Anxiety takes form in different ways. Whether it’s your perfectionism influencing your need to be in control of everything in your immediate vicinity (whilst internally you’re panicking), painful spikes of disassociation as you’re frozen but your brain is racing, or not knowing your flight response was triggered until you’re in a safe environment emotionally breaking down.
It’s being tense and shallow breathing and the rapid calculations of the quickest way out. It’s the constant twirling of the rings on the hand. The jittering of the leg.
Quite often, this anxiety struggle is below the tip of the iceberg that is our public persona. If you know the tells, you’ll probably see the anxiety peek through, but otherwise for the most time, it’s hidden. Because making it obvious to others attract attention and when you’re anxious, that’s the last thing you want.
That’s why it’s not as simple as “you shouldnt worry so much” or “oh, just come out – it isnt that hard”.
So be gentle and kind with others, for everyone is fighting a battle you may not know of.