I was delighted to see that at least two people identified with the sentiments of my last post. Delighted that they really got it. Why? Why do I care whether others feel the same way as I do?
As children, our natural tendencies are to want to be like everyone else. We fear being singled out as “different”. But as we grow up, we don’t mind that so much. We even want to be different, to be individuals, not one of the herd. Up to a point. Because if we’re too different, we’re considered weird and that’s not good.
So we hail our individuality and then seek out similar individuals. We form groups of individuals who are all the same. Because really, most of us don’t want to be different at all.
People who suffer from social anxiety feel very different. They know that others think they’re weird and this increases their discomfort in society and causes them to hide from it. Most people who join a social anxiety forum say this: “I thought I was the only one in the world with these problems. I’m so glad to have found other people who go through what I go through.”
This is one of the reasons why I want to publicise the disorder. To help sufferers to feel less isolated in a tough world. We all need to connect to others who understand.
“No man is an island, entire of itself.” ~John Donne (1572 – 1631)