I'm realizing I need a new strategy in dealing with my social anxiety. For the past few years I just throw it out there into conversation. Rarely, if ever does this have a positive effect. By throwing it out there I mean I will say something like, "Oh that is because of my social anxiety," or "I'm freaking out because of my social anxiety." Making these comments only makes me feel slightly better and only for a few seconds while typically making the other person uncomfortable.
I'm also finding that I am doing better with strangers, but oddly enough having a harder time around my own friends. My loving, non-judging, wonderful friends. If I am with a group of let's say 4 or more, I freak out. I contribute very little to the conversation and when I do you can bet it is somehow out of context. When I get invited to events, even a simple dinner with a group of people, I contemplate over it for days. What will I say when they ask how I am doing? What should I ask them? I am embarrassed to say I find myself making up excuses not to go. I actually convince myself my excuses are true and valid reasons not to go. So my new goal is working on saying yes and fighting social anxiety head on without verbalizing my tactics to those around me. We'll see how it goes.