Imogen, a transwoman in her early 30s, came to me for help with what she called her “social awkwardness”.
At first, she was easily irritable with me because “everyone I’ve talked to about my problem keeps telling me it’s social anxiety.” She expected that I would do the same.
“I’m not anxious around people and I’m not scared that they would judge me or anything,” she insisted.
I understood her annoyance because most people would mistake social awkwardness for social anxiety. While the latter is about fearing people’s judgment and rejection, social awkwardness is broader and more complex. It usually does not include fearing people’s negative judgment.
Together with her, we fleshed out Imogen’s social awkwardness. She shared with me that she tended to feel awkward when people asked her about herself, and really took an interest in her.