On Sunday evening, Khalid sparked a discussion–and a chance to connect with his fans–when the singer-songwriter tweeted about his social anxiety. He shared that he has been feeling the pressure of the spotlight recently, and a number of social media users reached out to assure Khalid that he isn’t alone in his anxiety, adding their own thoughts and experiences, ET Canada reported.
The discussion began with a simple, sarcastic tweet from the American Teen artist.
“Shoutout to social anxiety haha.”
When users probed the singer to ask if he was alright, Khalid elaborated a bit on his feelings.
“Was just thinking, it’s like, I want to make new friends but s***… it’s HARD. All this pressure in my chest, all the overthinking, etc.,” he said.
One user resonated with Khalid’s tweet, adding that she feels she doesn’t have many friends due to her anxiety. Khalid agreed, saying that it gets difficult to get out when all he wants to do is stay inside. He went on to say that his anxiety developed as he grew older, causing him stress when he tries to make new friends.
Khalid also revealed that he feels the most anxious when talking to someone in front of a group of people. The singer prefers one-on-one conversations and feels the pressure especially when going out in public due to paparazzi and fans recording him.
“I’ve always wondered what being a celebrity with social anxiety is like cuz ur always exposed to massive groups of people,” someone commented.
“Going out in public is a little hard, being recorded non stop, everyone staring at you and s***,” the artist replied.
When asked if he ever feels anxiety on stage during performances, he revealed that he used to but has since grown to love interacting with his fans.
Social anxiety is defined as “the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, self-consciousness, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression,” according to Social Anxiety Institute.
It is one of the most common forms of anxiety and can develop in adolescence at as early as 13-years-old.
“Social anxiety really tries to stop us from having dope friends man its rough,” one user agreed.
At just 20-years-old, Khalid’s musical career skyrocketed with the release of his debut album American Teen, according to Independent. He was named Best New Artist at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards and later became nominated for a Grammy award.