Social Phobia Underlying Fears
Some of the fears commonly aroused by social situations can include:
- worry that others will notice their physical symptoms of anxiety, such as blushing, sweating, and stammering
- fear of looking stupid, silly, or ridiculous
- fear of appearing quiet, boring and uninteresting to others
- fear of being judged as socially inadequate.
What Exactly Is Social Anxiety And Why Does It Flare Up At Work
Before you can cope with social anxiety at work, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re dealing with. According to the American Psychiatric Association, social anxiety is defined as “a persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others.” While there is no known cause of social anxiety, it can often lead to a jolt of imminent fear as well as irrational thoughts and behavior, says Veroshk Williams, PhD, a clinical psychologist in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“Basically, the alarm system of the body is malfunctioning,” says Williams. “The nervous system is telling the person that there is an imminent danger that needs to be avoided when there is none.” Or at least, not something that warrants such an intense stress response.
Oftentimes, social anxiety can be coupled with physical symptoms like blushing, trembling, sweating, an increased heartbeat, and dizziness. While social anxiety can manifest at parties, networking events, on a date, or at large gatherings, it’s also highly common at work. Why? Simply put, work can be an anxiety-provoking stimulus in so many ways.
Telling Others About Your Social Anxiety
It’s likely your closest family and friends already have an idea of your social anxiety. If you want to tell someone specific, send a message that there is something you’d like to share and arrange a time at a quiet place to talk.
If you feel too nervous to explain your situation, write down a summary of what you’ve been feeling. It’s best to share your symptoms so that the other person can gain an understanding of what you are going through.
Remember that social anxiety disorder is still a little-understood condition and others may need some help to understand.
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Social Anxiety Disorder In Children
Theres nothing abnormal about a child being shy, but children with social anxiety disorder experience extreme distress over everyday situations such as playing with other kids, reading in class, speaking to adults, or taking tests. Often, children with social phobia dont even want to go to school.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Social Anxiety
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is considered to be one of the leading psychological treatments for social anxiety. All of our online courses use CBT strategies to help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Click below to see if CBT can help you tackle your symptoms to improve the way you feel.
Strategies for Managing Symptoms of Social Anxiety
People with social anxiety disorder tend to overestimate the likelihood of being judged by other people and underestimate their own worth. Theyre often self-critical, can fixate on their own flaws, and constantly compare themselves to other people. They can also be hyperaware of and embarrassed by the physical symptoms of anxiety, like blushing, sweating, or trembling.
Cognitive strategies help people identify and challenge these kinds of thoughts, and learn new, more helpful ways of thinking. In doing so, these strategies help can people become more confident and self-compassionate.
Two key features of social anxiety are avoidance and safety behaviours. Avoidance is when you miss out on fun or important experiences because of anxiety, for example, skipping a friends birthday party or an important presentation at work because youre afraid of being judged. Safety behaviours are things you do that help you cope with anxiety, like having a few drinks before you get to a party.
Coping With Symptoms of Social Anxiety
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How To Deal With Social Phobia
If you are dealing with social phobia, know as well that you dont have to go the battle alone. There are others who are going through the same anxiety problems that you are. If you want to connect with these people there are various places online that you can talk about social phobia. Visit social phobia forums such as socialanxietysupport.com to talk with others who have the same problem. Remember, it is possible to overcome social phobia and live a fuller life.
If you are trying to learn how to deal with social phobia, you know that it is a daily battle against negative thoughts, physical anxiety, and avoidance. Only with proper treatment will you get better. However, by developing your own coping strategies you will stand a better chance of successfully completing treatment and maintaining your improvements for years to come. Be proud of what you accomplish and keep moving forward. Although your victories may seem small compared to those of others, celebrate those small victories. Over time they will combine to create a confident new you.
Here Are Some Of My Favorite Social Anxiety Tools
Thanks for reading! I hope you found some helpful tips. Since this site is about social anxiety, I wanted to also share some tools I use that I hope youll find helpful. Some of these are affiliate links, so if you decide to try them, Ill earn a commission. However, I only recommend things I have used myself and would recommend to a friend or family member.
Online Therapy: For online therapy, I have personally used and like the service offered by Betterhelp. It’s easy to get started from the comfort of your home. You’ll even get a discount on your first month of therapy when you use my link.
Audible Subscription: I recommend a lot of self-help books on this site, but I actually prefer an audiobook subscription over print books! My favorite subscription service is Audible because it has all the best-sellers and they stay in your digital library forever . You can and listen to your first two books for free.
Social Anxiety Masterclass: The Social Anxiety Masterclass is my signature course where I walk you through everything I know about how to manage social anxiety. If you’re not ready to enroll in the course, be sure to to hear about special deals!
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Famous People With Social Phobia
If you are suffering with social anxiety disorder you are in the company of some famous people as well. Performers Donny Osmond and Barbra Streisand have both been public about their debilitating stage fright that threatened both of their careers as one time. In addition, several professional athletes have received treatment for social anxiety disorder including NFL player Ricky Williams and MLB players Zack Greinke, Dontrelle Willis, and Khalil Greene.
Misconceptions And Their Effects
Social anxiety is, unfortunately, often covered in a veil of misconception, which may be getting in the way of your coping efforts. Therefore, we will examine the 10 most crucial misconceptions about social anxiety, which will both enable you to deal better and will help others understand your social anxiety more accurately. As you probably know, social anxiety can have a negative impact on your career as well, which is something we will try to mend. This process can also be helped along by eating and drinking the right things. Of course whatever you do, social anxiety will remain a part of your life, if you engage in anxiety-inducing habits.
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Social Anxiety Online Forums And Social Media
You can find hundreds of anxiety support groups on Facebook. Type social anxiety into the search box to locate the Social Anxiety Support Group, which has over 42,000 members, as well as the Social Anxiety & Depression with Compassion group, which has 2,220 members, and everything in between.
Check these hashtags on social media, such as
How To Cope With Social Anxiety Disorder In College
College students today suffer from anxiety disorders. If left untreated, it will be a very persistent illness that can develop into a range of comorbidities. Some college students acquire more severe anxiety disorders, such as affective disorders, nicotine addiction, and drug abuse disorder, indicating a poorer prognosis for treatment.
The majority of college students with SAD have experienced at least significant impairment at some point in their lives. Patients with SAD often have problems with education, family, romantic connections, social networks, quality of life, and other aspects of their lives. Unfortunately, despite being the third most common mental condition among college students, SAD is frequently misdiagnosed and under-treated! Furthermore, clinicians and researchers have paid little attention to it.
Lets explore Social Anxiety Disorder. Use these page jumps for a convenient read:
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How To Personalize Your Coping Strategies
Now that you understand social anxiety a bit better, the time has come to make things more personalized and look into your own life. Dont worry, this information is personal and for your benefit only. What you need to do is identify those situations, which worry you the most. Once you have done that, you would be able to understand the psychological mechanisms, which make those situations bothersome for you. Social anxiety is often linked with assumptions about the outcome of things and a great approach to revealing those tricky assumptions, is to ask yourself two invaluable questions – why and what.
Signs And Symptoms Of Social Anxiety Disorder
Just because you occasionally get nervous in social situations doesnt mean you have social anxiety disorder or social phobia. Many people feel shy or self-conscious on occasion, yet it doesnt get in the way of their everyday functioning. Social anxiety disorder, on the other hand, does interfere with your normal routine and causes tremendous distress.
For example, its perfectly normal to get the jitters before giving a speech. But if you have social anxiety, you might worry for weeks ahead of time, call in sick to get out of it, or start shaking so bad during the speech that you can hardly speak.
Emotional signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder:
- Excessive self-consciousness and anxiety in everyday social situations
- Intense worry for days, weeks, or even months before an upcoming social situation
- Extreme fear of being watched or judged by others, especially people you dont know
- Fear that youll act in ways that will embarrass or humiliate yourself
- Fear that others will notice that youre nervous
Physical signs and symptoms:
- Avoiding social situations to a degree that limits your activities or disrupts your life
- Staying quiet or hiding in the background in order to escape notice and embarrassment
- A need to always bring a buddy along with you wherever you go
- Drinking before social situations in order to soothe your nerves
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How To Reduce Negative Thoughts
Mental Health Treatment Program Locator
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides this online resource for locating mental health treatment facilities and programs. The Mental Health Treatment Locator section of the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator lists facilities providing mental health services to persons with mental illness. Find a facility in your state at www.nimh.nih.gov/findhelp.
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Know You’re Not Alone
When you have social anxiety, it’s easy to assume you’re the only one feeling this way. But in reality, you’re really not alone, especially when it comes to going back to work. For many, that fact in itself puts them at ease.
“Keep in mind most people are feeling the very same awkward and uncomfortable feelings you’re feeling about reengaging,” Dindinger says. “Take your personal fears and realize they’re not personal to you, but more of a global experience.”
Sometimes, simply talking about your anxieties can make you feel a little better about whatever you’re going through. “Share with a trusted friend how you’re feeling about going back,” she adds. “In general, anxiety makes us push away or hide, and by bringing it out into the open to a trusted confidant, it helps release some of the anxiety.”
Dindinger says that when people feel like people can relate to their feelings, they feel less anxiety and greater levels of happiness. And, if you feel less overwhelmed with anxious thoughts, you can focus on the tasks at hand and maybe even start to enjoy parts of the nine-to-five grind.
Explore Specific Situations That Trigger Anxiety
Social anxiety doesnt show up in the same way for everyone.
You might feel anxious about any situation where you worry about others judging you, from ordering food at a restaurant to leaving for the restroom during a class lecture. On the other hand, you could feel mostly fine simply being around others as long as they dont expect you to share your thoughts or speak up.
Pinpointing why and when you feel most anxious can help you take the first steps toward finding solutions to power through those feelings.
Tip: Start by listing situations that cause the most discomfort, the ones you feel utterly unable to face. These might include:
- interviewing for a new job
- meeting with a professor to ask for help
- introducing yourself to someone youre attracted to
Chances are, you spend a lot of time thinking about the potential negative outcomes of those social situations you just listed.
You might worry about:
- accidentally saying something rude or offensive
- tripping or spilling something on yourself
- laughing, sneezing, or coughing at the wrong time
- getting sick in front of other people
These things do happen on occasion, and they certainly can cause some short-term discomfort. It can feel frightening to imagine yourself in a similarly awkward situation, but try to keep things in perspective.
Understanding the spotlight effect the tendency to think others notice your mistakes more than they actually do can also go a long way toward easing feelings of social anxiety.
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