By necessity, crochet crafters need to be learners, planners and problem-solvers. For example, you need to learn how to read crochet patterns and follow them. You need to plan what you are going to make and organize your supplies. And, if anything does not go according to plan, you need to solve problems both in procuring supplies and in the stitching itself.
So, people who enjoy crafting are often well-suited to organizing and conducting hobby groups. But what if you have social anxiety? Should you take on this task as a way to deal with your social fears? It might be a wonderful idea, but here are some things you should consider first.
What Do I Need to Learn?
If you are someone with social anxiety who wants to form a crafting group, there are two main areas of learning you need to focus on. First, you need to learn as much as you can about social anxiety. Next, you need to learn more about crochet.
Learning about Social Anxiety
You can begin by reading articles about social anxiety disorder, its symptoms, and the treatments that are available. To start you off, here is a brief list of symptoms that often occur if you have social anxiety disorder. First, when you are interacting socially with others, you might experience:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Trouble speaking
As you try to talk to others, your mind might be racing with worries about saying the wrong thing or embarrassing yourself. You may worry for days in advance of a social events, and you may fear others recognizing your anxiety. You might even avoid social situations or use alcohol to get you through them.
For all these reasons, starting a group of any kind will likely be a big challenge for you if you have social anxiety. However, with the right planning and support, you may find that doing so will help you face your fears and learn better social skills while doing something you enjoy.
Learning about Crochet Crafting
Many people who start crochet hobby groups find that the most fun part is learning new crocheting techniques and discovering new crochet patterns. There’s always something new to explore, and you can find countless ideas for fascinating crochet projects.
One way to learn even more is to connect with someone who has been involved in creative crocheting for many years. If you can, enlist them to provide their expertise, either as a member of the group or as an occasional featured guest speaker. If you know someone who has excellent crochet skills and ideas but is not able to come to your group, you might arrange to spend one-on-one time with them. That way, you can learn and later share their knowledge with the group yourself. As someone with social anxiety, you will probably find this person-to-person interaction less threatening than group time, and it will prepare you to speak confidently when your group gets together to find out what you’ve learned.
How Should I Plan My Crochet Crafting Group?
Planning a crochet hobby group might seem like an impossible task for someone with social anxiety. However, a positive aspect of being in charge is that you have a lot of control over what happens in the group.
First, consider where you are going to meet. Some people with social anxiety feel more comfortable meeting with others in their own homes. Others would spend the time worrying that their guests are judging them not only for their social behaviors but for the way their house looks. If that’s the case, it might be a good idea to have the group in a familiar location where you feel comfortable, such as your local community center or church.
Planning what to do at your meetings is the fun part. You can find free patterns to share, research yarns and other materials, and come up with interesting projects to suggest. It might be a little harder for you to connect with experts in the crafting world, but you might feel more comfortable if you can communicate with them through email or social media at first.
How Can I Be Ready to Solve My Social Problems?
Think of leading your crafting group as on-the-job training for social confidence. Your symptoms of social anxiety are sure to crop up from time to time. But if you have a plan in place to deal with these challenges, you can gain experience in facing your social fears.
What Support Can I Get to Help Me with Social Anxiety?
So, how can you get the support you need to prepare yourself for this social endeavor? The best option is to talk to a mental health counselor about your social anxiety. They can teach you techniques for minimizing your symptoms and building your self-confidence.
If seeing a therapist in person triggers your social fears, consider online therapy. With videoconferencing, you can talk to a counselor face to face from the comfort and security of your own home. Or, if even that provokes anxiety for you, you can connect with a psychotherapist through text chat.
A therapist can provide specific support for you for leading your crafting group, too. You can go over your plans with them and get their recommendations for approaches to take during each meeting. After meetings, you can discuss with them how you felt and talk over any mistakes you feel you made. They can give you advice and encouragement to help you feel more at ease the next time.
“What If I’m Not Ready?”
Not everyone with social anxiety is ready to lead a hobby group, or any kind of group for that matter. If that sounds like you, there is no need to put yourself in that position. You may enjoy being a member of someone else’s group or even an occasional visitor. The important thing to remember is this: even if you have social anxiety, you still need to meet your social needs. Social interactions may be scary, humiliating, or worrisome for you at times, but once you learn how to deal with your social anxiety symptoms, your life will be fuller, richer, and more satisfying.