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Does anxiety mask your true intelligence/wisdom?

  • Thread starter KyussEatsTheSun
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KyussEatsTheSun

KyussEatsTheSun

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I definitely feel "smarter" and "wiser" when I'm at home, safe, and relatively "free" from anxiety. When I'm around people I dont know, in general and especially people with authority over me, my speech becomes timid and often slightly incoherent. All too often, especially in front of my boss, it appears that my IQ goes down to a single digit and I'm just a scared little puppy for seemingly no reason. The result is resentment for the other person and twice the resentment upon myself. Does anyone else have a problem like this with social anxiety? How can I begin to repair this life-long affliction?
 
Mario82

Mario82

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I get this as well. I feel like I can't express myself as well in public, yet when I write essays and talk online I am generally articulate and coherent. It's a paradoxical feeling - the juxtaposition of feeling like you are reasonably smart yet being unable to put thoughts together because of the anxiety and the meds.
 
L

LokiPokey75

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I definitely feel "smarter" and "wiser" when I'm at home, safe, and relatively "free" from anxiety. When I'm around people I dont know, in general and especially people with authority over me, my speech becomes timid and often slightly incoherent. All too often, especially in front of my boss, it appears that my IQ goes down to a single digit and I'm just a scared little puppy for seemingly no reason. The result is resentment for the other person and twice the resentment upon myself. Does anyone else have a problem like this with social anxiety? How can I begin to repair this life-long affliction?
I totally get where you're coming from! I've read the books, I've role-played the scenarios, I've even watched the videos, but when I'm out in public, it all just goes to hell. I lose my nerve in conversation and I can't seem to stay in the moment.

This happens a lot when I talk to my mother. I stutter. I'm never able to express how I'm truly feeling so I feel utterly stupid and inferior. It's that inferiority that comes from flubbing a conversation that leaves me stilted for the next time.

While I can't offer you any sure-fire methods, I can say that moving through your fears in the moment and trying to stay focused while be one of your greatest assets. The intimidation factor is what kills all of us. Make the mistake, sound like an idiot, and realize you can handle the consequences. The more you practice it in conversation, the more you'll be confident. But it will take time.
 
KyussEatsTheSun

KyussEatsTheSun

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Much thanks for your awesome reply, Loki. I'm looking into therapy.
 
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Zoe1

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I think when that happens to me
its because I'm talking to the wrong person

unless I can be open with the person
and tell them how unconfident I'm feeling
and for that to be OK
 
U

user9898

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It's the fight or flight mechanism that shuts down parts of the brain responsible for abstract thinking, logic and strategic thinking to activate other parts that tenses the muscles, increases breathing frequency and the heart rate, it's a hypothesis anyway that sounds reasonable.
 
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winter24

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I feel the exact same things too when I try and talk to someone. I'll have everything I need to say in my head, then when it comes to actually saying it, my brain goes blank. It's deeply frustrating.
 
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MedicalUnicorn

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This is true when I first started having oral exams. I often don't do my best due to anxiety.
I failed oral tests many time. there was this one time when one of my teacher thought I can't speak English well lol. But oral tests don't scare me anymore I got better at them and I'm still improving.
I often get too stressed when speaking with my dad I actually avoid speaking to him at all. cause I can't predict when he is going to have his next anger outburst.
I often sound dumb when I speak to him that he actually believes I'm dumb, he doesn't realize it's him that is causing me anxiety.
 
KyussEatsTheSun

KyussEatsTheSun

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MedicalUnicorn, I have a similar dynamic with my uncle. He's done selfless things for others (a bit too often, even he will admit it) but he has unpredictable anger patterns. Additionally, when he is angry, it's very troublesome for an empath with my own repressed anger issues to deal with. I dread calling him on the phone and being in person with him is an anxiety-ridden experience.
 
AliceinWonderland

AliceinWonderland

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Yep, I can relate to what you've said Kyuss. I'm not unintelligent, but sometimes come across (it feels to me anyway) as a bit dim in social situations. I think my brain/emotions are working like mad behind the scenes, evaluating everything, assessing whether there's any threat, wondering what people think of me, trying to second guess people's meaning, or hidden intentions, all the unspoken cues that come into social interaction. I don't always feel very good at picking up on these. I think it leaves my thinking fuzzy sometimes. Like my mind is always elsewhere. Focusing and being in the moment is difficult, there is so much other evaluating going on, a lot of background noise in my brain.
 
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George10111

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Oh absolutely. In two scenarios I’ve blown people’s minds. When I get soo anxious I studder and don’t speak English. In another I speak like a poet.

When I’m relaxed I can speak clearly and confidently. Being nervous is what causes me to sound like an idiot. That’s how handicapping it can be! If only I could speak how my mind thinks lol.
 
Mario82

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I'm actually been doing voice messages on whatsapp and feel like I am talking more fluently for the most part. So that is pretty good.
 
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user9898

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One thing that has helped me to battle anxiety's negative effect on thinking and speaking has been to be prepared and to take the initiative in social situations on the topic of conversation.

Also I try to notice how other people respond and behave in group conversations rather than focusing on myself too much.

I also have a tendency to overthink my responses so I have tried to be more spontaneous. The problem is when you're spontaneous, you tend to say more stupid things and sometimes people criticize you which affects my to a great degree. This is definitely problematic.
These problems only happen in group discussions, never one-to-one.
 
toutatis

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@KyussEatsTheSun

Perhaps you can use that intelligence in conversation by saying something you feel is interesting and relevant to the topic. It can be anything. And the other person will begin to see the real you.

Personally, I don't know about things masking people's intelligence, etc. Bit too abstract for me.
 
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Randa

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I get this as well. I feel like I can't express myself as well in public, yet when I write essays and talk online I am generally articulate and coherent. It's a paradoxical feeling - the juxtaposition of feeling like you are reasonably smart yet being unable to put thoughts together because of the anxiety and the meds.
I love texting. People can’t see me & I actually sound intelligent. You are not alone & not inadequate. You just have a social anxiety. I try not to speak unless I have to. Then I can’t obsess over what I feel I said wrong🥲
 
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