Social Anxiety

A Glimpse into the Life of That Quiet Girl in Your Classroom


Taylor Burnham


There is a girl who sits alone

with no friends and no words. 

A girl who never speaks unless forced. 

A girl who feels betrayed by her own mind. 


She has social anxiety, 

but nobody thinks of that when they whisper and laugh about her, 

the scathing giggles and remarks that make her feel inferior. 

Part real, part imagination—it all creates authentic pain. 


The hypocrites gloat about the importance of mental health 

but fail to recognize the truth about her. 

What’s going on in her brain debilitates her soul because 


Social anxiety is 

hearing from every teacher: 

“you should participate more” 

without being able to tell them why you hate it. 


Social anxiety is 

not wanting to participate in class 

because you are too afraid of what the popular girl 

sitting across from you will think. 


Social anxiety is 

being compared to the outgoing individuals, 

listening to and analyzing their lives 

until you realize they have it better. 


Social anxiety is 

low self-esteem, 




Social anxiety is 

feeling tears swell in your eyes 

while your sympathetic nervous system kicks in 

as soon as someone says “group” or “partner.” 


Social anxiety is 

being told to “come out of your shell” 

when the crab is trapped inside 

and can’t find light through the calcium carbonate. 


Social anxiety is 

wanting to be friends with someone 

because you have so much in common 

but screwing it up because you’re too afraid to speak to them. 


Social anxiety is 


awkward silences, 

unrequited messages. 


Social anxiety is 

losing every popularity contest 

and crying because your passion and experience 

was lost in transit. 


Social anxiety is wanting to love someone 

but pushing them away 

because your body can’t handle the panic 

of knowing you’ll ruin everything with one sentence. 


Social anxiety is reading every text and email 

you write to a third party to make sure you don’t sound stupid 

and still hesitating to hit send after 

they assure you everything sounds fine. 


Social anxiety is using the written word to communicate your thoughts 

because your mouth will never let you speak.


Social anxiety is