Is the Reason Why You Can’t Control Your Social Anxiety Linked to Having a Small Family?

Tom Cartney
Oct 13 · 5 min read

Heart pounding, blood rushing, sweat flowing, mind racing — not knowing what to do in a scary situation. People surround, laughing, talking, interacting naturally and confidently, comfortable in their skin and having the time of their lives.

Two cousins, one aunt, a father and one niece. Deaths, alcoholism and the psych ward has taken away family, unfortunately not able to talk sensibly to them for advice or support. All that is really available are five family members, and even sadly they all aren’t reliable.

Last week while jogging, a family reunion existed right in a park. There had to be over 200 people, all wearing their reunion t-shirts, just enjoying themselves without a care about what the world around them had to say. Must be nice! Uncomfortable feelings, wobbly legs, slow movements, weird thoughts infest, making it difficult to convince another day’s run near this lively park.

Seeing the other runners in such a good mood — so bubbly, so energetic, and so confident — doesn’t really satisfy. Wishing them success and being happy for their fantastic lives can only go so far, you still have to go home and deal with the fact that your life is horrible.

A grilled cheese sandwich, grape juice, an apple and potato chips on a plate that sits on the living room’s coffee table. Eating this meal is a satisfaction, while watching reruns of the old 90’s sitcom, Friends. The phone doesn’t ring and no one to call, sleep takes over the body before having the chance to put the dishes away.

While the rest of the world is out buying gifts for family, having birthday parties, taking the elders to their doctor’s appointments and sharing stories throughout the day, the floor is being vacuumed, the TV is being watched and even the light bulbs are being cleaned. How to become more confident and make more friends?

The support of family is extremely critical for success in just about everything in life. Grandma will tell you that you are pretty/handsome and will cook food for you every time she sees you. You mother with shower you with kisses, always having a place for you to stay if you fall flat on your face. Your father and uncles will address anyone who has a problem with the way that you do things. Your cousins will keep you entertained. Your aunts will buy you the gifts that you need and provide information to you that will make you a stronger human. The list goes on. Who wouldn’t have a more confident and productive life if these people were in it? And not only having one or two of each type of family member, but 5–10 or even more of each? How “couldn’t” social anxiety live with this much support? With this power, you can conquer the world.

But, is not having a large family an excuse for letting your social anxiety win? Who do you have in your life to get you through those difficult times when someone laughs at an idea that you share? Or those times when someone talks to you because they think you’re awesome, who will provide guidance on how to deal with those people? Who will teach you how to make friends?

Being alone in this world or with a minimum of people in your corner can cause anxiety, as the world can be a very high energy place of people that can leave you puzzled if you’re clueless on how to deal with various frightening social matters. If only you had the right answers, and the support, then maybe you probably wouldn’t be so worried.

Hypothetically speaking, if you managed to defeat social anxiety without the support of your family, what would you become?

There are many cases of individuals who have developed a confident life of supporters who are unrelated to them. They’ve taken their talents and skills and found a community and networked. Sometimes it takes someone you can trust to open the door for you. They’ll provide the necessary support needed for you to eradicate that social anxiety feeling so that you can live a joyous and high-yielding life. You’ll eventually develop an unrelated family that you can depend on to get you through all of your social complications. You can do it! You just have to want to do it.

One day, you heart will not pound hardly, your blood will not rush quickly, sweat will not develop and your mind will not race — as they do now — during those particular so-called scary moments. You will have the time of your life, instead of those uncomfortable feelings of embarrassment, worry and fear in those various challenging social occurrences. Family is important, but what you really need is just people, people who will genuinely support your life throughout any given day.

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