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How to Overcome Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety Disorder, social phobia

To Overcome Social Anxiety

1. Monitor your “If Then” Thinking

2. Lower Your Self-Preoccupation

3. Stop seeking approval

4. Master the art of small talk

5. Transform Your Beliefs

6. Learn Modeling and the “Act as If” technique

7. Learn how to use The Pratfall Effect

8. Build up your confidence

9. Learn How to Manage Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Social Anxiety (Social Phobia)

If you are dealing with social anxiety disorder then you could also be characterized as being modest, self-controlled, and caring about how you affect other people. You are just a very considerate person who does not want to offend anyone or disrupt them in anyway. Because if you did, then that would be very embarrassing.

So you see, socially anxious people can be good friends to have.

That being said, I’m very sorry that you have been dealing with this anxiety. It can be very uncomfortable and even scary to be in situations where you believe you could be judged, criticized, or made fun of. Not to mention the feeling of anxiety and fear can seem unbearable.

Social situations become very risky and you may be very self-conscious and worry about how others see you.

You would rather avoid certain social situations than deal with the discomfort that they bring.

There is hope. You will get better, feel less anxious, and be more confident!

To overcome and deal with your social anxiety you will learn to stop seeking approval, transform your beliefs, and learn how making mistakes can work to your advantage.

What is Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety disorder is common with an estimated 12.1% of U.S. adults and 9.1% of U.S. adolescents experiencing social anxiety disorder at some time in their lives (Harvard Medical School, 2007). Typical onset of social anxiety is between the ages of 8 and 15.

Social anxiety disorder used to be referred to as social phobia.

People with social anxiety disorder experience fear and anxiety about one or more social situations where they could be observed and judged by others.

Meeting new people, having conversations, being observed by others, eating or drinking around others, and performing or giving a speech are some of the situations that someone struggling with social anxiety would likely want to avoid. Even writing and signing your name in front of others could cause anxiety.

There is a fear that others will notice that you are anxious, that you will be evaluated negatively, and then you will feel embarrassed and possibly rejected.

These social situations always produce fear, are avoided or endured with intense anxiety, and the fear is totally out of proportion for the actual situation.

A person can be diagnosed with social anxiety disorder if they have been experiencing this fear and anxiety for at least 6 months.

Is it Shyness or Social Anxiety?

It is common for most people to feel shy on occasion. Everyone is capable of experiencing a certain amount of worry and tension in new social situations or when meeting new people.

Some people feel awkward and uncomfortable having attention placed on them or “Being the center of attention.”

I know it’s important for me to put my best foot forward and to be liked. This will cause me to be a bit shy or self-conscious, and possibly more reserved or cautious around people I meet for the first time.

Social anxiety, however, goes well beyond just feeling shy or awkward. Most shy people can warm up and feel more comfortable once the ice has been broken and they begin to socialize.

People with social anxiety disorder tend to become overwhelmed with anxiety and don’t usually warm up to social situations. They will feel extreme shyness even around people they know such as family events.

Someone who says they have severe shyness and avoids social situations, probably is experiencing social anxiety disorder.

What are the symptoms and signs of social anxiety?

People with social anxiety disorder may blush, sweat, tremble, have their mind go blank, and experience a rapid heart rate.

They may then fear that others will see them blush or sweat and then know that they are anxious.

Other symptoms include:

  • ​Difficulty speaking and word-finding

  • Having a stiff, rigid body posture and making poor eye contact

  • Feeling self-conscious around others and being fearful of being judged and criticized

  • Feeling embarrassed and awkward around others

  • Upset stomach or nausea

  • Trouble catching your breath

  • Dizziness or feeling light-headed