When I decided to start writing about my social anxiety, my first instinct was to write under a pen name. Something impersonal like “Shy Writer” that couldn’t be traced back to myself.
That instinct came from the fear that someone I know might find my website. Or a potential employer might google me and read these posts. Or some total stranger would watch my videos, think I’m a loser, and make fun of me.
Those fears are all social anxiety-based fears, and to give in to them would defeat the whole purpose of this blog, which is to overcome my social anxiety.
If a friend or family member stumbles upon these posts, then so what— they already know I have social anxiety, though they may not know the disorder by name. Reading these posts might actually help them better understand social anxiety and where I’m coming from.
If a potential employer finds this site and discovers I have social anxiety, then, again, so what— They’d eventually realize I have social anxiety during my interview or at least when I start working with them. It would be better to be open and honest with them ahead of time. They might even be more understanding during the interview process.
As for random strangers on the internet, I can’t control what they think. I’ll probably never meet them, and if they truly feel that I’m a loser, then I wouldn’t want to meet them anyway.
So that’s why I decided to write about my social anxiety under my own name. After all, as Marlo from The Wire said, “My name is my name.”