So I thought I'd reach out about this issue because I want to find a way to improve my situation and help out anyone else experiencing this :).
Almost every time I hang out with my long time friends, I get so nervous that it interferes with having a good time. It has nothing to do with them but the fact that I can't completely relax around the people I should be comfortable upsets me every time. It upsets me, even more, when they are conversing so effortlessly whilst I struggle to talk back and can't hold my part up. Sometimes I worry that they'll leave me because I'm not interesting enough. I also don't want them to find out I'm struggling either whilst talking. The symptoms I feel are:
1. Persistent fear while a person is talking to me
2. Consequently, I can't concentrate on what they're saying when my mind is racing because I'm too busy trying to think of a decent/witty reply ahead or god knows what. Maybe I don't want to say something stupid.
3. I also feel like I'm losing my breath whilst I'm speaking a sentence.
4. I also seem out of touch with reality, like disconnected so I can't focus or be aware enough. This may sound so weird but it's the only way I can think of conveying what I feel like at the time: It's as if a ghost of me is speaking without my physical body. Or, if I was to lie on the floor, the top layer of me is doing all the work whilst my brain feels far behind me. This is what happens every time I try to speak.
Due to these factors, I often find myself agreeing or laughing because I struggle to engage in the conversation to bounce off each other's words.
It may not sound too serious but it is absolutely controlling my entire being every time and I'm so sick of it. I just want to have a good time with my friends.
I just want anyone to confirm if this is some part of social anxiety and WHAT CAN I DO to get rid of these feelings???
Thank you so much.