battling social anxiety

lauren sims social anxietyA few weeks ago on snapchat, I talked about going to an event I REALLY didn’t want to go to. Don’t get me wrong – the brand was adorable and I knew the event would be a blast (cocktails, cupcakes, free stuff)…but being the introvert that I am, the social anxiety started creeping in. “I won’t know anyone, I’m going to have to talk to so many people I don’t know. What if I’m awkward? What if people don’t like me?”, etc.lauren sims social anxietyI was so surprised when I snap chatted about this struggle and being introverted, SO many of you said you have the same problem! So, today I want to share some about my struggle with social anxiety, why it’s important to battle it, and things the Lord has shown me recently that have helped me to battle it.

SO, first of all. I’m an introvert. I like being by myself. I feel energized and refreshed after having time alone. I have a small group of maybe 5-7 best friends or family that I truly know, and that truly know me. Outside of that, I’m not the most social person on the face of the planet. I love to just be at home with Michael and Beau. And honestly, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that!lauren sims social anxiety

The problem comes in when this ‘introverted-ness’ leads to isolation, or a fear of man, or fear of what other people think of me. Because what’s at the root of that? Insecurity. Here’s a few examples my social anxiety kind of looks like:

  • I don’t like going to events (when I say ‘events’, I mean blogging events – store openings, fashion week, anything of that nature), because I’m afraid I won’t know anyone, or I’ll be awkward in conversation or people won’t like me.
  • I avoid social things even with people I’d consider acquaintances – because I prefer to just be at home either by myself or with my fam. Because that’s just easier for me
  • I have a fear of disappointing people

Do any of these things resonate with you? If so, I want to share a few things I’ve learned about this social anxiety struggle and how I battle it.

Acceptance is like an antibiotic that prevents past rejections from turning into present-day infections. The need for belonging runs deep.”
― Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely

lauren sims social anxiety

First thing I have to say is, sometimes you just have to make yourself go. Go to the event, go grab coffee with that old girl friend…because if you don’t face your fears, you will never get past it. And ALSO, because I can honestly say anytime I choose to ‘just go’…it is legitimately worth it every time. That store event I went to in Boulder a few weeks ago, for instance…I met several sweet girls, connected with the store owner, and got to share my blog with a lot of people in Boulder who had never heard of it before. I learned about new restaurants to try, and had several really great conversations. The hardest part about going to the event was literally just getting in my car and driving there.

lauren sims social anxietyThe second thing I have to say is: this social anxiety is NOT from the Lord. It’s from the enemy. God designed us to be in relationship with other people – both Christians and non Christians. We were not made to be in isolation. Isolation leads to selfishness and a skewed perspective on life. Anytime you’re tempted to blow off that coffee date or not meet your girlfriends for dinner…9 times out of 10, I’d say it’s the enemy trying to keep you in isolation, and keep you from life-giving relationships. (Obviously there are times where you legit just need to be home and rest, and that’s another topic!)

lauren sims social anxietyLastly…the Lord has been teaching me something so sweet recently about this battle with social anxiety. I found myself thinking “okay, who do I NOT have social anxiety around?” There are a few people on my list, but Michael was the first person who came to mind. And I wondered ‘okay, why do I not have social anxiety with Michael?’, and realized that it’s because I feel intimately and fully known yet infinitely and unconditionally loved by Michael. And this is what’s at the true root of social anxiety.

lauren sims social anxiety

Outfit details: striped OTS top | denim cut-off shorts | crossbody bag | slide sandals | earrings | sunglasses

Once I realized what my social anxiety was really rooted in…I was able to remind myself of truth. The truth is, I am intimately and fully known, yet unconditionally and infinitely loved by my Creator. No matter what people think of me or don’t think of me, or how awkward or not awkward our conversations are…I am already fully loved by Christ, and that will always be more than enough. That will always be more satisfying and life-giving than ANY one else’s approval of me! And there is so much life and freedom and security in that!

So, I hope this encourages you if you also battle social anxiety! First of all, know that you are not alone. So many girls have this same struggle. Second of all – know that no matter how you feel about yourself or how other people make you feel…you are already perfectly and infinitely loved. Now…go into that next coffee date with your girlfriend with all boldness and confidence in that truth!

“If we live rooted and established in His love, we don’t just have knowledge of His love in our minds, but it becomes a reality that anchors us.” – Lysa TerKeurst

Shop the post:

41 Comments

41 Comments on battling social anxiety

  1. Sally
    June 8, 2017 at 6:34 am (2 weeks ago)

    I absolutely LOVE this and I totally relate! I am an introvert by nature and going to events scares me because I don’t want to feel left out or uninvited (love Lysa’s book!!). Sometimes it can be discouraging to see all of these girls with big personalities and always having something to talk about or someone that they’re friends with… The Lord is our source of strength and joy, though! Thank you for writing this and shining His light!

    Sweetly, Sally // http://www.sweetlysally.com

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 12:26 pm (2 weeks ago)

      girl i feel ya and have had those exact same thoughts! it is SO important to remember though that the Lord designed each of us exactly how we are for a specific reason. there are certain strengths and character traits you bring into those events that other girls don’t.
      thank you for reading and for your encouragement!

      Reply
  2. Madi
    June 8, 2017 at 8:08 am (2 weeks ago)

    Lauren! Love your post, THANK YOU for sharing the struggles you’ve had. As someone with an anxiety disorder, I can relate! Your post is not only relatable but I believe at the core of what God challenges us to do, to share, thus helping those around you. Can’t thank you enough for being brave enough to share the rawness of your heart. You are incredible and I felt so encouraged to know I am not alone in the struggle! Having met you before, I wouldn’t have even known you shared those struggles due to your sweet, bubbly personality, the Lord radiates from within you!

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 12:25 pm (2 weeks ago)

      aw this seriously encouraged me so much! thank you so much for taking the time to read and to leave such kind words. means SO much to me!

      Reply
  3. Gina Heuerman
    June 8, 2017 at 8:12 am (2 weeks ago)

    Thank u! I needed that today! I am 39 y.o. And have my future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party this weekend! Really want to go celebrate with her but dreading socializing with all her (much younger) family and friends! Fearing I will appear awkward and they won’t like me or think I am fun! So, anyhow, this post actually brought me to tears cause it is just what I needed to hear at the right time! So, thank you! Oh, and as usual, you look SO cute! I buy a lot of your recommendations and love following your fashion!!

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 12:24 pm (2 weeks ago)

      aw i’m so glad this encouraged you! and seriously, weekends like that can be my worst nightmare. just remember the Lord has you there for a reason – maybe to really connect and encourage and be a light to those younger girls!
      thanks so much for reading and for your encouragement. the lord will be with you this weekend, even when you might feel anxious or alone. he’s always there!

      Reply
  4. Hannah
    June 8, 2017 at 8:13 am (2 weeks ago)

    I really love and appreciate this post! I have always been an introvert and have social anxiety at times as well. It definitely can be so worth it when you make yourself just do it! ?

    -Hannah Noland
    roselining.com
    @rose_lining

    Reply
  5. TML
    June 8, 2017 at 8:13 am (2 weeks ago)

    Absolutely love this post Lauren!!!! I’m in marketing, and am supposed to have no problem chatting it up with someone at an event, but I still find myself struggling with the “what are they thinking of me?” question in my mind. So nice to see that other people have the same insecurity.

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 12:22 pm (2 weeks ago)

      yessss that’s exactly how i feel as a blogger! you are definitely not alone. thank you for reading and for your encouragement!

      Reply
  6. On the Half Shell Blog
    June 8, 2017 at 8:28 am (2 weeks ago)

    Thank you for sharing this message Lauren! I struggle with the same thing and have for as long as I can remember. Lysa’s book spoke so much truth into my life and has helped me understand what it means to truly live loved. Keep sharing your heart girlfriend, your words of encouragement were just what I needed this morning!

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 12:22 pm (2 weeks ago)

      aw so glad this resonated with you! and seriously Lysa’s book changed my life, and i think everyone needs to read it! guys too! thank you so much for reading and for your encouragement!

      Reply
  7. Lauren
    June 8, 2017 at 8:28 am (2 weeks ago)

    Such a great post, Lauren! I feel the exact same way about blogger events and social anxiety. Thanks for the great tips and I love how you incorporated scripture into it!

    Lauren
    http://www.itsallgoodblog.com

    Reply
  8. Christine
    June 8, 2017 at 9:51 am (2 weeks ago)

    Oh I truly needed to read this today! Thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing! Your faith and love for Christ is always inspiring and something I admire about you! I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now and have loved seeing it and you grow! Keep on being a light for the Lord and spreading that love!

    XX,
    Christine

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 12:21 pm (2 weeks ago)

      thank you so much Christine, both for your encouragement and for following the blog! means the world to me!

      Reply
  9. Alana
    June 8, 2017 at 11:05 am (2 weeks ago)

    Thank you for sharing this Lauren. I feel I could relate to this post on so many levels and I love what you stand for and Who you stand for. He is going to bless you greatly!

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 12:20 pm (2 weeks ago)

      aw thank you so much for your reading and your encouragement! means so much!

      Reply
  10. Taylor
    June 8, 2017 at 11:22 am (2 weeks ago)

    I am the EXACT same way. Like to a T. Thank you for your tips and advice – it was super helpful! So wonderful realizing I’m not the only one that struggles with this.

    Taylor | http://www.thestyledpress.com

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 12:19 pm (2 weeks ago)

      aw so glad that this was helpful for you! thank you for reading! <3

      Reply
  11. Paige
    June 8, 2017 at 12:06 pm (2 weeks ago)

    it is so nice knowing im not alone in this. when i was reading this i thought wow this is me all the way. social anxiety sucks so bad and can be truly debilitating. but its comforting to know that many others have this fear.

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 12:19 pm (2 weeks ago)

      yeah girl you’re definitely not alone at all! i think so many people have this issue – they’re just afraid to talk about it!

      Reply
  12. Katie
    June 8, 2017 at 12:08 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Lauren – this was infinitely encouraging. Thanks for boldly sharing that truth with me & everyone else. I’ve had an internal struggle with this for a LONG time, but, have been afraid to talk about it with anyone. Your words are really sticking with me and I so very appreciate your vulnerability in sharing. Jesus is greater than any fear that we have!

    In Christ,
    Katie

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 12:18 pm (2 weeks ago)

      girl i feel ya on being afraid to talk about it! but that’s exactly what the enemy wants – for us to keep this struggle private so that we stay stuck in it. definitely talk it through with close friends and continue to find peace and security in christ! thanks for reading and for your encouragement!

      Reply
  13. Christine
    June 8, 2017 at 1:01 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Thank you so much for this, Lauren! I can’t tell you how many times my heart’s started racing after hearing “We’re gonna go around the room and introduce ourselves.” I tend to blush when I’m the center of attention, and the fear of blushing only leads to more anxiety. It all has to do with my fear of being judged or disliked. 🙁

    It’s kind of crazy that I’ve never talked about this with anyone yet I’m talking about it here! I appreciate you sharing your story and being vulnerable – one of the many reasons why you’re my favorite blogger!

    xo
    Christine

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 10:34 pm (2 weeks ago)

      aw thank you so much for sharing your struggle – i 100% can relate to this! you’re not alone girl. keep reminding yourself though that you are perfectly loved by your Creator who knows you better than anyone else! thank you for reading and for your encouragement!

      Reply
  14. Kate
    June 8, 2017 at 1:24 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Whew! That’ll preach! SO good!! I moved to a new city a few months ago and I’m going to dinner with my first (and only, for now) “friend” here for the first time this evening. I’ve struggled with wanting to cancel because those first few interactions before a friendship forms can be very uncomfortable, but the reward is so life-giving and worth it! Thankful the Lord whispered these truths to your heart and thankful that you shared! Blessings!

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 10:33 pm (2 weeks ago)

      yeah girl i totally feel you on the new city new friends thing! hope the dinner went well! thanks so much for sharing and for your encouragement!

      Reply
  15. Mary-Katherine
    June 8, 2017 at 3:35 pm (2 weeks ago)

    In so many ways I can relate to this post! I will say that sometimes it is so much easier than others, but I so appreciate your newfound outlook. That’s so profoundly true and somehow hadn’t crossed my mind. Definitely going to be keeping the Lord’s love in mind next time!

    Reply
  16. Amanda Howard
    June 8, 2017 at 3:58 pm (2 weeks ago)

    I’d just like to say I always find myself wishing I could meet you & have a drink with you! I love following your blog and social media outlets! You come across as such a loving and beautiful person! ???

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 10:32 pm (2 weeks ago)

      aw yesss i would love that!! thanks for your sweet words!

      Reply
  17. Gracie
    June 8, 2017 at 4:15 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Lauren, I struggled with social anxiety around my boyfriends family… they are all engineers and I felt like what I had to say wasn’t good enough or I couldn’t share about my life because it was so different, so I would just shut down. I’m learning to combat it and remember what the lord thinks of me and how uniquely made I am and to be confident in whatever I say. This post reminded me that I’m not alone!

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 10:32 pm (2 weeks ago)

      i can totally relate to that! but you are so right – remember that you are exactly how you are and who you are for a specific purpose! thanks for reading and for sharing!

      Reply
  18. Clara Kilman
    June 8, 2017 at 4:28 pm (2 weeks ago)

    This was such a timely post for me and brought tears to my eyes!! Thank you for sharing and thank you for the encouragement that truly helped!

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 8, 2017 at 10:31 pm (2 weeks ago)

      aw you are so welcome! so glad it was encouraging to you!

      Reply
  19. Hannah
    June 8, 2017 at 4:59 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Thank you for posting this!! I am always so concerned with how people view me and therefore I’ll skip opportunities or moments because I’m embarrassed people will see me or judge me. For example, I don’t have a car and I was going to bike to the gym but I was getting anxiety thinking that people would judge me for biking there and not driving–as the gym’s members all have nice cars. So I skipped my workout that I was craving and really wanting to do because I thought if I was spotted biking at the gym I would be judged. It’s so ridiculous and silly but I struggle with stuff like that. So hearing your wisdom on this and what the Lord has to say was amazing. Because at the end of the day He is the only person I need and He is only one who I should care about, not other’s people’s opinion.

    Reply
  20. Kamk
    June 8, 2017 at 6:06 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Such a good post lo! So honest and vulnerable but so encouraging for people! Glad you were able to share this!!

    Reply
  21. Yare
    June 9, 2017 at 9:21 am (2 weeks ago)

    Wow, I am not one to leave comments just because even this causes me anxiety. This post was so beautifully written and so inspiring. There are times that I forget to put the LORD first, thank you for reminding me that his opinion and judgement is the only one that truly matters. Have a blessed day

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 15, 2017 at 10:37 am (1 week ago)

      thank you so much for reading! you are totally not alone in your struggle – putting the Lord first will always be a battle but it is always so worth it and so life giving!

      Reply
  22. Samantha Skelton
    June 12, 2017 at 12:14 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Lauren,

    This post just made my week! Thank you so much for sharing, I think you took the words right out of my mouth! Social anxiety is something that I’ve struggled with for a while now, but people don’t always talk about it. I completely agree that some of the best collaborations and learning experiences come from telling ourselves to go and get out of our comfort zones!

    Reply
  23. Shantall
    June 14, 2017 at 10:49 am (1 week ago)

    This post was very helpful. I struggle with Social Anxiety and sometimes even family events are difficult. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
    • laurenkaysims
      June 15, 2017 at 10:29 am (1 week ago)

      aw so glad that it was helpful for you! thank you for reading!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *






Lauren Kay Sims