Love learning languages but have social anxiety?

Hello all, thank you for checking out this post. I am a huge lover of learning languages! My native language is English and can speak Japanese. I am currently learning Spanish and German. I would like to learn Hungarian too. I grew up speaking Hungarian but slowly stopped from my teenage years, so I’ve forgotten so much. Introductions out of the way, I’d like to open a topic which contrasts me posting in a community forum.

I suffer from severe social anxiety and have always learned languages alone. It is always recommended that one practices with native speakers, but how do you get around that aspect without language learning becoming hindered? Who else has difficulties with the social aspect of learning languages and how have you managed attaining fluency and a good level of conversational skills without delving into the social side of things?

In my case, I talk to myself a lot in foreign languages. I talk to objects a lot too, and respond on their part. I read books in foreign languages a lot, play games in foreign languages as much as I can – RPG Games with a lot of dialogue choices are very helpful or simulations. I watch videos and write diaries in the language I am learning and talk to my partner and family members about things I know regarding my target language. With all these combined I end up thinking a lot in foreign languages merged with my native language and have always found this serves me very well because I become immersed in the same way one would in a social setting or in a country of one’s target language without the stress social aspects bring. Otherwise, I am unable to retain any information and my studies become negatively impacted. Even posting on community forums is problematic, since it is still very social. The social aspects one is expected to partake in within language learning is very problematic for me in my university studies. Since despite universities claiming to help those with mental illness, in my experience they fail to tackle those involving learning languages and attaining fluency without saturating oneself in social aspects. I therefore make my own world saturated in foreign languages in every way possible. I personally have never found my language learning or fluency hindered by lack of social interaction since I struggle to speak even in my native language if in social settings. Sometimes not being able to speak at all, as if English is not my mother tongue.

I’d love to hear others with similar experiences and how you manage.

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