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albecker   , 36

from Scarsdale

How To Overcome Social Anxiety

What is Social Anxiety?

You feel out of your element, like you don’t belong in this moment. Here, with all of these people, in a place you don’t recognize and aren’t comfortable with. You’re afraid to talk to anyone because they could find you “strange” or “boring” or some other deflective word you tell yourself. You feel everyone is watching you. It’s much easier to just stay home and avoid this party. This is a normal reaction during instances of the unknown. This is what it’s like for someone who has social anxiety. 

More than 15 million people across the globe experience social anxiety on a regular basis. Those with social anxiety often display fear (either internal or external) of social situations that make them uncomfortable. They feel mass effects of self-consciousness and feel like others are evaluating and judging them. Below we’ll discuss different ways to deal with an overcome this type of anxiety, but if you want more detailed information about social anxiety disorder; Betterhelp.com has a good free resource.

Symptoms of Social Anxiety

Someone with generalized social anxiety is usually anxious in nearly every social setting. Someone could also have more specific and situational social phobia, such as public speaking.

You feel exceptionally nervous and anxious when:

• You meet new people and are introduced to them;
• You are the center of attention, whether it’s small- or large-scale;
• When someone watches you do tasks;
• When you meet someone in an authoritative position;
• Having to engage in small talk at work functions or parties;
• Introducing yourself during a meeting; and
• When you are teased in jest or criticized (even constructively).

In addition, you may experience the following: a rapid heartbeat, dry mouth or throat, blushing, twitching muscles, hands shaking, sweating, troubles maintaining eye contact, intense feelings of immediate fear and more. These symptoms, and hundreds of others, can be some signs that you have some level of a social anxiety disorder. 

How You Can Overcome Social Anxiety 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Other Therapy 

Talking with a professional who knows the ins and outs of mental-health disorders could be beneficial for you. You could learn to not be afraid of social situations and anxiety in general because you are identifying what makes you anxious in the first place. For example, instead of avoiding a party, you could choose to go and remain at the party. Usually, your anxiety will decrease the longer you are there, and you will realize that you are not in harm’s way. This type of therapy allows a patient to confront his or her fears and work through them — rather than avoid them completely. 

Conquer Anxious Fears On Your Own

In addition to therapy, you can also employ some tactics on your own that will enable you to get through even the most stressful social situations. Read more about your disorder, rate your anxieties through a hierarchal system (number them from one to 10 in severity) and practice doing activities that make you anxious. The more you deal with them, the easier it will be to work through your social anxiety.

The New Wave of Apps

In today’s information age, all of us have our smartphones at our sides most of the time. If you are nervous to meet people, several apps allow you to talk with someone before meeting him or her. For example, if you’re looking for a new relationship, you could download Tinder. If you want to meet professional colleagues in your area, there are apps that allow you to talk about what you do for your career and meet other like-minded individuals.

If you have social anxiety, seek out a licensed professional to talk with you about your condition and its effects and remedies. You don’t even have to leave your couch; since these days you can find the professional help using one of the online counseling services being offered.


^ What is Social Anxiety/Social Phobia? Thomas A. Richards, Ph.D. The Anxiety Network. http://anxietynetwork.com/content/what-social-anxiety-is-like. Accessed March 29, 2017.

^ Social Anxiety: Symptoms and Treatment. Social Anxiety Association. http://socialphobia.org/social-anxiety-symptoms-and-treatment. Accessed March 29, 2017.

^ How To Overcome Your Social Anxiety. Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anxiety-files/201410/how-overcome-your-social-anxiety. Accessed March 29, 2017.