My story revolves around a girl who’s only friend is an inanimate object and this is due to her estranged mother never really being there for her growing up, thus she has confided into this ornament who she names Isabel.
Throughout the plot, Norah ignores the one person who is trying to reach out to her. And eventually Norah overcomes what could be perceived as social anxiety near the end as we see her leave the ornament behind to interact with another person.
Obviously, people with social anxiety can’t overcome it as easily as in the story, but since it’s only going to be about 5 minutes long, I need a tightly knit plot that makes sense but also as a pay off or resolution.
What is social anxiety?
According to NHS, social anxiety is simply a persistent fear of social situations and being around people.
‘Much more than just “shyness”, social anxiety disorder causes intense, overwhelming fear over what may just be an everyday activity like shopping or speaking on the phone. People affected by it may fear doing or saying something they think will be humiliating.
Social anxiety disorder disrupts normal life, interfering with social relationships and quality of life, and impairing performance at work or school.
It’s generally more common in women than men and often starts in adolescence, or sometimes as early as childhood.’ – NHS (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-anxiety/pages/social-anxiety.aspx)
The NHS also states that the behaviour of parents can affect whether a child will develop social anxiety disorders. One of these behaviours being ‘not affectionate enough’ which is what I stress throughout the story of ‘Still Friends.’
Through this story I also wanted to challenge the misconceptions that some people have about social anxiety and almost any mental illness. Some people think social anxiety simply means you are an introvert so I have purposefully made Norah’s character more extrovert than introvert as she dresses in a quirky manner and when she is alone with the ornament she is not afraid to speak her mind.
More research about social anxiety