I used to be so outgoing and friendly, now I get very nervous to be around people I don't know very well, especially if it's just me and one other person. It's like I'm terrified of awkward silences.
I started a new job last year. It's NOT the type of office where everyone is best friends and spends much time together outside of work, but during the day people often go to lunch together or grab coffee. As soon as anyone asks me to go for coffee, I mentally freak out and think up some excuse "Oh, I've got a lot of work to do", "I already had four cups just to get through the morning!" or whatever BS springs to mind.
What the hell is wrong with me? It's a cup of coffee, there's a Starbucks across the street from the building, it's not like we'd have some long awkward 10 minute car ride together.
It's really just awkward silence that I'm afraid of. The few times I've agreed to go for coffee have always been right after some major-ish event occurred in the office (like the time someone freaked the fuck out and quit on the spot) because then I knew there'd be something to talk about.
Can anyone relate?
You have a Cluster C Personality Disorder. Possibly Cluster A.
Coffee doesn't help, if it's caffeinated it can make the nerves go wild. I gave up the stuff and I am much calmer around people now. If I know a situation is going to be awkward, I take a half of a Klonopin.
Gee, thanks, R1! You are a fountain of insight, non-mechanistic thinking and humane warmth. You useless fucking cunt.
OP, even if you're sweating profusely in horror (one past symptom of mine, a symptom of just not wanting to be part of loser people's reptilian, hateful social septic tank), just go and get the fucking coffee. Act stressed about work if it feels unbearable and you need to say something. Force yourself to just look out the window and breathe deep and say nothing when you're ready. If you don't go, the peons will target you. Sorry, but it's true. It's how losers feel they are acquiring power. These people don't seem like anybody you'll see again after you leave this job (and one day, you will).
Oh let me guess, drop-in company sends you straight to the loony bin!
r1, can you diagnose r3?
Before I send out an email I need to have it checked by a friend because I cannot tell if I am being too cold or overly enthusiastic in it.
God I need to get out of my house more often.
[quote]I started a new job last year. It's NOT the type of office where everyone is best friends and spends much time together
From the sounds of it, they TRY to spend time with you but you reject their offers. Perhaps if you'd just go with the flow y'all WOULD BE friends.
Your problem is you have not yet accepted Jesus as your personal savior.
Take care of this ASAP.
R1 calls people aspies and borderline and uses Wikipedia to diagnose people he doesn't like. He should look up bitter, broken ass, just hanging on with anger. His need to classify a complete stranger makes R1 both OCD and antisocial peronality disordered, by his own standards.
That is not how things are done OP. Don't look for help out here, plus you are going to be fine.
Good clinicians are very label resistant when dealing with normal human behavior. There is a reason for your avoidance and anxiety and it can probably be cognitively understood and changed or appropriately avoided.
Too many armchair psychologists on the DL and the net. Everything gets pathologized and this is not the way that trained professionals approach normal, understandable human behavior.
If you need a kick in the ass, don't look for it out here because they will kick you till your dead.
If you are concerned that your avoidance and anxiety are interfering with your life, consult a professional.
Not to compound your situation OP, but a lot of times being perceived as antisocial can hurt you during your reviews, etc. This is especially true in environments where you are expected to collaborate on projects, etc with your peers.
There are some good medications that can help you get over the issue that can be taken when you know you are going to encounter the situation. You'd probably find after using the medication for a short time you would get over the anxiety. I *believe* Propranolol is a beta blocker that can be used in this situation but your doctor would certainly know.
R13 = massive victime complex.
r1 , r10, r15
He is our Wikipedia healthcare diagnostician.
Beware of these people on line and in life.
He is massively incompetent and can't understand why he is always disappointed and rejected.
He therefor rejects first, and labels normal behavior as pathological in others.
He functions but is quite troubled.
Just act it. Act it long enough and it will start becoming a part of you.
 You are quite correct. A beta blocker is what my friend uses for her social anxiety. I had completely forgotten about it when advising OP to purchase a dog as a convo starter.