Anxiety or Attraction?

How does one distinguish between the feelings of anxiousness and the feelings of attraction to someone?

(What attraction entails exactly is a whole other topic; I’m mainly focusing on the differentiation between anxiety and attraction in this post.)

The misattribution of arousal is the phenomenon of misattributing one’s physiological symptoms of arousal to a wrong stimulus.

A rapid heartbeat caused by anxiety, for instance, may be incorrectly perceived as an effect of feeling attracted to another individual, and vice versa. As someone who’s socially anxious, how, then, do I determine the difference between them?

Both situations involve a heightened state of stress, arousal, and awareness with similar physiological symptoms. It is uncomfortable and I do not like it. I spend a lot of precious time and energy in trying to reduce my symptoms of anxiety. It is a rare treat when I’m able to relax without any anxiousness. I intentionally avoid situations and activities that intensify those sensations. Engaging in things like exercise resembles too closely to anxiety — the perspiration, heat, flushed cheeks, elevated heart rate, shortness of breath, tensed muscles, body aches, and the exhaustion.

The intensity of the symptoms could be an indicator of attraction, but couldn’t that also be an indicator of intense anxiety?

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9 thoughts on “Anxiety or Attraction?

  1. I have always known since I was a teenager that I have social anxiety, but I can honestly say I don’t know what it feels like to genuinely be attracted to someone. When I have had past infatuations, they felt like a mix between anxiety and being lovestruck.

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    1. Me neither; we are similar in many aspects. I can’t say I’ve experienced crushes before though. This area is something that I’m completely baffled by, clueless about, and have no experience in. I imagine it’d be more intense?

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      1. I try to imagine what real love feels like but I guess I will never truly know unless I experience it one day. Or not. I think about all the crazy (and sometimes bad) things people have done because of love, and I can’t understand it.

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  2. This was a great subject, I’ve realized this confusion of feelings for only a couple of months. when I’ m attracted to someone, I feel anxious. actually for me, being attracted is not a good feeling, if I like a person, I’m like “god damn it! Now it’s gonna start all over again!” It’s like the fear of not being able to act as required near that person. The fear of being humiliated in front of her. the fear of “what if my voice shakes when I’m talking to her?!” and all these fears and many more, makes me feel anxious whenever I’m even just a little bit attracted to some girl.
    When I’m ready and have some achievments in this subject I might post my point of views about this subject. Keep writing, you are awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

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