Life with social anxiety is tough. Everyday interactions stress you out. Making friends feels like the most daunting task of all time. But even when you succeed in securing a few pals, you may not feel like your relationship with them is actually friendship. You might think the people you hang out with are just doing you a favor.
However, a new study published this month in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology says that this perception is not necessarily true from the point of view of your friends. In other words, you're coming off better than you think you are.
The researchers invited 112 individuals into a lab — some of whom were diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and some of whom were not — and asked everyone to bring along a platonic friend. Everyone was asked about the strength of their friendships.
In a press release, lead author Thomas Rodebaugh said: