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Social Anxiety: Has it affected your travels?

Travel Forums General Talk Social Anxiety: Has it affected your travels?

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1. Posted by evakan (Full Member 188 posts) 11y

Hello Everyone,

I know that one of the main benefits of travel is to meet new people, and I love meeting new people!

I do have mild social anxiety, but it is very rarely a problem. However there are some situations wich are extremely difficult for me. For example, being a new arrival in a crowded hostel where many people have already met each other may be very uncomfortable for me and I may have trouble with breaking the ice and striking up a conversation with any fellow travellers.

Of course I will not let this come between me and my travels. I know it is a bit silly, but I would like to know if any one in TP land has felt the same way. And more importantly, if any one has conquered their social fears by being forced to constantly interact with many people through travel.

Thanks.

2. Posted by Blitz198 (Full Member 99 posts) 11y

Sometimes I get that. I'm kinda shy, and that doenst help. Just ask a person where theyre going, or where they've been. Chances are, you'll have something to talk about.

3. Posted by evakan (Full Member 188 posts) 11y

Quoting Blitz198

Sometimes I get that. I'm kinda shy, and that doenst help. Just ask a person where theyre going, or where they've been. Chances are, you'll have something to talk about.

Yeah. Like I said it definately won't stop me from travelling. I was just wondering...:)

4. Posted by moscowmetr (Full Member 267 posts) 11y

three of the utmost terrible questions to ask, or worse to be asked while travelling.

Where you going?
Where you been?
Where you from?

The benifit of travel is to meet people from different parts of the world and understand their perspective on interesting issues that present themselves to us all. -snip- Stop worrying what other people think about you.

[ Edit: Keep it nice mate.... read the forum rules... ]

5. Posted by AlexT (Respected Member 245 posts) 11y

I have never really had that problem. I can talk to anyone about anything... I guess I dont have enough self-respect or am self conscious enough to suffer from too much social anxiety. At times I just want space so I avoid social interaction. I suffer from the social anxiety more at home than abroad... I guess travel is very liberating in that way...

6. Posted by BlankFrack (Respected Member 280 posts) 11y

Moscowmetr, fair enough you have a point about the repetitive travel questions, but that's completely out of order to tell evakan to "grow up". Anxiety conditions are a very real medical condition, they're not some sign of weakness or a cue to start belittling someone. As someone who has had an anxiety condition (though not anything to do with social anxiety) I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone come up with their terrific solution of "stop being a pussy and grow up". It really doesn't help!

7. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 11y

Hear Hear Stuart;)

Evan, you will be fine, I'm a lot older & wider travelled than you
& are also feeling anxious about my next travels & being alone.. but with such like minded travellers out there, it is easy to fit in even
to an established group - just stay away from the negative one's like moscowmetr

8. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Hi Evan,

I know exactly what you mean. I'm fine once I get to know ppl - its the getting to know them I find hard.

I was in a hostel here in Ireland only a few wknds ago, and I walked into the kitchen area and for some reason I felt my face burning up. Silly at 26!

And here's me getting ready to head off around the world! Hmmm...

I'm sure I'll never get over it.

9. Posted by Mikey B (Respected Member 181 posts) 11y

I think in reality most people are going to feel awkward at one time or another in a place full of strangers.

I know from personal experience that arriving somewhere like Bangkok for the first time on your own and checking in to a guesthouse full of travellers it can seem like everyone is in a group of friends and you're the only one on your own.

Ironically it can be harder in these places to strike up conversations with people than it is when you find yourself somewhere where there are only a few travellers.

However you soon find that there are plenty of people in the same situation as you that are equally as keen to get to know new people.

Like others have already said, just ignore the idiots and negative people. Let's face it you come across them no matter where you are in the world

10. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Hi evakan,

Yup, I hear you! I've been shy since I can remember, and although it's gotten better with time it never completly goes away. I don't think it's something one can "get over" - it's kinda just the way we are. The trick, I think, is to realize it's perfectly OK to be more quiet than most people.

I must say, though, that travelling on my own seems to shake off those inhibitions. By the end of my trip, I'm the one talking a mile a minute to some poor, unsuspecting stranger. I remember an old Anne Landers' column (she's like Dear Abby or Agony Aunt) that said: when you don't know what to say, ask questions! That usually works.

Tway.