Last month, I published a blog post about managing my mental health and dealing with social anxiety. And I want to continue that conversation. I thought I would highlight a recent example of where my anxiety kicked in and how I dealt with it.
Sometimes going out and doing things that come easy for everyone else doesn’t come so easy for me. Like going to the movies by myself. My anxiety gets triggered when I think of being in social situations by myself or around large groups of people. Even seeing a movie in a movie theater. Last week, Spider-Man: Far From Home from Marvel Studios came out. And I am religious about seeing every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie on opening night AND in IMAX. For IMAX movies in Regal Cinemas, they release special collector tickets. And I collect them. So, by seeing these movies on opening night – I ensure I get one of these tickets. For popular movies, these tickets can go quickly.
When it came to seeing Spider-Man: Far From Home, I didn’t have anyone available to go with me on opening night. And it makes me feel more comfortable going to movies with someone I know. Yes, I know – it’s just a movie and you’re just sitting there watching a big screen for 2 hours and not really being “social”. You’re still around a lot of people though especially when your going to a hotly anticipated movie which most of the Marvel movies are.
In trying to manage my anxiety, I am challenging myself to confront these situations head on rather than avoid them. To make sure I didn’t weasel out of seeing this movie, I used the Regal Cinemas app to purchase a ticket for the movie in advance. An IMAX movie ticket on opening night isn’t cheap. And it’s not trivial to get your money back for a ticket you bought through the app. I trapped myself a week before the movie. I HAD to go. Otherwise I would be wasting a decent amount of money which is stupid.
In short – I went to the movie, it was awesome (highly recommend seeing it and seeing it in IMAX), and I got the collectible ticket.
There are still cases where my anxiety gets the best of me. I wanted to go see the Foo Fighters (my favorite band) in concert and didn’t go because I didn’t want to go by myself. Same for Weezer. And every year I tell myself I’m going to go to San Diego Comic-Con but never actually do it. I’ve still got work to do. But at least I’m taking baby steps!
For those of you who have social anxiety, how do you manage it? I’d love some tips to try! Leave a comment or tweet at me.