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Living with Social Anxiety in Hollywood

Living with Social Anxiety in Hollywood

Social anxiety is a silent struggle for many, including myself. It's a constant battle that affects every aspect of my life, from personal interactions to professional endeavors. In this blog post, I want to share my journey with social anxiety, especially within the Hollywood industry, hoping to connect with others who face similar challenges and to offer a sense of solidarity.

The Pandemic and the Rise of Anxiety

My social anxiety became more pronounced during the pandemic. Before 2020, I was already aware of my tendency to overthink, but the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic amplified these feelings. Friends stopped reaching out, and my attempts to initiate contact often went unanswered. This left me feeling more isolated and questioning my worth as a friend and a professional.

Professional Struggles in Hollywood

Working in Hollywood, where networking and getting people to like you is crucial for collaboration and opportunities, social anxiety can be a significant barrier. Despite being offered a new job, my social anxiety didn't subside. Instead, I constantly felt inadequate, questioning if I truly deserved the position. Every interaction with colleagues or superiors was fraught with self-doubt. I second-guessed every email, meeting, and conversation, worrying about how I was perceived.

Professional Struggles in Hollywood

Working in Hollywood, where networking and getting people to like you is crucial for collaboration and opportunities, social anxiety can be a significant barrier. Despite being offered a new job, my social anxiety didn't subside. Instead, I constantly felt inadequate, questioning if I truly deserved the position. Every interaction with colleagues or superiors was fraught with self-doubt. I second-guessed every email, meeting, and conversation, worrying about how I was perceived.

Social Media Anxiety

In this social media-driven world, I have more connections and people who recognize me online than in real life. However, this often feels meaningless because they don't truly know me—they only know what I post. If my posts are anxious-filled or depressive, or if I delete them before anyone sees them, they don't get a real sense of who I am. Even if they know me through my work with Filmclusive, Strong Asian Lead, or my previous life in New York with Rogue Photo and Alicia Keys, they still don't truly know me. They see the business side, but my personal postings don't capture the engaging, fun, and open-minded person I am in real life. When I go home, I self-loathe and replay all the mistakes I've made or fear I will make.

Even posting this blog post about social anxiety is giving me anxious feelings that I have to actively shut down.

Newsletter Frustrations

Recently, I sent out an email newsletter. Instead of feeling accomplished, I was filled with dread. The formatting was off, and it was likely too long for anyone to read. I feared it would lead to more unsubscribes, reinforcing my feelings of inadequacy.

Maintaining Relationships

Maintaining relationships has become increasingly difficult. Social anxiety leads to awkward conversations, difficulties in dating, and struggles to keep friendships alive. In LA, where networking is key, I find it hard to attend events or reach out to established professionals. The fear of rejection or awkwardness often holds me back.

Filmclusive: An Important but Challenging Venture

I also run a project called Filmclusive, which I believe is important. People tell me it's crucial, yet it's been incredibly hard to get it off the ground or raise any funds. Despite talking to investors and supporters who offer help, I hesitate to reach out because I don't want to be a burden. This hesitation has made it challenging to move forward.

I don’t know what to ask for, and I hate asking for favors. Even when people offer to help, I feel inadequate and worry that I have nothing to offer in return. This anxiety has left me feeling stuck and unsure of how to proceed with Filmclusive, despite its potential and importance.

Digital and In-Person Anxiety

Social anxiety isn't limited to face-to-face interactions. It extends to digital communication as well. Every email, text, or social media post feels like a potential minefield. I worry about the lack of feedback and the possibility of being misunderstood. This constant overthinking is exhausting and isolating.

Seeking Connection and Understanding

Despite these challenges, I strive to keep going. I share my story to let others know they're not alone. Social anxiety is a real and valid struggle. If you experience similar feelings, know that your anxiety is valid. It's important to find ways to cope and to seek support from others who understand.

Conclusion

Living with social anxiety in Hollywood is a unique challenge. It affects every aspect of my life, from personal relationships to professional interactions. By sharing my story, I hope to connect with others who face similar challenges and to offer a sense of solidarity. How do you cope with social anxiety? Let’s support each other in this journey.

#MentalHealth #SocialAnxiety #HollywoodLife #PersonalGrowth #Support

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