If you have an anxious mind then perhaps your ears are burning. A new study from the University of Michigan shows a significant link between social anxiety and making slight yet significant social errors that are so choice, people just have to keep retelling the story behind your back. Research scientist, Dr. Clifford Barnes said, “Calling oneself an overthinker or a worrier, while not a scientific diagnosis by any means, points to the very real problem of social anxiety. Like this one guy came in to participate in the study and he said ‘good afternoon’ but it was like 11 AM and I was like ‘who does that?’ Do you know what I mean? Like, after noon. Afternoon, get it? The rest of the researchers and I still bust on that guy.”
Barnes and his team created a test environment, a gathering of people who are effortlessly okay in social situations because they’re, like, normal and inserted a subject with social anxiety disorder. “Over the course of the party, we were able to monitor the brain function, observing both the pleasure center and the amygdala, the gland most closely associated with stress. The rest of the researchers gathered data on why the subject wore that to this study, the number of times the subject told that anecdote about meeting Jimmy Fallon that time, and the frequency of the subject totally missing the natural exit point of a conversation, forcing a stranger to continue to listen to them.”
“It’s been eye opening,” said Gail Washington, a PhD candidate with Barnes’s team. “The prevailing opinion is that anxiety is genetic and due to chemical imbalance but we’re finding the social component is significant. But also this one guy at the study made eye contact with me a couple of times. Like, he looked at me sideways or whatever and I was like, dude, just like stop, you know? But he kept looking at me. And I said to the other researchers, like, who brought the psycho? And they were all like, I knooooooow.”
At this point Barnes interrupted. “Was that the guy with the really small coffee stain on his shirt?”
“It was! Like, he thought none of us would see it or something.”
“Our next study is going to be on washing your clothes,” Barnes said and then paused. “No it’s not,” he added.
The research is not definitive but the correlation is strong. Whether it’s unwittingly revealing a closely guarded secret through a mistimed comment or mentioning a that you haven’t read the Wind Up Bird Chronicle, social anxiety’s manifestations will cause discussion.
When asked about a cure, Barnes said, “Cure? Um, it’s not a virus or a bacteria. So, um, I think you mean, is there an emerging therapy?”
Therapy, of course. Not a cure. That was dumb. Sorry.