19 Secrets of 'Talkative' People With Social Anxiety
Being a “social” person with social anxiety might sound a bit like an oxymoron — akin to “jumbo shrimp” or “exact estimate.” But the truth is, having social anxiety and being a talkative person are not mutually exclusive.
Sometimes, what looks like being the “life of the party” may actually be a coping technique to mask the anxiety going on within. Other times, talking too much and too fast may be a way of overcompensating for feelings of social inadequacy. If an outgoing friend confides in you about a struggle with social anxiety, validate their feelings and try to understand where they are coming from — chances are it took a lot for them to share.
We wanted to know what outgoing people with social anxiety had to say about this, so we asked “talkative” members of our mental health community who live with social anxiety to share one thing they wish others understood about them.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. “You think I’m super outgoing, but I’m actually talking nonstop because I’m so nervous. A lot of the time later on when I’m alone, I replay the conversation we had and hate myself for half the stuff I said. To you, the whole thing was just a ‘normal’ conversation. To me, it’s so much more complex than that.” — Hannah L.
2. “I may look comfortable continuously talking for hours, but inside me is the anxiety and unexplainable embarrassment waiting to burst. I feel like the moment I stop, people will completely lose interest in me — as if it’s the only thing I can offer.” — John B.
3. “I overanalyze every single conversation, every single word spoken to me or about me. I know it can be irrational, but it’s just how my brain processes other people’s words, meanings and implications (whether they’re good or not).” — Elizabeth G.
4. “[I wish others knew] that we can be close friends and spend almost every day together for months and then — seemingly out of the blue — I won’t come around or hang out or even text as much. I might even try to avoid running into you out in public. It’s nothing personal, sometimes the interaction with friends or family is even more overwhelming than usual. Don’t give up on me though, I’ll be back.” — Layla M.
5. “I wish other people understood that just because I’m good at social interaction does not in any way mean I don’t have social anxiety.” — Daniel J.