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Post Social Interaction Anxiety and ADHD

Impulsiveness and ADHD go hand in hand.  Especially when we are talking. Often, a lot of the social anxiety ADHD people deal with is after the interaction when its rolling around in our brain and we recall the conversation. We can often feel sad and worried that what we said, or how we said it will make you think badly of us.

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If you have a friend with ADHD you can often help them let go of such anxieties by touching base with them via text or quick call or note letting them know you really enjoyed the visit and look forward to it again soon. It helps them break the cycle of obsessing over the whole interaction hoping they didn't offend you in some way.

If you have not heard from your ADHD friend in a while. It may be that they are stuck in the anxiety loop worried about contacting you again because they have convinced themselves that you really only tolerate them.

Reach out.

It really makes a HUGE difference for me when I get home from visiting a friend and find a Facebook message or email or quick text saying " I'm so glad we spent time together today/yesterday/last week! Let's do it again soon"

I also know which of my friends can benefit from that and do it with them myself. Because I know they have post social interaction anxiety like I do.

It's like your friend or family worrying about you when you are driving a long distance and they will worry until they know you got home safe, so you want to relieve their anxiety by calling when you get home safe.

Just because they don't tell you they have anxiety doesn't mean they don't. So, be a good friend and help relieve an unhealthy and unwarranted stress.

How do I help my own post social anxiety?

One of the biggest drivers of anxiety is getting stuck in a negative mindset loop.

The best thing you can do for yourself when you find yourself analysing a recent social encounter negatively is to break the loop.

Quickly change your activity physically. If you were thinking while sitting- Stand up. Go to a different room. Distract your mind quickly. Sing a song or blurt out a silly saying like " I am stuck on bandaid brand cause bandaid stuck on me!!!"

It sounds silly, I know... but it works!

You could also be brave if you can't stop the negative analysing. Text that person and say " hey, was just thinking about our lunch yesterday. I enjoyed it. Thanks!" You're being positive about your social engagement, and giving them an opportunity to confirm back to you that it was good for them too. If your anxiety is so deep that you think they are just saying that... chances are everyhing is good and your anxiety goons are just tring to beat you up and knock you out of the game. Don't let them!

In that kind of situation you could go over a social encounter with another person.

Call a closer friend and ask them to go over the encounter with you. "I'm being negative and I want to be sure it's just my anxiety and not an actual situation". Explain the encounter and ask for reassurance. But, this can only be helpful if your freind is unbiased and neutral about the other person you had the social interaction with. If they dislike your conworker for you cause they got the promotion you didn't... your friend might read the encounter differently and be less neutral. That will backfire on you trying to end your post social anxiety loop.

Also... you could chose to be open and honest with the person you are having post social anxiety about.

You could message them or email, or call and ask, "hey. It's me...sorry to sound so silly, my anxiety is out playing today. I just wanted to be sure you and I are good. It is trying to make me believe that you maybe took xyz the wrong way."

This last option can feel scary to do. It depends on who the person was for the most part. If it is a closer friend...do it. If it is an aquaintance and it feels too awkward and heavy, because they don't know you have anxiety... don't do it. It will just give you post anxiety about trying to deal with your post anxiety and feeds the negative loop.

The bottom line is... shake up the negative thought cycle when it happens. The more often you interrupt an anxiety loop, the shorter they last.

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