Social anxiety can be tough. It makes you feel confused, frightened, and uncomfortable even in the simplest everyday situations that involve dealing with other people.

If you struggle with this condition, you know exactly how social anxiety feels. Making a phone call, using public transport, or asking for directions can turn from an ordinary action, which is natural and easy for most people, into a challenging and devastating experience.

It’s all because socially anxious people tend to overthink and overanalyze everything. Their subconscious mind tells them that no matter what they do or say, others will judge them or laugh at them. That is the basic cause of this mental disorder – a fear of being judged and rejected.

Social anxiety can lead to disturbing symptoms such as trembling, excessive sweating, high heart rate, etc., which can be so intense that many sufferers have to take medications to ease these symptoms.

However, to some of those who don’t know how social anxiety feels, this disorder doesn’t seem to be a big deal – many just confuse it for shyness and poor communication skills.

Sometimes it can be difficult to explain your feelings even to your closest people, such as family or romantic partner, who often think that you exaggerate.

How can you possibly put into words that fear and nervousness you feel when you are dialing a phone number and are waiting to hear the voice of a stranger? Or that trembling in your hands when you are speaking in a group of people and several pairs of eyes are staring at you?

As it often happens with things that are difficult to describe with words, art comes to help. A comic artist calling himself Socially Awkward Misfit (or simply Sam) seems to have perfectly captured how social anxiety feels.

His illustrations, which are funny and truthful at the same time, are focused on situations typical for introverts and people with social anxiety. Some of his works are also about depression and ‘general awkwardness,’ as he writes on his website.

I picked 10 of Sam’s illustrations either because I found them funny or because they capture situations and feelings I have experienced myself.

If you are a socially anxious person or/and an introvert, I’m sure that some of these pictures will remind you of your own life.

1. Making a phone call

Talking on the phone and social anxiety

2. Using public transport

How Social Anxiety Feels

3. Trying to start a conversation with a person you barely know

How Social Anxiety Feels

4. Hearing someone knocking on your door when you are not expecting guests

How Social Anxiety Feels

5. Crossing the road

How Social Anxiety Feels

6. In the supermarket

How Social Anxiety Feels

7. Common dreams socially anxious people have

How Social Anxiety Feels

8. Getting a phone call from an unknown number

How Social Anxiety Feels

9. Having a feeling that someone has said something bad about you while they were actually talking about some innocent stuff

How Social Anxiety Feels

10. Walking in front of people or cars

How Social Anxiety Feels

Did you see any similarities with yourself and the situations you have experienced? Please, share your thoughts below!

You can find more of Sam’s art on his website or Facebook page.

Copyright © 2012-2024 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Moosa

    that is so me…. in most of the cases

    1. Marsha

      Yes,all of the above for me

  2. vv

    a fear of being judged and rejected. So not true. Its a fear, second part of that sentence is not important. You got it all wrong. So like arachnofobia is not a fear of being bited by spider.

  3. David

    Crossing the street at the crosswalk and the drivers looking at me are so relatable. But we don’t have self checkout anywhere i shop and that sucks!!!

  4. mart


  5. Barbara

    1, 3, 4, 8 and 9 😉

  6. SAM

    The worst part of being a “SAM” is knowing other people judge your anxiety and decide you’re weak, worthless, and selfish. This is my life.

  7. Brett Dupree

    You missed someone waving and the terror of not knowing if they were waving at you or someone behind you.

    If they are waving at you and you don’t wave back then you are going to look like a jerk.

    If they are waving at someone behind you and you wave back then you are going to look like a fool.

    If you look behind to see if someone is behind you and they are waving at you, then you look like a clueless jerk.

    If you look behind to see if someone is behind you and they are not waving at you, then you go from being invisible to being noticed and AHHHHHHH!!!

    I never experienced this at all. No.

  8. andrea

    This is so me! to a T! Never had anyone explain it any better

  9. Anonymous Dude

    How did somebody figure me out so well!? …..HOLY CRAP!!! (They must be watching me.) Lol

  10. Lee

    7 – Happens almost every night 😂

  11. Marry Johnsan

    Neurotic depression is a feeling of sadness & regrets to real identity issues in a depressed individual. It is connected with an absence of certainty, confidence & with failure to express depressed feelings. Learn how to deal with neurotic depression?

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