Quotations About Social Anxiety

He dare not come in company, for here he should be misused, disgraced, overshoot himself in gesture or speeches or be sick; he thinks everyman observes him.  ~Richard Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy

All too frequently, anxiety crushes not only your spirit and your potential, but your ability to take care of your mind and body.  ~Jonathan Davidson and Henry Dreher, The Anxiety Book: Developing Strength in the Face of Fear

If you are physically sick, you can elicit the interest of a battery of physicians; but if you are mentally sick, you are lucky if the janitor comes around.  ~Martin H. Fischer

Nerves and butterflies are fine - they're a physical sign that you're mentally ready and eager.  You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that's the trick.  ~Steve Bull

Panic is a sudden desertion of us, and a going over to the enemy of our imagination.  ~Christian Nevell Bovee

A stammering man is never a worthless one.  Physiology can tell you why.  It is an excess of sensibility to the presence of his fellow creature, that makes him stammer.  ~Thomas Carlyle, letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson, 17 November 1843

The only thing that could spoil a day was people.  People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.  ~Ernest Hemingway

That I could clamber to the frozen moon
And draw the ladder after me.
~Author Unknown

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.  ~Albert Camus

You know those days when you've got the mean reds.... the blues are because you're getting fat or maybe it's been raining too long.  You're sad, that's all.  But the mean reds are horrible.  You're afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don't know what you're afraid of.  Except something bad is going to happen, only you don't know what it is.  ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1958, spoken by the character Holly Golightly

Oh the nerves, the nerves; the mysteries of this machine called man!  Oh the little that unhinges it, poor creatures that we are!  ~Charles Dickens

Nothing so much prevents our being natural as the desire to seem so.  ~François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, 1678

People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.  ~George Bernard Shaw

If I had my life to live over, I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.  ~Don Herold

Some patients I see are actually draining into their bodies the diseased thoughts of their minds.  ~Zacharty Bercovitz

If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you'll die a lot of times.  ~Dean Smith

A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work.  ~John Lubbock

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind.  If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.  ~Arthur Somers Roche

Love looks forward, hate looks back, anxiety has eyes all over its head.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Worry, doubt, fear and despair are the enemies which slowly bring us down to the ground and turn us to dust before we die.  ~Attributed to Douglas MacArthur

Do not be afraid of tomorrow; for God is already there.  ~Author Unknown

We are, perhaps, uniquely among the earth's creatures, the worrying animal.  We worry away our lives.  ~Lewis Thomas

When the superficial wearies me, it wearies me so much that I need an abyss in order to rest.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

They need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, their souls really won't be at peace unless they can latch on to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them no end.  ~Jack Kerouac

Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday.  ~Author Unknown

We experience moments absolutely free from worry.  These brief respites are called panic.  ~Cullen Hightower

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.  ~Leo Buscaglia

Worry is a complete cycle of inefficient thought revolving about a pivot of fear.  ~Author Unknown

I love mankind - it's people I can't stand.  ~Charles M. Schulz, Go Fly a Kite, Charlie Brown

I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.  We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers.  ~Henry David Thoreau, "Solitude," Walden, 1854

Some men storm imaginary Alps all their lives, and die in the foothills cursing difficulties which do not exist.  ~Edgar Watson Howe

Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.  ~Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course, 1997

Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night.  ~Author Unknown

To fear is one thing.  To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.  ~Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.  ~Andre Gide

No one is moved to act, or resolves to speak a single word, who does not hope by means of this action or word to release anxiety from his spirit.  ~Ali ibn-Hazm

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.  ~Henry David Thoreau

When one has too great a dread of what is impending, one feels some relief when the trouble has come.  ~Joseph Joubert

A very sensitive person in this stupid world is bound to become mad.... Only meditation can save him from becoming mad. ~Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.  ~Mark Twain

Every man, through fear, mugs his aspirations a dozen times a day.  ~Brendan Francis

Let us be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which will never happen.  ~James Russell Lowell

The fear of being laughed at makes cowards of us all.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

As a rule, what is out of sight disturbs men's minds more seriously than what they see.  ~Julius Caesar

When you suffer an attack of nerves you're being attacked by the nervous system.  What chance has a man got against a system?  ~Russell Hoban

The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.  ~Lord Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield

Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.  ~Author Unknown

 Prudence keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy.  ~Samuel Johnson

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.  ~Samuel Butler

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock, and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet.  ~Sa'Di

Once you become self-conscious, there is no end to it; once you start to doubt, there is no room for anything else.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

There are offences given and offences not given but taken.  ~Izaak Walton

Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people.  ~André Dubus

We probably wouldn't worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do.  ~Olin Miller

The shy and the extroverted have this in common - that they both fancy they are the center of attention.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

Men are not against you; they are merely for themselves.  ~Gene Fowler, Skyline, 1961

When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future.  When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past.  ~Author Unknown

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.  ~Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Letters to Lucilius

The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.  All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better.  What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn?  What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice.  Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

In solitude, where we are least alone.  ~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

If things go wrong, don't go with them.  ~Roger Babson

If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying.  It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.  ~Dale Carnegie

If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?  ~Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

There are those who are so scrupulously afraid of doing wrong that they seldom venture to do anything.  ~Vauvenargues

I've developed a new philosophy... I only dread one day at a time.  ~Charles Schulz

Troubles are a lot like people - they grow bigger if you nurse them.  ~Author Unknown

If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.  ~E. Joseph Cossman

Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.  ~Theodore N. Vail

Every evening I turn my worries over to God.  He's going to be up all night anyway.  ~Mary C. Crowley

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.  ~K.T. Jong

I keep the telephone of my mind open to peace, harmony, health, love and abundance.  Then, whenever doubt, anxiety or fear try to call me, they keep getting a busy signal - and soon they'll forget my number.  ~Edith Armstrong

Nerves provide me with energy.  They work for me.  It's when I don't have them, when I feel at ease, that I get worried.  ~Mike Nichols

I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.... For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.  ~Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things"

People gather bundles of sticks to build bridges they never cross.  ~Author Unknown

You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.  ~Mary Manin Morrissey

Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.  ~Usman B. Asif

Panic at the thought of doing a thing is a challenge to do it.  ~Henry S. Haskins

Some people are so sensitive they feel snubbed if an epidemic overlooks them.  ~Frank Hubbard

There are people who have an appetite for grief; pleasure is not strong enough and they crave pain.  They have mithridatic stomachs which must be fed on poisoned bread, natures so doomed that no prosperity can sooth their ragged and dishevelled desolation.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can't wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.  ~Pat Schroeder

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.  ~Elbert Hubbard

Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.  ~Glenn Turner

Somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face.  ~Nelson DeMille

From restless thoughts, that, like a deadly swarm
Of hornets arm'd, no sooner found alone,
But rush upon me thronging.
~John Milton

For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.  ~Author Unknown

It only seems as if you are doing something when you're worrying.  ~Lucy Maud Montgomery

A hundredload of worry will not pay an ounce of debt.  ~George Herbert

Heavy thoughts bring on physical maladies; when the soul is oppressed so is the body.  ~Martin Luther

Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weights you down.  ~Toni Morrison

As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.  ~Thomas A. Edison

Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.  ~Swedish Proverb

We live in a very tense society.  We are pulled apart... and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.... I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude.  ~Helen Hayes

Never bear more than one kind of trouble at a time.  Some people bear three - all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have.  ~Edward Everett Hale

We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it.  But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.  ~John Newton

When I really worry about something, I don't just fool around.  I even have to go to the bathroom when I worry about something.  Only, I don't go.  I'm too worried to go.  I don't want to interrupt my worrying to go.  ~J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

[A]ny concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.  ~Corrie Ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

I am reminded of the advice of my neighbor.  "Never worry about your heart till it stops beating."  ~E.B. White

There are two days in the week about which and upon which I never worry... Yesterday and Tomorrow.  ~Robert Jones Burdette

Worry is rust upon the blade.  ~Henry Ward Hughes

Loneliness, insomnia, and change:  the fear of these is even worse than the reality.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

It is not the cares of today, but the cares of tomorrow, that weigh a man down.  ~George MacDonald

Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived,
But what torments of grief you endured
From the evil which never arrived.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.  ~Mark Twain

If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.  ~Calvin Coolidge

How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.  ~Thomas Jefferson

Only man clogs his happiness with care, destroying what is with thoughts of what may be.  ~John Dryden

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.  ~William Ralph Inge

There are more things, Lucilius, that frighten us than injure us, and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.  ~Seneca

We are more disturbed by a calamity which threatens us than by one which has befallen us.  ~John Lancaster Spalding

Grief has limits, whereas apprehension has none.  For we grieve only for what we know has happened, but we fear all that possibly may happen.  ~Pliny the Younger

He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.  ~Montaigne

No human thing is of serious importance.  ~Plato

Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow.  ~Philip Gulley

Don't fight with the pillow, but lay down your head
And kick every worriment out of the bed.
~Edmund Vance Cooke

There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear.  ~George S. Patton

Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.  ~Brendan Francis

There is much in the world to make us afraid.  There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid.  ~Frederick W. Cropp

Fear is faith that it won't work out.  ~Sister Mary Tricky

Fear is the lengthened shadow of ignorance.  ~Arnold Glasow

Fear is the highest fence.  ~Dudley Nichols

Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small.  ~Ruth Gendler

Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.  ~Shirley Maclaine

I have accepted fear as a part of life - specifically the fear of change.... I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says:  turn back.  ~Erica Jong

If a man harbors any sort of fear, it percolates through all thinking, damages his personality and makes him a landlord to a ghost.  ~Lloyd Douglas

Fear:  False Evidence Appearing Real.  ~Author Unknown

He who fears something gives it power over him.  ~Moorish Proverb

Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.  ~Author Unknown

Fear can be headier than whiskey, once man has acquired a taste for it.  ~Donald Dowes

The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.  ~Lady Bird Johnson

Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.  ~German Proverb

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes.  ~Sally Field

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.  ~Attributed to Hanoch McCarty

We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.  ~Roderick Thorp, Rainbow Drive

Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right.  ~Henry Ford

If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.  ~Author Unknown

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.  ~Anaïs Nin, Diary, 1969

Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they're yours.  ~Richard Bach, Illusions

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.  ~Edmund Hillary

It's hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.  ~Sally Kempton, Esquire, 1970

When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it there.  ~Cecil Selig

Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality.  ~Les Brown

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.
~Dr. Seuss

If you doubt yourself, then indeed you stand on shaky ground.  ~Henrik Ibsen

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.  ~Thomas Alva Edison

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.  ~William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, 1604

Just as much as we see in others we have in ourselves.  ~William Hazlitt

Your problem is you're... too busy holding onto your unworthiness.  ~Ram Dass

Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

It's me who is my enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence.
~Paula Cole, "Me," This Fire

Don't let anyone steal your dream.  It's your dream, not theirs.  ~Dan Zadra

If you must love your neighbor as yourself, it is at least as fair to love yourself as your neighbor.  ~Nicholas de Chamfort

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.  ~Louisa May Alcott

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.  ~African Proverb

The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.  ~Sonya Friedman

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  ~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles," 1992 (commonly misattributed to Nelson Mandela, 1994 inauguration speech)

The neurotic longs to touch bottom, so at least he won't have that to worry about anymore.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

The neurotic is always half-drowning in anxiety, and always being half-rescued.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Sadness is almost never anything but a form of fatigue.  ~Andre Gide

It is some relief to weep; grief is satisfied and carried off by tears.  ~Ovid

Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it.  ~Albert Smith

People who do not understand themselves have a craving for understanding.  ~Wilhelm Stekel

I was seized by the stern hand of Compulsion, that dark, unseasonable Urge that impels women to clean house in the middle of the night.  ~James Thurber

If my devils are to leave me, I am afraid my angels will take flight as well.  ~Rainer Maria Rilke, on leaving psychotherapy

A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air.  A psychotic is the man who lives in it.  A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent.  ~Jerome Lawrence

The two main hazards of psychoanalysis:  that it might fail, and that if it succeeds, you'll never be able to forgive yourself for all those wasted years.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Mental health problems do not affect three or four out of every five persons but one out of one.  ~William Menninger

A lot of what passes for depression these days is nothing more than a body saying that it needs work.  ~Geoffrey Norman

We are always getting ready to live but never living.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We crucify ourselves between two thieves:  regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.  ~Fulton Oursler

The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.  ~Abraham Maslow

I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade.  It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor.  ~D.H. Lawrence

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living.  We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.  ~Dale Carnegie

Pile up too many tomorrows and you'll find that you've collected nothing but a bunch of empty yesterdays.  ~The Music Man

Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.  ~Mary Anne Radmacher

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.  ~Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar, 1894

Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow.  ~Dan Rather

Sometimes the biggest act of courage is a small one.  ~Lauren Raffo

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.  ~Raymond Lindquist

When we are afraid we ought not to occupy ourselves with endeavoring to prove that there is no danger, but in strengthening ourselves to go on in spite of the danger.  ~Mark Rutherford

No one has yet computed how many imaginary triumphs are silently celebrated by people each year to keep up their courage.  ~Henry S. Haskins

Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.  ~George Smith Patton

Courage is to feel the daily daggers of relentless steel and keep on living.  ~Douglas Malloch

The future is called "perhaps," which is the only possible thing to call the future.  And the only important thing is not to allow that to scare you.  ~Tennessee Williams, Orpheus Descending, 1957

What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?  ~Robert H. Schuller

If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.  ~Toni Morrison

Face what you think you believe and you will be surprised.  ~William Hale White

The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.  ~Charles de Gaulle

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.  ~Henry Stanley Haskins, Meditations in Wall Street, 1940, originally published anonymously; commonly misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson (Thanks, Garson O'Toole and walden.org!)

Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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