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?