Social Anxiety and Being Rare?


Ugh, sorry you guys, I ask a lot of questions, I know. You’re probably tired of me talking about my race, but these things are a part of me, and I’m truly curious.

I can’t be alone in a crowd without someone I know. I’ll start to hyperventilate and sometimes I even cry, which makes it worse because there’s no one there to comfort me. This weekend, I’m going to a youth retreat with my church. I know people in my church, but I don’t know them very well. There will will be people from all over Ohio going to this retreat, because the Episcopal faith is prominent here. My best friend is a part of my church, but her senior dance is the same night of the retreat and she might not be able to go, and I’m afraid to be alone for three days with people that I don’t know. I know that they won’t hurt me, because I’ve met them once years ago, but I’m still very scared.

Another thing, I’m always the only black person at these things. It doesn’t bother me, but it’s sort of awkward when they talk about things that only applies to white people, or they try painfully hard to include me in on conversations.

How do I get over my fear of crowds and how do I make being the only black person less awkward?

Category: Tags: asked April 6, 2015

2 Answers

I'm sorry that I don't have any advice for you. That is a cultural experience that I have not had to have, nor can I properly understand.However, I just wanted to wish you the best, and above all: love yourself. If you can find the confidence in yourself, I feel that your issues will diminish if not disappear entirely.Wishing you well.
The only way to get over your fear of crowds is to be in them. It's called exposure therapy. It's uncomfortable, scary, and effective. Notice when nothing bad happens, and gradually it will become a bit easier. I can say this because I too suffer from social anxiety.Your friend being there is like a crutch. Even though it would be much easier with her there, if she can't go this time, it could be an opportunity for you to "crowd without training wheels" so to speak. I know it can be terrifying, and your concerns about being the only black girl there are totally understandable as well. It's part of social anxiety and low self-esteem.You have to go through the pain to get through the pain.And you can.