Can Extroverts Get Social Anxiety?
It is a common misconception that extroverts are loud, confident, outgoing and sociable while introverts stay at home with their meek and mild selves, too shy for social events and too self conscious to be the life of the party. But, as with most things in life, things aren’t that simple.
The Anxiety Spectrum
Anxiety disorders across the spectrum are often attributed with introvertedness, leading many to believe that extroverts are incapable of feeling intense anxiety. Agoraphobia, for instance, is an anxiety disorder triggered by an irrational fear of being unable to escape either a situation or an environment if something were to go wrong.
Someone living with agoraphobia is more unlikely to go for a shop without a cloud of crippling anxiety causing them to isolate themselves to their home. A person with social anxiety might be able to tolerate some form of social interaction, like holding down a job or going grocery shopping.
In both cases, a person living with agoraphobia or social anxiety can still be extroverted. When in a safe space or with non-triggering people, an extroverted person will still be bubbly and sociable. Here’s the thing, being extroverted or introverted is a personality trait. How you express your personality may or may not change while going through a mental health episode.
So extroverts can get anxiety?
Being extroverted doesn’t make you immune to anxiety or social aversions. People living with anxiety can appear on the outside to be confident and outgoing, but this may not reflect their inner thoughts and fears. In the words of Smokey Robinson “…Now if there’s a smile on my face, don’t let my glad expression give you the wrong impression..”
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