welcome to Beyond Blue and well done for reaching out.
I must say that since this Pandemic hit and we've all had to stay home, and keep in touch via phone and video calls, my gosh, my own anxiety, when it comes to being on video is huge! I cannot STAND being on camera in any way, shape or form and I am constantly feeling so self conscious and worrying about how 'fat' I look or how the dark circles under my eyes look, or if my glasses are sitting straight on my face .... etc. In other words, I'm better at social interaction when I don't have to see myself on video as well.
Perhaps though too, if you were to stop comparing your insides to everybody else's outsides, you may begin to feel a bit more confident, and less worried about what others might be thinking and feeling? I learnt a long time ago that that was one of my own biggest hurdles; always comparing how I FELT to how others LOOKED. And really, it's actually like comparing apples and oranges. Yes, they are both fruit, but they are also unique. And remembering too, if I could 'paste' on a smile some days, then couldn't other do the same thing? Couldn't they too 'pretend' to some degree that they were okay when they really weren't?
Think about it: how many times have you automatically replied "Yeah good thanks" to the question of "How are you?" ... When you weren't actually feeling all that great? So if you can "worry if I am saying the right thing, not being able to speak up during conversations, if I am saying the right thing, checking other people's reactions, if they are thinking something bad about me and overthinking the worst in every situation" then so too can others ...... worry if THEY are saying the right thing, if THEY not able to speak up .... etc.
And yes, by hanging out with the right people (those who are helpful, encouraging, patient and supportive) then yes, you will become more confident.
And yes, so long as we are all helping each other through this, then we will all be okay.
Thanks again for you post. Take care. I'll be thinking of you. xo