Oh, social anxiety in pubescent kids is very common.
I speak of childhood fears.
You still sound like a cool pup to me.
Has this remained so for you?
What of your parents?
The social anxiety was actually most crippling when I was very young -- say, kindergarten age through puberty. I'd never really seen a kid my age before I started school -- when I wasn't in the care of my family I'd been looked after first by an old Mexican woman who spoke no English and didn't look after any other kids, then dropped off with a friend of my mother who ran what was basically a house for preteen and teenage foster children waiting for "permanent" placement -- and I was a hopeless naif when I got there. Not an unusual situation for little bohemian kids, I think. I got bullied and ridiculed a fair amount, and took this a lot harder than I probably should have. But that was really my only source of worry.
(My sister had it much worse. I went through this period out in the country; when she'd gone through it, we lived, rather inexplicably, as the only white family in one of the poorest and roughest towns in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was quite the target.)
The folks were pretty clueless about any of this. They loved the idea of me as a little nonconformist, I think. Funny thing is, there apparently was quite a bit of concern that I might have a learning disability at this time. I didn't perform in my early math lessons. I was given a test to determine my ability to learn through visual and auditory means, and my scores on each part were rock bottom. At any rate, this resolved itself when the lessons got harder. I have no memory of any of this -- it apparently was only a concern for my parents. I only remember being preoccupied with trying to fit in. I remember very well refusing to go to school one day -- 1st grade, I think -- in a pair of red corduroy pants that were my only clean pair. I knew it would be a day of ridicule and likely a beating. But this wasn't an unfounded, abstract fear, this was something that really was going to happen.
But, then, my parents were always misfits themselves. I'd guess my dad probably recognized what was going on -- he kindly ran a pair of jeans through the wash and wrote a note excusing my tardiness -- but was ill-equipped to help, since he'd never overcome his own anxiety and depression issues himself. My mother at the time was rarely around -- worked across the state, was only home on weekends. When she gave up that job, we hit rough times for money and moved in with aunt/uncle/2cousins, which was a whole other trauma -- I hated my aunt and uncle and it's recently come to light that my uncle had been molesting my cousins, so I think this hatred was probably well-founded -- during which I acquired a little brother (an accident, I'm sure), who died at 5 months old.
Familial relations after that were -- not strained, but just cold. My material needs were met, I cooked for myself, I did my own laundry. I was enrolled in youth sports programs to keep me busy and sent off to grandparents and occasionally to camps during the summers. Grown-ups were laughing at my sarcasm and/or chiding my cynicism by the time I was 9.
But, at any rate, I didn't have any obtuse fears beyond my fear of not fitting in, and this wasn't really a point of conversation at home.
Puberty, by contrast, was great. I had a huge growth spurt and was 6 feet tall by the time I was 11, managed to occupy both the star student and the class clown niches, could buy cigarettes at the gas station across the highway (they knew who and how old I was at the local market), and generally had enough influence in my social sphere that I didnt have to worry about fitting in. It wasn't the end of anxiety, naturally, but compared to what went before I had no complaints.