Anxiety – a Substitute for People?

I had a dream last night.  In it, I was with some high school chums that were important people to me back then.  I haven’t seen them in years.  I woke up wishing I had kept in touch with them.

In high school and college, it was easy to have friends.  They were right there every day.  After college it was a different story.  I met people on the job, but that is not the same as school buddies.  After college as a young man, I was lonely most of the time.  I had few close friends.  I chose a perfect job for isolation: a computer programmer.  No one cared if I had any people skills as long as I could crank out the programs on schedule. People even expected programmers to be loners.

Show me a person with anxiety and I will show you a person who is lonely and isolated. That doesn’t mean they don’t have friends.  It means they don’t connect with people in ways that feel good and fill their need for human attachment.

When anyone tells me that they get nervous around other people (Social Anxiety), I know that they don’t connect with people well.  All the deep breathing in the world is not going to help them until they start taking the risk of connecting.

I know this because I grew up as an intensely shy and introverted person. I had to learn to connect.

Action Item:

Reach out and touch someone today.  Call a friend or family member.  Tell them you were thinking about them and ask how things are going.  If you haven’t done this for awhile, expect some discomfort.  Ask yourself, “do I want to be comfortable or do I want to grow?”


About almondhead

I am a mental health counselor in private practice. One of the focuses of my practice is helping people with fear, anxiety and their ugly stepsister, depression. I became a counselor after a long career in the technology world, so naturally, I think of the brain as an engineering problem. It can help to understand something about how the brain works. I decided to start this blog as a way to help other people learn about fear, anxiety and relationship. (All our problems are really about relationships.) You can also find me at:
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