I've spent the last year or two trying to figure out exactly what it is that's bothering me. I don't even know if this is the right place to discuss it, but I haven't had much luck elsewhere, and this seems like more of a group that I can relate with.
As I get older, I keep thinking that I'll eventually get over this social anxiety that I've had all my life, especially around strangers. Even when I'm with someone I know well, I never feel ready to talk to them when we're together. One thing I've learned from therapy is a thing called "friend files", which basically means bits of information that you know about this person. That was a great lesson to learn, but whenever I try to execute this in real life, everything seems to be going 100 miles an hour. I'll ask a question, and they give me an answer I don't quite understand, and I don't want to make them articulate everything. By the time I comprehend what they're saying, I forget what I wanted to ask next. It's even worse when I have to answer the phone, because I'm not usually expecting phone calls, and if it interrupts what I was doing, it's even worse. As an introvert, we need time to think of our answer, and I don't like keeping someone waiting too long or it feels awkward. Even if I'm able to string together some decent questions and answers, it's unevenly paced compared to others having conversations. Sooner or later I'll have to find a new circle of friends, since I've become way too much of a recluse, and am starting to feel some of those depression symptoms.
What should one do about this?