The Introvert’s Guide to…Social Anxiety and “Antisocial”

We’ve all heard it before: introverts are “antisocial”. But what does that mean exactly? In this episode, Jess and Phil dive into this question, and whether social anxiety is necessarily a part of being an introvert, or something else entirely. And what do people mean exactly, whey they say we are antisocial?

Links in this episode:
https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/introvert-vs-social-anxiety#a-socially-anxious-introvert
https://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/1113071/introvert-vs-antisocial/

Transcript

[00:00:00] Jess McAuley: I’m Jess McAuley and I’m a theater maker and I am also an introvert

[00:00:10] Phil Rickaby: and I’m a writer and performer, and I’m also an introvert and this is the introvert’s guide.

[00:00:28] Jess McAuley: On the introvert’s guide to, we talk about the introvert life and how to live it to the. We’ll choose a topic and discuss it as well as try to find other helpful hints on social media and on the internet at large, if you want to drop us a line, we would love to hear from you. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram at introvert guide to the number two, and you can find the website at introvert’s guide to.com.

[00:00:53] Phil Rickaby: If you want to send us a message, you can do that through the website, or you can email us introvertsguidetostuff@gmail.com. And remember, we may use your questions or comments on an upcoming episode of the introvert’s guide. And if you like the podcast and you listen on apple podcast, please consider leaving a comment and a five-star rating, your comments and ratings, help new people find this show, but even better, whether you’re listening on apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know someone that you think might like the introvert’s guide to tell them about it. Some of our favorite podcasts became our favorites because someone we know told us about them.

[00:01:39] Phil Rickaby: So this is, this is sort of like one of those difficult topics, because we’ve often talked about. Some of our experiences as, as introverts and sort of alluded to the fact that perhaps some of these things that we experienced as introvert adjacent may actually be social anxiety and touches of it on the there’s.

Actually, I discovered there’s two introvert related subreddits on Reddit. One’s called introvert and the other is called introverts. And. Introverts is like no discussion of social anxiety. We are not talking about that. This is not for that. We are here to talk about introversion, so let’s not talk about depression and let’s not talk about social things.

Over on introvert. Often those things do come up and they always get tagged with a, they always get a tag that says social anxiety, more social anxiety than introvert or depression. Like these are things that they come up and there are people who get annoyed because they’re like, this is social anxiety, not introversion, but it’s, it’s sort of understandable because I think because you and I experienced them adjacent.

We wrap them up together and it takes, it’s difficult sometimes for people to separate the two because they identify as an introvert. Not necessarily as somebody with social anxiety.

[00:03:01] Jess McAuley: Yeah. I find it relates to our conversation surrounding. Am I shy or am I introverted? And I feel a lot of the times introverts get roped into, they must have social anxiety.

They must be antisocial and. Antisocial. Is its own separate thing. Can introversion and antisocial tendencies overlap. That’s a question we’ll find out later on in this episode.

[00:03:30] Phil Rickaby: I mean, I mean, I mean, I think, I mean we can sort of spoiler alert. Yes they can because I mean, we’ve already alluded to it because whether or not you consider social anxiety to be antisocial behavior, whatever it is, it is a clinical condition

essentially, it is something that is, that is something you can get therapy for things like that. Introversion is not. And then we’ll talk about that a little bit more later on, but like this comes down to the fact that being an introvert is a personality trait. It’s how you it’s, it’s, it’s a way that you interact in the world.

Whereas social anxiety is, is a clinical behavior rather than, rather than something that’s, that’s inherent to your personal.

[00:04:11] Jess McAuley: When was the last time somebody said called you anti-social.

[00:04:17] Phil Rickaby: Oh, I don’t really get called antisocial because I fake it real good. And this is one of the things is that, is that if people, there are people who are like, you’re so personable, you can’t be an introvert.

So I it’s rare that somebody is like accuses me of being anti-social. Mostly people don’t believe me when I say that I’m an introvert, because they’re like, well, how can you get on a stage? Which is a shyness thing, you know? But it’s, it’s very, it’s very. It. I fake it really well. So people don’t usually say that to me anymore.

There may have been a time though, when I was like, when you know, people will be like, you know, it’s the whole, oh, look who decided to come out of their room. Oh, the eye roll. I roll on Jess. You guys.

[00:05:00] Jess McAuley: Oh gosh. How often have we heard that one? And again, those are. Those are punishment phrases. We don’t need to hear that.

And I think antisocial can be used as a form of punishment as well.

[00:05:15] Phil Rickaby: Sure.

[00:05:16] Jess McAuley: I used to get that whenever I was more in my teenage years, you know, when I just wanted to, you know, I just want to be in my room. Okay. I just wanted to be in my room on a Friday night and. We would maybe have like some friends or family over.

And if I chose not to come downstairs, but it would be maybe my parents coming up saying, you know, you know, do you have to be antisocial? Do you have to right now, like I’m not being antisocial. But, you know,

[00:05:47] Phil Rickaby: I would like to jump in and say that I would like to, unless other people are referring to us as anti-social, I would like to remove the, the phrase antisocial from our conversation.

Let’s refer to it as social anxiety or shyness or depression. Anti social is something, again, it’s a punishment phrase. It’s like it’s clinical thing, but it’s separate from other, from the other diagnoses. So I feel like, because people have said it like to yourself and to myself in certain ways, it’s a punishment phrase.

We want to take that out of the conversation just for everybody’s sake. I think.

[00:06:19] Jess McAuley: No, fair enough. I think I later on had to. I think more in my university days, start to analyze myself and try to find where my introversion began. And maybe my social anxiety began. I was officially diagnosed with anxiety only in my early twenties.

Depression was. Depression was in my teenage years. Which funny enough anxiety usually comes first before depression, I find, but closely linked with anxiety was my social anxiety. But I think I started putting the two together thinking introversion and social anxiety is what, you know what, it’s just one thing and it’s, it’s not interchangeable.

It is one entity. And as you’ve said, it’s, it’s absolutely two separate I find that more reflecting into who I am and what my, what my personality can tell me about myself actually started pulling me away from, from putting the two together as one. I find it as weird as that sounds. I think the more I had to reflect on myself, the more I started thinking, you know, there’s more tactical.

And there’s more ways of navigating your social anxiety.

[00:07:40] Phil Rickaby: I want to take a second and, and challenge some of the things, some of the things that we’ve seen. And related to our social, to our introversion and challenge those as something that could perhaps be a touch of, of social anxiety. And I’m going to bring up an early issue that early, like one of our early episodes we were talking about when we would see somebody on the street.

And how we would go out of our way to avoid talking to people, even though we might like them. I believe the phrase that you used was I will dive into a store.

[00:08:15] Jess McAuley: You can’t prove that

[00:08:16] Phil Rickaby: I can, I can explain it. It’s a recording. That is actually a direct quote

[00:08:21] Jess McAuley: Oh Lord.

[00:08:22] Phil Rickaby: We’ll dive into a store. You said, and you know what I related because I will do.

The same thing. I will cross the street. If I see them far enough ahead, I’ll pretend that I don’t see them just, just, and I’ve, I’ve, I’ve talked that up to introversion because I just don’t have don’t didn’t want to spare the energy. Right. But the question is. Is that necessarily a trait of introversion or is that more social anxiety?

Is it anxiety that’s keeping us from, you know, even just saying hi to that person on the street.

[00:08:58] Jess McAuley: That’s a good question. I think immediately what comes to my head is, and just speaking for myself, if I were to run into this person and actually strike up a conversation, One part of my brain I know is going to go toward more of the worry of how that interaction is going to go.

Do I have to find some sort of conversation buffer? Do I have to somehow in one point, two seconds, figure out. How to excuse myself away from the conversation as I am, this person has made eye contact and does the whole, Hey, I don’t worry. Whereas my introversion, I know that speaking when it’s, you know, I just need to get from a to B right now, I will absolutely.

Maybe, absolutely. Maybe messaged this person later. We’ll think about it. We’ll see. I think that more so is where I have to decipher the two. Is, am I worrying about something about the social interaction or am I reserving something

[00:10:04] Phil Rickaby: I can tell you with complete honesty that when it happens to me, when I see somebody on the street and.

This is the vast majority of people. If you’re a friend of mine and you see me on the street and I don’t see you, oh, I saw you. And I apologize for that. I apologize for being that guy. I saw you. And I chose not to, to pretend that I didn’t see you. And I will cop to the fact that, that as I see you. That’s anxiety.

I feel like, oh my God, I don’t want to, what are we going to say? What are we going to talk about? Like, I just don’t, I just don’t want to bother with it. I can’t. And I talked that I’m going to call that as anxiety. So right there for me, that’s anxiety. Now, if it’s the end of the day, if I’ve had like a busy social day, if I have like that might not be social anxiety, that might just be exhaustion, but nine times out of 10, it’s completely anxiety.

[00:11:02] Jess McAuley: Merch idea. T-shirt if you saw me on the street, I saw you 100%. I saw you.

[00:11:10] Phil Rickaby: Yes, I did. I did. I, I cannot count the number of people, people. I like people I genuinely like who I’ve seen them coming and I have. Either pretended that I didn’t see them or stopped to look in a store window or even cross the street when I saw them early enough.

So yes, that’s completely a product of, of my, of any kind of it’s anxiety. It’s not debilitating for me, but it is. It’s something that.

[00:11:41] Jess McAuley: Oh, yeah. I mean, I, one time decided to challenge myself to go up to somebody I saw on the street. I said, I thought to myself, okay, this is someone you liked. You, you don’t genuinely, you don’t generally do this.

Why not just this once let’s do it. I see this person, we make eye contact and I said, Hey, how’s it going? How are you? And they’re like, do I know you. The worst, the worst. So I was like, I, yeah, we actually worked together for a little while. We got, we went to a couple parties together. He genuinely did not recognize me.

And I’m like, I swear, I know you like, and I said his name where we worked. He’s like, I’m sorry, I just don’t remember you. And I think from that moment on, I was like, that’s it never challenging myself? Never, no,

[00:12:36] Phil Rickaby: that’s sort of like one of those citrus, they, if they’re like, you know, and who are you again?

Go fuck yourself. Just

[00:12:42] Jess McAuley: what the heck.

[00:12:43] Phil Rickaby: We spent two years working together. Come on. Couldn’t even have just said, Hey, that’s what I would do. Even if I didn’t recognize the person, it’d be like, Hey, I’ve done it so many times if somebody has actually initiated, which by the way, I have to thank all of those people who.

People that I like who I’ve seen on the street and pretended not to see, I acknowledge the fact and I respect that. Do you also pretended not to see me. Thank you. My brother, that is an introvert’s handshake. If I ever did hear one,

that’s like, that’s like, we didn’t even, we didn’t even like make eye contact, but I know we saw each other and we both just passed like ships in the night.

[00:13:31] Jess McAuley: That’s love

[00:13:33] Phil Rickaby: is that is we’re not, we’re not going to hang out, but you know what? Respect fellow introvert respect

[00:13:41] Jess McAuley: absolutely salute carry on.

[00:13:45] Phil Rickaby: Absolutely. Absolutely. I was thinking also about, you know, we’ve talked about the fact that, that, that sometimes if there’s a social event that I am, I will often subject myself to negative. Self-talk that I, that I have to talk myself out of to get myself in the door of going to that event or whatever.

And 100%, again, I will cop to the fact that his anxiety, that’s not introversion. That’s like. Do you have an example of when it was, I mean, the whole, like,

[00:14:22] Jess McAuley: I stumped ya.

[00:14:24] Phil Rickaby: Yeah, you did. I would say that for me, introversion is introversion is at least wanting to know how many people are going to be at that party. And how many do I actually know so that I can prepare myself for the. Or the gathering if I, if there’s a party and I know only the host, but I feel like I have to show up, I am 100% prepared to do an Irish goodbye to get out of there, which means that I will show up, I will say hello to the host, stay for respectable 15, 20 minutes, 30 minutes.

And then I’m out of there, but that’s more about, about the energy level that it takes to, to be in a room full of perfect strangers.

[00:15:04] Jess McAuley: Oh yeah, absolutely. And like, I. I think leading up to those events. And I know when my anxiety is starting to go, it really is a. For you, if for you, your introversion speaks when it’s, how many people are going to be there for me.

It’s how many people are going to be there. And do I know any of them? Do I have a conversation buffer that when was the last time that they saw you, where are you a hot mess during that? Oh, my gosh. Do you have anything you have to explain for like, it, it just suddenly goes into overdrive and then I have to start rehearsing.

Like, let’s say like maybe the last time somebody saw me, it wasn’t exactly the greatest image. Let’s just put it that way. I was not a hot mess listeners. I was perfect. Don’t worry about it. But. Yeah, it has to happen.

[00:15:56] Phil Rickaby: Yeah. I had you know, back in the day when I was, when I was younger and before I had come to terms with the fact that I was an introvert back when I was like convincing myself that I was, that I was an extrovert, I certainly was not.

And I wasn’t behaving like one, but you know, there’ll be a party and I’d be like, I’m going to go to that party. And then the day of the party or the night of the party as I was like, I should get ready to go. And I’d be. Who’s going to be there. And what do we have to talk about if I, if I go and have I done anything interesting.

The people are going to ask me, you know everybody that I’m sharing with these people that they know I’m an actor, what am I working on? Nothing, God, I’m a loser, whatever. But it was like this way that I would talk myself out of going to the party or the gathering or whatever. And that that’s, again, that’s anxiety, but I didn’t recognize it as such.

And I think a lot of us don’t a lot of us do these things that are anxiety. Based. And we tell ourselves that they are introvert based.

[00:16:56] Jess McAuley: And I think we definitely bite off more than we can chew because there’s that level of denial too, right. We’re saying yes to things we shouldn’t be saying yes to in the first place because, you know, boundaries or needing to rest.

And that recharge time, we don’t recognize how important it is quite yet. And then I think because of that denial, that’s what. Some social anxiety and to overdrive. And that’s why, where we can start overthinking. And then suddenly we’re just not enjoying ourselves anymore. We’re robbing ourselves of an experience.

Right. Whereas if I’m going to go to something and I know 100% you should go to this, like whether it be a friend’s show or go to that party, the family gathering, whatever it is. I know if I’m going to have a good time, it’s something that’s valuable to my relationships. And to me, I’m going, because it’s the right thing to do.

Whereas just saying yes to everything is going to complicate relationships, frankly, you don’t become a very trustworthy person after a while because no, one’s going to believe that you’re going to go.

[00:18:00] Phil Rickaby: Yeah, I think that, that, there’s one of the things that, that introverts, who, who also have some form of, of social anxiety or, or depression cause those two can, those can come hand in hand.

One of the disservices that we do is not recognizing which aspects are based in anxiety, which are based in introversion and that can allow us to mask anxiety. By saying, well, I don’t, I don’t go to parties. I, you know, I don’t go to these things. I, I, because I hate people or whatever, because of my, my introversion.

And instead of of, if it’s debilitating, that part is clinical and you could get treatment for that while still being true to your introvert self, while still being an introvert, you can still get so get, get treatment for social anxiety or anxiety in general.

[00:18:49] Jess McAuley: So true because you know, a lot of the times we forget that.

Social anxiety is not just for introverted people. Imagine being extroverted and having social anxiety. I know that’s a tie. I know a few who have anxiety and, and suffer from, from, from who are also, who are also extroverts. And that’s because that is, that is, that is an entirely different thing. And the experience is probably different, but the underlying.

Behavior is the same. Right? Right. Can you think of other things that you have attributed to so to introversion that are probably anxiety? Yes. I I’m really embarrassed of my. School years, my theater school years, because of how many auditions I skipped out on, because I just, I felt myself wanting to stay home and I didn’t want to I thought I was calling, you know, I honestly thought I was being lazy in that, you know, I had to take the bus everywhere and I had to figure out, you know, just how I’m getting around.

It was a long bus ride. And I thought to myself, wow, I really don’t apply myself. I clearly have no drive for this and wow. Way to get like the guilt, just like sort of sinks in after I’ve let the things after I’ve let the anxiety have its way basically. But yeah. I used to confuse that for introversion thinking.

I just didn’t want to be around people. And meanwhile, it was my own self-doubt. So I would say definitely outside of parties and all of that, it was my school years of missing out on really important opportunities that could have built me up.

[00:20:41] Phil Rickaby: I had similar experiences after theater school, many years when I went.

Quote, unquote, actively, we’re trying to be an actor, but so many times I would not apply for the audition or I would not go to the audition or I would find a reason not to go. And it was anxiety. It was anxiety that kept me from going. Sometimes it was, but I don’t like deep down, like, I don’t know anybody who’s involved with this.

So what did, like all, I could come up with a million excuses not to go to the audition. That always won and I didn’t go. And that was, that was in some really important years. Like in my, like in my twenties to my, into my mid thirties, that I was like, especially in the 25 to 30 range where I just was like, not doing it.

I don’t recommend that. I don’t remember it. I don’t recommend letting anxiety and letting that anxiety take you away from the thing that you actually really enjoy doing that.

[00:21:37] Jess McAuley: You said something there that like, as soon as you said it, I was saying it my head, we’re always going to give ourselves a million reasons not to do something.

If that is. If that’s the case and you’re sitting, giving yourself reason after reason after reason not to do it, chances are that’s anxiety talking because if it’s your intro, if it’s your introversion, you’re going to think of a practical reason, something practical and tangible that is going to tell you, you shouldn’t do something.

Whether that be, it goes against a boundary, it go, you know, this is. Something that’s conducive to my recharge time. It’s reasonable. Whereas, you know, for example, my husband and I were expecting and having a. Having this need to write a show has brought up some questions about how am I going to do this while I have a career while I do this podcast, while I have everything else going on in my life.

And I started to have this moment of self doubt of, should I really be putting myself out there anymore as a writer, should I be doing I’m giving up this time and going to Toronto and doing some work there and. I started giving myself so many unreasonable doubts that my husband had to stop me and say, we’re partnership.

What makes you think I’m not going to help you get there? Right. And the more he kept talking about it, and the more he kept trying to tell me, it’s reasonable to do this. I kept giving a reason. No, I’m not going to do it. And again, reason after reason. And it really was my anxiety going suddenly of there’s just change in the yeah.

That doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. And I think I started to attribute who I was as a person and letting my anxiety speak for me. And it’s really not who I am. Right.

[00:23:31] Phil Rickaby: Yeah. I think one of the interesting things you brought up the, like the issue with like all of the reasons and, and you know what I’m talking about.

[00:23:38] Jess McAuley: Like, if there’s some kind of social event, especially if it’s like an industry of vendors, like a networking thing as I will, you know, the negative, self-talk all the reasons why I shouldn’t go. It, it can be helpful. To write out or think of the reasons why you should go and your anxiety is a cruel cruel bitch.

[00:23:59] Phil Rickaby: And it’s going to give you more reasons to not go then to go, but. Sometimes the reasons to go are a lot bigger and better than the many reasons that it’s, that your brain is sending you to not do the thing. Just thinking of like, so why am I going to this thing? Oh, yes. Because, you know, because I, I actually like the people who were there, there’s some really good stuff that happens there or so-and-so might, is often goes and I will see them like, These are things that can get you in the door and a way to sort of combat the negative self-talk no, yeah.

[00:24:36] Jess McAuley: Introversion is true to you and your anxiety is just the thief. That’s all it is. It’s just a thief that steals, right? Like steals who you are as a person. Whereas your introversion is just a part of who you are.

[00:24:53] Phil Rickaby: Shall we jump into to the internet cause there’s some helpful stuff that I think that, that might be there.

And we each have some, some internet based knowledge that we can share. So let’s go to the internet and we’ll, we’ll, we’ll talk about that.

So what on health online? I actually found an article this, this time at health, online.com. There’s an article about introvert versus social anxiety, and it says there’s one key difference between introversion and social anxiety. Introversion is a personality trait, not a mental health. Introverted people draw energy from within as an introvert, you probably dedicate plenty of time to solitary pursuits, relaxing and unwinding alone appeal to you.

So you might prefer more often than not to make plans with yourself over someone else. If you’re an introvert, you might have strong listening skills, carefully consider options before making a decision dislike, confrontation, or prepare to share feelings and thoughts to writing oral. Living with social anxiety or social phobia typically mean to experience significant nervousness and fear in social situations, or when simply thinking about social situations.

This fear generally stems from the idea that others will reject you or judge you negatively. If you’re introverted, you might keep to yourself because you enjoy solitude with social anxiety. On the other hand, you may actually want to join the crowd, but feel nervous of your reception and potential rigid.

With social anxiety, you might often feel anxious about doing something embarrassing in public, avoid interacting with people you don’t know. Well, fixate on the possibility of social slip-ups like forgetting someone’s name or sneezing during a lecture, or feel frustrated or lonely because you struggled to connect with others in the way you like.

[00:26:43] Jess McAuley: Yeah. I feel that

[00:26:45] Phil Rickaby: I’ve come to terms and I did this years ago. I’ve come to terms with the fact, if I’m introducing somebody like, like a significant other to a group of people, I’m going to forget one person’s name, guaranteed. It doesn’t matter how well I know them. I’m going to, I’m going to forget one person’s name.

[00:27:02] Jess McAuley: So you’re going to blank.

[00:27:04] Phil Rickaby: I’m going to blank. And so I determined that the name that’s most important is the name of my. And I try to get, find ways to get other people to introduce themselves. Okay. Because, and I’ve done this. I’ve been like, I haven’t, I’ve always, I get in there and I’m like, the name I can’t forget is my partner.

Cause that would be bad, but then I’ll be like going around and then I’ll get to somebody I know. And I’ll be like, and this is holy shit. It’s going to be me watch it, but I mean, that’s the thing is, is like there’s always, and I learned this ages ago, there will be one person. If I’m introducing somebody to a group, I will forget one person’s name.

And so I’ve chosen to make sure that the person whose name I don’t forget is the person I’m introducing. And what I will often do is. Melanie, this is, this is everybody, everybody. This is Melanie. And they will usually take the cue to introduce themselves with their names. But I do that so that I. I have not faced with, with like pointing to somebody that I know really well and going, and that’s that guy.

That’s God.

[00:28:13] Jess McAuley: Oh yeah. See, you got nice friends too. That would take that cue. That happened to me once where I was like, partner, this is everybody, everybody. This is partner. And I had someone that knew that I didn’t know a couple of names. And they did the whole jazz. Why don’t you introduce them?

[00:28:32] Phil Rickaby: know what?

That person is not a friend. So that person gave her not a friend.

[00:28:37] Jess McAuley: Rude,

[00:28:37] Phil Rickaby: completely rude, not a friend. You are, you are the weakest link. My friend, you are the weakest link. Get out

[00:28:44] Jess McAuley: such a smug look too and everything.

[00:28:47] Phil Rickaby: It’s interesting that. Like they bring up the disliking confrontation, which I might’ve earlier said is a social anxiety.

But I think we can safely say because of the energy it takes, it it’s a it might, it might also be social anxiety, but it is mostly introversion considering options for making a decision that’s all well and good on the social anxiety spot. It’s like avoiding interacting with people. You don’t know.

Like when you pass them on this. And you pretend not to see them. Listen,

[00:29:20] Jess McAuley: I’ve never done that before.

[00:29:23] Phil Rickaby: I will dive into a store quotes. Jess McCauley, you have no, I have, I literally it’s in the archive. It’s like one of the early episodes guys go back. You’ll find it. There’s there’s the interesting of the idea of, of fixating on the possibility of social slip-ons.

And that’s sort of like, that is certainly an issue with, with that I think sort of leads into the negative self-talk that I’ve described is like social slipups, or maybe because I don’t have anything to say, or I’m not interesting or whatever that is. And to me that would be doing something embarrassing in public would be not to be interesting or to be boring or whatever.

[00:30:04] Jess McAuley: And I, I certainly felt. I felt a little strange connection with feeling frustrated or lonely because you struggled to connect. I feel like that can be both like that. My anxiety stops me from becoming close to somebody, or it stops me from, you know, wanting to get to know them because I have doubts about myself.

Like I just don’t add up to who this person is, right. Or where’s my introversion can also be a. You know, I’m at work and I’m tired and I don’t really feel like connecting with the new person and I just want to get in and get out. Right. So I find that that’s a tough one for me, because that’s where the intersection is.

[00:30:47] Phil Rickaby: This is the thing is that there is an intersection there because. You know, there, it does take energy to do these things right. And it is, you know, we, we both, we get into that, that, that, that very issue that anxiety of, of it’s both. Right. That’s the problem is that, is that as an introvert, if you’re both in an introvert that has social anxiety, you’re going to feel the anxiety.

Anytime you go out like feeling frustrated because you struggled to connect with others in the way. You’d like, like if I, if I wasn’t an introvert, if I was an extrovert that would be fucking hell, right. That would be like, oh my God, like, how do I get through life? But as an introvert, I think it’s important if you’re trying to figure out which it is, we have to think about what is the cause behind.

My not going out. Do I look, do I actually not have the energy for it? Is that, is that an honest answer? Have I expended too much in my batteries today? I don’t have anything left or am I just anxious? Do I feel I might like, what are the reasons that I’m giving myself for not going to this thing? These are, I think the questions to try to figure out which it is, and not that that will necessarily solve the problem, but.

If we find ourselves more often feeling anxious, then we do like, we need to be that we just want to be alone. Then, then maybe that’s a clinical thing and we should possibly get some help.

[00:32:13] Jess McAuley: Absolutely. You know, it’s, if I can find, if I can pinpoint a moment where I start to talk myself out of something, if I have that ability to take a step back and answer, honestly, in one complete sentence.

[00:32:29] Phil Rickaby: Hmm,

[00:32:30] Jess McAuley: what is my main concern and actually create something, an answer that’s tangible, it’s rational, it’s practical and it’s grounded for sure. You got a solid answer there, but if I can’t answer that straight without something being. Unreasonable or something I’m, I’m jumping to a conclusion, even if I’m, if I’m assuming something, then I have to wonder if this is my anxiety.

[00:32:59] Phil Rickaby: Now I might suggest that it’s possible that if you’re telling yourself a story about why you can’t go, then that’s probably social anxiety. If you just go, I just don’t have it in me. That’s that’s okay. Introvert time. I need to be alone. I’ll play video games, whatever. But if there’s an elaborate story or any kind of story about why you can’t go or multiple stories, then that is 100%.

Cause it’s anxiety that produces those, those stories, those, those ideas that, oh, no, you can’t go because of this, this or that. All those multitudes of things. Other, I think if you’re just, if you’re just, if it’s just based in an introversion, you’re just going to be like, Hmm, I just don’t have it in me.

[00:33:44] Jess McAuley: So with the article that I brought from, she knows.com.

The article is five ways. Being an introvert is nothing like being anti-social and it’s really summed up nicely in five points. So number one, being antisocial is a clinical condition.

[00:34:02] Phil Rickaby: Can I jump in and ask you a question? Does this article. Does this article specify? The anti-social it does.

[00:34:10] Jess McAuley: Yes.

[00:34:11] Phil Rickaby: Because again because I, I’m curious because we’ve talked about how anti-social is a negative term and when, what we’re really talking about is social anxiety or depression or something like that. So I’m curious if this article defines what it means by antisocial. Yes. Let me go The reason why I keep jumping on that is, is I think that that antisocial has a more negative connotation.

Technically. I mean, here’s the, the dictionary definition of antisocial is contrary to the laws and customs of society, devoid of orientation, antagonistic to social instincts or practices.

[00:34:48] Jess McAuley: So there’s a, a bridges to recovery article. What is the difference between social anxiety and social phobia? Social phobia refers to the fear of being scrutinized and judged while performing some type of task in public while social anxiety describes feelings of intense nervousness.

And self-consciousness that suffers experience during one-on-one meetings or groups, social gatherings. Okay.

[00:35:15] Phil Rickaby: It sounds a lot to me like, like what they’re, they’re using antisocial as a way of saying social anxiety. And the re and, and the reason why that sort of like problematic problematic is because anti-social is its own clinical diagnosis, which is unrelated to social anxiety and is really a, a disrupt more disruptive socially thing.

And that’s, that’s why I think I, I, I see why they’re doing it. They’re they’re, they’re using the term anti-social. As a, as a stand in for social anxiety, because it sounds better, but it’s, I think it’s important to be specific about the language that we use here.

[00:35:56] Jess McAuley: Oh, for sure. Yeah. Okay.

[00:35:59] Phil Rickaby: And I’m going to leave some of this in so that it makes sense because the article specifically says introvert versus antisocial.

[00:36:05] Jess McAuley: I usually go off of the title.

[00:36:08] Phil Rickaby: And I’ll be, I’ll be changing the title when we publish it. But we did, as we initially thought of it, we said introvert or antisocial, but what we meant was social anxiety,

[00:36:15] Jess McAuley: No but that is a really good, like that is a good conversational piece though, is being mindful of that language too, right?

[00:36:22] Phil Rickaby: Yeah. I think it’s important because like we said, the phrase anti-social has been weaponized against a lot of introverts and a lot of people with social anxiety as when we’re like trying to get our alone time and things like that. So again, we want to. Disarm that, that language.

[00:36:39] Jess McAuley: I think with this article that we had brought from, she knows titled five ways. Being an introvert is nothing like being anti-social, let’s be mindful that it’s more so social anxiety that we are speaking.

So we’re going to take out the word antisocial in these, these little five pieces here, and we’re going to replace it with social anxiety. So number one, be having number one, having social anxiety is its own clinical condition.

Being introverted is a personality trait. Number two introverts are equipped with the skills needed to be social and build relationships. Whereas individuals with social anxiety find that they are unable to relate to others in a healthy way. Question mark. Yeah.

[00:37:31] Phil Rickaby: This article is weird and we’re going to like, like we need, we need to talk about this because this article they’re using anti-social in this article.

In it’s clinical term, an anti-social person is a person who is against society who lacks empathy for others. This is what this article actually says. This is their definition. This is what they’re using for anti-social. I have never heard somebody when we’re talking about they’re they’re using anti-social in its literal clinic.

Definition is what’s happening here

[00:38:01] Jess McAuley: And it feels strange change that introverts are being roped into this one. Like it’s.

[00:38:08] Phil Rickaby: If I look at the, if I look at the description of the first one, which is being 80 socialism clinical condition, being introverted as a personality trait, the description is a person who is antisocial is basically someone who is a psychopath, which is not social anxiety.

It’s just not it’s it’s it’s not, it’s not talking about, about social anxiety. It’s talking about literal anti-social behavior. So I met you. So let me number three, and it’s a social person can be extroverted and very outgoing. Some antisocial people are serial killers like Ted Bundy.

[00:38:46] Jess McAuley: I don’t know how I feel about that one.

[00:38:49] Phil Rickaby: But this is the thing is again, they’re using, they’re using anti-social as, so when people, when, when I think and correct me, if you think I’m wrong, I think that when friends, when acquaintances, when coworkers or parents mentioned that, that, you know, we’re being so antisocial, they’re not referring to us in this clinical

way, right. They’re not saying you’re a, you are a dangerous to society person who is essentially the equivalent of Ted Bundy. They mean that we are not being very sociable, right? This article is taking it to me is, is like literally looking at the words, the word antisocial as a. Like, as it, as the, like in its clinical definition, which is, I think not what anybody who’s calling an introvert.

Anti-social, it’s not what they mean.

[00:39:47] Jess McAuley: No, in certain it is certainly something to point out though. If someone is to call you antisocial, that is something to ask them to clarify what exactly they mean by that. Because

[00:39:58] Phil Rickaby: I think, I think that generally people don’t understand that what they’re doing is they’re using a clinical term.

I think that when people call an introvert or somebody who is social anxiety, antisocial, that they mean not sociable.

[00:40:13] Jess McAuley: Right.

[00:40:13] Phil Rickaby: I don’t think that they’re saying you’re a psychopath,

[00:40:16] Jess McAuley: Right. I’m finding a little tricky, like it’s a weird conversation.

[00:40:22] Phil Rickaby: I mean, the thing is that like, it’s, the whole thing is a weird conversation because.

Like words matter. Right? And the way that we have as a society, flippantly used the term antisocial to mean somebody who’s not sociable. When, what it means is clinically against society, a disruptive person to society potentially dangerous. Right?

[00:40:48] Jess McAuley: It’s to me, it’s like when somebody is a perfectionist and they keep saying that they have OCD.

To me. That’s what it starts to feel like. Is it say you are owning your owning something that you have no right to own. Right. But, you know, even putting that label on somebody where it’s a, you know, where the comparison, apparently Ted Bundy falls under is a bit much. Yeah. It’s a bit much. Yeah.

[00:41:13] Phil Rickaby: No, but they’re like, they’re again, they’re, they’re using this, this very specific thing.

Cause they’re also saying like so for example, if we look at number four, introverts, enjoy deep connections with the people that are close to while anti-social individuals are unable to feel empathy. That’s a psychopathic trait that is not social anxiety.

[00:41:30] Jess McAuley: That is, that is sociopathic. That is

[00:41:33] Phil Rickaby: That exactly right?

Exactly. Right. So that’s like, I think the only thing that we could take is number five, which is introverts don’t need to be fixed or taught to be different.

[00:41:43] Jess McAuley: That’s right. I like that one I did when I was, when I was looking through the article, I was like, I really enjoy this one. Now had we have not have had this conversation.

I, I want to call back to number four because I think my issue is, is that. For the author to say, to make this point to, to clarify the difference, there has to be people out there that must think that introverts are heartless, that we have no feeling. And I have to, where did that come from? Who say, who has thought that?

[00:42:23] Phil Rickaby: I think, I mean, here’s the thing. If I look at the first paragraph of this article, and I think, I think that that, that what they’ve done is they’ve taken the fact that that often people call introverts antisocial as we’ve discussed. And they’ve tried to be like, well, literally what an anti-social means is that you’re a psychopath.

So let’s talk about why introverts are not this right. I think what they’ve done because it’s it’s the first paragraph is introverts get a bad rap, popular stereotype. Stereotypes tend to be downright offensive. Some people believe introverts are awkward and have trouble relating with others. Others believe introvert being an introvert means being a loner or antisocial.

Again, I don’t think that people actually think that. I think that when people use the term anti-social. They mean, not sociable, not clinically antisocial, but I, I it’s, it’s funny because sometimes like I often, this is like the, another one of those articles where you’re like, how did this article come to be?

What was the conversation? Cause I think a more helpful article would have been, and of course it’s a shorter. It’s to go, well, you don’t mean, so you don’t mean anti-social you mean not sociable done article over, I guess it doesn’t get many clicks, but that’s the short article. Right?

[00:43:46] Jess McAuley: Right. Absolutely it again, I have to wonder who, what, what conversation did you have with somebody?

For them to have this impression of introverts. I just I’m, I’m at a, I’m at a full loss with

[00:44:02] Phil Rickaby: It to, to reiterate. I just don’t think that they’re, that, that when like this person heard an introvert being called antisocial and was like, but that’s a clinical condition. That’s nothing like what, what introversion is antisocial is a very dangerous condition.

And I don’t think that they were thinking, oh, what the person who said that means is not sociable. I think that there was a gross misunderstanding on the part of the person who introduced the article and they just ran with it to the end.

[00:44:34] Jess McAuley: Right. Right.

[00:44:36] Phil Rickaby: I know that when people have called me antisocial, they don’t mean that I’m a dangerous, a sociopath or psychopath.

They mean I’m not sociable. And if they don’t please tell me that you think that so I can cut you out of my life.

He’s Phil Rickaby and he’s

[00:44:57] Jess McAuley: the safe, safest individual.

[00:45:03] Phil Rickaby: It’s interesting though, to think about like, sometimes these articles can lead us into, into a place that we didn’t mean to go, but it’s an interesting conversation because earlier we mentioned how people throw around the word antisocial to describe the introvert’s. Now if you know somebody that’s called, if you’re an introvert and you know, somebody who’s called you antisocial and they meant that clinical condition, maybe we should have a conversation should have a conversation with that person because it’s a personality disorder.

I mean, I guess, I mean, cause the secondary definition is not sociable, but when, when adjective number one is. Basically a clinical condition that sort of problematic. Absolutely. Oh yeah. That’s an, that’s an awkward conversation to have a, again, it’s a slippery slope into a whole other conversation.

So when you said I was anti-social, did you mean. That I have a personality disorder or did you just mean that I’m not sociable and watch them squirm? Uh, uh…

[00:46:09] Jess McAuley: I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

[00:46:12] Phil Rickaby: What I meant was I was just trying to shame you to come out of your room.

[00:46:16] Jess McAuley: Yeah. I got a call my parents after.

I got a conversation to have with them. Listen near ma

Jackie, if you’re listening, I love you.

[00:46:36] Phil Rickaby: So did we learn anything?

[00:46:40] Jess McAuley: I learned to remember to, so to separate social anxiety with antisocial, because I think that’s one of the, those are two terms I know I’ve been guilty of making them interchangeable and they are not, they are not interchangeable far away from each other. And so I think that has been a good reminder to ensure that.

When I speak about how I prefer to socialize or how others socialize to not make those assumptions and to ensure I’m using the proper language because, you know, I’m, I, I like to make sure that I am not saying something hurtful. Or someone is saying hurtful to me and they don’t mean it that way.

[00:47:26] Phil Rickaby: It’s unkind to yourself to kind of fight the, to, to, to, to, to kind of fight something that is a personality trait in the way that you interact with the world is something that is a tradable clinical issue, right?

[00:47:38] Jess McAuley: Yeah.

[00:47:38] Phil Rickaby: You know, you can, you, you can be treated and you can, you can, you can, you know, see somebody and talk to somebody about social anxiety and, and work through that. You can’t really work through your, your introvert. Without being absolutely miserable, but again, that is a spectrum and that gets slide over time.

But it’s, it’s interesting to think about how often you and I have both on this podcast conflated the two. And I can’t guarantee that we won’t fall into that in the future. And I, I, we will try to call ourselves out when it happens. It’s become so ingrained, but we’ll try to remind ourselves of what of the difference between introversion and social anxiety.

But I like, for me, I think what I learned was just to work at identifying which it is, and if it is. Social anxiety evidenced by a negative self-talk to try some positive self-talk and to, you know, even if it’s just like all the reasons here are all the, my brain is giving me all the reasons I should not go to this thing.

Number one. Should I ask if that’s true? Because number one on the list, as I’ve mentioned before, when I’m, when my brain is talking me out of going to a thing is nobody likes you. So. Like I have to start with, is that true? No, that’s not true. And then we have to go to why am I going, what do I want from this thing that I’m going to and, you know, try to build a foundation for going to the thing, even if you just get in the door for 15 minutes, let’s remember from our party episodes, just getting in the door as a triumph, whether you stay for 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour or long.

[00:49:14] Jess McAuley: And you should celebrate those triumphs. You know, if you manage to go to those parties or those networking events, you are absolutely encouraged to pat yourself on the back because it took courage to go through with that. Especially if you had those doubts, you deserve that.

[00:49:32] Phil Rickaby: You know what you should celebrate that with a selfie and tag us.

Because if you find yourself that you’ve managed to go to go to a gathering and you’re proud of yourself, we want to be, we want to be proud of you too. So take a selfie tag us. We will celebrate you too, because anytime that we’re able to get in the door at these things and, and managed to, to have a good time, even for a short while before a battery runs out, that’s a triumph and we want to sell it.

[00:49:58] Jess McAuley: Make no mistake about it. I am the queen of emojis and like celebration. Phil sends me something I’m like, yes, Phil. Yes.

Yeah, no, you all deserve it. You’re doing great out there. .

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