  The list goes on.

Unfortunately, all that stress translates to a poor ability to deal with new experiences.  I am supposed to be leaving for a wedding right now for two people I care about but who I’ve never met in real life.  I’m going alone, to sit with a bunch of strangers.  I haven’t been able to make myself go.

It doesn’t help that I have a job interview on Thursday and I’m worried that if I push myself through the stress of going to this wedding I may then not be able to deal with the stress of a job interview.

It sounds like excuses, right?  Maybe it is.  But I can tell you my adrenaline is up, I’m mildly ill to my stomach, and if I were the type who vomited, I’d be spending some time wishing I’d cleaned the toilet yesterday instead of five days ago.

I don’t even have a solution on this one, other than to keep your life stress reduced so you can deal with these smaller stressors… or to be willing to bypass smaller stressors when you have to deal with a bunch of big ones.

Chances are really good I’m not going to end up going, which is going to be a stressor in itself.  I may actually have to fight through some depression if I don’t go, but stress if I do.  I guess the right solution would’ve been to not put myself in this position in the first place.

Just say no?

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