...so I've joined a couple groups lately, and some of the members in those groups claim to have anxiety, but really don't. I understand that anxiety makes some people talkative, and it compels some people into being active or leaders. Heck, I can be one of those people myself.
However, these people claim to have social anxiety by default before even engaging others. They claim to have an innate attraction to finding others to socialize with and looking to get involved.
In the two groups I've joined, these people have dominated the sessions, and some are afraid to speak up about them because of possibly being criticized or ridiculed. On the other hand, others find them pleasant and enjoy their company even though they don't really help. They're just attention whores who are playing the groups like they're popularity contests in order to feel good about themselves rather than really helping others come to solutions in dealing with anxiety.
Instead, they constantly advocate learning from experience and trial and error, ignoring how they're expecting others to assume the risk of getting hurt in the process. Then, they say experience and getting hurt is just life. It's very dismissive of how we aren't just living creatures, but that we're civilized people with morals and ethics.
I've seen some people leave the groups because of this. I've also seen some people get flat out kicked out because of this as well. We've had some outbursts of people who are frustrated with them, and they either breakdown or angrily retort in saying they don't deserve to be harshly criticized or ridiculed in the first place.
I'm rather convinced at this point that the key to identifying impostors is identifying those who don't understand that social anxiety sufferers need to be segregated. Social anxiety comes in many forms, and when those forms are forced to interact, it can lead to conflict from misunderstanding and misinterpreting others' behavior.
However, some people don't understand this, and they deliberately believe all forms of social anxiety can coexist. They don't understand how they're forcing others to assume the risk of conflict as well as how people don't deserve to have to endure conflict.
Another sign of social anxiety impostors is whether or not they admit their anxiety comes before or after, to or from, socializing. Impostors will say their anxiety happens before and to socialize such that they would be anxious in advance of encountering social situations. Authentic SA sufferers understand that anxiety follows social situations.
This isn't to say that SA can lead to a vicious cycle or that anticipation happens, but the question is, "How does it begin?" Another thing that impostors will do is say they can't remember, but just that it's been going on. Authentic sufferers might say it's always been there, but they will also explain how it began such as since they entered school, young childhood while home, entering the workforce, auditioning for a group, or leaving a group they were accustomed to living with.