I Feel Anxious When I Talk to People

13 October, 2021
Q Assalamualaikum, I am a degree student studying abroad, away from my home country, with great support from my parents Alhamdulillah.

I had really good grades for my high school exams Alhamdulillah. However, for the last 3 years (yes, even before university), I have been suffering from repeating depression and anxiety, mainly about the near future but also to do with me not being able to speak confidently to anyone outside my family.

So, for example, I cannot keep a friendly conversation going like most normal human beings can. I stutter a lot and find it hard to choose the right words when trying to teach a material to a classmate, although I understood the concept very well (inside my head only, unfortunately). I think it's because I like it best when I study or work alone, which is very uncommon for university students, of course.

All university students that I know prefer to work in groups. They get the work done quickly, even while chatting and joking to the group, whereas I would struggle to write anything down if I keep listening to the group.

When others are enjoying and regenerating energy when they speak, I spend so much energy just thinking of a reply that I can use to 'join' the conversation.

I am worried about my future self as I know that I will be faced with many responsibilities that require me to speak up. This anxiety is affecting my soul, astagfirullah, and my daily activities. Now, I am unable to work faster and am still not independent enough due to the lack of communication skills I mentioned earlier.

I still maintain my 5 daily prayers in the Masjid whenever possible and have memorized 3 juz of the holy Quran, Alhamdulillah. This great depression is also affecting my connection with Allah. I am so scared that I will be punished in hellfire as I am pessimistic about this dunya.

Please, help me find a solution to this very basic communication problem that I have.


Salam Aleikom,

In this counseling answer, you will learn:

Different people have different types of learning methods; there is no right or wrong method

Strategies how to work in groups effectively


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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)