Bloggers Can Have Social Anxiety, Too

A lot of introverts have social anxiety. That can include bloggers, especially when it comes to in-real-life blogger events and networking activities. Here are four tips to help through that.

I have anxiety. I have always had anxiety. Growing up, it was mainly stressing over school work and just life as a whole. But, what I didn’t realize was I also had social anxiety. I wasn’t necessarily an introvert, but I always stressed if I was likable. Did my friends really like me? Do they want to hang out with me? I was always unsure of my standing with others.

When I went to college, I began to realize I was actually an introvert. No longer did I live in a place where I had friends since elementary school and automatic similar interests like being on the same sports team or in the same class. I had two very extroverted roommates my freshman and sophomore year. It helped me ease into making friends. Then, my junior and senior year, I had an introverted friend like myself. Thankfully, I found Justin, who is very extroverted.

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But, he noticed early on in our relationship, I’m kind of shy and inward when meeting new people. I never really noticed it until then! And here, I had gone 22 years thinking I was an extrovert! But, as I began to experience some major anxiety with school and PPD, I realized my social anxiety getting worse.

It has been the worst these past two years. At big, noisy events, I can only stand to be there so long, even with friends. At events where I don’t really know anyone, I literally start shaking and start coming up with excuses to leave early.

It may not seem like I am an introvert online. I share a lot here on this blog. I’m not afraid to network or put myself out there. But, I’m behind a screen.

I’ll probably shock you, because you may not realize it, but a lot of your favorite bloggers are actually introverted!!!

A lot of your favorite bloggers are actually introverted, including @themorrelltale! Click To Tweet

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I have a love/hate relationship with blogger events. When I lived in Utah, many of my blogger friends became in-real-live friends. The vast majority of us were Mormon, teachers, young wives and mothers, loved to read, and all lived within an hour of each other–Salt Lake Valley. Utah bloggers are very good with networking–online and offline.

Utah bloggers are very good with networking–online and offline. There were so many blogging events. I wasn’t nervous to go to those because I knew at least one of my friends would be there, or a blogger I knew online well would be there.

However, once I moved here to Dallas, Texas, I noticed there weren’t as many Facebook groups for DFW or Texan bloggers like there was for Utah and/or Mormon bloggers. There weren’t as many networking events. But, I joined these groups anyway, hoping to make some blogger friends.

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I’ve gone to two blogging events since moving here in July. Both times, I barely spoke to anyone, I definitely started to fidget, and I left early. I have to learn how this new blogging community works.

But, here are some tips that I try to remember whenever I go to blogging events.

Four tips for introverted bloggers when going to networking events IRL. Click To Tweet

Go with a friend

In Utah, I’d go to Twitter or my blogging Facebook groups and ask who else was going to the event. I’d typically make plans with a blogging friend to go together. Usually, we both had anxiety, so we were very empathetic to the situation and could help bolster each other. Some events are exclusively for bloggers, but if they allow a +1, take a friend or family member regardless if they are a blogger.

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Go prepared

Have a charged phone, a water bottle/comfort drink (for me, it’s always a bottle of Pepsi), and some business cards to exchange. You may make a friend and will want to find her/him online! Having a comfort drink is like having a security blanket. And, with a charged phone, you can use it to take pictures, be on social media, or texting your husband for support.

Have a support system at home

My husband knows my social anxiety very well. He knows my personality. Whenever a blogging event comes up, he’ll say, “Go. Have fun. Take your time.” He’ll text me to check in on me. He’ll immediately answer when I text him freaking out. Justin will encourage me to try to exit my comfort zone. And, when I just want to go home, he’ll support me in that, too.

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Research the event

Many blogging events cost money. Definitely go research the event before even deciding to go. Who will be there? Anyone you know? How much will it be? What will you get out of it? Are there structured activities or is it just a meet and greet?

Hopefully, these tips will help you, and me, get more out of blogger events even with social anxiety!

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A lot of introverts have social anxiety. That can include bloggers, especially when it comes to in-real-life blogger events and networking activities. Here are four tips to help through that.

Do you have social anxiety? How do you deal with going to events by yourself?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • Robin Rue

    I hate, hate, hate going to events by myself. If I know that someone I know will be there, I am ok going by myself, but I hate walking into an event not knowing anyone.

    • Definitely! That’s why it’s been so hard for me here in Texas…I don’t know any Dallas bloggers yet!

  • I was also thinking a loong time that I am an extrovert, but actually most of the time I feel like I am an introvert 🙂 It is so funny, because for the most part I always wanted to look like I am very good with people but it just scares me to go to events where I don`t know anyone 🙂

    • Sometimes it can be very surprising what we actually are.

  • Oh my goodness, yes!! I have such a hard time going to events where I don’t know anyone–networking is definitely not for the faint of heart!

    • Networking is so much easier online! Ha!

  • Kat

    Thank you for sharing your experience in such an honest way. Anxiety could be really destructive and it’s very important to look for some help.

    • It really can be! That’s why it’s important to have a support system and good, healthy ways to cope with it.

  • Alicia Taylor

    I have agoraphobia. I use blogging as a way to reach out and reach others. Good to know that there are others like me.

    • I’m glad that you use blogging as a way to work through your agoraphobia!

  • I have been blogging for over a year. I am a food blogger because I have social anxiety. I feel like I can’t be creative many places but the kitchen and I want to share it, but I get really freaked out in front of people so I share it on here. I have been to a couple blogging events, but nothing big. I really want to meet more bloggers where I am.

    • That’s why I love blogging so much! It’s so easy to make friends online and have REAL friendships without even having to meet them in real life.

  • Shirley Warren

    You have written this post very nicely and i think that most of us including me we face such things like anxiety especially when you are going into an event not knowing anyone.

    http://thestyletraveller.com/

    • Thank you so much, Shirley!

  • Lauren Cheely

    I love how you are bringing awareness to this! You are beautiful and your little boy is adorable!

    • Thank you so much, Lauren!

  • Michelle Kneece Waller

    This is so true! Whenever I have a blogging event I always ask if I can bring someone or find another blogger to meet up with.

    • It’s so much easier that way!

  • Alayna

    I’ve known some of my best friends for over 30 years, so I definitely relate. It can be hard to realize you’re an introvert if you’ve always been surrounded by people you’re comfortable with! This is a great post. I’d also recommend you check out some DBT skills like “cope ahead.”

    • I’ll have to check out more of those skills!

  • OH MY GOSH THIS IS MY LIFE!!! hahahaha

    • I know! We are very alike!

  • Cindy Nicoletti

    Great article. I went through a time in my life also where I suffered anxiety. Your article is so true.

  • This really speaks to my experience. I have general anxiety disorder and it always surprises people! It’s hard to maintain a network (even friends!) when anxiety makes you question like…everything. Also, like you, my main man is super supportive. Isn’t it a huge blessing? Thank you for sharing!

    • I’ve had a few people say, “Yeah, I always figured” but a few say, “Really?!?! I would never have guessed!”

  • Aareeba Mohammed

    This article is so true,i can totally relate to this

  • So true, I am not an introvert. But I used to stress over whether someone would not like something I wrote. I got over it because I want both good and bad to stay honest.

    • I think any blogger feels that way…we all want to be accepted.

  • This is so true! I have not gone to any blogger events yet, I really want to go to a conference this summer but am not sure if our schedule can make it work. I have so many blogging friends that I would love to get to meet. I am a extrovert, but I do like my alone and quiet time. It is always nice to go to social events like this with people you know.

    • I’d love to go to a conference…I just can’t afford them since I don’t make ANY money through blogging…sigh. What conference do you want to go to?

  • Wendy Lee

    It is true! I have a hard time “opening up” to bloggers or really anyone. It is something I have been working on. I get really nervous. I have met a couple blogger/online friends who I couldn’t imagine life without!

    • I have no issue “opening up.”…sometimes I should shut up…hahaha. But, going to meet people…that’s what’s hard.

  • Yeu Doi

    Thank you for sharing your story! We all probably have a little social anxiety at times. Your suggestions are great – I shall consider implementing them next time I feel a little anxious!

  • Vishal

    Anybody and everybody can have social anxiety. Some more than the others. You can include me in this list.

    • I think so. Thanks, Vishal!

  • Liz

    I can certainly relate to the social anxiety issue. I have never been very sociable, but blogging does not necessarily have to do with my inner nature. This is more about a hobby, and the creative side of me working, and I do not mind sharing what I write about. I actually don’t really share with my friends but I love meeting new people through blogging, and I find a lot of us, bloggers, are very similar. Nice meeting you, and you are not alone!

    • I feel the same. Blogging is a great way to express yourself and learn to make friends!

  • Wendy Polisi

    I can relate to this! I think online it’s a bit easier in person to overcome anxiety but it’s definitely still there.

    • Definitely easier online!

  • Angela Milnes

    I’m relate with this and I have social media anxiety too but so glad that I overcome now.

    • It definitely takes practice to overcome social anxiety!

  • shootingstarsmag

    Oh yes, I’ve had social anxiety since high school so I know what you mean. I’ve definitely gotten better but it’s still there. I think that sharing online is way easier than being open in public/person.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

    • Sharing online is so much easier…but with that comes the trolls, sadly.

  • I can relate. Going to events without knowing anyone can definitely be a little nerve-racking! Been there, done that! And yes – networking with other bloggers online has been such an awesome experience.
    xo, Jessy | http://www.currentbliss.com

    • I have gotten so many friends online, and many have turned into real-life friends.

  • mail4rosey

    There are a couple I would have loved to attend but they didn’t work out for me (timing). I’m not sure if I’d be nervous or not, I’ve never been. 🙂

    • Timing is a bummer. Same with pricing. I’ve gone to meet ups and events, but never to conferences…

  • ISFJ right here! It actually surprises people when I tell them I’m an introvert – I’ve always worked in people oriented jobs and I’m very chatty. But that takes A LOT out of me and outside of work I usually want to curl up and hide in my house with my dogs!

    • Same here. Many are surprised, but then they think about it and say, “Oh yeah, I can tell.”

  • Adaleta Avdic

    Great tips to be prepared for events, it really can be hard. I think we all get nervous

    • There are many different things to get nervous about with events and meetups!

  • I blog because I write my thoughts better than I speak them. I can definitely relate. I’ve only been to one blogging event ever and I didn’t want to go to any more of them because I’m too scared.

    • I agree–I write my thoughts better than speak them, too!

  • Nishtha Dhand

    Absolutely! I can reveal my self better when it comes to writing!

    • It’s always easier to be more “extroverted” through a screen.