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Overcoming Social Anxiety and getting to a meet

Karl

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#1
I've put a post up previously regarding social anxiety, and I've had more than a few messages saying thank you for sharing it, so I thought I would put something here along with some guidelines for people to help get you through it and become more involved with the club (and life).

For those who don't know what social anxiety is, you may not have heard of it, or it may be that you just don't understand it. It's that feeling of knowing you want to get to a meet, maybe saying you're interested, then either not committing, or pulling out close to the date if you have committed. You'll make up an excuse that no one can argue... for example "sorry, car broke down this morning"... or "there's been a family emergency, sorry"... or you may just not turn up and not say anything at all.

If you have been reading through this forum, chatting with fellow members, feeling like you've made a connection, and then been sat looking at the write ups and pictures from meets we've attended feeling like you've missed out... well the only person stopping you, is YOU.

I have been dealing with social anxiety now for years. I have worked in the same place for the last 8 years, and I still get anxiety when it comes to social events with the people I've worked with for so long. Why? I don't know. I hate it. It's crippling. I find myself running out of excuses not to attend social events, because, I just panic. Now in all honesty, I don't think that will ever go away with the people I work with, because I have NOTHING in common with most of them. The odd one or two I get along with on a social level, but not enough to make me want to overcome my anxiety.

Things within ElgrandOC have been very different. For me, going to a meet with you guys means I know that before I even get there, we have a common interest. It gives us a talking point and a way to break the ice.

The members here have been some of the best people I have ever met, and some of my closest friends I have met through this club. There have been very very few people that I've met and not really got on with... Most of the people I have met I now talk to on a regular basis.

Now... as ElgrandOC has grown, so has our attendance at meets. Even small local meets are now attended by 10+ Elgrand's and however many people. That can be a BIG step for ANYONE, whether they have an issue with social anxiety or not. Especially if you are going to that meet as a new member knowing that everyone else has already met. I got frustrated last year that there weren't more people going to meets, and it took me a little time to realise that it's probably not just me that suffers with social anxiety... and that in all honesty, there are probably a LOT of members here who are desperate to get out and attend events with us, but can't get over that hurdle... then when you see the list of attendees getting bigger and bigger... the problem spirals, and you know you could never do it.

So, what I would like to see this year, and thanks to @Easy Rider for the suggestion, is Impromtu meets with small groups of 2-3 people.

We have the regional chat sections now so you can get to know members local to you. And then you can either arrange an impromptu meet to invite anyone else in the area to come, or arrange something between 2-3 people via PM. It does not have to be an open invitation for everyone to attend... just small numbers to get you feeling comfortable with a small group of new people, even if it's just one on one.

What you can do then is ease yourself into other events, if you want to. Maybe meet up a few times with same small group of people, and have a coffee, a cake, a chat etc. Once you feel comfortable with meeting the same small group of people, you can arrange to go to a bigger meet with at least one of them. Then, you know that at least when you get to one of the larger meets, you are going to have someone you know you can talk to.

That said... for anyone out there who just wants to throw caution to the wind and dive in at the deep end... please do. There are so many fantastic people here in this group that you won't go far wrong. Everyone is welcoming, no one is cliquey (not that I've met), and we are all in it for the same reason. To have a laugh, chat about our cars, show them off, make friends, and make memories.

If anyone wants to chat about social anxiety issues, feel free to PM me, or any of the club staff members. We're all approachable, and we will all give you the time you need to help you along your Elgrand journey.

And for those of you who just don't want to be part of the meets and events, that's cool too. There is no pressure for any one person to attend any meets or events. But I really would advise it... the things you learn, the people you meet... it's worth it. I wouldn't say that if I didn't mean it.

Hope this helps a little.
 

Kermit

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#2
Karl, sorry to hear of your anxiety. Crikey you are a good egg, I already bloody love this forum and the people in it!

May I also add, this works for some, not others. It can help at times when entering an unfamiliar situation or one which you would usually find crippling to imagine you are an actor. It is of course you who is going into the situation but you can kind of put yourself in to another version of yourself almost as if you were playing a part of a character on TV. Many TV celebs also have anxiety and can only go on stage as their TV persona whilst meeting people as themselves say in a café can be crippling.
 

Easy Rider

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#3
Karl, sorry to hear of your anxiety. Crikey you are a good egg, I already bloody love this forum and the people in it!

May I also add, this works for some, not others. It can help at times when entering an unfamiliar situation or one which you would usually find crippling to imagine you are an actor. It is of course you who is going into the situation but you can kind of put yourself in to another version of yourself almost as if you were playing a part of a character on TV. Many TV celebs also have anxiety and can only go on stage as their TV persona whilst meeting people as themselves say in a café can be crippling.
I am in a band as some know and I can walk into any Gig situation with my Hailey Storm Red lippy n nails as I call it, as you say, I am not portraying me as myself, I am this performer playing guitar,singing and doing a job. Now put me in an alien social environment as Jackie and I am a bag of nerves.
 

Karl

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#6
This is what I mean... so many fantastic people in this club and they make meeting new people so much easier.
 

Cliff goodwin

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#7
I must admit I feel a lot of anxiety when meeting new groups of people and hate to be in crowded pubs etc with people I don't know. I was quite anxious in the month building up to jap show finale thinking shall I cancel or just not go but I'm so glad I did,the people I met were so easy to get on with,felt like I'd known them for ages and were so easy to talk to. So thanks guys and gals, and great post @Karl
 

Hoobajoob

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#9
I am in a band as some know and I can walk into any Gig situation with my Hailey Storm Red lippy n nails as I call it, as you say, I am not portraying me as myself, I am this performer playing guitar,singing and doing a job. Now put me in an alien social environment as Jackie and I am a bag of nerves.
I can totally relate to this I was in bands for 25 years as a front man. The key word there is front. Playing the character was easy. A crowd of 2500 people, no problem. It's easy when you can hide behind an image. I will attend a meet at some point. Right now tho with a 2 month old wee un it's all a bit tricky. Still I'm definitely looking forward to meet you guys for a chat, cuppa and massive wedge of cake...... I really like cake haha. We're all just people and more of us than will admit it are a little shy at heart. A great point to raise @Karl and it's good to talk about these things.
 

Chasdad

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#10
I think youve described me down to a t.
I often get the mick taken out of me or get accused of trading because i move my cars on so quick.
But its partly down to i like meeting people through buying cars and selling. But cant do the social meet thing. Ive worked for myself 14 years and still dont like calling customers. I actually think its getting worse. My son does judo at a highish level and ive met some of the nicest people. Theyre there for one reason the kids . But i do have to force myself to have conversations. Karl i dont agree with a lot of what you say . But your spot on mate
 

peter strokosz

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#12
The wife is a hair dresser and could talk the hind legs off a horse. Ask her to phone up and order a take away she just can't do it. It'snot down to her being lazy its that she just can't do it freezes up..
 

Karl

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#13
Well, it's certainly apparent that there are plenty of people here who are affected by it, so let's try, as a club, to see what we can do to help those who are.

Just wish the Elgrand didn't make it so God damn expensive to get to people. I'll be unstoppable when the LPG arrives :joy:
 

E51ZRider

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#14
I must admit I feel a lot of anxiety when meeting new groups of people and hate to be in crowded pubs etc with people I don't know. I was quite anxious in the month building up to jap show finale thinking shall I cancel or just not go but I'm so glad I did,the people I met were so easy to get on with,felt like I'd known them for ages and were so easy to talk to. So thanks guys and gals, and great post @Karl
Exact same for JAE 2017, even on day i nearly turned around

but now JAE 2018 was a hit, plus Beaulieu as well as Goodwood...more next year.... some really nice members in here.
 
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GazzBee

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#15
I attended the Southend meet on Father's Day having only owned my car for a couple of weeks. My wife didn't want to come but we ended up with all the family, including 2 week old daughter and my mother in law cruising along the seafront and once we had all parked up the wife loved it once the other women started cooing over the baby! We would have loved to attend JAE but personal circumstances made it not possible, however, having been nominated for an award in best modification for merely washing my Elgrand I cannot wait to attend next year and look forward to meeting many more owners at every opportunity. I personally don't suffer from social anxiety but would urge anyone wanting to attend a meet, however big or small, to go with it as we met some great people and had a great day out. All hail Karl and ElgrandOC for being the friendliest club I've ever been part of!
 

Brian Jersey

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#16
I can totally relate to this 100%! I don’t even go out on work events or go out in large groups. When meeting new people is one of the biggest and toughest things to do just can’t do small talk comes out all wrong but when it’s on a subject I know things about you can’t stop me if that makes sense lol. Was hoping to be at the JAE in June or July this year at Santa Pod i think it was but due to family member being very ill was unable (not making that up). But looking forward to next year hoping Elgrand OC be Sants Pod and meeting other Elgrand owners.
 
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